Washington: Long Beach Peninsula and Astoria

Saturday, July 18

We slept in a bit so didn’t head out until about 11:00 AM. We drove through the the little town of Long Beach and noted a few places we would like to check out later but had decided we would first go to the farmers market in Ilwaco and then go back over the bridge to Astoria. The farmers market (Ilwaco) was down in the port so it was very scenic. There were a few vegetables I had never seen before like, round zucchini and squash and white and red potatoes the size of grape tomatoes. Unfortunately our pantry is full and we have plans to eat some of the local fare so we don’t need much. We did get some Rainier cherries and peaches but that was about it.

We than headed to Astoria. We parked and walked around a bit looking at some of the historical buildings. There is a lot of history and a lot to look at. It was an unusually warm day for Astoria s the temperature was in the high 80’s so we when we discovered the Ft. George Brewery and Public House. The building back in the 20’s and was an automotive service station. We had a cold beer and shared a hummus platter as we wanted to leave room for other treats if we discovered them. We continued our walk and decided to drive over to the water. Just as we parked, we discovered a trolley that we could ride for $1 and it gave us a tour of the Astoria waterfront. It was, and still is, a major cannery business for tuna, salmon and crab and at one time, there were over 200 canneries along the waterfront. Many of the buildings are gone but there are several that are still standing and the old Bumble Bee (Starkist) cannery has been turned into a museum and part of it has become a mini-brewery. They also pointed out the two houses that were used in the movie “The Goonies”. I guess I’ll have to watch the movie now so I can spot the houses, they talk about it a lot so it was evidently a big deal here. We jumped off the trolley at the Cannery Pier and stopped in a restaurant and tried a couple of appetizers. I had the fried curd cheese which was quite good and Steve had the fried oysters which were not so good. We toured the old Bumble Bee cannery and it was pretty interesting to see all of the old equipment that they used. After that we were back on the trolley and decided to head back over the bridge.

Long Beach is a peninsula and since our campground was about ¾ of the way down, we decided to go ahead and drive to the end and checkout the couple of little towns that were north of us as well as the state park. We were hoping to get to the tip so we could take some pictures but found that the parking lot ended about 1 ½ miles from the tip and we were not up to the hike. We tried a short route hoping to get close enough for a few pictures but could only catch a glimpse of the water through the trees, the remainder of the path was straight downhill. We stopped briefly in Oysterville and would like to come back when they are open and try a few Pacific oysters.

We headed on back to the RV park and rested up a bit until it was time to head down to the beach to catch the sunset. It was very pretty and we got several good pictures.

By this time we were pretty exhausted so it was time to call it a night. Steve went on to bed and I sat up so I could get today’s events posted.

Tomorrow, we have another list of things to do, there are a couple of light houses to check out, the Astoria Sunday market which is supposed to be the biggest in Oregon, Starbucks to use Wi-Fi and whatever else we find along the way.

(SbS: While in the micro-brewery in Astoria ran into a young (in his 40’s) biker. Had his new Harley and was out getting a sunburn in the hot weather. Ask him if his wife was happy with his adventures, and answer was: My daughters left, taking their mother with them, so I am really happy out biking. Love meeting people on the RV road).

Ilawaco Saturday Market

Ilawaco Saturday Market

 

 

 

 

 

 

Port Ilwaco

Port Ilwaco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Bridge back to Astoria

Bridge back to Astoria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ilawaco Saturday Market

Ilawaco Saturday Market

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Ft. George Brewry

Ft. George Brewry

 

 

 

 

 

Ft. George Brewery

Ft. George Brewery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bridge from Astoria waterfron and pilings from old canneries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lost Seamen Memorial

Lost Seamen Memorial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Astoria Fishery Cannery

Old Astoria Fishery Cannery

 

 

 

 

 

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Astoria Riverfront Trolley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crab canning plant from the 20's

Crab canning plant from the 20’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Bumble Bee Cannery Musuem

Old Bumble Bee Cannery Museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oysterville, Wa.

Oysterville, Wa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Point of Long Beach Peninsula

Point of Long Beach Peninsula

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blackberries not quite ready

Blackberries not quite ready

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunset at Long Beach, Wa.

Sunset at Long Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunset at Long Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunset at Long Beach

Sunset at Long Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Arriving in Long Beach, Washington

Friday, July 17:  The drive from Bend to Long Beach took almost 6 hours because of traffic, it was mostly interstate so was not very interesting. The nicest part of the drive was on Hwy 22 in Oregon.

Near arrival, we passed through Astoria and knew we would be coming back to visit it in more detail. We had to drive over the Columbia river on the Astoria, Megler bridge to Washington. It is over 4 miles long and on the Astoria side, it is 400 feet above the water and is currently being worked on so it is currently down to one lane for part of the bridge so it took awhile to get across.

We arrived at the Pacific Holiday RV Resort about 6:30 PM. We used our Coast to Coast membership so our rate is about $14.00 per day and we plan to be here for 4 days. It includes 30 amp, water, sewer, cable but still no wi-fi. It is located right on the Pacific and is a well maintained park. All of the spaces are black topped and mostly level however some issues with tree roots, so not completely level. The spaces are very narrow and while they do have some pull through spots, ours is a back in so it was a bit of a challenge in getting it backed in just right. (SbS (Sidebar by Steve) – Getting used to backing in this 29′ RV, but did a good job this time with help from my navigator/parking attendant). There are trees on each side so we have plenty of shade but wanted to use the awning. Our patio awning hangs over top of our neighbors window awning but they don’t touch so all is well. Also, trying our new Dish satellite system discovered that that tree was a really good block for access to the satellite. Oh well, will try again later.

Our neighbors are very nice, they are from Canada and gave us a few ideas on some additional places to consider. Our original plan was to park in Long Beach and drive back over to Portland and spend a couple of days, staying overnight in a hotel. However, the traffic around Portland is so heavy, and it would probably be a 3 hour drive one way, we decided there was more than enough in the area were at to keep us busy so we will rethink if we want to try to make Portland again on this trip.

We took a walk around the park, it is quite full and what few spaces that are open, there is a line up of RV’s on the way in. There is one small section dedicated for tents, it looks like tent city, but otherwise, all other spaces are Rvs. We than took a walk down to the beach, it’s about 1/3 mi. walk to the beach but not too bad as we don’t have to walk over sand dunes, but still a good distance. The beach is very nice, sunset is not until about 9:00 PM and we were too tired to wait around to see it tonight so we will plan to do that tomorrow night. We did enjoy the sunset from the RV, the sky was very pretty.

Three Sisters - Sisters, Oregon

Three Sisters – Sisters, Oregon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heading over the bridge into Washington

Heading over the bridge into Washington

 

 

 

 

 

Columbia River From top of Astoria-Megler Bridge.

Columbia River From top of Astoria-Megler Bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

Astoria from the Bridge

Astoria from the Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

Long Bridge

Long Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

Pikachu arrives in Washington

Pikachu arrives in Washington

 

 

 

 

 

6 Campsite at Pacific Holiday RV Resorts

Campsite at Pacific Holiday RV Resorts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long Beach

Sunset at Long Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sundance Meadows – Bend OR

July 14

We arrived at our campsite in Sundance Meadows. An interesting RV park, they accept Coast to Coast members but don’t seem too happy about it. (Coast to Coast is a deep discount membership). We arrived after they closed for the day but our reservation and access information was waiting on the bulletin board so we were able to get in the gate, find a site (based upon list of options provided) and get parked. The park is ok, could certainly use some updates but for $10.00 a day, it worked. They have a variety of amenties available; however C to C members were only allowed to use designated facilites which not always the most convenient to the site, but otherwise ok. We never spoke to any of the management while we were there, we just used it as a place to park while we visited the area.

