Boring vacation photos: Oregon Coast, Ashland and on to Central Oregon

There’s nothing like a little beautiful scenery to take the edge off one’s post-DNF despair.

After Newport, we skipped down the coast to Coos Bay, where we spent a night in the horrible Red Lion Inn and had a surprisingly good meal at the Blue Heron Bistro. The Blue Heron is the most schizoid place I’ve ever eaten in. While the name evokes, well, a bistro, it is in fact a German restaurant with pizza and seafood thrown in. It also featured what was probably the most valuable collection of WW1 memorabilia I’ve seen assembled in one place outside of a museum. I hope that stuff is insured! I went for the beef stroganoff and Jonathan had der weiner schnitzel. Washed down with an Abbey Brown Ale from Belgium, both were excellent.

That’s about the only good thing I have to say about Coos Bay. The place is a total tip and we couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Sorry, no pictures of Coos Bay. But here are some of the sights along the way.

Seal Rock, near Waldport. Great place for tidepools and kite flying.

Seal Rock, near Waldport. Great place for tidepools and kite flying.

Another shot of the beach at Seal Rock, Waldport.

Another shot of the beach at Seal Rock, Waldport.

Then is was on to Cape Perpetua and the Sea Lion Caves. Lordy, what a ripoff that was. Eleven bucks each to take an elevator down a few hundred feet into a dank cave to gawk at a bunch of stroppy sea lions. At least the views of Heceta Head were good.

Cape Perpetua, near Yachats (yah-HOTS).

Cape Perpetua, near Yachats (yah-HOTS).

Heceta Head lighthouse. Million dollar view? Or $22? You decide.

Heceta Head lighthouse. Million dollar view? Or $22? You decide.

The highlight of the day was Florence, which features sand dunes. Not just any sand dune. Huge fucking sand dunes that are 300 ft. high and go on for miles. It was like something out of … “Dune.”

But first: Here are two of Florence’s fine retail establishments.

"BJ's" isn't just one unfortunate retail naming mistake. It's a chain of franchises!

"BJ's" isn't just one unfortunate retail naming mistake. It's a chain of franchises!

"Dog Style." Are people really this naive?

"Dog Style." Are people really this naive?

Okay, here are the dunes.

It's two miles from the beach to the ocean.

It's two miles from the beach to the ocean.

No. Seriously. It is two miles to the ocean from here. See?

No. Seriously. It is two miles to the ocean from here. See?

That tiny figure is Jonathan. Tinier than usual.

That tiny figure is Jonathan. Tinier than usual.

"You take a picture of me."

"You take a picture of me."

"Now I'll take a picture of you."

"Now I'll take a picture of you."

After our Germanic night in Coos Bay, followed by a fry up at the Pancake Mill, it was on to Ashland. (On the way, I got hollered at by a gas station attendant for attempting to pump my own gas. Just checking!) But not before taking a six hour detour north and east to sample the Umpqua-Rogue scenic byway. And scenic it was. Look!

Along the way to Susan Creek falls

Along the way to Susan Creek Falls

Your hostess. I still look sort of depressed, don't I?

Your hostess. I still look sort of depressed, don't I?

Falls gone wild. Featuring hot "falls on falls" action.

Falls gone wild. Featuring hot "falls on falls" action.

Mt. Bailey, along the Umpqua Highway, Central Oregon

Mt. Bailey, along the Umpqua Highway, Central Oregon

Finally, after nine solid hours of driving and oohing and aahing, we arrived in Ashland. This was one of our self-catering rentals, a lovely little 1BR/1BA craftsman high on a hill and just minutes from a trail leading down to Lithia Park. I did two runs here, both around 5.5 miles, and both very pretty (although hilly and with the added challenge of 1900′ altitude, which my sea level lungs didn’t like).

We spent a few hours with Annie McIntyre, a friend from childhood whom I haven’t seen since high school, which means roughly 25 years. We didn’t know each other that well growing up (although we did play together as very young children, then drifted into different circles after about third grade). But it felt, as Annie put it, very natural to see each other again. Annie and her husband, Jeff, gave us the insider’s view of life in Ashland, both good and bad, as well as an extensive tour of the place.  They also turned us on to Chozu, a bath and tea garden where we wiled away the evening in various saunas and pools, under a beautiful sky and completely mosquito free.

