We planned to stop for an afternoon in Cannon Beach to hang out and then drive on to our reservations in Florence, Oregon for two nights near the sand dunes. Well, when we left Long Beach last week we started hearing a funny sound in our engine. So we drove the hour to Cannon Beach, listening closely to the sound which was more irritating than alarming. When we arrived safely in Cannon Beach we decided to enjoy some time in the sand and worry about the noise afterwards, and it was worth it. Haystack Rock was an incredible site!
It was in Manzanita that we were able to track down what the locals considered a reputable mechanic (we stopped and asked in a bank), but he needed an hour to finish a project before he could take a look at the truck. With the kids asleep and huge trailer on the back of the truck, we drove down to the beach and parked along the side of the road for more stunning vistas. I jumped out of the truck and ran down to the beach to take a few extra photos.
After our little break, we headed back to the auto repair place and the mechanic took a listen to our poor truck. As Brett expected it wasn't a sign of imminent engine failure, but it was definitely something we would want to fix sooner rather than later - we had broke a stud on our exhaust manifold, hence the annoying squealing sound it was making, and the lack of "get-up-and-go" from our vehicle. He suggested we try a shop in Tillamook, but by the time we reached the town everything was closing up for the weekend and they let us know they were booked solid the following week. One diesel repair shop we stopped into suggested a place they knew in Newport and Brett called there. The guy told us he could squeeze us in on Monday and hopefully have us back on the road by Tuesday. It would mean losing our reservations in Florence Oregon for two nights, but we would take it if it meant a repaired truck. We continued on our way and I searched our an RV park along our route, which ended up being "Sea and Sand RV Park" in Depoe Bay. We pulled in and the kindest person ever approached our truck and told Brett that he would help him get into any spot we wanted. As he walked away Halle piped up from the backseat, "That was so nice of him to want to help us" - we agreed and him and his wife ended up being the kindest people and the best company over campfires both nights that we stayed there.
Our first morning there, we headed down to the beach to explore a little and though the swells were still small by coastal standards, they totally blew me away. The moment we arrived on that beach I was so happy our plans had been changed and we had this beautiful place to see and explore. We visited numerous times over our two days there to play, and even witnessed a gorgeous sunset there.
We discovered that Halle is Harley's pack leader. He walks so nicely next to her, follows her around and try's to heard her back to us as she runs along the beach. Seeing the two of them playing together on the beach makes me so incredibly happy.
On Sunday morning, we packed up said farewell to our new friends and made our way just down the road to our next campsite in South Beach, just south of Newport. We checked in, got set up, visited the nearby beach and then drove into Newport to check out the Sea Lions, and Rogue Brewery (for Brett and I).
Nolan was totally captivated by all of the barking sea lions
We spent Monday playing and exploring around the RV Park and the nearby Beach. It was nice to have a couple of down days with less driving, for both us and the kids, but by Monday night I was also ready to get back on the road and see some new stuff.
The nicest part of not having any other plans or reservations yet was that we could see how we felt. I looked up some RV parks along the next part of our route that we could consider for our stays, and it would all depend on how much driving we could do or felt like doing. So, we're California bound with no place we need to be except to arrive safely in San Diego at some point. Time to see where this open road takes us next...