Saturday, June 27, 2020

Plan G... or was it H?

The lonely cry of the fog horn at Cape Arago lulled us to sleep as we lay in our camper along the Oregon coast. Instead of heading east towards home we pointed the truck west. How could you not go to the coast when we were this close? After all, the coast was Barb’s old stomping grounds where she had many memories of camping as a child. 
Arago Lighthouse
Our first stop was her aunt and uncle’s house in Grant Pass (I forgot to take a picture). Her dad’s brother. She stops whenever she is in the area. Ron and Diana have a beautiful house right on the Rouge River. We visited with them for about a two hours and continued our journey west to the coast.

Each time we come to this area I can see Barb reminiscing as she tells me stories from her childhood. So much has changed since we were here last time in 2016. Her grandmother in Cave Junction passed away in the fall of 2016 at the age of 94 and just last year her stepmother passed away.

Our destination….Sunset Beach State Park Campground
Our site at Sunset Bay
This is the first time we have been able to stay in this particular campground since being on the road. All the other times we were in this area we have had our 5th wheel and just would not fit so we stayed at Bastendorff Beach County Park. But this time we had the pickup camper and could finally stay at Sunset Beach, the place where she and her family camped pretty much every year growing up. I too had stayed here one time in the past. The year was 1998 when we came out from Wisconsin to visit. I remember parts of it like it was yesterday. Hard to believe it was 22 years ago but looking at the pictures it is definitely believable! Barb’s dad, stepmother, and her brother Shorty were with us were on that trip. Sadly, they all are no longer with us but it was nice to relive the memories.  
Barb's dad and brother on our trip here in '98
I don’t remember what site we stayed in in ’98 but our sense of Deja’ vu made us believe it was very close to the site we were in this year. As we sat in our campsite we talked about the last time we were here and how the people next to us must have cringed when we pulled in, a group of 6 adults, 4 young kids and a dog. One thing I do remember about that trip is that it was not quiet!

So what did Barb and I do while we were here this time? Both days we went crabbing on the piers in town. Why? Cuz that is what you do when you camp here. That is what Barb has done everytime she has camped here for over 50 years. Crabbed at the same pier at the same spot on the pier for over 50 years. She says about the only thing that has changed are the docks. 
They used to be wooden slats where the water would slosh up between the boards. Now the piers are concrete. It is actually quite fun and a very relaxing day. We love walking the docks and looking at all the different boats. 
“They” say that the best time for crabbing is 2 hours before high tide and 2 hours after but we had luck all day long. We set our pots with bait… fish heads or chicken, throw them in and wait 15-20 minutes and pull them up. The majority of the crabs are too small but every 2nd or 3rd pull you will get a keeper. Day 1 we ended up with about a dozen. Day 2 only 4.
We had the piers pretty much to ourselves until prime time, those two hours surrounding high tide. Then the piers were filled with people, many with little kids. We could not help but think about the memories that they were making and would those small children return as adults with their kids and make the same memories…

At one point a strong wind came up and knocked over our chairs, which in turn knocked over our 5 gallon bucket containing our keeper crabs. You should have seen us scrambling to recover those crabs before they made it back into the water!
It is interesting to see how much the tide changes throughout the day. The piers actually float up and down with the tide throughout the day. Here is a comparison of the same post on the pier at different times of the day. See how much the water has risen?
Low tide, see all the barnacles on the piling?
Not quite high tide but a lot higher then the picture on the left!
The crab was delicious! We had plain crab and butter one day and the next Barb made some awesome crab cakes.
Of course no trip to the coast is complete without letting the dogs run on the beach. And oh, how they loved it! 
Day 3 of our coastal trip we moved up the coast to Yachats where had lunch and stopped by the Yachats Brewery
Our plan was to boondock at a pullout outside of Yachats. Once we got there it was nothing like was listed on Freecampsites.net so we went to Plan F. At least I think it was Plan F, we have had so many plans change on this trip, We lost track. Plan D was to head up to Tillamook, visit the cheese factory and then stay at the Blue Heron Winery which has free camping.   We were well on our way when we discovered it was closed until further notice. Well, that is not good, it is the only reason we were heading that far north! We had no Plan G..... until we saw this sign!
So on a whim we turned right to see where this road would lead us, more on that next time!
Don’t forget to check out Dino’s blog on our sidebar , he posted today!

37 comments:

  1. So many fabulous places to visit on the Oregon coast. There’s nothing like a fresh crab feast.
    Safe travels...stay safe and healthy!

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  2. Oh, what I would give to be walking those docks/beach/tide pools again! If I ever do get to visit the PNW again, I am going to try my hand at crabbing! Thanks for taking me along vicariously.

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    1. You would enjoy crabbing. There is a place right there that rents the pots and it makes for a relaxing afternoon. Let us know if you head up that way and have any questions!

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  3. This year is sure full of surprises! You’re sure to have a blast by time you get to Plan Z. Yummy crab and nice memories!

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    1. We have tentative plans for the rest of the summer but they still involve the border opening....we shall see.