As our car was still at Ralph’s and he isn’t coming over until Wednesday afternoon, we focused on working on cleaning the RV and performing some housekeeping duties we had let slide. On Wednesday, Ralph arrived and brought over the windshield covers that we had shipped to his house. We spend a couple of hours getting them installed, passed on an invitation to go back and listen to some music so that we could run a few errands.

Thursday we set out to do some sight seeing things that we did not get a chance to do last time. We went back to La Pine and to the Newberry Volcanic Monument Park. There we saw beautiful views of the mountains, visited the Paulina lakes that originally was one lake and divided into to when there was a volcano eruption and we walked up an obsidian flow (valcanic glass).

That evening Ralph and Joan picked us up and we went over to the Old Mill District shopping center and had a belated Birthday dinner for Ralph. We went back to the campground, said our goodbyes and prepared to head to the Long Beach Peninsula the next day.

View of Mt. Bachlor and the Three Sisters from Newberry Volcanic Monument Park

View of Mt. Bachlor and the Three Sisters from Newberry Volcanic Monument Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Margie & Steve at Newberry Volcanic Monument Park

Margie & Steve at Newberry Volcanic Monument Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Paulina Lake at Newberry Volcanic Monument Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paulina Peak at Newberry Volcanic Monument Park

Paulina Peak at Newberry Volcanic Monument Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obsidian, Solid glass with no bubbles, pumice is glass with bubbles

Obsidian, Solid glass with no bubbles, pumice is glass with bubbles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flowers at the Old Mill District

Flowers at the Old Mill District

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bahura Marimba Band at Old Mill District

The Bahura Marimba Band at Old Mill District

 

 

 

 

 

Joan, Ralph, Margie, Steve

Joan, Ralph, Margie, Steve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oregon – Nehalem Bay State Park and Bend

Sunday- Monday, July 12-14

It took a little longer than expected to get to Nehalem Bay State Park, however Hwy 101 is not a road to rush on and the scenery is beautiful all the way. We arrived again just shortly after Ralph and Joan, they were busy getting their camp set up and we proceeded to get ours set up as well. I than put together a salad and set the picnic table and sat down to enjoy the crabs. Joan was satisfied to have the remainder of some leftover homemade vegetable soup and we proceeded with the crab. We proceeded to finish off 4 of the crabs and I picked the meat from the remaining 4 (minus the claws, which Steve ate). I had about 1 ½ lb of crab meat so we planned crab cakes for tomorrow’s dinner.

Monday, Steve and I took the car and drove down the coast to stop at some of the places that we were unable to stop at in the RV. We also stopped at the Tillamook Cheese factory and purchased a nice selection of cheese and decided to pick up some good bread, grapes and something to drink and found a nice spot by the water for a picnic. We continues our tour before returning back at the park.

Ralph and Joan told us about the beach “just over the dunes” that they had walked to and suggested we may want to check it out. It was “only 100 yards”. They took off to visit another beach they had spotted so we hung out at camp. We finally decided we should check out the beach so we prepared ourselves for the hike. It wasn’t quite as bad as the previous dunes, but it was no cakewalk. They are really pretty as you will see from the pictures so the walk to the beach was again, worth it.

Tuesday, July 13, Back in Bend

Tuesday morning we got up and got the RV ready to pull out to head back to Bend. We were going through Portland to stop and pick up our DISH satellite receiver so that we could have satellite service. We than went over Mt. Hood to get back to Bend. This also took us through Madras and the painted desserts which offered a totally different view of Oregon. We arrived at our campground and set up camp before sun down.

Coos Bsy Bridge

Coos Bay Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 101 to Nehalem Bay State Park

Hwy 101 to Nehalem Bay State Park

 

 

 

 

 

Blackberry Bushes

Blackberry Bushes

 

 

 

 

 

4 101 Oregon

Hwy 101 Oregon

 

 

 

 

 

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Campsite at Nehalem Bay State Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oregon Sand Dunes

Oregon Sand Dunes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nehalem Bay State Park Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nehalem Bay State Park Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 Garibaldi, small town outside of Nehalem State Park

Garibaldi, small town outside of Nehalem State Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ocean vs. Bay

Ocean vs. Bay (on right side of beach)

 

 

 

 

 

Mt. Hood

Pikachu looking to climb Mt. Hood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cascades High Dessert

Cascades High Dessert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bullard Beach State Park

Oregon – Bullard Beach State Park

July 11, Saturday

As previously mentioned, if we don’t document daily, we forget quickly where we saw what.

These pictures are from Bullard Beach State Park which is close to Bandon. I wanted to be sure to share these pictures as well.

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Bullard’s Beach State Park Campground

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coquille

Coquille River Lighthouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bullard’s Beach Jetty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Coquille River Lighthouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bullard’s Beach State Park, Sea Lion beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sea Lions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Joan & Ralph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Margie & Steve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 Stairs to Bullard Beach

Stairs to Bullard Beach

 

 

 

 

 

10 Rock Sculptures

Rock Sculptures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 Driftwood

Driftwood, Bullard Beach

 

 

 

 

 

Pikachu hunting for driftwood

Pikachu hunting for driftwood with Margie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oregon – Bandon

Saturday, July 11th

We than went down to a lighthouse on Bandon Beach where we walked out on a jetty and watched the waves. Just as I turned to walk back, a nice big one caught me on the back and wet me down pretty good. The cool morning just got a lot cooler.

We than took a drive into Bandon and walked out onto the city pier. One of the campers at the campground had told us about crabbing off of the pier for dungeness crabs. We could rent the trap, bait and bucket all for $8.00 plus the price of a license $11.00. After talking to a few people and the guy at the bait shop, I decided to wait until Sunday morning so I could catch the incoming tide. Morning tide at 8:30am, evening tide at 8:30pm. We found a nice little beach restaurant and had some fish (halibut) and chips and some great clam chowder. We than walked around the shops before heading back to the campground.

Since we were leaving Bullards Beach State Park on Sunday and heading to Nehalem State Park which was further north on the coast, we decided to go ahead and check out and park the RV down by the pier and leave directly from the pier.

Sunday

We got up early and headed to the Bandon City Pier. All went well and we found a good spot for the RV, I got my license and traps with bait (decided I needed 2) and headed down to the pier. Steve did not get a license so he was not allowed to throw the traps out or pull them in and each weighed about 15 lbs. Each trap had to be thrown out and pulled back in every 15 minutes, so I got pretty tired fairly quickly. In order to keep a crab, first it has to measure 5 ¾ inches just under the points, than it has to be male. So I was pretty excited when my first trap came up with about 5 crabs, however none met the size limit. Than I got one and was all excited because it was big, but turned out to be a female, so back in the water. I threw the first trap out about 8 am, by 10 am, I was having a lot of fun but I was getting tired and only had 3 keepers. I had gone up to take a bathroom break and while I was gone, one of the commercial crabbers stopped and was looking for volunteers to go out with him and pull in his traps. As payment, he would give you your limit which is 12 crabs, I’m not sure he would have let me go even if I had been there but the guy next to us did go. When he returned, with what he got from helping out and what he and his wife had already caught, they were over their limit and they gave us 5 crabs! He and his wife had previously lived in Bandon and loved to crab so they came back every chance they got. They are now working in Nevada, working in the gold mines, she is a heavy equipment operator and he is a heavy equipment mechanic, very nice and interesting couple and obviously super in my book since they gave me 5 crabs.

So we took our crabs and dropped them off at a place on the pier that for 75 cents each, will cook and clean the crabs for you. We dropped ours off and headed to find a resturant for breakfast. It was noon by the time we picked up our crabs and pulled out, heading to Nehalem Bay which is located just outside of Tillamook. We had estimated about a 4 ½ drive up 101 so we expected to be there about 5 PM, we were having crabs for dinner!

