Portland to SF Trip Report

Old Sep 21st, 2021, 02:29 PM
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Portland to SF Trip Report

My family (me, wife Erica, 20 yo daughter Isabel, and 15 yo son Ian) recently returned from a 10 night trip from Portland to SF along the Pacific Coast. The planning and execution of the trip went quite well, and thanks to the Fodorites who gave advice and answered questions. We’ve never spent any time in this part of country, aside from numerous trips to SF, so that part of the trip was mainly to have a departure point and to have a meal with my brother-in-law. Ideally we would have wanted at least 14 days for this trip, but we had some kids’ constraints with ends and starts of jobs and schools that limited us to the 10. It took a while to find the time to write this up, but I finally got around to it, so enjoy.

Here are the accommodations we used and the number of nights for each

1) The Benson Hotel – Portland, OR, near the Pearl District, 3 nights

2) The Landing at Newport – Newport, OR, on the waterfront, 2 nights

3) Pacific Reef Hotel – Gold Beach, OR, on the ocean, 1 night

4) Emerald Forest Cabins & RV Park – Trinidad, CA, in a redwood forest, 1 night

5) The Colonial Inn – Ft. Bragg, a few blocks from downtown, 2 nights

6) Marriott at Fisherman’s Wharf – SF, 1 night



Day 1: Travel to Portland, Thursday Aug 5

We flew from Austin to Portland via SF on United with no issues, arriving in PDX at 12:40pm. We had rented the one-way car from National (hefty price for 1-way and elevated car rental prices recently), and their service in PDX was great. We had signed up for their Emerald Club and the attendee greeted us in the garage before we got to the rental booth, told us to pick whatever car we wanted in our class (mid-size) or the size up (full-size), so we took the free upgrade to a Toyota Camry. The no-hassle pick up had us out of the garage in about 5 minutes, by far the most seamless car rental I have ever experienced, and I’ve rented a few.

It was a short and easy drive to the Benson Hotel near the Pearl District. The Benson is a turn of the century hotel with a classic grand lobby with wood and chandeliers and a large staircase. The stairwell contained 10 floors of history of the hotel and Portland itself, almost a mini-museum inside the hotel. It is also rumored to be haunted, but the newish staff was not up on the stories … I think they need to include that in the training for those people interested in the history. The rate we got was a bargain for the type and location of the hotel, with easy access to many attractions and the waterfront.

We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring around the hotel, including Powell’s Bookstore, Chinatown and the Chinese Garden, and the waterfront and back. We were a bit surprised that the homeless situation was not as severe as we had heard/thought. I think it was a combination of being lucky (and only being around for a few days), maybe not being out too late, and being used to it somewhat already coming from Austin, where we have a major epidemic ourselves. Happy Hour at the hotel (one free beer, wine or soda) followed by a good burger and fries dinner at Little Big Burger got us into bed at 10pm since we had been up since the equivalent of 4am and had a big road trip day the next day.

Day 2: Columbia River Gorge/Mt. Hood Day Trip, Friday Aug 6

We set off at 8am on our long day trip to see the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood sites around the scenic loop. We got to Multnomah Falls before 9am, which means we easily beat the crowds and didn’t require an online reservation to get in, plus we were able to park in the first row of lot closest to the Falls entrance on the scenic by-way instead of the highway. It was foggy and drizzly when we got there, so the view from the bottom to the top was not great. Therefore, we didn’t wait long before starting on the trek to the top of the falls. It was wet and slippery, but we had our rain gear and waterproof hiking boots, so it was no issue at all. The 1 mile hike up was not bad other than the weather, and had nice views and scenery. It was still foggy enough that the view from the top to the bottom was still somewhat obstructed, so we spent a bit more time at the top exploring and climbing on the large tree bridge over the stream before heading down. By the time we got down, the fog had cleared so we were able to get the better pictures of the Fall along with the much larger crowd that now existed. After a short visit to the gift shop, we were on our way down the scenic by-way.

