Portland to Nye Beach, Newport, Oregon
We're back on the road!
Coastal Hwy 1 here we come!
Ohhh little did I know.
Eat those words.
Welcome to -
(cue ominous dark gothic organ music)
- the day I learned I have basophobia,
Fear of Falling.
Precipitous Drive Number One
This is me at the fateful entrance that led us on a wild goose chase up a mountain.
Not my idea of fun, I'll tell ya that for free..
So Doofus, err, I mean Jani, sees the sign for this National Forest. Great, she exclaims, hungry and ready to pull over for a little break, to pause and eat the lunch she packed for us.
Little did she know,
a National Forest and a National Park are 2 different things.
So we pull off the tarmac, err, paved, road and start up into the National Forest, Jani fully expecting to come upon the usual campsites and picnic tables, looking for a nice little place to pull over for a spot of lunch.
So she starts to realise this is not looking as it should. No campsites, no picnic tables, at this stage we are on a single lane gravel road and there isn't any obvious turn around. So she looks at the map and it seems like we are on a little 5 mile loop road that brings us back out to the same entrance, so, groovy, let's follow this around and see if a likely place to picnic appears.
OMG, I wish.
Meanwhile the GPS is showing the road we are on and seems to be cheerfully guiding us onward. No, it is definitely not doing the "turn around, go back" instruction that usually comes on when you find yourself on the road to nowhere.
I hate that GPS voice.
So keep in mind that, at this stage, we figure we are on the 5 mile loop. It's scenic, and it's seems like a nice diversion from driving on the state highways.
But as the mileometer, err, odometer starts to clock 6 miles, 7 miles, 8 miles, Jani slows to a stop, checks the map, confers with the GPS (in rather ripe language I am too polite to repeat) and starts to get a knot in her solar plexus that transmutes directly into a knot in my solar plexus. Ohhh, I do not like this.
MPJ is a pretty cool customer, she doesn't get nervous about most anything, she loves a challenge and she has a pretty strong just-get-on-with-it attitude. Her nervousness is making a hotline to my heart.
Ohhh, I definitely Do. Not. Like. This.
And for once I wish I was not in the Princess Milly Throne, cause suddenly we seem to be cresting up on to the top of a mountain, and there is nothing either side of us but sheer drops down into the forested valleys.
Which I can now clearly see, thanks to this blasted Throne.
What you cannot see here, cause MPJ is too scared to stop and try to capture it, is the sheer drop right off the edge of this single lane gravel track.
OMG, this is NOT FUN.
I did not sign up for this.
It seems we have got ourselves on to a logging track, and without meaning to we have ascended 2200 feet up on to the top of a mountain ridge.
MPJ is bricking it now, white-knuckle-gripping the wheel, muttering and cursing, and generally having a minor freak-out that is making my ears pin down tight against my head.
This is scary.
Way worse than the teepee.
And the GPS just keeps telling us to go forward. MPJ is punching out the perspective, expanding the map to the long view, and it does seem that it is going to bring us down to a road on the other side of the forest than we had entered on.
We are definitely NOT on a loop road.
So we forge on, having reached the summit, we are now descending.
After another couple of miles we hit a 3 way junction.
And stupid annoying unreliable GPS tells us to take the 2nd road.
This is definitely So. Not. Right.
The track becomes completely overgrown and obviously hasn't been driven on for many years.
Time to Get The Heck Outta Dodge!
We are lost on a mountain top and there does not seem to be any way out.
So without much further ado, MPJ backs down the track, manoeuvres the car around in the first and only place we've found that is big enough to manage a 3 point turn, which she does in 5, and we head back.
That is 11 miles in, to the top of a mountain, and yes, fully 11 miles to get back out.
So not only do we get to do the scary edge-less precipice road once, ohh no, lucky us, we get to do it twice. There and back again.
Note to self:
If you see The Doofus turning in to a National Forest, start barking out a warning.
No way do I ever want to do anything like this when we are on the Charity Drive,
No Way Jose.
Not on your life, not in an RV.
blessed wonderful tarmac, beautiful flat calm Hwy 22, my oh my, how glad we are to see you, to glide upon your smooth and sure surface that is guaranteed to get us to civilisation.
And down the coast we go!
Finally heading South, actually facing in the right direction, and actually accomplishing miles that get us somewhere...
...bringing us into Newport, and to the delights of finding Nye Beach.
Straight to a dog-friendly motel, a quick supper for me, and then we are down to the seashore to stride off this horrible drive and antidote ourselves with the soothing rhythms of the eternal lapping of the Pacific Ocean.
Wind rushing, seagull chasing, running, leaping, seasalt spray and endless sky.
Goodbye Nasty Fear.
Check out the view from our motel beside the beach.
ohh well, what a shame never mind...
we'll somehow manage to suffer yet another gorgeous sunset on the Pacific Coast.
If we have to.
But first, it's off to 'town' to find a bowl of clam chowder for MPJ.
Nye Beach is very quaint and unpretentious, a real seaside holiday place.
We really wanted to stay at the Sylvia Beach Hotel (the big green & cream Victorian building perched right on the beach cliff) but they have a Hotel Cat and so 'no dogs allowed'.
After a Gothic-like drive we deserved a Gothic-like hotel.
It felt like a good omen to stumble across the 'Angel of the Pacific', it reminded us of Anthony Gormley's 'Angle of the North'.
Ohhh little did we know what Humbolt County California has in store for us....
So off we went to our clean & comfy motel by the sea, content to believe that we were all done with scary precipices.
Content to be lulled by a gentle sunset and a good nights sleep, dreaming of seeing the Giant Redwoods...