Saturday, July 24, 2010

2010 July Oregon vacation

Time to hit the Oregon Trail and head to Oregon again. Only now-a-days our Oregon trail is by air. Unfortunately there aren't any non-stop flights to PDX from STL anymore, so our trail took us by way of Dallas, Texas, then up to PDX. At least we arrived there in about 7 hours instead of 6 months or more like back in the days of stagecoach travel.

Stagecoach travellers didn't get views like this of Mt. Hood, either!

Nor did they get views of all the flower farms in the Willamette Valley.

After picking up our rental car from Budget at the airport, we started out 1 1/2 hour trip down towards Dallas, Oregon. Since we arrived fairly early, about 2:50, we detoured off I-5 at Woodburn and headed towards Silverton. I love the fields of flowers in that area.

Ultimately we were headed to the Oregon Garden. Oregon Garden is an 80-acre botanical garden in Silverton, with about 20 separate gardens. It opened in 1999, but this was only the 3rd or 4th time I've been there. This time of year, daylilies were in full bloom and were everywhere. We took the free tram ride, then walked through a few of the gardens. Being a reciprocol garden with the Mo. Botanical Gardens, which I'm a member of, we even got into this underutilized jewel of Oregon free.

After spending our first night in Dallas, Oregon, at the Best Western, the next day we stuck around Dallas until my niece's wedding rehearsal was over, then we headed to the coast to start a week in Worldmark Resorts on the coast. The first 2 nights where spent in Gleneden Beach. Our 3 bedroom condo was beautiful. As was the one in Depoe BAy where we spent the next 4 nights (4 for us since we came a day early and left a day early. Tim and FAith had Depoe Bay all to themselves the 5th night.)

Not too far from Lincoln City and Gleneden is the covered bridge at Drift Creek. Seemed like everywhere we looked on our journeys around Oregon we were treated to wild flowers.

We had our first dinner on the coast at the McMenamins in Lincoln City. Tim and FAith had bragged about the one near Portland, so we all wanted to try this one. As many times as we've been to the coast, we've never eatten here before. We definately will in the future!

We even arrived during happy hour and I tried the Ruby Ale. Although I'm not really a connoisseur of beer, this was light and fresh and I really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the appetizers of hummis, spicey tator tots, and a really good cup of clam chowder and a rueben sandwich.

One of the neat things about the Worldmark at Gleneden Beach is it's access to the beach.

We even had a bon fire on the beach Friday night. The heat from the fire was much appreciated! I think our high for the week on the coast was only in the 60's with nighttime temps being even lower. We also enjoyed the hottub and heated pool at Depoe Bay as well as the bon fire here at Gleneden.

Our main reason for going to Oregon this year was to attend my nieces wedding and for me to be her photographer. So that Sat. we headed back to Beckenridge Vineyards just outside of Dallas for her wedding. It was a beautiful day, mid 70's and lots of sun. She did an incredible job planning the wedding. I've learned that something always has to go wrong at a wedding, though, so I obliged them with the incident for their wedding! While taking pre-wedding pictures of the rings, I accidentally knocked her ring into a hungry baby grand piano. Talk about wanting to go and hide! Instead I enlisted the help of Ken, the gal in charge of events at the vineyard, and the grooms father to try and get it out. Much to my relief, after about 1 1/2 hours of using a measuring tape, kitchen tongs, duct tape, and a clothes hanger shaped into a hook, they managed to retrieve the wayward ring. The rest of the day went without a hitch. I even got Faith to take my 2nd DSLR and be my 2nd shooter for the wedding. She did a magnificent job!

Some friends from Portland made it to down to visit us on Sunday and brought us a bunch of delicious Made in Oregon treats. They also took us out to lunch at another of our favorite places on the beach---Rogue Brewery.

After eating, we enjoyed a walk along the pier adjacent to the brewery.

At least we all did until a seagull decided to bomb William. Ken tried to be the laundryman here and wipe William's jacket off on the handrail.

