We traveled north from Sacramento, California to Eugene/Coburg, Oregon at the end of March for scheduled warranty service on the motor home. Well, it was mostly scheduled. Truth be told we had a little bit of a crisis that caused us to expedite our service appointment. It is never good when your bathroom flush system develops a leak. Fortunately, our leak was in a self-contained outdoor compartment and we caught it early. And even better, we had access to the restrooms in the intern housing building (Blue Goose Inn) a short walk away. The lesson we learned from that experience is that we must always have a full hookup site – we will never again have our septic system pumped. The REV Group in Coburg, Oregon took great care of us though. They satisfied everything on our to-do list and even some things that we didn’t realize needed adjustment.
We finally got out and started exploring since we were in Coburg for three weeks. We spent a little time along the coast in Florence. We both really enjoyed visiting the Sea Lion Cave and seeing the spectacular coastline. While there, we stayed overnight at a casino and found that the gambling and food really weren’t that great. In Coburg it was nice being near a small shopping mall because we needed to gear up for our Alaskan cruise/tour. We didn’t need much, but it was still fun to have a shopping excuse.
A few days after the coach work was completed we moved on and we are now staying in the Columbia River Gorge area in Cascade Locks. We have found Oregon to be one of the most lush, tree-filled states we have ever visited and Cascade Locks is part of that amazing landscape. We have already ventured across the Bridge of the Gods (toll bridge) into Washington state and visited a really nice museum (Columbia Gorge Interpretive Museum) with tons of native American artifacts and period exhibits dating back to the late 1800s. They also have the world’s largest rosary bead collection. After the museum tour we drove along the waterfront and eventually made our way back across the toll bridge and had lunch at a family restaurant in Cascade Locks along the river.
This has been the best week for warm, sunny weather with temperatures in the high 60s and 70s and tomorrow is supposed to reach 80 degrees. So, today we had a big sightseeing day. We went to Multnomah Falls and stayed long enough to have a little lunch before driving up to Vista House which sits way up on the top of a hill and offers a scenic view of the Columbia River Gorge. There were two problems with this visit: 1) Vista House was closed for interior painting, and 2) it was extremely windy up there. Needless to say, we didn’t stay long.
Our next stop was in Troutdale where we walked along the quaint town’s sidewalks and stopped in a few of the antique shops, the General Store, and a really cute high-end home decorations store that features some of the Magnolia Homes merchandise. We didn’t buy anything there, but we did enjoy a nice conversation with the owner. While we were in the General Store, I received a phone call about a last minute volunteer assignment that we might now have lined up after the cruise and before Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We are waiting to hear if they offer 50 AMP electric service, but if they do, we will be at the beautiful Devils Tower National Monument for two months. Ken will volunteer in the visitor center and I’ll give interpretive tours. We spent a couple of early morning hours at Devils Tower 13 years ago when we did a car trip out west and we were very disappointed that we arrived before the visitor center was open and we were on a schedule. We did enjoy seeing the Prairie Dogs, turkeys and deer in the prairie, so we are looking forward to many more wildlife sightings. FYI, Devils Tower is the country’s first national monument, and dates back to 1906. But, I digress… we left Troutdale and headed for Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood.
We both agree that the way to see snow is from a distance and there was plenty of it at Mount Hood. The lodge is a national historic landmark and we were awed by the massive wood structure inside. We sat near the warm, sun-filled windows and looked out at the ski lift. We wandered around the lodge and decided against dinner in the Cascades Dining Room and instead had an early dinner in the Ram’s Head Bar. On our drive back to our motor coach we spotted both Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams. What a long, but satisfying day.
I’m not sure what tomorrow has in store for us, except for exceptional weather, so please stay tuned to see how the rest of the month looks. We will be in the Seattle/Sea Tac/Kent area of Washington by April 29 and that takes us one step closer to Alaska!
Hoping your April has been as satisfying as ours has been,
Dorothy and Ken