Had a Blast in Waldport, Oregon
From Bandon we moved on to Waldport, Oregon, for a week-long stay at the Waldport/Newport KOA. By now this was the first week of July; we had booked reservations at the KOA months before as someplace interesting to ride out the busy Independence Day holiday. We were very pleased by this campground, sited on a low bluff and offering spectacular views of the Alsea Bay and historic Alsea Bay Bridge. A short trail from the campground leads down the bluff and through grassy dunes to a sandy beach along the bay – a perfect place for Jasmine and Pepper to chase balls in the water.
We enjoyed the ever-changing views of bay and bridge from the campground and overlooks. The Alsea Bay Bridge was originally designed and built by Conde B. McCullough in 1936 and later replaced with a concrete span/arch bridge in 1991, retaining some of the historic Art Deco embellishments of the original bridge.
During our stay, we also enjoyed several dinners at local restaurants, including the Salty Dawg Bar & Grill and the Azul Mexican Restaurant. We also enjoyed stopping in Yachats at the Yachats Brewery for sandwiches and a micro-brew – very tasty!
A highlight of our stay in Waldport was the Independence Day celebration on the bay. The staff at the campground mentioned that Waldport shot off their fireworks from a sand bar towards the mouth of Alsea Bay. Furthermore, the staff recommended watching the fireworks from the bluffs next to the campground or on the beach, below – excellent advice!
Around twilight, we found a nice place on the bluff overlooking the beach and settled in to watch the display. We had a very pleasant evening watching the beach bonfires, the city lights and reflections in the bay, and all the fireworks displays, both city and the amateur, being shot off all around the bay. The best thing was, we only had about a 150 yard walk back to our campsite when the displays were over.
Day trips to Haceta Head and Newport/Yaquina Bay
Although we had visited this section of coast before, this was our first stay in Waldport. The KOA made a great base for exploring this section of coast and we took several day trips, as far south as Haceta Head and north to Newport/Yaquina Bay. Unfortunately, but not unanticipated, the holiday traffic was quite heavy along Highway 101/Pacific Coast Highway, with many of the sights crowded with visitors. Not wanting to fight the crowds, we avoided the more popular areas and enjoyed time on quieter sections of the coast or around Waldport and at camp.
Here are a few photos from Haceta Head and Yaquina Bay area taken on an earlier trip in 2014:
Unfortunately, not all went well during our stay in Waldport as our refrigerator failed on us. We had noticed over the last month or two that the refrigerator freezer was not cooling well, ice cream was becoming soft and other items were not freezing as quickly as expected. We initially thought there was enough frost build up that the freezer needed defrosting. However, after defrosting, the freezer did not work noticeably better over the next few weeks, even despite turning the thermostat up higher.
Shortly after arriving in Waldport, the refrigerator failed, entirely. Although frost still formed at the back of the freezer, all other contents in the freezer were defrosting and contents of the refrigerator compartment were not staying cold. Fearing a coolant leak, we unplugged the refrigerator and transferred contents to ice chests, discarding much of the perishable food. Inspecting the refrigerator, I could not detect any odor of ammonia or other signs of a coolant leak. Propane and electrical all seemed in working order, yet the refrigerator would not cool down.
Fearing the worst, a rebuild or replacement of the refrigerator, we checked ahead along our route for Norcold-certified repair or service centers – few were found and would need service appointments months in advance. We scheduled an appointment with a certified mobile RV repair technician at our next stop of Neskowin, Oregon. The technician would be available to inspect the unit, which would at least help hasten an extended warranty claim if no repair was readily available.
As a short-term measure, we purchased a small dormitory refrigerator from Wal-Mart and then attempted to put aside our worries and enjoy the rest of our stay in Waldport. I’ll write more about the fridge in the next post.
That’s all for now. Take care and enjoy the journey!