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Woods

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    • Day13

      Cape Kiwanda & Pelican Brewing

      October 19, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

      A real gem! Originally a target of ours for the Pelican brewery located in Pacific City, this place offered us so much more... First, the beach was really amazing, especially under the changing weather. Second, the Cape Kiwanda just nearby was so tempting to climb! We did so, climbing and running in the sand, and reached a high viewpoint on the coast where the elements - sea, sand, wind, light, rain - where fighting a glorious battle for the pleasure of our eyes, giving us plenty of picturesque sights.

      But that was not it! After a beer on the beach, we managed to get our van right on the edge of the beach, where we enjoyed one of these gorgeous West Coast sunsets that everybody is talking about, while preparing food half under the rain. A real good feeling, as this is exactly the type of stuff we were aiming for when embarking on this journey.

      But that's not it! To top up the day brilliantly, after the sunset we found an unattended, yet still burning bonfire that warmed us up as we saw the stars glimmering above our happy heads.

      Is that it? Almost: our sleep spot for that night was the parking lot of the Chinook Winds casino, where we spun the slots just a few times but mostly enjoyed looking at people getting excited at Black Jack and Craps.

      Long story short, a perfect day. 😊

      Une vraie pépite ! A l'origine un de nos objectifs pour sa brasserie artisanale Pelican Brewing, cette destination nous a offert bien plus... Tout d'abord la plage était vraiment au top, surtout sous le temps incertain. Ensuite, le Cap Kiwanda tout près nous appelait à le grimper ! Ce que nous fîmes, grimpant et courant dans le sable pour atteindre un splendide point de vue sur la côte où les éléments - océan, sable, vent, lumière, pluie - se déchainaient pour le plaisir de nos yeux, nous donnant quantités de magnifiques vues.

      Et ce n'est pas tout ! Après une bière sur la plage, nous avons réussi à garer notre van juste sur le bord de la plage, d'où nous avons pu profiter d'un de ces fameux couchers de soleil de la Côte Ouest dont tout le monde parle, tout en préparant le dîner à moitié sous la pluie. Un vrai bon sentiment, puisque c'est exactement pour ce genre de péripéties que nous avons embarqué dans cette aventure.

      Mais ce n'est pas tout ! La cerise sur le gateau : après le coucher de soleil, nous sommes tombés sur un feu de camp sans propriétaire sur la plage, bien que toujours brûlant. Nous en avons donc profité pour nous réchauffer le temps de regarder les étoiles apparaître au dessus de nos têtes ravies.

      C'est bon là ? Hé non ! Notre lieu de villégiature pour la nuit était le parking du casino Chinook Winds, où nous avons pu faire brièvement tourner les machines à sous, mais surtout apprécié regarder les joueurs de Black Jack et Craps s'exciter sur leurs paris.

      Bref, une journée parfaite. 😊
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      Traveler

      Brings back great memories for Paul and I. Definitely one of our favorite camping spots. You missed out on kite flying! It's a must.

      10/20/19Reply
      Traveler

      Trop belle image 👍

      10/21/19Reply
      Traveler

      It looks like you guys are getting some sunshine. I hope you’re still enjoying your van.

      10/21/19Reply
       
    • Day16

      USA 2

      September 9, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      Day 8 - Saturday 1 September Seaside to Pacific City

      Today we packed up and had last last minute wifi checks to see what there was to do on the way etc before heading off to Pacific City. We drove along the ocean view road - similar to the one in Victoria I guess - and we had some pretty good weather so was pretty spectacular. We stopped at Hug Point and did a walk along the beach and checked out the caves and rock pools in the area. Was a bit overcast whilst we were there (cleared up by midday) but was still very pretty. One of the caves was an actual cave (and not just a hollowed out section in the cliff) and we had to get the lights out and crouch down a little bit to get into. It was pretty cool except that it smelt (there was a tarp in there so not sure if someone had been sleeping in there) and we were getting dripped on the whole time and then two families came in after us and it was too crowded for us all in there (not that they seemed to notice that) so we mostly just went in had a look and went straight back out again. Lily found this bit really interesting (because of the rock pools) and we did spend a bit of time looking at everything and exploring.

