Friday morning I woke at craters of the moon national monument in Idaho, and realize that at 8 AM it was already too hot to hike or do any sightseeing. Looking at the forecast, it looked like for the next for five days almost all of the northwest would be unbearable, except for a small strip of pleasant temperatures along the Oregon coast. I decided that if I was going to be trapped in a small air condition box for a couple days, that it would be moving, and set off on a bonsai run for the Oregon coast.
The day got off to a miserable start as I turned on the tire pressure monitor and saw that the right outside rear was critically low, at 20 pounds below what I wanted. A couple others were a few pounds low as well. So I dragged out the compressor, hooked it up, turned it on, and was greeted by a muted pop and no compression. It appeared to be a blown fuse, but I had no spares. I shook my head and decided to get air at the nearest gas station, about 20 miles down the road.
(Have I mentioned recently how much I've grown to hate my iPhone? The more I use it the more I hate it. And trying to do this blog using it is pure torture.)
I turned west out of the park and set off on route 20. Unfortunately not far down the road I hit construction. After a 12 minute wait, pilot car finally showed up to guide us through the construction. As we trundled along at 35 mph, a dump truck came flying opposite direction spraying gravel everywhere. Including a chunk that put a giant crack in my windshield. If anyone knows anyone at Snake River Construction, tell them I said they only on windshield. I got a phone number, but I am sure I will get nothing from them. And Geico does not offer glass coverage on RVs. Awesome.
After all of that, I rolled into the first gas station. No air. And that theme continued for the next hundred miles. At that point, I decided Boise was my best bet. I made it there and picked up some fuses. I managed to get air into the low tire, but I couldn't do the others as it was just too hot. The tire sensor said 131° at the pavement. I have some friends in the area and I thought about trying to get in touch with them, but after such a miserable day I knew I would not be good company. I continued West, crossing into Oregon and driving through some really desert terrain. It took me by surprise.
As the miles rolled along, I begin to think I might make Portland Oregon. But after the sunset I knew that wasn't going to happen as I was still 60 miles away. I saw a sign for Koburg Beach rest area – no trucks, and I thought that sounded pretty promising. When I got off the highway though I was not so thrilled. There were some sketchy characters in the lot, and it was signed no overnight parking though the sketchy folk looked like they were set up for the night. I sat there for about an hour, and I realized I was not going to be able to sleep there. So I threw in the towel, got back in the driver seat and headed west. I didn't go far, as as soon as I started driving I realized I was too tired to keep going. I saw a sign for Cascade Locks business district and I decided what the heck, let's see if there somewhere I can park. I got off the highway, and as I approached downtown, there was parking along both sides of the main drag alongside the road. I pulled over in front of an 18 wheeler and called it good. I folded in the mirrors just in case, and then had to reposition as the curb was walking the step from opening. There was noise from the cars passing by, but it wasn't horrible. There were also a couple of trains. I don't think I fell asleep until 3 AM. It was a combination of overtiredness, stress, and it just being too damn hot to comfortably sleep. I woke up around 8 AM, profoundly grateful that no one bothered me. I had been afraid of the cops knocking on the door, but it didn't happen. I got some coffee and some ridiculously overpriced smoke fish from a street side stand, and looked at the weather forecast for the day. 103 for the high. No, I don't think so.
I had originally planned to head for Newport Oregon. But I kind of rethought the idea and headed for Astoria. I knew I liked it there, and I thought sightseeing along 101 would be a lot easier headed south due to all the pullouts being on the right.
After the Garman took me on a little detour through Washington, I got back on the road to Astoria. Along the way I got some ridiculously overpriced gas, and a growler full of kombucha. 5 miles from Astoria traffic ground to a halt. We crept along at 2 to 5 mph for a good long time. I was at the end of my rope. I turned in at Rogue Ales and found a place to park near an apartment building. I had dinner and some beer, which was excellent. I think I could have probably spent the night where I was, but it was still too hot.
I called Fort Stevens State Park and found out they still had sites available, so I headed there. After a little snafu at registration, where they put me in a host site that had a host in it, I parked and plugged in for a little while. My site was right next door to the bathroom and showers, which would normally be a good thing. But there was some youth group there with like 200 kids, and they all kept cutting right through my campsite, in some cases between my chair and my door, and it was driving me mad. I told a couple not to do it and maybe the word spread. I also heard a couple adult yelling at them. But it was still aggravating.
Around 7 PM I unplugged and went to dinner at Dooger's Seafood. I am on a mission to find the best chowder on the Oregon coast. So far, I have been somewhat underwhelmed. After dinner I went to the beach watch the sunset at the wreck of the Peter Iredale. It was incredible. And I was embarrassed to say, with the wind whipping off the waves, I was cold. ;-)
I headed back to my site and debated about a fire for a bit, but decided it was too much effort. I fell asleep early and slept like the dead.