The next stop was Horsetail Falls, which was a good short stop for some pictures. Next we found (by chance, it wasn’t in the original itinerary) the Bonneville Dam Hatchery. I didn’t see this site on any of the many travel sites I researched for this part of the trip, but it was a great stop and needs to be added to those lists. This sturgeon hatchery is a great place to see the massive fish, including the resident star, Herman the 10ft long, 500lb sturgeon that can be viewed at an underwater glass window.

We skipped some of the other falls to get to Hood River for lunch at the Egg River Café where we had a hardy brunch of waffles, chicken and waffles, Polish hash, biscuits and gravy, and corned beef hash. Talk about getting stuffed! It was run by my people (Poles) and was very good.

After turning towards Mt. Hood, we stopped at the Gorge White House where we bought some yummy sweetheart cherries and walked among the berry and fruit and flower orchards. It was a very nice place that would have been good for food and drink had we not already stuffed ourselves. Close by was the Draper Girls Country Farm where we got some fresh cider and hung out under the large trees on the tree swing and fed their dwarf goats.

We then made a b-line for the Timberline Lodge where we explored the famous lodge and hung out before hiking around the mountain for a little bit. We had never intended on hiking up it or very far around it, so this was just a casual walk on the mountain-side. After this visit, we headed back to Portland and got into town at 6:30pm, so the entire trip took us about 10.5 hours.

Dinner was at the trendy Hawthorne Asylum food cart area, where we had Russian pelmeni (no pierogi!), Korean bulgogi, Thai pad siew and sticky mango rice. Food carts are nothing new to us being from Austin, but this was a funky little place with a lot of character. After dinner we headed straight back to the hotel for another early bedtime.

Day 3: Portland Sites, Saturday Aug 7

We were very excited that our trip coincided with the Portland Saturday Market, since we read that it was one of the biggest in the country and was only a few blocks from our hotel. After our complimentary bag breakfast at the hotel, we walked to the market right at 10am as everything was opening and started out at the very first food truck we saw with Polish pierogi. They were good (not great), but satisfied a craving that we all had. We then sampled a large pretzel, Chinese dumplings, and fresh mango juice. There was some other food in there that I didn’t write down and don’t remember at the moment. I think we saw every stall in the entire market over the course of the 2+ hours that we were there, and only bought a few items (we’re more lookers than buyers). All-in-all it was a fun experience.

After that we drove straight to the Portland Zoo, where there were no tickets available until 2pm (we didn’t realize you needed an advanced reservation to get in), so we killed an hour at the Rose Test Garden. We easily could have stayed longer in that area of the park, but we had our 2pm tickets for the zoo and didn’t want to push our luck with missing out on the reservation. So we explored the zoo from 2-5:30pm. It is a pretty zoo with good bear and elephant exhibits, but the rest of the animals and exhibits were just OK. Overall it was a nice way to spend the afternoon. After the hotel Happy Hour, we walked up the street to Pastini’s for some good Italian food and then retired early again.

Day 4: Portland to Newport, Sunday Aug 8

Today is another long driving day with lots of sites, so after grabbing some French pastries from a patisserie near the hotel, we headed out of Portland at 8am and made our way to Cannon Beach, where we arrived at 9:30am. This was plenty early enough to beat the crowds and get us a parking spot right near the main beach entrance. There we explored the tide pools around Haystack rock, where the tide was low enough so that we were almost able to walk all the way to the rock, but coming in. This was our first taste of the massive Cannon Beach and it did not disappoint as I don’t think I’ve ever been on a beach that large (wide and long)

Next we drove to the Tillamook Creamery and got there by noon where we did the self tour of the factory (it was only partially operating that day), sampled the free cheese, ordered fried cheese curds (tasty!), grilled cheese (not so great), and ice cream (yum!) while we watched a ridiculous number of people eat a ridiculous amount of ice cream.

