Notes from the Road

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Well maybe not so much notes as just some general ramblings.  For the record, we’ve been in Oregon (and still are).  The first part of the trip was along the coast and now we are in Portland.

Beach towns are great but I think we hit them after the peak season since kids go back to school and people with kids stop taking vacations.  Different vibe.  Not quite as sad as my parents little beach town but you can feel the difference with some places closing earlier and moving from summer hours.

Lots of candy stores.  Seems like every little town along the coast has multiple places that sell salt water taffy and fudge and ice cream.   Went to one place that had over 100 different options.  Too many to choose.  And I’ve forgotten what all I ended up with.

Fun part of the trip was being told to move up closer to make a pelican less nervous.  I guess she prefers the bigger crowds of summer so we moved up to make it seem like there were more people.  Seemed to work.  She was actually injured and couldn’t be released in the wild so at least she has a home and free food.

It is an interesting mix because you have the tourist places but many of these places are active fishing areas so you’ve got the tourist shops next to places that process fish.  The tourists use these places as playgrounds but people live and work here.

But the seafood is to die for.  Clam chowder, crabs, bay shrimp, fish.  They have so much bay shrimp that several places just put it on the salad because what else are you going to do with it.  Totally fresh and great and not something we can get in our land locked part of the country.

Lots of wonderful little state parks along the shore which made it an interesting drive.  We stopped at a couple of places just because they looked interesting.  Only had a limited number of things I wanted to do so that left a lot of open time for exploring which was great.

Saw some signs of newer development and some luxury golf resort.  I have friends who golf and I don’t want to judge but that seems like such a waste of land for a silly little game.

There are many rock formations along the coast but the sea lions were still crowding the docks in one little town.  Love listening to them.  We humans alter the environment a lot but nature is perhaps a lot more adaptable than we think.  After all, the docks aren’t natural formations but the sea lions just moved right in.

I often try to imagine living in a place when I’m on vacation.  The beach towns here are nice but a little too isolated for my tastes.  I like having options and it is just too far to get back to “civilization”.  (Note here that I define civilization as having more than just the Wal Mart to shop at)

Lewis and Clark are big in certain places around here which makes sense since this is where they ended up.  Another thing I like about travel is imagining what life was like in earlier times.  Not just Lewis and Clark but places like Astoria which was once fish and furs and shipping and now is a mix of other things.

Went to a farmer’s market in Astoria since we happened to be there on that day.  Love doing things like that even if we aren’t local and really can’t buy anything.  Gets you a real feel for the area.

Portland traffic really sucks at times.  The mass transit system seems nice.  I was looking around last night and there were few smiles which may be some kind of unwritten rule on mass transit.  Keep to yourself and don’t disturb anyone else.  I think about the random collection of people who were on that train.  How many stories were there.  Why were people there?  Where were they going?

Picking an airport hotel is a great idea when you’ve got a really early flight back but not so great for those days when you want to sleep in.

The best thing about being on the West Coast is that most sporting events get over at a reasonable hour.  It is kind of nice to wake up and realize life back home has been going on for quite some time.

Lots of dogs in every place we’ve been.  Love that.  Dog friendly places are the best but it makes me miss mine even more.

Vacation is fun.  But I’m also finding I’m missing dancing (guess it really is an addiction).  But I’ll be home soon enough and back to my normal way of life.

 

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