Week 3: Seaside at Seal Rock, OR

Image showing Amy just after their arrival in Seal Rock, in the rain
A rainy arrival at our campground in Oregon. See how close we are to the ocean?

By leaving Heber City, we kicked off week three of our full-timing adventure with the goal of reaching the coast of Oregon to stay at an oceanside RV park. The theme of this week: clam chowder and mask wearing.

The Drive to the Oregon Coast

Our first stop was in Boise, Idaho where se stayed at Hi Valley RV Park for a quick overnight. We got to see some former co-workers we hadn’t seen in about 11 years. We met all four of their children they’ve had since we last saw them. That was really fun (and one part I really like about our travels)!

The next morning we decided to try to get all the way to the Oregon coast. It was about 500 miles. In a perfect world, we’d travel no more than 300 miles per day. But we pulled it off and arrived at Seal Rocks Cove RV Park, which is located south of Newport, Oregon and right on Highway 101. The drive was really quite fun. We made the most of it with fun conversation, and I played DJ and played some of our favorite music (you accumulate a lot of songs when you’re together for 30 years).

Oregon Coast’s Differences from Inland

Bridge with the Oregon sign as we drove west from Idaho.
Welcome to Oregon!

During our drive, the landscape went from prairie and farmland for miles, to mountains with pine trees lining the roads (note: we really want to go back to Sisters, OR, that looked like a cool place). After that we had a beautiful view of Mt. Hood for a time. Then windy narrow roads, trimmed with bright green trees and moss, led us to Corvallis (home of Oregon State University) and eventually to the coast.

It was around Corvallis where the weather turned from hot and sunny to cool, cloudy and rainy. While the rain subsided the next day, it remained cloudy and cool for most of every single day the week we were there. The sun would usually make an appearance in the late afternoon, but it was still cool.

There was a harder line on wearing masks on the coast than anywhere else we stopped in Oregon. Since both Joel and I are fully vaccinated, throughout our travels we have embraced the opportunity to go maskless when walking into a convenience or grocery store. But, suddenly, when we got to our campsite, we learned very quickly we had to wear our masks if we walked outside of our campsite. Joel also got “carded” at an Ace Hardware to prove he had been vaccinated. This was very different from any other place we’d been so far (or have been to since).

Ocean Walks and Cooks Chasm

Picture of black lab Bella going into the waters of the Pacific Ocean
13-year-old Bella acting half her age on the Oregon coast

What was delightful about our location was our daily late afternoon walk to the ocean from our campsite. We had to cross busy Highway 101, but once we got to the beach there was a huge area where our dogs could walk/run off leash and into the ocean. Our 13-year-old dog, Bella, who is showing her age these days, could not have been happier (a sight we hadn’t seen in years). Riley, our 2-year-old Golden Retriever, was literally in heaven. Running as fast as she could down the beach to retrieve her ball (sometimes looking like she was sliding into 3rd base to catch her ball). They both seemed to accept the shower back at the camper — which they’d have to take after each trip to the ocean — to rinse off the salt water.

We were able to spend time with a college friend who we’d not seen in 27 years while we were there (have I told you it’s fun to see friends you haven’t seen in forever?) She and her husband recommended meeting up at Cook’s Chasm a really cool shoreline area where, when the waves hit just right, water shoots up between some rocks like a whale sending water through its blow hole. Some people get close to the edge seemingly to challenge mother nature to see if they’ll get a surprise spray by the ocean.

The food was really special. The last time I had clam chowder that good was when I was on the east coast and about 13 years old. Our family did a road trip out to the New England states and I have fond memories of the delicious chowder there and this experience just brought those memories back.

Breaking in Traeger and Solostove

Solostove with its first fire. This portable fire pit emits less smoke so you don't smell after your bonfire.
First fire in the Solostove

When we were in Heber City, we picked up our Solo Stove, but it was too windy to use. So we cranked that up in Seal Rock for the first time (and several times thereafter. Then, our Traeger smoker was shipped to us in Seal Rock. We quickly put that to work, making the best ribs we’ve ever made. See our post on our first attempts with the smoker.

One week later, we traded in Seal Rock, OR and the ocean, for the Redwoods of California.