We left there to start on the Three Capes Scenic Loop, but in the interest of time we cut it short and only stopped at Pacific Beach/Cape Kiwanda. Here we saw the largest of the haystack rocks and a sand dune so large that I thought we were on planet Arrakis from the movie Dune. It’s mentioned in some of the guidebooks and blogs, but in my opinion that is a main attraction that should be on everyone’s list. The grueling climb to the top of the dune, which challenged and defeated many out-of-shape visitors, provides an amazing view of Pacific beach and the haystack rock to the south and Cape Kiwanda to the north. I read that it’s the tallest dune in Oregon, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me it was the tallest dune in the world. The run down the dune without doing a face plant was another fun challenge for the whole family.

Next stop was Depoe Bay for some casual whale watching. We knew the whale watching center was closed, but it still provided a good viewpoint from atop the cliff. We watched two harbor seals on the rocks at the inlet to the tiny harbor (self-proclaimed world’s smallest navigable harbor) and saw several whale spouts and backs far off in the distance.

The drive next took us to Aquinas Head Lighthouse, where after viewing the lighthouse we walked down to the tidal pools below. This is a don’t-miss area, where even the ocean-tumbled smooth lava rocks are worth the visit. The pools here with their numerous urchins, crabs, and anemone were far more impressive than the ones at Cannon Beach. We spent quite a while exploring here before heading to our condo at The Landing at Newport, situated right on the marina at the Newport waterfront. After checking in and settling in, we drove to Nye Beach and ate a late dinner at the Newport Chowder Bowl after a ~ 30min wait, where the portions were large, the food was decent, but the service was very slow with only one or two servers for the entire packed restaurant. After another long day, we called it quits early and chilled out in the condo for the night. The condo was a very comfortable and nicely located 2 bed, 1.5 bath unit with a balcony looking out on the bay bridge and marina.

Day 5: Newport and Surrounding Sites, Monday Aug 9

Today was reserved for local site-seeing, including a couple of sites for my daughter since she is a Marine Science/Biology major at The University of Texas. The first stop was to the Oregon Coast Aquarium after having read good things about it. We found it to be a very nice aquarium, though somewhat small, so it didn’t take very much time. It was a nice feature that it focused only/mostly on local marine life as many aquariums try to cover too much.

We stopped for lunch at the nearby Fish Tails Café, where we had good, fresh food but the service was very poor, with several large groups that took priority over us even though we arrived earlier. It’s not that it took a long time to get the food, which I would understand given that they are a small operation and make much of their food from scratch, but it was more the lack of attention as it would take 20min to get our initial waters, and there was never a word about the state of our order or about when it would be out. Checking in on us every 15min or so would have been appreciated. They offered $5 off the bill if you left them a 5-star Google review, but we couldn’t do it based on the service. That, and I find it fairly lame that they are buying 5-star reviews.

Next we drove a short distance to the Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center so that my daughter could see another university’s (and potential Grad School candidate) facilities. We weren’t aware that you needed an online reservation to get in as they had just reopened to the public due to Covid. We were very disappointed as they didn’t have any open spots for the rest of the day somehow. There were very few people inside, so when we mentioned that my daughter was a Marine Biology major, the volunteer was nice enough to get us in without a reservation. There were no researchers there on that day, so we explored the very nice visitor center and checked out all of the items and interactive displays. It was a very nice stop for only a $3 voluntary donation.

The Rogue Brewery was on our way out, so we stopped in based on the tip from our lunch waitress that it was in the site of an old candy factory and they still had a candy store inside, but this was bad information as it was only a brewery and bar. So we left and drove 30min down the highway to the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center. From there we took the short but pleasant walk down to Thor’s Well where we explored among the rocks for a while and watched the strong tide blow up out of Thor’s Well repeatedly. The tidal pools down there were not very good, so after only a short while exploring those, we headed back. The walk back was lined with wild blackberry and blueberry bushes, so we took some time to feast on the ripe ones that were reachable.

