Wednesday, June 10
“This is the day, crew! We are going to the beach!”
Bridget and Reggie, eyes brightly alert, take their crew positions in the Perfect Tow Vehicle. Bridget stations herself in the middle of the bench seat, granting herself a forward view of the road. Reggie prepares to pilot his doggie bed between the front seats. I fire up the PTV and, with the Best Little Trailer securely hitched . . .
“We have lift-off!”
We pull out of Whittaker Creek Campground and follow Route 126 as it sidles along the Siuslaw River on its course to the sea. We turn into Florence and make a quick stop for gas before motoring northward on historic Route 101. I stop at Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park, dump tanks, and return to 101. Trees and dunes and the lay of the land obscure the ocean from our view.
And then, in a breath-taking moment . . . there she is . . . the Pacific!
“We’re here!” Reggie and Bridget spring to their feet. Bridget squeals. Reggie jumps into my arms. “C’mon, you aren’t going to believe this!”
We scurry down a path between holly bushes, rhododendrons, and craggy trees, following fellow tourists to the beach.
The sound of the waves, the expanse of the beach, the soft sand under paws, the cool wind, and me, running around laughing . . . .
Bridget and Reggie run with me, hopping and twirling with delight! Rather than dampen the excitement, I forget about photos for a while and simply play.
Tomorrow we will come to the beach early, before the wind picks up, and then they’ll be free to run off-leash.
In a frenzy of fun, he digs and digs while Bridget and I share a moment of amusement at his antics. “That’s our boy!”
Exhilarated, we run across the sand to the path that goes up to the parking area. The crew has a drink inside the PTV.
“Hang on, guys. I want to grab a few more pictures before we go.”
He grins, comes over, and holds the bucket out for me to look.
“Hmm . . . rocks. Looks like someone has a project.”
“Yeah, my wife wants these for her flower beds. I come down here and gather up a few at a time.”
I learn he’s 85 years old and his name is Hal.
Hal and his wife have a travel trailer, too.
Hal is originally from South Dakota and had a career in foresty.
“We’re in Florence right now.”
Hal’s reaction is warm and exuberant.
“I’m very proud of you!” he exclaims. “You are very brave!”
We wave goodbye from our vehicles. I call out . . .
“It was nice meeting you, eighty-five-year-old pure Hal who hauls rocks in a bucket!”
“Okay, you guys take a snooze while I look for our camp.”
(Note: I pull into a few waysides as we move northward and take more photos, leaving the crew inside the PTV. Some of those photos are above. I’m not sure what was taken where!)
This is a Siuslaw National Forest Campground ($21.82/half-price with senior discount pass). I drive the loop. The campground is almost full. Although nicely situated by the beach, it doesn’t appeal to me because of the fierce wind. We need to go inland.
We continue northward to Waldport and turn eastward at Alsea Bay.
Route 22 takes us to Blackberry Campground, a small, national forest campground along the Alsea River, quiet, peaceful, with lots of smooth lawn and no wind.
THANKS FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!