      We drove on and eventually stopped at a viewpoint to have some lunch. We just made egg sandwiches (we had boiled the eggs at dinner the night before in prep) and set ourselves up. Lots of people but not much respect for the area. People jumped over the wall and just walked around the view point (even right up to the cliff edges) but most people were pretty good and were in and out (stop for a photo and off again straight away). Some pretty stunning views but that was typical for the whole day (and it was starting to clear up whilst we were eating lunch so was extra nice.

      Drove on and made it to Pacific City. We weren’t super sure what our accomodation would be like - staying in an AirBnB so we decided to go and check in and the head out again after we knew what facilities we would have access to. Was a bit of a ways outside of the city (about a 20 minute drive so nothing too far) and navman really struggled to find it. We thought we had driven past it so pulled into the next available driveway….which turned out to be the place we were looking for! Parked and headed inside and was greeted by Irma, our host. She showed us to our room and showed us a bit of the house (she had a lot to say and loved to say it) before we got our stuff out of the car and got settled in. Irma loves antiques and history so the house was well maintained (she was very sad telling us that the original framework for the doorways had been stolen before she bought the house but one doorway still had the original framework that was all hand carved and she just had to show us).

      We went and got some groceries - just a premixed bag of salad, some croutons and dressing, and headed down to the beach to eat and watch the sunset. It was absolutely freezing on the beach, about 14ºC and very windy, but the sky was mostly clear and there was some rock formations out in the water and it was very pretty. Ate dinner and then packed it all away and went for a walk down the beach whilst the sun set. Stayed long enough for it to fall dark before heading off. As before, everyone can just drive onto the beach, and most did. Lot of idiots. The general rule I’m getting for America is that everything is against the rules but you can still do it anyway, it’s only a problem if it ends up causing a problem or if someone takes a problem with it. Eg there is currently a total and absolute fire ban in Oregon because it’s extremely dry (I think they might be in drought) and lots of wind (also, there are fires burning all around the West Coast so I imagine resources are stretched pretty thin - we have a heap of QLD firies, and presumably other states have also sent people, posted over here at the moment working on a big fire in Southwest Oregon and in California) but you can light a fire anywhere you want really so long as you keep in inside a fire bin/circle which is a portal mental ring, so everyone had them set up on the beach right next to their cars no worries.

      So as you can probably imagine that there was no rules for beach use and people just drove down because they could in whatever vehicle they had (no one let their tires down either or did any proper prep). Whilst we ate our dinner there was a guy who went around towing people off the beach (when they inevitably became bogged) and he probably made a lot of money doing it. There was a mazda 3 that got stuck whilst we were eating and they just about dug their entire way out of the beach so that they didn’t have to pay to get towed. After we had packed up the tow guy was working on a van. They were still working on it after we got back from our walk down the beach and had called in a bigger tow truck to pull him out.

      After the sun set we went back to the AirBnB. There was supposed to be wifi but Lily couldn’t connect at all and mine only worked some of the time and was slow when it did work. We put the TV on and managed to get the start of a Harry Potter movie. Watched that and then went to bed.

      Day 9 - Sunday 2nd September Pacific City

      Didn’t sleep very well but we were very cold so think that was why. Left our room and Irma was there talking to some other guests. She got us set up with breakfast - made us some pancakes and fruit and coffee and tea etc. Whilst we ate she talked to us about the house and furniture that she’d been collecting over the years (she had a lot of pictures of the original house she showed us as well). She told us she has a storage container full of more antiques and she rotates the furniture out every 6 months because she’s worried that daily use might damage it (as in she removes all the furniture and moves in the stuff from the storage shed etc and rotates it so it’s not being used all year round). She was most proud of a bedside table that she had found in Seattle that her daughter-in-law looked up and found out only 35 of them had been made in the world. Lily found her chatter a bit much for first thing in the morning (which, to be fair, she did have a lot to say and barely paused for breath, our only real input was to nod and keep eating) but it was all pretty interesting so was fine for me. She recommended a few places for things to do but admitted she didn’t get out much in Pacific City and her suggestions came from guests that had stayed their and it might have just been their preference/taste. She seems to be huge into her family (and probably a huge family to match), she was hosting a wedding the next weekend that she was pretty excited about and she had nieces or grandkids show up as we finished breakfast that she then fed as well.

