Oregon Round 2

We crossed Oregon off our Family 50 in 2012.  We visited Crater Lake and stayed in a home on the Williamson River.  This time we were able to see the coast of Oregon and the sand dunes.  In my typical over zealous planning, I tired to fit in more than we could squeeze in a day.  After spending the morning seeing the sights of Seattle, we headed toward Multnomah Falls.  The falls are just outside of Portland and near the Columbia River Gorge.
These beautiful falls would have been a lovely place to stretch our legs on our planned 6 hours of driving.  However, Fourth of July traffic turned our 6 hour trip into an 8 hour trip.  We pushed on to the falls only to sit in line for half an hour and move 1/4 mile.  As I was reading facts to the kids about the falls I came across the stat that nearly 2 million people visit the falls each year.  Apparently we were not the only ones with the idea to visit the falls over the holiday weekend.  So this picture is as close as we got to seeing the falls.  Instead we pulled into the parking lot and cobbled together a dinner and ate at a picnic table.  We did see a tiny running stream near the out houses.  Oh the adventures of Family 50!
Everyone was really eager to get in the car for 3 more hours of holiday traffic fun.

In my perfect plan we would have gotten to our hotel and had time to play on the beach and watch the sunset.  In reality Max raced toward the coast to nearest beach we could reach just in time to watch the sun sink into the water.  In my plan it was warm.  In reality we were freezing!
But with the sunsetting we only had another 30 minutes to our hotel.  The hotel was one of the best parts of our trip.  It was spacious, relaxing, with the waves crashing right outside out balcony.
Too bad it was up and out the next morning with 6 more hours of road ahead of us.
Our first destination was the Heceta Head Lighthouse.  They claim it is the most photographed light house in the U.S.  I am starting to think every lighthouse thinks it is the most photographed lighthouse. :)
While it was neat to learn about the history of the lighthouse, we enjoyed the beach below the most.
Max and the kids had their beach race.
Hailey won!
I think shoes on this rocky beach was a definite advantage.
This Arizona thin blooded family was freezing with the coastal wind and cool temperatures.
The kids had fun finding shells, crabs and climbing the rocks.
It was a much needed fun break in our drive.
We loaded up to head to the sand dunes near Florence.
We felt like we had been transported to a planet in Star Wars.  The dunes were so steep and the wind was blowing so much that Kaitlin dropped her flip flop and by the time she realized it and turned around the wind had covered it with sand.  The dunes had claimed another item.  We all dug around her and could not find it.  At that point I had all the kids give me their flip flops so as not to have another causality.  You would walk and in minutes your footsteps in the sand would completely disappear.
Max had to wrap his head with Hank's blanket to avoid the blowing sand!
Hailey tried rolling down the dunes only to learn the sand would find its way up her nose, in her mouth and ears and just about everywhere else!
As we were resting after climbing the massive dune, Hailey asked me for her phone back.  She had given it to me before she rolled down the hill.  However I was sure I gave it back to her when she went down to the beach.  For a few seconds I thought she was teasing me and she thought I was teasing her.  Then I was like tell me right now you have your phone, look in my pockets, I only have mine!  Panic ensued!  Hailey went running down to the beach.  I could feel a knot in my throat remembering the quick disappearance of Kaitlin's flip flop.  We would never find the phone.  In vain we all frantically attempted to move the sand aside in hopes of finding it.  I used the find friends app to see that her phone was indeed right next to me.
I handed off the pile of flip flops to Kaitlin as I desperately searched the sand.  The howling wind was so loud we could not hear each other unless we shouted.  As the reality of the lost phone set in I decided to try calling it.  Maybe just maybe one of us would hear it over the howling wind.  If she didn't have it on silent.  Ring.  Ring.  Suddenly Kaitlin shoots up!  She screams, "I found the phone!"  She had put the pile of flip flops under her bottom and sat on them while she waited at the top watching us all run around like lunatics.  The pile began to vibrate.  In between all the flip flops was Hailey's phone.  I was so relieved it almost took away the burn that I had been so upset with her for loosing it when all along I had been holding it.  On that note we decide to leave the windy and wild sand dunes for the safety of our car.  A long drive didn't sound so bad.

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