Westward travels with a Border collie, Part II

A low leaden sky, clouds scudding off the ocean towards the northeast, the greenish mountains to the east providing a background to a light, persistent rain.  This Monday morning was our last full day in Oregon, and it was “wine country” day, as in Willamette Valley vineyards.  Would weather conditions be improved east of the Coastal Range mountains?

Magic is a cool, composed, and self-confident canine.  He always carries himself with an equilibrium, an inner harmony, an acceptance of whatever comes his way.  A simple whisper of “let’s go,” is an immediate response, no leash required.  Down several flights of stairs to the parking lot, to the the Scion xB, up into the back.  A quick kiss from Magic for me and my sister, Mary, and we’re off.  Eastbound on US 26, the Sunset Highway, through the clouds, drizzle, and rain of the Coastal Range.  As US 26 straightened and flattened east of the Coastal Range, the clouds were breaking up, the rain had stopped and the sun was shining.  Southbound on Oregon-47, through the towns of Banks, Forest Grove, Yamhill.  Why so many Sheriff’s Patrol cars lurking on side streets?

Stoller Estate was was our primary destination.  A large parking lot, a beautiful modern structure with polished concrete, glass, metal, and wood.  Their website mentioned that pets were not allowed, but stainless steel water bowls were observed on expansive outdoor seating area.  Yes, dogs are allowed – outside.  Comfortable outdoor seating included small tables with four chairs, community seating with large tables, and areas of white Adirondack chairs paired with small tables.  The seating area overlooked vineyards and an open grassy area.  Sounds of birds in “distress” were soon realized to be recordings of hawks and their “captured” prey – keeps the riff-raff out of the vineyards, I guess.

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Stoller Family Estates is dog-friendly.  Very large concrete patio, a lot of comfortable outdoor seating, great wines, and a very pleasant staff.

While we had another winery in mind, after departing Stoller, we ended up on Breyman Orchards Road which turned 90 degrees in front of Durant Vineyards at Red Ridge.  My sister, Mary, said, “Let’s go here!”

The atmosphere of Durant Vineyards was very different from Stoller – smaller, a bit more green, a bit more rustic, a bit more gratifying to the soul.  Durant was more about connecting with the views of the Willamette Valley and the mountains to the north.  From the comfort of Adirondack chairs on a lush lawn, there was quiet contentment, a tranquility that was enhanced by delicious wine and sampler plates.

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One of the owners at Durant came out to our table to interact with Magic.  Just when you thought life couldn’t get any better.

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The “Bubble Guys” at Seaside

The Pacific coast of Oregon has been my go-to vacation destination since the early 1990’s.  Experiences with my children, siblings, and, of course, Magic, have been what memories are made of.  The pleasures are simple:  beautiful beaches, not many people, gorgeous scenery, cool temperatures, pine forests, mountains. Our base of operations for this trip was, again,  Rivertide Suites in Seaside –  a two bedroom, two bath suite with a kitchen and living room overlooking the mountains to the west.  And they’re dog-friendly, especially for a registered Border collie Therapy dog.

The weekend after Labor day hosts a custom classic car show which means that rumbling exhausts, and automobile memories from the 1940’s to the 1970’s are lining the streets.  Compared to the more upscale Cannon Beach, Seaside has more of a middle-class, blue-collar feel, with arcades, gift shops, taffy and candy stores, and the occasional street-people.  And it was a pair of these street-people who provided a mesmerizing display of indigent creativity – think, BIG BUBBLES!

The promenade of Seaside consists of wide concrete walkway, a concrete wall, and a deep stretch of sand with the Pacific ocean to the west.  People of all ages, families, dog walkers, a few bikes, a few skateboards, a lot of tattoos, enjoy the promenade.  At the Broadway Street turn-around, a crowd had gathered.  Children were jumping at these HUGE bubbles that were emerging from the beach.  Two enterprising men had triangular strands of yarn suspended between two poles.  The yarn would be dipped into a small plastic pool and then held aloft for the ocean breeze to extract the soapy film from the strands of yarn to be transformed into the most attention-grabbing, prismatic, wanderers, some the size of  a kitchen stove.

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The Bubble-Guys on the Promenade at Broadway, Seaside, OR.  Fascinating, simple, and free.

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The Bubble-Guys do have a “donation” bucket.  If you are enjoying this unique experience, it’s a good spend!  And you will get a “thank-you!”

And the fee for this entertainment?  There was a small plastic bucket for donations, if one so desired.  I tossed in a $5 with an immediate “thank you” from one of the bubble creators.

