Thursday, August 28, 2014

Otter Crest Viewpoint on Oregon Coast

Otter Crest Viewpoint looking south on Oregon Coast. (Julianne G. Crane)
The Oregon Coast Highway has long been a favorite scenic byway for RVers who want to travel at a leisurely pace and soak in some of the most beautiful vistas in America. And, the Oregon State Parks has provided numerous pullouts for the millions of annual sightseers and photographers.

For RVers, a great time to travel this popular route is in the autumn and winter when there are fewer families on the road and camping sites at state parks are easier to come by.

On one recent trip along the northern Oregon Coast we pulled out at the Otter Crest State Scenic Viewpoint. It thrusts out into the Pacific Ocean between Newport to the south and Depoe Bay to the north. It is a beautiful place to take a few snapshots, stretch your legs or fix a bite to eat.

Looking north from Otter Crest(Julianne G. Crane).
However, there are a couple of possible downsides for folks traveling in an RV:

- Traveling north, entry to the viewpoint is on the outside curve and signage was a little confusing. We missed the first entry and turning into the second access road was challenging because of the awkward approach and heavy oncoming traffic. However, there is a protected turn lane.
- Parking is extremely tight for larger rigs and any outfit towing a trailer or boat/car. 
- Only toilet facility available the day we were there was one porta-potty that had not been service in a long, long time. (Thank goodness for self-contained RVs.)

That said, upwards of half-a-million travelers pull off the coast highway each year for the spectacular view from 500-feet "above the ocean on the breathtaking crescent sweep of white sandy beach stretching to the south (pictured above). Cape Foulweather is stunning and inspirational with its picturesque panoramic views. This popular whale watching spot also provides a good view of the Devil's Punchbowl (to the south)" according to Oregon State Parks.

Read more about the RV lifestyle by Julianne G. Crane, go to   Photos: Otter Crest State Scenic Viewpoint with fog bank and Gull Rock offshore. (Julianne G. Crane)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"Been there" decal U.S. maps -- RVer philosophy

Driving through the campground, keep your eyes open. It's donuts to dollars that you'll be sure to spot at least one rig with one of those U.S. map with the "stick on decals" stuck to the side of the unit. These things do raise the occasional campfire discussion – on two points. Truth and resale.

public domain image on
In the neighborhood of the truth – just what constitutes a valid time to put your decal on the map? Do you have to travel with your RV into that state to count the coup? If you just went there sometime – even without the rig – can you still stick the sticker? One RVer observed, "If you were in the state long enough to hit the bathroom, you left your mark, so go ahead and stick!"

There are those who take a dim view of the "quick stop and stick it" philosophy. They figure that you'd better at least have driven around in the state a bit, seen some of the more memorable sites, and then, sure, put on the sticker. We'll leave all this to your discretion.

What about resale? If you put one of these gizmos on the side of your motorhome, you'll watch the resale value shoot downhill. At least that's the reckoning of one RV professional. The way he figures it, "personalizing" your RV just tends to diminish its value in the eyes of potential buyers. If that's true, and yet you still want bragging rights, what can you do? One fellow suggests putting the sticky map up in an obliging window. That way, when you're ready to sell the RV, you can take after the map with a razor blade scraper and eradicate the thing.

This of course, all leads to truth and resale. Say you bought a motorhome that some other traveler had installed one of these memorable states maps in. Is it truthful to leave the thing up, leaving others with the impression that you been places that Willy Nelson only dreamed of going to?

Well, that's all the philosophy we have time for today. By the way, if you really WANT one of those "I been there," or "My rig's been there," or "I wanta go there" whathaveyou state sticky maps, here's a neat one that let's you fill in the state with a license plate image.