On the way back to Newport, we stopped for gas for the first time. I’m not sure how I missed it in the planning, but this was where I learned for the first time that Oregon is full-service state only. I didn’t realize that even existed anywhere. Needless to say I was quite startled by the attendant when he was standing outside my door waiting to take my order. Unfortunately it was not a great first experience as it took 20min after both the pump and inside credit card reader malfunctioned repeatedly. But it did give us time to fully research the history of this fact about Oregon. I have to say that the lack of sales tax easily makes up for this slight inconvenience. J

After resting at our condo for just a bit, we headed down to the Newport waterfront, where we walked the strip and went in whatever shops were still open. We had a reservation at the Clearwater Restaurant with some time to kill, so we gladly hung out on the pier behind the restaurant observing the sea lions and harbor seals taking up residence there. The Clearwater was a fantastic restaurant with very tasty food, earning its reputation as one of the best in Newport.

Day 6: Newport to Gold Beach, Tuesday Aug 10

We left Newport at 8am, stopped at the Heceta Lighthouse overlook (but it was very foggy/hazy and hard to see the lighthouse clearly) and got to the Sea Lion caves south of Cape Perpetua right as they were opening at 9am. We went down into the cave, read all the information signage and observed the sea lions in this very cool cave for quite some time. After emerging, we also went and observed the seals outside the cave down below the Seal Rock Overlook. Overall this was a worthwhile stop.

We got back on the road at 10am and headed down to Gold Beach where we had a 2:15 appointment with Jerry’s Rogue Jets for the Express Whitewater tour. Along the way we stopped at numerous ocean overlooks and grabbed a quick fast-food lunch in Coos Bay due to lack of time. We arrived at the Pacific Reef Hotel in Gold Beach at about 1pm and were lucky to get an early check-in so that we could get settled in before the boat trip. The Pacific Reef Hotel is obviously very dated, but it’s situated nicely on a large beach and the room was quite large with a good balcony view of the grounds and beach behind the hotel.

We got to Jerry’s at 1:55pm, had a no frills check-in and immediately boarded the boat with several other families. We got the back row on the large jet boat with stadium seating, which offered us some great views (and lots of water!). This trip was well worth the time and money. Our guide was very knowledgeable and friendly, and had his cute dog along for the ride. On the approximately 4.5 hr trip, we saw 3 black bears, multiple bald eagles, deer, an elk herd, and 3 river otters. Our guide, a nephew of the original owner, said it was most bears he’s seen on a single trip and that he hadn’t seen elk on this stretch of the Rogue River in many years. He could have been making it up in anticipation of nice tips, but regardless it was cool seeing that much wildlife. There was also a point where a bald eagle landed on a tree top right above a black bear foraging on the water’s edge. It was the perfect photo op, so much so that we asked jokingly if they were animatronics. Our guide also soaked us to the bone for the entire trip at the request of many of the kids on the boat. It made for a fun if not soggy and sometimes chilly experience, though it was greatly appreciated as we went further inland and the temperature crept up into the 90s. The dinner stop at a restaurant halfway through was a provided BBQ meal … it was fairly underwhelming, but coming from Austin we knew we were going to be disappointed with BBQ.

We got back to the starting point at 6:45pm and immediately went back to the hotel to dry off and relax. There was a scheduled light show at 9pm, so prior to that we explored the beach, which had very cool surf-smoothed rocks of all different colors and patterns. It was quite cold that night, so we ended up at the indoor hot tub for a bit before going back to the room to view the movie and light show from our back balcony, which looked down directly on the movie screen. The show was a nice overview of the highlights of the Oregon Coast, many of which we had seen or were going to see, with a choreographed light show. It was ended with a shortened version of the movie Mama Mia, which we listened to from our room rather than stay out and watch it.



Day 7: Gold Beach to Trinidad, CA, Wednesday Aug 11

Our 9am start was a bit later than previous mornings, so we quickly grabbed a few pastries at the local Coastal Cups Coffee shop and ate them on the road. They were delicious, and some had a Pacific Island flair to them as the shop is run by a Filipino family. On the way we stopped at the Arch Rock viewpoint and walked around there for a bit, and then we stopped at multiple places along the very beautiful Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor to view the stunning ocean vistas and beaches.

Lunch was had at Kim Khao Thai Eatery in Crescent City, CA based on good online reviews, but we were somewhat disappointed. We are partially to blame based on what we ordered, as the rest of the family got pho and it wasn’t as good as the Vietnamese pho we get in Austin, and I was in a weird mood and ordered sweet and sour beef, which was a standard bland American-Asian dish.