      We then went out and got a few things (Groceries etc) as we weren’t sure we would have the opportunity later. We then went for another walk along the beach (Were it was still freezing) and then went and did some horse riding.

      Had a pretty good time horse riding. I think my horse was a bit overweight because my knees hurt pretty quickly from trying to keep my heels down and toes turned out. My horse, called Nasta, was definitely an arsehole. There was only one other horse in the group that my horse liked, called Pistol, but she only liked him if he stayed close to her but behind her. Which worked out well for the guy riding Pistol because my horse was the only horse Pistol liked as well - one of the others in the group had never ridden before and his horse went walk about and Pistol tried to bite him and nearly bucked his rider. The guys running the tour got it under control very quickly and kept us in a tighter line after that. Was still a good ride down the beach and then up into the dunes. Was chatting to the guys running the ride and it sounds like no one actually lives in Pacific City - everyone lives outside of the city and commutes in, and the area itself is for tourists. I’d organised the booking over email(which they don’t normally do - everywhere in America seems to want us to call them to book, which we obviously can’t do) and he was telling me we had gotten pretty lucky because they had decided to stay overnight in Pacific City the last two nights because they wanted a break from the hour commute and that’s why they’d been able to respond to my emails so quickly after hours. He seemed to think it was fairly common and based on what Irma had said that morning I would say it is pretty common.

      After our ride ended, we went and got lunch. We tried one of the restaurants and they told us there was a 2 hour wait for a table (it was 2:30pm at this point so we said no thank you and moved on). Ended up going to a place that seemed to be a mix of everything (I would have classified it as TexMex but they did fish and chips and chowder and things like that as well so wasn’t very clear). We only waited about 30 minutes in total (lining up to order and then for food to be made) so we were pretty happy.

      After lunch we went back to the beach and climbed up the massive sand dune. It was pretty horrific to be honest because it was so windy. Sand got absolutely everywhere and climbing up it felt too hot to wear a jacket but you didn’t want to take it off because you would just get whipped by sand. Eventually made it to the top and stayed up there long enough to take a few pictures before going back down.

      Debated doing another hike, but our poor nights sleep was catching up with us. We ended up walking through the markets for a short while and then headed back to the AirBnBaround 7:30-8pmish. Made some dinner (just using up the leftover salad mix from the night before) and then spent some time sorting out photos etc before having an early night. Lily had found some spare blankets so hopefully a better night ahead of us.

      Day 10 - Monday 3rd September 2018 Pacific City - Florence

      Had a much better sleep but got woken up by the sound of water dripping. Turns out someone was having a shower upstairs and had left the shower curtain outside the bath and it had flooded their bathroom and leaked down into our room. Lily went and let Irma know and it got sorted out pretty quickly (and was mopped up pretty easily with a few towels). Breakfast was a full cooked breakfast (bacon, scrambled eggs, toast, home made hash browns, as well as fruit and coffee and tea as always). I obviously didn’t eat the bacon but it looked like proper butcher bought cuts - it was thick cut and crispy and it’s probably the kind of would have liked back when I did eat meat. Lily says she usually doesn’t like scrambled eggs but she actually really enjoyed that breakfast.

