Thursday, July 31, 2014

O'Neill City Park, O'Neill, NB

A Short Stop at Badlands National Park
Thursday, July 31, 2014, O'Neill City Park, O'Neill, NB - 249.1 miles, 14,540.7 For the Trip

I got a reasonably early start (leaving the campground around 8:30) after a nice sourdough pancake breakfast. I stopped in the park for a photograph that included the trailer, headed for a short drive on I 90, then south on US 83 to US 20. Unless I discover something I want to see, I'll follow US 20 across most of the US on the trip home.

I did lose an hour crossing into the central time zone & stopped for the day in O'Neill, Nebraska. They have a great city park that has free camping for 3 days, complete with 30 or 50 amp electric, water, and showers. After three days it is $10.00 per night. What a deal. A campsite photo at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Since I stopped for a late lunch, a fillet of fish at McDonalds, dinner will probably be cheese & crackers.

Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Badlands Interior Motel & Campground, Interior, SD & Badands National Park

Devils Tower & the Milky Way From the West Side
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, Badlands Interior Motel & Campground, Interior, SD - 176.4 miles, 14,291.6 For the Trip

After putting together yesterday's page, I had an epiphany - since the sun rises in the East (well, I know, it appears to - it is actually the rotation of the Earth) the stars (and the Milky Way) do the same. While I had to wait until 2:00AM to have the Milky Way rotate to a position over Devils Tower, shooting from the west would position it earlier! Very logical, but I didn't think of it until almost too late. At 10:15PM I hopped in the RAV4 & headed back to Joyner Ridge Trail parking lot. There was still one car in the lot - not sure where the owner was, but I was there alone. Very definitely big skies with more stars than I've seen in a long time. Much darker than the campground side, and lots of interesting animal sounds, a few of which I couldn't identify, but they didn't sound big & hungry!

I set up the D700 & tripod & shot away. The first image is a single frame, but the second (the one used for today's photo), while it looks smaller on the web page, is a composite put together with the Panorama tool in Photoshop to form a 4509 X 5029 pixel, 139.1MB file. It is hard to believe it could do it, but it is made up of 8 individual 30 second images that were made from random swivels of the tripod head. No order, but somehow Photoshop put them together. Should be capable of making a pretty good sized print.

I got back to the campground by 11:00, driving with my parking lights to avoid shining up everyone's tent or RV. I sure hope the guy from Quebec didn't take up my suggestion of stopping at the parking lot at 2:00AM; it probably would have been too late. If he did, I'm sorry!

After breakfast I headed to the Badlands with a short stop for a trailer photo on the way out of the park. I've been to the Badlands before, but it has been quite awhile. This time I drove SD 44 to the town of Interior, dropped the trailer at the Interior Motel & Campground (water & electric for $25.13, sites unlabled) and entered the park from the south. The internal park road to Wall is being repaved, and made driving messy & slow, with long waits for single lane sections. I probably added a couple of hundred miles to my tires with the oil I picked up, as well as undercoated the RAV4. Glad I wasn't towing the trailer! I didn't drive all the way to Wall, but turned around in time to get a wait free drive back to Interior.

Lots of photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Since I have hookups, dinner will be an Amy's Indian Palak Paneer frozen meal cooked in the toaster oven on the picnic table - it is hot enough that I'm running the AC & don't want to cook inside.

Until tomorrow.

Devils Tower National Monument, WY, Day 2

The Milky Way & Devils Tower
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, Devils Tower National Monument, WY, Day 2 - 0 miles, 14,115.2 For the Trip

After posting last night's page, I drove up West Road, a gravel road that is a left hand turn (going up) about a mile from the top. While there is a sign stating it is a view point for the tower, it is small, and easy to miss. If you visit, be sure to take the short drive to the parking area for the Joyner Ridge Trail. A great location for viewing the tower, particularly at sunset.

Last night it was very quiet - almost no one there, and no sound but the wind in the trees. While I was sitting in the RAV4 waiting for the sunset, a deer walked across the view. Unfortunately, as I got out of the car for a photo, it took off. No clouds, and no color to the sky, but lots of changes in the color of the face of the tower.

When I got back to the campground, I programed the CamRanger & D700 to shoot some star photos. I wasn't sure what time the milky way would appear over the tower, so I set it up to take a 30 second photo every 20 minutes. The last image before the camera battery died was at 2:00AM, and included the milky way. I also included a bizarre image made by putting together a stack of all the other images from last night. The shots were too far apart time wise to make a good star circle, but it is different.

I woke up to a great sunrise the next morning, and, although it was east of the tower, I managed to catch part of it in a photo.

There was rain off & on during the day, heavy at times. I spent most of the rain in the trailer reading. I decided it would be a good day to go out for dinner & drove 9 miles to Hulett for a shrimp basket with cocktail sauce that had the most horseradish I've ever had. Almost had my eyes watering!

This evening I went back to the Joyner Ridge Trail parking area, and it was full of vehicles. I found a place for mine, and waited for sunset. Met a couple from Quebec that was taking photos of their RV against the tower. They were doing it for the same reason I have taken photos of my trailer - hoping to get them in the manufacturer's calendar. A much better sunset than last night. It is amazing how fast the colors change. I was ready to pack it in at 8:15 as the shadow moved up the tower, but decided to wait & was rewarded with some good color in the clouds only 20 minutes later.

