Where we last left off we were driving through Northern California along famous highway 101, enjoying a beautiful day along the coast. We had spent the night in Fortuna, parked behind the Eel River Brewery. Our goal for the day was to drive through some of the redwoods, cross the Oregon border, and find a place to camp close to the beach. This was the big day! We would be seeing that “Welcome to Oregon” sign for the first time in almost 2 years.
Crescent City was the last large town before we got to Oregon, I recall some wild stories from my Grandpa’s early days working as a logger here. Back when they worked hard and partied even harder. We passed through without stopping, as we were too excited to get to the border. When we finally saw that Oregon sign we had to stop and take some photos with the bus. We couldn’t believe that we were finally here, the southern Oregon coast is so beautiful! After we took enough pictures we kept driving, heading along the coast until we reached Bandon, OR. This is where we would be camping for the night, at a nice little campground just a short bike ride from the beach. Once we were settled into our camping spot and said hi to the neighbors we unloaded our bicycles and rode down to Face Rock State Park, where we locked up the bikes and hiked down to the sand. The beach was mostly empty so we got to enjoy a beautiful summer evening all to ourselves. After cleaning up the dinner dishes we crawled into our cozy bed and felt the cool breeze come in through our windows.
The next morning we were on the road early and heading for the northern end of the Oregon coast. Before we left Bandon we had to stop in at the Face Rock Creamery, where we enjoyed sampling all of their delicious cheese. We couldn’t leave without buying a couple different types, as well as some of the best butter ever.
Our next (and last) stop on the trip before reaching home was Pacific City, one of our favorite beaches on the whole coast. A big part of that is due to the Pelican Pub, an award winning brewery right on the sand overlooking the ocean. Even though it was the peak of the busy season we managed to snag an RV campsite at the county park directly across the street from the beach and the pub. What luck! The tricky part is that the site was listed as only allowing an RV up to 23′ long, so when we called to book the site I asked the camp host to measure the site, and she reported that the absolute maximum length that would fit would be 35′. Dang, should we attempt to squeeze our 40′ bus in there? We didn’t have any other options so we crossed our fingers and headed for the campsite. When we got there we unloaded the motorcycle and took the rack off the back, giving us just enough clearance to fit in the site with 2 feet to spare. Woohoo! We were ready to have a couple beers at the Pelican and wait for our friends from Portland to join us for our last night camping.
While we were relaxing on the back deck at the pub we started chatting with the guy next to us, and quickly discovered that he was riding his bicycle around the US. Daniel was a very interesting guy, and it was a lot of fun to exchange travel stories with him. His trip is mostly centered around craft beer, kind of like ours is, so we had plenty to talk about. Pretty soon we offered to let him camp at our site with us, so he joined our group for the rest of the night. You can check out his travel blog here.
Pretty soon our friends from Portland arrived, and we went out to the beach and built up a nice fire to sit around while we enjoyed a few more beers and some good company. There was a lot of catching up to do after being away for a while, and it was nice to finally be camping with some of our oldest friends. That night the floor of the bus was packed with sleepy campers, which is always a fun experience. The next morning we made a big breakfast for everyone, really putting our little kitchen setup to the test. It worked wonderfully, and we even got to make some beermosas using Widmer Hefeweizen, which is a beer that we really missed. We packed up our camp and prepared for the drive up to Tillamook and over to Portland. Daniel was heading toward Tillamook, so we loaded his bicycle up and gave him a ride. He was very excited to get to experience riding in the bus, and we always enjoy having extra passengers! Having Daniel along for part of the trip was really fun, it is always nice to meet another unconventional traveler.
After dropping Daniel in Tillamook we turned onto highway 6 and headed toward Portland. We were going to park at my moms property in Sherwood, where we would meet a large group of family and friends that had gathered to welcome us home. Getting to see so many people that we’ve been missing all in one place was a real treat.
It was such a surreal experience driving through all these familiar towns and roads. After driving this bus all over the country in unfamiliar places we were finally home. We are so excited to be here and so proud that our old bus made the journey without much of any issues at all. It has carried us safely and in style through some of the most interesting terrain in the country and hasn’t let us down. Now we are working at finding jobs, finding a place to park the bus and work on it some more, trying to decide if we are going to live in it full time or just use it as a camping rig. So many questions! We will be keeping this blog updated with any interesting bus adventures or additions to the project. Thanks for following along with us!