      There were other guests at breakfast with us this time - a family of three, mum, dad, and son; and another couple - and we had a chat. They were all “local” in that they lived in the surrounding states (Washington and I think Montana? Got a bit confusing as they had all moved around within the west coast a fair bit and talked about a few places) so was interesting to chat to them. Was pretty funny talking to them actually, getting to experience how self-focused their education was. They had a lot to tell us about America - which we obviously appreciated. But anything outside of America was a mystery. For example, the family of 3 was moving to England in three weeks because of work and their son was super excited to “meet the queen” and asked if he could meet the king as well and the mother and father had a bit of a debate about whether or not there even was a king (because how did Prince William and Prince Harry exist if there wasn’t one but they had never heard of the Queen being married so there probably wasn’t one but England didn’t do that sort of thing - have kids out of wedlock - so maybe there was one after all?). We said the queen had married but he had recently stepped down from official duty (Rather than getting into a huge conversation about how the monarchy works and why they hadn’t ever heard of the king of England) and didn’t bother talking about the rest of it and they were very shocked that we knew anything about England and Lily said “Well we are still part of the commonwealth” and got some blank looks so I clarified “we basically still report to the Queen” which made a lot more sense to them for some reason. Sharp learning curve in their future.

      We then took off to pack and get sorted and then headed out (with a “quick” goodbye from Irma) and drove to Florence, Oregon. It was a pretty big drive (four and a half hours) but we broke it up with a hike in the middle and a lunch break. The place we hiked to was called “Gods Thumb”, presumably because it stuck out of the cliff side like a thumb and I guess because we’re in America and god is everything. It was a pretty intense hike but worth it. Was very windy at the “thumb” part of the hike and was actually a bit freaky. We made our own path at one point because we weren’t comfortable with how close to the edge the actual path was when it was so windy, and climbing the ‘thumb’ part was an actual climb (hands and knees to get up and our descent was very slow using hands again) …but was good when we got there!

      Carried on until we got to Florence, which was a nice town although we were outside of it. We checked into the site and we made the decision to get fire wood (they have a huge problem with the pine beetle over here so on top of not being able to just get your own wood because everything is a national park, you also can’t carry around wood you’ve got from one area to a different area so we put off getting wood unless we thought we could use it all in one night). This was our first site without any electricity so we thought we’d indulge and have a fire. After we bought the wood Lily decided it would be fun to go and get marshmallows and have toasted marshmallows for dessert - when I suggested maybe we have s’mores (since we were in America). Did a quick grocery run and have another drive through the old part of town before heading back to campsite.

      After dinner whilst we were making s’mores (which - for any one not familiar - is graham cracker, chocolate (usually a Hershey’s bar) a toasted marshmallow and then another graham cracker to make a little sugary melted sandwich) we had a racoon pop his head out at us from the nearby tree. Little reminder to us to make sure all our food was put away properly at the end of the night!

      We had a lovely view of the stars and was good to sit around the camp fire and reminisce. Then off to bed!

      Day 11 Tuesday 4th September 2018 Florence - Coos Bay

      Actually had a really good nights sleep before taking our time packing up. We spent a bit of time in Florence doing some admin work (eg we booked Salem and some of the mountain areas) before driving to Coos Bay. Went straight to campground and checked in and set up. Seems ‘sand duning’ was the popular sport and the main reason for the camp ground (literally just riding a quad bike in the sand dunes) so we were a bit worried about what our stay would be like and if it would mostly be people there to party, but it is what it is.

      Not a lot to say about Coos Bay - it was a very depressing area. We think it is mostly kept alive by the logging industry, but everything was very run down and not very nice to look at/drive through. Still, we had a drive around to check the place out and we searched for a nearby beach and went for a short walk on the beach. There was a lot of smoke around so we assumed there must be fires in the area, so we tried to not stay outside too long. As we were leaving the beach a large party of young people (can never guess anyones age over here, they could have been in high school or they could have been in college) were setting up a picnic and bonfire night so obviously the fire ban is in full affect here too.

