Sibling Assignment #70: Lessons Learned at The Oregon Coast

the rental cabin at Yachats

Here is sibling assignment # 70: "Share a memorable family vacation memory that involved all three of us." This is the second time we have written about Oregon Coast memories. You will find Raymond Pert’s here and Silver Valley Girl’s here soon.

For those of you that have read my blog you may know our summer vacations until I left home for college always were a trip to Orofino to see Grandma West and Mom’s family and trips to Spokane to see Grandma Woolum and other family that may be visiting. We loved these vacations. We could swim in the Clearwater River and eat ice cream from the Creamery in Orofino. In Spokane we went shopping at the original Northtown Mall where you walked outside between stores. We also went to the A &W, played miniature golf and played with Chi Chi, the dog next door.

After Raymond Pert had moved to Oregon Mom and Dad began a love affair with that state . They loved the lush green growth along the highways. The cooler weather appealed to my dad. Both of them fell head over heels in love with the Oregon Coast.

Dad and Raymond Pert enjoying the sport page and the view of the ocean.

The summer of 1982 we all gathered in Yachats, Oregon for a family vacation. Raymond Pert knew someone that worked with someone that had a house right on the ocean to rent. ( I don’t quite remember the vivid details of whose house it is… Mom Mary would know, but I am going to resist temptation to call her.) I came from the Tri-Cities via a tour through Washington and the northern Oregon coast. At that time I was married to SDE and we brought along our springer spaniel Nikki. Silver Valley Girl was on summer break from attending college at the University of Idaho and Raymond Pert lived in Eugene.

Silver Valley Girl and Raymond Pert heading to the beach.

As we all descended on the Oregon Coast little did we know we would leave much wiser with lessons learned on that summer trip to Yachats.

Lesson #1: Remember your inside voices!

The place was small and intimate. It had a great view of the ocean, but the house had one room and a bathroom. The sleeping arrangements didn’t allow for much privacy. Mom and Dad attempted to push two twin beds together. Dad explained it was for more room to move around. “Hey kids…. I won’t be getting frisky on this trip.” I don’t think frisky was in the cards that trip anyway because when Dad rolled over the first night the bed separated and I believe he found himself wrapped up in covers or on the floor.

Of course, this was all happening as the siblings were playing a very competitive round of Monopoly. Somehow in the progression of the long game we decided to sing when we moved to certain properties on the board. After my dad heard “New York , New York” belted out Liza Minnelli style about fifteen times he actually shushed us. I think that was right after he took his tumble in the covers.

Lesson #2: Shadow puppet shows don’t cure insomnia!

Off to “bed” we went, which meant we moved from the game/dining room/kitchen table to a hide-a-bed and two sleeping bags five feet away. Who could sleep after being wound up singing lounge songs and stealing Monopoly properties? SDE decided to entertain all of us with a flashlight and a shadow puppet show on the ceiling. Were Mom and Dad asleep by now? If so I am sure they woke up soon as we watched Jaws and many rabbits dance across the ceiling.

Lesson #3: Don’t go fishing on the ocean!

There was a fishing excursion during this trip and to get the whole flavor of that day go to Silver Valley Girl’s very funny blog post here. I stayed home from that trip and got to sleep in and avoid seasickness. I know fish was caught or bought because a whole dinner that included fish was planned for that night.

Dad looking like a north Idaho tourist in search of cronies. RP and SVG are in the background .

Lesson #4: Make sure there are steps that get you back up from the beach after dark!

Mom and Dad just loved to walk along the ocean. Mom also enjoyed collecting driftwood for craft projects when she returned home. He enjoyed throwing food to the seagulls and always had some type of funny hat on and was a crony magnet to other Yachats visitors hanging around the beach. Dad also loved to enjoy a good red wine while on vacation. This trip I believe he found a fantastic deal on Cabernet Sauvignon in a jug somewhere. Dad loved that deep burgundy colored wine, but could never say the word. It didn’t matter if he was completely cold sober, had tried one glass, or “had a few”…. The two words could not come out of his mouth clearly. When the family decided to have a beach bonfire with dinner and wine nobody thought about how everyone would get back up in the dark. Dad did fine getting down. Raymond Pert learned the delicate art of being a designated hill climber as the evening ended with RP easing Dad back up the rocky, steep beach hillside.