We were too busy to take many photos of Ashland. Here’s the only one.

Backyard vermin in Ashland

Backyard vermin in Ashland

Having properly recovered from our scenic drive opus, is was time for the next leg: Crater Lake. That drive took us through Klamath Falls, which I also took no pictures of. But let me say this: If you ever want to disappear from the face of the earth, go to Klamath Falls. There is nothing there, and the streets are teeming with what we’ve come to call “Oregon guys.” These are men who have cultivated the Unabomber look: scraggly beard, emaciated figure, rags and bad limp. We saw loads of them in Springfield as well, darting across traffic (which might explain the limps). From a distance they look like extras from a zombie film.

I had a great espresso in Klamath Falls. That’s about all I can find to say about the place.

Next post: Crater Lake.

11 Responses

  1. Gorgeous photos!

    I read your comment about the difficulty of doing another marathon soon, so why not join me and a few zillion other people for Philly? Granted, it’s not till November, but it’s a great course and wouldn’t be a huge travel expense for you.

    Just throwing it out there…

  2. [...] and more importantly, Julie blew up at Newport and is in assessment/talking-long-walks-on-the-beach [...]

  3. Oregon is one of two states — Jersey is the other — where you can’t pump your own gas. I know this from a Car Talk puzzler. Glad you like that Infiniti because you guys sure are doing a lot of driving.

    And to paraphrase “Spinal Tap,” Eugene’s not a big running town. Come home already.

  4. You’re planning to run the CIM in December, right? I can’t wait to see your review of Sacramento!

  5. I had to laugh (yes, out loud) at the Seal Caves. Ask Dad if he remembers that trip. I do.

    We’ll have to take you to The Mystery Spot next time you’re here, so you can see more of the West Coast Rip Off Circuit.

    Anyway, everything else looks lovely. And the food sounds darn fine.

  6. When I was in high school, we went on a family trip to central Oregon (my dad was from Portland). Anyway, we rented dune buggies in Florence and drove them all over the dunes. That was unfortettable,and if you get the chance, do it!

  7. You’re jogging a few memories there. We did the Cape Perpetua hike. Did you visit the Yachats Ladies Club?

    Yes, trying to pump your own petrol – almost as embarrassing as jumping in the wrong side of the car to drive off.

    At Klamath Falls we were having morning tea/lunch at a coffee shop inside a large supermarket (yes, we were desperate) and a local walks in to do his shopping with a gun in a holster!

    Wait until you feel the altitude at Crater Lake when you go for a run. Stunning place.

    On possible marathons (not that you’re thinking about them), what about Green Mountain Marathon?

  8. Thats a nice trip whit delicious food!.
    You don.t like depressed on the pic but i like your way of humour, its like dry humour how you wright!.
    Your pic on the dunes looks good, and not only the orange(the collor of Holland) ;-).
    Nice report and what you go to do, run a marathon or wait to end off the summer?.
    Rinus.

  9. The photos weren’t nearly as boring as the title suggested. Actually, they were very interesting. I never knew Oregon had sand dunes. I’m still somewhat surprised to hear you say Coos Bay was so disappointing. I had always imagined it being a perfect little small town with a big high school football field and track. Kinda like Friday Night Lights.

    Finally, I see some others have commented on the gas thing, but I still have to mention it because it cracks me up. The first time I found out about it was while we were on a road trip from Denver up to Vancouver Island back in high school and some pimply-faced kid with “Billy” on his name tag started screaming at me as I got out and tried to fill up the tank. He was acting like I was about to kill his mother. Apparently, Oregonians take their gas pumping laws very seriously…

  10. OMG! You are making me miss Oregon all over again!!! I lived there for a couple years and my heart still belongs to the place. I even lived and worked in Klamath Falls, definitely not a place to put on your travel itinerary. Although the area surrounding it is stunning once you get out there and explore.

    Crater Lake is amazing!!! You are going to love it. Can’t wait for that post.

    Will you be heading to Bend as well?

  11. Nice photos. I did about the same trip a couple of summers ago. You brought back memories of a great trip with the wife and kids. You will love Crater Lake.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 36 other followers

%d bloggers like this: