Saturday, June 5, 2010

May 4th - 6th, beginning of the other half of the trip

5/4 - After finally making it out of the mountains yesterday, I drove down to Seattle and met my stepmom, spent the night at her house.  My dad was out of town for a bowling tournament in Reno.  Margie and I headed to Vancouver for the day and wandered around downtown.  It was a lot of fun, very pretty.  A lot of cute little shops, picked up some fun new cooking toys.  We stopped @ Subway on the way home, and next door to it was a restaurant that I don't think I would ever go to.  It's name?  "Chillin's Mexican Grill - Indian Style, Smoothies and Fruit Juices".

5/5 - Took off in the morning and headed down the Washington coast, not as pretty as the Oregon coast, until you get down south.  I stopped at the Willapa National Wildlife Preserve, and walked barefoot over a mossy forested mountain, seeing bear and elk tracks (though once again, no bear!).  There were trees that had to be 100s of years old and 100s of feet tall.  And gigantic slugs.  It was a good day.  I then drove straight through Astoria, OR to Warrenton, where I saw an advertisement for the Shilo Inn which advertised all the things I look for in a hotel.  So, I stopped in and they had great rates, and were extremely helpful.  Got a room for the night, a relaxing soak in the hot tub, and a good night's sleep.

5/6 - On the recommendation of the front desk clerk at the Shilo Inn, I headed back over the bridge from Warrenton to Astoria to see the Astoria Column and to find sea lions.  The view from the top of the Column is amazing, you can see all around, over the bridges and the trees, and you can hear the sea lions.  After coming down from the top, I headed over to Safeway,  but not for groceries!  There is a dock right over by it where the sea lions hang out.  And there they were, just lounging around the docks, probably a good 100 of them, talking, swimming, jumping on and off the docks.  It was a great sight.  From there, it was back on 101, and straight down the Oregon coast.  I love the Oregon coast.  First, I stopped at Fort Stevenson, where this a very old shipwreck on the beach.  Had a nice picnic lunch overlooking the ocean, then moved on down the road. Drove and stopped whenever I wanted to at the million and one overlooks, parks, and beaches to see the ocean and the cliffs and the wildlife.  Stopped for the night @ a state park outside of Newport and spent the one and only  night that I actually camped in my tent on the trip.  Next time I bring more blankets when camping in the north in May!!!

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