Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tumalo State Park, OR, Day 2

Tumalo Falls (From 2011 Trip)
Wednesday, April 30, 2014, Tumalo State Park, OR, Day 2 - 0 miles, 7719.8 For the Trip

No photographs so I thought I'd stick in a couple from my last stop here in 2011. The other one is of the Three Sisters (mountains) taken from the Tumalo Reservoir.

Another beautiful day! Temperatures in the mid 70's and clear skies. I hung around the trailer reading most of the morning, then headed into Bend for a haircut. Found a real barber shop (ie they shave your neck, and even run a vibrator over your shoulders) and got rid of most of what little hair I have left. I got tired of trying to comb the bed hair out since it has been pretty cold in the mornings for a shower and I've been taking them in the evening. I haven't had hair this short since the military!

After the haircut it was a run to Walmart for a couple of books & "stuff", then to Toyota of Bend for my oil change. On the way back to the campground I stopped by Safeway for some vegetables. While I had planned for a hamburger for dinner, they had my favorite frozen Orange Chicken Dinner, (Wanchai) which I haven't seen anywhere else in the West. So, it was orange chicken for dinner.

Until Next Time -

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tumalo State Park, Bend, OR

Mt. Washington, OR
Tuesday, April 98, 2014, Tumalo State Park, OR - 146.5 miles, 7719.8 For the Trip

It is good to have the internet back!

I got an early start today; I guess too early since I arrived at the campground dump station at 8:30, and found they don't open until 10:00.

A pleasant drive along OR 22, OR 126, & US 20 to Bend, and Tumalo State Park. For the next two days I'm in site C60 or C23, depending on whether you choose the post or the number on the road. I used the post to register. Today & tomorrow are the last 2 days of the "Discovery Season" for Oregon State Parks. The price of sites goes up during "Prime Season" by $6.00 starting on May 1st. I'm in a full hookup site for $22.00 per night.

I took a photo of the roadside snow along OR 126 at Santiam Pass (4817'). I was a bit nervous with all the signs stating "Carry chains or snow rated tires" along the road. While there was sand still on sections of the road, no snow, but plenty on the sides & mountains. I stopped to take a photo of Mount Washington, but didn't stop in Sisters, although the three mountains looked great.

I drove into Bend to get an oil change at Bend Toyota, however they only do them by appointment so I have to go back tomorrow at 4:30. Back at the campground I had a quick solar shower. I remember them from when I was here two years ago; non adjustable, and very hot! The water is going off in the campground tomorrow from 12:00 to 7:00 so even though I have full hookups, I'll be without water.

Dinner was very dried out Fred Myers chicken. I think I'll stick to Safeway in the future!

Until Next Time -

Silver Falls State Park, Day 2

North Falls, Silver Falls State Park, OR

Monday, April 28, 2014, Silver Falls State Park, Day 2 - 0 miles, 7573.3 For the Trip

Quite cold last night - down to 34°F, but the ceramic cube heater kept the trailer at 68°. This morning it warmed up quickly, and I decided to hike the rest of the Trail of Ten Waterfalls. There is a section between the Lower South Falls and the Lower North Falls that is closed due to a slide,so I headed for the North Falls parking lot and started down the trail from the opposite end that I hiked yesterday. I went as far as Twin Falls, then returned. After that I drove to the Winter Falls parking lot & hiked to the Winter Trail junction with the Trail of Ten Falls, and continued until I reached the closure. All in all, I saw all the waterfalls. They are not as accessible as those in my favorite park (Ricketts Glen in PA), but they are far larger with more water going over them. A good hike, and lots to photograph. Don't trust me on the names of the falls - I think I got them right, but...

Lots of photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.
By the time I got back to the trailer I was definitely in need of a shower. Lots of sun, and 72°, and I had far too many layers on. After the shower I sat out & read, and snapped a photo of a new hummingbird. I used the D200 since the other camera was in the trailer - kind of soft, but at least I got him.

Dinner was 2 Amy Cheese Enchiladas.

Until I find an internet connection -

Silver Falls State Park, OR

South Falls, Silver Falls State Park, OR

Sunday, April 27, 2014, Silver Falls State Park, 43.8 miles, 7573.3 For the Trip

A late farewell to Champoeg State Park, however it was a short drive to Silver Falls State Park, so a late start didn't matter. I have to say one of the reasons I bought a trailer was I was tired of packing up a wet tent in the morning. Well, guess what? I spent part of the morning packing up a wet "Easy Up". Not quite as much canvas (well not really canvas) as a tent, but is sure was wet! The drive was OK, however most of it was in rain or even hail. The sun came out for awhile once I reached Silver Falls Campground.

I'm in Site B11, a water & electric site for $20.00. Unfortunately, I can't tell you about it or anything else today (or probably tomorrow) because I have no Verizon service. Surprisingly, there is 3 bars of AT&T, but to get tethering with it I'd have to give up my unlimited data, and I'm not ready for that. So, unless I find a signal near by, updates will have to wait. I set up the "Easy Up" not because I expect to use it, but hoping it will dry out. So far, not much chance of that - it is still raining off & on.

