To recap, the first phase of our vacation trip took us from Portland south through the mountains to Crater Lake, a beautiful blue lake surrounded by hot redheads. I managed to pry Carole away from the manly forest fire fighters and we headed west towards the Oregon Coast.
We headed north and then west on scenic Rt. 138 and after about an hour stopped to take a short hike to view Toketee Falls - amazing. After a few days in Oregon, waterfalls become ho-hum - sort of like seeing yet another big Cadillac in Florida with the turn signal permanently on. But, Toketee was like being transported into The Lord of the Rings.
From there we followed the scenic Umpqua River as it made its way to the Pacific Ocean at Reedsport. We then headed north on 101 along the coast, stopping for a sandy hike in Oregon Dunes Park. No offense, Oregon, but Long Island has dunes, Cape Cod has dunes. Dunes are dunes.
A hour more of driving we came to Florence, and stayed at the Edwin K. Bed and Breakfast, a fantastic place with many positives, like large rooms, friendly owner guy, amazing breakfast, great view from the porch rocking chairs across the Siuslaw River to the dunes, hot tub/spa in the room, easy walk into town, etc, and just one, teeny tiny negative: the toilet was just sort of in the corner of the bed room behind a folding screen. That was a head scratcher, but once again Carole and I proved to be very compatible - we took turns leaving the room when the other had to avail themselves of the facilities.
The next day we left Florence but I brought home some Siuslaw Blend coffee from Siuslaw Coffee Roasters - I can taste hints of rainbow, and notes of unicorn tears of joy, marionberries and pheromones.
We had about 200 miles to go to get to our stop for the night. However, along the way there was much scenic stuff.
Like the Heceta Head Lighthouse.
And Cape Perpetua, with an great view of the Oregon Coast.
After fighting our way through a few traffic jams at seaside towns, and a brief stop for free cheese at the Tillamook factory, we reached The Inn At Harbour Village in Ilwaco,WA - just north of the Columbia River.
The town of Ilwaco was nothing much, but the Inn was a great place to stay - friendly innkeeper lady, interesting history, good breakfast, cookies out all the time, etc.
There were two reasons for staying in Ilawco: (1) It was a short ride from there to Seattle for our flight home; and (2) I always wanted to see where Lewis and Clark ended up. I'd read several books about their expedition and was really excited - after about 600 miles of driving, thousands of waterfalls dozens of lighthouses, finally getting to see this historic site!!!
Meh - they picked an appropriate name for it.
So, we headed a bit north to the North Head Light - much more impressive. Now, if Ilwaco could grow a waterfall or two, they'd be all set.
We drove the next day through the mountains to Olympia, WA - and then a boring slog up I5 to a SeaTac airport hotel. Surprisingly, we actually had a great dinner at a restaurant near the airport - Sharps Roasters.
The next morning a 3am wake up call and a short shuttle flight to the airport, and we were on our way home. The coffee shop in the central terminal was name proudly for its clientele: