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What you didn’t see

Coos Bay, Oregon: Can you even believe we made it all the way to Coos Bay today from Benbow? We, too, are surprised. It was a long day.

But before I write about our day, let's go back to our lovely meal last night at the historic Benbow Inn. The Benbow RV Resort, where we were camped, is affiliated with the Benbow Inn - just across the highway. RV resort, pool, spa and golf course on the east side of the highway and the historic Benbow Inn on the west side.

There is a convenient lighted path along the river (and under Highway 101) between the two properties. You can walk, or you can take a golf cart! (If it is rainy or you can't walk two blocks, drive your car on the road.)

The historic Benbow Inn rents rooms, suites and cabins and serves breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner in the dining room. They also have a cozy bar with a lovely fireplace. The lobby has a seating area with a fireplace - and the fireplaces here burn real wood, not gas.

The dining room is very pretty. Full windows on one wall overlooking a flower-laden patio along the Eel River. The menu changes with the season and each evening the Chef offers specials.

Last night, the chef had a special salad with asparagus, arugula, pumpkin seeds and ricotta salada cheese. It was quite lovely - we split this salad.

For some reason, a restaurant along the northern California coast had shrimp and grits on their menu. DT can't resist shrimp and grits.

He's only human.

I was going to order the vegetarian risotto, until I heard the Chef was preparing duck confit. Seriously, since Sonoma County Poultry started producing the fabulous Liberty Ducks - every chef from San Francisco to Benbow is serving duck. I figured this may the last time I would be seeing duck on a menu, so I caved and ordered this fabulous crispy duck confit - served with braised kale and polenta.

I'm only human.

Rain began to fall in the middle of the night and it was still raining when we woke this morning. DT ran in the rain. I did not. (He also hitched-up the Honda while I kindly waited inside the Honda.)

We started driving north on Highway 101. A beautiful drive, 101 follows the northern California coast through redwood forests with occasional glimpses to the sea and massive ocean side marshes and bays, through small towns, Native American reservations, protected estuaries, lumber towns and fishing villages.

Our plan was to stop for lunch at Elk Prairie Redwoods State Park where there is a huge meadow usually occupied by hundreds of elk - and plenty of roadside RV parking. We did see a few elk along the way, but as we pulled aside Elk Prairie, we saw this:

Nothing.

The above photo shows an empty prairie. No elk. What may look like misty clouds are actually sheets of rain.

It was pouring.

This photo also shows sheets or rain. You just can't see the sheets of rain because I am terrible photographer.

You can't see the buckets of rain that fell while we enjoyed our lunch.

You can't see the buckets of rain that fell as we continued our drive north up the Pacific Coast. It rained so hard, cars were pulling over to the shoulder of the highway to wait-out the downpour.

You also can't see the tree that fell across the highway just in front of us in southern Oregon.

Yes, Loyal Readers, we were nearly taken-out by a tree today. It is only dumb luck that saved us (and anyone else) this afternoon! We were cruising down-hill on a four-lane stretch of Highway 101 between Bandon and Coos Bay, when a tree fell across the two north-bound lanes directly in front of our bus! DT hit the brakes, as did the two sedans behind us. Because cars were approaching in the two uphill lanes, DT could not go around the fallen tree. He had to stop - or crash into the tree. The brakes on a 2009 Country Coach Magna WORK!

The tree was about one foot from our windscreen when we came to a complete halt.

Scary stuff.

You can't see the tree because I was too shocked to even think about my camera (which was ON MY LAP). 

DT waited for the opposing lanes to clear and he took a hard left around the tree. Instead of reaching for my camera (so sorry), I reached for my mobile phone to dial 911 and reported the fallen tree.

Welcome back to Oregon!

We are camped for the night - right next to My Dad - at the Old Mill Casino RV Park in Coos Bay. Dad is here overnight on his way to a RV rally in Florence, Oregon tomorrow. It was great to see him again - we haven't seen him since we were in Indio. Dad had dinner with friends, but spent the rest of the evening here with us watching the Mariners lose (again).

Until my next update, I remain, your lucky correspondent.

PS: Lucky! Dang, I should have gone into the casino tonight!

RV Park: 
 Old Mill Casino RV Park - 102 paved full hook-up sites with cable and wifi on the bay. Bathhouse and laundry. Store. Access to indoor pool, hot tub and fitness center at attached hotel/casino complex - with restaurants, convention center and casino. Pet friendly. Free shuttle to casino. Dry camping (free) also available.