More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

There is a real temptation to drive back to the Joyner Ridge Trail parking area tonight for a photo of the milky way from the other direction, but I'm not sure I want to go for a drive at 2:00AM.

Until tomorrow.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Devils Tower National Monument, WY

Devils Tower & the Circle of Sacred Smoke
Monday, July 28, 2014, Devils Tower National Monument, WY - 171.9 miles, 14,115.2 For the Trip

Lots of driving of empty roads, mostly on MT 59 & US 212. I arrived at Devils Tower around 12:20PM, pulled into the campground where both loops were almost empty, and set up in site B17. A great view of the tower from my front window, however I should have taken the next site. The tower would have been hidden from the trailer by trees, however the picnic table location has a clear view. Someone moved into the site, set up a big pile of firewood, so my nighttime photos of the tower may be a problem. We'll see...

After setting up the trailer I drove to the Prairie Dog Village and took a couple of photos, came back to the site to find a Casita 16 a few sites back from me, and talked with the owner for a bit. I drove to the visitor center, bought a "T" shirt (I'm going to have to move the "T" shirt shelf down a notch to fit all my new ones), took a few photos of the tower, then headed back to the trailer to read.

While the movie "Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind" made the tower popular to millions of Americans who have never seen the tower in person, you don't need to have seen the movie to be awed by it. It is a scared location for many Native American tribes, and every time I see it I can understand why. Very impressive!

Dinner will be a sandwich made from the leftover grilled chicken, and broccoli.

Until tomorrow.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Meadows RV Park, Miles City, MT

Pelicans in Montana?
Sunday, July 27, 2014, Meadows RV Park, Miles City, MT - 213.3 miles, 13,943.3 For the Trip

Another cool night, this time down to 44°F. Probably a good thing since my refrigerator stopped working on 120V electric. Woke up this morning to 16F in the freezer & 45°F in the refrigerator. I switched it over to gas & it started to drop, although not as fast as I would have liked. It is hot today, and most of my driving was east, putting the side of the trailer with the refrigerator aimed at the sun. It did drop more quickly once a hit the campground & put out the awning. The last time the refrigerator quit on AC, it was because the plug fell out of the receptacle. No such luck this time - it is still plugged in. I don't want to try it on AC until it cools down to the usual temperatures, so I will troubleshoot tomorrow.

There was a great picture of round hay bales combined with a great looking tree & background. Unfortunately, there was no where to stop, so while I'll remember the image in my mind, I can't show it to you! I did discovered something I didn't know further along US 12 - Pelicans don't only live at the ocean. I stopped at a farm pond to photograph a couple of white birds & Canada geese, and through the 70 - 200 mm lens discovered what they were. Finding them in Montana was a surprise to me! Just goes to show what I know about birds...

I also shot a photo of the Vanana School building, long out of use. Vanana is a pretty small town along US 12 and the school, sitting by itself, was the only multi story building in town. It looked very out-of-place. Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I stopped for the day at Miles City & the Meadows RV Park. At $35.00 for full hookups, not inexpensive, but nice, clean restrooms & showers, and convenient - there is a Walmart Supercenter across the street. The other choice was a KOA which was even more expensive. As I said, it was hot, so I spent most of the afternoon reading a Clive Cussler novel in the shade of the trailer, running the air conditioner to help cool down the fridge.

Dinner was a southwestern salad & grilled chicken breast.

Until tomorrow.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Mountain Acres Campground, Lewistown, MT

The Stars Over St Mary Campground
Saturday, July 26, 2014, Mountain Acres Campground, Lewistown, MT - 253.6 miles, 13,730 For the Trip

While the wind gusts stayed away, it did get cold overnight - down to 45°F. I took a couple of photos of the sun setting on the face of the mountains. Probably would have been better if I drove 10 - 15 miles up the Going to the Sun Road, but I wasn't all that excited about driving back in the dark. Now if the "C" loop bathrooms & showers were in a different place that would have helped!

After shooting the sunset, I set up the D700 on a tripod to do some star photos. Again, the lights of bathrooms didn't help, but the milky way looked good at 1:00AM. Rather than sit outside taking the photos, I used one of my camera "toys" a CamRanger. It is a combination of hardware & software that lets you control a Canon or Nikon DSLR over WiFi using an app on the iPad or iPhone. By control, it lets you remotely change ISO, shutter speed, aperture, etc, even focus. About all it won't do is change the zoom. It also lets you set up multiple, timed exposures, and a series of stacked focus images for shooting macros. A handy device when it is cold out! More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I did manage to wake up early enough so the person booked into the site across from me had not yet arrived, so getting out of the backwards position in the site worked out OK. I still had one more plan to get out of the site if the space was filled, but it would have required driving the wrong way quite aways.

I took the short cut that avoids the worst part of US 89 (Starr School Road to Browning), then continued on US 89 to US 87 to Lewistown, MT. Since I'm no longer is quite the hurry I was in to get to Glacier, (and off the interstates), I went back to my normal driving speed of 57MPH. The drive to Glacier was primarily on interstates, and at 63MPH. Not all that much faster, but my MPG dropped from the usual 15 down to 13.5.