After setting up the trailer I drove to the main parking lot and hiked to the South Falls & Lower South Falls. There are paths that go behind each of the falls as well as along Silver Creek. There are 10 waterfalls along the "Trail of Ten Waterfalls" (a good name for it).  Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

While walking along the Trail of Ten Waterfalls, I met a group from the NOG at Champoeg. They invited me to happy hour after we got back to the campground. We talked until about 7:30 (a long happy hour, but we all were happy!) After that it was back to the trailer & a quick dinner of a boneless pork chop & grill roasted corn on the cob.

Until I find an internet connection -

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Champoeg State Park, OR, Day 5 & The NOG

A Wet Pot Luck Dinner at the Northern Oregon Gathering
Saturday, April 26, 2014, Champoeg State Park, OR, Day 5 - 0 miles, 7573.3 For the Trip

Well, it started out sunny, but check out the Pot Luck Dinner!

I realized I didn't have a camera plate for my new Nikon D800. The plate goes between the camera & the tripod - it is a quick attachment device that goes on all the large lenses as well as camera bodies and makes it easy & fast to change. Without it, there is no way to put the D800 on my Markins tripod head. I made some calls, and found that Pro Photo Supply in Portland had plates that fit the Nikon (they are custom shaped for each body model). So, a quick trip to Portland this morning.

After that it was back to the trailer to cut up apples for the pie for the pot luck. I still haven't quite got the knack of baking pastry in the toaster oven - the crust is a little dark, but it tastes OK. While the pie was cooling, I took a walk around the campground loop as well as "B" loop with my camera to catch photos of those staying over there. Many more photos of people, trailers, and the pot luck at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I lent my new "Easy Up" (it isn't all that easy up, at least for one) to the pot luck - 4 of us hauled it down the road to put over the tables. A bunch of people brought theirs so we had everything covered. I had hoped that doing all that would prevent the rain since it was pretty nice out during the afternoon, but as soon as the pot luck started, the rain came. Lots of photos of everyone huddled under umbrellas and easy ups. The food, as usual, was great and plenty for all. After the pot luck there were give aways. A campfire was planned, but the rain dampened any thoughts of one so everyone headed back to their trailers.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, April 25, 2014

Champoeg State Park, OR, Day 4 and the NOG (Northern Oregon Gathering)

Dinner on a Stick
Friday, April 25, 2014, Champoeg State Park, OR, Day 4 - 0 miles, 7573.3 For the Trip

A nice, almost rain free day! I took a couple of walks around the campground with the camera, taking a few more photos. I did see a Compact II, a Trillium, and an Escape 15 added to the blend of trailers. After lunch I headed to the nearest Safeway about 6 miles away for supplies & the makings of an apple pie. Unfortunately, my signature pot luck dish of blueberry pie isn't going to happen until they are in season. This time of year it takes about $30.00 worth of blueberries to make a pie!

We had a "Meal on a Stick" around the campfire. I watched someone cook a hamburger on a pair of forks - quite a trick. I stuck with a pair of cheese brots on a forked stick. After dinner it was a beer swap. Everyone brings a 6 pack of their favorite local brew, and in about 1 minute the swaps are done. If it works out right, you have 6 bottles of beer that are new to you. The last photo is of my collection. Pictures on today's LakeshoreImages page.

We hung around the campfire after the beer swap until it started to rain. Of course, by the time I got back to the trailer it pretty much stopped, but it was time to put together today's page anyway.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Champoeg State Park, OR, Day 3

A Pair of Escape 21's

Thursday, April 43, 2014, Champoeg State Park, OR, Day 3 - 0 miles, 7573.3 For the Trip

Today is the official start of the NOG (Northern Oregon Gathering) although many trailers arrived over the last two days, and a few won't be here until tomorrow or even Saturday.

Some rain overnight and a bit this morning, but, at least for awhile, the sun came out. Right now it is back to gray skies. While the sun was shining, I walked around the loop to take some photos (with the new D800) of some of the trailers. Lots of different trailers; everything from a teardrop to 21' Escapes & Bigfoots. Unfortunately, most people were not home, but I'll add "people" photos as the day goes on. Lots of photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Another burst of sunshine, so I took a few more photos. I believe the entire Escape 21 output is here in the campground! There are 5 21's! There is also an Escape 13, so we have the full range of Escapes. Lots of other trailers including more Bigfoots, a Burro, a Perris Pacer, Casitas, Scamps, including a Scamp 5th wheel, and a couple that I don't recognize.

It is still raining off and on, but for the most part, today had enough sunshine to keep me happy.

Dinner was a chicken breast sandwich, broccoli, and black cherry frozen yogert for dessert.

Until Tomorrow -

Champoeg State Park, OR, Day 2

Me in Rain Gear
Wednesday, April 23, 2014, Champoeg State Park, OR, Day 2 - 0 miles, 7573.3 For the Trip

Another wet day in Oregon! There were already a couple of trailers here by the time I crawled out of bed, with more arriving throughout the day. Got a chance to see my first Escape 21 (other than the mock up at Chilliwack). There are many other brands of trailers already here with more arriving tomorrow.

