Thursday, August 15, 2013

Beat Da Beavah Up - Part Deux

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Now we begin Part Two of our journey… the Oregon Coast.
Continuing after lunch at Gallucci’s, our next stop was in Newport. See, I know that was where the Oregon Aquarium was… and a giant beautiful bridge… but I had no idea that Rogue Nation World Headquarters was there… and in the shade of the bridge so… we made a quick stop to grab about a dozen bottles of fine brewed beverages, get some pictures… and then be on. We toured it a few days later... but I'm gonna share the pictures with ya now.

Our next stop was the Sea Lion Caves about an hour south on the coast, which are the World’s Largest Sea Caves!!! Usually these caverns are filled with hundreds, maybe thousands of sea lions… but this time, there were apparently only three. However, it was still an amazing sight to behold!

After the caves, we met up with Chick’n’Wing & her family (no Wingman as they’re unfortunately going through a divorce) at the Discovery Point Resort in Winchester Bay to start our week of riding the sand dunes, crabbing for dinner, catching up on good times & relaxing on the coast.
The city of Winchester Bay is a cute little tourist trap of a town… and you can tell who are locals & who ain’t… but for the most part, not a bad place at all. First off, the cabin that we were staying in… had almost exactly the same fixtures & set up as the house that I grew up in. No joke. Couple that up with riding high speed sand rails on the Oregon Dunes… with the ocean breeze… cool, crisp temperatures but not raining… crabbing for dinner… and hot ladyfriend to bang in the evenings… basically this was 13-year old $teve’s fantasy come to LIFE!!!

We started off the day by renting some crab traps & heading out to the docks to see what we could find… and honestly, it wasn’t much… but it was still fun. For lunch, we met up at a place called Griff’s that had some fantastic seafood… but you might expect that when it’s right there on the dock. The rest of the day was spent crabbing & relaxing… and then C&H drove in from Portland to spend the day with us… so we were up until after midnight having a few drinks & telling stories & just general merriment.
We all started out with some crabbing so here are a few pictures of that…

Unfortunately the big ones that we could keep weren’t around… and I think that harbor seal was picking off everybody’s bait anyway… so eventually we caved in & decided to head to a few of the canneries & boat shops where they had some amazing prices on crabs ($9 per pound), prawns (large, meaty & $12 a pound), salmon ($7 per pound) & raw sea oysters (GIANT and $8 for a dozen) for what was honestly… the greatest Seafood Lunch I have ever had. Hands down! So much goodness, such delicious & fresh food, I dare say that even a Michelin-star restaurant couldn’t have made a better meal… and best of all, we were spending it with loved ones. Here are some pictures…

That night, C&H drove back to Portland… but we’ve pretty much decided that we’re going to have to come back to this place soon. Good times!
We drove back to the city of Newport to check out the Oregon Aquarium. Rumor had it that it was pretty good… but then again, we have a decent one here in San Francisco… and an incredible one in Monterey (as seen in Star Trek IV) so it had some stiff competition. That being said… this aquarium was pretty awesome as well. I highly recommend it… here are some pictures…

After the aquarium, we had lunch at Rogue Nation Headquarters… then Chick’n’Wing & her family went in their car, while Dizzy & I took the brewery & distillery tour. Fun fact: We’re basically going to become microbrewers now. I’ll keep you posted on our delicious creations.
That night, we attempted to watch “World’s Fastest Indian” in the RV but we were all just too excited (and a little tipsy) so we told stories with it playing in the background really. However, Dizzy & I watched it a few days later… so here’s my review. This movie stars Sir Anthony Hopkins as Burt Munro, a real life 67-year old Kiwi (man from New Zealand) who attempted to break the land speed record in the 1960’s. Essentially, he’s kind of a kooky old man who has loved motorcycles since he was a wee lad… and has been customizing them all of his life for speed. In a day & age when super speed cars were being fabricated, he took a 1920’s Indian motorcycle and customized it into essentially a bullet-like death trap… but wanted to test it on the Bonneville Salt Flats during Speed Week to break the record. Well… this movie is the unlikely journey that he took to get there… and let me just tell you, I absolutely loved it. The story was fairly well-paced, funny, there may have been a few fabricated parts obviously but… still, a great tale of overcoming adversity at any age. I highly recommend it.
Friday morning we left for a beautiful drive towards Crater Lake in the southeastern part of the state. It was only about four hours… but there was just about every kind of weather from fog in the morning… to pretty warm & sunny across the central part… and then rain… and just before we got to the lake… no joke… we had snow. Yes, snow… in August. Anyway, the story of Crater Lake is that it was once a might volcano… that basically just BLEW its top right off one day… and now it’s like a giant bowl with a beautiful pristine lake filling it. We also drove around the rest of the park to see waterfalls, rock formations & of course gift shops… enjoy...

That night, we arrived in the city of Klamath Falls about an hour from the lake… and we basically went to the taco truck in the motel parking lot, grabbed dinner & watched TV. It was pretty good taco truck food. No squirts at all… but there was a dream that I’m going to mention in another post…
We grabbed some “brunch” at The Creamery, which is a pretty awesome restaurant / microbrew / hangout in downtown Klamath Falls. We bought a microbrew flight that had 6-8 ounce samples of their 7 different brews… so basically about three beers a piece… and chased it with what’s called “The Oregon Logger” which is “tenderized seasoned steak deep fried to a golden crisp and stacked with cheddar, bacon and a fried egg all layered between a toasted sesame seed bun.” Sounds good, right? It was… and it went well with onion rings & fully loaded tater skins… and the beer of course.

Best part: To walk off the beer a little, we went inside the restaurant & wandered over to the stills where the beer was brewed. As luck would have it, the assistant brewmaster was at the bar drinking & offered to take us on a tour of the facilities. The brand is Klamath Basin Brewing and if you’re lucky enough to live in select cities in Oregon or Weed, California… try their Vanilla Porter and their amber ale isn’t bad either.
After lunch, we headed back home… but made a brief stop in Redding to see the Sundial bridge (and collect smashed pennies for Dizzy) and then meet up with Dizzy’s friend Flea in Sactown for dinner at La Fiesta. Good times. Here are some pictures…
That evening, we watched “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” starring Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi & Jim Carrey. It’s the story of a pair of magicians named Burt & Anton (Carell & Buscemi) who meet as young boys… find a common love for magic… and became the dynamic duo of Vegas. Well, after a decade or so… their act gets kind of tired & stale… and Burt is kind of a pompous dick… and basically they get fired (by the late James Gandolfini) and their replacement could potentially be a new age, gritty (and bonkers) street magician named Steve Gray (Carrey). Throw in some jokes, a story about finding your love for magic again, and a pretty inconceivable love story between Burt & his former assistant (Olivia Wilde) and poof… you’ve got a movie. Now… it wasn’t as bad as everybody I talked to made it out to be. I enjoyed it… and it was pretty much what I expected going in. Steve, Steve & Jim (playing a Steve) are what you have come to expect from them… Olivia Wilde is VERY easy on the eyes… and there are jokes about magicians. It’s not a Scorsese flick… or a documentary about the world of magicians… it’s a comedy. Enjoy it.
Anyway, that should do it for tonight… hope you enjoyed the trip half as much as I did… or even about 15% would be a nice percentage since it’s really just a bunch of pictures. Have a great day everybody!!!

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