Saturday, December 16, 2023

Ferndale (CA)

We left Sue-meg State Park (formerly Patrick's Point State Park) on 22 Sep 2019, once again heading south on U.S. Route 101. Margaret wanted to get a coat for Peaches so we stopped at the Petco in Eureka where she found one that would help prevent Peaches from turning into a 'pupsicle' in the cooling weather.

During our entire trip I asked to stop at only two specific locations. The first was First Beach in La Push, WA, and the second request had us only slightly diverting from our route to the small city of Ferndale in Humboldt County.

I was "introduced" to Ferndale because of its frequent appearance in my QuakeFeed earthquake app notifications. From the Ferndale Wikipedia Page: "Ferndale's location near the Mendocino Triple Junction, a subduction fault associated with the offshore interaction of the Pacific, North American, and Gorda techtonic plates, makes it extremely susceptible to earthquakes." Once I saw how adorable this historical city was, I wanted to visit. 

It was extremely gray and overcast, but the high that day was a pleasant 63° F. We parked on Main Street and set about walking up and down checking out the businesses there and on Berding Street. We bought some baked goodies for us at Eirlie's Bakery and Margaret bought Peaches some gourmet treats from Main Street Barkery & Bath. (Isn't that an adorable name?)

Ferndale Community Church. Photo by Virginia.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Coastal Drive Loop & Sue-meg State Park (Formerly Patrick's Point State Park)

After leaving Mill Creek Campground on 20 Sep 2019, we got back on Highway 101 South; and as we neared Klamath (CA), I noticed a sign for a scenic drive. The Coastal Drive Loop is a narrow, one-way, partially paved 9-mile scenic loop accessed from 101 via Klamath Beach Road. It was such a visually stunning diversion from the highway and very much worth the added miles to our next destination.

Wilson Creek Beach, Klamath, CA. Photo by Virginia.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park and Mill Creek Campground (CA)

The date was 18 Sep 2019; and after our brief visit at Crissey Field State Recreation Site & Welcome Center, we were back on Highway 101 headed south. In short order, and after 61 days in Oregon and Washington, we crossed back into our home state of California. And with that, we finally had our T-Mobile service back!

Welcome to California sign. Photo by Virginia.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Crissey Field State Recreation Site & Welcome Center (OR)

Our night at Quosatana Campground was a wet one; but other than having to keep our camp chairs inside the Roadtrek, it didn't matter much. It was 17 Sep 2019, and off we went to our next adventure on our southward bound coastal drive. 

We traveled the Oregon Coast Highway over the highest bridge in Oregon, the Thomas Creek Bridge, which lies within the Samuel Boardman Scenic Corridor. We stopped numerous times to get out to view the different beaches along the way. After a few hours, we drove inland to what we thought would be our next camping location. Using Google search, it led us to the U.S. Forestry Service (USFS) website for Little Redwood Campground in Brookings, OR. We came to find out after driving all the way out there that the campground was CLOSED! It turned out to be indefinitely closed since a forest fire burned through there in 2017, but the USFS website didn't say it was closed. Bummer, but fortunately there was a campground nearby with openings: Alfred A. Loeb State Park. During this entire time, it had been raining and was rather dark; but we made it and were barely settled in the Roadtrek before evening fell. What a R.E.L.I.E.F!

The next morning as we continued our final day of traveling the Oregon Coast Highway, we were able to take some photographs of the coastline because the rain had finally stopped. We were rewarded with more of Oregon's beautiful, wild, coastal scenery.

Gold Beach, Oregon Coast. Photo by Virginia.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Cape Blanco State Park & Quosatana Campground (OR)

For the drive following our departure from Eel Creek Campground, it was 58° F with dark gray skies and continuous rain. We drove the Oregon Coast Highway (U.S. Highway 101) through the towns of North Bend, Coos Bay, and Bandon. You can see just how dark and gray it was in the first photo. It was consistently a leisurely drive for the lack of traffic, which makes it more of a pleasant experience for us tourist types. Since Margaret did all of the driving on our trip, this particular scenic drive was made more memorable for me by a long phone call with my daughter. There were lots of offshore rocks, which made for a lot of white water from the breaking waves. It was very dramatic!