South of Crescent City, we got stuck for about 1 hr in construction traffic on the 101 due to landslide damage. The saving grace was that it was mostly through Redwood forest, so the scenery was quite distracting from the delay. Our first Redwoods stop was at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. We had been to Muir Woods National Monument before, but these trees were out of this world. Our exploration took us down the Newton B. Drury Parkway to The Big Tree and associated walking loop, and on a quest to find the unmarked Iluvatar Tree, which was featured on the cover of National Geographic and is something like the 3rd largest redwood tree in the world. We eventually found it right off a main trail, but it was not as easy to distinguish from some of the other neighboring monsters since you can’t see the entire tree through the canopy. I guess they don’t mark it to limit the traffic to see it.

There was a quick stop at the visitor center before taking off to Trinidad to check into our cabin at the Emerald Forest Cabins & RV Park. This is a cool little place tucked under some massive redwoods with a bunch of tightly packed cabins and camping spots. It was pretty full, but we enjoyed our cozy little cabin near the main entrance. We picked up a massive pizza from Headies Pizza and Pour, which was a tasty NY-style pizza, and ate it in the cabin. We had time before sundown to make a trip out to Agate Beach, which is a very remote beach that is known for its polished agate stones. Being as late as it was, there was no one else on the beach, so we searched for and found some agates under the dusk light and then by flashlight after the sun went down. That ended our night in Trinidad. We got to see a lot of redwoods, but to be honest I could have seen a lot more and still been mesmerized by their magnificence.

Day 8: Trinidad, CA, to Ft Bragg, Thursday Aug 12

We left the cabin at 9:30am and headed towards Ft. Bragg, which was selected due to my wife’s love of sea/beach glass and the nearby Glass Beach. We entered the Avenue of the Giants at Humboldt Redwoods State Park and drove it the whole way south. The first stop was at Founders Grove, where we explored for quite a while around the Founders Grove Tree loop. Very cool trees, both alive and dead, were seen here. The fallen Dyerville Giant, which was the world’s tallest treat 362 ft before it fell in 1991, was quite a spectacle to see lying on the ground in all of its former glory.

We explored the very nice visitor’s center for a while before grabbing lunch at the Avenue Café in Miranda, which was not too bad. Next we drove to Leggett and paid the $10 to drive through the Chandelier Tree (315ft tall, 21ft wide). Though a very touristy thing to do, there was no line and we could drive through and walk through the tree multiple times getting many pictures, so it was easily worth it. We stopped in the gift shop but didn’t purchase anything.

The crazy CA1 road took us to Ft. Bragg where we arrived at The Colonial Inn around 4pm. We’ve driven some crazy and winding roads all over the world before, but that road may have had the most switchbacks and curves than any other road we’ve taken … very fun. The Colonial Inn is several blocks from downtown and the coast back in the neighborhood, and is a ~ 100 year old large house with at least 10 bedrooms, and a common kitchen and lobby space. It is a cool older place with a lot of potential that just needs some TLC, like a fresh coat of paint and new carpets/floors. Our host was very “interesting” as he greeted us at the front door, ran up the stairs to our room where he waited for us to hand us the key, and then we never saw him or heard from him again. I’m guessing he was very busy and/or short-staffed. It ended up not being an issue, but it was weird nonetheless. The room was pleasant and nicely outfitted.

Before dinner, we made our first of three trips to Glass Beach (I told you she was a fan) where we found the cove furthest to the left of the Dump Site #3 that is open to the public (see later history of Glass Beach). There we found millions of pieces of the smoothed glass a couple inches deep in some places. After reading varying accounts of whether or not glass should be removed from the beach, we took only a few of the better pieces. Next we explored the tide pools at the neighboring larger cove (little to no glass there) where my daughter found a huge Giant Pacific Chiton, the first and only sighting of our trip. A late dinner was had at the very cool and highly rated Mayan Fusion restaurant in downtown, where we had very tasty Mexican food.