Lesson #5 Enjoy the ride!

This was the most important lesson from this trip and many others. Whatever seemed to happen we all enjoyed the trip immensely and can still tell many, many stories about those Oregon Coast trips. The sunsets were beautiful. Nikki loved playing in the ocean. Even though we all were squashed into pretty small quarters I think we all fared well.

My first springer spaniel Nikki.

My first blog post about another trip to the Oregon Coast is here.

Bill’s poignant piece about Dad from this same trip to Yachats is here.


  1. I loved this post. How did you get the pictures to post at different intervals in this post?

  2. I had them in an old photo album and scanned them. I was glad there were dates on the back because some memories are blending together.

  3. We never spent any time at the ocean with my dad. He was always in a hurry to get back before he left.
    hee hee.

    After he passed on we took our mom to the ocean - and I remember how she loved to watch the waves... as I do now

    fun post -- loved the photos

  4. I have vacationed in Yachats for the past 50 years (not saying how old I am - but just a tad over 50). My favorite place in the whole world! The family home is on 101 with very, very similar views. It is located south of Yachats about seven miles along a river called Ten Mile. I was there a month ago. Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! This is the first time I have been there that I truly did not want to come home. I kept thinking: Oh, I could SOOO retire here. Right now. I have six years to go and if the market gets any worse, I may have to just set up a tent and call it good, right beside the old homestead.

  5. I had some LOL moments reading your Oregon stories. Even went and read the older ones you linked to. "Jughead" stands out in my mind, and the sweet moment when your dad brought donuts to surprise everyone. I love reading your Sibling Assignments. Classic, wonderful family stories.
    Thanks for sharing them.

  6. The more I see photos of Washington, the more I want to visit. They're lovely. I have a friend who lives in Spokane and a friend who lives in Portland, Oregon. One day! Petra :)) p.s. I wasn't sure if I'd left the results of the poll for "Happy Grooming." The winners were Judi Dench and Donald Sutherland. And for "Wayworn Home" they were Jessica Lange and Jake Gyllanhaal. The current mini-script is set in a small town in Italy called "In Love on Coffee Breaks" if you'd care to visit.
    It was nice seeing you again!

  7. Great post! Thanks for sharing your memories of a wonderful place. I wish I was there right now!


    PS: Thanks for logging in for the Gracious Hospitality blog-hop.

  8. I love reading your memories and I especially LOVE your family photos..... I only have probably 15-20 photos of me etc from before I was growing up, and those I retrieved from the rubbish bin at me muvvers house when she moved...

    That is why over the years I must of taken thousands of photos of me lads lives, so at least one day they will beable to look back at them and smile, or in some cases cry.... but at least they will have a photographic past to fit the pictures in their minds...


  9. The quality of solitude down here on the less touristy Southern Oregon coast is soothing and refreshing. I'm at the shore, watching waves, at least 3 times a week. And it never gets old. After about an hour or so on the beach, I come away with a nature-buzz. I'm getting close to feeling like a native Oregonian.

  10. Pamela... actually my dad was that way most of the time... he didn't stay away from home for very long!
    jeanie... it was good to hear from you and I am amazed how many people I talk to have stayed or lived in Yachats. You are blessed dear and I would love to retire there or at least go back and visit.
    Nita Jo... the jughead line is a classic!
    petra... you would love the Pacific Northwest. I never travel far away from our corner of the world.
    La tea dah... me too... although it cooled down here today so I got some garden work done.
    Hi Marmite... I was so glad I found these pictures. It was a bit sad seeing my ex and made me miss my dad, but reminded me of good times
    our family had.
    idaho escapee... I wish I was there right now!

  11. Anonymous26.4.09

    How is it I live in Idaho, and used to work at the Whale's Tale in Newport, Oregon, and came across this great blog? Cheers to your dad, he sounds like mine. Mine refused to tip a server while we we at San Juan Brewing on San Juan Island as the beer hadn't finished brewing yet!


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