Homeward – Day 2

Klamath Falls, Oregon to Carson City, Nevada

Mt. Dhsdys

Our homeward route was determined when we found that we could touch base with a friend from years ago. We wound our way from the Oregon border southward through northern California. For the first 75 miles we had occasional peaks of Mt. Shasta standing almost twice as tall as the surrounding mountains. They were long distance views but a treat with recent snowfall and cloudless skies.


Lake Tahoe

We drove through ranch lands, potato fields and pine forests. Reaching the Truckee area we headed to the north shore of Lake Tahoe to find traffic congestion, road construction and detour mazes. However we couldn’t be this close and not have at least a peek at the deep clear waters of the lake. I was amazed at the distance covered by a paddle boarder in five minutes as I watched from high above the lake. I expect he felt the day was close to perfect.


Paddle Boarder


Diane & NancyWe had reservations in Minden, Nevada, south of Carson City, so that we could spend the evening with a friend we first met 50 years ago. At our age I suspect one could offend by using the term “old friend”. She picked us up at our hotel to give us a tour of the area including the oldest town in Nevada, Genoa; and, Nevada’s oldest thirst parlor.  Would love to come back sometime to explore the historic town, Mormon Station State Historic Park and perhaps quench a thirst.


Oldest Saloon in Nevada


On our way into Carson City for dinner we spotted several deer dining on the tender grasses of a green yawn. As we stopped so that Bob could snap a picture two of the stags decided it was time to establish territorial rights. Nice shot Bob!


Deer Territory

Homeward Bound


Cape Meare Lighthouse


On day 24 it’s time to set the navigation arrow to east by southeast and make the journey home. We’ve been blessed to see and do so many items on our wish list. Portland was the final check off. Two blue days on the Oregon coast were exceptional; we’ve spent whole weeks in Cannon Beach without as much sunshine. And, the temps were warmer than many a summer day. We’ve only plotted a day ahead planning to cover some new territory along the way, making the trip in four or five days. Home will look good – except for the neglected lawn – however, we’ll never regret this trip. Praying for continued safe travels.

Amazing Scenery

Sahalee Falls, McKenzie Pass, Crater Lake Nt. Park

Sahalee Falls with Rainbow

A wonderful day driving through the heart of Oregon, scenery spectacular with amazing variety. From Portland to the state capital of Salem we’re reminded of how productive the Willamette Valley is – vineyards, Christmas tree farms, berry patches, nurseries, gardens, vegetables. We share memories to previous visits to tulip farms in March, peony and iris farms in June and the botanical treasure of Oregon Gardens.


As we climb into the Cascade range autumn-hued ground covers and shrubbery color the landscape in contrast to the deep, deep greens of the western slope coniferous forest. After 2 1/2 hours of drive time we take a break at the Sahalee Falls Viewpoint.  Fifteen minutes out of the car for the short walk to see the falls does the body and mind a world of good. Sahalee is only one of a series of falls along the McKenzie River.



Bob's Lava Field

I’ve read and seen pictures of the McKenzie Pass road for years, today is the day to see it for ourselves. Vehicle width and length restrictions are enforced on 22 miles of the scenic byway. We soon understand the limits, the road is very narrow and winding with sharp turns. This isn’t the route for travelers in a hurry, it’s slow going but worth the time required. Atop the pass a 65-square mile lava flow creates an other worldly landscape; trees pushing their way upward from the volcanic debris and twisted dead trunks bleached nearly white.


Crater Lake


A slight detour takes us to Crater Lake National Park. We’ve been here two times before. The first was more than 20 years ago in late March. There was 27-feet of snow on the ground; we literally walked trough a snow tunnel to a viewing platform on the edge to see into the lake. In 2001 we had reservations for two nights; our first morning was 9/11. At that time there were no televisions in the park and radio reception was spotty. We spent the day driving around the lake finding high spots where we could listen to the awful news.


Todays visit was perfect, although too short. Sky and lake were blue, blue, blue and windless; creating incredible perfect reflections of the steep caldera sides in the calm waters. Truly a priceless gift to see the park on such a day of amazing scenery.

Goodbye Ocean – Hello Portland

Memories & Traffic

Cannon Beach Waves


The morning dawned clear and blue; tide and waves were higher than the last two days. Tough to say goodbye to a favorite site along the Oregon Coast, I want more time here but it’s unfortunately time to head homeward.


Pho Van SignWe had family living in Portland for four years and chalked up numerous trips. Highest on the list of places we want to revisit is Bob’s favorite restaurant for Vietnamese noodle bowls – Pho Van on 82nd SE. Yes, we’re on the eating trail again. Two #51s and a pot of Jasmine tea for lunch.


Each vermicelli noodle bowl is topped with shredded lettuce, bean sprouts, cucumbers, onions, pickled carrots and daikon and peanuts. Our favorite adds skewers of pork marinated in honey and lemongrass, grilled over an open flame and crispy spring rolls filled with minced pork and shrimp. Served with Muoc Mam.