Day 9: Ft Bragg and Mendocino, Friday Aug 13

We slept in a bit again and got out of the Inn by 9am to head down to downtown where we got pastries from a coffee shop. Next was our second trip to Glass Beach, where we were going to search for the “hidden” dump sites #1 and #2, which we read about the previous night while researching the next day’s activities. These sites, which have even more glass, are supposedly off-limits to the public, but the local sea glass expert, Captain Cass, encourages people to find the other sites and take the glass since they are public beaches and the glass is not naturally occurring. He has some good points, but he’s obviously a bit of an eccentric personality in town. We found site #2, but when it came time to cross the barrier erected by the city, we chickened out and hung out with the numerous and friendly ground squirrels for a while.

Instead we went to the Sea Glass Museum to see some great pieces of glass and do some more research. The museum is an unassuming half gift shop, half sea glass display in a downtown shopping mall manned by Captain Cass himself. His collection is indeed incredible, and he has said that he collected it mostly from dump site #1. There are videos running in the museum of Cass encouraging people to explore sites #1 and #2. So the history is that a 1906 earthquake damaged a large part of the town, and the townsfolk bulldozed all of the debris and garbage off the cliff into the ocean into what is now dump site #1. From 1906 to 1943, that site was used as a trash dump for glass, appliances, vehicles, etc. From 1943-1949, dump site #2 was designated for the same purpose. And then when that site filled up, dump site #3 was used from 1949-1967, at which point it was decided to stop the dumping and clean up the messes. The glass and ceramics from bottles, kitchenware, and cars remained in the natural rock tumbler of the rocky beaches, creating the Glass Beaches of today. You can determine the origin of the glass by the colors and shapes.

After the visit to the Godfather of Glass himself, we built up our confidence for one more trip to the beach to see what we could find. But first we needed to proceed to Mendocino for our previously scheduled site-seeing stop. On the way we stopped at the amazing Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. I’m not much of a plant and flower person, but this place was pretty amazing, and we took 2 hours to explore the 45 acres of plants, trees, and coastline. Well worth the time and fee to get in.

We made it to Mendocino for a late lunch at the Good Life Café. It was difficult finding a place that was open (so many restaurants and stores were closed for reasons that weren’t exactly clear to us, other than maybe Covid hardships) and not packed. Regardless, the Good Life Café had very fresh and tasty foods for very reasonable prices (for a NorCal tourist town). We walked all over town and went into as many shops as were open (maybe half of the total) and walked around the very beautiful cliff-top setting at the edge of town. Again, the number of open shops was disappointing, but my wife and daughter enjoyed the ones they got to go in while my son and I enjoyed the numerous benches outside the shops.

After spending the afternoon in Mendocino, we drove back to Ft. Bragg to get to Glass Beach site #2 before sundown. After stepping over the cable barrier, it was not an easy climb down to the beach and maybe this is also part of the reason it is discouraged. But once down there, we knew why Captain Cass raved about this place. The entire beach was glass up to ~ 1 foot deep or more in places. We had never seen so much sea glass in once place, or even in our entire lifetimes of searching for sea glass. It sounds weird now, but it almost seemed too easy, like the fun of the search was taken out of it. Regardless, it was a super cool experience for the whole family and I’m glad we did it. We finished the night with a late dinner at Taka’s Japanese Grill, where we had very good but somewhat overpriced Japanese food and sushi, and really good hand-made ice cream at neighboring Cowlick’s Ice Cream, which we were thrilled to see open until 9pm since so much else closed early on this entire trip down the coast.

Day 10: Ft Bragg to San Francisco, Saturday Aug 14

Breakfast pastries were on the menu again before our 9am trip out of town. Though we have been to SF many times, the family decided on no more coastline detours as they wanted to get to SF as early as possible to spend the rest of the trip there, so we cut inland for the 3 hr trip to the Golden Gate Bridge. This was another crazy winding road getting up and over the coastal mountain range, but we got to the Bridge around noon and parked at the south end to make our walk half-way across it. It was a very foggy day, so the views of the city were not great, but any views from that bridge are spectacular regardless.