OREGON DEPARTURE and GET-HOME-ITIS

Our last day at the beach was spent at (the secluded) Falcon Cove.  The tide was out, the weather was amazing, and I was OFF-LEASH – because I am a VERY good boy.  Although I was trusted to be OFF-LEASH our entire time at Falcon Cove, I do not stray far from My Dad, I do not bother anyone else, I do not bother other dogs…but I LOVE to chase sea gulls.  Falcon Cove is a secret. No signs, no advertised public access, a challenging walk to the beach on a steep gravel/dirt path (so easy for a Border collie).

We spent several hours walking Astoria, Oregon.  Visited the weekend Farmer's Market, shopped and rested.

We spent several hours walking Astoria, Oregon. Visited the weekend Farmer’s Market, shopped and rested.

Want a beach all to yourself?  Falcon Cove is it!

Want a beach all to yourself? Falcon Cove is it!

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I became very attached to My Dad's sister, Mary.  She found 112 sand dollars at Falcon Cove.  They smelled.....interesting.

I became very attached to My Dad’s sister, Mary. She found 112 sand dollars at Falcon Cove. They smelled…..interesting.

Tuesday morning, September 8th, we began our trek to the east.  We dropped Mary at PDX, picked up I-84 east (a very noisy surface to this road) and spent the first night in Ontario, Oregon at a dog-friendly Clarion Inn.  Wednesday morning, we crossed into Idaho and made a lunch stop in Mountain Home, the location of Mountain Home Air Force Base.

This is an F-111 fighter-bomber, later relegated to a bomber.  My Dad remembers these from his Vietnam days.

This is an F-111 fighter-bomber, later relegated to a bomber. My Dad remembers these from his Vietnam days.

An F-111 during the Vietnam era.

An F-111 during the Vietnam era.

We dropped down into Utah and picked up I-80 and we arrived in Evanston, Wyoming, just after 7:00 p.m.  After checking in to our room at Comfort Inn, My Dad and I drove to the Business District and walked around.

The STRAND Theater now...

The STRAND Theater now…

...the STRAND Theater in 1923...

…the STRAND Theater in 1923…

...and the STRAND Theater in 1970...

…and the STRAND Theater in 1970…

The Union Pacific Railroad continues to have a large presence in Evanston, WY.  Former facilities included a maintenance building, a round-house and a power house.  The maintenance building and part of the round-house have been restored and are National Historic sites.  The Power house is a bit forlorn looking.

Power house in Evanston, built in 1913.  A bit tired looking but quite beautiful in the setting sun.

Power house in Evanston, built in 1913. A bit tired looking but quite beautiful in the setting sun.

The following morning, it was on to our last overnight – Grand Island, Nebraska.  The final push into Chicago was paused in Stuart, Iowa, home to a Bonnie and Clyde bank robbery in 1934.

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The Hotel Stuart now...

The Hotel Stuart now…

The Hotel Stuart in 1938, across from the Rock Island Railroad Depot.

…the Hotel Stuart in 1938, across from the Rock Island Railroad Depot.

We arrived home at 11:22 p.m.  I got a walk and went to bed.

SEAGULL HARASSMENT -and- ICE CREAM AT TILLAMOOK

I still find it hard to believe that My Dad unhooks me at the beach.  JOY!  HAPPINESS!  SPRINTING!  RUNNING!  MAKING FRIENDS!  AND CHASING SEAGULLS!

FREEDOM!   JOY!  OFF-LEASH!

FREEDOM! JOY! OFF-LEASH!

I met a tall lanky four year old female yesterday afternoon.  Her name was Ella….after a few moments of introduction, we took both took off on some high-speed circuits of the beach.  I can run full speed and still tuck my butt in.  I was a bit faster than her.  Two other dogs inserted themselves into our chase-me, chase-you games.  I had to apply FULL brakes to avoid a collision…my skid marks were three feet long!

I'm giving the seagulls a respite.

I’m giving the seagulls a respite.

Ella was GREAT at chase-me, chase-you pursuit games!

Ella was GREAT at chase-me, chase-you pursuit games!

Finishing up the Tillamook Ice Cream...my eyes are closed for a reason...yummmmm...

Finishing up the Tillamook Ice Cream…my eyes are closed for a reason…yummmmm…

Ella asked me if I was a model for Modern Dog magazine

Ella asked me if I was a model for Modern Dog magazine

I am an active participant when we go bye-bye-in the car.

I am an active participant when we go bye-bye-in the car.

CODY AND MAGIC AT ARCADIA BEACH

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Arcadia Beach, several miles south of Cannon Beach, OR, is a testament to the passage of time – the bluffs and cliffs are sedimentary and volcanic rock created over hundreds of millions of years.  What was once seabed is now buckled sedimentary rock that has been uplifted and is on display as cliff faces, some at very unusual angles.  The earthly remains of my beloved Border collie, Cody, arrived at Arcadia Beach, a place of beauty, a place of great memories with my children and family.  Dogs run free, chase sea gulls, play with their humans.  Magic gave the brass can a delicate lick before Cody’s ashes were poured in the Pacific at the base of the outcropping in the background.  Within seconds, the gentle waves had pulled Cody into sea, and mingled him with the sands of time.

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TUMBLED BY A WAVE -and- I KNOW I CAN SWIM

We are at the beach and I went in the water…..

What?

Really?  You want me to keep the stories in order?  Mmmmmph…

OK, what else after playing with GiGi?

Ohhh, the accident on I-84 outside of Pendleton…there was a seven car wreck including a rolled over vehicle with people ejected from their vehicle on I-84.  All traffic in both directions was shut down for an hour.

Traffic came to a standstill on I-84 in Pendleton, OR, for one hour.

Traffic came to a standstill on I-84 in Pendleton, OR, for one hour.

Always good to wear your seatbelt.

Always good to wear your seatbelt.

Mary’s flight into Portland was on time.  They allow dogs in the airport, so I went with My Dad into the terminal.  Everyone always likes to talk with me and pet me…pretty cool, right?

After we checked in to our hotel in Seaside, we drove to Cannon Beach and parked at Tolovana, near Mo’s restaurant.  My Dad walked me down to this HUGE beach and unhooked the leash.  REALLY?  I’M FREE?  REALLY?  REALLY?  Look at those birds, I am getting some of that.  I sprinted into the water up to my chest and a wave caught me, flipped me over, and I realized I could swim.  The beach is very shallow so I only needed to swim for about 15 seconds.  Ha!  Fool me once, shame on you…fool me twice shame on me.  No running into the surf again.

South of Tolovana with Haystack Rock in the background...shortly after being tumbled.

South of Tolovana with Haystack Rock in the background…shortly after being tumbled.

Cindyreminded me of Brandy.  She was 18 months old and I had to work very hard to get her to play with me...but she did!

Cindyreminded me of Brandy. She was 18 months old and I had to work very hard to get her to play with me…but she did!

CANNON BEACH, HERE WE COME! and FEEDING THE DEMONIC SCHIZOID

Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon...doesn't look that far on the map...

Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon…doesn’t look that far on the map…”Where’s Nebraska?”

“Where’s Nebraska?”

“You’re looking at the map…you have it open to Nebraska…”

“Why are we stopping in Scottsbluff…why don’t we just drive right to the beach…we ARE going to a beach, aren’t we?”

“We have three nights in Scottsbluff because I am teaching at soccer referee clinics for an AYSO region. Don’t worry, you’ll have your own bed…”

“When do we get to the beach…you said the Pacific Ocean, mountains, rain forests, sea gulls to chase, cool temperatures, bye-bye in the car, when do we get there?”

“We are meeting Mary at PDX on Friday morning, we’ll be at the beach Friday afternoon.”

“This is an OFF-LEASH beach…right?  You keep telling me I will be OFF-LEASH…”

“Yes, yes, yes…an adventure of a lifetime for a young Border collie.  And from Scottsbluff to Portland, we are taking US Route 26, through the Rocky Mountains, small towns, National Forests.  You will see Wyoming, Idaho and Oregon.  Believe me, you will LOVE this trip!”

“I’m going to miss my dog friends…Brandy, Ellie, Sophie, Olive…”

“Sorta funny that all your friends are female…just sayin’ and you let them eat your food while you just watch…you certainly are the Romeo…don’t forget to tell your followers they can follow our trip on your blog…”

“Hey, all my faithful and loyal followers…follow my trip to Oregon on my blog!”

Brandy was over the other day, she asked if she could eat my food.

Brandy was over the other day, she asked if she could eat my food…she didn’t wait for an answer…

...and then she eats the rest of my food...it better to just watch it happen...I always want to stay on her good side, right Demonic Schizoid?

…and then she eats the rest of my food…it is better to just watch it happen…I always want to stay on her good side, right Demonic Schizoid?