Wednesday, July 23, 2008 – Oregon Coast

Alsea Interpretive Center

Originally uploaded by marymompics

When we looked at our GPS, the demonic “Missy” told us that we had about 250 miles to go today and it would take over 6 hours. Huh, that seemed like a long time. But by the time we stopped and had breakfast and lunch and looked at the Alsea Bay Bridge Interpretive Center and Tillamook Cheese Factory, it took us over 8 hours to get from Bandon to Astoria, Oregon.

John was really great about doing all the driving. Between the cliffs and the high bridges, there was no way I was going to participate.

First we stopped at the Kountry Kitchen for an awful breakfast. Will I never learn? Never eat at a restaurant called “Kitchen” and never, never eat at a place that thinks it’s cute to misspell things.

Our next stop was at the Alsea Bay Bridge Interpretive Center. Conde McCullough was the architect for most of the bridges along US 101 in Oregon. In fact, we had seen a program about him and his bridges on Modern Marvels. They are art deco masterpieces. The Center explained the history of the bridges and the building of the Alsea replacement bridge. The McCullough bridge had been built with the wrong mix of concrete and had begun to fail. Anyway, really interesting.

The Oregon coast is really beautiful and very wild. The road is windy with lots of grade and the little towns really slow you down. A speeding tourist is a real revenue opportunity.

We also stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory . There was a self-guided tour and lots of people. We didn’t spend too much time here.

Finally we got to Astoria with its looming bridge across the Columbia River. We checked into the Rosebriar Inn. I had booked the Carriage House. Not clean, not comfortable and with giant carpenter ants. No way we are spending two nights here.

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