Event: 1st Pacific NW RAV4 Meet
Date: September 6, 2003 (Saturday).
Time: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Place: Portland, Oregon to Gearhart, Oregon
Reported by: Kelly Smith
Participants from left to right -
Lorraine & Bob(beedub) // Richard(Ryo) // Kamel & Kamal // Kelly Smith (my wife Deb is taking the photo!) // Cheryl & Chuck(ChuckO)
We met at Cathedral Park. Sorry to say two RAVs didn't make it. Don(Stelly) & Judi had to work and Rachael(rachaeljean) and her father didn't find our starting point. Rachael and dad went ahead and made the trip to the beach... but were unable to ever find our group. We hope they can all make it next time. We will work on having better map/directions to the starting point next time!
At this point we considered renaming our meet the "1st Pacific NW 1997 SEQUOIA GREEN RAV4 Meet" (If Rachael had made the meet... FOUR of the six RAVs present would have been 1997 green RAVs!!) That's the St. John's Bridge in the background. The South tower is wrapped in white plastic as it is currently being renovated/sandblasted and they have to keep the lead paint from landing in the river.
Uh Oh... something's different under Ryo's hood?
Ryo's OBX Combat Air Intake that he scored off eBay!
After distributing complementary TOYOTA baseball caps to everyone (courtesy of TLS/Toyota Logistics Services - thanks RON!)... we drove a few blocks to Toyota's Portland Port Facility(TLS), located at Terminal 4. I didn't get any photos of this part of the day. We toured through the same route all the new vehicles take when being processed. We also got to watch a few of the Longshoremen unloading a fresh load of Toyotas from Japan! (We might have more photos later... after I hear from other members of our group!!)
From TLS we hit the road. We traveled across the Willamette River via the St. John's Bridge and headed North/West up HWY 30 to our next stop... St.Helens. We ate lunch at Dari Delish, home of the greasiest fries this side of Astoria... just the way my wife likes them. To be fair... their BURGERS and SHAKES are EXCELLENT!
Here we are enjoying our lunch. A couple secluded picnic tables are located under the trees.
After finishing off lunch... it was back to Hwy 30, again heading North/West. We passed through several small towns, including Rainier and Clatskanie. Didn't stop... as daylight was burning. We did stop at Bradley State Park for a short rest.
It was quite a climb in elevation to this section of the trip. Was very comical listening to all the cooling aluminum on all the HOT RAVs.
Not only is Bradley State Park a GREAT spot to rest... the VIEW of the Columbia River is SPECTACULAR!
Our next stop was the Astoria Column atop Coxcomb Hill in Astoria. Here we are lined up in the parking lot.
The column is 125 feet high, with a spiral staircase inside. Kamel says he counted all 164 steps... I was too busy trying to breathe! (That's Lorraine and Bob on the right.)
From the top of the column... another SPECTACULAR view! Look at all those RAVs!!!!
OK... I guess this is the REAL VIEW most people come for. The bridge is the Astoria-Megler Bridge crossing the Columbia River from Oregon to Washington State.
From Astoria we traveled to Fort Steven's State Park. There is a beach access road located near the Wreck of the Peter Iredale. The road was partially blocked by a stuck Ford Explorer... seen here being pulled out out by a helpful (White) Ford Bronco. All of the RAVs in our group were 4WD, except Kamals. He got slightly stuck in this area while trying to go around the Ford. The rest of us had no problems. FWIW... we didn't have to pull Kamal out. With a slight push backward for a fresh start, he was able to blast on through the rough access road. I'm sure if the Explorer hadn't been in the way... Kamal would have made it on his first try!
Here we are FINALLY on the beach. The weather was quite REFRESHING after all the HOT weather we've had inland. (Left to right - Bob(beedub), Chuck(ChuckO), Cheryl and Kamal.)
Looks like a TOYOTA advertisement.
Cruising down the beach!
Kamal and Kamel in their 1997 Sequoia Green 2DR.
I think it was about 7 miles of beach driving to the next town of Gearhart. The beach access road at Gearhart was MUCH nicer than the one we encountered earlier. Didn't see any stuck Fords.
After a brief stop in Gearhart we all shook hands and said our goodbyes... agreeing it had been a VERY nice day. It was around 6:00PM and some of the group still had to find a room for the night. We talked about possibly meeting up in Seaside... a larger city just to the South. When we got to Seaside... we were surprised to find the Seaside Hot Rod Happenin' in full swing. Our group got separated in the heavy traffic. I haven't heard yet if any of our group found a Hotel/Motel room for the night. From the size of the crowd... I have my doubts. Deb and I went ahead and had an EXCELLENT dinner in Seaside at Dooger's Seafood & Grill.... where we could view all the HOT RODS as they drove by out front. It was quite a show. After dinner we headed home via HWY 26... never did see any RAV4s for the rest of the night. Our odometer read just a little over 200 miles round trip from Portland. Overall a very enjoyable day.
Next meet we will work at getting more photos of the PEOPLE in our group and definitely spend more time checking out each others rides. Seems like we spent most of our time driving!!
Interested in joining us for our next meet? Keep an eye on updates HERE!!