|Tue, 19 May: Driving Oregon's coastal roads... Not for the faint of heart!
Road day... The Sutherlin forecast was for rain, but fortunately it never materialized. We are OK with getting ready for the road in our rain gear, but it is soooo much nicer not to have to.
We pulled out of our assigned site at the Timber Valley Escapees Cooperative and drove to the hook-up area. Once Carpe Dinkum was all hooked up, brakes and lites checked, we drove a huge ½ mile to the nearby truck stop to top off Carpe's propane tank. At $2.40/gallon it is a fairly good price and we were below ½ tank.
Once topped off we hit the road a few minutes after nine. Central Avenue in Sutherlin is also Oregon 138, so off we went, westward-ho. OR 138 is a typical Oregon coastal road. It follows a river, but also needs to cross the Coastal Range. Result? Many very sharp and hairpin turns. But the road is in excellent condition so the drive was uneventful, but sure demanded 100% of the driver's attention.
After thirty-some miles we picked up OR 38 west to the coast. OR 38 is more of the same, but with much heavier traffic. There are many passing lanes and turn outs so the faster traffic was able to go around us.
At Reedsport OR 38 ends at US 101, the Coast Highway. We've driven the coach on 101 before, in 2008 when we were new to RVing. At that time we were too new at this to know to be afraid. This time we believe we're experienced enough to treat this road with a great deal of respect. It is windy, hilly, narrow, and has no shoulders. The driver must give driving 100% attention as there is little room for error.
The fifty miles north from Reedsport to South Beach took us about 1½ hours. At times we slowed to 25 and 30 mph to navigate the tight turns. One stretch was limited to vehicles no longer than 75'. Towing the car we're slightly longer than 60', so it was no problem, again just need to exercise caution.
We arrived at the Thousand Trails Whaler's Rest Resort a few minutes after noon. Bob got us registered and we went hunting for a site. We found one that wasn't totally covered by trees, but still didn't have a good sky view for our satellite dish. But, since we let our Dish TV subscription lapse till we're back from our cruise that isn't a problem. The site is level, large enough, and has 50 amperes of power so we're happy campers.
Today's drive was 120 miles with 7⅛ mpg.
Mon, 25 May: Memorial Day 2015
We've been thinking of where we were on Memorial Day's past. Last Year we observed Memorial Day at a Wal*Mart parking lot in Iowa. The previous year it was at the Winnebago Factory, also in Iowa. In 2012 we were in Tok Alaska, 2011 in Bar Harbor Maine, 2010 Moab Utah and in 2009 Forest City North Carolina.
As we anticipated Friday was a very busy day here at Whaler's Rest Thousand Trails "Resort". The holiday weekenders started arriving early afternoon, bringing with them screaming urchins, howling hounds, and smoky campfires. The circus continued until well after dark as intrepid souls braved the gloom to back their rigs into too-tight sites.
As the sun rose Saturday the formerly quiet and civilized campground had been transformed into a ghetto. Rigs, cars, pickups, bikes, and all manner of paraphernalia littered the campground. Nothing to do but sit and watch the passing circus. And, to add to our frustration, the glacial Verizon cell "service" we'd had all week came to a complete halt with the influx of weekend visitors. Even with our external cell antenna and signal booster there was pretty much zip thruput. Ugh!
Late Saturday morning the park managers arranged for the local American Legion post to provide a member to perform a Memorial Day ceremony. The retired Master Chief did a good job of explaining the history of the holiday and then performed a very credible rendition of Taps. Sandi, along with the other Vets in attendance stood at attention and saluted the flag.
Yesterday, Sunday, we drove the car south along US 101 about 35 miles to enjoy the scenery. The sun was poking thru the clouds so we were able to get some nice shots of the rugged coastline. The Oregon Coast offers a spectacular vista.
Today, Monday, is our favorite part of a holiday weekend. The folks that must be home in order to participate in w**k, school, and other obligations are packing up their rigs and heading back. By Happy Hour we expect the park will once again be quiet and peaceful.
We, too, will depart—tomorrow. We'll drive to the Chehalis Washington Thousand Trails where we'll start getting ready for our cruise. On Friday we'll move Carpe Diem to the storage area and then drive Carpe Dinkum to Seattle where we'll board our cruise ship.
But, we're getting ahead of ourselves. More in our next destination posting.