Thurs., June 18th

We left Eugene early in the morning and drove north to explore the Columbia River Valley. After checking into our Riverview Lodge in Hood River and leaving our luggage we went out to drive along Route 35 (the fruit trail). We stopped at Panorama Point for a few pictures, continued along the route to Draper Girls Country Farm for some great shots of Mt. Hood, and then returned to our hotel and to bed early.

Fri., June 19th

We left for Seaside, returning along Route 35 and again stopping at Panorama Point. The weather was overcast  so we were able to get a rainbow over the mountains from Panorama Point. As we continued over the mountain passes and along Rt 26 we ran into a heavy downpour  but were able to get to Seaside for lunch at Bagels by Seashore (great food). After checking into a Best Western hotel we drove out to Ecola State Park in a drizzle. Since the rain was not heavy we got a few pictures of Crescent Beach and Cannon Beach in the mist. We returned to the hotel for a great Italian dinner at the hotel and ventured back to Ecola State Park for sunset pictures. The birds(brown pelicans for one) were returning to nest in the rocks.

Sat., June 20th

Leaving early in the morning we returned to Ecola for some morning pictures and went down to the beach area. From there we continued on the scenic highway to Oswald West State Park, had lunch at the Blue Heron - French Cheese Company and then drove on to Cape Meares Lighthouse. At the wildlife lookout 3 devoted birders had set up telescopes and were pointing out the nesting peregrine falcons, cormorants sitting on their nests, and a pair of black oystercatchers sitting on a nest with 2 eggs. We got a number of pictures of the lighthouse and found the octopus tree as well. We registered at the Clifftop Inn in Oceanside, dropped our luggage and then continued down the 3 Capes Scenic drive. We stopped at Anderson’s Viewpoint and were treated to a show by a parasailing  club.  It was quite interesting to see them fill their parachutes with air and then run off the side of the cliff. It was getting dark so we didn’t stay long enough to see where and how they landed. We enjoyed wine and cheese as we watched the seals on the three arches and then went to supper at Rosannas in town.  The next day we had a long ride to Florence where we met up with the Elderhostel group.

Oregon - Part 2