I realize our current lifestyle—retired, visiting exotic places and exotic people, eating exotic food, taking frequent naps—makes the use of the term “vacation” as it pertains to our activities seem somewhat inappropriate. But the Daily Grind (tongue firmly in cheek here) at Beaver Coach Sales and Service in Bend Oregon started to feel like a job after a while. After all, we were leaving the house every weekday by eight AM and not getting back home until the work day was over. Plus it was going to be a huge pain in the fundament for all involved if we tried to live in the Edmund while the entire floor was being torn up and replaced. So we had several day trips in Bend, engaged in some fine dining, and did a week long road trip to the Oregon coast and Crater Lake while the floor was being worked on.

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The Aluminum Overcast, a WWII-era B-17 Flying Fortress was at the Bend airport for a day. They were letting people walk through her and so we did. The B-17 was not built with someone my size in mind—it was easy getting in, not so easy getting out.

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The totem pole in the lower right quarter of the steering yoke hub is the original Boeing logo, the same as the logo on my first Boeing service pin.

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We made a road trip to Redmond Oregon to sample the pork ossobuco at Diego’s Spirited Kitchen, pork shank with Crimini, Portabella and Porcini mushrooms served over buttermilk mashed potatoes finished with black truffle oil

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We had a meal at Ariana Restaurant in Bend. We started with CARPACCIO – Seared and Thinly Sliced Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Truffle Oil, Horseradish Crème Fraiche, Parmegiano Reggiano, and Scallions

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Ariana SHRIMP AND GRITS – Tender Wild Rock Shrimp Simmered with Chorizo and Cream Over Creamy Polenta with Cilantro

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Ariana ROASTED BEET SALAD – Organic Ruby and Golden Beets Roasted and Marinated in Shallot Vinaigrette with Watercress and Cypress Grove Chèvre Sachet

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Ariana SCALLOPS – Wild Jumbo Sea Scallops Seared and Served over Dungeness Crab and Herb Carnaroli Risotto

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While visiting the Oregon coast, we had lunch at Local Ocean Seafoods, a combination restaurant and seafood market in Newport Oregon. I started with the Oyster Shooters, locally harvested raw oyster, cocktail sauce, and lemon.

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I moved on to Weathervane Scallops with Israeli couscous, tomatoes, cucumbers, queso fresco, and white balsamic vinaigrette.

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While in Newport we visited the Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center, the public education wing of the Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center. The Visitor Center looked rather unprepossessing, there was what appeared to be a shabby structure prominently located next to the entrance. It turned out this was part of a 66′ long, 19′ wide, 7′ tall dock washed ashore a few miles from the Visitor Center early in the morning of June 5, 2012. The dock was believed to weigh 130-165 tons. It was washed to sea during the 2011 tsunami in Japan and traveled across the entire Pacific bearing an unintended cargo of invasive species.

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Florence Oregon was our base of operations on the coast. We spent a day driving north and saw spectacular vistas.

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The Heceta Head Lighthouse normally operates as a Bed and Breakfast but was off limits to visitors due to renovations.

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There were plenty of sea lions, basking on the rocks. . .

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. . . swimming in the harbors.

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South of Florence was the Umpqua River Lighthouse. There is a nearby Coastal History Museum and visitors can tour the lighthouse. Coast Guard personnel are still housed on the property in modern structures.

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They actually let you climb partway into the First Order Fresnel lens!

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Crater Lake was our next destination. It was the beginning of a fascination with volcanic activity that’s been with us since.

To be continued in the next post:

What We Did On Our Summer Vacation Part II: Lavapalooza

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