Thursday, July 31, 2008

7/30/08 – Millersylvania State Park, Washington

We drove to Fort Canby State Park and took pictures of the Cape Disappointment and North Head lighthouses. Then we drove to Millersylvania State Park just south of Olympia. We unhitched the trailer and drove into Olympia to the Fish Brewing Brewpub. There we met my friend Roy Notham’s daughter Beth and her boyfriend Jake for dinner and beers.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

7/29/08 - Long Beach, Washington

For the first time on our trip we had rainy weather. We went to the Ft. Stevens Military Museum and walked through more of the artillery batteries at the fort. This was the only place in the continental U.S. which received hostile fire (from the Japanese) in World War II. Then we went to Ft. Clatsop Lewis and Clark National Park. This was the place where the Lewis and Clark expedition finally reached the Pacific Ocean. The park has a replica of the fort based on Lewis and Clark's journals. After that we went to the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria. This is an outstanding museum and it would take days to visit it thoroughly. The Columbia River Bar is the place where the Columbia River enters the Pacific Ocean. Navigation through it is very dangerous and many ships have gone down here, even in recent times. The museum had a map showing where all these ships sunk. We went on board a decommissioned Coast Guard lighthouse ship, the Columbia. Then we sampled the beers at two brewpubs in Astoria before driving to an RV Park in Long Beach, Washington.

7/28/08 - Fort Stevens State Park, Oregon

We drove further up the Oregon coast to Cannon Beach and took pictures of Haystack Rock. We had fried clam strips at Bill’s Tavern and Brewhouse and had a sampler of their beers. Then we went to Ecola State Park and took pictures of the Tillamook lighthouse which is on a large rock offshore. This lighthouse is nicknamed “Terrible Tilly” because of the terrible weather and isolation experienced by the lighthouse keepers. It was decommissioned and is now used as a depository for dead peoples’ ashes. Then we checked into Fort Stevens State Park near Astoria. There we saw the wreck of the ship “Peter Iredale” which was grounded on the beach in 1906. We also went to the jetty at the mouth of the Columbia River and to an old artillery battery which was used from 1904 to 1944 to protect the Northeast Oregon coast.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

7/27/07 - Tillamook, Oregon

We hitched up, left Portland, and drove back to the coast to Tillamook. We went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory and sampled their cheese and ice cream. Then we went to the Port Meares lighthouse and took some pictures. Later we drove the 3 capes drive and hiked through the rain forest to the base of Munson Falls.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

7/26/08 - Portland, Oregon

We drove to McMennamins Kennedy School in an old Portland neighborhood. This was an elementary school built in 1915 and abandoned in 1975. The McMenamin brothers restored and redeveloped it into a brewpub, restaurant, and bed and breakfast hotel. We had breakfast there and walked through the school checking out the artwork in all the hallways. When I was here several years ago the classrooms looked just as they were when the school closed, complete with school desks and lessons on the blackboards. Now the classrooms have been turned into hotel rooms. Then we drove out to Troutdale to visit another McMenamin brothers project, Edgefield. This was a poor farm built in 1911. In later years it was a nursing home before it closed in 1982. The McMenamin brothers bought it in 1990 and developed it into a hotel, restaurant, brewery, winery, distillery, movie theater, golf course, gardens, and banquet and events facility. We had a beer at one of the bars and met Dave Wills and his friend Bill. Dave is the proprietor of Freshops, a supplier of hops to breweries and homebrew shops. He knew Scott Birdwell, owner of the Defalcos Homebrew Shop in Houston. Later we drove into downtown Portland and visited Powell's Books, one of the largest and best bookstores in the U.S. We drove around the downtown area a little, then went across the bridge to Vancouver, Washington to visit the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. The Post Commander's house was built in 1849.

