We woke up this morning, our third at Grayland Beach State Park, to the sound of drips on our trailer roof. After the absolutely beautiful day we had yesterday, it was a surprising disappointment. But we agreed, “At least we’re not in a tent!”
Above are scenes from our outing yesterday to Ocean Shores, a touristy community situated on a finger of land between the Pacific Ocean and Grays Harbor. We had hoped for more sunshine today, but settled for a drive along a scenic route with the laundromat as our destination.
The historic Delta King, a 285-foot riverboat, offers landlubbers (like us) the chance to spend a night bobbing about on California’s Sacramento River. Reg was skeptical when I tossed the idea out to him, but the ratings were good and it was just one night…what did we have to lose?
The Delta King was originally built in Glasgow, Scotland and in Stockton, California. It was christened in 1927 when it began a daily 10 1/2 hour voyage between San Francisco and Sacramento. What a trip that must have been. If you listen carefully, you might just hear the ghosts of days gone by…days of prohibition era drinking, gambling, jazz bands and fine dining.
We checked into one of the smaller rooms that could be described as “filled with character.” In reality, while small and a little rough around the edges, it was comfy enough and the lifeboats were right outside my door…just in case!
We discovered the full bar, complete with beautiful wood paneling and none of those pesky prohibition restrictions, at the bow of the boat. We settled ourselves at a table, enjoyed the view and chatted with a senior couple from Boston who were on an extended bus trip through the west. All in all, we loved the experience and would certainly recommend a stay on the Delta King.
We chose the long way home after a visit with my Dad (for his 93rd birthday). Highway 1, California’s Pacific Coast Highway, stretches the length of the state and offers some of the most stunning coastal views you’ll find anywhere. We drove the section from San Luis Obispo to Monterey, taking advantage of a few of the roadside stops along the way.
It’s impossible to capture the vastness of the Grand Canyon with a simple photo. However, that has never stopped me from trying! Wandering the Rim Trail, we worked up an appetite and soon found refreshments in the El Tovar Hotel restaurant (be sure to ask for a table with a view). We wandered through the Hopi House (below right), built in 1904. The gift shop showcases Native American arts and crafts.
As we headed back to the parking lot, were reminded of our last trip to the Grand Canyon 13 years ago. Our sons were all well into their teenage years, and we wanted one last family adventure before they all headed off in different directions. The 2-day mule ride down to Phantom Ranch for the night, while not easy, remains a grand family memory.
This big horn sheep proudly posed for a crowd at the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum, while I posed with the resident vulture. A combination zoo, botanical garden, natural history museum, aquarium and art gallery it’s an attraction not to be missed.
Tubac was established in 1752 as a Spanish presidio and was one of the stops on the Camino Real (the “Royal Road”) from Mexico to the Spanish settlements in California. Thanks to our RV Park neighbors, full-timers Bill and Heidi, who mentioned the charms of the tiny town, we managed to squeeze in a visit on our last day. Now a thriving artist colony, shopkeepers are a trusting lot. On the door of one closed shop (center left) were instructions to drop cash or checks through the mail slot for any purchase of wares displayed outdoors.
The Pima Air and Space Museum entertained us for several hours with nearly 300 aircraft spread over 80 acres. Tram tours are offered, but not required, for the outdoor displays. Indoors, numerous volunteers are scattered about to answer any and all questions.
Yesterday’s blue sky was simply too inviting to ignore. While the temperature was just a little cold for much in the way of outdoor activity, the day was perfect for getting out of the house and scouting out a lunch spot south of the border.
We have a soft spot for The Dutchman, a quaint hometown cafe in the center of the sleepy, little community of Montague, but we pulled up to see a “Closed Monday” sign hanging in the window.
Not ready to call it quits, we continued south along a 2-lane road toward the larger California town of Weed…to another of our favorite local cafes. The view of Mount Shasta was irresistible, and by the time I finished taking photos, Reg had (patiently) worked up quite an appetite.
On a good day, 14,000 foot Mount Shasta is visible for miles in Northern California and from some spots of Southern Oregon, but yesterday’s clear view was a rare wintertime treat.
Reg and I had the chance to ketchup with a favorite childhood memory today when the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile hauledbuns into town. I hate to say it, but we relished the idea of reacquainting ourselves with such an iconic symbol from our baby boomer childhoods.
The two Hotdoggers who pilot this deli delight on wheels shared some fun facts with us. Just sink your teeth into this: The Wienermobile measures, 60 hot dogs long, from front to back. It’s 18 hot dogs wide, and 24 hot dogs tall. Now that’s a lot of weenies!
The Wienermobile is equipped with four passenger seats located behind the driver seat and the seat in the shotbun position. Let me be frank, driving this thing is no picnic! The teams of Hotdoggers who canvas the country spend three weeks at Hot Dog High, a boot camp where driving and parking skills are put to the test. They also beef up their knowledge of Oscar Mayer products.
And who can forget that deliciously popular “I Wish I Were an Oscar Mayer Wiener” song that premiered on television in 1965? Sometimes dreams really do come true!