Summer's last week

We spent the 10 days before Labor Day on a road trip in Northern California and Oregon.  It began with a long drive from Seattle to Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park in Crescent City, California ( with a quick visit with Byron's cousin in Roseburg too).


After enjoying a terrific three days of camping and exploring with our friends Sam and Debbie (who had masterminded the Redwoods trip and invited us), we headed to Ashland, Oregon, to take in a play at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  We had ticket for "The Odyssey" at  the outdoor theater.  Air quality was a concern but the play was not cancelled -- at least until 48 minutes in!  Odysseus was just being set free by Calypso when they cancelled the production for everyone's safety.  Ugh.

Bummed (and believe me, the six year old was close to tears), we headed back to the hotel to hatch a new plan for the next few days.  Fires were threatening the cabins at Crater Lake National Park where we planned to stay (a Level 1 Evacuation notice was already in effect) and at least 20 fires were active in the park.  The air was not really fit to breathe. Our throats were raw and eyes were burning from the smoke, so a new plan was needed. First thing on Monday, we cancelled the rest of our reservations and headed for the Oregon Coast in the hope to find clear skies and clean air. 

Our quest for clean air was successful and the next five days we explored the Oregon coast -- a place we've visited many times over the years but not with Wyatt. We spent the first night in the lovely small town of Yachats.  The Yachats Brewery provided "totally great" mac and cheese according to Wyatt.  Byron and I liked the local Salal berry Sour Beer and cheddar fondue.  With nifty decor and homemade ferments in addition to the beer, it's worth a stop.

The next day we ventured to Newport for a day at the Aquarium.  No less than six hours later we had seen seals and sea lions, otters and sharks.  Touched all manner of urchins and sea stars and learned about eals, deep sea exploration, and pelicans.  Wearily we headed to Lincoln City for a couple days of taking it easy and kite flying at the Inn at Spanish Head.

Beach walks and agate hunting, kite shopping, and exploring Depoe Bay (mostly to get salt-water taffy) kept us busy.  That and petting the hotel cat.

Our final full day we spent meandering up the coast with stops at Cape Lookout State Park, Netarts Bay (Jacobsen Salt Co.), Cape Meares Lighthouse, wrapped up with a delicious lunch in Netarts at The Schooner on Netarts Bay.  After a brief visit in Manzanita we headed north to our destination for our last night on the coast -- Gearhart, Oregon, just north of Seaside.

We fell in love with the tiny town of Gearhart.  The wide, sandy beach was only two blocks from our cottage and we spent the evening flying our kite and playing monkey in the middle.  After dark, we snuggled up in our cozy cottage by the sea and watched The Lego Movie before rolling into bed.  We really liked the accommodations and definitely plan to go back.

Friday morning required a stop at Ft. Clatsop State Park before returning to Seattle.  We arrived just in time for the musket demonstration, which totally made both Byron's and Wyatt's day.

It wasn't the trip we had planned, but it turned out to be a really fun and mostly relaxing way to spend our last week of summer together. 



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