Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Journey: Day 3

This morning I sit looking out toward the harbor at Crescent City, California. We left Olympia Sunday morning around 10:30 am for Our Great Adventure. The weather was not bad -- cool and cloudy. We drove down Interstate 5 to Portland, Oregon and headed west for Neil's second glimpse of the Pacific Ocean at Lincoln City. (His first glimpse was on a very cloudy and windy Sunday somewhere near Westport, Washington.)

From Lincoln City we headed south in hope of arriving at Bandon before stopping at a hotel for the night. However, the roads are slow and meandering and we made it as far as Waldport's Howard Johnson for the night. It's hard to imagine a quieter Hotel, nor one with such promise. It's a bit down in the mouth right now, but has a lovely view of the bridge and bay.

The coast from Lincoln City to Florence, Oregon is spectacular. We are sorry we didn't start from Astoria at the top end of the Oregon coast even though it would have probably added at least another day to our journey. As is his habit, Neil has collected various real estate booklets and says that if he ever bought property on the ocean that coast is the one he would choose.

I made the journey from Florence to Eureka, California seven years ago. It amazes me how much of it I've forgotten. For example it was a long drive before we saw the ocean at all! And some of the towns we passed through were really not very inviting at all until we got to Bandon -- where we spent a great evening at the Bandon Inn .

Our plan had been to make the hightlight of our trip a drive down California Route 1 along the Big Sur. But time and distance have made us re-think this -- especially as the guide books say that the Oregon Coast is every bit as spectacular as it's 'California Counterpart'.

So here I am in the Lighthouse Inn in Crescent City. The room is very nice and very comfortable. We are shocked at California prices: Gas in Oregon was higher that Washington -- a few cents (3.65 in Oregon), but in California the cheapest we saw was $4.00 and so far the highest was $4.09) -- yes, for regular! California has a 10% sales tax! Olympia isns't far behind with 8.24%. Oregon has no sales tax -- however there was a 1% tax quoted at a Best Western somewhere in southern Oregon. We were surprised to learn that in Oregon there are no self-service gas stations. Neil actually left the first one we went to because they insisted on filling his tank for him!

Tonight, if it doesn't rain, we may try a little camping somewhere en route to San Francisco. Time to cross the Golden Gate bridge for the first time. After Eureka both of us will be on new ground.

I just love hotels with free WiFi!!!

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