Except the little snack stand is closed, out of business, with a big For Sale sign in the window. Ouch. Two swings, two misses. This afternoon was looking to be a bust.
We got back on the highway and considered what to do next. We could take WA-4 to Kelso and then head south on I-5 or go back to Astoria and follow US-30 to Portland and go south from there. I suggested we retrace our steps to Seaside, have lunch there, and then take US-26 to Beaverton and swing over to I-5 from there. Lisa agreed, and something like 90 minutes after we'd left Seaside, we were back again. Parking at the Convention Center, we walked to downtown Seaside and went to We're All Ears ("The center of the elephant ear universe"), where I indulged myself in my annual purchase of the greasy, cinnamon-sugar coated pastry. Lisa declined one of her own, but ate part of mine to cut down on the sugar I'd ingest. Then we headed out to the Promenade again and took around a 2 km loop up and down the beach.
I do really enjoy these beach walks, even on gloomy, overcast days like this. We watched the people surf fishing. (Standing in waist-high surf, even with insulated gear, looked pretty cold to me.) Another person made a kite do wild gyrations in the wind that seems to constantly blow here. A group of children were digging around a tree trunk that acted as a shelter and created a tidal pool on the beach. I thought about taking off my shoes, but Lisa suggested that getting the sand off afterward would be more trouble than it was worth.
Heading back for a final spin through downtown, we stopped at Zinger's Ice Cream again and bought the exact same ice cream flavors we had yesterday, although I did seriously consider getting a scoop of marionberry instead. With all the sugar I've been eating, we couldn't just leave right away -- we did a few loops around the downtown, eventually swinging past the Seaside Aquarium, and then back to the convention center. After a final restroom stop, we went to the pickup to leave Seaside, this time for sure.
Lisa noticed that there was a wet spot under the front of the pickup, even though there had been no rain today and there was no other standing water in the area. Examining in more closely, she said, "That's coolant. D*****!" She examined the situation. A hose was dripping fluid from a fitting. She got out the tools, and after some struggle, tightened a hose clamp. The truck hadn't lost very much fluid. She decided to chance driving home, so we headed south, then east toward Beaverton on US-26.
Although US-26 isn't too bad a road and isn't so slow as US-101/OR-18/OR-20 can be -- it doesn't go through lots of little towns and slow you down with traffic lights and stop signs -- it was full of the "go-home" traffic, which admittedly included us. Lisa fumed over people passing us unsafely (and illegally) simply because she'd allowed a safe following distance to the next vehicle. I sympathized with her frustration over people who assume that if you're not tailgating, you're going too slow. It was we great relief when we reached the OR-6 junction and the start of the freeway, which allowed all of the rabbits to separate themselves from the tortoises.
We stopped at the TA truck stop in Donald, south of the Portland area, and had lunch at Popeye's Fried Chicken, then went to play pinball in their arcade. Usually their pinball machines are in good order. Not today. The Batman machine, which was working okay a few days ago, is showing several broken gates and switches. Broken machines are worse than no machines at all, because they steal your money and don't play fair. After running through our initial stake in the machine -- we managed to win several games even with the game cheating us -- we gave up and headed back to Mehama.
We got back to Mehama about 9 PM, and I headed over to her father's house to check the mail and deal with messages. I see now that it's after 11:30. I need to be up at 6 AM because, no work having arrived over the weekend, I expect the roof to have caved in on me by the time I get to work a bit more than seven hours from now, so I'd better go get some sleep.
After arriving home, I found that while I'd slathered myself liberally with sunscreen, it wasn't much proof against windburn.