Monday, August 18, 2014

Oregon Coast

No super moon for us, clouds in the eastern sky.

The other day an old friend called us while on a hike from the top of Mt. Charleston along the Cashe La Poudre River [had cell coverage there] to advise me to drink some IPA at the Deschutes Brewery in Bend – the best he had ever had. This is the same man who 30 years ago was always offering me a detestable Heineken when I wanted a light pale pilsner beer. Bend is the San Francisco of the High Desert. Lots of young folks on bikes moving from one craft brew house to another. If not beer, then latte. Gag. I am American, I drink Budweiser, Miller, PBR and Folgers - whatever is on sale. Now, single malt is whole ‘nother deal. Late breaking news, I learn that I can sample four brews for free and they have a bitterness scale so I can avoid the really nasty ones. So the worst that can happen is that I can judge for brews as undrinkable and it will not cost me a thing. That I can do.

We drove 13 miles up the Coos and then a tributary, the Milacoma River, towards the Golden and Silver Falls to find the park closed. A sign noting the closure a few miles down the river would have been a nice gesture. The road was narrow with a rock wall on one side and a no shoulder drop off on the other side. One that required close attention even in the Jeep.

Parked a few down from us is a tricked out Jeep, body lift, 35 tires, etc. with a big Rock Crawler decal on the windshield. Having WA plates I had to ask where he goes to crawl rocks. He said he doesn’t, he just liked the decal. He explained to me all the parts you can break rock crawling. I could not resist, I mentioned that we had been going to Moab for over 10 years and had not broken a thing. Well, the statement is literally true.

The population of Coos Bay/North Bend is about 25,000. Not small, not large. Like every town on the coast US101 runs right through the middle of town. Green gold, trees, are still an industry in Oregon, for both domestic use and export. The logging trucks have no other road to use but 101, so it’s normal, if a bit disconcerting, to see the trucks downtown.

Tuesday – August 12 – Over the last two days, Dorothy got the laundry done and I cooked the spaghetti so we left full hookups for another delightful Forest Service CG 8.5 miles north of Coos Bay and south of Reedsport. There are two Lazy Daze here that we met in Jackson, WY a month or so back. Overcast today, with a chance of rain tomorrow.

Wednesday – The forecast late last night was 50% chance of rain today. So dawn broke with blue skies and 77 degrees. And some think that someone can predict climate change. Horse hooey. We moved 20 miles north this morning. Almost to Florence. Parked in Lagoon CG. It’s part of a Forest Service complex we have stayed in three times before. We will stay here through the weekend and then leap north and inland to Sisters.

Thursday – Rain over night and cloudy today. The batteries never made it back to 100%. The first time this trip. We spent the middle of the day at the Florence library where they have flash fast internet. Watched Lone Survivor in the evening. Decent, I would have preferred more dialog and less fire fight, but that fighting was what that afternoon was all about. I would suggest the book over the movie. All were shot several times and remained in the fight. Real Rambo’s.

Friday – Still mostly overcast. Dorothy woke at 7, make pancakes at 9, and was back asleep at 9:30. She woke at 11:30. Spent the afternoon prowling logging trails looking for a different type of picture of one of the inland lakes.

Saturday – Another run to Fred Meyer’s, this time with a list. Refer is now chock full. Drove on the dunes for an hour in the afternoon. Something was different today. I could not get up the steeper dunes. Humidity? Noted some ATV’s were having a little trouble. Wondered how the heck the 2WD trucks got on the beach.

Sunday – Up early to make a four hour jump to Sisters. Totally different climate than the coast. Warm and dry. Wonderful accommodations and hosts.

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