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Coquille River Light House

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bandon Pier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Ready to Crab

Ready to Crab

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out it goes

Out it goes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Margie pulling in the crabs

Margie pulling in the crabs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nice batch

Nice batch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bend OR to La Pine OR

July 8 – 9

It has been quite awhile since we updated the blog. It is amazing how little access we have to Wi-Fi. We assumed that there was free Wi-Fi everywhere and we would have no problems. What we are finding is there are very few of the places we are staying have Wi-Fi and if they do, it is so irratic or slow, we are unable to upload anything. While that is a big factor, I have to admit that by the time we get camped or return to the RV after a day of activities, prepare dinner and have my glass of wine (or 2), I put off writing. However, I plan to do better, not just for those of you that are following us but I find trying to remember everywhere we went, what we saw and what we did in the correct sequence is harder than I thought and Mr. Memory here (that would be Steve) is worse than me so for all of our benefit, I plan to do better. ((I resemble that remark, I think)).

(P.S., “per Steve”) Also, for those who will be traveling, the parks/camp grounds also appear to be in a location that barely, if at all, supports Cellular service. So far, neither Verizon nor AT&T have anything better than 1 bar. So our calls to inlays/outlaws and friends have been sparse.

Oregon, – La Pine, Bullards Beach State Park and Bandon

Wednesday – Thursday, July 8-9 La Pine & Bend

Wednesday morning we worked around the campsite and Steve cleaned the car and I worked inside. Joan and Ralph joined us for an early dinner at the RV and then we met them in Bend to listen to some music at McMenamins Old St. Francis School. McMenamins is an old Catholic School from 1936 that has been turned into a pub, brewery, classrooms turned hotel rooms and a bakery. They have live music there every week, this week it was a folk singer by the name of McDougall and he put on quite a good show. On the way home I really needed some ice cream and fortunately DQ was closed, just, so we stopped in Walmart and guess what! They had Tillamook ice cream! So we bought some white chocolate with raspberries, and yes it was very good!

Thursday we headed over to Joan & Ralph’s for a visit and to check out the changes they had made to the house since our last visit and to use their Wi-Fi to make some more reservations. I spent most of my time on-line but we checked out Joan’s garden and the Phantom screens they added to their master bedroom. (“Phantom” screens are basically screen doors that slide open/closed quite nicely). We plan to check them out when we get home. And of course we found new toys in the garage. I still like Joans motor bicycle, I’m thinking that may have to be on my wish list someday. We than took a run over to Costco where it was really hard not to buy stuff because everything was a package of 6 or more or was 2 – 5 lb bags. But Joan did put me on to some dried cherries that I’ve not seen at home and will make a good snack. I also picked up a couple of bags for my good friend Nancy as she makes really good cherry pies and I’m thinking she can put them to good use.

Ralph and Joan had had made reservations for two nights each at two state parks located on the coast, their treat, thank you very much! They are going to tent camp and of course we will be in the RV. The sites are approved for both so we will be able to share the sites which makes it really nice. We decided that since Ralph would have his car on the coast, we did not need to tow the Jeep. So after lunch, we left our car at their house and Ralph dropped us off at the RV. We all had things to do to get ready for tomorrow’s drive which we estimated to take about 5-6 hrs. We also discovered that Joan is a firewood collector and they had a load of firewood that they are bringing so we can have campfires everyday so they had to get their firewood loaded in addition to all of their camping gear.

Friday – Sunday, July 10-12 Bandon, Or.

We headed out on Friday morning about 10 AM, we decided to take Hwy 58 as it was different from the route we took over on Monday. It was kind of nice not having the tow behind us, we still couldn’t just pull over anywhere we wanted but it did give us some additional flexibility. Again, the scenery was beautiful and we stopped in a couple of little towns along the way in addition to stopping at the “Elk Park” to see the elk up close.  Wow, are they big. We also stopped at The Fish Man truck that sells fish from his truck. I did not take a picture of the truck but I should have but the guy was a real character. He had several newspaper articles that had been written about him hanging on the wall but the real news is he had halibut for $9.00 per lb. Even in the stores here it sells for over $25.00 a pound (or more) so we now have halibut in our freezer.

We arrived at Bullards Beach State Park which is located just outside of Bandon, Or., right on the coast.

Our campsite was C44 and it was great. All of the sites are back-ins but both the roads and sites are paved, level and spacious with lots of shade, big picnic table and a fire ring. The park was beautifully maintained and showers and bathrooms spacious and clean. Interesting set-up on the shower water, you push a button and the hot water comes out 30 – 90 sec (depending on which shower you use) and goes off. You can push the button as many times as you like but you also don’t have any control over the water temperature and unless you like your showers HOT, you have to step aside. No problem with water pressure either.

Ralph and Joan had arrived just a little before us and were already getting their tent set up. They have the whole process down pat and so we completed our set up while they worked on theirs. We than took a walk to down to the beach which is just down a path and over the sand dunes. “Over the sand dunes”, that little phrase means a whole lot more to us than it used to. We don’t have sand dunes on the east coast like they do on the west coast. It literally looks like a desert and while it may only be a couple of hundred yards, each step is like walking in quick sand. I quickly learned that barefoot was easier, still not easy but easier.

But the view was worth it, the water is beautiful but still too cold for me but walking along the edge was fun.

1 Mc Dougall

Mc Dougall (One Man Band)

 

 

 

 

 

2 Toy Collection

 

 

 

 

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Small town

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dean Creek Elk Viewing

Dean Creek Elk Viewing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pikachu and Elks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Salmon Carvings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Shelter Cove

Shelter Cove Beach

 

 

 

 

 

8 Shelter Cove Lighthouse

Shelter Cove Lighthouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 Bridge to Bandon

Bridge to Bandon

 

 

 

 

 

10 Bullards State Park Campground

Bullards State Park Campground

 

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Brookings to Bend OR

Brookings, Oregon

It is time to leave Brookings (OR) and to head over to Bend (OR) to meet up with Ralph and Joan. It is hard to leave family, such beautiful surroundings and the wonderful cool weather. Our last evening we had the most beautiful sunset and we all agreed we would return next year and plan to stay longer. We want to try our hand at crabbing and fishing for salmon and halibut on our next stay. Don and Lisa were wonderful hosts and made us feel welcome so I highly recommend this location to the rest of the family.

Bend / La Pine (OR) Monday July 6

Our next campground is located in La Pine about 25 miles South of Bend. The drive over was about 6 hours, we took a couple of different roads, 68 to 230 to 138 to 97, a little more scenic than the 199 route. We only stopped briefly at one location and fixed a quick lunch but pretty much stayed on the road. We did see several places that we would liked to have stopped but the pull-offs were far too small for the RV with tow (ours being 49′), but they were close enough to La Pine we could come back in the Jeep.

We got settled into our site at the Cascades Mountain RV Resort. We’ve decided that if it has a restaurant on site, it can be called a resort. Other than that, it is pretty much just an RV park. We were able to use our Coast to Coast membership so our rate is only $15.00 a night, which is a heck of a deal. The space is in a good location, we have lots of grass and shade trees, however because of the lack of rain, it is very dusty. We are also not allowed to used any of the outdoor carpets so the dirt may be a problem if we don’t get a longer hose and keep the area watered down which they encourage the guests to do. The facilities are pretty nice and conveniently located as well. The staff has been very friendly and helpful so we hope to be able to come back in a couple of weeks when we return to the area.

Ralph and Joan came out to the campground and checked out the RV and the park. It was reallllly good to see them again. They were impressed with how much storage space we had, of course it is packed but so far we have a place for everything. We then went out to dinner and caught up on what everyone was doing. We told them about the places we had seen on the highway on the way in, but unable to stop so we decided we would all go back and check out the scenery the next day.

Lisa, Don, Margie & Steve

Lisa, Don, Margie & Steve

 

 

 

 

 

Last Day's, Brookings, Or. (View from Don & Lisa's)

Brookings, Or. (View from Don & Lisa’s Porch)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flowers from Lisa's garden

Flowers from Lisa’s garden

 

 

 

 

 

Sunset in Brookings

Sunset in Brookings

 

 

 

 

 

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Best RV Park Ever!

 

 

 

 

 

Heading to Bend

Heading to Bend

 

 

 

 

 

Mt. Thielson, Oregon

Mt. Thielson, Oregon

 

 

 

 

 

Cascade Meadows RV Resort site 43

Cascade Meadows RV Resort site 43

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, July 7

We got up early so we could get all of our laundry caught up and to be ready to check out the sights we had seen yesterday. It was about 85 when we left and was supposed to reach 88, not too bad but could be a little warm for hiking. There was some rain predicted, however it appears it has been predicted for the last week with no success so there wasn’t much expectation but we still brought in the awnings just in case.

We headed back to 138. As we got further down the road, Ralph noticed the temperature outside was dropping, and dropping fast. It was dropping 10 degrees within a couple of minutes and in less than 10 minutes, it was 44 degrees. I am certainly not dressed for this but then all of a sudden we are in the middle of a hail storm. Fortunately it was only pea size but there was a lot of it and it was mixed with some hard rain and a few snow flakes. Well of course this Florida girl had to get out in it while everyone else stayed in the car and took pictures. It was pretty freaky the way it happened so fast. It than continued to rain and there was quite a bit of lightning but it was moving quickly so we continued on.

The area we were heading for was the Rogue National Forest which is located just to the west of Crater Lake. Ralph spotted a sign for some falls with a short ½ mile trail so we headed to the falls. Of course the ½ mile was almost straight down so we walked (I slid) down and got some pretty good pictures. I like to climb over rocks and downed trees to get the best shots so sometimes I’m so focused on getting there I forget to think about the getting back. Oh well, I had a group of people that could help pull and push me back up the hill so other than looking like a mud wrestler, they got me up OK. But I did get some good pictures. We than headed up the road to get some shots of the Rogue River which also was quite beautiful. After that, we decided to head back and fix some dinner.

As we drove home, it dawned upon Ralph and Joan that one of the cats was outside when they left, they didn’t worry about it as “it never rains in Bend”, so with the unusual storm still moving in that direction they decided they would head on home just to be sure all was well. Tomorrow they will join us for a late lunch, early dinner, than we are all heading into Bend to the farmers market and later to listen to some music at one of their hangouts.

Steve and I took quick showers to get the grime off, fixed a quick dinner and called it a night. I happened to look out the window and see the most beautiful skies so I ran around in my pj’s taking pictures of the sunset. Hope you enjoy them.

Pea size hail, 44 degrees

Pea size hail, 44 degrees

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ralph & Joan

Ralph & Joan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Creek Falls

National Creek Falls

 

 

 

 

 

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National Creek Falls

 

 

 

 

 

Rogue River

Rogue River

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rogue River, Oregon

Rogue River, Oregon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diamond Lake, Oregon

Diamond Lake, Oregon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boat Rental, Diamond Lake

Boat Rental, Diamond Lake (But no Kenney to catch them)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chipmunk

Chipmunk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Ducks at Diamond Lake

Baby Ducks at Diamond Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunset at the RV Park

Sunset at the RV Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunset – it just keeps getting better!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End of day in La Pine, Oregon

End of day in La Pine, Oregon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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July 3, 2015

Friday, July 3: We are finally in Oregon. We drove up Highway 101, which was a beautiful drive, and we are here in Brookings, Or., staying with Steve’s brother Don and his wife Lisa.

I’m ready to move to Brookings. First of all, the highs have only been in the low 70’s and at night 55-60, my kind of weather. Not to mention one of the best campgrounds ever, super owners and beautiful views surrounded by more beautiful flowers. I give this place 5 stars. I think Don and Lisa are getting concerned that we may not leave.

We have had a really good relaxing time here which we both needed. Steve has only driven a couple of short miles to the store so he has had a chance to get away from the wheel for awhile. It has been great spending time with Don and Lisa which I haven’t had much opportunity to get to know them, boy will they be sorry as I plan to come back.

I’m going to let you look at the pictures to see why we have fallen in love with this place.

We will be staying here until Monday and then we will head over to La Pine, which is close to Bend and start our visit with Ralph and Joan. We are looking forward to that as well.

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Heading to Oregon

 

 

 

 

 

101 to Oregon

Hwy 101 to Oregon

 

 

 

 

 

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Coastal Fog

 

 

 

 

 

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Oregon Beach

 

 

 

 

 

4 Oregon!

Oregon!

 

 

 

 

 

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Caught in Flight

 

 

 

 

 

Don's RV Park w/ GREAT Amenities

Don’s RV Park w/ GREAT Amenities

 

 

 

 

 

7 Don & Lisa's

Don & Lisa’s

 

 

 

 

 

Don & Lisa's front porch

Don & Lisa’s front porch

 

 

 

 

 

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View 1 from their front porch

 

 

 

 

 

View from front porch

View 2 from front porch

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunset at Don & Lisa’s (provided at no extra charge)

 

 

 

 

 

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(Almost) A Florida Sunset

 

 

 

 

 

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D & L’s Flowers

 

 

 

 

 

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More flowers

 

 

 

 

 

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and More flowers

 

 

 

 

 

Hummingbird at Rest

Hummingbird at Rest on branch

 

 

 

 

 

 

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June 30, 2015

Tuesday: We started out driving through the Avenue of the Giants (Redwood Forest) and did the touristy thing of driving through the big redwood. We drove thru one of the large Redwoods; it was disappointing in that the tree is now dead and for some reason I thought I recalled that earlier photos showed the tree alive but that may have been greenery and branches from surrounding trees. Anyway, the forest is beautiful and there were many giant live trees to admire. (Be sure to look closely at the tree-house for the guest peeking out of the upper window.)

After leaving the coolness of the forest, we headed north towards the coastline. We didn’t really have a specific destination, we just knew we wanted to spend some time outside in some cool air. We fell upon a little town called Ferndale. I will post a few of the 50+ pictures I took because Ferndale is a Victorian village and with the beauty of the town, the flowers and the 62 degree temperatures, I was ready to move there. As we walked (almost) from one end of town and back taking pictures of the architecture of the buildings and homes and the beautiful flowers, people all along the way stopped and talked to us. It is a beautiful welcoming little town and we enjoyed every minute of it. We even starting paying attention, looking for “For Sale” signs. Only found one and all of the brochures for the house were gone. Lovely thought of moving there fell by the way-side.

After leaving Ferndale, we did a kind of drive-thru of Loleta. Not much there but they produce their own cheeses so we stopped in for a sample. I had never had “curds” so after tasting a few “very good” cheeses, we settled on a package of curds which are quite good. “Curds” are, basically, cheese that has not be pressed, removing the last of the moisture. However, they flavored their curds with sharp cheese so they seem now like lumps of sharp cheese. I don’t think I have yet experienced “curds and whey”.

We moved on to Eureka, where we stopped at a beach side restaurant called Gills by the Bay. We sat outside with a cold drink and a sour dough bread bowl filled with a great seafood chowder. In addition to a beautiful view, their flowers were awesome and I have included a couple of shots of those as well.

