Monday, October 11, 2010

Idaho, Utah and New Mexico

We are now in Artesia spending the week with Casey, Angie and the boys. It seems like Rylee and Parker have grown a couple of inches since we saw them last. Three months is a long time to go without a Grandma and PaPa fix!

The following will bring ya'll up to date on our trip. We really enjoyed the last three months and are very grateful for the good weather (only a couple days of rain) and safe travels.

Chama, NM was our last stop before arriving at Artesia. The weather was great and the aspens were very impressive this year.

The maple and oak trees in northern Utah were really bright red.

We spent one night here at Bear Lake, ID after leaving Glenns Ferry. The lake is located on the border of Idaho and Utah.

Another view of the lake from a look off on the Utah side.

While at the state park we took a day trip north to Hailey, Sun Valley and Ketchum. The area is really beautiful, especially the Sun Valley ski area.
In Hailey we had great burgers and milk shakes at a neat diner called Shorty's, which was originally owned by Bruce Willis.

East of Glenns Ferry is an area near the Snake River called Thousand Falls. There are several spas and mineral baths there.

After we left Oregon we spent a couple of weeks at our favorite state park near Glenns Ferry, Idaho, Three Island Crossing. The weather was warmer than when we camped here in June, but we still enjoyed it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

More Oregon...

We spent two weeks in the Bay Area, which is made up of Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston. It is a beautiful area plus it is not as isolated as Port O. Lots of restaurants and places to shop (there's even a WalMart! Civilization! Yeah!!). Coos Bay and North Bend are so close the city limit signs are back to back. Coos Bay has quite a few historic buildings filled with antique stores, coffee shops, tea rooms and cafes. It reminds you of the downtown areas of the 1950s before shopping malls became the norm.

Here is Donnie on the boardwalk near downtown Coos Bay.

After Coos Bay we stayed a couple of nights at Cottage Grove, Oregon in a little private RV park. The town is really quaint with old buildings and a covered bridge walkway right in the center of town. While there we drove a 20 mile loop southeast of town to check out five more bridges.

This is the Dorena bridge built in 1949, one of only two you could actually drive through.

Currin bridge built in 1925. This one is my favorite, I guess because of the color.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Coos Bay, Oregon

We are now in Coos Bay, OR spending a couple of weeks at a small RV park. Coos Bay is an interesting town near the ocean, on a body of water that I would call a river but the folks up here call a slough. Below are just a few photos, with more to follow soon...

I couldn't resist posting this shot of the sun setting over the water.

We took a drive south of town and ended up near this overlook.

While watching for whales, we heard a lot of noise which turned out to be hundreds of seals and sea lions perched on the rocks below us.

Port Orford

While still camping near Port Orford, we received an e-mail from our friends, Mike and Marty Mills from Cloudcroft. They were in northern California and headed north to join us for a few days. We had a great visit and also toured the Port O. Lifeboat Station Museum and Cape Blanco Lighthouse.

The original Coastguard Crew Quarters is now the Lifeboat Station Museum. The station operated from 1934 to 1970, with the Coast Guard “surfmen” launching lifeboats on rescue missions from their boathouse 280 feet below the cliff.

One of the original 36 foot motor lifeboats.

Ocean view from the original site of the 37-foot-high lookout tower. The tower afforded a view of a 40 mile stretch of coastline.

Donnie, Mike and Marty

Mike, Marty and me after the tour of the Cape Blanco Lighthouse. It was too foggy to see much, which might have been a good thing (ya’ll know how I am about heights!). The lighthouse, perched on a cliff 245 feet above the ocean, is the oldest standing lighthouse on the Oregon coast.

Jet Boat Ride on the Rogue River

The following photos are of the jet boat trip we took a couple of weeks ago. We left the Gold Beach dock early one morning for a seven hour ride up the Rogue River. We took the longest tour, 104 miles round trip, but the company offers two other choices 80 mile and 64 mile.

I couldn’t resist posting this one. No, Shelby didn’t go with us. I had taken this photo of the “children” a few days earlier.

The first few hours of the trip were really cold and cloudy, but as we got farther away from the coast the sun came out. Yeah!

Another view of the Rogue. Smooth water, huh? All the better for 360 degree spins, and we did quite a few of those! Turns out our jet boat captain, Hugh, races boats during his time off in the winter.

Here’s a photo of our boat, The Osprey, and Hugh during our lunch break. He was very good at spotting all the birds and wildlife. We saw eagles (bald and golden), osprey, several different herons and cranes, otters, a mink and three black bears.

One of several bald eagles that nest on the Rogue.

The only mink that we saw was playing along the river’s edge.

The rapids were beautiful but talk about a wet and bumpy ride!

Can you tell by the goofy grins on our faces that we were having a blast?? We would definitely recommend this tour and plan to repeat the experience on our next trip to the Oregon coast.

