Oregon/No. Cal 2021

Post-Vaccination Vacation: Mai Tai Tom’s Oregon Trail Tale Road trip, baby!  After being in mostly Covid lockup for 15 months, Tracy and I (along with friends Kim & Mary) hit the highway and headed toward our neighbor state to the north.  We’d first stay in Ashland and McMinnville, with a side trip to spectacular Crater Lake (above), among others.  Then, it was on to the rugged Oregon coast, where we would spend four nights with visits to three towns.  Finally, we’d cross back to Northern California (with a little difficulty), and spend a couple of days and nights enjoying a few unique sights back in the Golden State.  It was exhilarating being able to travel again, and I hope this trip marks the new beginning of many more travel adventures.

CHAPTER ONE: ASHLAND, HERE WE COME (WITH A SLIGHT DETOUR)

Post-Vaccination Vacation: Mai Tai Tom’s Oregon Trail Tale CHAPTER ONE: ASHLAND, HERE WE COME (WITH A SLIGHT DETOUR) With Willie Nelson playing in our ears, it was time to get “On the Road Again.” Since Europe still didn’t want us to visit (they must have read our nefarious foreign exploits in other trip reports), Tracy and I packed up the car and headed north for a ten-day journey in mid-May to central Oregon’s wine country, the rugged Oregon coast, and ending with a few days in Northern California. On our sojourn, we’d also visit a national park I hadn’t visited since I was a kid … a real rock star … …  waterfalls (some better than others), a few wineries, … Read more…

CHAPTER TWO: CRATER LAKE/JACKSONVILLE/MORE ASHLAND

Post Vaccination Vacation: Mai Tai Tom’s Oregon Trail Tale CHAPTER TWO: CRATER LAKE/JACKSONVILLE/MORE ASHLAND Day Two: Fill ‘er up!, Going Rogue, The Magic Card, Seeing Blue, Did You Bring Your Skis, Mr. Wizard, A Frosty Reception, Ice Cream Truck, Are We In Florida, To Be Or Not To Be, Picturesque Park, Frank Lloyd Wright-Inspired and A Spicy Dinner Under The Bridge After deciding upon our plan of attack for the day, the four of us climbed into the Marymobile (with Kim behind the wheel) for the 90-minute drive to Crater Lake National Park.Usually stopping at a gas station does not make for interesting fodder, but we were in for quite a surprise. As Kim exited the car to refuel, the … Read more…

CHAPTER THREE: TWO DAYS IN MCMINNVILLE

Post-Vaccination Vacation: Mai Tai Tom’s Oregon Trail TaleCHAPTER THREE: TWO DAYS IN MCMINNVILLE Day Three: In The Mix, A Grave Find, Road Trips Are A Gas, Did You See A Shark, A Tuscan Affair, Missed It By That Much, Against The Grain, No … Not That “Q”, Wine Buying Begins & Dinner In A Pod Our stay at the historic Ashland Springs hotel was a mostly positive one. Our room was a tad shabby with a tub/shower (aka “death shower”) combo (the hotel “needed a little maintenance”). However, Kim and Mary’s room was charming, including a walk-in shower, a lovely sitting area and a terrific view overlooking Ashland. I’d return, but would request a Premium King Room with a view. … Read more…

CHAPTER FOUR – MULTNOMAH FALLS, CANNON BEACH & THE ROCK

Post Vaccination Vacation: Mai Tai Tom’s Oregon Trail Tale CHAPTER FOUR – MULTNOMAH FALLS, CANNON BEACH & THE ROCK Day Five: Terrible Tree Trimming Timing, Real Waterfall View, A Bridge Not Too Far, Couples Photographer, Life In The Fast Lane, I Hear It’s A Riot There, Clam Chowder Parade Begins, Not That Cannon Beach Hotel, Last Two Rooms Left In Town, Take Off Your Mask, Does This Beach Ever End, I Am A Rock, The Elusive Puffins, Sweating With The Prawns & A Local Legend There are not enough superlatives for A’ Tuscan Inn. Comfortable bed, great shower, fireplace in the suite, a personable hostess and a fantastic location just minutes from the historic center of McMinnville make this B&B … Read more…