After a nice lunch, we headed south along the coast working our way (long way) back to the campground. There is not a road that hugs the coastline at this part of the state, so we were required to drive inland (through mountains) and than back out (through the mountains) to the coastline. Certainly not a path for an RV as the roads are not only narrow with numerous hairpin curves, many spots and bridges are single lane and you had to wait on other traffic. Actually, there were two challenges for the driver: 3 spots in the road had half of the road gone, usually on a steep curve with a beautiful view of the valley below; and, secondly, large semi’s were using this road, challenging me to stay as far from the center line as possible.

But still a beautiful and scenic drive.

We worked our way down to Shelter Cove, on the coast, where we took a walk down to the beach, climbed on the rocks, took some photos and headed back through the mountains.

We finally got back to our campground about 7:30 pm, we poured ourselves a glass of wine, turned the A/C in the RV down and sat outside and enjoyed our wine and talked to our neighbors. I was exhausted, being a co-pilot while Steve drove through the mountains wore me out.

Today was a great day, tomorrow we will head to Brookings, Or., where Steve’s brother, Don lives. We plan to park on his property and hang out for a few days before heading to Bend, Oregon.

Huge Redwoods

Huge Redwoods

 

 

 

 

 

Pikachu makes a new friend

Pikachu makes a new friend

 

 

 

 

 

Redwood Forest

Redwood Forest

 

 

 

 

 

4 Ferndale Victorian Home

Ferndale Victorian Home

 

 

 

 

 

5 Ferndale

Ferndale

 

 

 

 

 

6 Ferndale

Ferndale

7 Ferndale

Ferndale

 

 

 

 

 

Downtown Ferndale, Ca.

Downtown Ferndale, Ca.

 

 

 

 

 

9 Ferndale

Ferndale

 

 

 

 

 

10 Tree for Gabe

Tree for Gabe (grandson) to Climb

 

 

 

 

 

11 Ferndale Gardens

Ferndale Gardens

 

 

 

 

 

12 Fernndale Gardens

Ferndale Gardens

 

 

 

 

 

13 Flowers everywhere

Flowers Everywhere

 

 

 

 

 

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Gills Restaurant On the Bay near Eureka

 

 

 

 

 

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Bouys

 

 

 

 

 

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Fog Rolling In

 

 

 

 

 

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Shelter Cover Beach

 

 

 

 

 

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Shelter Cover, California

 

 

 

 

 

Cape Mendincino Lighthouse 1868 - 1951

Cape Mendincino Lighthouse 1868 – 1951

 

 

 

 

 

Wood Bottom Bridge

Wood Bottom Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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June 29, 2015

Monday June 29:  Well, it has been another week+ since we last posted so I will have to bring you up today. We arrived in Auburn, CA, where we planned to spend a week visiting with Steve’s family. We stayed at Auburn Gold Country RV park and it was centrally located with easy access to all stores and interstate. The campground was nice, however even thought there were shade trees, the angle of the sun (no tree’s east of RV) managed to avoid the trees and shine directly on us for the whole week. Our first evening Steve’s dad, brother (Kenny) and nephew (Tommy) stopped by and had a bite to eat with us at the campground. The next day, Steve headed over to his Dads and between his Dad, his brothers (Kenny and Kim) I had a complete set of beautifully made drawers in my kitchen to replace the ones that I had damaged by leaving the water running. They look great and they are all wood and 1000% better than what was there. The week went by quickly as every night we were with various members of the family. Everyone stops by Dads when they can and we frequently had throw together dinners where everyone was welcome and there was always plenty to go around. Sunday the whole family plus a few friends gathered (at least all that could make it), including Dee and Harvey who drove up from Carmel. We had everything from ribs to watermelon so no one left hungry. It was a great visit with the Shrum family and gave us a chance to catch up on all that we miss since we live so far away. Babies are not babies any more and the young boys and girls are now young men and women, all in all, a beautiful family. The only down side was the temperature, every day it ranged from the high 90’s to several days over 100 so it was not a good time for do much outdoor walking. So this morning, we had breakfast with Steve’s dad (and Kenny and Charlene), we stopped by his dad’s and picked up some leftover fruit and water from yesterday, and then headed out. We did not have a reservation but Steve had found a campground in what he thought was Benbow, Calif., but after several attempts to map quest it, we realized that was the name of the campground and not the city so we found the campground in Garberville, Calif., on Hwy 101. We passed a lot of very neat little towns on the way here, however that is the downside to traveling in an RV, there is not always a place to pull over. I’ve included a few pictures of our trip today. The campground is also quite nice and is adjacent to an historical hotel which was built in 1928, The Benbow Inn. We walked over, there are several nice walking paths, but after a day on the road we felt a little to grundgey to go out on the patio for a drink as it was dinner time and there were a lot of outside diners. It is also located right on the Eel River that judging by the riverbed, it was quite a large river at one time but it is down to a trickle. Most of this part of California is pretty brown and the lakes and rivers are very low, quite a contract to the swollen lakes and rivers in Missouri and Colorado. Tomorrow we will head over to Hwy 1 on the coast and check out some of the scenery there. Oh yes, lesson learned for the day: Check your assigned site number before you hook up and unpack. This is the second time I have directed Steve to the wrong site and not discovered it until we were ready to sit down with a drink and had to pack it all back up to move. You would think he would learn not to trust me by now. He has decided I can be in charge of the road maps as I am pretty good with those but from now on, he will be responsible for the park maps. (That worked out well for me.

Pikachu heads to the coast to cool off

Pikachu heads to the coast to cool off

 

 

 

 

 

California where brown is the new green

California where brown is the new green

 

 

 

 

 

Clear Lake, Ca.

Clear Lake, Ca.

 

 

 

 

 

Benbow KOA

Benbow KOA

 

 

 

 

 

Benbow KOA Campground

Benbow KOA Campground

 

 

 

 

 

The Eel River

The Eel River

 

 

 

 

 

Benbow Hotel built in 1928

Benbow Hotel built in 1928

 

 

 

 

 

Full Moon

Full Moon

 

 

 

 

 

 

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June 20, 2015

Thursday, June 18:

I also drove for about 45 minutes, I wanted to feel comfortable that I could drive the RV pulling the Jeep behind me. It started out really well, I was able to put the RV on cruise control and it was going smoothly until I hit a very long construction zone, traffic was down to one lane, the cones were placed in the inside of our lane and the road was uneven on the other side. Steve and I both were happy when we got to the next rest stop so he could have the wheel back. But I know now if I need to drive it with the tow, I can. (P.S. She did do well, but I need to repair the hole on the passenger side where I hit the brake too hard and too often.)

We had decided we were going to try some of the “free” overnight parking to see how that worked out. (This is called Boon-docking for RV’ers. Comes from the nautical term that are often used for RV’ing.)

We kept seeing signs for Little America in Green River, WY. where they had soft serve ice cream cones for 75 cents. That sounded really good so when we finally got there, we encountered a number of other RV’ers who were sitting under the trees next to their parked RVs. We quickly found out that we could not only park there all night, we had free Wi-Fi and they had a dump and water facility that we could also use for free. WOW, it turned out we had beautiful scenery, a nice shaded grassy area to sit and the convenience of a restaurant right there. So dinner followed by an ice cream cone topped the evening. Also, the sunset was very pretty as you will see from the pictures.

Friday, June 19:

The next morning we headed out with the plans to stop in Winnemucca, NV. for the night staying “free” at a Wal-mart. The drive west of Salt Lake City (SLC) was a bear as it was windy and Steve was fighting the wheel the whole way, not to mention that up until then, I found nothing boring about I-80 but after SLC, I didn’t think we would ever get out of Utah.

