June 7th, 2010

Kevin and Lisa

How Damp Is It?

...It's so damp here that last night about 2:30 AM, the smoke detector went off, not due to smoke or fire, but because the humidity set it off. It is at last sunny here today. I hope it will dry things out a little bit.

Pinball Trip Cut Short

Sunday morning Lisa and I made a trip over to the convention center for the 10:30 prize drawings (we didn't win anything this year) and for Lisa to make last-pass-through-the-hall purchases. We then walked back over the bridge to start packing out of our hotel room. While we were doing that, Lisa realized that the antenna she'd bought was missing a piece. Since her bags were ready to go while I was still putting stuff away, I suggested I continue packing while she went back over and see if she could get the part from the dealer. (Given the flea-market arrangement of the place, this isn't guaranteed.) I got most of our stuff into the van and was ready to go when she got back. Fortunately, the dealer had another antenna with the correct parts and swapped her even-up for it.

We then headed north to Seaside, passing through Astoria and then Ilwaco (we did wave hello as we went through town, as requested; the photo behind that link is from last year's trip) before arriving at the Dodge City Shooting Gallery and pinball palace around 12:30. This hall is mostly new pinball machines, but the key thing for us is that they're all well-maintained and they have enough room around them. The arcade at Seaside has the machines jammed together so that there is no room to play them properly, and most of them are out of order anyway.

As a sign of how attentive they are, the attendant was wiping down all of the machines' glass main plates with Windex because a group of grubby-fingered kids had just passed through. We like this place. It's probably just as well it's too far away for us to go more often, or it could get really expensive.

We were all set for 4 1/2 hours of pinball -- they're normally open until 5 PM -- but around 3 PM or so, the manager came and put up the "closed" sign because there wasn't enough traffic at the mini-amusement park next door (it's all one facility). So our day was cut short. Darn! We were having a good time; unfortunately, two people with a bucket of quarters isn't enough to pay the bills, so we had to leave when we finished playing out our current games.

We got a small snack across the street: the place that makes elephant ears in Long Beach has reopened, so we indulged again. Incredibly, Lisa reported the maple-coated elephant ear was too sweet even for her, and she's someone who adds sugar to her Sugar-Frosted Sugar Bombs. We then went and played miniature golf at the course located behind Stormin' Norman's gift shop. Lisa once again thrashed me on this 18-hole course, beating me by 12 strokes. I wasn't helped by a hole where I went out of bounds twice and ended up taking an 8.

We then considered our next move. It turned out that we both had had the same idea, which required us to head back south through Seaside and back to US-26. I'll write more about that later, but I need to take Lisa to the dentist now.
No Naked Visitors

Into the Woods

Having been thrown out of the Pinball Palace due to lack of action, and having had only a small snack at our normal lunch time, Lisa and I were both hungry. It turned out we both came up with the idea of stopping for dinner at Camp 18 Restaurant. We've passed this place on US-26 many times, but have never stopped there -- the timing was never right. This time it was, so we set course from Long Beach back to the south and east and soon enough were approaching milepost 18, which is how the place got its name.

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Having seen what we could of the museum's open-air grounds, we headed inside. There are no pictures here because we don't think our camera could do it justice, but you can have a look on the Camp 18 web site. What a beautiful building! It's all log-work, apparently mostly logged nearby and worked at a mill across the creek from the restaurant site. There is a huge long main beam dominating the ceiling. Big tables are planed from single logs and could seat dozens of people. We found it an utterly charming and wonderful lodge.

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Having thoroughly enjoyed our two-hour stay at Camp 18, we pledged to return someday and set out for home. We did not get home until 11 PM, but we were happy that we'd made the trip and spent the extra time at Camp 18. If your travels ever take you to the Oregon Coast along US-26, I recommend a stop here for the decor, the grounds, and the food. Next time, maybe Lisa's foot will be in shape for us to take the walking trail that follows the adjacent creek.

More photos starting here in the Seaside set. (Most of the earlier Seaside photos are actually from last year.)

PS: Kuma Bear has something to say about this stop too, although I'm not certain his own experience was as as much of an unalloyed good as it was for Lisa and me. I'm afraid poor little Bear may have some nightmares for a while.