CHAPTER FIVE: ASTORIA/LEWIS & CLARK NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK

Post-Vaccination Vacation: Mai Tai Tom’s Oregon Trail TaleCHAPTER FIVE: ASTORIA/LEWIS & CLARK NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK Day Six – Europe’s “Fattiest Pastry”, Oregon’s Oldest City, Captain’s Quarters, Saved From The Fire, A Crowning Monument, In Lewis & Clark’s Footsteps, On The Boardwalk, You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out, Root Beer Floats, Surprisingly Good, A Sticky Situation & Beachy Keen Instead of opting for the pick-up breakfast at our hotel, we crossed the street to a little place called Sea Level Bakery & Coffee.                                       I ordered a Citrus and Kouign Amann, a pastry whose name means cake. The dish originated in the French region … Read more…

CHAPTER SIX: ZOOMING DOWN THE OREGON COAST

Post-Vaccination Vacation: Mai Tai Tom’s Oregon Trail Tale CHAPTER SIX: ZOOMING DOWN THE OREGON COAST Day Seven – Death-Defying, Give Me A Hug, Getting High In Oregon, A River Runs Through It, Pier Review, Simple Symon’s, The Big Cheese, Check Out Those Tentacles, Seeing The Light (Part One), “Best Clam Chowder In The World”, Foulweather Ahead, Seal Of Approval & Room With A View I thought about going across the street for one of those fattiest pastries in Europe, but my sticky toffee pudding was still sticking to my ribs so we grabbed the included breakfast at our lodging before hitting the road. Kim was jumping on another Zoom call, as Tracy and I bade them farewell with plans to … Read more…

CHAPTER SEVEN: SEEING THE LIGHT ON THE OREGON COAST

Post-Vaccination Vacation: Mai Tai Tom’s Oregon Trail TaleCHAPTER SEVEN: SEEING THE LIGHT ON THE OREGON COAST Day Eight: A Devil Of A Stop, Perpetua Problem, Thor She Doesn’t Blow, Picturesque Perambulation, Haunted, Light At The End Of The Trail, Restaurant Shut Out, A&W, Bah Humbug, Dennis Weaver Time, You’re A Wreck, Sticky Situation Without The Toffee, Gone With The Wind, Spinners & Meeting Our Waterloo On our final day and night in Oregon, the morning started with a knock on the door. It was room service delivering us quiche, potatoes, blueberry bread, oatmeal, yogurt and fruit. Did I tell you how much I loved this hotel? Of course, at this moment, I had no idea that less than eight hours … Read more…

CHAPTER EIGHT: CALIFORNIA HERE WE COME (WITH SOME PROBLEMS)

Post Vaccination Vacation: Mai Tai Tom’s Oregon Trail TaleCHAPTER EIGHT: CALIFORNIA HERE WE COME (WITH SOME PROBLEMS) Day Nine: Bad Planning, To Tip Or Not To Tip, A Lucky Break, Missed It By That Much, I Got You Babe, Roadside Americana, SkyTrail, Dead Zone, Where Is Everybody?, Oh They’re Here, Land Of Dinosaurs, Trinidad Without Tobago, Eureka We Found It … Again & Back To Our “House.” Kim had been warned by his cousin to expect long delays just south of Crescent City because of a landslide that had partially closed the road.  I don’t know whether it was the Bourbontinis or the euphoria of singing ABBA songs, but we didn’t fully appreciate this warning the night before, even though … Read more…

CHAPTER NINE: REDWOODS, RELAXING AT BENBOW & RAMAZZOTTI

Post-Vaccination Vacation: Mai Tai Tom’s Oregon Trail Tale CHAPTER NINE: REDWOODS, RELAXING AT BENBOW & RAMAZZOTTI Day Ten: Getting Loopy Alongside The Avenue Of The Giants, Picnicking Amongst The Giants, The One-Time World’s Tallest Tree, The Benbow Experience, Our Bartender Meets Robert The Bruce & Ambiance At Its Finest The end of our journey was now in sight. We strolled through the lobby of the Carter House one last time.  Tracy and I got an early start, while Kim and Mary took a walk and met a couple of feline friends near an old house.                                               The two … Read more…