We stopped in a little town in Nevada called Elko. We had planned to stay in a casino parking lot that we had read about but it appeared that they were hosting some big motor cycle rally so the lot was pretty full. I had spotted a K-Mart just as we were exiting the interstate so I called to see if they allowed overnight parking. I was on the phone with the manager as we pulled in and spotted a sign that said “No Overnight Parking”, however the manager agreed to let us stay so that is where we are tonight. It isn’t quite as nice as what we had last night but we have a decent view, and better Wi-Fi than any of the RV parks that we paid to stay at so we are not complaining. We stopped around 4 PM so we fixed a quick dinner, did some reorganizing of a few things and Steve was off to bed early. I thought I would spend tonight catching up on our status.

Tomorrow we are heading to Carson City.

Saturday, June 20:

We arrived in Carson City after what seemed like forever looking at the same scenery. (Similar to Utah, but browner.) For a Florida girl, I at first found it beautiful and amazing at the vastness, however, after about 6 hours of it, the amazement began to wear off. Neither Wal-mart nor Sam’s clubs in Carson City or Reno allow for overnight parking. The casinos in Carson City do allow for overnight, so we parked in a casino lot in Carson City. There was one catch, you are not allowed to run generators between 8 PM and 8 AM, the temperature was about 92 at 7:00 PM, so while it would cool down later in the evening, we weren’t sure if we should stay or move on. Steve definitely needed a break from driving as the entire trip across Nevada was with high winds and it took a lot of concentration and energy keeping the RV under control. We needed a walk and dinner before we would decide what to do. We decided to make our contribution in the casino, walked around the town and stopped in a Thai restaurant for dinner. We returned to the RV and decided to move on and would stop at the first location that allowed overnight parking. As soon as we crossed into California, the roads turned awful. There were deep ruts in the pavement and with the high winds, it was a little shaky. We did not find a place to stop until passing thru Donner’s Pass and finding a rest area. First of all, the temperature was already down in the 60’s so it was really cool and breezy so we were able to park and open the windows. I know that the noise from the trucks would bother some people but once Steve is asleep, he doesn’t hear anything and I am used to having our generator running so the noise was not so different. (Sure sounds like I sleep a lot, doesn’t it?)

We woke up about 6:30 AM, it was so cool outside and clear skies. We made our coffee and went out to explore. The rest stop is located in a beautiful location which you will see from the pictures. We took a nice long walk around the lake which was needed by both of us. We thought we would be getting more exercise than we are getting on this trip but so far short walks is all that we have done.

We are only about an hour from our campground but check-in is not until noon. We considered driving into Auburn and parking until noon but decided we are in a beautiful cool spot so we may as well enjoy the cool temperatures while we can. It also gives us a chance to catch up on the blog.

Pikachu goes to Wyoming

Pikachu goes to Wyoming

 

 

 

 

 

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Wyoming

 

 

 

 

 

Arrive at Little America

Arrive at Little America

 

 

 

 

 

Free campsite at Little America, Green River, Wyo

Free campsite at Little America, Green River, WY

 

 

 

 

 

Windmill Farm in Wyoming

Windmill Farm in Wyoming

 

 

 

 

 

Great Salt Lake

Great Salt Lake

 

 

 

 

 

Pikachu takes a swim in the Great Salt Lake

Pikachu takes a swim in the Great Salt Lake

 

 

 

 

 

Pikachu goes to Nevada

Pikachu goes to Nevada

 

 

 

 

 

Camping at K-Mart with a view

Camping at K-Mart with a view

 

 

 

 

 

10 California Sunset

California Sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donner Pass Rest Stop

Donner Pass Rest Stop

 

Donner Pass Rest Stop

Donner Pass Rest Stop

 

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June 18, 2015

Thursday:   I’ll pick up where we left off last Sunday. We had a very nice evening with Lindy and Bob, Charlene’s sister and her husband. The weather held out and we were able to take a walk around the beautiful Broadmoor Hotel and finished the evening with drinks outside on one of the many terraces.

Monday the weather was predicted to be really bad so we moved our trip to Pike’s Peak to Wednesday, we had also booked a trip on the Royal Gorge Train for Tuesday, however as the day progressed the weather looked very good so we were able to do the train to Monday. It was gorgeous, I have a lot of pictures but only selected a few so as not to bore you too much. Monday evening it rained cats and dogs with a little hail thrown in to keep it exciting.

Tuesday we than went to the little town of Manitou Springs. We found it a little too touristy so did not stay long but we then went to the US Air Force Academy cathedral and that was quite stunning. I’ve included a few of those photos as well.

Wednesday the trip up to Pikes Peak on the cog railway was very nice. Again, we had some great weather and was able to take a lot of good pictures. Lindy and Bob joined Charlene, Kenny, Steve and I at the RV to check it out and to relax with a “couple” of drinks. Charlene and Kenny decided to stay on with Lindy and Bob and plan to meet back up with us in California.

Wednesday evening was busy, ensuring everything was packed and ready for an early departure Thursday morning. Fortunately we got everything done before we had another really bad storm, this one included a lot more hail about the size of marbles but everything had already been put away so no harm was done. We pulled out about 8:15 Thursday morning.

We headed up to I-80, north of Denver, than cutting across WY., Utah and Nevada to California. While we had a great time in Colorado, we were ready to move on and see something different. The scenery changes so quickly and again, with the pictures. In case you are wondering why you keep seeing Pikachu in the pictures, it is because these are for Nicky, my special grandson.

6 Arkansas River overflowing in Canon City

Arkansas River overflowing in Canon City

 

 

 

 

 

7 Arkansas River Canon City

Arkansas River Canon City

 

 

 

 

 

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Canon City Park, Arkansas River

 

 

 

 

 

9 Royal Gorge Train

Royal Gorge Train

 

 

 

 

 

9 Arkasas River in the Royal Gorge

Arkansas River in the Royal Gorge

 

 

 

 

 

Pike's Peak

Pike’s Peak

 

 

 

 

 

14 Inspiration for song "God Bless America"

Inspiration for song “God Bless America”

 

 

 

 

 

8 Canon City

Canon City

 

 

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June 12, 2015

FRIDAY:  The trip to Colorado was uneventful, that is always a good start for us. It took us several hours to get out of Kansas and the drive was pretty boring. We arrived at the Mountaindale Campground located in Limon, Co. about 30 minutes outside of Canon City on Wednesday, about 5:00 PM, and was parked and set up within 30 minutes. We must be getting pretty good at this. The guys worked on the connections and Charlene and I surveyed the facilities. It is a very pleasant park, lots of trees and the spaces are spacious and the ground is covered with pebbles which make the park not only very clean and level, but also excellent drainage when raining. A few mosquitoes but otherwise, very few bugs. Deer roam through the park in the early morning (at least that is what Kenny tells us as we try not to get up too early in the morning.)  I’ll try to include some photos of the deer. The first night we cooked pork chops, sweet potatoes and a salad and fixed smores on an open fire. The weather was very pleasant on day 1.

Thursday we got up and had french toast and bacon for breakfast and then headed to the Royal Gorge where the Arkansas River flows about 1200 feet below. We walked across the suspension bridge and I took the zip line across. That was exciting. We have lots of pictures of the gorge but unfortunately, none of me on the zip line. (I need to hire a better photographer.) It was pretty warm during the day but the evening cooled down nicely. We finished off with home made chill and hot dogs. Played dominoes and hit the sack.

We got up really early this morning as we were heading to the Garden of the Gods, we got a good start but unfortunately so did the rain. It appeared it would be raining all day so we decided it would be a good day to hang around the campground, catch a nap, do laundry and catch up on mail. We stopped in Canon City to pick up stuff for dinner and to restock our wine supply. Tonight it is salmon on a cedar plank, baked potato and asparagus and it looks to be a good night for a fire if it doesn’t rain anymore so maybe smores for dessert.

We still have several things we want to see and do, we just hope the weather cooperates.

