We checked with Gene's niece, Shelley. Her car would be fixed and she would be back in Portland that night. It was time to head for Portland.
Our first stop down the coast was Cannon Beach. We drove down to the shore and walked along the beach a little way. The tide was going out and it was easier to walk on the damp sand. It was interesting looking at the footprints of those who had preceded us this morning: people, dogs, horses, elk.
Elk? It turns out there are several elk reserves in the area and elk sightings in town are not uncommon. They don't seem to be afraid of humans. I guess when you weigh 600 pounds you aren't afraid of much of anything.
The road at this point runs right along the bluff, with frequent
overlooks giving great views of the ocean and beaches. Just about every
curve produced a "wow!" reaction. You are probably getting tired of
hearing us say this but we still haven't gotten used to the sight of
tree-covered mountains falling into a blue sea, with wide, white beaches
everywhere. Most of them had a small town along the beach.
Going down the road, we spotted a plume of white smoke ahead. Going around a curve we saw a steam locomotive backing down the track with three cars and a caboose. Two of the cars were open and full of people. It was a scenic train. Gene thought he even saw passengers sitting at the front of the tender. We finally caught up with it in Garibaldi.
Driving into Tillamook, we stopped at a small restaurant and had a delicious lunch: clam chowder and salad. Then we reluctantly took leave of the coast and headed into the mountains on our way to Portland. Outside the many parks, there was plenty of logging going on. Seeing a clear-cut makes the mountain look like it had been scalped. We much prefer the forest, but we know that these bald areas will grow back. All the seaports had huge piles of logs, waiting to be shipped to Japan or wherever.
We managed to get lost in Forest Grove when we were suddenly faced with a "Do Not Enter" street and no signage telling us which way the highway went. Advice from a local was of no use at all (maybe that's why men don't ask directions --- they are often wrong). We wandered around little, then spotted a sign for our highway.
A little later we ran into another reason we don't like cities: we hit the outskirts of Portland at rush hour (why do they call it "rush" hour when you barely move?). The directions to our campground put us in a series of long, narrow parking lots. But we made it and we're settled in for a couple of nights while we visit with Shelley and her son Ben.
A day that started with nothing much on the agenda served up a couple of surprises. It's that sort of thing that makes travel interesting.