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  • Writer's pictureKandy Thietten

More Friends, More Beaches

Updated: Jun 18, 2021

Monday afternoon we pulled into the driveway of Ken and Rochelle. They are some wonderful friends that I met at church years ago. We parked and leveled before going outside. Because leveling can twist and tweak the frame of a motorhome pretty badly, their windshields are made to move and flex. Abe also read later that silicone should not be used on leaky windshields because they prevent them from flexing like they need to. Instead, they need to be resealed properly if they leak. Our windows have been siliconed both by the owners before us, and again by Abe.

Abe went outside after leveling and checked things out. It was pretty uneven, so the RV was tweaked quite a bit. In the center, where the two halves of glass meet, there was a huge gap on the top left, and a smaller gap on the bottom right. Long stretches where water could come pouring through. We were just outside of Portland, so water was a concern. And then I looked in the top driver's side corner. There was a crack running from the side to the top, several inches long. Thank God for duct tape and superglue! The center got duct taped and, after discovering several more cracks in the corner the next day, including one that ran all the way through both sheets of glass, Abe filled the big crack in with superglue. Here's hoping it lasts a long time, but if it doesn't we'll have our biggest yet repair expense.

While we were at their place, Abe procured Ken's help doing some simple fixes on the engine hatch and repainting it for aesthetics.

In case you've never been there, western Oregon is lush and gorgeous. The forest floor is a mass of ivy, ferns, grasses, and about a million other plants. Just about any spot that the sun hits is a mass of blackberry vines, unless someone is constantly working to keep them cleared out. The land is spotted with seemingly every species of flower, including Foxglove that is taller than a man, daisies, and chamomile. A botanist's paradise.

(Ken and Rochelle's landlord had this photogenic little girl.)

Ken and Rochelle took us on a small hike near their house. It was supposed to be a really short hike because Rochelle is at the end of recovering from a broken foot. It turned into a 5 1/5 mile hike in the rain. It was cool, but not cold, and the rain was wonderful. You could hear it hitting the leaves overhead, sounding like it was hitting a roof. We were protected from most of the rain, but our jackets were wet on the outside. I don't think anyone got soaked through. We got to forage for food, one of my favorite nature activities. We ate a just a few under-ripe huckleberries, sourgrass, which I didn't recognize because it was five times as big as the sougrass I had let grow in my flowerbed in Caldwell, ID, we found a patch of wild strawberries, the third time in my life I've found a patch with more than one or two berries, and we all got to eat several of them.

(We didn't eat the mushrooms.)

There were salmonberries everywhere. Most were just on the verge of being ripe, but we got a few sweet ones. Most were on the tart side, but I like sour so that was just fine with me. I had a blast darting off mid-conversation while we walked and picking handfuls of the orange-yellow fruit.

I've always wanted to pick blackberries in Oregon, but they're nothing more than little hard, green shadows of what they will become over the next month or two.

The thing that surprised me on the hike was the anthills. They looked like random piles of pine needles and dirt, but upon closer inspection, the enormous mounds were alive with black ants. They were so creepy, yet so fascinating. I only got bit once.

After our hike, we were starving. Rochelle had been going to make us fish tacos for supper, but no one was in the mood to wait so we went to dinner at the White Horse Restaurant. She made us tacos for lunch the next day.

I like poutine (french fries, brown gravy, and cheese curds), but when you use beer battered and fried cheese curds, it takes the poutine to a whole new level. We went back to Ken and Rochelle's stuffed to our gills, but happy.

(I waited too long to take a picture.)

The next day we went for another hike, but this one really was short. Rochelle's foot was angry from the day before, so she stayed behind at the lodge. Ken led us down a Silver Falls State Park trail that took us behind a waterfall The waterfall was beautiful, but I spent more time peaking in the random caves that had been formed in the rock wall behind us. Abe and I picked more salmonberries that we saw along the trail.

The next morning, it was time to move on. We drove to Lincoln City, OR where we stayed in another casino parking lot, but this one was the best so far. It was just a very short walk away from the beach. Abe and I went down at low tide and explored the rock islands with every inch covered by clams, barnacles, anemones, starfish, and other random lifeforms. I entertained myself by putting seaweed in the center of anemones and watching them close up on it, holding the seaweed securely in place. Anemones will forever be "cow butts" to me because that's what my dad called them. It's a perfect description of the creatures when they're puckered into a tight circle.

(Someone's artwork that I had to capture before the tide washed it away.)

We stayed in the casino a second night, giving ourselves plenty of time to look around the beach and ride our bikes down it. The coastal wind made for a good workout when we started as it pushed steadily against us, trying to hold us in place. On the way back, though, it hurried us along, pushing us back to the RV. The trip back was fun. The electronic assist on our bikes shuts off at just over 19 miles per hour, and we were going 21 mph for most of the ride back. That means that, with the help of the wind, we were able to go over 20 mph on the sand under our own muscle power. Well, under our own muscle power AND our competitive drives as I took off in front of Abe and refused to let him get ahead until the end.

Now we're making our way North on coastal highway 101, enjoying the scenery as we go.

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2 Weeks


Sep 30, 2021

Dealing with a small sea monster, Rock Beach, Brookings, Oregon.

Sep 30, 2021
Replying to

Yes, exactly.


Sep 30, 2021

Love the Oregon coast! Honeymooned there and spent many anniversaries there. Sam

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