6 Hrs of Kansas Captured in 1 Photo

6 Hrs of Kansas Captured in 1 Photo

Pikachu Arrives in Colorodo

Pikachu Arrives in Colorodo

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Zip Line over the

Zip Line over the

Royal Gorge Suspension

Royal Gorge Suspension

7 Rainy Day Limon,

7 Rainy Day Limon,

Deer in the Campground

Deer in the Campground

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June 9, 2015

The trip from Branson (Missouri) to Salina (Kansas) was uneventful, unfortunately we were unable to stop in Kansas City so I just took a couple of photos from the RV as we went through town. We arrived in Salina about 5 PM yesterday. We made a quick dinner of leftover cold cuts, played dominoes and got to bed about 12:30 am.

Today is our 25th wedding anniversary. We spent the day visiting the Strataca Salt mine and the Cosmosphere Aerospace museum, both located in Hutchinson, KS, and both very interesting. We took an elevator 650 ft. below the surface to the salt mine. Very interesting and they have over 65,000 square feet of space that is used for storage by numerous businesses as the salt mine provides a perfect temperature and humidity level. The movie industry is a major customer. The Aerospace museum was surprisingly large with multiple levels. They had a significant number of original aircraft, space craft and historical documents. We returned to Salina and had some BBQ at a small place called the Hickory Hut which was very good. It was still about 95 degrees when we got back to the campground, so too hot to do much outside so Steve cleaned the bugs from the windows and we will leave the big cleaning job for when we arrive in Colorado Springs where it is expected to be much cooler.

We will be on the road early tomorrow as we have about a 7 hour drive. A little more than what we like but we should get in before dark.

Today was hot as I previously mentioned but the humidity is very low (about 30%), weather in Colorado Springs will be in the 70’s but raining, hopefully that will clear up. There are many things to see and do so we are currently scheduled to be there for a week but we will have to see how much we can do if the weather doesn’t clear up.

That pretty much brings us up to date, here are a few pictures from yesterday and today.

 

25th Anniversary

25th Anniversary

Mario and the Endeavour

Mario and the Endeavour

Charlene & Kenny

 

Kansas City, Ks.

Kansas City, Ks.

Kansas City

Kansas City

Superman costume worn by Deanm Cain in TV series, Adventures of Superman

Superman costume worn by Deanm Cain in TV series, Adventures of Superman

Original Batman costume stored in salt mine

Original Batman costume stored in salt mine

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June 1, 2015

It has been almost two weeks since we have given an update. Time just seems to fly and with the added issue of limited internet access, it just seems there was not enough time. Let me try to bring you up to date.

Starting with the last week of May:

We finally got the cargo carrier issue resolved on Tuesday. We were lucky to find the parts we needed (cross bar to mount the carrier) but we spent a lot of time on the phone and the road getting it.

We picked up Melanie (Scott’s girlfriend) at the airport (Springfield) on Tuesday afternoon. She was with us until Friday and we enjoyed having her.

Last Wednesday was family day and we finally got to see Scott. Damn he looked good. He was released about 10:00 AM and was able to join us at the RV until about 8 PM.

Scott's Graduation from Boot Camp

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Of course the first place we went was to the only sushi restaurant in town, fortunately it wasn’t too bad. We over ordered but that was OK as he was willing to eat leftovers. Damn he looked good.

7 Scott 7a Scott

He was able to change out of his uniform and wear shorts and all he really wanted to do was lay around and relax. We picked up some movies from Red Box and sat around and talked, watched movies and he took a nap. We got him back to base on time and made sure we knew where the graduation ceremony was going to be held and headed back to the RV. Did I mention he looked good?

Thursday the graduation ceremony started about noon and lasted until about 1:30, and yes, he looked really good, he was released and we headed to another restaurant, this time the food wasn’t so good but we headed back to the RV to spend the day. We again watched movies, talked about his plans and relaxed, it was a good day but knowing it would be awhile before seeing him again was a little hard.

9a Scott & Gramma

The good news, he is happier than I have seen him in a very long time and it sounds like he loves being in the Army, no mother or grandmother wants anything more than for their child or grandchild to be happy. So we said our goodbyes and took a few more pictures.

Melanie’s flight home was not until about 4:15 pm so we had some time to kill. On the way to the Springfield airport we stopped and visited the “Fantastic Caverns”. They were interesting and we all appreciated the distraction of saying goodbye to Scott. Steve and I probably more than Melanie but I think she enjoyed it as well.

10 Caverns

We found a very nice little restaurant in Springfield and had a nice lunch and then headed to the airport. The continued storms and tornado warnings delayed the flight a couple of times but Melanie finally got off and arrived home safely. We returned back to the campground just ahead of the storms and started preparing for our next move.

Finally on June 1, we left Boiling Springs and headed to Branson, Missouri. With all of the rain the river had risen quite a bit,it was time to go.

Gasconade River

Gasconade River – Before

Gasconade River after the rains

Gasconade River after the rains

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May 23, 2015

Saturday:  First night in the new campground. Still no wi-fi nor any cellular, we have to drive into town to get access. So we were up early this morning and packed up our laptops and headed to St. Louis. We really had a great time.

We drove first into Dixon, just a minute of a town, and could not locate anyplace that offered wi-fi so we mailed a couple of items and headed to St. Louis. Purely by accident we parked right next to the big historic Soulard Farmer’s Market, and actually found a pretty good parking space. We walked through the market on one side and headed over to Bogart’s BBQ, one of the best in St. Louis and stood in line with the other 50+ people. It was worth every minute. We split an order of ribs and with the sides we were stuffed, absolutely some of the best ribs we have ever had. We did ask if they shipped and they don’t, so sorry guys, we couldn’t send any.

We had a chance to talk to the Executive Chef, Skip, who had just returned from the Memphis BBQ contest where they took 2nd place in the hog division.

We walked back through the other side of the market and drove over to see the Arch. After parking, we found we had to walk over to the old courthouse to buy tickets, now that was a line. And then we would have had to wait in another line to go into the Arch. Since we still had to get our PC’s out to handle our mail and post yesterdays blog, we decided we would just walk over and take a few pictures. That worked out well as we were close to a Starbucks and we could get a Chai tea and take care of business.

Also, in the course of the day, we decided that we were going to have to buy a cargo carrier to put on top of the Jeep to store those items that need infrequent access to but needed a place to store. We have to clear out that shower as I mentioned yesterday.

We thought we would have no problem finding one in St. Louis but as it turned out, we will have to drive to Sears in Springfield, so that will be tomorrow’s trip. So we headed home and just arrived back about 7:30 PM. Oh, I failed to mention we stopped at a Wal-mart. Steve needed beer and we needed a couple of other grocery items.

St. Louis is a neat town with lots to see and do. If we have a chance to go back before we leave, we may still try the Arch, I think it was because of the holiday weekend that it was so crowded. We were getting ready to leave and I noticed that a couple were getting married under the Arch, must be a St. Louis thing but it looked cool. I will include a picture.

It was another good day.

 

Bogarts BBQ in St. Louis

Bogarts BBQ in St. Louis

St. Louis Arch

St. Louis Arch

Wedding under the Arch

Wedding under the Arch

Picachu visits the St. Louis Arch

Picachu visits the St. Louis Arch

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Day Ten – May 22, 2015

Friday: We had just gotten up and was preparing the RV for moving, everything has to be in its place and secure, when we received a call from the campground in Missouri saying they had a cancellation and we could come on in. We decided we would do that as the other location did not have much to offer. Unfortunately we did not get to spend any additional time with our friends Judy and Al but we will hopefully sync up with them again later in the year.

