oregon take 2
What you can't see, is that the fun lasted all of five minutes - if that. With Rico, Yoda and I in a four-seater buggy, and the two big kids on quad ATV's, we were mired half-a-tire deep within seconds of being set loose by the rental company. They were great about coming to rescue the quads (thankfully, because they had to do it at least five times for Kooka and twice for Punk, which isn't counting the several times we did it ourselves). Eventually we gave up and asked for an escort back to the lot (whereupon we managed to get both quads stuck three more times).
Most of the adventure looked more like this:
Oddly enough, we paid about six times as much to drive ourselves around than we would have hopping on a group buggy and letting somebody else take us baja-ing over the sand. We spent 55 of our 60 minutes lifting 500 pound vehicles out of the sand so many times that we all left limping (and some of us crying). Next time we'll pay the chauffeur.
But aside from that fiasco, Oregon is awesome. We could stop at every single rocky outcropping and still feel like we've missed something.
We had to make one last stop on the coast before we headed inland. The water was Titanic icy, but the warm D River flowed right into it, which made a lovely little spot for wading, collecting seaweed, watching little brown jellyfish and flying our dollar store kite.
Dinner was at a little Italian joint that Rico found. Punk had a shrimp Alfredo sandwich, Kooka and Rico split a giant, football-sized calzone, I had lasagne and Yoda had spaghetti.
We cruised through Portland much faster than we'd have liked. All 22 hotels we called were completely sold out, for what we can only imagine must be a giant Squatch convention. So we headed to Vancouver, Washington, which technically means we've finished our tour of the continental United States. But one filthy pool in a Comfort Inn cannot possibly constitute our Washington experience, so we're not counting it yet.
Seattle here we come.