I'm in site 3 at the Mountain Acres Campground, a full hookup site for $27.82. Nothing to write home about, but a good one night stop on the way East. By the way, my average campground cost over the entire trip is now $22.47.

Since there was no picnic table, I was lazy, and bought fried chicken at the local Albertsons.

Until tomorrow.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Saint Mary Campground, Glacier National Park, MT, Day 2

My Back Window View

Friday, July 25, 2014, Saint Mary Campground, Glacier National Park, MT, Day 2 - 0 miles, 13,476.4 For the Trip

Another windy night & day. While it died down for about an hour early this morning, the 40 - 60 MPH wind gusts were back and kept up until around 4:00PM. Beautiful skies, but difficult to enjoy them, except through the trailer windows since, at times, it was difficult to stand outside! I did take a couple of photos - more at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I didn't do much other than sit & read (inside the trailer) for most of the day. I did take a break for a shower - they are individual rooms, with push button operation, but a good stream of water, large, dry dressing area, & reasonable run time.

It should be interesting getting out of the site in the morning. Site C142 is a pull through on the left side of the road, which puts the door on the wrong side for the picnic table. My solution was to use the empty site next to mine to drive into mine backwards. With the small 17' trailer it worked fine, however someone moved into the site I planed to sneak through on the way out. Oh well, I'll worry about that in the morning!

Since the wind died down, I cooked a Bubba burger for dinner, along with some chips, a salad, and the rest of the vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Until tomorrow.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Saint Mary Campground, Glacier National Park, MT

Polebridge Mercantile, Polebridge, MT
Thursday, July 24, 2014, Saint Mary Campground, Glacier National Park, MT - 1.7 miles, 13,476.4 For the Trip

I woke up to a rainbow over the KOA (well, the mountains behind it). I hung around the campground, including taking a shower since I didn't want to get to the National Park campground too early. Their check out time is 12:00. I arrived after the shortest drive of the trip at 10:30, but there was still someone in the site. I sat around in an empty site reading until they left. After setting up in site C142 (at $14.00 per night with the Senior Pass), I walked down to the bathrooms & made a discovery - since my last stay they have added showers!

I then headed into Saint Mary (the town) to buy a quart of milk, dropped it off in the fridge, then headed to Polebridge, MT by way of the Going to the Sun Road for a cinnamon roll. Yes, it is a little silly to drive 71 miles (each way) for a cinnamon roll, so I also bought a sticky bun and something new, a monkey something or other that looks like a combination of a cinnamon roll & sticky bun.

Going to the Polebridge Mercantile has been a tradition over our many trips to Glacier, so I couldn't skip it, besides, they are good enough to be worth the trip. While some of the drive is still dirt road, the paved section near Polebridge has been greatly improved over the last time I was here.

Of course I had to stop & take a bunch of photos on the way & way back. It was very windy, both along the drive, and at the campground, although a bit less at Apgar. The weather also changed along the way, going from sunshine to heavy rain, hail, and complete cloud cover. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages post.

Dinner was the rest of the walnut cinnamon roll that I started (and got all over the driver's seat) on the way back - they are so good you can't wait, and a southwest salad. Now I'm sitting in a rocking trailer hoping the wind dies down over night. There are a bunch of tents blown down in the campground, although a number have stayed up. Probably a good test of which brands can deal with 30 - 60MPH winds!

Until tomorrow.

Saint Mary KOA, Saint Mary, MT

The St Mary River, Glacier National Park, MT
Wednesday, July 23, 2014, Saint Mary KOA, Saint Mary, MT - 288.0 miles, 13,474.7 For the Trip

Well, from the location of today's post you can tell I didn't get into Two Medicine Campground. I did make a couple of circles around all three loops, but no dice. What's more, the sites that I would have liked the most (on the lake) are booked for a few days. So, I headed to Saint Mary Campground, and found it filled as well. I did check with the ranger at the entry station, and they did have a 2 day site available starting tomorrow, so I booked it.

As to today, I tried a couple of the Saint Mary campgrounds, but they were also filled. Don't know what is going on - the last time I was here there were openings everywhere. It was a week earlier. In any case, my last try was the KOA. They had a few full hookup sites, so here I am at the most expensive campsite of the trip; $65.46 (and that includes my 10% KOA member discount!) Glad I'm only here one night.

After setting up the trailer I headed into Glacier National Park. They are still rebuilding the Going to the Sun Road. Most of the drive from the East to the Logan Pass Visitor Center is gravel, with construction causing short (10 minute) delays. The rebuilding has been going on for years, making me wonder if I'll ever going to drive the finished road. I have to admit is was in bad shape the first time I drove it, but it was all paved.

I stopped at the Logan Pass Visitor Center. Very different from 2011, when most of it was still covered with snow. I did see a small herd of Big Horn Sheep on the side of the mountain across from the Visitor Center. Too far away to get a good image with my 70 - 200mm zoom, but the 300mm was back in the trailer.

On the way back I took the "short" hike to St Mary Falls. While they list it as short, it was over a mile each way. I guess that is short compared to some of the other hikes in the park...

Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Back at the campground, I made dinner (grilled chicken breast, and asparagus) then tackled the refrigerator. It was definitely time to defrost - took lots of chipping to get the ice off the coils. As I'm typing this, we are getting a thunderstorm, complete with hail. Glad I'm not in a tent!

Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Blue Anchor RV Park, Osburn, ID

Site 32, Blue Anchor RV Park, Osburn, ID
Tuesday, July 22, 2014, Blue Anchor RV Park, Osburn, ID - 350.8 miles, 13,186.7 For the Trip

Nothing very exciting to take photos of on today's drive. Most of it was on US 395 and I90. I made it across Washington State, and about one half way through the Idaho panhandle. Another long drive, at least for me, but it puts me within striking distance for a possible site at Two Medicine campground in Glacier tomorrow. If it is full, I'll stay somewhere on the East side of the park & try again on Thursday.

The only photo is the site picture here at Blue Anchor; $27.00 with a Good Sam discount for full hookups. Very tight spaces, most of which at one time were pull throughs, but got turned into back ins. One men's bathroom with one stall for the entire campground, 3 very small stand alone showers with very small changing rooms, but a laundry room that was inexpensive. While I could have put it off for another week, I decided I might as well do a couple of loads. Not a campground that I would recommend for an extended stay, but fine for a one night stop.

Dinner was an ordered out pizza & chicken wings. Since there was no picnic table, I used that as an excuse not to cook!

Until tomorrow.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Memaloose State Park, OR

Elk Along OR 38
Monday, July 21, 2014, Memaloose State Park, OR - 311 miles, 12,839.5 For the Trip

Not a lot of photos today, but a long drive. Unfortunately, most of it was along I5 & I 84, sections of both that I've driven before. I did enjoy the only new road for today, OR 38. Stopped to photograph a small herd of elk along the drive. I finally called it a day just after Mosier, OR and got off for Memaloose State Park. It can only be accessed from the West bound lane of I84, so you drive past it heading East, get off a couple of miles past the park & enter the park through a rest stop. I'll have to head back to Mosier to get back on the East side of the interstate in the morning. The site photo & one more of the elk are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Not a bad park.  Views of the Columbia River (although no access), $28.00 for full hookups, and there are lots of water only sites available for less. Like most of the Oregon parks, bathrooms with showers. The only problem is quite a bit of road noise from I 84. It isn't a problem with the trailer closed, but makes it hard to listen to the radio when sitting outside.

Dinner was a cheeseburger (made of real hamburger, not a Bubba burger), chips, and vanilla ice cream for dessert. I'm going to have to defrost the refrigerator soon. It sure does ice up faster with the high humidity on the coast. In the desert it could go for almost a month, here only little more than a week.

Until tomorrow.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR, Day 7

Closing Down The Gathering Booth

Sunday, July 20, 2014, Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR, Day 7 - 0 miles, 12,524.9 For the Trip

While the Gathering packed up yesterday, there was a 9:30 AM Pot Luck breakfast this morning, including made to order pancakes. Actually there were a number of people attending, although most left for home or onward after breakfast. There are a few of us that are planning on leaving tomorrow. For us, another S'Mores campfire tonight. A couple more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I packed up the Easy Up and managed to fit it in the RAV4 (somehow once it was out, everything else moved into its space). I also packed up a few things that I won't need overnight or in the morning, to save a little time getting out of the campground.

My next "Official" stop is Glacier National Park, however it is over 800 miles away, so I'm going to take a few days to get there. I was going to make a couple of planned stops on the way, but since my daughter & family are definitely going to be in the US August 3 - September 3, I'm going to head home a bit earlier than planned.

Dinner was the last of the Chicken Fajita brots, peaches, and chips.

Until tomorrow.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR, Day 6 & Day 3 of the Oregon Gathering

The Oregon Gathering Group Photo
Saturday, July 19, 2014, Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR, Day 6 - 0 miles, 12,524.9 For the Trip

I shot the group photo this morning at 9:00, and had a scare. Got back to the trailer and no photographs on the card, however the deleted & formatted over images from last night were still on the card. I'm not sure what happened, but I used my RescuePRO software to get today's images off the card. I hope the card is toast, rather than the camera. In any case, the photos are back.

There is one more on today's LakeshoreImages page (and the Oregon Gathering Page 2) as well as links to the full sized JPGs. There are two because while I prefer the perpendicular shot, the sun was right behind the seating, so there is quite a bit of flair. The second image taken from the side is not as well composed, but cleaner. While the full sized JPGs will take awhile to download on a slow internet connection, they are large enough that I can read some of the name-tags.

I reformatted the card, set the camera to save images to both cards, and shot a bunch of photos that all ended up on both cards. Who knows what is going on. I hate to have an intermittent problem - you don't know when it is going to show up again. Since the images showed up fine when the camera LCD screen was used to review them, so I don't have any good way to check if it is working in the field. Grrr...

I added a couple of photos from the Pot Luck, the Awards, and the "Give-Aways" at today's LakeshoreImages page  and many more on the Oregon Gathering Page 2. The camera worked fine on both cards, so I'm hoping it was a one time formatting problem.

