First, a little RV talk. This is a public site and has a few followers beyond the 92 on the mailing list. Some may be interested in RV talk, some – travel tips, and others, like most of us, in search of the holy grail – behold I say to you, Metahedonism (© 1974)!
We arrived at the South Jetty RV Resort (resort? Come on) on May 31, Andrea’s birthday. South Jetty is also a national recreation area that encompasses the RV park and the surrounding few square miles. The park is privately owned by Thousand Trails and there are other homes and commercial establishments within the national park boundaries. I don’t know how that works. Maybe they lease the land, like Breezy Point, for you familiar with our old, family summer bungalow. I still can’t recall how we all slept in that tiny house.
Anyway, we’re not impressed with Thousand Trails parks so far. We’ve stayed in four. The first was 15 miles east of Santa Barbara over a mountain pass. It’s one of several of their parks that uses the find-your-own-campsite method. We got stuck in a fairly remote spot that turned out to be ok – a thousand points for all the hummingbirds. If that’s a feature, then including the pain-in-the-ass-drive to get there earns two-thousand points off, I’ll give the park a 6.66. The extra 6 is for you weirdos who believe in that bird-turd. (I know, I should have said shit, but I’ve got bats in the attic – and memories of turkey poop from that place.) The water, as in most California parks, was not drinkable and very hard. It tested over 500ppm, ‘well water, check with local authorities’, and ‘firm afro’ on the hardness scale.
The second one was in Santa Cruz, where I got into a shouting match with a manager about my slideout hanging over the edge of their white line which indicates site boundaries. Now, if you know me, I have a rather high boiling point, and I tend to cover the pot then, but explode it will, if so pushed (normal Irish reaction). When I asked her, at a rather increased volume, to walk around the park with me and count all the RV’s whose slides hung out over the white lines, her tone became more reasonable and peace was negotiated. You shouldn’t have to do that. Two-billion points off. First RV park to do that in the new, Worst of RV Parks Hall of Fame ©. (I got to use that little copyright symbol again. Cool.) I just invented it – the Worst Hall of Fame, All Rights Reserved, says me. Shouldn’t that be enough? Do we need lawyers? Just post on the internet that you have a good idea, personally notarize it – using one of these do-hickeys (©, wonder if anybody owns rights to that word), and now Apple or Google can’t steal your idea without a deal! I think I should notarize that idea, as well as the self-notarize thing. Yeah! And I’m gonna sue your ass if you copy any of this. ©©©! But I digress. Santa Cruz was close to the boardwalk, a dingy looking, run-down version of Atlantic City – no thanks, and a very nice, small state redwoods forest – points for that. But bottom line, Thousand Trails should not allow any rig with slideouts on both sides – they just won’t fit – into this place. And since they do, they need a manager who isn’t as hot-headed as me. Overall, they get a 1.11 rating (6.66÷6). Water was bad there as well, apparently creating the witch-bitch syndrome when consumed.
Third TT park was Pacifica, the one in a parking lot on a cliff south of San Francisco. Sites were extremely narrow there but at least we fit, though you could open your window and grab the neighbor’s dinner. This one was all about location. I originally thought it should be rated in the 9’s, but I’m still cleaning rust off the bikes and vehicles from the daily, salty mist there. Location (nine miles from downtown SF), location (view of the ocean out the front window), and location (the pool and hot tub was right behind us so we could hear every gossip word), with a little rust caveat and tiny tight-site deduction – wait, another ding for charging $20 a night when most TT parks are free. Give ’em an 8.66. Again, water testing around 500 ppm and not only does your hair stand out stiff as a bundle of knitting needles, it turns white from all the salt. At least it adds some flavor onto whatever food it falls.
Now, South Jetty. All the sites that are large enough to fit us – not many to start with – AND have sewer, are taken. Another first-come-first-served system. We found one of the few 50 amp and water sites that was long enough and had a south-view hole in the trees big enough to get Direct TV through. That said, we only saw an hour of sunlight a day, if it was out in the morning. So buried in the trees were we that cell service was non-existent. The staff was so-so – some rude, some ambivalent, nobody really nice and helpful. Location? Very close to the National Recreation Area of the same name. That’s good. The bad, same closeness – it attracts dune buggies and other annoyingly loud vehicles all weekend long until dusk – past nine o’clock in early June. The water, however, is the same quality we had at Crater Lake and the Overnighter Park, excellent – tests as borderline filtered-bottled water and soft enough to run a fine tooth comb through pubic hair. Oregon has great water. No wonder their beer is so good.
