We had planned to hit the road on Friday, with visions (delusions?) of making it to Corvallis by Friday evening in time for dinner downtown. Unfortunately, we spent our first night in the bus out in Sandy, Oregon, on the Johnson RV lot after the “4 hour” install of our towing system ending up taking nearly 12 hours. Yes, 12. We made the best of it, though, taking advantage of our down time to work in the bus while they installed the tow bar on the Jeep. We set up bunk beds to fit the back bedroom, put together the sofa bed in the front “studio apartment,” and worked to take full advantage of our storage space. In the bus, every job is a custom job. We capped it all off with a terrific breakfast at the Tollgate Inn restaurant in Sandy the next morning. In Bridger’s estimation, breakfast was “Epic!”
Saturday in Portland they hit a new record high, 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39 Celsius) on the Jeep dashboard display! Perfect day to hit the beach, right? Alas, it was not to be. We spent the rest of Saturday assembling and securing our remaining furniture, setting Carson and Bridger up with their beds for the next year, and doing a final sweep of our storage room before heading out. It was a great feeling to roll out of Portland, down Interstate 5 toward Salem, with our family in the bus and the Jeep in tow, even if (or maybe especially because) it was late at night. The stars were out, the city was lit up, and the open road lay ahead. What more could you ask for? It was beautiful.
About midnight we stopped at a rest stop, pulled in next to a couple of idling semi-trucks, and settled in for a few hours of sleep. The heat had eased off a little and with open windows, we had a small cross breeze that kept the bus cool. Sunday morning we were off again, stopping at a KOA (Kampgrounds Of America) site just outside of Corvallis. Small drama with a flat tire and roadside assistance (thanks, Beggs Tires!) but Ayrril, Carson, and Bridger hit the pool while the blown tire was being changed. Corvallis had beautiful sunny weather, with a high temperature of 93 F (34 C). Perfect pool weather, but we were really ready for some sun, sand, and surf. Well, two out of three ain’t bad, right? We drove west on highway 20 toward Newport, winding through rolling hills and forests of the Coastal Range. As soon as we crossed the final set of low mountains, we hit a fog bank blowing in off the Pacific and temperatures around 62 degrees F (17 C). Brrrr!! Still, Sam loved the waves and open beach, we had some amazing clam chowder at a local restaurant, and we saw seals swimming in the open ocean. All in all, not a bad introduction to the Oregon coast.