Our Colorado vacation has begun! We left home at 11:00 this morning and drove to Gallup, New Mexico; made a left turn and headed north to Durango and Pagosa Springs, Colorado; and then traveled northeast to the small town of South Fork. We arrived at 8:00 and checked into this lodge for the night:
Dylan in front of our room in South Fork, CO
Before we go any further, though, I still have to finish sharing the last two days of our honeymoon trip:
Day Nine, July 5: The Jazz Festival
Chinese food for lunch: Lauralee, Gus, and Ed
On Monday I got to meet two more of Ed’s friends, Gus and his wife Lauralee. What a fun couple! After seeing Ed and Gus together, I can see where Ed got his sense of humor. Or maybe where Gus got his sense of humor? (The chicken or the egg…?) We ended our visit with a late lunch at one of their favorite Chinese restaurants. It was delicious!
A contact juggler at the Portland Blues Festival
It just so happened that Monday was the final day of the annual blues festival on the Willamette River in Portland. This event was one of the highlights of Ed’s life in Portland. Jerry owned a boat, so some years they would sail to the festival site and live on the boat for 10 days or so, having a front row seat to listen to the bands from the boat.
Huge crowds at the jazz festival (this was less than a quarter of the crowd)
So of course Ed wanted to share the festival with me. We picked up Jerry and drove down to the Willamette River. In particular, both guys wanted to enjoy the band “little feat.” While they performed, we got barbecued sandwiches at a booth and Ed found us seats under a canopy where we could watch the band on TV and on stage at the same time!
The band “little feat” appears onstage and on television at the same time.
The blues festival is a benefit for the Portland Food Bank. This year it raised more than half a million dollars! It was wall to wall people while we were there, but it was a good time.
After the festival, we returned to Jerry’s place, where he dug out some old photos of Ed during his Portland years. I must say, Ed looked pretty hot with facial hair! Jerry promised to email the pictures to me. I can’t wait to get them!
Day Ten, July 6: The Oregon Coast
On Tuesday Ed surprised me with a drive to the Oregon coast. He knows how much I miss the beaches of California. A day on the Pacific coast was perfect!
The front of Camp 18’s restaurant
We began at 8:00 with breakfast in the town of Elsie (I’m pretty sure it wasn’t named after my niece!) at an old logging camp that’s now a nice restaurant called Camp 18. All around the property are huge pieces of logging equipment from the 1920s to the 1940s. As a mechanic, Ed finds all that to be fascinating!
Camp 18’s sign and some of the old logging equipment
Ed gets a kick out of the old tractor
After breakfast, which was mighty tasty, we spent some time checking out the property, which was filled with fun artwork and sculptures as well as the old equipment.
Mary flirts with an old timer at Camp 18
Next we drove up the coast to Astoria, one of the northernmost coastal towns in Oregon. There, we spent a couple of hours at the Maritime Museum Ed had always wanted to tour. It was pretty interesting!
Rescue scene on an actual retired Coast Guard rescue boat at the Maritime Museum in Astoria, OR
At the end of the tour, we were able to go onboard a lightship called the Columbia, which was used in place of a lighthouse in places where it was necessary to warn ships but not feasible to build a lighthouse. I was amazed that a crew of 20 men could live in such a small space!
We got to explore this ship, the Columbia
We accidentally spent a few minutes in the state of Washington when we took a wrong turn and found ourselves on the Astoria Bridge. There was nowhere to turn around until we’d driven all the way across the Columbia River to the Washington coast!
The bridge from Astoria, Oregon, to the Washington coast
From there, we drove down Coast Highway 101, traveling from Astoria to the town of Tillamook. Yes, that’s where they make the cheese! (I always figured Tillamook cheese came from India or someplace exotic like that.)
A view of Cannon Beach, Oregon
Along the way we admired the glittering blue waters of the Pacific, pausing to take pictures and walk along the beach. The water was chilly, even though it’s July!
Mary enjoys walking along Rockaway Beach on the Oregon coast
Ed asked me, “Did you ever think we’d be holding hands and walking on the beach?”
Watching workers "cut the cheese" from the observation deck at Tillamook
Several years ago, Ed took his parents to tour the Tillamook cheese factory. As a former farm kid (born and raised on a dairy farm until he was 16), he really enjoyed the tour and so we did the tour while we were there.
It was very interesting, especially watching the employees hard at work in the factory, weighing, cutting, and packaging the cheese. There was also a cheese sampling room, which was fun.
Mary and Ed enjoy some Tillamook ice cream cones at the end of the tour.
After exploring the gift shops (more fun tee shirts), we splurged on yummy cones stuffed with delicious Tillamook ice cream. I admit, that was my favorite part of the tour!
By the time we returned to our hotel room, it was after 7:00. We packed up and called it an early night. On Wednesday we were up bright and early and on our way back to Seattle to return our rental car and catch our flight to Phoenix.
Ed, Mary, Karla, and my nieces Addison and Mariah enjoy a Mexican dinner out.
My sister Karla picked us up at Sky Harbor Airport. We took care of some banking business before going to Karla's house to visit for a bit. On our way out of town, we all went to enjoy dinner at Mi Amigos. Mmmm!
And there you have it! From here on out I can concentrate on chronicling our Colorado adventures!