Saturday, July 12, 2014

My New Recumbent Trike

Well, I have my new Recumbent trike & now that we are in Newport I can
My new trike
actually ride it. I am having a blast.

My first day out I was sticking close to the rv park going up & down the streets. Mostly I wanted to get a feel for it & figure out the shifting. By the end of the ride I was feeling a little more confident. What is so nice about this trike is there really is no learning curve like getting on a 1-wheeler. The only thing I have to figure out is the gear settings that work best for hills (not very big
Al taking it for a spin!
ones around here) going up & down & going on flat surfaces. I also have to feel comfortable doing the turns since this has the 2 wheels in front. It's definitely different than riding a 2-wheel bike but it's also more stable.

My 2nd day out I was having so much fun I rode 45 minutes & didn't even realize it. I rode around the park then off to the marina parking lot for a while then along the path past the brewery, under the Newport Bridge & even went past the condo's on the bay. On my trip back I rode around the dry camping lot for a while then back out to the biking/walking path & back into the rv park. Al was amazed I had ridden so long & wondered if I would be able to walk the next day. I did & there were no aches & pains which even surprised me.
Al tuning the trike

By the third day out (I'm riding every other day) I did about the same as my last outing. I was out about 45 minutes again. When I came back Al decided to take it for a spin. I figured it would be a quickie but he was gone 30 minutes. He said he went all the way out to the jetty so I might have to try that next time. Best to do it during the week when it's not so busy around here.

Al worked on my trike for a while tuning it up,
New Fan Flag
adjusting the gears, brakes, etc so when I took it out it really rode like a dream. I got a computer at the local bike shop & once the bracket arrives next week Al can mount it for me so I can see my speed, how many miles I've gone, etc. I gotta go a lot of miles to burn off all that fat ;))

This will certainly help me get some exercise which the doctor said was really important. The nice thing about this is it's relatively painless which is wonderful! The best part is it is really fun. I get fresh air, get to check out the scenery instead of looking at a wall (like riding an exercise bike)....which is BORING! This is anything but boring.
Fan Flag

Well, this is turning out to be GREAT fun. I am slowly gaining confidence & riding outside of the RV park. I've gone down the Jetty road along the Bay & it is really enjoyable. I'm up to about 45 minutes riding but going farther so that means I'm gaining strength & going faster.

The jetty road goes all the way to the end where the bay means the ocean. There are some paved trails going off the jetty road that lead to the state park & other areas. I have explored that a little bit but will keep doing more each time I go out.
RickRack Flag

I've ordered some very flashy flags to increase my visibility which is important especially since I am riding on streets. Al is also using it now & he is having fun so it looks like somewhere down the road he will be getting one too. That will be nice so we can go out together. I was told that the bigger the flag & the more movement there is the better it is to be seen It was also recommended to get the most colorful. I picked out two of the biggest & brightest colored flags. The RickRack has the most movement because of the tails so that's the safest. It's pretty hard
Seagulls swimming in puddle
to miss these two flags. I will only be using one at a time of the big ones but I like to have options.

Here's some photos of my latest drive along the jetty road. The day this was taken was after 2 days of rain. I won't complain about rain since we haven't had any until now. The weather really has been great so far so there's no complaints from me
The end of the bay
about a couple of days of rain. One of these photos shows all the seagulls enjoying a swim in the puddles. It was amazing to see so many at one time. 

The other photo was just a pleasant view along the jetty road. Nothing special but I was enjoying the view. It was taken toward the end of the jetty road & close to where the bay meets the ocean. This road is very popular amongst bicycle riders, people fishing & all those crazy Oregonians that love taking walks outdoors. Traffic is pretty minimal so it's a pleasant bicycle ride. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Newport, Oregon

Yaquina Bay Bridge
We really love Newport. It's centrally located along the Oregon coast so it makes traveling to other coastal towns pretty convenient. 

We left Salem, Or on July 5th heading to South Beach after the fireworks to save poor Shadow from the trauma of having to deal with them. Since the Port of Newport has their fireworks display right at the Marina RV park we have done our best over the years to avoid the fireworks to avoid traumatizing him. So, arriving on the 5th keeps everyone happy...especially Shadow. We still get some leftover fireworks for a day or two but it's not as bad & this year Shadow is doing a little better with his fear of noise thanks to some Acupuncture our vet did before we left.
Yaqina Head Lighthouse

The photo on the left is the Yaquina Bay Bridge as we crossed the bay from Newport into South Beach. It means we have arrived...yippee!!!

