Lighthouse Down and Portland Bound

Trip Start Aug 12, 2012
1
3
13
Trip End Aug 25, 2012


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Where I stayed
The Comfort Inn
What I did
Umpqua River Lighthouse
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Willamette University Salem
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Oregon State Hospital
Cape Arago
India Flavor

Flag of United States  , Oregon
Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Starting off day 3 we awoke in Coos Bay, and began with the breakfast of champions: Bagels and a Belgian waffle, hooray carbs. When we got in the car we made a quick stop at Wal-Mart to find our Coos Bay magnet, however they only had Oregon ones. We then headed over to the Coos Bay main drag, stopping at a local souvenir shop where we finally scored our magnet. A short walk through the visitor's information center had us out on the Coos Bay Boardwalk where we took some pictures and read about the local area and its history. After we got back in the car it was onward to Cape Arago State Park and its famous lighthouse. The drive out to the Cape was beautiful and looked like something right out of Middle Earth in The Lord of The Rings; just unbelievably green and magical. We pulled off the road at an area with a lookout spot and stepped right into 53 degree weather! We were greeted with the distant sounds of what we learned were male California sea lions who had migrated north earlier in August and were now making all sorts of barking racket. It was difficult to see them however due to the thick fog which hung heavy in the air. A few minutes and many pictures later we set out to find the Cape Arago Lighthouse, however we were unsuccessful despite three loops around the area and numerous stops at potential spots. It was not to be found today! Not to be deterred we marched onward, enjoying the now familiar beauty of the Oregon Coast. Determined to see a lighthouse today we pulled off at the sign for Umpqua Lighthouse and after a few moments of altitude increasing confusion we came upon the Lighthouse which surprised us for several reasons. Firstly, we were surprised that it was located so far from the ocean (at least a quarter mile) and secondly that the Coast Guard members that man the Lighthouse live in apartment units right next to the Lighthouse. Can't imagine the constant intrusions and boredom. After happily finding our Lighthouse we began to work our way toward Portland, driving along Highway 38 East which wound for many miles and took us over several bridges. Very interesting to see some houses across the Umpqua River and know that everything over there was taken by boat. We pushed through to Salem, where we decided to make a stop at the State Capitol. On our way we noticed an old building that looked like a stereotypical asylum and sure enough when we passed by there was the sign reading Oregon State Hospital. Making a mental note to check it out we drove the short distance to the Capitol and were surprised to see that the building itself was fairly dirty yet imposing and was adorned with what we learned was a gold-leafed Oregon Pioneer, complete with knee boots and axe. We then headed back for a few pictures at the State Hospital, which was interesting as we saw several people playing basketball out front and were not sure if they worked or lived there. We hopped back in the car and while headed to I-5 we stumbled upon a beautiful cluster of trees and old buildings that necessitated a stop at what turned out to be Willamette University, We spent about 20 minutes just walking around, taking pictures, and imagining what it would be like to be a student there. Finally ready we got back on the road for our last leg of the trip heading into Portland. The driving definitely let us know the big city was approaching! We of course made it safe and sound to our hotel and were glad for the elevator after two days of stairs. A quick check in later and it was up to our room and then out again for a delicious Indian dinner complete with 3 kinds of naan and the creamiest Chicken Tikka Masala we've had. We then headed back to the hotel for some much deserved rest and dreams of more adventures to come. Next up: Portland!

Totals:
New license plates spotted: (4) New York, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Hawaii,
Total: 16
Miles traveled today: 235
Total: 862

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