It all started here...

It all started here...

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Crescent City-Oregon Coast-Rockaway Beach

August 14, 2013

We planned on spending the day enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Oregon coast today. Unfortunately, we were met with a misty, cloudy morning. After a very light breakfast of croissants and coffee in our room, we walked across the street to check out the shore. (We bought a pack of croissants at the Costco in Eureka after we filled the gas tank.)

Crescent City harbor is a crescent-shaped beach. The city used to be a gold mining supply center. A tsunami struck Crescent City after the great Alaska earthquake of 1964 and destroyed the business district but you really can't tell from how it looks today. It is just a simple and beautiful harbor.

It was very quiet here in the morning. A few passengers waiting for their buses at the stop across the street from the motel. A couple of men were sitting around a campfire down near the water at the lagoon, not sure if they were homeless or just tired travelers.

We walked along the bike lane behind the Cultural Center.

Misty but still very pretty.


The bike lane lead us up to the waterfront. A huge park and recreation area on the right.

Good morning, seagull!

We should have been able to see the Battery Point Lighthouse from here, but not this morning.

By the time we walked back to the motel, some people were setting up their stalls for the Wednesday Farmers Market in the parking lot across the street.

The location of this motel can't be beat. It is within the downtown area but very safe.

I believe they painted the building recently. It looks much nicer than the pictures on the booking site.
We left Crescent City around 9:30 and ready for our drive up north.

The Southern End of Oregon Coast

It would have been nice if we could see the sights better but from what we were able to make out of, it was impressive enough. We made a few stops just to look at the views and took some pictures but didn't do too well.

The Battle Rock Wayfinding Park in Port Orford which is a good rest stop with plenty of parking.

The sun came out for a little bit after noon...

...and it was gorgeous!

On one of the many bridges along the 101. This one near North Bend.

We didn't make it to the restaurant we planned on stopping for lunch in Florence and ended up having a quick bite at the Umpqua Lighthouse State Park. Just as well.

Blue jay? Many of them around this park and they were feasting on crumbs left by other travelers. Such beautiful birds!

After lunch we went down the road further to the lighthouse and we were able to see the beginning of the sand dunes nearby.

Umpqua Lighthouse, one of the many beautiful lighthouses along the Oregon Coast.

After this we made a wrong turn to find the state parks and wasted some precious time. We had to rush through many beautiful towns without stopping so we could get to our destination before dark.

Continuing our drive, with thick clouds hovering above...

...another bridge near Waldport.

And then the weather turned bad again in the afternoon and we were not able to make any more stops as it started to rain. We were also running short on time so we just drove past Newport, Depoe Bay, and Lincoln City area to our next destination--Rockaway Beach. We even saw the Tillamook Cheese Factory as we were driving by but we figured that it was too late even though the lights were still shining brightly there.

Tradewinds Motel, Rockaway Beach

I was really looking forward to our stay at this motel. Most of the reviews seemed positive and the fact that it's right on the beach front was attractive enough. I made sure that we booked a room with the ocean view and I was not disappointed. Again, we traded in our airlines mileage for this room, not a very good deal but we were about to lose these miles anyway.

Absolutely sold on this view out of our private balcony.

A fully equipped kitchenette with all the pots and pans and utensils stocked...minus a microwave.

A private walkway and stairs to the beach in the back of the motel.

Nice size room, excellent view, no complaint.

Roackaway Beach is a mid-size town with about 1,400 residents. We asked the hotel manager for dinner recommendation and he told us about this restaurant called "The Beach Bite". Before coming here, we wanted to check out the local market and see if we can find something that we could cook for ourselves. Unfortunately, the market did not have anything that interested us and everything seemed to be expensive comparing to what we are used to with very few choices. Dinner at the Beach Bite was our alternative. Good thing we asked about their 'specials' and that was what we had--Fish and Chips (mahi) with a good cup of clam chowder for $16. Yes, a little pricey but it was expected. We met one of the friendliest waiters on this trip at this restaurant which made the dinner a little more pleasant.

Clam chowder with lots of melted butter. Oh, and I forgot to take pictures of the Fish and Chips which was very good.

