Thanksgiving on the Oregon Coast
By Colleen Easley
November 29th 2009
To view Colleen’s Blog visit http://www.westyblog.com
If you read my last post you saw that we were in a Burger King in Coos Bay writing that blog post. We also shopped at Walmart for a few items and rented a movie from Red Box. By the time we finished all this it was about 3:00 pm – way too late to drive any distance. So we checked our map and noted that there was a state park near Bandon just 21 miles south of Coos Bay and so we were off!
The campground was called Bullards Beach State Park, and although there were quite a few campers there already, there was plenty of space and we quickly set up a nice camp. But by the time we were done, it was dark and we hadn’t had a chance to head out to the ocean, so we talked about the possibility of staying there two nights if the weather looked good the next day, which was Thanksgiving.
The morning dawned sunny and we decided to stay put for one more day. We planned to head into old town Bandon and also to check out the ocean, but things changed when the weather had made a complete turnaround by about noon. It started to rain and it poured all day and all night with quite high winds as well. We were basically trapped inside the Westy for the complete day. We read for awhile and then watched our movie from Red Box. The wind and rain was so strong that I couldn’t cook outside so we were forced to use the inside stove. With not much room to prepare a nice meal, we opted for ham and cheese sandwiches and chicken noodle soup – not much of a Thanksgiving dinner, but we could at least be thankful we were safe and dry.
By Friday the rains had stopped so we broke camp and took that drive out to the ocean and into Bandon. It looks like a cute little town but it was too cold to make us want to get out and walk, so we mentally put it on our list to explore next time we come this way.
Now for the complete change of plans. We had noticed on Wednesday as we made our way towards Bandon that the van was making a strange noise. Dale was concerned that maybe there was something wrong with the engine and we talked about whether we should continue the 750 or so more miles to the Westy shop in California or should we drive it back home. I think it was a combination of things – the engine noise, the cats getting restless, and the cold wet weather that helped us make the decision to head home.
As it turned out, we did the right thing to head home. Friday we drove north on Highway 101 to Beverly Beach State Park were we rented a very nice yurt for $30. It was nice to have a little more space for a change. We had a covered porch were we set up the camp stove and ate inside while watching another movie. These yurts will sleep 5 adults, so there was definitely lots of room. I think I had my best sleep of the whole trip there.
On Saturday morning we quickly packed up our gear and started the push for home. The car continued to make noises, but by now Dale had determined it wasn’t the engine, but likely a wheel bearing going out in the left rear wheel or maybe the half shaft. Either way, we were nervous as to whether it would make the distance. It seemed to do much better on straight, flat road, so we cut away from the ocean route at Tillamook to take Highway 6 back over to Interstate 5. Going over the coast mountains was a little iffy, but once we made the freeway, we never heard the sound again. By 4:30 we were back home in Olympia and decided we deserved a nice dinner out!
I sat down at about 8:00 to sort out some pictures and begin working on this blog article. It’s 10:45 now and I’m finally getting almost done. I found that a new update to the Word Press software had disabled the photo view software I’m using, so I had to go looking for a solution to that. There was an update, so after installing that, all seems to be finally working again – I hope. Guess I’ll find out once I publish this article!
So I guess this will be the last of my posts for awhile. We hope to get the wheel problem fixed soon and hopefully get back out on the road again this winter, but with Christmas approaching fast, we’re not sure when. It might be after the first of the year before we travel again. One thing for sure – we won’t be taking the cats again. That reminds me – maybe I will post one more time this week to tell you more about traveling with the cats. LOL