Yaquina Head is the site of Oregon’s tallest and second oldest active lighthouse. The 93-foot-tall structure was completed in 1872. Built on Yaquina Head, the lighthouse is located at a natural area that was created by lava flow more than 14 million years ago. I took this photo 2 years ago when we visited the lighthouse.

Newport’s beginnings shaped two distinct areas of town: the Historical Bayfront and Nye Beach. During the early 1900s, Nye Beach was the number one visitor attraction on the coast. Hot sea baths, taffy stores, agate shops entertained visitors from the Willamette Valley. Nye Beach is still a very popular haven for the
Dogs 1st time in the ocean
arts, with the 
Newport Performing Arts and Visual Arts Center amidst unique galleries, book stores, eateries, shopping and lodging. It also has one of the nicest beaches & a sure favorite of Allie & Shadow.

Historically, the Bayfront was Newport’s economic backbone, housing a port for the commercial fishing and wood products industries. Today, the Bayfront is still home to one of Oregon’s largest commercial fishing fleets. The Bayfront is a working waterfront on which
Action Figures
visitors can 
enjoy shops, art galleries, chowder houses, restaurants, fish processing plants, museums & family attractions in turn-of-the-century storefronts from a bygone era. You can even purchase fresh fish right off the boat when they come in. Depending on the season you can get fresh crab, tuna, salmon & halibut. You can even go on a crab or fishing trip.

There are a few reasons we love coming here: A great beach...just ask Allie & Shadow, great restaurants, it's cool in the summer & there's lots to do besides veg out.
White Swan lll at the Marina

The top left & right photo show Allie & Shadow. It was their first experience at the ocean. They were both cautious but after the first day they eased their way into the waves. Al is always reluctant to let Allie off leash but I am a believer in giving her some latitude so she can prove she can be good & she usually never fails me. I think it's a case of she really wants to be good & if you let her have some freedom she's content to come back & she does...but it still makes Al nervous! Now if you
Fresh Tuna
look at the above photos you would think they were pros at playing in the ocean & not just newbie's. Over the last 4 years since they have been coming with us they have learned to respect the ocean but they absolutely love it. The have also slowed down a little bit.

I've been buying fresh tuna from one of the boats moored at the Marina where we stay. He usually goes out fishing on Tuesday & comes back on Thursday. I have been buying fresh tuna from him
Yaquina Bay Bridge
for the last few years & it has been great. I pick out the tuna I want & Mike (or his son) filet's it for me & Al cans it. Last year we got 2 tuna & shared it with our friends back in New Mexico. I got 2-16 lb tuna's & we got almost 3 cases of fresh canned tuna. They loved it so much they gave us another case of canning jars for this year.

The photo on the left was taken from our RV site at the Marina RV park which is below the Yaquina Bay Bridge. We really love this place. We can smell the ocean, hear the sea lions & we can get fresh fish. If I'm lucky my friend Clay (the park host) from Albuquerque brings me some fresh crab. Last year was a bad year & I really didn't get much but he brought me some the first few days we were here. Hopefully I will get some more before we leave.
Tidal Raves Ocean View

Newport & surrounding towns have some of the best restaurants & of course the best fresh seafood. Staying in Newport is a challenge for us...there isn't enough time to visit all of our favorite restaurants. The photo on the right was taken from our table at Tidal Raves.

We tend to go out for breakfast or lunch so we have plenty of time to work it off. Here's a list of GREAT restaurants we love, not in order of preference:

M&P Authentic Thai Cuisine - This is a relatively new restaurant (new owners) located in the Bayfront District. It was our first visit so I was thrilled when it turned out to be very good. The food was great. They have color menu's out front showing the food & they also have a separate menu with just photos of the individual dishes. It reminded me of my visit to Japan where they have the food samples out for the tourists who don't speak Japanese...they can just point. I usually eat Shrimp Pad Thai. They rate theirs between 1-4 (heat) & I usually get a 2+. I did this time & it was hotter than I am used to
Fishtails Slumgullion
(remember, we live in New Mexico). Next time I settle for the 2 & there will be a next time. It was delicious. We were starving so we split an appetizer so we could take the edge off our stomach's that were growling...that was big mistake because we discovered soup is included with the meal. But the appetizer & soup were delicious. This is the best Thai restaurant in town!

Fishtails Cafe - The owner gourmet chef & everything is home made. My favorites are the clam fritters which are like nothing I have ever had anywhere. The slumgullion is like nothing you will find elsewhere. It is her own recipe of clam chowder then she adds 3 different white cheeses, shrimp & then she bakes it. It is a meal all by itself. Al's favorite is their Marionberry
Nana's Irish Pub
French Toast.

