Newport, OR: How we love the RANGERS…

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The guys at Airstream Adventures in Boise did a phenomenal job servicing our house on wheel.  They went above and beyond for us.  And now it’s time to get back on track…

Once again, Char and I break our own rule about limiting how much we tow.  Repairs now done – to get back on track means hauling across Idaho and Oregon to the coast.  We could space it out.  We could speed it out over 2 weeks.  Nah… we decide to go for it.

3 days of hauling – not all day long – but full days to trek across Oregon.

We spend one night at completely off the beaten path campground by a reservoir.  Totally middle of nowhere.    With beastly sized jack-rabbits and lava rocks everywhere…


On the second night of our trek, we headed to Crate Lake National Park.  We were hoping to find a spot at a first-come, first-serve park.  But once again we were locked out.  National Parks are the bomb, thank you President Teddy R.  However, they are not the best when it comes to availability or wifi.  So we end up “squatting” at crater lake, sorta.  We were deep in the park when sunset and realized nothing was available.  Rather than drive out the dark winding roads, I chose to risk it and park in a lot inside the park.  Thankfully all worked out and we were not asked to leave…


The final day of our journey to the coast is brutal.  The drive itself isn’t bad but we don’t have reservations and nothing goes our way.  Takes over 2 hours before we find a spot in South Beach State Park – beautiful spot…

South Beach is well, duh, right on a beach.  Our first Oregon beach.  Sprawling.  Mountainous.  Gorgeous.



One afternoon we take ride to check out Sea Lion Cave and Thor’s Well.  Yes, both real things.

Sea Lion Cave is the world’s largest sea cave.  And while it’s usually full of sea lions, not so during the time of year when the sea lions get down to “business”.  Then they hang out outside on the rocks.  Probably more romantic hooking up at the beach then in a cave.  Makes sense.


Outside on the beach, we still get to see a herd (is that right? – wait flock?  what is a group of sea lions called… hmmm…. a pride?  Nope.  Not getting any closer.  Lets see a gang.  We got to see a significantly large gang of sea lions.  Completely in the wild.  Kinda surreal to see animals that I grew up thinking only existed in zoos still out in the open in parts of our country.

Oh and Thor’s well.  That’s awesome.  I am still not sure what it is.  I just saw a picture and was like we should go see that!  It’s a cavern on the shore.  And an insane, Thor-like, surge of water floods in and out of it.  So powerful, so cool.  Just like Thor.


When we first arrive at South Beach we also venture into Newport for a bit.  Our first time seeing a true fishing town.  Just watching the boats pull in on the docks with dozens of sea bass, red fish and halibut the size of boogie boards is awesome.  We actually see a fish processing plant right on the docks – where fish parts are being ground up and fish goo is leaking down onto the sidewalk in front of us.  Yum.

I thought about going on a deep sea fishing trip with Sarai, and then realized she can barely see over the railing yet.  So probably a little too soon…


Noemzies is caught on camera here being chased by a wave.  If pictures had audio you would hearing her screaming…

The very best part of South Beach State Park is the ranger program.  All week long, every day, twice a day, the girls get to attend different Ranger Programs.  Totally free and the rangers are phenomenal.  They go to a session on whales, another on the settling of the Oregon Country, squid vs octopus and all about owls…


The girls learn even more about mosquitoes.  Even though Bella already knows that only the females drink blood and the males only eat nectar.  Once again out-shined in the animal-facts category by my little ones.

The highlight of this week’s ranger program is the owl pellet dissection.  When an owl eats a furry little dinner, well the owl just kinda swallows the whole thing, I eat my own dinner that way sometimes.  The owl then has a belly full of mouse meat along with mouse bones and fur.  Eventually, the owl spits it what it can’t digest in a nice little package or pellet.


Through some sort of special program or treasure hunt, the rangers collect a bunch of these pellets and bring them to this little room where kids get to pull them apart with tweezers and toothpicks.

Think Rodent CSI.


I am so proud to watch all 3 of my girls, Noemzies and Seygrey included, completely engrossed in the challenged.  And not grossed out at all.

They are finding Ratatouille’s ribs, teeth and skull like crime scene pro’s…

Scratch that – lets imagine it’s the body parts of an animated mouse I am less fond of… like… um Stuart Little or Fievel.  Yes, Fievel it is.  Seygrey is so excited to proudly uncover Fievel’s tiny, little bones and then proudly bring back home to mo in a neat little ziplock bag.  (Mom appropriately acts excited, though a little grossed out by it :)

Next stop we’ll continue heading down the Oregon Coast.  We would stay longer at South Beach, we love it here.  We especially can’t get enough of the ranger program.  But once again, no opening.  So to the open road we go and down the coast…


One thought on “Newport, OR: How we love the RANGERS…

  1. I love your posts, almost like being there. I can hear your narration in your own voice :) btw, the pick of her between the dunes looks like Jax beach. another :) from me.

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