Bandon, Oregon. Photo by Virginia.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Eel Creek Campground (OR)

Following our two lovely nights at Harbor Vista Campground and errands in Florence, we drove south about 37 miles to Eel Creek Campground* in Lakeside, Oregon, arriving there at 3:00 p.m. After driving through the campground and choosing our preferred campsite, Margaret went to register and pay for two nights while I set up the Roadtrek for camping. It was Friday the 13th (13 Sep 2019), and we got campsite #13 for $11/night. Heh. The campground wasn't crowded and had potable water, trash, and bathrooms with flush toilets. We didn't have any T-Mobile signal; but with automatic network selection, I had a 4G AT&T signal, and Margaret had a strong U.S. Cellular signal. The weather was a clear and sunny 64° F, and the ocean breezes were heavenly. It was the perfect weather for us!

After a fairly busy day, we looked forward to relaxing with dinner and a fun movie (Maverick). What a life!

That evening there was a bright and brilliant full Harvest Moon. Watching from my bed as the moon disappeared and reappeared from behind clouds silhouetted against the tall trees was both dreamy and eerie. 

We were surrounded by tall, healthy trees.
Photo by Virginia.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Harbor Vista Campground (OR)

After our day exploring Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and errands in Florence (OR), we needed a campground. Stat! I don't recall how we decided on trying Harbor Vista Campground; but it all worked out great, and we ended up staying for two nights. We arrived on 11 Sep 2019 at about 7:00 p.m. and after driving around the campground we both liked campsite #28. The fee at the time was $25/night. There are 45 RV sites with electricity and water hook-ups, as well as tent camping sites. There is also an RV dump station on site. The campground has bathrooms with flush toilets and showers. There is a playground area, picnic tables, and public access to the Siuslaw River and North Jetty Beach on the Pacific Ocean. 

We had a one-bar LTE signal with T-Mobile, which was enough to have access to the outside world. Score!

The first night's sunset was captured brilliantly
by Margaret with her iPhone!

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Following our fabulous two hour visit at Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint we continued south on U.S. Highway 101. We stopped at several turnouts to take in the stunning views of the Oregon Coast.

Siuslaw National Forest, Florence, Oregon. Photo by Margaret.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint (OR)

After leaving Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park Campground at noon on 09 Sep 2019, we continued south. In what seemed like only a few minutes, I noticed a sign on the highway for Heceta Head Lighthouse. After pointing it out to Margaret, we both excitedly exclaimed, "Ooh, we have to stop here!"

A view of the beach and Light Keeper's house. Photo by Margaret.  

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park (OR)

Heading back to the Oregon Coast after visiting Silver Falls State Park, we stopped at Trader Joe's and gassed up the Roadtrek in Salem, OR, where on 06 Sep 2019, regular unleaded gas was the lowest price of our trip to date at $2.73.9/gallon! From Salem, we headed to Newport, OR, where we planned to visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Whereas, I had visited the aquarium once in 1997, Margaret was very much looking forward to her first visit.

Using a combination of sources (Google, Campendium,, etc.), we drove south for a few miles on U.S. Route 101; and all we saw were sign after sign stating, "CAMPGROUND FULL." After striking out with campgrounds, we tried RV parks. After stopping at a couple of those that were also full, we parked and called several more—all of which were full! We briefly considered parking overnight at a casino south of Newport but decided against that because it was much too far away. So after trying for several hours, we decided to give up on visiting the aquarium. (I think I was more disappointed for Margaret than she was for herself.) We decided, instead, to concentrate on finding a place to camp farther down the highway. It was getting late; and after a long day on the road, we were pooped!

