June 3-27 - Oregon Part 2
Astoria - June 3-24. Judy grew up in the Astoria area, and her brother John still lives there, and it's always nice to visit family and friends. Plus, we like it there, although sometimes the traditional Oregon Coast weather is a little off-putting, not to mention damp. The 1000 Trails park at Seaside is a comfortable place to stay, and we've been there several times.
We managed to connect with John, and also with Chuck & Jan Wolfe, both over pretty good meals. We managed to attend two concerts of the Astoria Music Festival, both in the restored Liberty Theatre, and enjoyed some mighty fine music. We toured the wonderful Columbia River Maritime Museum once again. As the tide was about as low as it ever gets, we went to the beach at Fort Stevens State Park to poke around the wreck of the Peter Iredale, reputed to be the most photographed shipwreck in America.
Astoria's become a frequent stop for cruise ships, and we managed to see the last two cruise visits of the spring - one of them was the condominium ship The World. You might have seen this ship on TV. There are about 175 condo suites on the ship, which one can purchase for assorted arms, legs and offspring. Rentals are also available, starting at $2500 a night. The ship has kind of a leisurely itinerary, always sailing where it's not winter, and completing an around the world voyage every couple of years. The residents are obviously well-heeled. We understand that 7 private jet planes flew into Astoria to coincide with the arrival of the ship.
The absolute highlight of our stay has to be the two-day visit from Ira & Anna, who spent a night in a rental trailer in our park. We hadn't seen them "live" since Christmas. Their visit coincided with the annual Cannon Beach Sand Castle Contest, so we all saw some really neat sculptures. And none of us remembered to take a real camera to the beach, so the photos we share of that are all cell-phone quality, which isn't all that bad, actually. It was good visiting.
One of the ongoing annoyances of our motorhome has been a tendency for some of our tires to lose air. It leaked out via the valve extenders we used on the big dual real tires, put there so old Al didn't have to crawl under the rig to put air in the tires. We finally found a place in California that makes really long brass valve stems in really strange shapes, especially for situations like ours. We ordered a full set and had them installed at the Seaside Les Schwab tire store. As this is being written almost a month later, no more air leaks. A tad spendy, but well worth it.
We've discovered the convenience of extended life motor oil, and both the motorhome and the PT Cruiser are running on synthetic oil requiring just annual oil changes. Our year was up for the Cruiser, so we cast about for someone to change the oil. After several phone calls, Lum's Auto Center, the local Toyota/Chrysler dealer, offered to try to find some appropriate oil for us. They did, and we had the oil changed for another year, and also had the cooling system flushed. The Cruiser is now humming along on Mobil 1 Synthetic Extended Life oil, good for upwards of 15,000 miles before a change is needed. We had been using Amsoil Synthetic, good for 25,000 miles, but Lum's couldn't find any nearby.
However, we subsequently managed to find a source for Amsoil, and ordered enough to change the oil in the motor home come September, when it's due. It was delivered to us after we got to the Eugene area, so we'll have it when we need it.
Eugene - June 24-27. As we left Seaside heading for a three-night stop in Eugene, we made an en-route stop at Countryside Interiors in Junction City OR to see about replacing the carpeting in the motor home living area with something easier to clean. The estimate was acceptable, and we'll be back after Labor Day to get hard-surface flooring installed. Maybe even a new recliner.
Luther and Linda Pierson of Columbus IN are probably our best friends anywhere. Both their kids sing with the Columbus Indiana Children's Choir, and Brian, age 13, was included in a group of kids invited to Eugene in June for the Pacific International Children's Choir Festival, or PICCFest. Among other things, they got to sing as part of the Eugene Bach Festival. We wanted to be able to see Brian sing, and when the rest of the Piersons decided to come to Eugene as well, it became even more important. Plus, Judy's sister Joanna is in Eugene, and we hadn't seen her since Christmas either.
So we had dinner with Joanna (twice) and saw Brian's choir perform one night. On Friday the 26th, Luther, Linda and Laura picked up Brian for an hour or so and we all had lunch together, then spent most of the afternoon visiting. That evening, we all gathered at Eugene's Hult Center for the Performing Arts to watch the opening ceremonies of the Bach Festival, during which all 300 kids sang several selections. Then, while Brian went to the festival opening concert, the rest of us went for pizza and more conversation. We've now had our Pierson fix for a while.
And on Saturday morning the 27th, we pulled up stakes again and headed Yellowstone, with a stopoff beforehand for the Big Sky Folk Harp Festival in Montana. You can read about the Big Sky Harp Festival here. Otherwise, click the "Next" link at the top of this page to join us at Yellowstone.
The slideshow for this report contains about 50 images. Click here to see the pictures.