Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What I Did During Summer Vacation

Oregon had shamefully good weather the entire time we were there. I think I saw one cloud.


I packed for cold, grey and rainy, and instead got warm and sunny. You might say "Lucky, you should pack better," but I say Oregon's weather should conform to my expectations.

After my last trip I proclaimed Oregon the best state in the nation. I haven't changed my mind. This time around, we took our time and thoroughly explored the places we've been considering moving to.

We arrived Friday night, and stayed with friends in Portland for the evening. We rented a car through Alamo, which wound up being a huge mistake and pain in the ass which will never be repeated. The car was filthy when we picked it up, and it got worse from there. Details later...

On the way to the coast, we cruised through Salem (woo! Capitol building!), stopped in Albany for coffee and missed Irondad by minutes. I blame poor cell phone reception and inattention on my part. From there, we went to Corvallis and met Stacy, along with her partner in crime (who had purchased a new Street Triple that very day!). Good folks! We had dinner at American Dream Pizza. It was pretty darn good. We stopped in Eugene to sleep.

From there it was straight on to the coast. We planned to rent quads and fool around on the dunes for a while, but the high winds convinced us that perhaps playing in the sand wouldn't be much fun that day. Instead we had lunch at the drive-in A&W in Florence.

Full of cheese and root beer, we rolled on up to Yachats. Along the way, we stopped and I claimed a chunk of the coast as my own:

Apparently, no one thought I was funny:

But, I managed to get out of that mess and landed back in Yachats in time to enjoy a cold one and a sunset:
The next day we checked out Devil's Churn, which was awesome and you should go:

After that we hit some of the other parks, and explored the town a little bit.

On Tuesday we left Yachats and headed north to get cheese in Tillamook on our way to Astoria. The low tire pressure light came on while we were in the middle of nowhere between Newport and Tillamook, and then we heard the THUMPITA-THUMPITA of a flat.


I started to change the tire while Lady Luck called Alamo's roadside assistance. The customer service person informed her that we would probably have to buy them a new tire. While she was dealing with that fun, I was trying to pull a bald tire which had the cords exposed and little pokey wires cutting up my hands. I managed to finally break the wheel free from the hub, and putting the spare on was relatively painless. The customer service person told Lady Luck we could bring the car back to Portland to get a different car. Nice.

Of course, I didn't trust the spare, (especially when the low pressure light came on again) so we stopped at a gas station to check the air in the tires. The spare was 20 pounds low, and I noticed the other rear tire was dangerously bald. Nice.

I filled up the spare, and we continued on. We reached Tillamook, and the low air light came on AGAIN, this time with a "DING DING DING." We got to the cheese factory, and I checked the tire pressure again. The spare was leaking. Nice.

This time I called the roadside assistance number, politely explained the situation, and asked when we could expect our new car. Three hours or so.

The Tillamook factory does not provide three hours worth of entertainment. We did buy a bunch of cheese, and lunch, and ice cream, and stuff to amuse ourselves from the gift shop. I got a "Sailor's Knots" deck of cards which came with a length of rope. I sat down to tie the first knot and discovered, upon completion, that it was a noose. Yeah.

Anyway, three hours or so later, the tow truck showed up with the supposedly shiny new car for us. It had decent tires, but that was the best I could say for it. The interior reeked of HORSE, there were wax pencil marks all over the exterior marking damaged spots, and it was, of course, filthy.

Nice. Seriously, fuck Alamo.

Anyway, with that fun behind us, we cruised on up to Astoria. Astoria rocks. We walked the docks in the marina, ate fish and chips from a dry docked boat, saw the Flavel mansion, had coffee from the best coffee shop on Earth (we order their beans here in Phoenix) and generally had a great time.

People in Astoria are friendly. Like, really friendly. Folks said "hi" to us on the street. The folks at the coffee shop can't wait until we move there. And they seemed genuine about it.

After two short days in Astoria, we went on to Portland. Portland is groovy. We got donuts from Voodoo Doughnut. We saw the pirate supply store. We went to Powell's. We hung around with our friends. It was good.

And Lady Luck and I decided we're moving to Astoria. Now we've just got to figure out how we're going to make a living there...