Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Travelling the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway

NOTE: This blog entry covers Tuesday, November 4th.
We left Long Beach at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 4th – Election Day! We were interested to see history in the making, and the reactions of the local ‘mericans that we interacted with.

Wanting to stick to our plan of ‘travelling NO MORE than 4 hours and NEVER in the dark’, we mapped out our next destination – Florence, Oregon, home of the Sea Lion Caves.
The weather had lightened up quite a bit, and we were even seeing sunshine as we drove along – bonus! We crossed from Washington into Oregon at the halfway point along this incredible bridge (dang didn’t get the name).

The Pacific Coast Scenic Byway obviously winds along the coastline, but in parts, is quite agricultural in nature – lots of dairy farms. The ‘Oh My God’ scenery really begins around Cannon Beach, Oregon. Every corner you turn is incredible. It is a fairly windy road which made for an interesting ride with our rig. I had a few white-knuckled moments which stressed Terry more than the drive itself. New rule for Sandy – have a BIG drink at the start of every drive to minimize the unnecessary freakouts ……

It is very green here – minimal fall foliage. We are definitely into a different ecosystem here.
Stopped at Cook’s Chasm and snapped a few shots of the wild blow hole.

We arrived in Florence, Oregon around 5:30 p.m. A 4-hour trip can be mapped out, but in reality with a few stops and with winding roads it ended up taking us longer than that. Oh well – at least we didn’t break the daylight rule this time!

We had planned on staying at an RV Resort 5 miles south of town, but ended up booking two nights at the ‘Thousand Trails & NACO South Jetty Resort’. Very much like Red Lodge Park – heavily treed, with campsites carved out of the growth. Like Red Lodge – minimal services. We have power and water, but no sewer. In peak season this would be a great place to stay, as it is quite pretty, and they have a little restaurant, adult lodge, activity center, etc. There is a pool, but man you don’t want to swim in it right now – COLD.

And, unfortunately, with all those trees around us, satellite tv and our internet access both seemed impossible to locate. Here we were, at one of the most historical elections in history, with no television to watch it all unfold. What to do? Why, go to the Casino of course! So Terry and I toodled on down to the ‘Three Rivers Casino’ for supper, a bit of gambling, and to share the moment of history in the making with our fellow casino-goers.

If there was any consolation to this, at least the casino crowds were thin. I can only hope that is because people chose to forego a night of gambling to instead stay home and watch the election results. The remaining crowd at the casino seemed fairly oblivious to the happenings.
After losing my allotted $20.00 (played the penny slots – yahoo!) within the hour, I joined Terry for a drink at the lounge, where we sat listening to Obama’s inspiring victory speech with a sparse crowd of mildly interested patrons. It brought a tear to my eye (or was that just from the dense cigarette smoke trailing over to us from the ladies at the table next to us!).

SO … when people ask you ‘where were YOU when the first black (African American ..) American President was elected – I was at the lounge in the Three Rivers Casino in Florence, Oregon.

Stepped out of the casino to the pouring rain – crap – rain again.

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