September 12, 2012
After days of (shopping) and packing, we are ready to go. We decided that our first night will be at Fort Stevens, one of the parks that Craig managed during his State Parks career. We have had much discussion about the name of the motorhome. As “Sea View” is prominently written on the sides and back of the rig, along with an ocean scene and palm trees, it lends itself well to the whole pirate theme, hence the name twist of “Sea Hag.” Craig with his wonderful sense of adventure, loves it and more often than not, will respond with an “Arrr matey.”
We made it safely to Ft. Stevens, even though we left in the middle of the afternoon. I fixed steak for dinner and we dined in fashion. The first night out, I like to pull out the stops, and we did. Dad made martinis and the boys were happy.
There was much discussion as to where we would spend night 2. We were facing a harrowing trip over Neah-Ka-Nie Mountain on Highway 101. Dad wanted to go to Coos Bay (casino) and Craig wanted to stop sooner and stay in Newport. In the end, we stayed in Newport, at the Port owned campground on the Aquarium side of the bay. It was wonderful! Salt air, sea lions barking, the fog horn……. After 16 living 16 years on the Oregon coast, those sounds just lull me to sleep. It is being home again.
The next day, we got up and there was even more discussion regarding the trip home. Dad really wanted to go to Coos Bay. Actually, he wasn’t ready to go home! He was willing to miss picking raspberries to stay out another night. (raspberries are picked every 3 days throughout the growing season, and, as they are everbearing, we pick all summer and into the fall.) Craig suggested going home through Florence, and stopping at Three Rivers Casino as a compromise.
Mom and Dad loved to go to Spirit Mountain for the buffet and a little gambling. They liked the drive, the food, (the price) the penny slots, and seeing the people. It was their outing, and if they won, it was all the better. We pulled up to Three Rivers, went inside, and signed up for their “club,” which gave us each $10 to gamble. I’m not much of a gambler, so my money was gone fairly quickly, Craig ended up $6 ahead, and Dad won $40.
He was thrilled, and treated us to the lunch buffet. ($7.77 each – very clever marketing) I give these details, because, one year ago today, my Mom was dying. It was her last day with us. I know she was with Dad at the casino today. I heard her voice admonishing him, “You need to win, David, so that you can take Jani and Craig out to lunch. She has been doing a lot of cooking.” Thank you, Mom. You are in my thoughts always. I miss you – you are not forgotten. I know you are watching over us. I do hear your voice.