I decided that it would be a good time to purchase an "Easy Up" shelter since lots of rain is expected. I was hoping to find one that folded up into a small package, but no luck. I bought a standard 12'X12', although with an aluminum frame to save a bit of weight. Of course, when I got back to the campground one of the trailers had a Paha Que shelter that is just what I was looking for. Problem was they didn't stock it at REI or any of the other local places. I'll probably order one when I get back to Oswego.

I made the mistake of stopping by Best Buy and looking at a Nikon D800. I've wanted one since they came out, and since they have been around for awhile, I've been able to read the good & bad about them. Long & short of it, my excuse is I saved a whole bunch of money by buying it here in Oregon (no sales tax). So, I'm the proud owner of a new camera. Of course I have to charge the battery before I can use it since it uses a different battery than the rest of my Nikons. Today's photos are taken with the D700. I suspect the one of me had the focus point on the trees rather than me so I'm a bit fuzzy. Both were taken in almost dark conditions at ISO 2500. I still find it amazing that a useful image can be made at that high an ISO.  One other photo at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was an Amy's Cheese Enchilada Dinner. I sure hope I can find these in Oswego. They are excellent freezer meals.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Champoeg State Park, OR

Site A17, Champoeg State Park, OR

Tuesday, April 21, 2014, Champoeg State Park, OR - 99.4 miles, 7573.3 For the Trip

An uneventful drive up US 101 & OR 18 to Champoeg State Park. No problem with getting into my site for the week even though I was a day early. The park if fairly empty, although there is another fiberglass trailer (a Casita) on the other side from me. I do owe the park $2.00. The sign at the entrance said $20.00 per night, however tacked on the opposite side of the entry station was a notice that the price has gone up to $22.00 & I had already dropped my registration sheet for the night in the iron ranger post. Since I signed up for the site before the price increase was announced, the rest of my stay will be at the $20.00 per night price.

Lots of rain off & on during the trip here as well as all afternoon. I drove from the campground to Fryls Electronics. An interesting store. I got a replacement fan for my refrigerator. One of the inside fans died so rather than replacing the entire unit, I found a same sized fan in their "Build your Computer" section. I wish there was one in upstate NY closer to me than Albany. Then again, it is probably good that there isn't, at least for my wallet! The rain did clear up long enough for me to cook my steak, which I had with broccoli & mashed potatoes.

No photos today other than the campsite picture above.

Until tomorrow -

Monday, April 21, 2014

South Beach State Park, OR, Day 3 and the Oregon Coast Aquarium

Sea Nettle Jellyfish
Monday, April 21, 2014, South Beach State Park, OR, Day 3 - 0 miles, 7473.9 For the Trip

It started out as a nice sunny day, but during the afternoon the rain started, and kept up for the rest of the day. A little after 10:00 I went to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. With both an over 65 & an AAA discount, the price dropped from $20.00 to $16.15, not too bad. The photos are lousy - most of my attempts at shooting aquariums are disappointing. Too many reflections from the glass, and very low light levels. I suspect the only way to get good images is to shoot when there isn't anyone else there so the room lights can be turned off. In addition to room lighting, many of the tanks were also exposed to daylight so you get what your get. And, it the names are wrong, don't blame me - I hope they are good guesses!

On the way back to the trailer after the aquarium, I stopped to photograph the Yaquina Lighthouse. It is built more like Oswego's - a very short tower on a traditional 1 story building. I also watched a NOAA ship heading out through the break wall.  More photos on today's LakeshoreImages page.

Once the rain started, I decided it would be a good day to do laundry. I purchased a steak yesterday for dinner, but I'm going to save it and hope for better weather tomorrow. Looks like soup for dinner! I'm not sure where I'll end up tomorrow. I called Champoeg State Park to see if site A17 (where I'll be staying starting Wednesday) was available for tomorrow night, but only got an answering machine, and no call back. I'll probably head for there anyway since it is only 99 miles away (according to Matilda, the GPS lady). Worst case, I'll have to move on Wednesday (assuming they have some walk in sites).

Until tomorrow -

Sunday, April 20, 2014

South Beach State Park, OR, Day 2

Sunday, April 20, 2014, South Beach State Park, OR, Day 2- 0 miles, 7473.9 For the Trip

I hope you all had a great Easter! I didn't do much today. I did walk down to the hospitality Yurt and picked up a bunch of books. The host said they didn't need exchanges, but I brought a few anyway to lighten the load on the RAV4. I have about 40 books is a bin in the back. I guess I'd better spend more time reading and less playing Candy Crush & FarmVille 2!

I did get in a shower - cold rooms, but lots of hot water. I sat outside for a bit, but there are neighbors that are either deaf or just plain loud. Their normal conversation is at shouting levels, and the language is pretty raw. It was interesting watching them arrive. They spent so long trying to back their pop up into the site that the back up behind them reached 3 RVs. Finally, one of the drivers got out, asked it they wanted help. and parked the trailer for them. I have to admit, the pressure does get on when you are blocking traffic...

