Friday, May 11, 2018

Oregon Coast Memory Lane

I am in Oregon right now, celebrating my dad's 80th birthday. And part of that celebration is a family trip over to the Oregon Coast, a place we visited many times during my childhood.

There are many ways to drive there from Eugene, but today we took a long and favorite way!

Past Junction City, beyond Harrisburg, and down Peoria Road is a favorite stop of ours on trips to the coast.

A dear Mennonite woman opened a bakery at her home out here 23 years ago and has been serving up unbelievable baked goodies on Fridays and Saturdays ever since. It's definitely worth the indulgence!

From there we made our regular stop in Corvallis for coffee, and then turned west and headed for the coast.

If I am remembering correctly, this is the first trip I've made with just my dad, mom and brother in over thirty years! It's so appropriate that it's a trip to Newport, since that was the location of many trips during our family years of life together.

It's a rare day when the sun is shining on the Oregon coast, so this is even more reason to celebrate this trip!

Aren't they just the cutest couple? Love you Dad and Mom!

We meandered our way along the coast, stopping a ways north to take a peek at Yaquina Head Lighthouse, the oldest structure in Newport.

Built in 1871, it was decommissioned in 1874. Yet still it stands!

It's not a trip to the coast without a visit to Mo's Seafood and Chowder, so that was our next stop!

It's quite possible I've been coming with my family to this very location for over fifty years! 😉

After a mention of my dad's 80th birthday to our friendly waitress, she surprised him with their well-known, and beyond delicious, marionberry cobbler!

A rousing "Happy Birthday to you" was sung by her, fellow servers, and the rest of the patrons!

If you haven't been to downtown Newport, it's a "must". The sights, sounds and smells all create a special Oregon Coast atmosphere that I love!

Not to mention how cool these wall murals are downtown!

One of the strangest animals God ever created is the California Sea Lion! These males bark and bite each other, lazily rolling on and off these platforms, appearing to have no care in the world. They're oddly fascinating to watch.

The females don't migrate like the males; they stay in California all year, apparently preferring it there! 

Another oddity of the so warm that we needed to stop in at Starbucks for iced teas to cool off!

Since this was a literal trip down memory lane, we made numerous stops along the way as we traveled south down the coast, stopping first at "The Lot" as we called it when we were kids.

Many years ago my Grandpa and Grandma France bought this piece of land to park a trailer on.

My grandpa would tow it over, leaving it for weeks at a time. While he would go back to Eugene to work, my grandma would stay here to welcome her kids and grandkids whenever they wanted to come over for the day. I can remember learning to bake an apple pie in her trailer when it was a typical rainy day and there was nothing to do but stay inside!

"The Lot" doesn't belong to them anymore, but it was fun to drive by and remember those happy days of visiting her at the coast.

Further down we made several stops to take in the scenery, an important aspect of visiting the coast that was impressed on me from the time I was just a young girl!

Even with the gusty wind causing my hair to go every which way, I loved soaking up the view.

There is something so powerful and majestic about the Pacific Ocean here in Oregon. It's mesmerizing and you can watch those waves go in and out for hours!

Continuing on down the coast we stopped in at Carl G Washburne Memorial State Park, the campground where we stayed many a week-end. Oh the memories of meeting up with grandparents, aunt, uncles and cousins for a few days of Oregon Coast fun.

Heceta Head Lighthouse and beach was another happy stopping place for us in years gone by.

Though we only viewed it from afar today, it brought back many memories of picnics and beach explorations that took place there when it was just us four back in the day!

My parents were so great about making memories for us when we were kids, even if it was just a day trip. The number of times we visited places on the Oregon Coast is countless. I am SO glad my mom and dad liked a good car ride and brought us here often.

There was really no way to capture the flowering beauty at the coast today, as it is prolific with color everywhere right now. But I was glad when a patch of goldenrod appeared and I could at least take a quick picture as we drove.

Speaking of week-end in Florence, Oregon they'll host the annual Rhododendron Festival, held annually on the third week-end of May. The rhodies are blossoming now and it's a beautiful site around town, though I didn't see as many wild rhododendrons as I remember there being when I was a child!

For now, I had to content myself with seeing the familiar Florence bridge, my last view of the Oregon Coast for now.

Thanks for the memories Dad, Mom and Mike!!

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