Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cannon Beach to Pacific City

Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock

Dealing with getting a replacement awning has thrown a wrench into our plans to migrate any further south out of Oregon. Our rate of travel slowed dramatically as we figured creative ways to stay in the area. While we waited for more information from Gauranty RV we parked in Cannon Beach at the Cannon Beach RV Resort for a day and then on to Pacific City at the Cape Kiwanda RV Resort. It could be a lot worse. We could be stuck in Newark.

dunes along Cannon Beach

In the meantime a local birding resource we have come to rely on heavily is the Oregon Birding Trail website. What a terrific compilation of all things birding (and then some) in Oregon! Here we found detailed down-loadable PDFs of state birding trails broken down into regions. Many visitor centers also stock paper versions. As we were on the coast, the Oregon Coastal Birding Trail has been just the ticket. And since we were also going to be in Oregon longer, and many state parks and day use areas require a fee, we purchased an Oregon State Park Annual Pass. At $30 it's a real bargain.

brews and views along Cannon Beach
Pelican Pub and Brewery

Carol had contacted local birder Tim Rodenkirk via the Oregon birding list. Tim recommended - in great detail - birding location suggestions that we would be near or might be near that were not necessarily listed in the birding trail literature. Another must have resource is a current tide table (free at many area businesses or on line). Knowing when the tides are coming and going is critical for timing coastal birding outings.

The coast has presented some challenges (besides figuring tide tables). Like wind and fog. When it is foggy it is not windy, and when it is windy, it is not...well you get the idea. When it is windy, salt air is an issue. It coats bins, eyeglasses, and truck windows. On most days, usually by late morning or early afternoon, the fog has burned off - or been blown away. Temperatures on the coast are also quite cooler. Highs in the low 60's and lows in the upper 40's or low fifties. I find the temps to be very comfortable - Carol prefers a bit more warmth. We've experienced no rain since we left eastern Washington State (knock on wood).

black bear at Ecola State Park

Oregon has loads of public access to the coastline when compared to Washington State. Scenery is knock dead gorgeous. We're a bit too early for shorebird migration but have enjoyed long, close looks at resident birds: Black Turnstones, Black Oystercatchers, Wandering Tattlers, Common Murres and Pigeon Guillemots (rookeries for both), Surf and Black-winged Scoters, some Tufted Puffins and a few Marbled Murrelets. White-crowned Sparrows, Bushtits, Wrentits, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Townsend's and Hermit Warblers, and Western Grebes to name a few. An annual shorebird festival is held annually in Charleston which we attended in 1996 but we expect to be out of Oregon before it occurs this year.

one of the 'smaller' Douglas Firs

While in the Cannon Beach/Pacific City area we've managed to visit numerous locations including Ecola SP, Sunset Bay SP, Shore Acres SP, Cape Arago SP, Cape Lookout SP, Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint, Three Arch Rocks NWR, Cape Disappointment, and Haystack Rock. There are numerous lighthouses along the coast (and let's not forget the Tillamook Cheese Factory - yum!).

view from Ecola State Park

Not to sound like a broken record but: Efforts to get Gauranty RV to deal with our awning replacement have not been working well. Unreturned phone calls or emails. And when we have connected, we're given more promises or excuses with no solid results.
Fortunately, during on our last day at Cape Kiwanda RV, as we were packing up, Carol noted a sign on a pickup truck parked in a neighboring site: "Curtis Trailers". I recognized the name as an RV dealer in Portland. Maybe this guy might know where we could go for good service?

ocean beach access
Cape Disappointment lighthouse

Carol dropped over for a chat. The fellow she spoke with, Jim Roberts, is the warranty manager for Curtis. He suggested that we contact Emery Barnett at Porter's RV in Coos Bay. We phoned Emery, explained our situation and frustration, and within two hours the awning parts wer eon order. Really! That same day we heard back from Gauranty RV via an email. The gist of the email: they were still working on parts numbers with their distributer and once that was locked in it would take three weeks to get the parts and would that work for us? It had taken Emery at Porter two hours to accomplish what Gauranty had yet to do.
However, the parts ETA at Porter was still seven to ten days so in the meantime we decided to head inland for a bit. Next up: Sisters, Oregon. Oh - and would anyone like to hazard a guess as to what our response to Gauranty RV was?

White-crowned Sparrow (above); peek-a-boo with
a Hermit Warbler

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