It had been a few years since we had seen our friends, although the wives had stayed in touch by e-mail. We wanted a chance to see and visit with them in a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere and hit on the idea of spending a few days together on the Oregon coast near where they now lived. We chose a 2-bedroom unit at the newly opened WorldMark resort in Seaside, Oregon, for our meeting place. To drive there, we would need to spend a night on the road. We reserved a 1-bedroom unit at the WorldMark Running Y Resort in Klamath Falls, Oregon. While we were at it, we arranged to stay there again for one night on our way home, too. As luck would have it, we had recently been invited to WorldMark's new fractional timeshare, The Resort at South Shore, in Zephyr Cove, Nevada, on Lake Tahoe. We arranged to stay there for 3 nights after leaving WorldMark’s Running Y for the second time and before returning home. After making all our reservations for the next 8 nights, we packed our bags, loaded the cooler, and put everything into the truck.
We left the San Francisco Bay Area the next morning at about 10am and headed north. With nice weather and no traffic problems, we arrived at the Running Y in Klamath Falls at about 6pm. Check-in was a breeze and we were barbequing steaks on our deck overlooking Oregon’s top-rated golf course an hour later. That night, we read about all the neat things to do in the area for people with a few days to burn.
Crater Lake was once a towering volcano and now is the deepest lake in America. It is located 55 miles north along the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway. Ashland, Oregon, famed for its Shakespeare Festival, is located 60 miles west. The Lava Beds National Monument is 50 miles south in California. It is riddled with caves and home to large numbers of birds of prey and migratory water fowl. Depending on the season, 15 to 50 horses are available in the on-sight stables. Klamath County has six wildlife refuges along the Pacific Flyway. Upper Klamath Lake, the largest body of fresh water west of the Rockies, attracts windsurfers, boaters, fishermen, and hunters. Unfortunately, because of our tight schedule, we were forced to put all that off until a future visit. The next morning, we took off early, following directions (from the resort staff) that were supposed to save us an hour and a half. We got stuck several times behind slow-moving logging trucks and waited four times on roadwork and once while an accident was cleared from the roadway. We were on Highway 97 and Highway 58 to Eugene. We would have been better off going back through Medford and then north on I-5, but we would have missed the beautiful scenery. We stopped for lunch in Chemult, Oregon, at a small restaurant called The Wheel. The food was okay, but the best thing about it was the art gallery downstairs with some very unusual prints. From there we drove north through Salem to Portland and then west to Seaside, arriving about 6:50pm, just ahead of our friends. Check-in was quick and easy.
That night, after a homemade pasta dinner, prepared in our new 2-bedroom home away from home, we started the process of getting reacquainted. For the next 3 days and nights, we enjoyed each other’s company while taking in all the local sights. The resort faces one of the finest beaches on the Oregon coast and is located at the end of the Lewis and Clark Trail. There is even a statue to commemorate the event in the middle of the turn around next to the resort. With 100 yards of sandy beach from the front of the resort to the water’s edge and 1.8 miles of beachfront spanned by the Seaside Promenade, we were able to take leisurely strolls with our friends. On one walk, we discovered a reconstructed saltworks like the one built by Lewis and Clark’s men to get much needed salt from seawater. The salt was then used to cure and transport meat for their return journey. About 3 weeks worth of work yielded roughly four bushels of salt. On another outing, we discovered the historic Butterfield Cottage and the Seaside Museum and Historical Society. By 1888, Seaside, Oregon’s first seashore resort, had become a major tourist attraction. Visitors traveled by boat down the Columbia River to Skipanon (Warrenton), where they boarded a train to Seaside. When the small hotel was no longer able to accommodate the growing number of tourists, tent platforms were built in a grove of trees between the river and the ocean. This area was known as Grimes Grove and is the present location of Seaside’s downtown core area. We learned a lot on the trip and had a great time catching up with our old friends.