Cape Perpetua, Yachats, OR. Photo by Margaret.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Silver Falls State Park (OR)

[Note: It's been nearly four months since our last blog entry; and for that, I apologize. After five months taking in all of the scenic beauty during our West Coast States Adventure, it was a bit of a shock to arrive at home base and stay put. Since returning to San Diego County last October, we have been camping only once! Margaret did have some mechanical work done on her Roadtrek, which unfortunately turned out to be mostly inferior quality. You can bet she won't be a repeat customer at that business!

Early this year, both Margaret and I had some very unpleasant and long-lasting colds. We had out-of-town company stay with us for two weeks; and during that visit, our world came apart with the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been sheltering in our respective "tiny homes" (RVs) for three months so far, and our next great adventure that we had hoped to start in April has been postponed indefinitely. Although this period of self-isolation would have been the perfect time to publish the remaining entries from our last year's trip, simply put, I haven't been able to commit to looking at the photos. Not knowing if or when we'll be able to travel again is extremely heartbreaking, as it is. I shall try to adjust my thinking and get them published. Thank you for your patience. We hope you enjoy visiting all of the locations featured here.]

September 5th, 2019, was a very long day. After leaving Kilches River County Campground and visiting Cape Meares, we headed south on U.S. Route 101 to Hebo, OR, where we turned east on Highway 22 toward Salem, OR.

Winema Wayfinding Point on U.S. Route 101 near Neskowin, OR. Photo by Virginia.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Kilchis River County Campground & Cape Meares (OR)

After leaving Tillamook Creamery, we stopped at a Safeway for food; and using Google, Margaret located a campground just a few minutes away in Tillamook.

We arrived at Kilchis River County Campground on 04 September 2019 as it was getting dark. The camp host placed us in a site near the entrance and restrooms that backed up to a view of the Kilchis River. The site was level, so no need for levelers...YAY! The campground had only a few other well-spaced campers, potable water, those nice restrooms, a playground, trash, and recycling. Alas, as usual, there was no cell phone signal. (As nice as this county campground was, it was also a whopping $33 for just one night.)

We set up the Roadtrek in camping mode, put the groceries away, and made dinner. After a busy day of sightseeing and shopping, we were both ready for rest and reading time.

The Roadtrek at Kilchis River County Campground. Photo by Margaret.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Cannon Beach & Tillamook Creamery (OR)

We left Nehalem Falls Campground and headed to the Oregon coastal town of Cannon Beach on 04 September. I had visited this tourist town several times during the year-and-a-half I lived in Oregon in the late 1990s. It offered a very pleasant pedestrian shopping experience; and the beach, with its natural tide pools, was vastly different from those I had taken in prior to it.

In the twenty-two years since I last spent time there, it felt much larger and considerably busier—especially for a weekday following Labor Day weekend. We lucked out and found a parking spot on the main drag. The weather was a very pleasant 70°F; but it was quite overcast, which made for a lot of glare. Margaret and I strolled up and down Hemlock Street, stopping in Cannon Beach Bakery for some goodies and being awestruck by the photographic talents of Randall J. Hodges in his Images of the West gallery.

Cannon Beach is a charming and well-maintained little town brightened by planters of colorful flowers and sporting an abundance of art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and other specialty stores to enjoy.  

Cannon Beach Book Company on Hemlock Street. Photo by Virginia.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Nehalem Falls Campground (OR)

It was 02 September 2019 when we left Barview Jetty County Campground after five nights. We were both looking forward to peace, quiet, and a more natural camping experience. Margaret had Nehalem Falls Campground in mind; so we left the coast and headed up into the mountains of Tillamook State Forest where we were fortunate to find several open campsites (there are only 20), vault toilets, trash, recycling, and potable water (hand pump). What there wasn't was a cell phone signal, per usual. The fee was $20 a night, and we stayed for two nights.

Nehalem Falls Campground sign. Photo by Virginia.