• Day 14 Sunday

    Shortly after we got up, we heard kids. Dave went to the restroom and saw a camp of a couple with 6 kids. We decided that this was a good family that took the trouble to take 6 children, mostly girls, out camping. We broke camp and found a town called Arcada where we had breakfast. We went on down the Oregon coast, stopping often to take pictures. The light wasn't good because there was fog and no sun. Still, we saw cliffs, big rocks sticking up out of the surf, sea lions and sand dunes.

    As we continued on into California, we eventually began looking for camp grounds and decided to turn inland on State 299 which went into a national forest. Dave had forgotten to check the gas and suddenly notided he was on empty, and we were climbing over a couple of passes on a winding road. We looked for a gas station but there were none, not even a village. Then the gas light went on. Dave began to put the car in neutral and coast down the downhill parts. We passed one camp ground but were to concerned about gas to stop. A short time later, we came into a town that had two gas stations. One was un manned and didn't take any credit cards, only some kind of club cards. The other was busy but we fillled up with 9.5 gallons - - - in a 10 gallan tank.

    We returned to the campground and found a site where we set up camp. We discoverd that a short distance from the camp, where the undergrowth was thick, that there was a steep drop off to a tree and foliage filled canyon with an unseen stream at the bottom. Dave found a trail and followed it down, but knowing he had to climb back up, he didn't go all the way down. Never did see the stream.

    It was late, so we had hotdogs before going to bed.

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  • Day 13 Saturday

    We arose in the morning for a shower and shave before packing and checking out of the motel and grabbing a quick breakfast sandwitch at McDonalds. Then we went to the museum which was a short ways out of town. It consisted of four large buildings on a property so large it also contained a vinyard. The final approach to the museum was an exceptionally wide road painted like an airport runway that led to the front of the Aviation buidling where a couple of world war II planes were parked. The front of that building was a glass, and we could see the Spruce Goose sitting just inside. A large building on the left, which we learned was a water park, had a 747 on the roof.

    Larry had been in contact with a woman at the museum who had arranged for us to get free admission. We wore our Great Geezer Getaway Guys shirts which no one seemed to notice until we pointed them out. After we got our admission bracelet, we spent two hours wandering around the many planes on display. Many of them were world war II vintage, including a B-17. The center piece was the Spruce Goose however and it dwarfed every plane in there. Dave recognized a twin engine plane he knew as a "Goony Bird" that transported him and the Air Force Band he was part of. It was parked under one of the wings of the Spruce Goose, a wing that had four large engines and a huge pontoon hanging down from it.

    There is no way to describe the size of the Spruce Goose. The building was built to house it and it was sitting on a steel base below the floor level that put the bottom of the plane right at floor level. When we took an elevator to the second floor, which was actually higher than a normal second floor, we saw a display of the history of weapnons. Dave had expected to get a photo looking down on top of the Spruce Goose, but alas, the wings were still above him.

    After walking all around the Aviation building, we went to the Space museum where there were a few more plains, but mostly a display of the space programs of the U. S. and other countries. One solemn display was a tribute to all the astronauts who perished during their paricipation in the program. We spent one hour there.

    On our way back to highway 101 we stopped to get gas a small station where we had bought ice the previous day. In Oregon, customers aren't allowed to pump their own gas because it is an explosive agent. So the attendant who came out to pump our gas took one look at us and said, "You guys were here yesterday." This caught us off guard because we didn't recognize him. He explained that he'd seen our business card that Larry left with the woman who sold us the ice and saw the same design on our shirts.

    On down the Oregon coast we went through a number of small towns. In one, Dave pulled into a grocery store where Larry asked why he was going there. Dave said, "To get some interesting food!" So we went in and bought a number of items including two New York Stakes and some hamburger. We continued on and looked for campgrounds that were mostly full. Finally we found one between 101 and the coast with a lot of camp sites. There were two left and we took one of them and set up camp. After that, we prepared a fire, burned it down to hot coals, riged a grill over it and cooked our steaks. Wow! There were great.

