Today is day 8 of our first great retirement adventure of 2018. We’ve been on the road a week, and so far, it’s been fun, interesting and pretty restful even though we’ve moved every couple of days. This is our 4th campground in 8 days. We have reservations at 14 different campgrounds in 10 weeks, so things are going to slow down a bit from here on out.
Speaking of reservations… I have to give some kudos to my amazing husband-trip-planner-extraordinaire. I should have guessed from the beginning of our marriage that this guy loved a good adventure, but also that he would do his homework to make sure that we saw and did EVERYTHING there was to do along the way. For our first anniversary, he planned a trip to Colorado in a borrowed Ford Bronco (his brother’s rig) and a borrowed 13 foot travel trailer (his parent’s.) We swam in the Snake River, replaced a U-joint in a tiny little town in Southern Idaho, drove to the top of Pike’s Peak, swam in the enormous pool in Steamboat Springs, and spent a wonderful week at the Christian Artists Camp in Estes Park to name just a few of the memories that I can quickly recall. That trip was 43 years ago, and it was only the beginning.
He spends months researching and planning for these unforgettable trips, and I get to be the beneficiary of his hard work. We have a detailed itinerary, complete with reservation numbers, miles between campgrounds and important sights we might want to explore, but there’s always a little spontaneity built into the schedule. Story of our marriage. I’m grateful.
Here’s a quick recap of the week:
Day One: We were on the road by 10, but had to make a trip in to town to take care of a few last minute details. The weather was pleasant and we made good time once we actually got going. Made it to Pacific City Thousand Trails (one of our favorite campgrounds for the last 35 years) by 3:00. Time for a quick dinner and a nice walk on the beach.
Day Two: A look at the weather forecast told us that if we were going to do a beach walk, we’d better get it done before noon. We headed out about 10 and took our new trekking poles along to try them out. Once we got down to the beach, we discovered the tide was very high and so were the winds, but it was warm. We ended up being glad we had the poles – they helped keep us on our feet when the wind would gust. Seriously – I thought I might fall over a couple of times. We had to walk at the very edge of the sand to stay out of the surf and the sand was blowing in our faces. I joked that I got a free microdermabrasion session just walking the mile or so down the beach! I also noticed that using the trekking poles actually gives you a slight upper body workout. I mentioned to David that I was working harder using the poles. He replied, “Yea. You could slow down. We have all day.” Ha! So true.
Day Three: We drove about 200 miles to the little town of Port Orford with stops along the way to watch the show the Pacific Ocean was putting on. Turns out this was one of the highest tides in recent years. It was pretty spectacular to watch.
Day Four: We explored the town of Port Orford and took in a little history. The Coast Guard station there and the Cape Blanco Lighthouse were particularly interesting. The temperature was pleasant, but we experienced sun, wind, and rain alternately all day, but we had fun and didn’t get too wet! We saw some breathtaking scenery. The Oregon Coast has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Day Five: Today we had about a 150 mile drive to Arcata, California. Driving Hwy 101 isn’t the fastest way to travel, but the views are spectacular. The tide was still high, though not quite like day three. We got settled in to the RV park early enough to set out on a little tour of the area. Nearby Old Town Eureka is filled with beautiful old Victorian style homes and we enjoyed a nice walk and enjoyed a little people watching. The Women’s March was taking place, so it was a great opportunity to observe a little diversity! We decided we should check out where we might want to go to church the next day, so we started searching the web for nearby Assemblies of God churches. It was a little frustrating to say the least. All of the church websites were either out of date, or had a broken link. We finally had a bit of success by going to the Northern California District AG website, but even then the names of the churches had changed and it was difficult from the website to find out when the service times were. We finally found a church, but had to call the phone number to listen to a recording to find out what time the service started.
Day Six: It’s a good thing we took the opportunity to explore and sightsee yesterday, because it poured rain all day. We went to church at what we thought was Bethel Church, but had since changed their name to Lifehouse. It’s always an adventure just picking a church to attend in a new town. It’s probably not so much of a risk if you attend a liturgical church, but we Pentecostals are known for our independent spirit. You never know what you are going to get. Let’s just say it was a different experience.
Day Seven: Another 200 mile trip to Cloverdale, CA and our destination of the Russian River Thousand Trails. Meandering through the Red Woods is yet another breathtaking experience. I love how they cut the hwy right through the groves of trees – trees so close you could almost touch them as you drive by. Such a beautiful world our God created.