Apart from the traditional car park cleaning at 1.30am and the fact that they decided to repair some holes in the car park with a work crew that arrived noisily at 7.30am we had a good night again in the Walmart. We got ready to leave and called in to Safeway for our apple donut twist fix before heading off to Fort Stevens State Park. It was a very pleasant run and we arrived at Fort Stevens at around lunchtime – after sixteen and a half months of travelling we had done east to west, coast to coast - but horror of horrors, there was a sign posted stating that the campsite was full. There was nothing for it but to head down towards our next proposed site, Nehalem Bay State Park. We stopped off for a quick bite to eat at a gorgeous viewing point which looked out over the cliffs along the Oregon Coast. We could just see some seals playing around a rock that stood proud of the sea – wonderful. And then the fog came down and you could hardly see anything and then it cleared again – it was bizarre. We arrived at Nehalem Bay and ….. it was full. Since it was only Thursday we thought that we would get in to a site before the weekend traffic arrived but clearly we were wrong! So, having failed with plan A and plan B it was time for plan C. We would head off to a commercial site that had assured us never filled up in the primitive camping area. We were never particularly enamoured with private sites but felt that needs must at this point. Just before we arrived at Garibaldi on the US101 Linda noticed a sign for a County Park and it had camping. We had never stayed in a County Park before and decided that we had nothing to lose by seeing whether they had any space for us. We took the last camping site with a full hook up for Thursday night and they could accommodate us on Friday and Saturday night out on the jetty but it was primitive camping and then on Sunday either primitive camping or back in the main campground. We eagerly accepted and as we stood doing the paperwork another camper asked us whether there was any space. We certainly fell on our feet at Bayview County Park. It was a large site with well over 200 campsites and had beach access from the jetty car park. It was fantastic to be able to walk the beach again. We walked a mile and a half along the shoreline with Linda paddling of course and met our neighbours Trish and Doug who made us very welcome.
On Friday we moved site to our position on the jetty where we had great views. We had no power or water but that was not a problem for us. We had a neighbour two sites away from us and had not been in position long before another couple arrived and discovered that our neighbours had in fact put their tent up in their spot. Our neighbours – a couple and a young man, were not amused and picked up their tent (slight exaggeration as it looked like a shower cubicle) and slung it into position in the site next to us – oh dear! They went back to their fishing along with their beer. I will not go into detail but suffice it to say that they were not the best of camping neighbours but they did not cause us any trouble and we had a quiet night after we watched the sun set over the ocean.
The next day, Saturday, our neighbours left after dumping their “tent” in the bin along with one of the fishing rods that had mysteriously broken. We were close to the town of Garibaldi and Trisha and Doug had told us that it was their carnival parade on Saturday and so we set off on our bikes to cycle the mile or so into town to watch it. We took up position in the centre of town in the shade and spent a most enjoyable hour watching the various exhibits going by – there were vintage cars, classic cars and various motorbikes in addition to the floats of the various services such as the fire brigade, the lifeboat and the coast guard as well as clowns and dancing horses. After the parade we wandered around the various stalls that had been set up and watched the steam train as it chugged out of the station to take folk on a scenic journey. By now it was lunchtime and Trish had been recommended a fish ‘n’ chip restaurant and so we went off in search of it by the marina. We soon found it and took our seat in what turned out to be a very busy, award winning restaurant. We decided to share a meal because Trish had warned us how large the portions were and indeed they looked far too large for a lunchtime meal – clam chowder with garlic bread, followed by two pieces of sea bass coated in bread crumbs, chips and coleslaw. It was absolutely delicious. We then cycled back to our campsite and as we rode up the hill a bald eagle flew just above us – if only we had had the big camera with us and could have got a shot. It looked absolutely enormous. We arrived back at Harvey just right for the tide and so we headed straight for the beach and ambled two miles along it this time. Unfortunately Saturday night was very noisy in the jetty and so we had quite a disturbed night – there were fireworks going off and lots of vehicles coming and going in the parking lot as well as people having conversations at the top of their voices. We were delighted that we had opted to move back into the main site on Sunday.
With Harvey in position late on Sunday morning, backing on to Doug and Trish we spent the day doing chores and searching out and reserving sites and hire cars for much of our remaining time. We did not want to miss out on anything and since it was getting increasingly difficult to book sites in the places we wanted to visit we decided that we would stay a few days in a private site and go sightseeing in a car at two particular points on our journey – we were not prepared to take any chances. It took ages but as soon as the job was done we cycled down to the beach and walked out on the jetty for a short stroll before dinner. We were chatting in the evening and recalled a very embarrassing time when we were at Glacier National Park that we completely forgot to confess in our blog…… We had noticed that when the vast majority of American campers go to the dumpster with their rubbish they always put it on the boot or bonnet of the car or truck and drive it to the dumpster and so when we had a hire car we decided that we would go to the dumpster on our way out one day in true American style. So, with our rubbish bag in position we headed off to the dumpster. There was quite a lot of manoeuvring going on by the dump and dumpster and we had to weave our way through the vehicles. When we got home some eight hours later Seamus asked if he had stopped at the dumpster that morning and when Linda said “No – why?” there was the sudden realisation that we had driven off and our rubbish had been deposited somewhere, we know not where. How embarrassing!!!! That will teach us.