After that, we arrived at the Marriott @ Fisherman’s Wharf by 1pm. We chose this location because I get free Marriott stays from my business travel, and the kids wanted to be in the heart of the touristy stuff. They weren’t quite ready for early check-in, though we did get a free upgrade to a suite, so we walked to Chinatown first. There we went to a sub-par dim-sum place (can’t remember the name now, but it was touristy with large bland portions) only because it was the only one with seating and minimal wait as Chinatown was packed on this Saturday afternoon. The kids were fine with it because it was Chinese food, but my wife and I had hoped for better. After that we stopped at the AA Bakery for dan tats (egg custards) and bao (buns) and to our usual stop at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, where we walked in the short line to see the small but efficient 4-person operation and get a sample of a baked cookie.

We walked 30min back to the hotel to check-in, and then explored the Fisherman’s Wharf area, including the video arcade museum (this is always a fun stop), Pier 39, souvenir shops, sea lion haven, and street vendors. We had a dinner date with my wife’s brother and his wife near the Ferry Terminal, so we jumped on the F-train and made our way down to Osha Thai Restaurant. We had a lovely evening and dinner with family on their outdoor patio. Food was very fresh and tasty, but very overpriced as you would expect for this location.

After dinner and after parting with family, we started walking back along the Embarcadero, but then saw the last 9:30pm F-train of the night making its way north, so we quickly caught it and jumped on for our trip back to the hotel, where we chilled out watching TV for the rest of the night.

Day 11: San Francisco to Austin, Sunday Aug 15

We left the hotel at 9:45am and got to our United gate with a bit more than 1 hour to spare (perfect timing!), so we grabbed at a bite at the food court in the terminal near our gate. The flight home was on time and uneventful. What a fantastic trip this turned out to be. I knew we’d love every part of it given how we like to travel, and it met or exceeded expectations. The Oregon and Northern California coasts are every bit as beautiful as everyone knows them to be, and I can’t wait until my wife and I can go back on our own with more time to have a slightly different kind of trip.
paulg is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2021, 05:46 PM
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Very nice report. Sounds like you had a great trip and not too rushed ( shhhh - I won't tell anyone you nicked seas glass )
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Old Sep 21st, 2021, 06:09 PM
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Loved to take the trip with you! Great report and a lot of fun revisiting places I haven’t been for years!
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Old Sep 21st, 2021, 07:54 PM
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Great report, thanks for sharing your trip!
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Old Sep 22nd, 2021, 06:23 AM
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Thanks, all. janisj, no more rushed than our usual vacation with the kids. And though we did take some glass (Captain Cass approved!), we did not do what one lady in the parking lot did where she held up a large plastic bag full of glass proclaiming, "I hit the motherload!" It's interesting that Captain Cass has tried to kick off a program of re-populating the beaches with new glass, but the city did not approve the plan for various reasons. Another interesting piece of history I left out was that molotov cocktails where often thrown down onto the trash to burn as much of it off as possible, so there are rare pieces of fused glass that can be found. More amazingly, if you walk out on the rocks at lower tide, there are chunks of metal from cars (axles, spark plugs, bumpers, etc.) fused into the rocks and not removable. I couldn't find any websites talking about that, but it seemed quite improbably to me.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2021, 09:06 AM
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Thanks for the interesting report.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2021, 03:00 AM
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Nice trip and TR. Thanks for posting.
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Old Sep 27th, 2021, 07:10 AM
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Thanks for the trip report. I’m sorry to hear the clouds weren’t cooperating for views of Multnomah Falls and crossing the Golden Gate Bridge as those views remain imprinted in my brain as being singularly gorgeous. Glad however that you got to see Herman the Sturgeon, who I was pleased to learn is still alive and kicking some 8 years after I saw him at the Bonneville Dam.
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Old Sep 30th, 2021, 09:54 AM
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Great read! Thanks for sharing.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2021, 06:34 PM
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Thanks for the kind words, everyone. Until the next trip ...
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