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  4. The 0regon Coast is a breath of fresh air in these strange times !! We enjoyed our years on the hill looking to the ocean !! So happy for you to spend time there !! Barb, know you have wonderful memories !! We will leave NC in August and return to Oregon.we are looking forward to our next adventure !! Hope to see you in the future 💕 would welcome you with open arms !! Relish your travels and stay safe , much love 💗

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    1. We talked about you guys when we were in Newport, wished we could have visited you!

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  5. We love the far southern coast, down by Gold Beach and up the Rouge River a bit. Thought we would make it there this year, but now it looks like we will be staying near mom here in Sacramento area since she has escaped the Assisted Living Facility which has the older people locked down so much they are dying from loneliness. (We are grateful there have been no COVID cases there, but to not even let them eat meals together, when no one has it, is just a bit tough, especially when they see the protests and the huge number of people attending certain funerals on TV.)

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    1. That does sounds very tough. Hopefully things get better soon so you guys can hit the road again!

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  6. That is mine and Maxine's favorite thing to do out there is crabbing too.�� They make great crab chowder too. Will really miss that this year. Safe travels to you guys, Rick

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    1. We did not try any crab chowder but we did try clam chowder at a couple places as well as clam strips however!

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  7. Follow that sign law the way to the other end and you will be able to go crabbing again...or fishing for English tea crates! We loved Yachats Brewery when we were just down the road at Heceta Head. They have excellent food also.

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    1. We did not eat there, we ate at a seafood place a few blocks south and on the other side of the road, it was delicious!

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  8. I don't think I have ever had crabs. But I see you get crabs all of the time. I also see that you have forgotten the advice I gave Barb a couple of years ago. WWDD (What Would Dino Do?) That will help you in all of your tough decisions, like going left or right.

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    1. If you had crabs you would probably know it! Had we turned left at that spot we would have driven into the ocean so I think the right was the correct decision.

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  9. I have never "fished" for crabs. It looks like a lot of fun!! You wouldn't recognize the cheese factory anyway. It's been completely rebuilt. I think I've been on Hwy 20. Looking forward to your pictures.

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    1. You would love it! Except the maybe getting pinched part. Once those thing get a hold of you, you have to rip their claws off to get loose!

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  10. We are workamping for the summer at Old Mill RV Park and Event Center in Garibaldi. You should have stopped to say hello

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    1. That looks like a great area to spend the summer! Had the Tillamook cheese and ice cream factory been open we would have come up that far.

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  11. The camper lets you stay in the coolest places, we're not there yet but it's a great idea. The dogs look crazy happy on the beach lol. Play safe and eat crab cakes! 3300 miles ....for you 2 that's an overnighter ;)

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    1. It is so cool to see the dogs on the beach. I don't know why but when they hit the beach they just run and run, you can almost see them smiling!

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  12. We're only a couple miles (if that) south of hwy 20, on Pinehurst Rd, just before you get to Tumalo. Send a note if you want a place to park for a night or two. We have a rattlesnake avoidance class (for our 1 yr old pup) on Monday morning and an agility class (yes, for the pup) on Wednesday afternoon, otherwise fairly open. In-between, we'll probably take a few walks at the reservoir and/or river for swimming practice (you got it, for the pup.....can you start to see a theme here????)

    Steve, Holly, and Tula (the pup....of course)

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    1. Shoot, we did not see this in time, it would have been great to meet you! We will be through that area again next time we are going to Klamath. In the meantime, if you ever find yourself in South Dakota let us know!

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  13. Glad you are still enjoying the Nomadic Lifestyle with no definite plans.
    When you get to Z you can start with AA and AB then AC. That gives you another Twenty-Five times around.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    1. Lets hope we don't need to change plans that much that we get to double digits! But the way the summer is going you just never know!

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  14. Isn't it cool that you guys can just go anywhere now? I envy that freedom of movement. We love our motorhome, but being able to just pick a random road and see where it leads sounds pretty dreamy. The Oregon coast is beautiful and now I want crab cakes! Safe travels!

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    1. We were the same way in our 5th wheel. We wanted to go down roads to see what was down there but have been in too many tight situations to do that with the big rig.

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  15. Love the boat pictures. That sailboat is beautiful. We love the Oregon coast, one of the most beautiful places we have ever been.

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    1. There were some beautiful sailboats in that harbor, makes you wonder what it would be like out there on the water.

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  16. Wow some of those pictures are really great I hope that you take it easy before you head East it's crowded in South Dakota especially with fireworks over Mount Rushmore and the present President Trump it might be very difficult to cross any highway to get home, Custer or Pringle in your area. Views so much better right now I stay put and please have a good 4h and drive safely.

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    1. The nice thing about our area is that you can avoid the towns when it is crowded with tourists and enjoy the peace and quiet out on the country.

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  17. Go glad you got to the coast. I just love being on a beach. Looks like your pups had a blast. We first started RVing simply to be able to take our dogs to the beach. I have never crabbed but love eating them. Safe continued travels.

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    1. Why is it all dogs love the beach? Must be something ingrained into their DNA.

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  18. Wow, Oregon coast has rekindled my desire to hit the waters again. As a hardcore enthusiast of Water Sports activities , the pandemic has put me in a tough situation where I hardly get a chance to wade in the water and surviving this is becoming quite hard. Thanks for all these lovely photographs and all the memories that it brought back.

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    1. There are a lot of people in the same "boat" wishing they were in a boat somewhere at least!

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