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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Down Memory Lane….

We had a very early start this morning. We even had to set an alarm, despite not being in a big rush to leave Tillamook.

I had been asked by Scotiabank before I retired last year, if I would be interested in participating in the Bank’s ‘Oral History‘ project. Scotiabank turns 200 in 2032, and to capture the last 50 years or so of the Bank’s history, the Bank is interviewing people who are retiring or recently retired. I am not sure what the end result of the project will be, but I believe that there will be some kind of document, which gives an update since the last publication at the 150th year of the Bank. To prep me for this Oral History Project, I was given a set of topics to try and cover in the interview that I was having today, with a former SVP of HR at the Bank. Never one to just show up and try and ’wing it’ so to speak. I spent about an hour and a half jotting down some key anecdotes and stories which I thought would be relevant for today’s online Teams meeting.

I was all ready for my interview (we had to stage this photo cause Richard forgot to take my picture earlier!).

After 1.5 hours of talking on the call, I was finally finished talking. The historIan at the Bank commented that I’m a ’natural born storyteller’, to which I responded that she should read our blog! I’m used to telling stories you see, and all of them are true! It was fun to recollect the people who I worked with, great bosses I had, things I accomplished and people I mentored along the way, as well as customer’s I enjoyed working with and the competition I enjoyed crushing! Life is so different now without those daily deadlines and long days sitting in meetings or on conference calls! Life is much better now! Let someone else deal with that stuff, and I’ll just be happy to keep collecting my pension and watch the share price appreciate!!

Finally after my call was over this morning, we were able to head out of our Harvest Host spot at ‘Blue Heron French Cheese Company’. We had an enjoyable quiet evening last night with only a Mercedes sprinter van parked next to us, and with our generator running all evening, we could have been anywhere!

Leaving Blue Heron French Cheese Company and the Mercedes van which spent the night next to us.

Yesterday I had bought some Oregon Marionberry preserves from the Blue Heron French Cheese Company, so I thought I would try some after on my breakfast muffin, after my call this morning.

I thought this Marionberry preserve tasted like black currant and sure enough the marionberry is a form of tart blackberry. In the marketing of the berry, they call marionberry the ‘Cabernet of Blackberries’. The more powerful flavour of the marionberry has led to it dominating current blackberry production. Oregon produces between 28 million and 33 million pounds annually. The Oregon state legislature wanted to make the marionberry the official state berry, but one of the legislators grew another more rare variety of blackberry, so he objected to the marionberry being the state berry. Politics! I thought this preserve would be delicious on a piece of tart cheese with some crackers. I think we may have some cheese to go with this preserve, after yesterday’s trip to the Tillamook creamery!

Our drive today was quite long and tiring. One of the first things we did do as soon as we could find a gas station, was to fill Newman up completely with diesel fuel. Since our little incident on Newman’s dashboard yesterday in Astoria, the fuel gauge is not working and we don’t want to add insult to injury and run out of diesel fuel! We even found the best price for diesel that we saw all day!

$3.37 a gallon for diesel. Most places we passed had diesel at $3.59-$3.99 a gallon. When we needed $305 worth of diesel, we are glad we found the best price!

We pretty much hugged the rugged Oregon coast today on our drive. Hwy 101 South is the route we are on. We could have taken Highway 5, which is the Oregon interstate, but that highway is at a much higher elevation and goes through the mountains. We are avoiding higher mountains and the potential for any snow, by staying on the slower, more scenic coastal road.

In no particular order here are some photos of our drive today.

Rugged coastline. There would be no surfing here!

We had a lot of roads like this, with sharp hairpin turns along the coast. It was a tough driving day for Richard.

There were a lot of bridges today that we crossed over, connecting one stretch of the coast to the other side.

Another bridge along Hwy 101, on Oregon’s west coast.

I was curious about the bridges on our drive today, because there were so many bridges and each bridge seemed to have some uniqueness to it, such as the stone pillars on the bridge in the picture above. Of course I had to investigate and this is what I found out:

After WW1, the state of Oregon embarked on an ambitious road-building project: to build US Hwy 101. Bridges were an essential element of the project, which opened up more than 300 miles of highway along the Coast and replaced the time-consuming ferries, which had transported passengers and cars across rivers and estuaries. Completion of Hwy 101 boosted tourism and solidified Hwy 101 as one of the most beautiful drives in the world. The state bridge engineer from 1919-1935 was a person by the name of Conde B. McCullough, who oversaw the engineering and construction of the bridges on Hwy 101. One of the first things you notice about McCullough’s coastal spans is the rich architectural detail: the finest among them are embellished with classical, Gothic, Art Deco and Art Moderne elements and he creatively fused materials such as poured concrete and steel. Most of the elements used in the architecture of the bridges are classical - Roman arches, segmented arches, moving on to gothic and some Tudor thrown in there. The bridges don’t get in the way of experiencing the scenic beauty of the drive, they enhance it. What McCullough did in the creation of these bridges on Hwy 101 was to complement nature, and that is how he wanted it to be.

More bridges on Hwy 101 which I found online. Notice the way the steel is joined with the stone work and the fine detail work on the stones.

This bridge has more stone, than steel, and is a better shot of the one I took as we drove through it 2 photos above, in Newport, Oregon.

We had to stop for some lunch and to buy a fan for the wet bedroom carpet so we tried to do everything at once. We ended up stopping at a Fred Meyer store in Newport, Oregon.

What an interesting store! The Fred Meyer chain of stores is an American chain of hyper market superstores founder in Portland Oregon by Fred G. Meyer. Fred Meyer was a retailer with a great idea. ‘One-Stop Shopping’. The Wall Street journal called him ”the last of the great American entrepreneurs”. Fred had worked in his family’s grocery business and in 1908, when he was 22 years old went to Portland, Oregon. Fred began selling coffee from a horse-drawn cart to workers at farms and lumber camps and as he watched and listened to his customers, he began planning a completely new kind of store. In 1922, Fred opened his first store in Portland and his vision was to give Customers more reasons to shop in his store than in any other. Before he opened his new store, Customers went to separate shops for meat, produce, cheese and other goods. Mr Fred, put these all under one roof and put an expert in charge of each area, setting the stage for the stores that now operate under the name Fred Meyer - which average 150,000 square feet and carry more than 225,000 items. We walked into this store today and were blown away by the amount of things the store carried. Food, health & beauty care, garden centre, clothing, home products, electronics, fine jewellery, hardware, kitchen appliances, gift ware, seasonal goods - it was all under one roof. CRAZY! Before Costco, there was Fred Meyer I guess! Anyway, we picked up lunch, a fan for the wet bedroom, anti mold spray for the bedroom, and some other food items.

We picked up this Red velvet cookie dough at Fred Meyer.

Mmmm good! Can’t wait to try one.

Richard’s favorite kind of Chardonnay…buttery Chardonnay! He wanted to try the Buttercup Chardonnay today at $9.89!

Newman parked at Fred Meyer in Florence, Oregon. Check out the large sand dune on the left side of the photo. The beach and all of its very large dunes, was just in behind this large dune.

We made it to our RV park in BANDON BY THE SEA, at 4pm. The RV park was calling for us to see when we were arriving, and we were literally 3 minutes down the road when they called. A long day of driving, but we are here for 2 nights, so no driving tomorrow!

We have a very nice level, paved RV site at Brandon by the Sea RV park. I’ve already sprayed the carpet with the anti mold spray and we have the new fan blowing in the bedroom to try and dry out the carpet. We’re glad we are not still in Fanny Bay, Vancouver Island, where it rained for 5 days straight, and this weekend they are expecting SNOW! UGH.

I had a nice trip down memory lane this morning. It’s funny how 37.5 years of one’s working life goes by so quickly now when I recollect highlights from those long, sometimes arduous days. I was told once that when you look back at your career, the people, and the good, fun times are what you will remember the most, and that’s exactly how it appears now, looking through the rear view mirror at my career.

Now its time to keep looking forward, to all of the fun things we have planned on this trip and into the future. Retirement is great, as long as you’re prepared for the ‘GO GO‘ years…and we’re definitely going now (As long as Newman co-operates!).

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