More Tomorrow.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR, Day 5 & The Oregon Gathering, Day 2

The Appetizer Pot Luck, Oregon Gathering

Friday, July 18, 2014, Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR, Day 5 - 0 miles, 12,524.9 For the Trip

I showed the trailer again at 10:00, then started getting ready for the workshops I was teaching this afternoon. I did get a chance to go around the campground & shoot a few photos of other workshops & some more attendees.

My first workshop was fairly crowded - information on inverters. I felt it went well, and it was fun to be back in the classroom. After the workshop, I added another side to the Easy Up, hoping to make more shade so the images would show up better on the computer monitor during my Long Exposure Photography workshop. It helped a little, but the good thing is the attendance at the workshop was small enough that everyone could get close to the computer so at least part of the images showed up. It would really be a better class to teach after dark so the photographs were more visible. In any case, the group seemed to enjoy it.

After the workshops, I decided to take down the sides of the Easy Up since it was getting windy. Of course, as soon as I took them down, the wind died.

At 7:00 we had a Appetizer Pot Luck & introductions. Lots of people ranging from their 1st year to a few that attended all 12. More photographs at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was a pot pie.

Until tomorrow

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR, Day 4 and Day 1 of the Oregon Gathering

The Oregon Gathering
Thursday, July 17, 2014, Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR, Day 4 - 0 miles, 12,524.9 For the Trip

Today is the official first day of the Oregon Gathering. I got registered & my site tag after helping set up the booth. Not too many activities today, however there is LadderBall! I took a few photos as well as a short video. It is a large file (99MB) because I left it full screen for my Mac (1920 X 1080). If I shoot more videos, I'll make them smaller. Note - I removed the video of the LadderBall game because my ISP does not support .mp4 files.

After the LadderBall competition, I took a walk around "A" Loop to take a few photos, then went to the beer exchange. Traded a bunch of Nantucket beer for all kinds of stuff.

More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page, or, on a page I made for the rally.

Since I had a great lunch of fish & chips at the Bandon Fish Market, dinner was just cheese & crackers with vanilla ice cream for desert.

Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR, Day 3

Wednesday, July 16, 2014, Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR, Day 3 - 0 miles, 12,524.9 For the Trip

Didn't do much today other than set up the Easy Up & make a quick run to the grocery store for milk & vegetables. I bought side panels for the Easy Up hoping to make it more usable in the rain. While we don't have any rain, I wanted to try attaching the panels to see how they worked. The first problem is when you raise the top of the Easy Up, the legs spread out - they are no longer exactly perpendicular to the ground. That presents a problem for the side panels since they attach to the legs and are not tapered. So, I pulled the stakes, made the legs perpendicular, and tried the panels. They attach with Velcro at the top & use a zipper to go from panel to panel. I only put two on (I have 3). I was hoping it would provide enough shade so you could see the laptop screen outside for my nighttime photography workshop, however unless you are looking straight at it, it still is too bright to see images.

Other than that I walked around the campground - there are more fiberglass trailers arriving all the time even though registration for the rally doesn't start until tomorrow. No photographs today.

Dinner will be soft tacos.

Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR, Day 2

Cooking "Dinner on a Stick"

Tuesday, July 15, 2014, Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR, Day 2 - 0 miles, 12,524.9 For the Trip

This morning I showed the trailer to a couple that was trying to decide between a 17 & a 19. They were interested in the modifications I made to the trailer, but I think decided that the 17 is just a bit too small for two. Since they also have a large dog, I'd have to agree. Going from a tent to the trailer, I fount the 17 huge, but there are two of them and they are going from a 36' RV.

After that it was off to Coos Bay for some shopping, a haircut, and to check out what was available in blueberries. I picked up 4 lbs at Fred Meyers since the price was right & I won't have to go back later in the week. The haircut was OK, and only $8.00, although I don't think the barber believed I was over 65 (a $2.00 discount). In any case, I gave her a good tip.

After getting back to the campground, I walked around with the camera to take a few photos. A bunch of early arrivals got together for a "food on a stick" dinner at one of the campsites. There was quite a crowd, including one person from Canada who didn't know there was a rally, but was already in the park with his Escape 17B. My dinner was a couple of Fajita Seasoned Chicken Sausages, along with some salad & chips.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Until tomorrow.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR

Site 14, Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR
Monday, July 14, 2014, Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, OR - 36.7 miles, 12,524.9 For the Trip

A short drive down Fairview Road & OR 42s to Bandon. I stopped in town at the laundromat (I was down to my last pair of underwear), then headed to the campground.

It's Bullards Beach all over again. While the last time I was here in mid April I was in the "C" section, I'm now in site A14 with full hookups for a week. Since we are now out of the "Discovery Season", it is a bit more expensive than April - $29.14 per night.

Part of my stay (and the reason for being here) is to attend the Oregon Gathering, a fiberglass trailer rally. There are already a number of early arrivals and we sat around and talked during the afternoon.

Only one photo - the campsite image above.

Since I picked up some fried chicken and macaroni & cheese for a big lunch, dinner will be cheese & crackers.

