Here we sit still at Camp Service, Waiting, Waiting and Waiting!! There is no complaining, we did not have an appointment so they work us in when they can. There are some who have been coming in that made appointments 6-8 months ago, it seems that the majority of the repairs are for Canadians going south for the winter. We are glad that we have a great place to fix our coach that we are comfortable with and knows how to do repairs right.
Since our last blog Guy has been pretty sick, in bed for a week. Decided to go to the Doc-in-a- Box, 2 of the offices were for drug users only, ended up finally at the 3rd place finding a doctor, who then had him go to the emergency room, what a day, 9 hours waiting, ct scans, blood work, iv’s, cultures taken. Only to find out that they didn’t know what it was, probably a bug and told us ‘let it run its course’. When he didn’t get better at the end of the week, I called 2 other Doctors, who would not take him without a referral and that once they got his papers, it could take up to 6-8 weeks before they would see him. We waited thru the week for the cultures and they were all negative! He is still not up to par, it gets better but comes back, this is week 2 1/2, and finally feeling better.
Wouldn’t you know that this October, Oregon has almost had as much rain fall as October 1947 and has set a record for the most days of rain for the month of October, 24 days. On an average year from Portland to Eugene the rainfall totals between 42 – 46”s, with average days of rain between 144 to 166 days. This October, Eugene had a total of 8.83”s just under 1947 that had 10.14”s. There were 3 days with over 1” of rain. So when you see all the pictures you will understand why they all have rain drops!!
Our coach engine needed to go into the Cummins Dealer, which is one of the biggest repairs we needed done. It is using 2 1/2 gals or antifreeze and oil in 2,000 miles. So something was definitely wrong. Last Thursday we got the call bring it in, we had 1/2 hour to scramble and pack clothes, pack the coach and drive over. They said we would have it back the next night, no problem, we headed to a hotel. Well, the next day the story was, don’t come back until next Wed!!! So back over to gather more clothes, the coach is on the lift and 10’ in the air!! We hated to stop progress but they needed to let it down so we could get our clothes and other essentials. When we drove away, I was so bummed because I had forgotten to take my camera, there was no going back to disturb them again. I have taken all the pictures with my phone but I don’t care what they say a camera is way better.
Good friends of ours, Maureen and Richard live here in Oregon, we visited them last year while we were here, they lived in Roseburg. Since then they have sold their home and moved above Portland, about 2 1/2 hrs north of Coburg. Since the coach was in the shop we decided to find a hotel in Portland closer to them, so we could spend more time together. Over 25 years ago Maureen worked for Guy at Seagate Technology in Scotts Valley, California, we haven’t always kept in touch, Maureen and Richard moved to Oregon, and we moved to Georgia, but with the internet, it is so much easier.
Friday night, Richard met us at our hotel and we followed him to the “Rock Creek Tavern”. What an quaint, cozy restaurant, I fell in love with the outside, but the inside was just as wonderful. It reminded me of the houses in Ireland or in England.
It was cold and rainy, a little fog, there was a fire going outside as well as one inside, the smell of smoke was permeating the air, the trees were low hanging with moss up and down the branches and the trunk. The roof had moss growing on it, with lots of yard art popping out of all the green ferns and ivy. The whole scene was so magical.
The inside was all dark wood with lots of old pictures on the walls, antiques, low hanging antique lights, a big rock fireplace, a big wooden antique bar, antique rugs. I would love to have a house that looked like this, it was so warm and inviting.
It was great catching up with Maureen and Richard, but the time went by so fast. We were going to meet up with them the next day, Saturday, as they were taking us around Portland, and along the Columbia River gorge which divides Oregon and Washington, down to Hood River.
Saturday morning they picked us up early for breakfast, we headed to Einsteins Bagel Company, I have to say these were the best bagels I have ever eaten. I ordered the French toast bagel with a cinnamon spread, Guy had blueberry with a blueberry spread, Maureen and Richard decided on the pumpkin (not sure what spread they had), we all were raving about our bagels.