Now that’s a beer. Coors is panther piss compared to this.
The good news about Florence and South Jetty is that we’re on the coast again. Crater Lake should be on the list of Greatest Natural Wonders of the World but it is, in the end, just a big hole in the ground filled with water. The ocean is seemingly forever.
Our first full day here, we drove up along US 101, The Oregon Coast Highway (US 1 terminated in Leggett, CA), to the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center where we picked up literature about the area. The nearby tide pools caught our interest though the tide was nearly high and that made Thor’s Well and The Sprouting Horn ‘the’ attractions today.
The tide pools were constantly being slammed by incoming breakers. This particular spilt in the rocks is named Devil’s Churn and made for some great water explosions when large breakers poured into the confined space.
Wham! I love that.
Does anyone see a face in that log? I see King Kong with a pompador tilting his head to his right, possibly cradling an old black, wired phone on his shoulder. I hadn’t seen that before. Just thought it was a nice tree stump with waves crashing behind it.
But the real action was out at Thor’s Well. At the end of the rocks that you could wander out to, at high tide, there’s a hole about fifteen feet in diameter. When the waves retreat, the hole empties.
I couldn’t get too close with my legs being rather unsteady. Then the waves came in, filling it up.
Sometimes with a lot of flair:
Before you take your chances out on the rocks, big signs warn against rogue waves, extraordinarily large ones among a set of waves – “Never Turn Your Back On The Sea!”
Here’s a Darwin Awards candidate having just been soaked by one such large wave and whose cell phone was a victim to her quest for the coolest picture. The little wave-ninjanette, circled for you who are lacking the imagigene, is warning her to get the fuck off her rock. (She was pummeled again and lost her phone. The rest of the crowd got the picture. The ninjanette is our little secret.)
Turning our attention to the left, to the southern side of a creek depositing mountain runoff into the ocean, we find the ‘Sprouting Horn’. This is another vertical hole in a rock, but up a bit higher and much more narrow. It sits above a cavern that is fairly empty at low tide but fills up with water at high tide. During the ebb and flow of waves coming in at high tide, there are times when the force of the waves is so swift and powerful that the air is compressed and whooshes out the top like a steam engine. You could look at this thing all day.
And as the tide went out, it was just the waves crashing, as we waited for a small whoosh:
Very cool place. Highly recommended.
We move south on 101, back towards Florence. At an overlook, I noticed movement on the rock below. Seals.
Then Andrea thought she heard dogs barking. Off to the right was a mom seal and her pups, along with a few others tucked into an alcove. Look closely just above the log:
Next stop, Bob’s Creek, where Andrea was in search of the holy Agate:
Off to the the left is a long rock upon which a billion seagulls were sunning themselves. Andrea moved towards them and was lucky they didn’t poop on her:
Ok, I got my bird picture of the day and then went back in the car with Luna, who says “Hi!”
Further down the road, another great overlook:
And finally, yet another agate beach. Luna and I sat on a log. I tried catching a shot of an interesting bird. It is perched on a pole in the distance. Damned if I can find it now.
Sometimes you have to entertain yourself. This stick looked like a head of something.
That was just day one.
Luna posed for the cover of Shi-Tzu Monthly before we left:
The rest of the week, we did more of the same. Then one day it all ended.
As we looked out at the ferocious waves, a distant sight caught our eyes.
At first we thought it was just clouds.
Andrea pointed but Luna knew and went leaping in the air:
On queue, the tide was sucked out:
The tsunami hit a few seconds later and we were killed. The after-life was dreamy:
It was all misty and peaceful.
And then Charlton Heston strolled out of the mist with the head of a gorilla in his hand:
Wait – the staff just informed me that all is well. What a relief! That’s Andrea walking back from seeing the real dead animal on the beach, a whale. She had a washed up wreath in her hand. Nice wreath. She ended up leaving it on the “Do Not Disturb The Dead Whale” sign.
On the way back, having recovered from a tsunami and the after-life, we stopped at the overlook with the lighthouse in view. The wild surf and more distinguished sky improved that shot. Check out the undulations as far as you can see.
This last one looks south toward Florence and the endless beaches.
On Thursday, the 7th, we headed up the coast to Neskowin.