We left you when we headed north to Oakland, CA. Then we got lost in a time warp that lasted until the 24th of Sept! Whoa! That’s some time warp.
Oakland: We worked, played and visited friends, Susan and Robin our chosen family. WE saw Bonnie Raitt and James Taylor!!!! Went to a play, great food was consumed and basked in the love and joy of being with together and having adult conversations (me). We stayed at Anthony Chabot Regional Park – amazing park with few hook-ups and a two week limit. It sits on kind of a ridge above Lake Chabot and the Bay (they have turkeys). Really pretty spot the tree pics are of a tree on the narrow road up from Oakland, I fell in love with this tree. And if I need dental work in the future, I know where to go in Berkeley! We also had an amazing day out at the beach and dinner at Sir and Star out in Olema. Tough to enjoy the food though… we talked Workspace Business the whole time.
Humboldt County: Visited favorite old places in Eureka and Arcata. Boy, time has done Eureka no favors – at least until you get to old town. We ate at Humboldt Bay Provisions and were welcomed by the amazing Charity Frietas who also manages both the Provisions and the Humboldt Bay Social Club Lobby Bar over on Samoa, a place that welcomes all LGBTQ and friends for good fun and family inclusion. Samoa on the other hand is thriving, as you can see. Arcata seemed little changed but for being more hip and less hippy. If you need to receive an important document, have it printed, notarized, scanned back to the sender you can do no wrong by showing up at PostHaste at 600 F Street in Arcata. These folks do it all and the shop has a very cool vibe (read hippy, from this hippy-chick’s point of view).
We stayed at Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park (see photo out front window of the RV – we snuggled up to a redwood tree that was almost as wide as the RV!) Do not plan to go here if your rig is over 28’ – the park roads are thin and wiggly and the spaces small. They have terrific trails on the other side of the creek. You walk up through old forest – not first growth, there’s not much of that around anymore.
North-ing toward Portland. We chose to continue up 101. A word here: LANDSLIDES! These guys took a chunky hunk of a lane of roadway off down steep cliffs. There were a bunch of super nerve-less folks repairing said voids in the hiway, to our gratitude and admiration. There are not just a few, there are gobs of these things all up into Oregon as well. If you drive it… be prepared for some waits and watch for bicycles, for crying out loud.
Leaving California on good OLD 101, we passed all those corny places our parents took us to and we may have taken our kids. You know… Paul Bunyan’s statue at the Trees of Mystery, Mystery Hill, etc.
Oregon: We camped with the super-friendly folks at Harris Beach State Park, just over the border in Oregon. Walking the boulder strewn beach, watching dogs dive into the surf for sticks, birding Bird Rock, just off shore, were treats of the days we spent there. Also, sunshine. It was warm & salt breezy in the days and cool at night. Great sites with plenty of vegetal fence between them. Some were on the bluffs overlooking the sea. We were a tad jealous, but so happy to be beaching that we quickly recovered.
We met some amazing folks who volunteer with the Dept. of Fish & Wildlife at Harris Beach. Keith and Brenda told us all about their jobs and helped us spot some great birds. They were kind enough to put us in contact with folks who would train and set us up as volunteers – the best job on the planet: talking to people about birds and showing off the scenery.
Then on the way up the coast to our next stop, we took a side road to Shore Acres SP (as recommended by Brenda and Keith) to meet other Fish and Wildlife Volunteers who shared the rocky ‘bay’ that is home to four species of seal and sea lion; Elephant Seals, Harbor Seals, Stellar Sea Lions and the California Sea Lion. This is the only place folks can see all of these wonderful animals. Easily spotted Elephant Seals were gigantic – 5000 lb-ish lolling on the beach and floating belly up in the water. The Stellar Sea Lions are gorgeous red-gold colors and weighing in at around 2000 lb. are only smaller than Walrus and Elephant Seals, unfortunately these beautiful creatures are declining rapidly. All four species were swimming, laying around on the rocks, playing with each other, hanging out on the beach and generally providing entertainment for those of us up on the cliffs who had binoculars. Great Spot! On the way there… on the same detour… was a gorgeous Botanical Garden! We took a quick tour to see the mums and the Japanese Garden.
