Central Oregon Coast
Our third stop on our Epic Summer Road Trip was the central Oregon Coast, for a visit with our grandparents. We normally visit once or twice a year, but hadn’t been able to visit since before, well, 2020. This was the first time we’d taken our Alto to the coast, and the first time they’d met our cats. And the first time we’d been able to meet their new puppy. Super, super exciting, and lots of unknowns.
This was also the first time we’d camped in someone’s driveway. Fortunately, my dad has a huge space in front of his house, and a spot for us to plug in the Alto. We had water and power, but no sewer hookups, which was fine for a week, given we were steps away from a lovely restroom indoors. Noah chose to give up his bunk for a week and enjoy the guest room, while the rest of us slept in the trailer with the cats.
After a full week of life on the road, the cats were pretty much ready for anything. They were excellent travellers on this leg of the road trip. At one point, they were both curled around each other on top of their carrier in between the boys. They are really too big to share space like that now, and when they do, we try to take as many pictures as possible.
I love the drive along Highway 38, which follows the Umpqua River all the way to the coast. We stopped on the way in at the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area for a quick photo shoot. The pull outs and parking lots are spacious, with room to U turn with a truck and trailer. We usually stop if we can see any elk, but this trip we had some of the best views we’ve ever encountered.
We were all ready for a long stay with our grandparents, and not just because we missed them. The boys were excited for some good internet conenctions, we were all excited to use their fancy shower, and it’s nice to take a break somewhere you know well, in the middle of a trip with lots of new things. When we arrive, we already know where our favorite spots are, the best quick hikes, and the yummiest scones. We visited some of our regular spots, like the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Newport Discovery Zoo. We got our favorite fudge, from two different shops. The boys have foam swords that live at grandpa’s house, so we always have a few epic battles on the front lawn. In summer, I like to pick berries from the front hedge.
This summer we added some new traditions to our list. We took the cats on a walk every morning with the puppy. I thought they’d love the sand at the beach, or the streams that run down to the water. I was so wrong. They wanted nothing to do with the sand or the running water, but instead they loved exploring the boulders on the hillside. The boys shocked me by trying sushi, and declaring it their new favorite food in the whole world. We stopped at Tengu Sushi in Newport and had a great lunch. My favorite new tradition was teaching the boys to play Hearts. I was surprised how quickly they picked it up, and how easily they started to develop their own strategies (and trash talk!)
When we visit in the summer, most of our days end with a sunset walk on the beach. The boys love getting to stay up a little later, and I love ending our day surrounded by the sounds of the waves and the feel of sand under our feet.
Music from this video, all from Epidemic Sound:
- Talking Trees by Max Kershaw
- Morning Hike by Lindsey Abraham
- Random Acts of Kindness by Airea
- On My Little Mind by Mica Emory
- Win the Day by Quesa
- Footprints in the Sand by Roots and Recognition and Melanie Bell