Lots of catching up was done over dinner at the Cracker Barrel just down the road
Bruce and Sue left and so did we. We will likely meet up again as they are headed in basically the same direction we are. Meanwhile we moved to Welches Oregon which brought us to the foothills of Mount Hood.
I have been to this area on business several times and I promised Barbara that I'd take her around Mt Hood and the Bennett Pass one day. Last time we tried on the motorcycle we were defeated by a terrible campground and torrential rain. This time we got enjoy a whole day of back roads, lavender farms, wineries and picnics on the Columbia River. This is just beautiful country.
We also stumbled across a great Irish character- Robbie, who worked at the Mt Hood Village Encore Park. Full of fun and with a broad Irish accent, he is fulltiming with his wife and 4 little kids!
|Columbia River Gorge|
We even had time to order new glasses for the 2 of us, find the Gresham Elks Lodge and attend an Escapees Chapter monthly meeting. We hardly had time left for the local Boring Brewery but luckily we managed a few trips there to sample their beer, play darts and fill our growler a few times.
After the dark dreary TT campground the Tillamook Elks Lodge sounded very appealing, very open, large spaces, full hookups and near the coast. We were delighted with the place and chatted away with our neighbors. Turned out we were all San Diego tax exiles! Surely California can't keep driving people out for ever?
|Lavender farm and Mt Hood|
We've explored this area before by motorcycle so we avoided the more touristy spots like the Cheese Factory and Air Museum. We did take a trip up to the nice town of Astoria but the 60 mile trip took 3 hrs on Highway 101 which is just 2 lanes, winding and full of vacationing drivers.
The temperatures were perfect, mid 70's and sunny, so when we moved on to the Hillsboro Elks it was a shock to be in the high 80's just 60 miles inland from Tillamook.
We moved back nearer to Portland because it is a straight line from Hillsboro to Chehalis Washington our next planned stop at a TT park, We also had a call that our new eyeglasses were ready so we took the opportunity to pick them up and at the same time get our hair cut. Got to keep up appearances sometimes!
We were of course staying at an Elks Lodge again and a really welcoming one, Imagine our surprise when the gentleman behind the bar turned out to be from Manchester England and the Leading Knight from London! They had the best ribs we've tasted in years on the menu too.
One of our “Things” is collecting the pins or badges from each lodge. They are all different. We hang our collection along the windows of the rig. They aren't always easy to get, sometimes the lodges are closed when we are in town or they have run out of them. We think we have visited around 90 lodges but we have only around 60 pins to show for it. It's fascinating to see the differences in each lodge. They range from very simple to amazing.
We dropped by the Milwaukee/Portland lodge on the way back from getting our glasses and found one of the amazing ones. A huge place with a nice lounge but also a games room with pool tables, shuffleboard and darts. But wait! How about a swimming pool and a bowling alley as well!! The parking lot was full even though the lounge was closed. They are the only swimming pool around there and had families signing up to be Elks just to use the pool during the summer.
|Tammy does great selfie's|
|Tammy and Debbie|
Out of the blue we saw a message on Facebook between 2 of our San Diego friends who were chatting about a ship that was on it's way between San Diego and Portland. Mary was on the ship and Tammy arriving in Portland to meet the ship at the shipyard there. We barged in on the conversation and arranged to have Tammy over to the lodge for Saturday prime rib dinner there. She had a colleagues with the Daniel and he was invited along naturally. John and Debbie had friends in the area and there were 8 for dinner. Unfortunately Mary didn't get in to port early enough so we sadly missed meeting her.
|John and Scott|
We all had a great time and got on so much like old friends that the waitress was amazed to find out that we weren't! The evening just flew by and so had our couple of days with John and Debbie. We headed North.
|Too much fun going on here!|
The second reason is that Chehalis is fairly close to 2 of the big mountains in the chain that runs up from California thru Oregon and Washington. We had been to Mt Shasta and Mt Hood. Next are Mt St Helens and Mt Rainier and we visited both. St Helens was being shy though and kept her veil down.
|Mt St Helens with her veil of cloud.|