I did check with the entrance station, and my site is available tomorrow, so I signed up for another day.  No photos today.

Dinner was a 16 pound Plainville turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy, peas, creamed onions, rutabaga, cranberry sauce and apple pie for dessert. Well, it would have been if I was home in Oswego. I do miss a full sized kitchen & oven on holidays. Actually, dinner was an Amy's Mexican Casserole. I thought about a small ham, but most of the small ones I found were spiral cut & I prefer to cut it myself.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, April 19, 2014

South Beach State Park, OR

South Beach, OR
Saturday, April 19, 2014, South Beach State Park, OR - 54.7 miles, 7473.9 For the Trip

It did rain, however it held off until I got out of the trailer to hook it up to the tow vehicle. Rain off & on for the drive to Newport where South Beach State Park is located. Lots of reserved spaces that no one is in, and lots of empty spaces. Since they are all reservable, the longest you can book for is 2 days, so I'm in D4 until Monday. I'll check to see if the space is still unreserved & extend for another day if possible.

There is a path to the beach a few spaces down from my site, so I took a walk. The ocean looks quite nasty today - lots of waves, wind, and cold. I did see a familiar bush. Not sure if it has the same name here in Oregon, buy on Nantucket it is called Broom. Pretty yellow flowers. Some of the trees on the path to the beach look like those a bit further north at Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park. Lots of moss covering them. Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Other than that, since it rained off & on, I spent most of the time in the trailer reading or playing games on the iPad.

I drove to the Safeway in Newport & bought a few things including a DiGiorno Pizza for dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, April 18, 2014

Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park, OR, Day 2

Heceta Lighthouse, OR
Friday, April 18, 2014, Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park, OR, Day 2 - 0 miles, 7419.2 For the Trip

I'm never going to complain about generators again! Well, that's probably wrong, but the rain stopped and out came the ATVs. Two wheel, four wheel, 2 cycle, 4 cycle, and mostly loud. Sounds like I'm in the middle of a chain saw competition. I know the purpose of section H here at the campground is for ATVs, at least until the end of the month, but I sure wish they had opened a few more sections that had electrical hookups. They do stop by 10:00PM when they close the gate to the sand dunes. I did find a space with hookups in section A this morning, but it would be more trouble getting transferred to it than it was worth. It does look like they are having fun; I'd probably feel better about the noise if I was making some of it. I hope I can find a quiet campground for the rest of the weekend.

I drove to the Heceta Lighthouse without the trailer, even though I'll be driving past it tomorrow. The prediction is for rain, and I wanted to get a photo while the sun was shining. Still pretty hazy as the long shots show, but at least the lighthouse is visable. The last time I was here in 2012 they were refinishing it and it was completely covered. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that it was back to the campground. I picked up some orange chicken & fried rice for dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park, OR

Site 391, Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park, OR
Thursday, April 17, 2014, Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park, OR - 64.9 miles, 7419.2 For the Trip

Another short trip up US 101. I probably should have tried one of the other state parks along US 101 since I don't find Jessie M. Honeyman State Park as wonderful as many seem to think it is. I did find a space although most of the loops are still closed for the season. Full hookup for $22.00 so the price isn't too bad, but the park looks "worn". I'm in the only section that had electric sites that were not reserved, and it is the ATV section. A bit noisy & dirty, but it will do for a couple of days. I don't expect to spend too much time outside the trailer anyway - it started to rain as I was hooking up the trailer this morning, and has been raining off & on since. I looked at the forecast for the next week and it looks like rain most days for the areas I'll be visiting.

Dinner was the rest of yesterday's chicken breast & salad. I 'm amazed - I found my Cape Cod Waffle Cut potato chips at the Florence Safeway. They were on sale, so I bought both Sea Salt, which I had before & liked, & Buffalo Cheddar, which I could do without.

No photos other than the site picture above.

While the heavy rain has stopped, it is still misting, and cooling off. I already have the electric heater going; usually I don't fire it up until after dark. Added note - I lied.  It is 5:55 and it is pouring!

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bullards Beach State Park, OR, Day 5

Brandon Beach, OR
Wednesday, April 16, 2014, Bullards Beach State Park, OR, Day 5 - 0 miles, 7354.3 For the Trip

Another day of doing nothing. I did check on how many miles I've towed the trailer - The Escape 17 has traveled 46,411.9 miles since I purchased it during April 2011. Sure has been a lot of fun!

No photos today. I did get to sit out and read (Tony Hillerman's The Ghostway) until the haze moved in, after which it got too cold. I took a shower during the late afternoon and while the radiant heating panels were on, it was still pretty cool in the bathroom.

I packed up a few things in anticipation of heading out tomorrow. The "C" section of the park is filling up. Still plenty of spaces available, but there are more RVs than any other day I been here, including a Casita next door.

Dinner was a grilled chicken breast & a salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bullards Beach State Park, OR, Day 4

Bandon Beach
Tuesday, April 15, 2014, Bullards Beach State Park, OR, Day 4 - 0 miles, 7354.3 For the Trip

Last nights weather was mixed. When a bit of sun broke through I drove out to the Coquille River Lighthouse (here in the park) to take a couple of photos. It looked like there would be a decent sunset, so I also drove to Bandon Beach for some photos. Unfortunately, the sunset was a bust, although I'm happy with some of the photos. Even tried a few black & whites.

