. and Mrs. Obama!!!!
After breakfast we had a quick tour of the well-kept and throughly loved community garden just 7 blocks from Bet and Deb's house where a lot of the fresh veggies we had been enjoying had come from. Then, escorted to the highway, we honked goodbye and headed West out of Portland on Route 26 toward Astoria, Oregon, a small town that Jess's Mum, Jan, had lived in when she attended high school. Along the way we stopped at this roadside cafe called Camp 18, because we had heard good things about their cinnamon buns. We were a bit dubious when we heard the price of $5.99 each, but we ordered two anyway. Each bun was the size of a dinner plate and 2-3 inches thick. We only managed one in the car between 4 people and had to save the other one for dinner dessert.
In Washington State we made a compulsory stop to get a new headlight bulb for Odie (her third and last required repair), petrol for her tank, a large tarp to cover the tent and give us cooking shelter due to the heavy rain we had been driving in for most of the day, and Bear Spray for our upcoming campsites in brown bear country. Bear Spray is a highly powerful pepper spray that shoots over 30 feet from the can and is currently recommended as the best defense against an angry or aggressive bear. All tasks completed, we carried on up the road and got to our campground at 5:45. This was no stress as, due to previous planning, we had a campsite all reserved and we followed the signs around the A Loop to site A43
. Well, imagine our surprise when we got there and there was a car, a picnic table covered with food and pots and pans and two tents pitched on the site, our site!!!!! Tim promptly went and shouted "hello" at one of the tents and shortly, a lady emerged. Her story was she had made the reservation in January and was sure she had reserved it for longer, and was just choosing to ignore the sign which had our name and today's date on it!!!!! Tim was very polite and since the campsite was actually cold, crowded and damp, said helpfully; "well, I don't know that I need to make you move, I will go see if I can find another site…" We did find a much better location, and were thanked profusely by the Rangers for being flexible and accommodating and the dizzy lady who can't read signs, make plans accurately or even consider the possibility that she might have been wrong…..ended up giving us a bundle of firewood because she felt so bad. We then quickly pitched camp, had dinner and just had enough time to walk on the beach as the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. Oh yes, and the rain through which we had been driving all day, gave way to sunshine about 15 minutes before we made it to our campground and the sky is cloud free at the moment. We need one more night of dry weather and then we are in the big smoke of Vancouver, British Columbia and in a house for a week.
We had another brief sleep-in and were up and loading Odie by 8. We checked out of our hotel and headed back to (yup, you guessed it, Bet and Deb's for yet another meal) our third home-cooked meal in as many days. This was a fortunate invitation as we were able to now complete the trifecta: dinner Friday, Lunch Saturday and Breakfast Sunday. This time we were treated to two kinds of waffles (with or without walnuts) bacon and pork sausage, fresh blueberries, strawberries and bananas, coffee and sparkling wine. This was extra special sparkling as, or so we were reliably informed, this was the exact same type of sparkling as is served in the White House to visiting dignitaries. It is the only USA made sparkling wine and this added further fuel to our theory of synchronicity. If you read this blog back in May, you would remember that we talked about the party that was thrown at the White House that we were, unfortunately, unable to attend. Well, eating the trifecta with Bet and Deb certainly packed more punch and panache then we would have gotten from Mr