The Relocation Reality Show

Shanghai Room Part 2

Finally, after several tense days of waiting for money from the sale of our townhouse to hit our bank, we get to breathe a big sigh of relief! Now we are off and running!

A sigh of relief that’ll blow your hat off!

We make a plan to travel until about 4 pm each day, and set our budget at $140 to $170, breakfast included if at all possible. Most nights, we will be just crashing and not need anything fancy. But still feeling the sting of the Extended Stay America for $185 on our last night in Beaverton, nothing that feels like we’re in storage for the night either.

Other priorities on the road include lighthouses (lots of lighthouses) and as many points-of-interest as we can pack in. Oh, and stuffing ourselves with local cuisine!

Seal the Deal

Next stop: Seal Rock Recreation Site. We find a spectacular view of an outcrop of rocks jutting from the ocean, waves crashing against them.

No, we don’t see seals or sea lions!

Sometimes places are named for the shape of a particular feature. But Seal Rock is a habitat for sea lions, seals. and sea birds. We’re just passing through for the view, but this site offers trails, picnic areas, and tide pools to explore. Perfect for families!

Splashes at Seal Rock are a reminder: Beware of “Sneaker Waves!”

It’s Pronounced “YA-hots”

Next stop on our journey south is Yachats State Recreation Area. Yachats was a must-see recommendation! It’s a small beach resort town on the central Oregon coast that includes Cape Perpetua Scenic Area.

A walking trail takes us down to the seven mile stretch of beach. Not that we’re going to walk all of it today!

But this is a wonderful spot to get out and stretch our legs. It’s very pretty, with crashing waves and lots of drift wood.

Gurgle Gurgle

Yesterday, we were too nervous to eat much while we awaited word of our missing money. Today, we’ve been too thrilled by seeing the check impact our bank account to think about eating! But now at 2 pm, our tummies are reminding us.

Part of our backseat kit is an Igloo ice chest filled with cheeses, meats, and other assorted goodies. It’s our rolling charcuterie pantry! But we’ve been so preoccupied with our issues that we neglected to recharge the ice packs in the freezer last night. Now the inside of the ice chest isn’t so icy.

Just a nibble. We’re saving room for our celebration tonight!

We find a nice roadside parking area with picnic tables overlooking the Pacific called the Muriel O. Ponsler Memorial Wayside. It’s a serendipitous find!

Bringing It to a Head

Heceta Head Lighthouse is our next stop. This is where we are getting out to spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the grounds. It’s well worth it! The Lighthouse is perched atop the 1000-foot-high cliffs of Heceta Head.

At the parking lot level, there’s a beach and plenty of picnic areas. We follow a steep trail up to the historic lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters, now a bed and breakfast!

Heceta Head Lighthouse is visible from many miles away. But this is the view from about 100 feet!

From here you can enjoy whale watching, the crashing of the Pacific Ocean, and views of the Cape Creek Bridge.

See Cape Creek Bridge and Beach to the left through the trees in this photo.

After your visit, make sure to stop at the Lighthouse and Sealion Beach Vantage Point just a few miles south to get an iconic shot looking back at Heceta Head. Catch it at sunset for extra points!

See Heceta Head? Oregon’s coastline is jaw-droppingly beautiful!

If you have time, check out the Sea Lion Caves. I hear they are loud and stinky! But it’s 4 pm, and they are getting ready to close. We need to start looking for a place to stay for tonight and get out celebratory dinner on!

Here it is Day 2, and we have only traveled about 45 miles. But we’re fine with it! So far.

Florence: Town with a History

We’re winding up our day of travel in Florence, Oregon, located along the coast and the Siuslaw River, and famous for its sand dunes. They do dune buggy tours and ATV rentals. But it is also famous for one other thing!

In November 1970, a 45-foot, 8-ton Sperm Whale washed ashore in Florence. Local Authorities decided the best way to dispose of the hulk of a rotting carcass was to pack it with TNT and blow it up!

The geniuses who planned it thought this would reduce the whale to a pink spray and tiny bite-sized pieces for the seagulls. Instead, chunks of rotting whale as big as a hundred pounds rained down on cars and spectators. You have to check out the video! It’s an Oregon Classic!

We check into Quality Inn for $140 a night. It has a good (enough) rating and serves breakfast. Our room is small but clean. No views, but plenty good for the night.

Clean? Check. Comfortable? Sure. Quality? Um, okay.

We are ready for our Feast of Celebration!

Local Flavor of Florence

There are several seafood restaurants along the Siuslaw River, including Moe’s, “famous for it’s clam chowder.” But we’re looking for something a little less kid-infested, and a lovely plate of oysters.

We wander in to ICM, International C Food Market. This is a spacious restaurant with a great view! They offer indoor and outdoor dining, but we choose indoor.

Andy got caught in the crossfire between the waiter and bartender: who makes the best mojito?

And then we feasted!!! Here is the rundown:

  • Half dozen oysters on a half shell
  • One whole crab
  • Razor clams
  • Ahi tuna served on a bed of mashed potatoes and steamed veggies
And the winner is this dude… and all of us!

The best part… the bartender and waiter comped us Mojitos in a contest to see who made the best cocktail! Everybody wins!!

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