Oregon: Boardman, McMinnville, and Tillamook

From July 29th to August 7th, we were traveling from Idaho through Oregon, basically with the goal of getting to the Oregon coast.   There’s not a lot to say about these locations, with the exceptions of a few adventures.

On July 29th, we traveled to Boardman through the Columbia River Gorge.  Unbeknownst to us, this area is known for its persistent high winds, which makes it an ideal spot for kitesurfing and windsurfing.  It does not make it a good spot for RVs, however and we (Cyndi) fought serious crosswinds and struggled to keep our speed above 40 mph.

We then arrived in Boardman for a couple of nights, but that part of Oregon was experiencing a heat wave.  Our second day there, the temperature reached 108 degrees.  Luckily we had a shady site next to the river and good A/C, so we were reasonably comfortable.  The sunsets were beautiful, partly because of the fires in the area (a recurring theme henceforth).

From 7/31 to 8/5, we camped at Olde Stone Village in McMinnville.  I chose this site because it’s in the middle of the Oregon wine country.  Cyndi was back in NJ for a week from 8/1 to 8/8, so I figured I might as well be entertained.  But wine tasting is a tipsy and expensive hobby.  I could only do a couple of tastings a day (at around $15 each) and then felt compelled to buy a bottle from each winery ($40 to $60 each), so I decided to move on early.  The real hidden gem was the Evergreen Air and Space Museum, which houses the Spruce Goose, among other craft.  Sunny posed for an excellent photo gallery.  And speaking of flying, Cyndi had an eventful ride home and took some dramatic photos.

I drove to Tillamook by myself on 8/5, which at about 70 miles looked like it would be a piece of cake.  However my GPS sent me up Nestucca River Road, which winds along a river up a mountain for about 20 miles.  The road was so steep and winding I could barely maintain 30 mph (in a 55 mph zone), which did not make the cars behind me happy.  And then I hit a (surprise!) dead end due to road construction, before which everyone behind me had wisely turned.  Because I’m towing a car, I cannot back up.  I reached the dead end – a beautiful wooded spot 200 feet or so above a cascading mountain spring – got out of the RV, and was instantly swarmed by mosquitoes.  I retrieved the bug spray, unhooked the Jeep, moved it out of the way, performed a 14-point turn with the RV, hooked up the Jeep, headed back down and started over again.  After another couple of hours, I was in Tillamook.

There’s not much to say about this site, except that it was unpleasant and I was so close to the 101 that I felt like I was sleeping in the middle of the highway.  When I put out the back slide, I discovered that something had gotten bound up the last time I brought it in and that the front end popped off the bed frame.  I spent a day removing the popped screws and installing angle brackets to hold the sides of the bed together.

The best news  is that I left early because Cyndi was able to get me into the Cannon Beach RV resort.

For more photos, see here..

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