Saturday, August 7, 2010

Going Coastal

With one more breakfast under our belt (why isn't that "behind" rather than "under"?) at Peter's Inn, we departed Packwood. On Hwy 12 heading west. After a brief stint north on I-5, we turned west again onto Hwy 6 - much more scenic.  Specially when we began to drive along the Willapa River then connected with Hwy 101. In the not terribly picturesque city of South Bend, we stopped for lunch at River View Dining, best known for its smoked oysters and probably equally famous for its slow service. If you're in a hurry, keep driving. The owner/cook waited tables and while we sat at ours, the diner filled quickly. It didn't take long with only seven tables. New arrivals were told the wait to place an order would be twenty minutes. We can't say that the owner/staff were surely but definitely not friendly. Focused? Harried? However, it was worth the wait as we watched our order on the smoker cook to perfection. Some of the thickest pork sandwiches we've ever eaten. You will not go away hungry.

By early afternoon we arrived in Long Beach at the Sandcastle RV. Pricey, but we were within walking distance of the ocean, expansive beach, the Long Beach Boardwalk, and the 8-mile long Discovery Trail. The weather was noticeably cooler, overcast and very windy.
Our reasons for being on the coast? One was to see the coast. Duh. Our 1996 visit to the Washington and Oregon coasts had whet our appetites for more. Another was to swing through Portland, Oregon, to visit Brad Rence, a newly retired professor of biology from Lawrence. Brad and his wife Eileen had moved to Portland early in July to take possession of their newly remodeled home. Unfortunately the remodeling had not advanced as planned and they had been forced to bunk with friends for a time. Their daughter Erika was also to be married in July. And we thought we had problems with our awning!

Portland was the location of the KZ dealer, Apache RV, where we had hung our hopes to get our replacement awning but that idea was dashed when the dealer was so unhelpful. What with the Rence's housing drama, their daughter's impending wedding, and now having to be in Junction City much further south to get our awning, we felt it best to try visiting Portland another time.
Speaking of the awning when we had not heard from Gauranty RV after emailing our awning parts numbers, we called. Apparently they had not received our email. Since they had our contact info and had not received the parts numbers as promised, we thought they might have at least contacted us. After we resent the info they promised to contact us with an order ETA and costs. Soon. Later that day, in fact.

The next morning we packed and drove south on coastal highway 101 for forty miles to Cannon Beach and the Cannon Beach RV Resort. The drive along the coast was spectacular. We wished we had more time to explore the Astoria area (remember the movies Goonies, Kindergarten Cop and Short Circuit?) but given the narrow and hilly streets, it was not feasible while towing. We settled instead on roadside pullouts to glimpse the coast.

Cannon Beach RV Resort, like Sandcastle RV was pricey. At this time of year most RV parks along the coast are. We had tried to get into some of the state parks but that proved impossible. After speaking with the locals they explained that making a coastal state park reservation needed to be done nearly a year out. After checking parks we found the earliest we might have gotten in was sometime in October. Given our progress in trying to get a replacement awning, maybe October wasn't out of the question? And we still had not heard back from Gauranty RV.

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