I'm glad I went to the beach when I did since I didn't do much today, and right now there is a gray fog covering the area. No photos today, so last night's will have to do. By the way, I did check outside a number of times during the eclipse, and there was nothing to see. Then, around 2:30AM, the sky cleared & I could see the last of it. There was so little left that I didn't bother going out to photograph it. I guess I'll have to wait until October, or dig out the one I shot a few years ago.

More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was a Tri Tip sandwich I picked up while shopping for milk & other supplies.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bullards Beach State Park, OR, Day 3 & Cape Blanco Lighthouse

Cape Blanco Lighthouse, OR
Monday, April 14, 2014, Bullards Beach State Park, OR, Day 3 & Cape Blanco Lighthouse - 0 miles, 7354.3 For the Trip

A little warmer last night, but unfortunately, because clouds & fog moved in. I'm still hoping I'll be able to photograph the eclipse tonight, however right not it doesn't look good. I did drive to the Bandon Park that overlooks some interesting rocks in the Pacific. Didn't walk down to the beach since it was still high tide, but if the sun comes out I'll go back after dinner.

I did drive south to Cape Blanco State Park to see the lighthouse even though it wasn't the greatest sky for photographs. I thought about stopping on the way north when I was on my way to Bullards Beach State Park, but wanted to arrive as early as possible at the campground since it was a Saturday, and I wanted to be sure I could get a site. Of course, there was no problem with finding a site, but it is just as well that I didn't stop - the road to the lighthouse is very rough, and, at least at the lighthouse end, one lane and no trailer parking. I stopped on the way to the lighthouse to tour the Huges House, a well preserved early ranch house built in 1898.

A great bunch of volunteers at the lighthouse. We talked about the lighthouses along the coast, and I showed them photos of Oswego's lighthouse covered with waves. Took the tour to the top & checked out the Fresnel lens. It is one of the few still working lighthouses on the coast (and, for that matter, anywhere - the Coast Guard has closed most of them throughout the country since the advent of the GPS for navigation). There is still something reassuring about Lighthouses even if they are not as necessary as in the past.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I had a late lunch of fish tacos at the crab shack in downtown Bandon - OK, but I've had better. Dinner will probably be a snack of some sort.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bullards Beach State Park, OR, Day 2

Sunday, April 32, 2014, Bullards Beach State Park, OR, Day 2 - 0 miles, 7354.3 For the Trip

Not too much going on today. After reading the Sunday paper, doing Jumble, and a late brunch, I pretty much just sat around. I did walk through the campground loops, and took a shower (in what I believe was the first heated bathroom of the trip). My only complaint is the high pressure, low volume shower head; it certainly was hot enough.

No photos today. Dinner is going to be another Amy's Enchilada Dinner, this time their Spinach & Cheese variety.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bullards Beach State Park, OR

More Sea Stacks
Saturday, April 12, 2014, Bullards Beach State Park, OR - 84.9 miles, 7354.3 For the Trip

A couple more Sea Stack and rocks & waves photos along US 101 on the way to Bullards Beach. I definitely need to clean the sensor on the D700. To get long exposures in bright sunlight, I need to stop down to f:16 or even F:22, and the small f: stops highlight the sensor dust. I spent more time cleaning up dust spots than I did taking the photos. All the fine dust from the desert is taking its toll. The problem is finding a clean enough environment so the cleaning doesn't make it worse. Another photo & site picture at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Lots of room at the campground - the "C" section, which is all "Walk In" - Oregon's name for first come sites, is pretty near empty. Maybe as many as 10 RVs in the 67 available sites. Full hookups for $20.00 a night, at least until May when the regular rates go into effect. I signed up for 5 nights.

Since there was some nice, whispy clouds, I was hoping for some nice sunset photos at the beach & lighthouse, however while the sun did set, thicker clouds and fog rolled in and there was nothing to see. I did drive into Brandon to check out the grocery store and used bookstore. I forgot my phone, so I'll have to go back to the bookstore (my database of read books is on the phone).

Dinner was a buffalo burger & the rest of the asparagus (and a vanilla ice cream cone for dessert).

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, April 11, 2014

Sea Bird RV Park, Brookings, OR

Sea Stacks Along US 101
Friday, April 11, 2014, Sea Bird RV Park, Brookings, OR, - 84.2 miles , 7269.4 For the Trip

Happy Birthday Zoe!!! (My granddaughter in Botswana)

I'm finally out of California. While I love the state and enjoyed the last month there, it sure is expensive (well, except for the Imperial Dam BLM campground). I'm in a full hookup park that is as nice or nicer than yesterday's $35.00 site, and it is only $28.00. I filled up the RAV4 and it was $3.73 per gallon instead of $4.15 (I should say the station attendant filled the RAV4 - Oregon & New Jersey are the only states that don't let you fill your own tank).

