Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Oregon Coast

This is overdue, but if I don't post right away, then I get waylaid by too many things waiting to do at home.

After a conference in Portland at the beginning of June, Shelley and I rented a car and spent a few days driving down the coast of Oregon. We've been to the Oregon coast a few times and it's very nice. Here's the route we took:

View Larger Map

We left Portland in the afternoon and reached Astoria at supper time. There were various chain hotels which would have been fine but we were keeping an eye out for something different. We spotted the Cannery Pier Hotel and decided to check it out.

Their regular rates are pretty steep, but it was off-season and later in the day and they gave us a good deal. And we got a glass of local wine as a welcome drink :-) The room was very nice with a great view of the bay. The "window" from the bedroom into the bathroom overlooking the tub and glass walled shower was a first for me!

We asked for recommendations for supper. There was a place next door but then we wouldn't have gotten driven to supper in the 1946 Cadillac. So we went to Clemente's downtown. We had a great meal. When we ordered tiramisu (one of my favorites) for dessert they were all out :-( But the waiter came back and said the chef would make something for us and whipped up a tiramisu-like dessert and it was complimentary :-) After supper the chauffeur came back in the Cadillac and took us back to the hotel. Can't beat that!

The next day we drove down the coast, stopping at Cannon Beach (for a walk on the beach), and at Tillamook for a visit to the cheese factory.

We had asked at the Cannery Pier Hotel for recommendations for places to stay further down the coast and they had suggested the Inn at Arch Rock. It turned out to be an older place but with a great site overlooking the ocean. We stayed here the next two nights.

The next day we drove down to Newport and visited the Oregon Coast Aquarium. I think my favorites were the tufted puffins.

In one of the local newspapers we'd seen a review of a restaurant called 44 Degrees not far from where we were staying. On the way by we stopped in to check it out. It's in the Whale Cove Inn a new (very fancy) hotel. We decided to splurge and try it out for our last supper. They serve a fixed seven course dinner. The only choice was the entre. Wine, of course, was extra. Each course was quite small but we were just pleasantly full when we were done. Everything was great. We were glad we went.

However nice fancy hotels and restaurants are, they're also a sign of "development". People talk about the "wild Oregon coast" and maybe parts of it still are, but the majority of it consists of towns, restaurants, hotels, condos, and vacation homes. Every beach we visited was overlooked by buildings. And, depressingly, me being a tourist there just adds to it. Too many people, too much money, not enough concern about the environment. I can't help think we're doomed, or at least the world I'd like to see is. Sorry, that's my lament for today.

The next day we drove back to Portland and flew back to Saskatoon.

I did have one complaint flying back. I've been carrying my travel mug with me on trips to avoid the waste of paper cups. But when we went to the Starbucks in the Portland airport, they refused to use my mug. (It was even a Starbucks mug!) It was some kind of regulation but I'm not sure what the reason was. Maybe it's not sanitary for the staff to handle? (It wasn't a Starbucks regulation, it was something to do with the airport.) In any case it was mildly annoying!