Saturday, May 27, 2017

Seattle -> StL - Day 1 (2/28/2017) - From Seattle to the Oregon Coast

Considering that this entry is about 2.5 months late, this won't be my best travelogue.  I did a decent job of writing during the first 3 days of the trip, but then I completely neglected the travelogue (except for some notes) until now.  So this nonsense is all you get...

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Before I begin, I should give a shout-out to the road-trip planning website Furkot (https://www.furkot.com), which was very helpful in planning this trip.

I spent my last night in Seattle (2/27) at the La Quinta Inn in SeaTac, having turned in the keys to my apartment (after the moving company packed up my stuff and loaded it onto the truck) that day.  On this morning, I loaded up on the complementary breakfast before hitting the road around 9:15.  My first destination was Astoria, a city near the northwest tip of Oregon.  I took I-5 south then cut west around Longview, WA to cross over the Columbia River and catch US-30 on the Oregon side.  The primary point of interest there was the Astoria Column, a concrete tower on top of a hill that provided nice panoramic views of the area.  After catching that view, I headed back downtown to find lunch, which I did at a vegetarian place called Blue Scorcher Bakery & Cafe.

After lunch, I headed down the Oregon coast on US-101 with a tentative list of a few stopping points.  The first was Ecola Park.  There, I found that the $5 entry fee was waived due to multiple current closures within the park.  One of these closures turned out to be the road to Indian Beach, where I had intended to go.  I instead went to Ecola viewpoint, where I was able to get some good views in despite some closures there.

The next stop was Cape Lookout State Park.  After that was the Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area.  The final stop before hitting Newport was Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, where I arrived 5 minutes before the 6pm closing.  The lady (ranger?) at the window let me in for a quick loop without charging me the normal $7.  From there it was a 10 minute jaunt to the Shilo Inn in Newport, where I would spend the night.  Interestingly, my booking was not in their hotel system (which apparently is a common occurrence for them for guests that use Hotels.com or Booking.com).  After attempting to look it up in their hotel e-mails, the clerk simply accepted the information and price from my Hotels.com confirmation e-mail, and even "upgraded" my room to a king bed (from 2 queens).

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Pictures: https://goo.gl/photos/zLKCNQoHytDDxSUB6

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