Nana's Irish Pub - The food is wonderful & it helps to like Irish cooking. It is in the Nye Beach District & it is a very popular place. You can eat on their patio or inside but it's always busy. My favorite is their Shepherd's Pie.
Newport Steak & Seafood - This is a local favorite & it's usually busy all day. This is the only place we go to for dinner because we love their Thursday special. On Thursdays they have a full course Rib Eye steak dinner at a very reasonable price. We have taken some of our friends there & they all love it.
Georgie's Beachside Grill- This is a another great restaurant overlooking the ocean. They do not take reservations but you can call ahead before you leave & they will hold a table for you. My favorite is the Diablo Seafood Pasta. Yumm! We met our neighbor (from New Mexico) for lunch a few days after we arrived. Maynard was born & raised in Tillamook & moved to Florence (50 miles south) 2 years ago. This is one of his favorite restaurants so we decided to try it. I called ahead & reserved a window table & we had a great view.
Yummy Bowl Restaurant - We tend to avoid chinese restaurants due to the high sodium content but last year we went with friends who love it so we joined them for lunch. It was great. The food is good & the owners are so nice. Their menu has a wide variety of food to choose from...almost too much. I ordered a combo & it was enough for left overs the next day.
Tidal Raves Seafood Grill (Depoe Bay) - One of our favorites & a very busy place. It overlooks the ocean & if you are lucky you might see a whale or sea addition to the wonderful food. Their Red Curry Barbecued Shrimp & Coconut Shrimp are wonderful & their Tiramisu is to die for.
Stu Miller's Pigfeathers Barbecue (Toledo) - Funny name for a great barbecue place. The same friends who took us to the Yummy Bowl took us here. Their ribs (my favorite thing) were great. The menu is typical Barbecue fare but the food is good & very reasonably priced.
Green Gables Italian Cafe - This is a little hole in the wall restaurant that is
Green Gables Linguini with clams
part of a Bread & Breakfast. It is on the corner as you turn to head into the Nye Beach district. We found this via the Restaurant guide several years ago. At the time they had a coupon so we decided to try it. They have one of my favorite dishes, Linguini with clam sauce (shown in the photo) & they offer it in red or white (oil, not cream). They have some regular dishes such as Lasagna, baked ziti, manicotti, Cannelloni, etc. They also have a section under "Pasta" where you can choose the pasta of your choice (ie: linguini, fettuccini, penne, etc) & then choose your sauce including Ala Diavolo, Alfredo, Marinara, etc, which is pretty cool. Everything is cooked to order so it's not "fast food" but it's delicious.

Now you can see our predicament...too many good restaurants & there are plenty more...these are just our favorites that we have already tried over the last 5-6 years. 

Some of the places we avoid: Chowder Bowl (too touristy & the food is just ok), Moe's (a tourist trap with lousy service. They rush you in & out & make you share tables...definitely more into making money than making customers happy), Local Ocean's (a popular place but limited menu of what we like to eat).

Well, every year we buy at least one tuna from one of the guys who moors his
Catch of the day!
boat at the Marina. His prices are reasonable & he fillets the fish for us. Al does the canning & then I get to eat it. YUM! If you have never eaten fresh tuna that has been canned you have not lived. You will never want to buy commercially canned tuna again. Friends of ours who park behind us told me that the first time we were here but I didn't believe them. Boy they knew what they were talking about. Of course he's a fisherman & he comes here to fish for salmon, halibut & tuna every season. They come here for 4 months every year, leave there coach & come down on weekends to fish. They are really nice people & we enjoy learning all there is to know about the local fish from them.

7/24/14: Pictured above is Charlie, this year's catch of the day. Mike is holding him up before he fillet's it for me. This guy weighed in at 18 lbs. & was caught yesterday. I was told that you should not eat the canned fish for at least 3 months after it's canned. I am still eating tuna from our 2012 catch but I'm just about out. We have generally had 1-2 cases each year...depending on if we are sharing tuna's with friends. Since I'm the only one eating it a case will last me all year usually.
Al preparing to can tuna

7/25/14: Charlie is cookin'. Al has begun the process of canning. Once he does the preparation of cleaning & sterilizing the canning jars he has to stuff them. This year we got an 18 lb tuna which filled 26 jars. He had to really stuff them so that he didn't have to do another round of canning just for a few extra jars. So, these 8 oz jars are filled to the rim with 8 oz. of tuna. Once they are in the cooker the cooker has to get up to the proper heat. After it reaches the proper heat it has to cook 90 minutes so today is dedicated to canning & not much else but the result is probably going to keep me in tuna for a year. Right now I am eating last years batch & I'm on my last jar that we brought with us...I guess I underestimated my desire for tuna ;(