I also just realized that as of yesterday, I've been on the road for 6 months! Hard to believe...

I stopped on the way up US 101 at a set of rocks that begged for some long exposure images. I know I over do them, but I like them & since I shoot for myself these days, I get to do what I like! Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I stopped for the night (actually barely afternoon) just across the CA / OR border in Brookings, OR at the Sea Bird RV Park. I'm in site 1; full hookups including cable. After dropping the trailer I headed into town for a car wash. Wish the trailer would fit - The RAV4 looks great, but the front of the trailer is pretty bug filled. Also stopped by Fred Meyer for some stove propane, a few books (one free for every two you purchase), and some bread. The first Fred Meyer I've been in - quite the store. While there I picked up a Paul Newman thin crust pizza for lunch/dinner. Had to cook it right away since it doesn't fit in the freezer section of the refrigerator. Dinner will just be a snack.

I called Bullards Beach State Park and they said they expect they will have sites for tomorrow (it is too close to make an on line reservation) so I'll probably shoot for stopping there for a couple of days.

Until then -

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sounds of the Sea RV Park, Trinidad, CA

Memorial Lighthouse, Trinidad, CA
Thursday, April 10, 2014, Sounds of the Sea RV Park, Trinidad, CA, - 73.9 miles , 7185.2 For the Trip

Another fairly short drive today. I suspect that most of them will be short over the next two weeks since I don't have all that far to go to get to Champoeg Campground near Portland, OR on the 23rd. In fact, I suspect that unless I find a good reason to stop, I'll be in Oregon tomorrow. I thought about staying a couple of days in one of the near by California State campgrounds, but I'm tired of paying $33.00 for dry sites. Here at Sounds of the Sea, I have full hookups, including cable if I wanted it, clean, warm bathrooms with free showers, and a laundry for $35.00. Still more than my average, but quite a lot of extras for two bucks.

I drove into Trinidad to take a couple of photos of the harbor & the replica memorial lighthouse overlooking it. Very foggy, so the images are soft. I stopped at Murphy's Market in Trinidad & picked up a small tub of bacon/broccoli/cauliflower/other vegetables salad for lunch. Excellent! Lots of natural & organic foods as well. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that it was back to the campground to do laundry. I took it with me when I drove to Trinidad since my GPS told me there was a laundromat in town. There may be, but not at the address the GPS gave me. I don't know why, but the GPS has a terrible time finding laundromats. I find it hard to believe they move all that often, but for what ever reason, they are never where Matilda tells me to go! Other than having to run through two dryer cycles, the campground laundry did fine.

I drove to a nearby county park & campground (the campground was pretty bad) to walk along the ocean. I had to dip my toe (Alright, it was actually my finger - too cold for toes) so I could say I touched both the Atlantic & Pacific Oceans on the trip. Since the name of the beach a bit south of the state park is called Agate Beach, I walked down quite a ways and picked up a few. I assume they are Agates since I don't actually know exactly what one is, but in any case, very pretty rocks.

After that it was time for a shower, and dinner, which was a pork chop & asparagus.

Until tomorrow -

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Burlington Campground, Humboldt Redwoods State Park, CA

Williams Grove, Humboldt Redwood State Park, CA
Wednesday, April 9, 2014, Burlington Campground, Humboldt Redwoods State Park, CA, - 38.8 miles , 7111.3 For the Trip

A short drive. I planned to stop for the night in the Humboldt Redwood State Park at the Albee Creek Campground, but found that it doesn't open until early May. So, I'm in the Burlington Campground. Still impressive, however a bit more traffic with the Avenue of the Giants road on one side and US 101 on the other. The Redwoods are impressive. While I took a bunch of photos, they really don't show the size of them.
More photos on today's LakeshoreImages page.

By the way, a surprisingly fast Verizon 4G LTE signal here in the campground. While it feels like you are in the middle of nowhere, the internet is close by.

Dinner will be a chicken thigh & peaches.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Redwoods River Resort, Leggett, CA

A Redwood Tree
Tuesday, April 8, 2014, Redwoods River Resort, Leggett, CA, - 131.8 miles , 7072.5 For the Trip

Well, I have to think that the "Reserved" signs at yesterday's campground were there just to keep people from using that side of the place. No one showed up; just two of us (other than the host) in the campground.

I headed north on CA 20, then US 101 and stopped for the night a little north of Leggett at the Redwoods River Resort. At least 1/3 of the name fits - lots of redwoods scattered throughout the campground. As to river, the Eel River is along side the campground, but at the end of a 360 yard, very steep dirt path. An as to resort, not quite. Still, for California, not too expensive at $31.50 for full hookups. I did have to fix the shower, but it and the restroom were pretty clean. It looks like the camping season hasn't really quite started, although there are about 6-7 families in the campground.

I took a couple of photos of the river and surrounding area, including one of the path to it. Note the tree across the path, however they do have benches for taking a break on the way back up the hill. Excuse the distortion in the campsite photo - I wanted to get the redwoods in the picture without too much of the bathrooms that are next to my site. Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was a frozen (well, not after I took it out of the toaster oven) Amy's Cheese Enchilada Meal. The first time I've had that brand - pretty good.

