Portland brought a run for Dean in Tryon Creek State Park and an introduction to Auntie Beth's new (since we've seen her, anyway) dog, Choco, who might have ringworm.
Auntie Beth's House:
Tryon Creek State Park looks like this:
Friday: Off to the beach.
Nehalem Bay State Park:
Pretty much the dictum
Kids+Water+Sand=happiness, for hours and hours
held true. It only seemed to bother the adults that the wind was blowing 30 mph and the water was 55 degrees. ;)
We met our friends the Neumanns at the campsite and they promptly pulled from their truck:
4 days (+) of firewood
Ropes and such to quickly build 4 swings throughout the campsite
A couple of pounds of pork sausages from one of their recently slaughtered pigs
A propane canister (large backyard grill type)
AND A flame torch (ahem, "fire starter") for said propane canister
Now THAT'S camping.
After two days, we packed up and drove an hour or so down the coast to Cascade Head, a Nature Conservancy Selected Site, whatever that means. We're pretty sure it would have been a really beautiful view if it wasn't fogged in when we got there.
We kept going to our next reserved site at South Beach just outside of Newport, home of Rogue Bewery, makers of Dead Guy Ale and, we also discovered, Spruce Gin. Instead of camping in the rain, though, we were rescued by Jenn's Mom who happily let the 9 (+ dog) of us invade, shower, and sleep at her house. On top of that incredible hospitality, she also fed us cookies and babysat all four kiddos while we went to eat good eats at Local Oceans and visit heretofore mentioned beer maker. Who knows what we did to deserve this, but we must've been doing something right.
We behaved reasonably well at the Brewery, but 5:30 AM the next day still came kind of early. That was the time fate (and the moon, I guess) would have it that the tide was out, perfect for tide-pooling. Walking through the pools as the sun came up discovering dozens of new creatures was a highlight of the trip for everyone.
Newport's famous Art Deco Yaquina Bay Bridge built in the 1930s.
After a few wrong turns and an accidental detour through Salem, we stopped by Jenn and Paul's farm for lunch and for the kids to play, but especially to see Jenn's new art "room."
Not in a million tries would a passerby guess this is hanging on the wall in the back room of a barn on a rural 60-acre working Oregon farm:
Next up, heading back east to Bend and points beyond...