Friday, May 30, 2014

Graveyard of the Pacific

The biggest news of all is that Terry has become a maniac. He got his first smartphone – a Samsung S4.   He keeps saying he’s going be dangerous with it because he’s so pleased with himself at how much he can do with the phone other than answer phone calls.   He’s learned to text and play around with all kinds of apps and widgets.  Who would have thought?

Our plans to head towards the coast on Tuesday worked out pretty much as we planned.  We hadn’t intended to get an early start.  We wanted to hit a few stores first and load up on food before we tackled the long drive towards Seaside … all 75 miles of it.  We were a little surprised to see several RVs heading towards the coast.  After all the Memorial Day holiday weekend was over.  We had figured all the RVs would be heading inland on Monday with very few left at the coast.  We were wrong.

Once set up in our space we were on a mission to find friends, Ed and Linda.  They had arrived a few days earlier and we had allowed them a few days rest before we showed up. We had no problem finding them.  They couldn’t hide.  For the next few days we figured we’d be busy tantalizing them and vice versa.   

Being at the coast usually means more clam chowder tasting for me and I’ve been doing just that.  It’s amazing how the same chowder can taste so different every place you go.  Terry feels the same about oyster stew.  Some places it’s edible and other places not so much.

30May_201a 30May_501a 30May_101a
Doogers --  amazing chowder and fabulous oyster stew. 
Crabby Oyster – oyster stew not edible and clam chowder not good either.
Astoria’s Ship’s Inn – fabulous chowder, fantastic shepherd’s pie but no oyster stew

Wednesday Terry and I visited the little beach town of Seaside looking for kites.  I had been wanting a kite for sometime.  Finding a kite shop at the beach isn’t difficult to do.  There are usually a few around.  The beach is the perfect place to fly them and that’s what we hope to do next week. Even Terry ended up with a kite.  I bet you can figure out what one I bought and what one he wanted.



Wednesday evening it was off to play bingo at the American Legion.  Linda was the only winner in our group. We’re going to try our luck again on Saturday but someplace else.  Maybe we’ll be able to get a little of the money back we’ve already donated. 

Thursday we took a long road trip north to Astoria – 15 miles away.  This time we visited the Columbia River Maritime Museum.  We had been by it many times but this was our first visit.  It’s an amazing museum and we loved it.29May_1401a

Astoria used to be the Salmon Canning Capital of the World.   We read a zillion pieces of information on it.  There was also a lot of history on the area and the fishing business.  We thoroughly enjoyed it.

29May_1101aThe museum also pieces on display explaining why crossing over the bar between the mighty Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean is considered the “Graveyard of the Pacific”.  It is dangerous and many, many people, boats and ships have been lost over the years.  Since 1792, approximately 2,000 large ships have sunk in and around the Columbia Bar. 

There is no formal rating system for bars but the Columbia bar is generally considered the second most dangerous bar in the world, behind the Yangtze.  This is where the Coast Guard trains for rescue.  That’s probably because it’s not going to get any worse than it is here.

We’ve been across that bar many times in the past to go fishing.  Sometimes it was fairly cal29May_901am and other times we should have stayed away.  Conditions can change from calm to life-threatening in as little as five minutes due to changes of direction of wind and ocean swell.  In addition to weather some boaters cross over in boats that are too small and they lack the power or knowledge to cross.  When that happens the Coast Guard can be called in and even more lives are endangered.  At times even the Coast Guard hasn’t been able to help.  It’s treacherous and many Coast Guard rescuers have also lost their lives.

29May_1301aAll ships entering the bar must have a “Pilot” guide it because of the danger.  These pilots are highly trained and must memorize every turn in the river and even the bottom contour.  They are loaded either by helicopter or tugs.  We watched a film segment on loading pilots on the ships.  That in itself is quite a feat. 


Yup … we’re pretty busy folks again but we knew we would be if the Lavins were around.   We even have a few more planned “events” over the next few days.  The rain is supposed to stay away and that will be good.  We're thinking this week is going to go way too fast.


Then, of course, guess what Terry put on the Ranger.

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‘Tis life on the road.

If someone throws a stone at you, throw a flower at them …. but, remember to throw the flower pot with it.


  1. I had no idea about that dangerous bar on the west coast - sound like a good place to avoid. There are several bars in L.A. one could say the same about..... Glad you're having great fun with great friends.

  2. I guess that just leaves Paul that still has a flip phone. Lol

    Love the kites. They were having a Sandcastle/kite festival when we were there. Be cool.

    When does it Linda or Ed when?

    We really enjoyed Astoria. Had the best clam chowder along the Washington coast there. Glad you four had a terrific time!

  3. Way to go Terry. You're going to be so smart with your smartphone. Any karaoke in the future? You need to get Terry up there - keep expanding his horizons.

  4. Nice picture of one of the Coast Guard boats I used to run. Yep, I miss it, even in seas like that.

    I always knew you were a kid at heart, buying a kite! I'm surprised you didn't take a few spins on that nice carousel in Seaside. Our granddaughters loved it.

    Glad to see the Jaguar didn't get lost. What are we supposed to call its new home? Jaguanger? :cD

  5. Neither clam chowder nor oyster stew appeal to me so I'd probably be the one ordering a burger. Glad you are all having a good time, though.

  6. Go Terry Go. LOL Costco sells a book on how to really use the S4, only 500+ pages. The S4 was my first Smart Phone also. Had it a couple of months now and actually think I like it. Down side is that it's way smarter than I'll ever be. LOL


  7. So much fun there on the coast, someday we will get there.
    Love the new home for your Jag.

  8. Me too. I am struggling to learn my new phone. Sometimes I can do something and the next day I have forgotten it. But Terry, you will never grow old as long as you keep learning new things.

  9. I was amazed at how the pilots came aboard the ship and when we were there the pilot was old enough to retire. I don't think I've seen a more dangerous job.

  10. Interesting info about the Columbia River Bar. Nice choice on the new smartphone too.

    Rick’s Bits ‘n Bytes, Pics and News


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