Until tomorrow.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Laverne County Campground, OR, Day 3

Sunday, July 13, 2014, Laverne County Campground, OR, Day 3 - 0 miles, 12,488.2 For the Trip

My last day at Laverne County Campground. I don't know whether to recommend the place or not. On the one hand, a good description of the place is the old adage "Rode hard & Put Up Wet". Speaking of wet, while it isn't raining, it is about as damp as it could be without rain, and since the campground is dirt, very messy. Still, it is far more my type of campground than the resorts I've stayed in. My neighbors have been interesting. On one side was four generations of a Mexican family that insisted on feeding me every time they sat down to eat. Great folks. On the other side, a family that brought a chain saw with them while tent camping. Although it was small, a 6' pole tree trimmer type, it was gas powered & loud, and a bit scary watching dad sawing away while the kids held sticks of wood in their hands.

I said good by to the Mexican family around 12:00, and spent the day reading. I finished John Myers Myers 1949 Science Fiction masterpiece Silverlock. Highly recommended, even if you are not a fan of SiFi.

I kept waiting for the sun to come out so it would warm up for a shower, but gave up waiting around 4:30. Just in case you stop here, the last stall in the men's showers works without putting a quarter in the timer. I don't mind paying a quarter for a shower, but I hate it when the water stops before you are rinsed!

No photos today. While I had internet when I started, it seems to have gone away. I'll post this when I can.

Dinner will be a chicken cutlet with the left over spaghetti sauce.

Until tomorrow.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Laverne County Campground, OR, Day 2

The Creek Behind the Campground

Saturday, July 12, 2014, Laverne County Campground, OR, Day 2 - 0 miles, 12,488.2 For the Trip

Well, I don't know if this page will get posted today - while I seem to be able to download web pages (although very slowly) uploads are not happening. While the Pantech MHS291LVW shows a 4G LTE data connection, the signal level is a weak -110db, so that is probably the problem.

By the way, I added up the total trailer mileage, and in the little over 3 years I've owned it, it has been towed 51,545.8 miles. Still holding up well!

In any case, not a lot to post. I drove to the bar & grill for an omelet breakfast; not bad & an excellent homemade biscuit. I also walked down to the stream that runs along the campground & took a few photos of the riffles and small cascades. Not quite waterfalls, but close. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

My neighbors have been offering food almost continuously; I think they feel sorry for a single person. In any case, I didn't have anything defrosted for dinner, so I took them up on a cheeseburger. Very good, cooked over a wood fire with all the fixings. One of the rare times since Arizona & Superstition Mountain that I had a home cooked meal that I didn't make myself!

I'll try to post again later, but no luck after a bunch of tries this afternoon. Well, I don't know what happens at 6:00PM, but the photos posted with no problem, so I'll try the page.

Until tomorrow.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Laverne County Campground, OR

Site 7, Laverne County Campground, OR
Friday, July 11, 2014, Laverne County Campground, OR - 108.1 miles, 12,488.2 For the Trip

I got an early start & was heading West on OR 138 around 8:15AM. I stopped in the Roseburg Safeway to refill the refrigerator & pick up other supplies, then continued on OR 42 to Laverne County Campground. I'm in site 7 for the weekend. Water & electric for $18.00 per night (only $16.00 for Sunday night). There is a bathroom with showers ($.25 per shower with no time posted) a few sites away from the trailer. The site is right off the road, but it is a small, quiet, country lane. The park is pretty much filled. A family moved in next to me, and because the sites are fairly narrow, it should be interesting getting the RAV4 out tomorrow. There is a breakfast at a nearby bar & grill that looks good for the morning.

No photos today other than the campsite. Dinner will be a pork chop & corn on the cob.

Until tomorrow.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Susan Creek Campground, OR, Day 3

Susan Falls
Thursday, July 10, 2014, Susan Creek Campground, OR, Day 3 - 0 miles, 12,380.6 For the Trip

Can you do less than I did yesterday? Yup! I spent the day reading, except for a brief period where my neighbor stopped by. I believe he was off his Lithium - I never heard anyone talk so fast about so many things. I finally had to retreat into the trailer to get rid of him. So far he hasn't come back.

No photographs, although it was tempting to set up for hummingbird photos. There are 4-5 of them that fight over the feeder even though the campground host in the next site (not the talkative individual) has 3 or 4 feeders set up. I'll use one of the images from Susan Falls for todays post.

The campground is pretty near full. While a few leave each day they are replaced fairly quickly. About half & half tent campers & RVs.

Dinner will be spaghetti & meatballs.

Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Susan Creek Campground, OR, Day 2

Susan Creek, OR
Wednesday, July 9, 2014, Susan Creek Campground, OR, Day 2 - 0 miles, 12,380.6 For the Trip

Another day of doing little. I spent most of it moving the solar panel around to catch the sun. Because of the heavy tree cover, it was impossible to set it up and leave it in one spot. I did get a bit or reading in, and around 5:00 took the .8 mile hike to Susan Creek Falls. Much less water coming over it than two years ago, but still a pretty falls. The lighting was bad - too much sun on the falls even that late in the day. Still, the dark area below the falls presented a neat image. There were two families swimming in the pool below the falls. You can see one of the kids (and a towel) in one of the images.
A few more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that it was back to the campground, and dinner; a Bubba burger & chips.

Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Susan Creek Campground & Waterfalls

Along the Trail to Watson Falls
Tuesday, July 8, 2014, Susan Creek Campground 97.4 - 0 miles, 12,380.6 For the Trip

Today was another waterfall day. I started with a photo of the Rogue River along OR 62, then drove through Diamond Lake (well, around it) to OR 138. There are a number of named waterfalls along OR 138. I tried to stop at the waterfalls I missed when I drove the same route in 2012, but I recognized a few as one's I've visited before. There does seem to be a bit less water going over them than the last time I was here. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After shooting a number of waterfalls, I pulled into Susan Creek Campground, a BLM site on OR 138. With the senior discount, $7.00 per night. No hookups, but they do have bathrooms with hot showers. I dug out the portable solar panel to top off the batteries since processing a bunch of photos drags them down. A very pretty campground that had about 5 empty sites (out of 29). Almost all are now filled at 2:30PM. I'm here for 3 days. I will visit some more waterfalls in the area as well as just hang out waiting until Monday when I can take my site at Bullards Beach Campground.

While Joseph H Stewart was unusual in that there was almost no Verizon connectivity & a strong 4G AT&T signal, here at Susan Creek it is back to normal - a fair Verizon connection & no AT&T.

Dinner will be left over chicken breast & beans.

Until tomorrow.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Joseph H. Stewart Campground, OR, Day 2

An Osprey

Monday, July 7, 2014, Joseph H. Stewart Campground, OR, Day 2 - 0 miles, 12,283.2 For the Trip

This may actually get posted from the campground. For some reason, today's photos uploaded from here, s-l-o-w-l-y, but they did. A few bird pictures - a Starling & hummingbird here at the campground, and a couple of photos of an Osprey by the fish hatchery. Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I was hoping to take a couple of photos of them processing fish at he hatchery, but the room they usually do it in was empty, although plenty of salmon in the storage troughs.

After the hatchery stop I continued to Sandy Cove to the grocery store & picked up some supplies. Too bad it is not next week - they had 18oz blueberry packages for $4.99, but I'm not sure they will keep until a week from Saturday (I'm making a pie or two for the Oregon Gathering).

It is hot! 104°F in the propane storage area (I keep my outside thermometer there). When it hit 94°F in the trailer I gave up on the fan & fired up the air conditioner. I'd prefer to sit outside, but not when it is this warm.

Dinner will be a grilled chicken breast sandwich.

Until tomorrow.

Joseph H. Stewart Campground, OR

Site A10, Joseph H. Stewart State Park, OR

Sunday, July 6, 2014, Joseph H. Stewart State Park, OR - 65.5 miles, 12,283.2 For the Trip

A short drive to Joseph H. Stewart Campground. While the last time I was here in 2012 I ended up in site B8, this time I'm in site A10. While a number of sites emptied out during the morning, the campground was full over the weekend. This is a state park with large,open sites, water & electric for $22.00 per night, and bathrooms with showers.

I spent most of the day sitting around reading. I asked a ranger if I could wash the trailer, and because they treat the drinking water, the answer is no. We talked for awhile, then he left. He came back a little later & mentioned that the lawn watering has an untreated faucet just behind my trailer, and I could use that. I think he felt sorry for the layer of bugs on the front of the trailer! So, I finally got to wash (and wax) the trailer. The last time was in Arizona at LaPaz County Campground in January. While not quite as shiny as when new, it looks pretty good for a 3 year old trailer!

Dinner was a Bubba burger, fruit cup & chips. This probably won't get posted until I find a better internet site. While I have 3 bars of AT&T on my phone, Verizon is only 1X and while there is data, it is so slow that mail is about all I can do.

I did find an internet connection is Sandy Cove, a town about 15 miles south of the campground. Probably won't post tomorrow since I'm heading in the other direction.

Until tomorrow.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Collier Memorial State Park, OR, Day 4

Meeting a Skunk!

Saturday, July 5, 2014, Collier Memorial State Park, OR, Day 4 - 0 miles, 12,217.7 For the Trip

Happy Birthday Karin!!!

Today is my daughter's birthday. I tried to reach her on Skype, but the connection to Botswana doesn't seem to be good today.

As to the trip, nothing happening today. I did a couple of loops around the campground, but spent most of the day reading. There is a program presented by the Badger Run Wildlife Rehab organization that I'll attend at 7:30, but any photos will have to wait until either later or tomorrow.

I did add the photos - More at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was a salad.

Until tomorrow.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Collier Memorial State Park, OR, Day 3

A Family of Chipmunks
Friday, July 4, 2014, Collier Memorial State Park, OR, Day 3 - 0 miles, 12,217.7 For the Trip

Happy Independence Day!

Another late start - while it warms up quickly here in the park, it starts out cool. 50°F this morning. I didn't do much today. I did take a photo of the campground 4th of July parade, and there is a large family of chipmunks living in a stump behind my trailer. I took a bunch of photos of them.

