Recent Pacific NW Trip
This trip really starts on Thursday, July 22nd. My wife and two kids picked me up at work around 3:30 and we made our way to Calgary and spent the night at my sister and brother's house. This allows us to have a 3 hour jump than if we had left from Edmonton. We had a good drive from Calgary on the Friday and we made it to the border just after 2:00. We stopped in Sandpoint, ID. and looked around for an hour or so before we made our way to our campground. It was fine and reasonably quiet but there were caterpillars everywhere and it was hard to sit at the table and enjoy your dinner knowing that they were dropping from the trees. The name is Alpine Country and is only about 5 mins away from Silverwood Theme Park
Saturday morning we got an early start and headed to a great coffee shop in Coeur dí Alene and Krispy Kreme Donuts in Spokane. From there we only stopped for a little lunch and gas. We followed the Columbia river and loved the views along it. At points along the way I lost count of how many windmills there were. We finally got close to Portland and Stacey had me follow the directions to our campsite along the Columbia River on Suavie Island. We camped at Reeder Beach RV Park and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a place to stay around Portland. We were lucky enough that our site was over looking the river. We were able to watch barges and container ships go by during the day and night. The campground was nice, decent site, good bathrooms, etc.
We had a great time at the Portland Zoo.It reminded me of Calgary Zoo only more intimate. The kids loved it and we would highly recommend it to anyone. Staying along the river was really nice and the kids had a great time playing in water and on the sand. The river was cold but because a few days were in the 90ís it felt very refreshing. The island itself is a major agricultural spot especially for fruit. Lots of u-pick places and we were able to load up on blue berries, raspberries and boysenberries.
From Portland we head west toward the town of Tillamook. Tillamook is known for two things. Itís air museum and itís cheese factory. We did both when we arrived thinking we didnít know if time would allow us to visit them on another day. The air museum is amazing. The hanger is huge and their collection is really impressive. The cheese factory is great and unbelievably busy. We got to try all kinds of cheese and we were more than happy to come away with a couple of blocks. As the trip progressed we wound up with 5 big blocks altogether that we brought home with us.
We stayed about 20 mins south of Tillamook at a campground called Campers Grove. It's an ok campground but it was right beside the highway so the vehicle noise for the first two nights was really annoying. Fortunately the last two night were the Friday and Saturday so the truck traffic was virtually nil. We had a nice little river that flows through the campground and in November the fish are spawning right there.
We visited the towns of Cannon Beach, Newport, Depoe Bay, Oceanside and Pacific City. Cannon beach is a really nice artsy community and we really enjoyed our time there. Oceanside was nice and we had a great time doing lots of beach combing. By far, Pacific City was our favorite. It has a huge sand dune at the north end of the beach and as a result there is sand everywhere in town. The beach is really deep and itís quite a place for surfing. Unfortunately it was our last beach and we only had a couple of hours there before we left. If we were to go back to the coast, it is the town we would spend a couple of days at. Our one complaint was about the weather. We heard from some locals that the ocean is 8 degrees colder than average which is not allowing the sun the cut through the fog which means you canít even sit on the beach to tan or build sand castles.
From there we made our way to Seattle where we stayed at Dash Point State Park. It is a really nice park with nice spots and is only about 25 mins outside of downtown Seattle. We got to go on the double decker bus tour for two days, spent some time at pike place market, walked around pioneer square and did lots of walking and shopping. The two beaches we visited were only so-so. They are gravely and the water again is colder than it normally is.
We left Seattle and had a long haul back to Coeur díAlene but had a great time swimming in Lake Pend Oreille. We were not able to stay at the Farrugut State park as last year but we found a nice campground only ten minutes away. It's called Lakeland RV Park and is a nice little find. It's more setup for big RV's but for one or two nights, I would definately recommend it. Clean bathrooms, big free showers, grassy sites between stalls. Very nice.
We left early Friday morning and spent about 2 hours shopping in Sandpoint before jumping in the truck for the border. We ran into some trouble with the trailer just before the border and I would up having to take a section of the belly pan off. It was a job I was going to do next spring but it looks like I will be starting it sooner. After leaving the border we continued to Lundbreck Falls and spent the night there.
It was a good trip but I donít think I need to go back to the Central Oregon coast anytime soon. There are lots of other places we would like to go first. We were fortunate enough to meet a few other Airstream owners along the way and even wound up in a 3 vehicle caravan for an hour or so outside of Tillamook. Thanks for reading and sorry if I rambled on.