Leaving our friends in Washington is bittersweet, but we know that adventure is just down the road, but the fact remains that we will surely miss the people from “The Mountain”.

Leaving Mount Rainier, we head south on highway 7 through Morton to Highway 12 through Mossyrock to I-5 to the Columbia River. Crossing into Oregon following highway 30 to Astoria, we see a bridge that must be crossed – of course it takes us back across into Washington, but we want to see where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean almost as badly as Lewis and Clark did.

Next day and its back into Oregon and down the coast to tour the Tillamook Cheese factory then off to the worlds largest wooden structure – the US Air Naval Station WWII Air Museum, then to Netarts Bay and Cape Lookout.

But enough fooling around we have places to go and people to meet such as Yachats – The Gem of the Oregon Coast – and LaVona – the Spiritgirl that we have been friends with via the internet and telephone for the past 20 years.

Meeting an old friend for the first time may seem like an oxy-moron, but that is exactly what we did.

The state of Oregon has a lot to offer and LaVona is anxious to share it with us, so shortly after we meet in person, she shows us her beautiful new house as well as her old house which was located right on the pacific with sea lions living right in the front yard.

We find this absolutely amazing, but like I said Oregon has a lot to offer, so away we go to Diamond Lake, located just north of Crater Lake National Park.

The trip to this area was amazing, following the North Umpqua river along route 138 to some of  the most scenic natural wonders we have seen on our journey.

The official explanation for Crater Lake is that it is a volcano that imploded, then filled with rainwater and snow to create the “bluest” water that we have seen.

Our explanation for Crater Lake is that it is one of Gods creations that should be experienced with friends and loved ones.

After a two night stay in a cabin on Diamond Lake, which kept us strategically located for two full days at Crater, it was time to move along and check out the city of Eugene. We end up at an RV dealership and are pretty sure that LaVona has caught the “traveling bug”.  Anyway, we have committed ourselves to a job in south Texas and as tempting as it is to stay right where we are for the winter, the time has come to head south.

So far our experiment in work-camping has been: challenging, fulfilling, fun, difficult as well as easy, patience testing, exhilarating, emotional, awe-inspiring, hard work, easy work, boring work and interesting work, but the opportunities it has offered us to travel this beautiful country and meet – in person – some of the beautiful people is absolutely priceless.

Thank you, LaVona, for your generosity and hospitality.

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