Deciding to ditch the jacket, we wandered around Depoe Bay for awhile. Had to get chocolate and carmel corn for dessert---and a picture of a few sea hags.

Back at the condo, William decided to try on our table centerpiece.

After they left, I took a walk around the Worldmark Depoe Bay grounds.

Looking towards the little bay on the south side of the resort.

Looking north along the resort.

On our many rides to Lincoln City, I always like this refuge area near the Siletz Bay. Over the years, we've witnessed the dead trees getting more and more sparce.

Amazingly enough, we seldom get treated to a fantastic sunset while we're at the beach. This trip was no exception. But this location along the Siletz Bay at least made it a little more interesting.

My sister managed to make it out for a night. We had a 3 bedroom condo, but ended up having an extra bedroom the other 6 nights. It was a nice visit. We hit the outlet mall on Monday and then braved the crowds at Mo's for dinner.

Tuesday Ken and I had the whole day to ourselves. The "kids" took off to Seaside to meet Joe, Katie, and Joe's business partner for dinner. Ken and I decided to play tourist and head south for the day.

Our first stop was Cape Foulweather by Devil's Punchbowl. I love taking pictures of the rugged Oregon coast.

On the south side of the Devil's Punchbowl is this calmer expansive coastline. There were even several surfers out there that day---wearing full wet suits.

Even the views as were were riding in the car were stunning--- as seen here.

By the time we reached Newport, the one flash card I brought along for that trip was almost full, so we decided to pick up another one from a store. Walmart was out of them, so we ended getting one from Fred Meyers. Before leaving town, we drove down by the bayfront.

I also had to stop and take a few dozen more pictures of the Newport bridge! I actually never took one from the east side before, though. To the left of the bridge is the pier we walked with the BAiley's. In years past, the kids have gone crabbing from this pier.

On the west side of the bridge is Yaquina Bay lighthouse. It's furnished with period pieces and is an interesting lighthouse to tour.

Here's my obligatory photo of the Newport Bridge from the west side.

A short distance from Newport is Seal Rock. The beach here is pretty amazing. This is looking north from the top of the trail.

This is looking south from the top of the trail. There's a nice paved pathway leading down to this beach, but we didn't take the time to explore this area this time. We did see 3 or 4 people with easels and canvases there. Some of the artists were really quite good. I've always wanted to get out my drawing pad and pretend to be an artist again. This would certainly be a great place for that.

Further south the clouds started to roll in. I understand that high summertime temps inland pull cool ocean air over the Yachats estuary causing these misty scenes to be common in the afternoons.

Another view of the estuary where the fog wasn't rolling in.

I wonder how many of these floats were found washed up on the beach?

We made it a little further down the coast to Cape Perpetua state park. First we drove up the road to the east of highway 101 to an impressive overlook. It took us several trips down the coast before we ever took this road. But the views from up above are impressive. This was looking north from the Rock house.

Looking towards the mountain range from the top of the trail.

The trail to the Rock lookout "house". Note the lack of railings along the trail and the long way down!

Here's the lookout built by the CCC. Unfortunately the clouds were really starting to build up or we would have been able to see 70 miles of coastline and 37 miles out to sea.

This is the coastline looking south.

Almost impossible to see in this photo, but the rock lookout we were just at is near the top of the mountain in the background.
This was where we planned to turn around. I was taking a few last pictures of the Devil's Churn, when my camera threw up an error code "error CF". Seeing as that's happened to me at work, I immediately knew what had happened! My brand new card failed! I knew my 150 or so pictures would have to be retrieved with special recall software. Having no Fred Meyer's back home, I get to fight with the company, Kingston, to get my money back since I wanted to try and retrieve my pictures. Fortunately, my software did retrieve the pictures, but I still haven't called Kingston.
So, another trip to Oregon has come and gone. Seems they haven't gone smoothly in the last several trips there. But I guess it's worth the trials and tribulations to get to spend time in such a beautiful part of the country.