And Then This Happened…

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Our next stop on the way up the Oregon coast was Newport. The Elks Lodge there is right on the hill above the bay with a view of the 101 bridge. We rode our bikes around the bay front and into town and Nye Beach for a look at the whole area. Newport is nice but a good sized part of the waterfront is taken up with a giant fish processing plant. There is no bay view, just trucks and loading and lots of fish death.

Further down there is a seal gathering spot. I could watch these guys all day long.

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Yaquina Head Lighthouse is there too. It was only used for three years, from 1871-1874. Never lit again.
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We continue to eat our way up the coast. It started in Florence with oysters, mussels, clams and salmon. And smoked salmon. In Newport we had to scope out the food, of course. For dinner we chose Ocean Local Seafood. I had bacon-wrapped tuna mignon and Jim had Fishwives Stew. Both were sublime. Paired with wine, of course.
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We also had clam chowder and a smoked fish platter for lunch at Ocean Bleu. With wine. Highly recommended.  Bought some smoked salmon and smoked black cod, our new favorite. And fresh halibut.

Newport was a great stop, even though we did spend several more hours there than we had planned. Ahem..

We headed out of town on the way to Tillamook and another Elks Lodge. With lots to see on the way. But first we went to the dump at the Chamber of Commerce. We came up on it suddenly and passed it; kind of a tight turn anyway. So we found a parking lot to turn around in just down the street. Except as we entered the turn, it turned out to be a lot steeper uphill than we thought and we high-sided and scraped the trailer hitch on the street. When I got out to assess things after a back end noise, the trailer hitch was effectively buried in the asphalt of the street. And the bus wouldn’t move. Great.

We tried moving both forward and backward, no progress. Now we are resourceful sorts and have gotten ourselves out of plenty of stuck situations in various vehicles from wood trucks to pickup trucks to lawn mowers. A bus is a little different though.

Naturally a small crown gathered and some were off to find cones, boards and blocks so we could try to get the drive axle on something for traction. Maybe we could back it up then. We raised the bus up on the back levelers as much as we could and put the leveler pads and various lumber under the wheels. We dug the asphalt out from around the trailer hitch. No go.
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Here lies the problem. The drive (front) axle is off the ground.
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We do have a roadside service, Coachnet, and we called them after our attempts failed to free the bus. Thankfully, it wasn’t on a very busy street and traffic easily rerouted around us. The Coachnet customer service person, Heather, was great. She said, “I know you’re in a fix but you called the right place and we’ll get you going.”

Because of the nature of the tow, the closest big-enough truck was in Corvallis and would be a couple of hours out. Oh well, nothing to do but wait. But here’s one aspect of modern towing technology that we never used to have. When I talked with the tow guy, Derik, on the phone to describe our situation, he asked me to send pictures of the bus and how it was stuck, from all four corners, and email them to him. I got out my trusty iPad and within minutes he had the photos and was on his way. Pretty cool.

I managed to get some work done while we waited.Tikita rested comfortably through the entire incident.
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Help arrives in the form of Bob’s Towing out of Corvallis. Derik assessed the situation carefully and when he said, “I don’t do anything in a hurry” I knew we would be fine. I wasn’t sure if he would have to lift the whole back end of the bus, but he just lifted the drive axle and put really big blocks under it.
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The other side was actually on the ground/boards so he didn’t have to do anything there.
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And here it comes! One smooth shot at backing it up and we were out!
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The aftermath… We picked up all the boards and cones and tried to repair the asphalt as much as as possible.
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Coachnet was great and Derik of Bob’s Towing in Corvallis gets a big shout out from us. He was a cool headed professional who had us out in about fifteen minutes. He had seen much worse, of course, including a bus stuck in mud up to its axles!
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We headed up the coast to Lincoln CIty and we had a delicious dinner of grilled fish, mashed potatoes and avocado salad with olives and pico de gallo at our site, a great ending to the day.
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Now we are near Lincoln CIty where we have been staying for a few days at a very nice Elks Park in a quiet meadow with big trees in the countryside near the ocean. We have been eating dinners of smoked fish and salad. Jim has been playing his ukulele every day and the kitties are hanging around outside pretty much all day.An iPad drawing of the view from our spot.
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We feel fortunate that this was just a blip on the radar in the big bus scheme of things. No harm done to us, the bus or the kitties. A small delay. No cost except for what we tipped Derik. Especially considered in the recent light of a close family members’ not-good health news…

Problems? We got none. We know we are BIG BIG LUCKY!
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More pics on Flickr.

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3 comments on “And Then This Happened…

  1. Hi Wendy & Jim,
    Sorry about “Mighty” having a sore butt. She’ll be OK. I am now in Reno for the biggest car show in the country (my opinion only). I will be hanging here all week long seeing over 5000 cars.
    Capt.

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