Sunday, July 19, 2009

Driver's Ed - Day 29, July 18

Jerry...My mother called this morning at 8:00 AM just to see how we were doing. When Beverly told her we stayed in the city of Roseburg, Oregon, she said that I have a great aunt who lives there in an old folks home. I have never met her, but my mother is named for her. Strange coincidence.
The picture here is what the Pacific Ocean has looked like almost every time that we have seen it, except for at Santa Monica. Notice the fog!

A few observations about driving out here. One is that there are a lot of campers that sit on pick-up trucks. I hardly ever see those in the east any longer but there are lots of them out here, probably one out of every four campers I see. Seems like a good idea for one or two people, easier than pitching a tent. Second, there are lots of small coffee shops alongside the road. When I say small, I mean small, the size of a shed. People just drive up, get their order from the sole employee, and move on. The last thing is that the freeways in Oregon are loud. I don't know what they do to them, but we have to nearly shout
at each other in the van to be understood.  


Today we drove back to the ocean to a place called Oregon Dunes. Much of the west coast isn't sandy, but this area is. Again, it was cool at the beach, the temperature dropping over twenty
degrees to the high fifties. They have huge dunes that can be hiked or ridden on with ATVs. We chose the ATV route. Spin Wheels rented us three 4-wheelers (Jerry, Blair and Molly) and a dune buggy (Beverly and Brooke). Before using the rented machines for one hour we spent an hour filling out forms, signing liability waivers and watching a video on safety. We signed and initialed about as many forms as it takes to close on a house.

Apparently allowing children to drive up and down sand dunes can be dangerous.

They took us out to the dunes and let us go for an hour. We rode along the beach for about half
an hour, then rode the dunes for the remaining time. Blair and Molly did a great job driving for
the first time. Beverly and Brooke had a blast in the dune buggy. Going over the whop-de-doos 
(Really, that is what they are called. They are the bumps in the path that can make a 4-wheeler go airborne briefly) was fun, but going down the steep sand dunes was a bit scary. We finished our hour, everybody had fun and nobody got hurt. Brooke said she wants to return when she is old enough to drive a 4-wheeler.

We said goodbye to the Pacific, drove along the Oregon coast, around Eugene, toward the outskirts of Portland. Before getting to the hotel we left route five to go
 into the town of Donald. We took pictures of the Donald Cafe (it was closed), the Donald town hall, and the Donald curfew rules posted in the park (no children out between ten at night and six in the morning). There was also a Donald Tavern, but we didn't go in (looked like strictly a local's place). Tonight we are in another La Qunita hotel, a chain I had never heard of before crossing the Mississippi but one that I recommend. 

Once we got the hotel, Beverly asked the girls to turn off the television and write in their journals. They were really good at writing for the first week or so of our trip, but haven't for awhile. So they started writing in their journals and starting talking as well. More talking was occurring than writing, and then instead of writing in their journals, they were writing on each other's legs. They wrote phrases and drew pictures. Anything to do other than write in one's journal!

Tomorrow we hope to see a bit of Portland, cross the the Columbia river into the state of Washington to see Mt. St. Helen's, then begin the journey east.

We drove 240 miles today. 


  1. Jerry,
    Sometime circa 1973 I think you may have met our Great Aunt Ruth. I remember her being at Aunt Sis's for a large family gathering. I think you were there....but perhaps my memory is faulty......That happens a lot these days.

  2. aw, this is another of those entries that really captures your trip. Nicely done, Jerry.

    So how old did you have to be to ride the dune buggy alone? We'll have to do this for sure if we hit the coast next summer!

  3. You had to be 12, but we signed a waiver for Molly. The cost was $235 for our one hour, so it was kind of pricey, but the girls really wanted to do it, and everyone had a great time, so it was worth it.