We then ventured over to the Portland Ariel Tram, the tram was built 10 years ago, it leaves the Willamette River area and heads up Portland’s highest hill, Marquam Hill, to the regional medical, academic and research facility.
The road leading to the medical center was a narrow winding road with dense forest and steep cliffs which was very hard to navigate, so the tram was built to help keep cars off the road and people can ride the tram to work much easier. From the tram cabin you can see all of Portland, the Willamette River Valley, and on a clear day, as far as Mount St Helens and Mount Hood. The tram has 10,000 riders each day, the length of the ride is 3.5 mins., it reaches the speed of 22.7 miles per hour, there are 500 bikes that ride the tram daily. The tram is open 6 days a week, closed Sundays, the fare is $4.55 per person round trip.
Maureen and I did not see much of the drive along the river or thru the city as we were so busy talking and looking at pictures, our heads were down most of the way.
After our tram ride we took a great ride thru the city and over to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic area. The Gorge has 292,500 acreas, numerous waterfalls and hiking trails. The Columbia River is 1243 miles long, the average width of the river is 1 mile, on the south side of the river the average height of the mountain wall is 1500-3000 feet. Lewis and Clark came down the river gorge, the Oregon trail pioneers followed soon after.
Along the river road are numerous waterfalls, hiking trails, and parks, but not a lot of parking. There are small parking lots but not enough for the masses of people, cars and buses that are in the area trying to go to the waterfalls, so most of the parking is on the street which makes for a very narrow and busy road.
The first waterfall we stopped at was Multnomah Falls which is considered the tallest waterfall in Oregon, this fall is split into an upper fall of 542feet and a lower fall of 69 feet, the total height is 620 feet. The falls cascade through the forest and down the cliffs at an amazing speed, I could not get close to the water to see how cold it was. We wanted to hike up to the bridge that was half way up the falls but it was starting to really rain so we decided we were wet enough.
Another waterfall was the Wahkeena falls, which is 242 feet, and is tiered with 6 drops. Both of these waterfalls do not directly plunge to the ground, rather they have a more cascading flow over the rock cliffs and flow into a pond then over another cliff to the bottom.
There are over 76 waterfalls along the Columbia River Gorge, some are close to the road, but many you need to hike to thru the rain forest.
The road took us up to the town of Hood River, such a quaint town, with lots of brick buildings, we decided to walk the town and check out the many stores. We did not get far before we decided that food and adult beverage was needed. We found a brewery up on the top of a hill that overlooked the city and the river, what a view it was going to be, so we felt that the hike up the hill was going to be worth it!! But darn, the place was packed, no view for us, we sat in the back, but everyone said the beer was good. (I don’t drink beer so I can’t give a report on it).
We decided to head back to Portland along the Washington side of the Gorge, the traffic was backed up and after waiting in line for 15 mins, we all took a vote and turned around to go back the way we came. We came upon the Vista House observatory and stopped to get a bigger view of the gorge.
Vista House is an observatory at Crown Point along the Columbia River Highway, which was beautiful view. Vista House was built in 1917 as a “comfort station for the tourist and the travelers of Americas’s greatest highway”. The house sits 733 feet above the Columbia River. We got to the observatory after it had closed but did look in the windows, which had beautiful old stained glass in the upper half. The floors were a white and gray marble, you could tell the building was very old.
I’m glad we stayed on the Oregon side of the hwy as the Washington side is down closer to the river and does not have the dramatic views.
We ended our awesome day driving around the downtown area of Portland and having an adult beverage at Jake’s Famous Crawfish Restaurant. Since we all had such a late big lunch no one was hungry for dinner. Jake’s opened in 1892 and is Portland’s second oldest continuously operating restaurant. The original restaurant was called Mueller and Meier, a saloon that stated in 1892. The partnership that owns Jakes started the restaurant chain McCormick & Schmick’s. The building that has housed Jake’s was built in 1911 was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
We could hear the call of the ocean and with a few more days to hang without our home, off we went for more touring…..so come on back and see where the road takes us next….
Guy and I want to wish all of our readers a very