Another of Jerry’s Rogue jet boats.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

State Parks near Port Orford, OR

Hello All! Thought I had better update our website as it has been almost a month since my last post. We have been on the Oregon Coast near Port Orford since July 5th. We spent our first two weeks (7/5-7/19) at Cape Blanco State Park. The weather there was cool, windy and very foggy. The next two weeks (7/19-8/2) we camped at Humbug Mountain State Park. It is amazing how much warmer it was compared to the Cape. During our stay at Humbug we had blue skies and temperatures in the low 70s. We plan to spend another two weeks here in the Port Orford area then may head up to Washington.

The docks at Port Orford. We have been watching a whale here for the last several evenings.

We have taken several day trips to towns up and down the coast. This photo was taken near Bandon, 25 miles north of Port O.

The waves near Gold Beach, 22 miles to the south.

The wreck of the Mary D. Hume which was built in Gold Beach in 1881. Originally used as a freighter, she was sold in 1889 to begin her 10 year career as a whaler in the Bering Sea. She then served as a tug boat until her retirement in 1978. The ship was in the process of being renovated when she was damaged beyond repair by a storm in the 1980s.

I had to get a picture of Shelby next to this sign. The city of Gold Beach has a sense of humor! What a hoot!!

The Oregon Coast Camping Experience...

The following are a couple of examples of the varied camping rigs we have seen while on the coast.

Handcrafted and decorated, this “Gypsy Wagon” caught Donnie’s eye.

A 1937 Pierce Arrow camping trailer.

A custom made motorcycle camping trailer.

One of our more unusual fellow campers! If it is cold enough to wear a sweater it may be too cold to wear a skirt (or should we call it a kilt??). Either way, camping in Oregon is always interesting!!

There’s no photo to accompany this story, but I have to share it with ya’ll... Donnie was out one morning walking Shelby near the biker/hiker camp sites at Humbug Mt. State Park. He saw a bicycle camper crawling out of his tent with a life size inflatable doll. Seems he was letting the air out of his female companion! Stranger than fiction!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Back on the road again! We are now at Cape Blanco State Park on the southern coast of Oregon. I’ll post more photos soon. The following pics are of the first few weeks of our trip...

Church rock south of Moab, Utah.

The entrance to Arches National Park (north of Moab). We would like to see this park some day, but decided not to try the road up to the entrance. Maybe next time we’ll camp in Moab and drive up to the park (without the fifth wheel) to check out the campsites.

After three nights (Chama, NM, Price, UT and Jerome, ID) on the road, we arrived at one of our favorite places to “camp”, Three Island Crossing State Park near Glenns Ferry, ID. We reserved a space for nine nights and would have stayed longer but the park was already booked up for the July 4 weekend.
While staying here, it was nice to get to know Bob and Catherine Wyman from Sandy, UT. They were great neighbors and we really enjoyed visiting with them. Bob, can’t wait to try the clam chowder at Pier 101! Thanks for the tip!
We also met Gene and Diana Minner from Idaho Falls. Too bad we only got to talk with them one evening, but hope to see them and the Wymans again.

The three islands in the Snake River that the pioneers crossed while on the Oregon Trail. Donnie took this photo from an overlook south of town. Looking down on the islands really made us realize the hardships of traveling the Oregon Trail. Those pioneers were tough cookies!!

A section of the Oregon Trail that is still visible near the overlook.

Two of the three Sister Mountains west of Redmond, OR. All three of the peaks exceed 10,000 ft.

Donnie and Shelby checking out the Umqua River (in Oregon). Where they are standing is one of the spots used to launch river rafts. Almost looks like Donnie is reeling in his “catch”!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hill Country Wildflowers

After spending the last two weeks at the Mason TX City RV Park, we are leaving tomorrow. We plan to head to Abilene State Park near Buffalo Gap. This has turned out to be one of the better years for bluebonnets and other wildflowers here in the Mason area. We have spent several nice days driving various highways, farm to markets, and ranch roads taking photos of the beautiful blooms. Below are a few of my favorites.

Bluebonnets on a farm road southwest of Mason.

A field of bluebonnets on the Willow City Loop between Fredericksburg and Llano.

Prickly Poppies and more bluebonnets on a ranch road off the Willow City Loop.

Wildflowers growing along the side of Highway 87 south of Mason.

Mason TX Author

This statue of the characters in the book "Ole Yeller" is in front of the city library. The author of the book, Fred Gipson, was born on a farm near Mason and spent his school years here. He returned to the area in his later years purchasing a ranch. The Disney movie based on the book was first shown at the Mason Odeon Theater in 1947.

An old one room school near Mason where Fred Gipson's sister Stella taught school. Stella Gipson Polk wrote several young adult works of fiction.