While I don't do all that much wildlife photography, I have a page on my website of chipmunk photos, mostly taken in my driveway. It is usually the most popular page on my site, at least when I'm not traveling. I've also found many of my chipmunk photos on other websites. If they are kids or other non commercial uses I don't complain, but more than one pest removal company felt it was OK to use them as part of their advertising. Most of them have either removed the image or paid for it when I contacted them. I did have one company insist that they had permission (and paid) to use the photo & I was unable to convince them that I was the owner. Seems they got it from someone that took it from me! I finally contacted the ISP (Internet Service Provider) for their site & asked to have it removed, which, after I convinced them that I owned the copyright, they did.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Anyhow, that is about all I did for the day. I did make a trip to Klamath Falls for some groceries.

Dinner was a steak & corn on the cob.

Until tomorrow.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Collier Memorial State Park, OR, Day 2 & Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park, OR
Thursday, July 3, 2014, Collier Memorial State Park, OR, Day 2 & Crater Lake National Park - 0 miles, 12,217.7 For the Trip

A late morning. It was fairly cool overnight, and around 52°F in the trailer at 7:00AM. So, I stayed under the covers until 8:30. To make up for a late start I decided to make a serious breakfast; bacon & eggs. I looked a little silly using the Clinometer HD app on my iPad to level the grill, but it pays off, particularly when you make scrambled eggs or pancakes.

I drove to Crater lake National Park for a couple of photos. For the first time in many trips to Crater Lake, the East Rim Drive was open. While I didn't drive all the way around the lake, I did get to see sections I haven't visited before. There are a couple of waterfalls, but the photographs are lousy - too much sun. You really need a cloudy or overcast day (or good shadows) to shoot waterfalls. In any case, I took a few. Met a ranger that is a photographer - his website is Great Basin Photography. Check it out. Met another photographer at the falls & walked back to the parking area with him & his wife. I tried to find his website but either got confused with his name or the description, so I can't post a link.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Since I had a good sized breakfast & lunch, dinner was a simple sandwich. Time for a shower & a bit of relaxation (not that I've been working hard!)

Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Collier Memorial State Park, OR

A Tree at Butte Valley Fair RV Park

Wednesday, July 2, 2014, Collier Memorial State Park, OR- 65.9 miles, 12,217.7 For the Trip

After last night's post I took a few more photos of the sunset & an interesting tree on the edge of the campground. There was a thunder & lightning storm well away from the campground (we got a few drops of rain) that would have made great photos if I dragged myself out of the trailer, but by the time I convinced myself that the conditions were dark enough for good pictures, it went away.

A very short drive into Oregon today. I stopped for gas in Klamath Falls (saving $.50 per gallon over California's prices), then headed up US 97 to Collier Memorial State Park. I called Oregon's State Park reservation system last night, and all the sites at Collier and other nearby state parks were booked for the long weekend, so I got an early start, hoping to find an open site at the "A" loop, the first come section. I didn't need to hurry - lots of open spaces, even a few now at 6:45PM.

A pretty site (A10) with full hookups for $26.00 per night. I signed up for 4 nights rather than spend the next couple of days trying to find a site during the holiday weekend. The site is close to the bathrooms (with free showers) and has good shade.

After setting up the trailer I debated (can you do that with yourself?) whether to drive to Crater Lake National Park or wait until tomorrow. After talking with my neighbor (in a 17' Casita) I decided to stay here & visit the Logging Museum. Lots of cabins, machinery, and information about logging in Oregon. The collection of old chain saws is interesting. I still cut with a Homelite SX 135 saw that isn't that much newer than one of the ones on the wall! The chain saw on wheels was interesting. There was also a hand operated drill press. I actually used one a few years ago & found it quite handy if you don't have electrical power available. I enjoyed the visit. Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that it was back to the campground to do some reading.

Dinner was spaghetti & meatballs.

Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Manzanita Lake Campground, Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA

Manzanita Lake, Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA
Monday, June 30, 2014, Manzanita Lake Campground, Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA - 99.1 miles, 12,019.3 For the Trip

A nice drive continuing north on CA89 to Lassen National Park. On the way I stopped to take a photo of Indian Falls. I'm pretty sure I did the same in 2012 since everything looked pretty familiar, but I did it anyway. I also stopped to shoot a couple of barns, one that made it through the winter & one that didn't.

I got to do another "do over". The last time I was in Lassen Volcanic National Park in 2012, most of the trails were closed, along with many of the campgrounds. The park still had quite a bit of snow cover. Not this year (although I am about 2 weeks later). In any case, Bumpass Hell trail was open, so I took the hike to Hell! Lots of vents, bubbling pools, and Sulphur fumes. I took lots of photos - a few here and the rest on a Lassen page.

Back at the campground (I'm in site B54, difficult to get into, but a good fit for the Escape), I walked down to the concessions building. Unlike most of the National Parks, hey do have showers, however they must believe the water that runs through them is part gold. $1.50 for 3 minutes! I'll skip the shower tonight, particularly since last nights only cost $.25 for 5 minutes. I also discovered on the way out of the park the next morning that they have the most expensive coffee of the trip - $2.99 for a 16 oz cup (although they do give free refills).

Dinner was a Bubba Burger, yes I did finally find them here in the west.

After dinner I talked with the campground hosts & they suggested I walk down to Manzanita Lake around sunset for some photos. Very nice location with some ducks & geese posing for photos. Again, a few here & more on the Lassen page.

I won't be able to post until I get an internet signal - no AT&T or Verizon data available here at the campground.

Until the internet becomes available -