We almost didn’t stop at the Big Bass Pro Pyramid, but changed our minds (and quick brakes and left turn by Steve). That place is amazing and while it is hard for most of us to imagine that a Bass Pro Shop can be amazing, you will have to see this.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Bass Pro Pyramid

Arriving at the new Bass Pro was quite an adventure. Unfortunately the people at Bass Pro did not allow spaces for RV’s, not too smart as this is a tourist attraction and RV country, but our suggestion was submitted. In any case, we double parked the RV, unhook the tow car, and park it separately. Not a bit deal but if it had been a hot day it would have been very unpleasant. Oh, by the way, another lesson learned, apply the emergency brake on the tow before unhitching, that way you don’t have to run to catch the car when it starts rolling. The car was fast, but Margie was faster.

The remainder of the trip went smooth. We stopped briefly at a rest stop where we ate lunch, we wanted to ensure we were in our campsite before dark. The new campground called Boiling Springs campground sounded great on-line, and within 20 miles from the Ft. Leonard Wood. The site is very nice from the standpoint it is pleasant, lots of trees and on a river. They rent canoes, paddle boats, inner tubes to use on the river so with this being Memorial day weekend, we expect it to be quite busy.

The down side is we have no wi-fi, and very little cellular service which means we cannot even use our hot spot. This is a major issue because we want Scott to be able to use Skype while he is here to talk to the rest of the family so we are scrambling to see what we will need to do to make that happen.

The next problem is the “ONE” shower for the whole campground is about as rustic as it could be outside a dip in the river. Now I know that the shower in the RV is about to be tested, so here we go.

In addition, we have a lot of stuff in the jeep but when company arrives, we need the back seat so that means we will have even less room in the jeep to store things. So we will really have to get creative “again”. Wal-mart, here we come. We were so proud of ourselves because we had gone 2 days without going to a Wal-mart.

We also met another family that is here for their son’s graduation. He is with a different group and had his graduation yesterday. He is going to be allowed to stay with his family during the day at the campground but has to return to his base every night at 7:30. So we will keep our fingers crossed but each group may have different rules so we will have to wait and see.

Obviously this will be a day late being posted as we will have to take our laptops to town and find a wi-fi that works.

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Day Nine – May 21, 2015

Well, I apologize for not updating the blog for the last couple of days but since we arrived at (Yogi) Jellystone Park in Memphis on Tuesday, it has been a whirlwind of activity. Tuesday evening after arriving we had just gotten settled in and was sitting outside with a glass of wine when we were invited to join a group of people for an impromptu dinner. We gladly accepted and met a group of the nicest people and we were made to feel so welcome. Everyone was from somewhere different and had their own story to tell, it was so interesting and there were some very funny stories as well. They were knowledgeable with various levels of experience and willing to share. The dinner was great and it was a very nice evening. Wednesday evening Judy and Al came over and we cooked out. It had rained earlier in the day, but it cleared up and the the sun came out but the temperature stayed cool and it was very pleasant eating outside. Our first full RV dinner and it was pretty good.

Thursday the weather turned quite cool, we had to pull out the jackets that we did not think we were going to need anytime soon. We had errands to run, we decided to give Wal-mart a break so we went to Target. Afterwards, we decided to have a late breakfast/early lunch so went to Yelp to see what was available. We found a place not far from where we are staying called “Fill Your Belly”. It had good reviews so we checked it out, it was a great breakfast and cheap as well, we will have to try it for lunch or dinner on our next trip. It was good ol’ country cooking. The chef did a great job fixing our order, shame that we did not have an opportunity to meet him/her. They offered a fried bologna sandwich on a homemade biscuit, we don’t see that on a menu everyday. We then went to Beale Street in old historic Memphis, home stomping grounds of the late B. B. King. It would probably be more interesting to go at night as it would be easier to see how glamorous and exciting it was in it’s heyday with all of the lights but during the daylight hours it looks pretty grim; however, there was live blues being played and we stopped for a drink and listened to the music and walked through the various shops. It was still an interesting trip. Upon arriving home our neighbors invited us over later to sit around a bonfire. There were several of us leaving in the morning so it was a bit of a farewell. We gathered up our wine, cheese, smores ingredients and headed over. It was another fun evening and we exchanged email addresses so we can keep in touch. We definitely will return here the next time we are in the Memphis area.

We will be heading down the road, on Friday, only about an hour away, to another park. Unfortunately we failed to consider this was Memorial Day weekend and by the time we realized we wanted to stay here longer, there were no vacancies so we have to move on. The next park we are going to isn’t as nice as this one is but it will be another new experience. We are also planning a trip to some super duper Pro Bass Shop, we will fill you in on that tomorrow.

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Day Eight – May 19, 2015

What a day! First of all, we finally got the A/C fixed, I am going to let Steve add the details but in 2/10ths of an hour, after 5 days of waiting, the A/C is fixed for a total of $19.00 plus camping charges per day ($20).

On the brighter side, it was an interesting stay, we learned a lot and the next time we have to come to Red Bay (location of Tiffin Motorhomes manufacturing), and we are sure that there will be a next time, we know a few more do’s and don’ts.

After the Red Bay “adventure”, we arrived back in Memphis at the Yogi (Bear) Jellystone RV park where we had reservations. We have a bit of a dilemma in that with Memorial Day weekend coming up, they may not be able to accommodate us through the weekend, however they are working on it. But we also contacted our next location where we were not scheduled to arrive until Monday and they are working on getting us in earlier, so I think it will all work out. Worst case, we will spend the night in a casino parking lot for a night or two. (Please throw me in that briar patch.)

As we were sitting outside, we were invited over for an impromptu dinner with a group of fellow RV’ers, some of them permanent residents in the park, invited us for dinner and we had a great time. They were fun, interesting, and shared a lot of good information. Some really good food too, saving us from a boring salad for dinner.

So after a big dinner, lots of conversation and a lot of wine, this will be short tonight. I really want Steve to tell his story.

Okay, so enough hints about a “story” from Steve.

There are many things concerning the RV life-style, and the knowledge required to live a life-style where your home is on 6-8 wheels and moves periodically. A lot of that is (1) surprises that come with a home on wheels and (2) things that you do that are down right stupid errors. Not stupid because of you don’t know what to do, just stupid because you have not done your homework.

Example: Let’s suppose that you are driving out of Florida, heading North, and it is 100° F plus 95 plus humidity. Your AC stops working. So what do you do. Well, I checked the fuse and it was okay; so, we went to manufacturers location, for Tiffin, Red Bay, Alabama. It has got to be a major problem, right? 

The Tiffin service camp site when we arrive was red clay and gravel. Very dusty, no shade, 80+ RV’s in 4 rows, etc. (FYI, Red Bay was established in 1924 and named after Red Clay and Bay Tree’s). Their policy was First Come, First Serve. We arrive Thursday afternoon and had a technician see us the very next Tuesday. (This is the short story, give me a Scotch on the Rocks and the rest of the funny story will come out.) Anyway, after 5 days of wrunway_thumb[6]aiting, and they were very friendly, gracious, people, it took the technician 0.2 hour to isolate the problem. A circuit breaker and a fuse had “tripped” due to the extreme temperature/humidity. Not unheard of, just something that we (the we in
this case was me) should have known about and been able to track down.

So, the time spent was a very good lesson for me to go back to reading all of the literature, electronics diagrams, etc (i.e., the information that I should have paid attention to in the first place.) So beginning today, Tuesday, May 19, 2015, I start back into kindergarten to actually read all of the information that I need to learn, seek out online tutorials, and lessons from fellow RV’ers to learn what it takes to move a home (on wheels) across the U.S.A.  Will keep those interested up to date. 

We plan on being out of Tennessee by Friday, Saturday at latest, and into Missouri. Keep in touch, we sure will.

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