Seaside, OR TT 12/16/2006
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Our last trip to Seaside we had been in our pop-up camper. This trip, we were excited to try out our brand new travel trailer. The new trailer offers some things that our old one doesn’t- insulated walls, an enclosed bathroom and shower, a refrigerator and a stove. It’s very comfortable and much more conducive to full time living than the pop-up was.

Because we were excited to try it, we were willing to overlook a couple of things that would typically have caused us to reconsider a trip to Seaside. First, there was snow in the coast mountain range, and driving over slippery mountains towing a 27 foot trailer isn’t easy. Second, earlier in the week, a major wind storm had swept through, reeking major havoc. Roads to the coast were closed for a couple of days as they cleared the fallen trees. At our house, two firs had fallen in our yard, and we’d been kept up all night by the sound of trees falling in the forest beside us. Despite this, we kept our eyes on the road report and when we heard the roads were open again, we decided to go for it.

On our way over the coast range, we saw evidence of several large trees which would have blocked our path only a day before. Pieces of huge pines lay along the side of the road, saw dust all around them. Dented and mangled guard rails were all along the highway, the trees that crushed them still lay on the ground. We were amazed that the road crews had been able to get this all cleaned up in a couple of days. After awhile we began seeing snow on the sides of the road, and the road itself started to take on a dull frosted look. We drove slowly and in silence. After some tense minutes, the snow became patchy and the pavement looked wet again. We both relaxed a little and enjoyed the ride.

As we drove into Seaside, we talked about our plan for the day. We had decided not to shop before hand, and instead just pick up groceries from the Safeway in town. We would set up camp, get some lunch, go for groceries, and then perhaps hit some other stores for things we needed for the trailer. We passed several stores. “What’s today- Saturday?”, I asked. “Yep”, said Travis. “Okay then, we may have a problem.” All of the stores we passed were closed. Also, now that we really looked, there didn’t seem to be a light on anywhere. There was no power in Seaside.

We got to the campground and the ranger came out to meet us. “No power”, he said, “And no phones, so if you tried to call, that’s why we didn’t answer.” We had tried to call, actually, and had decided to take our chances when no one answered. We picked a spot and got the trailer set up, and then went inside to devise a new plan. Camping without power was no problem. The fact that we had no food with us, though, was an issue. We had noticed some lights on in the Safeway as we’d passed it, so hoped they might be open and running on generator power. We went to check it out.

It turned out they were open. You had to force the automatic doors open and squeeze in- but they were open. Their generators allowed a few lights and kept their cash registers going. They had taken everything out of the refrigerated areas and taped the freezers closed to keep people from opening the doors. The dim light and empty cases made for an eerie environment, like some post-apocalyptic scene out of a movie. We walked through the aisles trying to piece together meals from dry goods. We settled on some soup and some bread, and were lucky enough to get a block of cheese that had been pulled out from the cold storage in the back. With our purchases in hand, we made our way back to camp, and settled in for a cozy weekend in our new trailer.

The electricity came on later that night. We were never really inconvenienced- but it did make for an exciting, and different than usual trip.

We only took a couple of pictures during this quick trip.