Transit to Salem OR and Fun Stuff©

I saw on the news yesterday the terrible situation in Charlottesville VA…the city recently renamed a city park from Robert E. Lee Park to something more politically correct/acceptable to the left and the removal of a statue of General Lee in the park is currently the subject of a court battle. The left naturally wants to eliminate all traces, remembrances, and vestiges of the Civil War…and the right wants to not do that. Never mind that the Civil War really wasn’t about slavery at all but more about states rights vs Lincoln’s desire to preserve the union as a single country…the minds of progressives are made up and the evilness of the southern point of view is settled science according to them. Anyway…there was a scheduled rally by pro Robert E. Lee Park and statue folks and naturally a counter protest by those on the other side. One thing led to another, there was some violence between the two groups, and eventually a nutcase drove into the crowd of counter protestors killing one and injuring more…the perpetrator is under arrest.

‘Round these parts…we do not support the objectives of the original rally…which was to be attended by white supremacists, KKK members and various even further right than the Tea Party individuals. We do support the maintaining of history and not trying to rewrite it to ignore the things you don’t like. Like it or not…the Civil War is a part of the history of the United States and those in the South who fought mostly for states rights deserve not to have their ancestors heritage wiped from the history books. Slavery would have died out anyway since it’s not profitable and the Industrial Revolution was getting revved up in the mid to late 1800s.

One’s got to wonder why those on the left who demand free speech are only interested in protecting speech they like. Freedom of speech means that anyone…even conservatives…gets to say and think what they want. Those on the left tend to ignore and want to shout down anyone who espouses a belief differently from theirs. The English writer Evelyn Beatrice Hall (who wrote a biography of Voltaire…which was actually a pseudonym for Francois-Marie Arouet…under the pseudonym Stephen G. Tallentyre) said it best…”I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” when she was describing Voltaire’s thinking. Both liberals and conservatives need to remember that…and both liberals and conservatives need to recognize that you don’t get to kill the other side just because they believe something different than you do. While the counter protestors are entitled to their free speech as well…it’s hard to blame what happened solely on the original protestors…and blaming it on the the White House as the mayor there did is simply ludicrous.

Charlottesville VA yesterday was a travesty of both humanity and democracy.

Anyways…after our hikes on Tuesday we spent Wednesday getting ready to travel to our next stop in Salem, OR. This was one of the 3 places we did not already have reservations for when we left North Fort Myers in the spring but we thought we had a good plan. Sure…there’s the total solar eclipse on August 21 but there’s a nice Elks Lodge in Salem that doesn’t take reservations. So…we had a total of 4 backups, two in Salem and two a bit farther north and out of the totality zone and figured that since we would be there the week before and leaving to head further north on Thursday before the eclipse on Monday we would be fine.

Well…not so much. We called the Elks Lodge Wednesday and asked about spaces…and Billy just laughed at us. They’ve been completely full for 2 weeks and nobody has left…he figured they just came early. No problem we thought…we’ll just go to one of the backups. Nope…all full, none of them had a full week available although our 2nd choice did have the Thursday and Friday nights but nothing for the last 5. So…we pulled up and started looking . Found a great place with the last 5 nights of availability for our week in Salem…Emerald Valley RV in Jefferson OR just south of Salem. It’s right off of the freeway but behind a big berm so the road noise really isn’t too bad at all.

Remember I said that we had 3 places with no reservations yet…we now have reservations for the other two as well. We were going to stay overnight at a Fam Camp in Little Rock AR on the way east…Neil thought it was a dumb selection for an over night as it’s 25 miles from the freeway and doesn’t take reservations but he was going along with Connie. So we’re spending that night at the KOA in Little Rock just off of I-40 and then continuing on after our stop in Jackson MS to Foley where we’ll be at the Anchors Aweigh RV just near the Foley Elks Lodge…which we would have gotten a reservation at but they closed and sold their campground.

So early Thursday morning we got underway for the 160 mile trip up to Salem…didn’t stop at all on the road except for one bio-break to drain out the morning coffee. Arrived shortly after 1230 and quickly got pulled into site 100 at Premier RV Resorts of Salem. I guess it was resort-ey…but the sites are really short and tight there so we were really glad to be moving on after two days. The bright spot was the very large hedge of blackberry bushes all the way around the park…we picked a pint and a half of them and had both blackberry shortcake biscuits for breakfast as well as made blackberry crisp for dessert a couple of nights. Really yummy.

