Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Astoria, Oregon (June 17-21, 2012)

Camp Rilea Armed Forces Training Center is a quiet military installation located on Oregon's northern coast. We chose this location for one reason, to chill out for several days and do very little and that we did.  Our only excursion away from the RV park was a short trip into Astoria, Oregon for a "look-see" and to pick up a few items from a grocery store.

The RV park, itself, was constructed on an existing paved parking lot up against a berm separating the old, and reclaimed, small arms ranges with the rest of the installation. These old ranges are now flowing meadows providing a feeding grounds for a large herd of elk. Past the meadow is a stand of trees separating the meadow from the Pacific ocean shore. Distance between us and shoreline was about 1/2 mile, but close enough that each night we were lulled to sleep by the waves crashing on the sandy beaches.

Most of the few days we spent here was making sure the O'Doodle boys got plenty of play time and exercise, something they have not been able to get in recent weeks.  The large grassy areas in front of the park was ideal for that and, especially, Guinness got his fill of his ball fetish for two full days.  Did he ever sleep hard those nights.

The weather was cool , windy and overcast for most of the time and we made no effort to venture to the beach. We were completely satisfied just sitting around and enjoying our surroundings. On one morning, while we were outside tidying up the RV and truck, we noticed another family had arrived during the night. After a while we saw a woman trying to coax her dog out of their trailer and when he did come out, lo and behold, it was a Doodle and a chocolate one at that. By his size he looked to be a puppy and he was. Seeing us, the puppies mom was so excited to see two Doodles she immediately came over and quickly made friends. His name was Choko, short for chocolate, and was just 4 months old. Guinness, Rosco and Choko were instant friends. Unfortunately, though, they were just staying the one night and were on their way again in an hour. Oh, well. Rosco really wanted a playmate for a day or so.


On our last full day we did venture into town and we were pleasantly surprised with the atmosphere and charisma it portrayed. Astoria is an old town and very little has changed over the years. To their credit, the town has opted to restore instead of rebuild keeping the town's character intact.

We came upon a local brew house and decided to sample their product.  We were not disappointed.  This microbrewery had some awesome beers and we tried samples of quite a few before heading back to the RV park. Our big afternoon out alone was a great break for us, and oh, it was also a great way to celebrate our anniversary. Now, back to our boys and prepare for our last trek northward on the Pacific coast.

Once back we spent some time playing again before dinner. We all were just starting to wind down a bit, but the reality hit us as we ate that tomorrow it was the asphalt road again. Trying to put that reality aside for, at least a few more hours, we all took a walk down to the meadows and were surprised to still see the elk relaxing and frolicking.  We counted 23 in the meadow and saw quite a few more in the wood line so this was a very large herd. As the sun started to set they all disappeared into the woods and we disappeared into our cozy abode. Time to make last minute preparations for our move tomorrow.

Tomorrow we head towards Seattle where we will be staying at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord RV park for a few days.

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