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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Oregon Coast Trip

     Well we finally made our trip to the Oregon coast. Last year I posted about our mishap that ended the original planned trip. You can read about that at:The Road Trip that Wasn't. So with all plans made and reservations secured we set off on our adventure. And it turned into that right off the bat, as we headed over our Big Horn mountains this is what we ran into.

     Once we got over the mountains things started to ease off. We were planning on going through Yellowstone to get to Idaho as this is the shortest and fastest route. But when we got to Cody we found that Yellowstone was closed due to weather and no idea when it might open. So we opted to go around, which of course made it impossible to make it to our first stop at Pocatella, Idaho (cancel reservation). We did get some nice views of the Grand Tetons on our detour.

The next day we drove as far as we could but couldn't make it to our next stop (cancel reservation). The third day we were able to make our planned stop in Fort Klamath, Oregon. We arrived and got set up and settled in. The next day we planned on visiting Crater Lake. But again the weather was against us. When we got to the lake the ranger told us the lake wasn't visible because of low hanging clouds and it was supposed to start snowing. So we went on to our next stop, the Rogue river. It wasn't snowing there but was raining, although off and on. I did manage to get some nice pictures of the area.

     We had a nice lunch at Beckie's Cafe in Union Center, they have the best homemade pies. Then headed back to our camp. We saw snow along the highway as we went past the Crater Lake area. The next day we headed on to the coast with rain off and on along the way. We stayed at Bullard's Beach State park in Bandon.  

     It was a nice campground, only about a 3/4 mile walk from the beach.

 The next day we took off to explore the area south of Bandon. We made numerous stops along the way. Of course you have to visit a lighthouse when you're on the coast. This was the Port Orford lighthouse.

     We had an interesting and informative tour of the lighthouse. The following photos show the view from the top, the light itself and the stairs looking down.

     Oregon has a rugged and beautiful coast.

One nice thing about Oregon beaches, they are open to everyone including doggies. 

     The following day we headed a little ways north to Shore Acres State Park. At one time it was a private residence. The original house is no longer there but they have an informative visitors center and you can admire the beautiful views.

     But what Shore Acres is best known for is it's botanical gardens. It was a lovely day and we enjoyed wandering around the grounds.

      After this we headed back to the town of Bandon and enjoyed a late lunch and a stroll around Old Town. This fish is made out of trash washed up on shore, mostly plastics.

     Something I didn't know was that cranberries are grown on the Oregon coast. We visited a shop that had cranberry everything, candy, jam, syrup etc. They had lots of samples to try and of course we bought some of the things we sampled. Another shop we visited was Coastal Mist Chocolate, they are known for their chocolate desserts. As the photo below shows we enjoyed ours.

     The next day we moved camp north to Seal Rock. We had a nice spot in our campground with a view of the ocean. 

     Our first day exploring this area we visited Cape Foulweather and the Devils punch bowl. 

     We then visited another lighthouse at Yaquina Head. 

     While here a whale was spotted close to shore. It was hard to catch him with my camera when he surfaced but you can see him a little bit.

     We returned to camp and decided to explore the beach which was only a short two minute walk from our campground. 

After dinner we enjoyed a beautiful sunset.

     The next day started out foggy and drizzly. We headed out with our first stop at the Devils Churn turn off. There is a narrow inlet that the ocean comes into making the water churn. I'm not sure why so many things here start with devil. 

Then we moved on to another lighthouse at Heceta Head. It was a 1/2 mile hike up to see it and the views it allowed.

We stopped in the town of Florence to check out their 'Old Town'

And had lunch at a popular seafood restaurant.

       The next day we moved on to the town of Seaside. It rained off and on the whole day. We got a little break in the rain when we got to our campground. We set up as quickly as we could and didn't get too wet. The wind came up and got worse in the evening with gusts up to 40-50 mph. In bed that night we felt like we were on a carnival ride. The wind finally died down around midnight. The next day we woke to rain, we did come prepared with rain ponchos and umbrellas. Even Wally was ready for the weather.

     So we set off for more exploring. We stopped at Cape Meares which has the shortest lighthouse. 

Even with fog and rain there is beauty.

     Also in this area was the Octopus tree. I think you can tell by looking at it how it got it's name. The tree is thought to be 250-300 years old and has no central trunk. They don't really know how it came to grow this way.

     We then decided to try something drier, so we paid a visit to the Tillamook cheese factory. 

They had samples!

     We also had some of their ice cream. They are in the process of building a bigger and better information center which will open next year.  The rain continued for the rest of the day. We checked the forecast and more of the same was expected for the next several days. So we decided to end our trip one day early and headed home. 

     Our trip had a few snags along the way but over all we had a very enjoyable trip. It was great to finally be able to see and explore the Oregon coast. It was definitely worth the trip. 

A thought to ponder: "One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure."                                                                William Feathr

Monday, October 23, 2017

Dilly Bean Recipe

     I'm taking a risk posting this on my blog because as soon as my daughter and son-in-law see that I've made them, they will be hollering "where's mine!"
These dilled beans are yummy and the longer they sit the better they get.

    We grow green beans in our garden, I like Slenderette. I can some for regular eating and I also make the Dilly Beans. Last year I made the mistake of not planting enough so I didn't make the dilled beans.

This year I made sure I had plenty for both kinds of beans.

This is what you'll need to make the Dilly beans. Along with canning jars, lids and a pot for a water bath.

Dilly Beans

4 pounds green beans
5 cups distilled vinegar
5 cups water
1/2 cup salt
Mustard seed, dill seed, garlic cloves (halved), crushed hot red pepper.

Combine vinegar, water and salt in pan, heat to boiling. Cut beans to fit into pint jars. For each pint add 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed, 1/2 teaspoon dill seed, 1 clove garlic (cut in two), 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Fill jars with green beans. Pour vinegar solution over beans to within 1/2 inch of top. Put on lids and process in water bath 5 minutes.

I find it easiest to put the jar on it's side to fill with beans.

It's hard to wait for these tasty beans but they get better with time. Store in refrigerator after opening, that is if there are any left.

A thought to ponder: "If you've never experienced the joy of accomplishing more than you can imagine, plant a garden."                         Robert Brault