We scouted around after our arrival and found the Westside Tap House just about 3 miles away…with 45 beers on tap. No food…but we had eaten lunch late and there was Odd Moe’s Pizza right next door. Westside has beers from both WA and OR as well as a few northern CA ones but nothing really much farther away than that…and they’re quite willing to give you a sample of anything you want to taste. Since this is OR…most of the brews are pretty hoppy with the IPAs being even worse than back on the east coast…typically an IPA back there has an IBU rating (how much bitterness it’s got from hops) in the 50-60 range…Westside had 8 that were well into the 100s in IBU. We tried 8 or 10 of the stouts and porters before we picked the 4 we actually had a pint of…2 each. We ended up trying a Wee Heavy Scotch Ale from Lost Coast Brewery, Salted Caramel Porter from Cascade Lakes Brewing, Papa Noel’s Moonlight Reserve from Alameda Brewing Co, and Prince Charlie’s Wee Heavy Strong Scotch Ale from Santiam Brewing. All were pretty decent although a bit more hops than we would have preferred. Here’s a couple of beer type facts I should pass along. First…a porter is a very dark brown beer that was originally brewed as a meal for the porters who loaded ships over in Europe…and hence that style became known as a porter. Stouts are like porters but even heavier and creamier. IPA stands for India Pale Ale…and was invented for the British colonials over in India. Since it’s hot there…the breweries in England made a light, pale brew that would not be too heavy in the hot humid Indian subcontinent. Since it had to be shipped around the cape of Africa unrefrigerated via a months long voyage…they needed to preserve the beer. Hops was originally added to beer because the bitterness of the hops preserves the beer…and since they needed a whole lot of hops for both the length and heat of the voyage the India Pale Ale or IPA was born.

We stopped by Odd Moe’s to pick up a to go order of Garlic Cheese Bread…basically a white pizza…ordered it online from the Tap House and ate it when we got home. We thought about getting a pizza but were still pretty full from lunch so the bread really was enough…and quite tasty as well.

Friday…we headed out early for our scheduled Fun Stuff© trip…the 3 Capes Scenic Drive. This starts at Pacific City OR and drives to a total of 3 capes along the coast heading north…Cape Kwanda on the south end, Cape Lookout in the middle and Cape Meares on the north end. The weather at Salem was supposed to be clear and a high of about 90…but we forgot about the marine layer and the likelihood of different weather 50 miles west on the coast…and when we got to Pacific City it was only about 58 degrees and 90 percent humidity…and it was foggy so the visibility was basically non existent. We figured it would be the 3 Capes Non Scenic Drive for us.

Capes Kwanda and Lookout were almost a complete bust although we did get a few photos…anybody can take a great photo of the cape headlands on a bright sunny day…but ya gotta be good to get one on a cloudy murky day. We decided that the mist and lack of visibility would give our photos some character. Cape Meares was a bit better…the sun actually are out for a few minutes between fog banks passing by.

Capes Kwanda and Meares both project out from the coast westward into the Pacific…Lookout only goes west a couple miles then turns northward along the coast with a narrow entry into Netarts Bay on it’s northern end.

Looking SW towards the inside of Cape Lookout across Netarts Bay…the tide is ebbing but not quite to low tide yet.

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Couple of guys fishing just to the right of the photo above…the tide was probably running 3.5 to 4 knots there.

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Apparently…the Octopus Tree is famous…we never heard of it though. It’s located at Cape Meares inland a couple hundred yards from the coast. 

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Three Arches Rocks located just offshore and south of Cape Meares.

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Looking south through the fog banks. The wispy tendrils of fog give it a spooky, moody character. My favorite photo of the day.

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All flowers courtesy of Connie…Neil only occasionally takes flower photos.

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You can see how close to shore Three Arches Rocks are.

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Looking northward from just below the Cape Meares Lighthouse. Built in 1890…placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993…and turned off by the Coast Guard on June 25, 2014 as it’s no longer considered necessary for safe navigation along the coast of Oregon.

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And this is why they’re called Three Arches Rocks…the sea has worn holes through them.

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Cape Meares Lighthouse.

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Closeup of the lens…the light has an octagonal Fresnel Lens with alternating clear and red glass panes so it flashed red/white with a visibility of 21 nautical miles (24 statue miles or 39 kilometers for our non seafaring and non US friends)

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Connie’s artsy-fartsy shot of Three Arches Rocks through the greenery outside the lighthouse.

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And while I was sitting here writing this…”there came a roar and a thunder man had never heard” (stolen from the The Royal Guardsmen single Snoopy and the Red Baron)…Neil immediately recognized it as a helo and looked out the window to see one about 100 yards away and 100 feet high. It landed just behind the RV park office…followed shortly by another one. Apparently they belong to the owner of the park…he must be feeelthy rich if he’s got enough money to afford the maintenance on two helicopters.

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Bad Ass of the Week…anybody that visits Finland in the winter apparently.


Ok, interesting stuff found on the net this week.

Kinda brings a tear to your eye…don’t it.


More small town police report.


Neil’s sister sent us this t-shirt…sorry I had to clean it up a bit to maintain my PG-13 rating…although I imagine any offspring today over the age of about 8 can identify what it originally said.

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I guess they didn’t look hard enough.


Oh…the irony.


And finally…I’m pretty sure it’s not that bad.


Tomorrow we’re off on the first of 3 Fun Stuff© days…first a day trip up to the Columbia River Gorge and a hike to Upper, Middle, and Lower Oneonta Falls as well as Triple Falls, then a trip to the Oregon State Capitol building and finally a visit to a couple of local National Wildlife Refuges.


About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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1 Response to Transit to Salem OR and Fun Stuff©

  1. I thought Oneonta was in NY. I went Skiing there once. Guess there must be two.

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