7/25/08 - Portland, Oregon

Steve and Kim came by the trailer and picked us up and we drove to Mount St. Helens. As everyone knows this volcano erupted in 1980 and the top of the mountain was blown off. Trees for miles around were blown away, but the vegetation is recovering. Then we drove back to Portland and went to an open house at the Hair of the Dog Brewery. There we saw Fred Eckhardt, a craft brewing pioneer who is guest of honor at the Dixie Cup Homebrew Competition in Houston every year. We also saw Dave Cato, a former Foam Ranger who now lives in Portland. Then we drove downtown to attend the Oregon Brewers Festival, the biggest outdoor beer festival in the U.S. Later we went to the Deschutes Brewery and had dinner and more beers with Dave Cato and another ex-Foam Ranger now living in Vancouver, Washington, "English Dave" Capolarello. Steve and Kim fly back tomorrow.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

7/24/08 - Portland, Oregon

Steve and Kim came to the trailer at 9:00 AM and we all drove through the Columbia River Gorge and a loop drive around Mount Hood. Kim thought this would be a three or four hour trip but we did not get back until 10:00 P.M. We stopped at a couple of viewpoints overlooking the Columbia River Gorge, then drove up a road to the top of Larch Mountain where you could see five volcanic mountains -- Adams, Jefferson, Rainier, Hood, and St. Helens. We stopped at a couple of waterfalls, went to the Booneville Dam and Cascade locks and saw the fish ladder by which salmon and other fish can migrate upstream past the dam. Then we went to the Full Sail Brewery in Hood River where we ran into Andy and Sally Thomas and their two children. They happened to be vacationing in Oregon and were going to the brewers festival on Saturday. We know Andy and Sally from the Foam Rangers Homebrew Club in Houston. We visited two wineries and two more brewpubs in Hood River and then drove to Government Camp at the base of Mount Hood where we had dinner at Mount Hood Brewing.

7/23/08 - Portland, Oregon

We went to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum which was located next to our RV park in McMinnville. Howard Hughes' airplane the "Spruce Goose" was in one of the museum's hangers. This is the largest airplane ever made and flew only one time in 1947. We moved the RV to a park on an island in the Columbia River between Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. We met our friends Steve and Kim who had flown from Houston to go to the Oregon Brewers Festival. We met them at the Portland Japanese Garden. Then we visited several brewpubs -- New Old Lompoc, Lucky Labrador, Bridgeport, and Hopworks Urban Brewery.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

7/22/08 - McMinnville, Oregon

We went back to Yaquina Head Lighthouse. This time there was no fog. The tide was down and we went to the tide pools again. We took a picture of an anemone eating a crab. We stopped at two brewpubs on the way to McMinnville -- McMenamins Lighthouse Brewery in Lincoln City and Pelican Brewery in Pacific City. We drove to our RV park in McMinnville and talked with Kim and Steve who were on the way from the Portland airport but had stopped off at a few wineries. We met them at Golden Valley Brewery and then went to their hotel for dinner. They were staying at McMenamins Hotel Oregon so we had more beer. This is a very neat old historic hotel that had been refurbished. Kim and Steve had a very comfy cozy room that was period decorated.

7/21/08 - Newport, Oregon

We left Lakeside and went to Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. We saw guys on dirt bikes riding up and down the dunes. There was a jeep with a man, his niece and son. I asked them if they would take me for a ride. I got in the back seat and took an exciting trip up to the top of the dunes and down a few times. It was very fun, like riding a roller coaster at Astroworld. We drove down the coast and stopped at a rock formation off the beach called COX ROCK. We stopped at another lighthouse at Heceta Head. We went to Sea Lion Cave but they charged $10.00 to see the sea lions. We already saw some the day before at a state park for free so,we wouldn’t pay $10 to see them. A mile or so down the road we saw people at a pull out. We stopped and lo and behold there were some sea lions sunning on beach and playing in the water. I bet the people who had just paid $10 were furious. We stopped at another pullout and there was a great formation called Spouting Horn. It was a blow hole that the surf was coming through with such a force that the water sprayed through it and up in the air. We traveled down the road and stopped at two more lighthouses -- Yaquina Bay and Yaquina Head. In between these two we stopped at the Rogue Brewery and had a taste of 16 of their 39 beers. When we got to Yaquina Head lighthouse the fog had rolled in and you could hardly see it. We will go back in the morning to visit again.

Monday, July 21, 2008

7/20/08 - Lakeside, Oregon

We checked out of Bandon Beach State Park and drove south to Port Orford ( the western most point in the lower 48 states) and saw the Cape Blanco lighthouse. It was very windy and cold. We thought the wind might blow the Casita off the cliff. We then came back north past Bandon, and we stopped at a lookout for marine mammals on the way to the Cape Arago lighthouse. We saw lots of harbor seals, some elephant seals and sea lions sunning themselves on an offshore island. Jim saw a gray whale. We drove to our RV park in Lakeside and after unhooking we drove to the Umpqua River Lighthouse.