Back at the hotel after dinner. It was still raining, so having the fireplace lit for the evening was a really nice touch to end the day.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

San Francisco-Redwood National Park-Crescent City

August 13, 2013

Holiday Inn Express, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco
After a not so restful night, we got up and went downstairs for breakfast. There certainly were a lot of people in the breakfast area but they had enough tables and seats for everyone. There was a variety of food items available, including fresh fruits, sausage patties, different kinds of baked goods, hot and cold beverages. I would say that there were plenty of food for everyone.

Breakfast area near the lobby.

Food spread inside the room towards the back.

I made myself a sausage and egg biscuit which was quite good!

We checked out of the hotel and were handed a blank statement because we used the free-night certificate so everything was paid for. I was expecting the charge for the valet parking but it was not shown on the statement so I guess we got free parking after all. Great, a $50 saving! We were ready for our long drive up to Crescent City.
Went past Crissy Fields area where they were staging the American Cup event.

A gorgeous view of Golden Gate Bridge from Crissy Fields. We had been there a couple of times before with our dog, Yuppy. He liked running around the sandy beach as we enjoyed the view.

A misty morning in San Francisco.

Now we have crossed the bridge to the vista point on the north.

Driving up on 101 north was pretty normal until you hit the mountain area. We passed through cities and towns and did not make any stop until we got to this rest area which is off the highway onto a small country road for about a mile. A very nice and quaint place for a stretch and maybe a little picnic.

We also drove by a town called Willits, which seemed to be quite busy. I suppose many tourists go there for the skunk train ride because we saw a Chinese restaurant with huge signs up advertising their "local chickens" in Chinese writing. Should have stopped there for lunch! But, we had something else planned...

Peg House, Leggett
We had our GPS set for the address of Peg House in Leggett. It was listed as one of the best road trip food in the west on Sunset magazine, a good reason to stop and try it out. When the GPS just finished telling us that our destination is a mile down on the left, I saw the police car on the right with a mannequin inside parked in front of a building. Wait! That's it! We quickly turned back just in time. There is a little store and behind the store is this outdoor eating place.

They hold concerts etc. here some nights.

A garden with picnic tables.

They featured this. The food is cook to ordered so the wait could be a little long.

That's where you order and get your food.

We ordered a salmon burger...

and a hamburger to share between the two of us and they were GOOD!

The half of a hamburger.
We shared a table with a couple from France who were travelling along the coast. After lunch we continued our drive up north with a stop at the Costco in Eureka to fill up our tank. That is the last Costco in that part of N. California. The next one would be in Warrenton, Oregon, just south of Astoria.

Redwood National Park
We had been to RNP a couple of times before and enjoyed our time there. It was getting late when we got there this time so we only made a couple of stops to take pictures. Unfortunately, we did not see any elks on this visit.

Just amazing!

This picture was taken from the inside of a tree trunk.

California Coast
A couple of pictures of the California Coast between Klamath and Crescent City.

Front Street Inn, Crescent City
I found this motel on the booking site and the reviews were OK. The "ocean view" part interested me and the rate seemed to be reasonable. I also learned that the owners of this motel speak Cantonese, so I was looking forward to meet them in person. Our room did have a view of the shore and it was very pleasant just looking outside the window. The room is very basic, and you may even say it's kind of tacky in certain ways. Like the board that they put up on the wall to affix the hangers. But, the room was clean and the location is great. The Crescent City Cultural Center is right across the street and it's right next to the southbound 101. Very convenient.

Not very attractive upon entering.

But the room was quite OK.

See the board on the wall?

A bit of a view looking out the window.

South bound 101

Chart Room
While checking in we asked the motel owner for a place to have dinner. She recommended the Chart Room which I remembered reading about on TripAdvisor. It was about a mile south at the edge of town. When we got to the restaurant, there were quite a few people already waiting and we were told the wait would be 30 to 45 minutes. We took the time to just walk around the harbor area and took in the beautiful scenery.

Chart Room is the blue building behind MOR.

Then we sat and waited inside the restaurant for our table.

This certainly is a busy restaurant. The open kitchen area is in the back of this picture.

One good thing about this restaurant is that you can choose to have fried or grilled seafood. This was my Seafood Medley--3 different kinds of fish, salmon, halibut, and something else which I don't remember. This plate came with soup (clam chowder) or salad, vegetables and cost $21.00.

MOR's Seafood Combination, with a piece of fish, 2 scallops, and 2 shrimps, $12.99. I think the prices are pretty reasonable. (No clam chowder with this)
After dinner, we went back to the motel and called it a day.