      Went to a restaurant called Shark Bite and had fish and chips for dinner which was actually the best meal so far. You could tell the chips/fries had been made from real potatoes and not just from a packet and the fish was decent (crumbed but not deep fried). Also had coleslaw which was surprisingly good. Service was also really good - seemed to be almost the only restaurant on the street with customers in it but it was veeeeery busy, they could only sit us at the bar, so obviously a popular local spot. We then just went back to camp ground and tried to shower but half the showers were “under maintenance” (the doors were completely webbed over with spiders so not a lot of maintenance going on) and it was a single stream of water blasted out and no hot water. We didn’t realise until we were already in there using them, so I took one look and decided I was going to just use wipes to have a “shower” with and headed back to the camp site to wait for Lily, but Lily braved it and had a go. She got back to the campsite and I assumed her shower must have worked better than mine (because she had clearly actually had a shower) but first thing she said was “that was horrific”. Hers had worked the same as mine and she had mostly just splashed herself with water and breathed through it (the cold).

      The campground was a bit of a party ground as we suspected and it didn’t really quiet down until 1am. Still, it was somewhere to stay and it could have been worse.
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      Traveler

      Ahhh cold showers, character building

      9/10/18Reply
      Traveler

      Coos Bay is “famous” for the only documented lynching in Oregan (in 1902). Just a bit of trivia for you. Sounds like these beaches are a bit of a magnet for yahooing.

      9/10/18Reply
       
    • Day18

      What on earth are Jo Jos?

      August 13, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

      At the first opportunity a beach was located. Time to clean. Feet & shoes were dunked in the icy cold & yes that meant the sandals were soaked but it was better than the muddiness that preceded it. And yes, on the way back to the car feet are going to get sandy but it will brush off. Anyway onwards to Pacific City - sounds a big place but anything is a city in the US so we weren't going in with huge expectations of facilities. As it happened, where the facilities were proved to be a curse as well as a blessing. Stopped at the first sign of food - we were hungry. And there was easy access to the beach, parking however looked a problem. No matter get food sorted & worry about that afterwards. Went in to find a sarnie counter as well as a fudge counter. Had to be done. He looked utterly confused though when asked to cut it up. Do people just bite from a bar of fudge - how uncivilised. The sandwiches were equally confusing for us - what's a hogie? We had to circle all the options we wanted on the sandwich & it automatically came with chips. I've managed to go this far without chips - I'm not blowing it when buying a sarnie. There was an alternative - Jo Jos - eh? They were explained to be potato wedges. Then why not call them what they are and then people will understand! Chips avoided bags of food in hand off to find the beach. The car park was full, as it seemed this stretch of beach was. Turned round to escape & got stuck behind the slowest pick-up ever. Turned off eventually & we headed towards a coastal state park. No facilities other than toilet, bin & car park. It was deserted. Nice. Sat up in the dunes in the sun & scoffed. Walked along the beach & thankfully it wasn't hot enough for me to agonise about whether I should be going in for a swim. By now the sandals were pretty much dry - ended up using mine to guide a washed up jelly fish back seawards - not sure relief or gratitude exist for them.Read more

    • Day57

      Pacific City Salad Bar

      September 28, 2015 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

      We thought we would buy a few groceries in Pacific City, but stumbled upon a $8 all-you-can-eat salad bar in a pizza shop, so we splurged and ate dinner inside for a change. Their pizza was delicious too!Read more

    • Day9

      Pacific City

      June 24, 2015 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

      Pelican Pub & Brewery

      C'est ce qu'on appelle une terrasse au bord de l'eau!!!

      6/25/15Reply

      Tu n'as pas bu tout ça, oui?...

      6/25/15Reply

      J'adore les grandes plages du Pacifique.

      6/25/15Reply
       
    • Day125

      Pacific City/ OregonCoastTrail (Mile 92)

      August 17, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

      ... sorry, der Text hat sich verabschiedet.
      Nächstes Mal passe ich besser auf.

      Time to come home ;-)

      8/16/18Reply
      Traveler

      Das "Bisschen" halten die Sachen jetzt auch noch durch!😉

      8/16/18Reply

      AAAAAHHHHHHH. Das Hemd. Wehe, das ist bei der Saisonabschlusstour dabei. Verbrenn das Ding!!! BITTE!

      8/20/18Reply
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