Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cheese, Rocks & Fish

We stayed overnight in a little town on the Oregon coast, where we slept well after a full day of hiking at Crater Lake the day before. 

We got back on the road in the morning, and drove up the coast to Tillamook, where we visited the Cheese Factory for samples of cheese (the fresh cheese curds - "squeaky cheese" was our fave) and ice cream.

The road along the coast was beautiful and winding.  We stopped at Ecola State Park to run on the beach, climb the rocks, and look into the tide pools.  The girls first impression of the Pacific Ocean?  "It's COLD!"


A sea star in a tide pool

We reached the home of our friends in Vancouver, WA just in time for dinner (we timed it exactly right every time!)  The girls discovered the trampoline, and the raspberry bushes, which kept them occupied until bedtime.
The following day, we drove on Historic Route 30, and stopped to visit Multnomah Falls (both JP and I have memories of this place.)

We also visited Bonneville Dam and Fish Hatcheries (which we also remember.)

A fish going through the fish counter
portion of the fish ladder.

Lamprey stuck all over the observation windows of the fish ladder.
These tiny frye...

...grow into these huge Rainbow Trout!

Herman the Sturgeon, age 80, approx 7-8 feet long!
We stopped for ice cream (are you sensing a recurring theme here?), and then stopped at Crown Point on our way home for a wonderful view of the Columbia River Gorge.

The Vista House at Crown Point
That evening, JP and his friends (who all went to school together) tried to catch up on news of everyone in their small, Christian High School.  The conversation went something like this:
JP - "Where is Franky Sommers?"
Buddy 1 - "Oh, I think he's in Colorado."
JP - "Who did he marry?"
Buddy 2 - "Jessica Cross.  They have triplets."
JP - "Jessica Cross?  No way!  Jessica Cross?  What about Evan Newman?"
Buddy 1 - "Evan Newman...I haven't heard anything about him in a REALLY long time."
Buddy 2 (searching Facebook for pics) - "Here's Laura Fredrick."
JP - "Oh yeah, I TOTALLY see Laura!"
The next day JP drove us into Portland, where we rode by his old house, and those of several of his friends.  He showed us where he used to work (Elmer's Pancake House - now a Chinese Restaurant), and drove by his High School.  We ended up on top of a hill, where we could see the city of Portland below.
We tried to turn in early that night, as we needed to leave for the airport at 4 AM.  However, this was the night that Kali had her emergency surgery, and I stayed up until 1 waiting to hear back from the Vet.  Our flights home were uneventful, unless you count the fact that we flew coach from Portland to Chicago with the Portland Thunder arena football team!
I have sifted through hundreds of photos of our vacation in order to represent our travels here.   Now that we are home and settled, the girls and I plan to put together a photo book of our West Coast adventures.

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