1 Year Journey – Oregon Coast

We had to abandon our site at Woahink Lake RV Resort due to really poor cellular reception and unstable wifi.  This was my fault, as I didn’t do my usual homework of researching the cellular coverage in that area beforehand (more details farther down regarding a better cell coverage app I found).

Note the “No Service” on both Verizon and AT&T phones…ugh….

Fortunately, we got a refund on our unused nights at Woahink Lake. They were really friendly and understanding!

We decided to relocate north about an hour and a half to Pacific Shores Motorcoach Resort in Newport, OR, but it wasn’t quite that simple… We knew the road was very curvy along the edge of the coast mountains, way up high with very windy conditions, and a tunnel thrown in the mix, which is not a good combination when you’re driving a 43 foot bus, towing a car!  The alternative was to drive about 4 1/2 hours out-of-the-way, over equally curvy roads over the mountain range, then north on I-5, and then back over the mountains to the coast.  The only advantage to doing that was not being on the edge of the mountain high above the ocean.

After a lot of deliberation, we decided to go for it!  So, we put the route into our GPS and it said that our RV was too long for some of the sharp curves!  I thought, well, maybe I need to input just the length of our RV and not our tow car also…GPS still didn’t like it. I was getting more nervous!  I decided it was not worth it and that we should take the longer route.  So, we pulled off Hwy 101 into an RV park to turn around. The owners of the park said they have traveled up that section of highway with their 40 foot motorhome towing a car with no problems and that we should just go slow.  That sounded promising!  We also called the RV resort we were headed to and they said 45 foot motorhomes drive it all the time. OK, back to feeling a little more confident we could make it!  I went to leave the RV park we had pulled into and couldn’t make the turn through their exit gate!!  ARG!!!  We had to stop and unhook our tow car while someone waiting on us in their car, since we were blocking the exit to the park!  What a stressful time it was today…couldn’t work due to bad signal, anticipating the drive up the coast, and now we had to unhook the car with someone waiting on us!

So, back onto Hwy 101 we went!  I was pretty nervous, because we had just driven part of this route in our car the day before and at that time my hands were sweating from how nervous I was, being up so high on the edge of a mountain above the ocean!  Now I get to worry about clipping the edge of the mountain or cutting off someone in a sharp turn, while the wind is blowing this giant box around.  Add to that the fact that I am not crazy about heights and we have an hour of this kind of driving ahead of us!

Here’s a glimpse of what I’m talking about…that wall is pretty close for a long motorhome, and a very narrow road (plus strong wind!):

It was nice to arrive in one piece and have great Verizon service!  We really like this RV resort!  It’s an owner resort, so the sites are rented when their owners are away.  Nice landscaping, wide roads, and very clean!

Our RV resort has a path down to the beach, which is really nice!  

We checked out the beach and did some tidepooling!


The kids love popping bulb kelp (or whatever it’s called!)

We found wild blackberries along the path back to the RV, which reminded me of picking blackberries on Eliza Island when I was a kid!

We later took a drive IN THE CAR down Hwy 101 to Sea Lion Caves, where my dad had been as a kid – so neat!

Avin was fascinated with this sea lion skeleton (Great photo, Avin!):

We heard from someone that a baby gray whale was hanging out in Depoe Bay, just north of Newport on Hwy 101, so we went to check it out. Tripp is all about whales!

And we did see it!!!  This was the first whale we’ve seen outside of SeaWorld!  Avin took the video below.  You can see the whale between the two whale tour boats:​​​

It’s been so nice hanging out on the beach down the path from the RV resort!  The kids love breaking rocks:

Carla and Avin taking a walk:

Carla and I watched “Alone” outside tonight by our fire pit. It really keeps us warm!  It’s neat knowing this season was filmed on Vancouver Island, not all that far from where we are now and we’ll be there in a month!

Sidebar on the topic of cellular coverage…Our cellular coverage iPhone app called “Coverage” has really let us down lately, showing that we should have signal where we don’t. This has happened all the way from Florida to Oregon. I’ve found a MUCH better app called Sensorly. It gathers signal strength data from people who use the app and reports exactly how strong the cell signal was for any carrier on any road that they have driven, rather than just showing carrier-provided maps that are not accurate. The data is updated all the time, so you have a really good idea as to whether or not you will have coverage.

Here is what the town of Newport, OR looks like:

Here is a screenshot that shows Verizon has a strong 4G signal right by the RV resort we relocated to:

Ok, back to traveling!  


On Carla’s birthday, we drove north to Tillamook and checked out the visitor center. We love their yogurt and ice cream!!  We loved the free cheese cubes and curds!

We then headed on to Cannon Beach, but it was a lot more crowded than when we went last year, so we didn’t stay very long.

We did get some yummy ice cream!

We then headed to Cheesecake Factory in Tigard (thank you Minda for the gift card!). 

The next day we traded our faithful Honda CRV in on a new Jeep Grand Cherokee (because, hey, that’ll be fun to have a car that can’t be towed right away, and also have to register it in Florida while we are in Oregon, right?!).

I contemplated keeping the back window out of the Honda to hang on a wall someday, since it was a collection of stickers from so many places we have visited.  I decided not to, due to the logistics of having to either stay another day and wait for the back glass to be replaced, or having to drive back to Hillsboro later on in our trip to pick it up (and then hope not to break it while we travel).  We had enough to worry about regarding getting a brake system and base plate installed in the Jeep. 

Fortunately, we found a really good installer in Portland who has an opening in their schedule soon (rare!) that will be on our way to Seattle.  Unfortunately, it means we will need to hold off on seeing uncle Gary and aunt Kelly until we head back down the coast in September, since we need to get the brake system installed as soon as possible so that we both don’t have to drive vehicles when we change RV parks (which kind of hampers me working while Carla drives the RV).

Deciding which brake system to go with was kind of a hard decision. Our Honda had the invisibrake, which always worked without an issue, but it wasn’t a proportional braking system, meaning once it engaged it push the brake pedal a preset amount, regardless of how hard or soft the RV brake pedal was being pushed or if the engine brake was engaged.  Therefore, if you were going down a long steady grade using either the brake pedal or the engine break, the Honda would be trying to stop at the same rate it would if you were coming to a full stop. Imagine the Honda trying to slow down the entire RV!  I think that’s why the front tires on the Honda have worn down faster than I thought they should.

That said, I didn’t bother with trying to uninstall the brake system from the Honda and move it to the jeep.  That would’ve added more complications to trying to trade in the Honda, since it could take a while to find an RV place that could take out the brake system (likely would have been a week or so out), and would have cost a few hundred dollars in labor. Just easier to cut our losses and leave it in the Honda. I tried removing the main controller unit so I could sell it, but it was hardwired in under the carpet.

Anyway, we decided to go with the Air Force One unit:  https://smibrake.com/towed-vehicle-braking-systems/air-force-one.php

We’ve been hanging out with Karen and Dale the last few days, which has been a lot of fun!

They drove in from Vancouver, WA, which was good timing for them since it got up to 110 in Vancouver!  Here is what our weather has looked like lately:

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