Until tomorrow -

Cache Creek Canyon Regional Park, CA

Cache Creek, CA
Monday, April 7, 2014, Cache Creek Canyon Regional Park, CA, - 118.2 miles , 6940.7 For the Trip

Another location without cell service. The hotspot, while in the Sleek amplifier shows a 3G signal, there is no internet connection. So, this post will happen sometime tomorrow.

Cache Creek is a very nice County park. $25.00 for dry camping (although they do have flush toilets and expect to have showers by summer). Where there are a number of reserved sites, as of 6:14 tonight, other than the host there are only two of us in the campground. The other is a tent camper that is lucky enough to have a pair of trees close enough together that she can hang a hammock. Looks comfortable!

Nice and warm today - in the mid 80's although I expect it will cool down tonight.

Cache Creek is popular for kayaking, however the water level is too low right now, and the campground host mentioned that they probably won't be releasing any water from the dam above since the lake level is so low. That will probably limit some stays in the campground since it is a popular location for rafting & kayaking.

I walked down to the creek and took a couple of photos; definately too low for any kind of floating. Other than that, the only other photo is of my site (15).  Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was one of the frozen crock pot bean meals I made a couple of weeks ago.

Until tomorrow -

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dos Reis Regional Park, Lathrop, CA

Site 21, Dos Reis Regional Park, Lathrop, CA

Sunday, April 6, 2014, Dos Reis Regional Park, Lathrop, CA, - 124.5 miles , 6822.5 For the Trip

After reading the Sunday paper, it was time to head north again. I continued up CA99, which is pretty much a Freeway with lots of traffic, 4 lanes each way in the cities, etc. I'm set up for the night in site 21, at Dos Reis Regional Park. Small, about 36 sites, paved roads & sites, full hookups, and all for $25.00. While the park is pretty (both pull throughs & back in sites, although most of the back in sites are fairly small), the showers are interesting - all in one room sink, toilet & shower. The shower is huge, but the shower head is centered directly overhead aimed straight down from 8' above. While the shower was clean, I can't say the same for the rest of the bathroom. The park was crowded, with many picnickers using all the bathrooms, so maybe they had difficulty keeping up.

A disaster - my Kelysus folding chair with built in sunshade bit the dust. The fabric on the back section ripped away from the upright support in a way that can't be repaired. I looked up the chair on the internet, they said they are sold at Target, and there is one 2 miles from the campground. So, I unhooked the trailer (I was going to stay attached for the night) and drove to Target. Of course they had all kinds of folding chairs, but not the Kelysus. I have another one at home in NY, but that won't do me much good for the rest of the trip. I'll have to settle for one of my "Company" chairs (without sunshades).

As long as I'm whining, I have to bring up one of my complaints about fellow campers. Why do so many of them insist on burning their garbage in the fire pits? Here there is a dumpster less than 100' away but the smell of burning garbage wafts across the campground. It isn't only here; seems to be pretty standard practice. I don't mind the smell of burning wood (I have heated my house with it since 1975), but burning garbage stinks! OK, I'm done.

No photos today other than the site.

Dinner was a pork chop, peaches, and the last of my Cape Cod Waffle Cut Potato Chips. Going to miss them since I haven't seen them in any stores since Arizona.

Until tomorrow -

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Millerton Lake State Recreation Area, CA

The Concrete Canoe Races
Saturday, April 5, 2014, Millerton Lake State Recreation Area, CA - 145.9 miles , 6698.0 For the Trip

While traveling around the US & Canada, I try to find interesting things to photograph, as well as interesting things in general. Today, with the help of the campground host I found the Concrete Canoe Race. I didn't make it in time for the men's divisions, but caught the women's.

Students from California, Nevada, and Tongji University, whose web page lists its home as China - don't know if they actually came from there. In any case, lots of tables set up describing the process used to make the concrete, lots of different canoes, and all kinds of fun & games to go along with the races. While everyone was having fun playing concrete bowling, volleyball (standard, not concrete ball), and Frisbee, the competition was serious.

On the way to the concrete Boat Races (on the other side of the lake) I stopped at the Buzzard's Roost Trail & sure enough, a couple of Turkey Vultures were circling. The lake is very low - I took a photo of a group of boat ramps that are 100's of yards from the water.

I also took some photos of one of my favorite subjects - trees. This part of California is filled with rolling hills that remind me of upstate NY, once you get south of the Great Lakes Plains.   More photos at toady's LakeshoreImages page.

The campground is typical of the California park system - expensive. $40.00, although I got a $2.00 senior discount, for a full hookup site. Since a dry site is $30.00, I went for a full hookup site. I'm in site 130, basically a back in to the utilities at the edge of the parking lot. There are many nicer dry sites, however they are mostly marked "Closed for the Season".

The campground is about 3 1/2 hours from the Yosemite Valley floor, and I thought about staying another day and making the run, however the campground host mentioned that much of the park is still closed, and the last people that went from the campground were required to put chains on their 4 wheel drive vehicle. So, I'll pass that one up.

