Saturday, October 3, 2020

Northern Oregon and Southern Washington

I'd not been to Oregon and was on a quest to visit all 50 states. Judy had been to Oregon several times, but was willing, so we planned a quick trip in early January 2016. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016, we left LAX on Delta at 6:45 a.m. and arrived in Portland at 9:17 a.m. We rented a car from Avis and first stopped at the LDS Temple in Lake Oswego and walked the grounds. 
Then we drove 60 miles south on the I-5 to the Willamette Valley and walked through the Oregon Capitol Building, 

then we visited the Willamette University Law School where I'd applied and been accepted, and finally lunch at Alsham Mediterranean Restaurant where I had a lamb shawarma gyro, a Greek salad and some hummus. 

We continued south for 66.6 miles on the I-5 to Eugene where we stopped at Autzen Stadium, home of the Oregon Ducks. There was an open gate, so much to Judy's chagrin I walked through the lower stadium and out on to the edge of the field and took a few photos. It is beautiful. There were two nearby practice fields with astroturf and we stopped at a Duck store and I bought some Oregon Duck pajamas. We headed west for 61 miles on Hwy 126 to Florence, on the Oregon coast, then headed north 49 miles on Hwy 101 to Newport where we spent the night at the Sylvia Beach Hotel which has very fun rooms decorated for various literary figures. We got the Tolkien room. 
Beach in front of the Sylvia Beach Hotel. Yaquina Head is at back left where light house is. 

Sylvia Beach Hotel. 
We ate dinner at the Deep End Cafe where I had my first and best fried oyster poh boy (I keep trying them and have not found one that equals it), some oyster shooters and so-so clam chowder. 

Friday, January 8, we drove into downtown and walked the main street around the circular bay. We walked into a fish store and bought some smoked fish and lump Dungeness crab at the Fish Peddler's Market and later had clam chowder at Mo's Seafood and Chowder. 

But most fun was a walk out onto a dock to see a whole bunch of California sea lions in the water next to the dock and out on and next to a rock tide-brake in the harbor. We drove north to Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, near a lighthouse, and walked an amazing pebble beach, perhaps the most unique beach I've ever been on. We continued north on Hwy 101 to Lincoln City (25 miles north of Newport) where Barnacle Bill's screamed out to me to stop. We feasted on lump Dungeness crab meat, spicy boiled large shrimp, small Oregon pink shrimp and smoked salmon. This is a seafood store I would love to live closer to. We continued north 44 miles on Hwy 101 to Tillamook where we enjoyed ice cream at the Tillamook Creamery. We also stopped at Blue Heron French Cheese Company and sampled Blue Heron brie, with chunks of pepper on the rind giving it a strong pepper taste, and Rogue Creamery Smoky Blue which was more smoky than blue (a little went a long way). We continued north on Hwy 101 to Seaside, 48 more miles, where we spent the night at the River Inn at Seaside.
     California Sea Lion  (Bob)
     Oregon Coast Seafood  (Bob) 

Saturday, January 9, we backtracked 9 miles to and walked along Cannon Beach and viewed the famous Haystock Rock seen in the film Goonies. 

Looking at Ecola State Park from Cannon Beach.
Then we drove through Ecola State Park before continuing north again on Hwy 101 to Gearhart, less than 3 miles north of Seaside, to eat lunch at Pacific Way Cafe and Bakery, where I had clam chowder and a seafood Louie salad. 

We continued north 12 miles, leaving Hwy 101 in the process, to Fort Stevens State Park where we got amazing views of the Columbia River entering into the Pacific Ocean at Clatsop Spit. I think it may be one of the most raw examples of nature's power I've ever witnessed. 
Sitting on the beach in Fort Stevens State Park.

The power of the ocean here was amazing. 

Mouth of the Columbia River.

Columbian Black-Tailed Deer in Fort Stevens State Park. 
We traveled 9 miles to Astoria, taking a shortcut through Warrenton, then continued east on Hwy 30, leaving the Pacific Ocean but now with the Columbia River to our left. After 45 miles we crossed the Columbia River on the Lewis and Clark Bridge into Longview, Washington, relatively close to Mt. St. Helens. We continue south 36 miles on the I-5 through Washington, following the Columbia River, to Vancouver, Washington where we visited the Proto Cathedral of St. James the Greater.  We continued east on Hwy 14, on the Washington side of the Columbia River, for 43 miles, then crossed the Columbia River on the Bridge of the Gods to Cascade Locks, Oregon, then continued east on I-84 for 41 miles to The Dalles, Oregon, where we ate at Cousin's (I had clam chowder and fish and chips) and spent the night at Fairfield Inn and Suites. 

Sunday, January 10, we started back west along the Columbia River Gorge. 

After 24 miles, at Hood River, we turned south on Hwy 35 to go into the Mt. Hood NF and get a good view of Mt. Hood. However, it started snowing and the higher we got the more the snow started to stick. We eventually decided to turn around back to Hood River, then west again along the Columbia River on I-84. We stopped at several waterfalls but it was bitter cold and windy. Multnomah Falls, with a 620 foot drop, is the second tallest waterfall in the U.S. and was by far the best one. 
Multnomah Falls

One of the other water falls. 
We continued on into Portland and stayed at the Hotel Modera, about 63 miles from Hood River. For dinner we visited the pod of food carts in the Mississippi Marketplace. I visited Miss Kate's Southern Kitchen and got the bayou fried catfish po'boy, with sweet chili sauce and creole sauce. It wasn't as good as my earlier fried oyster poh boy, but it was pretty good. 

Monday, January 11, we stayed in Portland. We visited St. James Lutheran Church and walked around that vicinity, then visited the largest pod of food trucks in Portland, covering two blocks. First we visited La Camel, a Moroccan truck, and ordered a lamb shank which came with couscous, potatoes, garbanzo beans and red peppers. 

Then we visited the Dump Truck and tried Le Super Sampler four different styles of dumplings, two each. 

I didn't really love any of them. Then we stopped at The Frying Scotsman Fish and Chips and ordered the red snapper, but it is not as good as cod. 

Finally, we want back to La Camel and ordered the salmon tagine. It was good, but several levels down from the lamb shank. Then we met Judy's niece and her two young children at Salt and Straw for ice cream. 

The Oscar Mayer Weiner mobile was parked outside - the first time I've ever seen it. 
Her husband is at the University of Portland dental school.  Then we walked to Blue Star Donuts with her because we'd not had enough food or sweets for the day. 

Finally, we got to the airport and flew out of Portland at 7:36 p.m. on Delta and arrived at LAX at 9:50 p.m. 


  1. I love the Oregon coastline and would go back anytime for more exploration. The Sylvia Beach Hotel is one of my favorite hotels ever.

  2. The Oregon state capital to me kind of looked like a temple