Noodle Bowl


It’s been five years since we visited Portland, it’s gotten nothing but larger, busier and traffic nearly impossible. With clear skies and temps in the 80s everyone is out and about. Lanes of traffic backed up for blocks at traffic lights, Interstates creeping and drivers impatient. I already miss the relaxation found along the coast – goodbye ocean, hello Portland.

Muffins, Cheese and Ice Cream


It seems more and more of my daily reports center on food. Don’t bother counting calories for today – it’s way over the top. You might gain weight just reading about our day.


We started with breakfast at Pig ‘n Pancake in Cannon Beach. Bob was reasonably wise with granola, yogurt and fresh fruit. I, on the other hand went right for their Swedish pancakes which are the best excuse for scoops of whipped butter and lingonberry preserves.


Cannon Beach Sweetness


The next stop was the Cannon Beach Bakery to stock up for bedtime sweet treat and tomorrows breakfast – love their Sailor Jack and poppy seed muffins. The piece de resistance was an apple fritter with caramel glaze. Bob loves fritters, I love caramel anything. Disclaimer: The last time we were in Cannon Beach the bakery was closed, I’m making up for lost opportunities.


We actually waited 4½ hours before eating again. This time we were at the Tillamook Cheese Company. They have the best ever grilled cheese sandwich. The Centennial is a combination of sharp cheddar and Vintage White medium cheddar grilled on thick slices of sourdough bread. The sandwich comes with a dill pickle slice and choice of fries, tater tots, salad or soup. We both opted for the soup of the day – chili.


Tillamook Grilled Cheese


Tillamook Huckleberr ICAfter shopping – for cheese curds and some of the Vintage White medium cheddar we entered the ice cream line. Huckleberry for Bob, Caramel Toffee Crunch for Nancy. We did restrict ourselves to single dips but good sized dips they were.


Tillamook Caramel Toffee CrunchA half mile down the road stands the Blue Heron French Cheese Company. Not wanting to go home empty handed we purchased a small wheel of the traditional brie and a wedge of the herb brie. (You got a dollar off it you purchased two – such a deal.) Three bottles of Riverhouse salad dressings also found their way into our bag.


Blue Heron Brie


Back in Cannon Beach we stopped at the market to pick up milk and chocolate milk to wash down the sweet treats later this evening. Need I say we won’t be going to dinner tonight? Over the top I know but an opportunity that doesn’t happen often. Not counting, just enjoying.

Captain Bob’s Chowder

Long Beach, Washington


Chowder BannerAfter exploring Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula it was mid-afternoon and I waited something to eat but not an big lunch. Bob’s always up for a bowl of clam chowder. A check with Yelp showed positive reviews for Captain Bob’s Chowder in Long Beach; exactly the kind of place I wanted. Captain Bob behind the counter, four high top tables and knowledge of how to prepare seafood.


Bob went for a bowl of the chowder which he graded as a B+; he’s a tough grader, I don’t know whose chowder he’d grade as an A. He reports the chowder was full of clams and served with a bag of oyster crackers and a bread stick.


Crab RollI wasn’t in the mood for soup so ordered a crab roll – a fresh toasted roll with a crisp leaf of romaine and a generous serving of crab. This earned an A+. I will think about this crab roll for a long, long time. It was perfect. When I commented on the roll Captain Bob said his wife makes them. He toasts the roll in a skillet immediately before serving. Our tab including soft drinks was under $20.


Captain BobWe were the only customers at that point in the afternoon and enjoyed visiting with Captain Bob while we chowed down. He told us that he has two chowders/soups every day. Always clam chowder and the other varies – corn, salmon, scallop – a big seller. He even does a corn beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day. The daily offerings can be found on their Facebook page. He reports that lobster chowder is very popular but lobster rolls aren’t, surprising because how popular lobster rolls are on the East Coast. Fish and chips are on the menu but not our choice today.


Don’t know when I’ll be back on the Long Beach Peninsula but know I’ll look for Captain Bob’s when I return. Meanwhile, I’ll dream of the crab roll.


Captain Bob Fisherman

Tuesday in Tacoma

Forget It

Day 20 and it’s time for a Travel Rant


Thinking of going to Tacoma and it’s a Tuesday, save yourself frustration and forget about it. Tacoma closes on Tuesday. Major attractions lock the doors and disappear. One has to wonder who is the mastermind that decided everyone should close on the same day. How does that benefit anyone?


The Museum of Glass – Closed on Tuesday

However, the Store is open to part you with your money

Washington State History Museum – Closed on Tuesday


Tacoma Art Museum – Closed on Tuesday

Don’t consider going north to the Seattle Art Museum – Closed Mon. & Tuesday


 Fort Nisqually Living History Museum – Closed on Tuesday


Tacoma History Museum – Closed on Tuesday


On previous trips to Tacoma we’ve visited four of the five museums and would love to revisit each of them. These sites offer quality experiences – just, NOT on Tuesday. It’s not like this is a single staff or even one association running the five facilities; it’s beyond my comprehension why anyone wants to see all these attractions closed on the same day.


The only power the traveler has is to take their tourism dollar and leave town. Exactly what we did.

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