Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Run to Salem

Our drive up the coastal highway to just past Lincoln City then east to Salem was a very pleasant ride.  We had heavy cloud cover and misting rain for about half the way.  Even that didn’t dampen our spirits.

US 101 was less curvy here than it had been south of Waldport allowing us to catch glimpses of the outstanding scenery occasionally.  Through the cities of Newport and Lincoln City, the road was a wide 4-lane.  Even though there were vehicles parked along the side of the street, they posed no problems.

A few miles north of Lincoln City we turned onto Oregon 18.  This was a superb roadway.  We were very surprised.  Twenty-five miles and one mountain later we merged onto Oregon 22.  This fine highway is still under construction, however, it looked like it was just waiting for the stripes to the painted.  Almost the entire 25 miles we traveled was on brand new road surface.  There were no signs of construction crews today.

The fifty miles from Lincoln City to Salem was beautiful rolling farmland.  We had enjoyed the rugged coastline for a couple weeks, so this was a pleasant change of scenery.  We saw hay fields, cherry orchards, tree farms, and cattle pastures.  Lovely!

Gene had been somewhat intimidated by the idea of towing through Salem, a city of about 200,000 souls.  Our campground, of course, was on the east side and he had the whole city to get across without benefit of interstate.  As it turned out, he had nothing to worry about.  The route selected by Map Quest, with a little modification based on the truckers’ atlas, used business route 99 through town.  Even though it twisted and turned, it was clearly signed and 4 lanes the entire way.

We have set up housekeeping at Phoenix RV Park, one of the highest rated parks in Oregon.  Phoenix proudly boasts 5 stars from Woodall’s and 9/10/9 from Good Sam.  It really is pretty.  Makes me want to wear a clean outfit everyday.

Tomorrow we are planning a visit to the capitol building.

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