Next stop was a wild ride past more landslides up to Jessie M. Honeyman SP, before Florence and after Dunes City. Yes, dunes. Miles and miles of sand dunes that are used by ATV folk on their wild rides. Honeyman SP isn’t right on the sea – it’s behind a wide swath of dunes. We took Rudy, the cat, for a walk up into the dunes and he was not impressed at all with the biggest cat potty in his universe. He just wanted to go back to his camp spot where there was an 8 year old boy who reminded him of Max, our neighbor in Daphne. This park is deep in forest and the sites are lovely. There was a large contingent of folks who were trailering from antique to modern Ford Bronco’s. Tricked out and tidied up they were so much fun to see.
From Florence we headed inland and up to Portland. We parked at our son Morgan’ s place and settled in for a great visit with Sarah, his wife, and Sylus Jack and Ryder True – our grandsons.
We took Sylus camping at nearby Champoeg SP (pronounced shampoo-ey). There was once a town there but it was swiped off the face of the planet by an epic flood in 1861. In it’s day Champoeg rivaled Portland as a transportation and business hub on the Willamet River. This park had miles of bike trails and great playgrounds so we had a blast there. Sylus can sure ride his bike! He’s only six and managed an almost 5 mile ride over hill and dale to a nearby town where we visited the store cum museum.
Fires. Portland was awash in ash and smoke for days. Fires at Eagle Creek and up the Columbia River Gorge. The Gorge fire was started by a bunch of teenagers who thought it was hilarious (for one of them) to toss fireworks off a cliff into the dry brush and forest below. A horrible, horrible choice for which I hope these young people bear a consequence as severe as the fire they set – they need to spend years cleaning up the damage and replanting. I’m stepping off my soap box now.
Most of our time was spent in everyday tasks and enjoying the family and their friends. We all got invited by Sarah’s friend Sarah Van de Pas to her folks place to watch the eclipse. We were there three days with a whole group of great folks. On The Day, we walked a couple blocks to a community park, plopped down our chairs and watched the eclipse with the community – no more than 30 people or so. The predicted traffic never materialized, there were no crazy people on the road – in fact, there weren’t many folks on the roads at all. It was calm, cool (when it went dark it did get cold) and collective.
There was the Great Cod Taco Event, The Ash-Fall-Looks-like-Snow Week or so, The Choking Smoke Time, Baseball with Sylus, Park Times.
And then Diana, my sister came & we had lots of fun. We took Sylus to Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. This is the home of Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose. We went up on the flight deck and sat in the cockpit. I didn’t hear the guide say “No Touching” I touched, Diana fake touched and Sylus was a perfect gent!
When our down-the- street neighbor Myra texted us that folks were missing us, my friend Max texted using his mom’s phone “When are you coming back?” and my friend Nan from over Boise way needed dates for our visit to her, we realized it was time to hit the road again. It was so hard to leave our loving family and their sweet dog Izzy.
And, the day before we left, our granddaughter was born! Verona Trew Calhoun joined us air breathers at 7 # 3 oz and 21.5” tall. She is so pretty! Mama Erin and Daddy Gabe are completely over the moon with their creation. So… that added another incentive to invoke our parting from Sylus, Ryder, Sarah & Morgan and Sarah’s mom Lynda.
We did it though. Yesterday we made our way south east around Mt. Hood and down Hwy 26 to Cove Palisades SP. After being in the city for a good while, this trip was like driving through a painting all done in greens and golds.
Here in the park it is so silent Barb says her ears ache. We’re camped on a high desert butte. The other campground in the park is about 5 miles down a steep road, across a narrow bridge with a tight-turn approach, and onto an island in Lake Billy Chinook. The steep part is a carving into the Palisade – a 10-12 million year old gorge “The Deschutes Formation”. Exposed layers of rimrock basalt over tall square looking formations that stand like columns or dance curving in linear washes up from the water. Hundreds of feet high, the cliffs are topped by flat butte with pines and juniper trees, sage brush and desert flowers. There is an island “embraced by the arms of the Crooked River and Deschutes River of Lake Billy Chinook” [wiki said it best]. We went over to see a petryglyph and to hike awhile. They’re closing the upper campground to fix broken water mains and I imagine that winter will close the lower campground at some point here. Over the rim – from the top – we took this shot of perhaps, Mt. Jefferson? Do you see the Indian’s head? Loved the petroglyph we hiked to see as well. Just an amazing place!