Dinner will be the rest of the fried chicken, snap peas and asparagus.

Until tomorrow -

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bakersfield RV Travel Park, Bakersfield, CA

Red Rock State Park, CA

Friday, April 4, 2014, Bakersfield RV Travel Park, Bakersfield, CA, - 71.3 miles , 6552.1 For the Trip

Not as cold as last night. I wasn't in a hurry to leave since I was only planning to make a short hop to Bakersfield, CA. I'm in site 43 at the Bakersfield RV Travel Park. $30.15 for full hookups, and, the reason I stopped, showers! It is an interestingly arraigned park. There are two pull through sites to each group. Once someone is in the front site (like me) the person taking the rear site has to back out (unless the first person leaves first). Since it looks like most of the RVs resident, it probably doesn't cause problems. On the other hand, if you are bothered by traffic noise, there is a busy highway (CA58) near by & a fair amount of near by train traffic. I hope things quiet down by 11:00 tonight...

I made a quick run to the local Walmart for some supplies, and couldn't pass up the fried chicken - a whole cut up chicken for $5.89. So, dinner was the chicken & most of the rest of the asparagus, with lots left over for tomorrow. No photos today other than the usual campsite one.

Until tomorrow -

Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA, Day 2

Joshua Tree Bloom
Thursday, April 3, 2014, Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA, Day 2 - 0 miles , 6480.8 For the Trip

Another day without internet. No forums, email, page posting, etc. I guess this is what it was before all my electronics (although I still have my computer and the solar panels - the portable survived getting blown over at Quail Creek)!

I waited until dark to try for some star photos. There was a bit of a moon, and I had some problems with headlights in the distance on CA14. It was pretty cold last night - down to 37°F, but the furnace did its thing. I really appreciate the low current draw (1.8 amps) of the Atwood 8012 furnace. While it ran quite a bit last night, with listening to XM Radio, one or two LED lights, and the refrigerator fan I was only down 14 amp hours by morning. Making coffee dropped that to -18, but with both recharging the laptop & doing quite a bit of work on images, by 4:00 I'm back to full.

I took a walk on the Desert View Trail & took some photos of rocks, Joshua Trees in bloom, and a flower.  Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was just a sandwich & peaches - too lazy to cook!

Until tomorrow -

Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA

Site 39, Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA
Wednesday, April 2, 2014, Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA - 96.4 miles , 6480.8 For the Trip

Today (and tomorrow) are one of those rare occasions where I don't have access to the internet. A bit strange, because the hotspot shows a 3 bar 3G signal, but still no internet, so these posts will be a bit late.

I'm in site 39 of the Red Rock Canyon State Park in California. If you can camp without hookups, this is a beautiful place. Take a look at the campsite photo; one of the best backgrounds in months! I took some photos at the entrance to the campground road, then took a hike on the Hagen Trail. The rocks are wonderful.

After that I drove Opal Canyon Road. Didn't see any opals, but lots of sand. I turned around once the sand got soft & deep enough that I'd have to air down the tires to continue. While I could have used my 12V pump to refill the tires, it is so slow that I decided not to.  Lots of photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was a chicken thigh sandwich, and asparagus.

Until tomorrow -

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Calico Ghost Town, CA

The Hyena Hotel, Calico Ghost Town, CA
Tuesday, April 1, 2014, Calico Ghost Town, CA - 142.1 miles , 6384.4 For the Trip

I did have my Bison burger for dinner last night, however I broke one of my rules (since they are mine, no problem) and cooked it inside. Too windy for the grill outside, and besides, there was no picnic table to put it on. I haven't had a fried burger in years, but it was OK, and with both the trailer fan & the stove hood running, it doesn't smell too bad inside.

I stopped on I15 to take a photo of the other type of solar - a plant that uses hundreds, or even thousands of mirrors to reflect sunlight onto a receiver on a tower. They use water or some other liquid to produce steam and power conventional turbines to make electricity.

Most of the drive was into a pretty stiff headwind - combined with the hills, I was getting around 10 MPG rather than the usual 15. I stopped for the day at the Calico Ghost Town, a San Bernardino County Regional Park. At $35.00 for full hookups, not the least expensive of the trip, but I wanted to do the tourist thing & wander through the buildings (make that shops). Similar to the Goldfield Ghost Town near the Superstition Mountains in Arizona, right down to the narrow gauge train. I particularly liked the Hyena House Hotel; boards covering natural holes in the sides of the rocks in the town. The rest of the photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I managed to step on a wad of gum that will take quite a bit of work to get out of the treads of my New Balance running shoes...

Still pretty windy, but so far the rain that is hitting much of California is holding off. Blue skies, although there are lots of clouds in the distance. I haven't decided yet whether I'm going to have a Country Fried Steak at the ghost town restaurant, or grill a piece of chicken for dinner. The wind will probably make the decision for me.

Well, it is later, and the wind never died down, so it was a chicken fried steak dinner. Actually, one of the better ones I've had. Other than undercooked french fries (and I have to admit I like mine cooked more than most) it was far more than I expected at a tourist trap restaurant.

Until tomorrow -