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  • Day 12 Friday

    We got up and decided to break camp and buy breakfast. Not long after we left the camp ground, we found ourselves crossing the Columbia River. Then we were driving down the Oregon coast where we found a small town with an interesting looking restaurant open for breakfast called Lauries Cafe. It was 10:00AM and and there was still a line waiting to get in. So we stood in line and it wasn't a long wait. The breakfast was very good and the waitress very nice. As we were leaving, the guy at the cashregister turned out to be the husband of Laurie. He told us that everyone working there was in the family. He also mentioned that it was only open for breakfast and explained that after they closed, everyone went next door to the Pizza parlor and opened that up to work there the rest of the day. They owned both places.

    We drove on down the Oregon coast until we reached state route 18 which we followed east to McMinnville. Why McMinnville? Well, that is the home of the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum which happens to contain the famous Spruce Goose Flying Boat made by Howard Hughes. It was too late to go there however, so we got a room at a Motel 6. We used the GPS to find a KFC and drove there for supper. After we got back to the motel, Larry couldn't find his coat, which Dave remembered Larry wearing into the restaurant. So we drove back to the KFC, retrieved the coat, and by that time the car knew the way back to the motel.

    We tried to get caught up with the blog, but were so beat we only got one day posted. We crashed then.

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  • Day 11 Thursday

    We got up and fixed breakfast. Bill and Linda had given us some left over fried potatoes and sausage patties so we heated them up in foil while we fixed scrambled eggs and toast. That gave us a breakfast that was pretty darn good. We broke camp, packed up and went back to the visitors center to take another trail through the rain forest. This one was 1.2 miles and went by the river at one point. Again, every turn revealed a new photo and we took plenty. Larry kept wanting Dave to stand in front of some tree, posing for a picture. Dave did so grudginingly.

    A fascinating thing we saw a number of times was trees growing on top of fallen trees. After a tree fell, moss and small plants grew on the top of the log, then more plants out of the soil left by the dying small plants. Finally there is enough on top of the log for a seedling tree to grow, and as it grew, roots went over the side of the log into the ground benieth. After a number of years the log looked like it had a tree stradling it. One old log had six trees growing on it in this way, making a line of trees. The hike was very enjoyable and we didn't leave the park until noon.

    As we drove down the Washington coast, we weren't in a national forest so campsites were practically non existant. As the sun got lower on the horizon, we wondered what we were going to do, Then a sign led us to a county camp ground where the fee was around $15 and we told they guy we were used to national forest camp grounds where the fee was less and we got 50% off because of our Golden Pass. So he gave us a camp site for $5 pluse free fire wood. We got some sunset photos after we got the tent put up. Then it was hot dogs and bed.

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  • Day 10 Wednesday

    After a breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage and potatoes, we packed the car, said our goodbyes and resumed our quest. Larry told me of a gift Linda had given him. He was so tickled. He had told her of his problem of putting on socks because of his spinal stenosis. She also had a problem because her hip replacement followed by a fall and broken leg. She had two devices but only needed one, so she gave one to him. They laughingly called it a sock puter onner. He was very greatful.

    Bill had suggested a number of possible things to see as we went over the north end of the Olympia peninsula, far more than we could possibly fit in. We were greatful, but didn't see many of them. We made it to the Hoh Rain Forest and found a camp site. Again, it was a National Forest Camp Ground so it was quite nice. It even had running water and electricity in the bathrooms.

    After setting up camp, we had daylight left so we went to the visitor center and took a trail called "Halls of Moss." It was 8/10ths of a mile long but had some climbs and descents. The scenes, however, were eerily beautiful. Some of the ancient trees were eight or ten feet in diameter, with their branches starting way up the massive trunks. Other trees had moss hanging from them, and dead trees hosted a wide variet of plants growing out of the lichen covered, rotting bark. We were blessed by the sun descending in the west and adding it's slanting rays to the variety of greens in the folliage.

    After we got back to camp, we had our hot dogs and beer and went to bed.

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Great Geezer Getaway II

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