Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sea, Sand And Air!!

Looking for driftwood for some craft projects, I set out for Driftwood Shores.  You would think with that name, there would be driftwood, right??  Wrong .... there were a few old large logs along with lots of sea and sand, but none of the smaller pieces I'm looking for.
Fog was again coming off the beach in it's mysterious way.  Heceta Beach is HUGE ... and seems to go on forever.  If you want some alone beach time, this is a good place to go.  I saw may 10 people.
A few locals were hanging out too.  I took this picture of the bird ... then discovered the ugly thing laying in the sand.  Cigarette butts hurt wildlife.  Please dispose of them in a garbage can ... not on the beach.  
From there I went to Big Dog Donuts, near 12th street, across from the Elks Lodge downtown. These guys know how to make donuts!!!  I purchased a dozen and a half HUGE pieces of scrumptiousness to repay the guys at Les Schwab for fixing my car, at the suggestion of friend and fellow RV'er Dave Burdick.  It brought a big smile to everyone working there.  Funny, somehow while they were in the back seat of my Jeep, one jumped out into a food container on the seat.
When I got home and discovered it, I couldn't possibly return it.  Donuts for lunch!!  YUMMY!  This baby wasn't filled with just a little custard either ... there was almost a full cup inside this maple beauty ... and it was gone in a flash!!!
To work off the donut from heaven, I decided to walk around the Garden Shop down the street.  What a beautiful nursery, with hundreds of gorgeous plants.  They have some unusual statuary I wanted, but they were all a little too heavy for my rig (which I'd love to show you, but my phone battery died).
Something they had a lot of ... and isn't heavy at all ... was air plants.  How could I possible go wrong with these??  Just spritz with water every few weeks and make sure they get lots of air.  I haven't seen this variety before ... looks pretty much like my hair!!
The larger version of this one was blooming with a spectacular pink flower stalk, but $115 is a little high.  This one at $35 is maybe 8-9 inches across.  If it happens to fall on the floor, there will be no mess to clean up ... there's no dirt.  It lives off water and air ....  Weird!!!  I think I can handle that!!
I'm off early this morning to Harrisburg ... wish me luck!!  If you're going anywhere this week, please drive carefully.  All the crazies seem to be on the road!!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Shining Light In The Night!!

There are many lighthouses along the rough Oregon coastline and Heceta Head is one of the prettiest.   Just North of Florence, this beauty stands on a cliff in the morning fog ... in fact, it started raining as I climbed the half mile from the beach parking lot to the lighthouse.  Bring a $5.00 bill (I only had a $10) to pay for parking and definitely take this easy hike.
In the old days, travel along the coast and around this point was done by horse and wagon, totally dependent on the tide.
The lighthouse keeper's residence still stands today as it did many years ago.  Horses were used to get to the house and wooden steps, eventually replaced with a concrete path, was the trail to the lighthouse above.  Remnants of the concrete path still exist.
Unfortunately, this is NOT a public building for all of us to enjoy.  It has become a Bed and Breakfast where you can only stay if you have reservations and lots of money!!  For $315.00 a night, you can look inside ... otherwise, you are out of luck.  How in the world did this become a PRIVATE residence enjoyed by just a select few???  This makes me pretty mad!!!
Not only could I NOT get inside, I wasn't even allowed on the grass inside the fence to take pictures.  Needless to say, I wasn't very happy to see this beautiful house that SHOULD be part of the National Park system, be totally closed to the public.  At LEAST let people walk in one door, through the parlor and out the other door.
With my long lens, I was able to get around to the side and get a view of the lighthouse through the porch railing.  It's a shame this can only be enjoyed by the rich and famous or the owners!!
A short walk further up the hill and you come to this beautiful structure.  I hiked up before anyone else arrived, to get pictures not long after the sun came up.  

The view from the lighthouse is pretty spectacular!!
All the way up the trail were beautiful lacy flowers, topped only by the crows that followed me every step, squawking and warning everyone I was on my way.
On the return trip down the hill, the house was visible between the trees.
Back at the rig, I called Nick and Terry to see if I could come watch Miss Terry do a little weaving.  She had set it up for wash cloths and was hard at work when I arrived.  They are staying at The Jetty Thousand Trails Park.  What a madhouse THAT has been with people fighting for camp sites!!  The roads are very narrow and dirt from what I could see.  People were squished in to sites like sardines!!  Luckily for me, they had a nice site with extra parking.

Miss Terry explained all things "weaving" to me.  WOW .. there's a lot to learn!!  Lucky me, she is more than willing to share her experiences, both good and bad, so I can make an informed decision on what to purchase.  When I left, my head was about to explode with information!!

This is the Schacht loom I would like to get.  It's the grandchild of Terry's, so quite a bit smaller.  Hers can make wider things with much more complicated patterns, but I think this one will suite me fine.  I'm headed over to Harrisburg for rig repairs at O-dark-thirty tomorrow morning and hope to check it out in Eugene while there.  
I drove home in the rain yesterday afternoon and it sprinkled most of the night here, with more expected.  That's good for me, since it should cool off in Eugene ... at least for one day!!  I'll be back to Florence for a few more days over the fourth of July (it's expected to be crazy around here) before meeting up again with Nick and Terry and the Chance family, including newest member Missy (assuming Miss Snoopy accepts the interloper), in a Thousand Trails Park further North.

Today you ask??  Why the ice cream store, of course!!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Singing Praises For Les Schwab!!

When I landed in Florence Oregon, my car was making a scraping noise ... like maybe brakes?  Of course it didn't do it ALL the time, but early yesterday morning, I was at the doorstep of Les Schwab, as recommended by the Host at the Elks Park.  After driving the Jeep, the mechanic jacked it up and took two tires off.  Twenty minutes later he came in and said he adjusted the emergency brake, the sound had stopped and it was ready to go.

Thank you SO much ... I was just happy that it was fixable.  How much do I owe??  "Nothing".  NOTHING??????  "Yes ma'am ... you don't owe us anything".  I was in shock!!  I don't think that has ever happened in my life!!  I tried to be gracious and thanked them profusely ... and drove to the Yarn Shop to recover.
This is Dutch who lives at the Yarn Shop ... the most beautiful, soft, loving collie I've ever petted.  Once recovered from the shock of "no charge", I took off for Coos Bay where friends Cyndae and Joe were enjoying the FMCA rally.  
Cyndae and I checked out a quilt store as I sang Les Schwab's praises to anyone that would listen, then walked across the street to one of the best yarn stores I've seen.  My Yarn Store has every kind of yarn imaginable, wall to wall.  By now we're starving, so two doors down we found Shark Bites.  Not the fanciest place I've been in ... in fact, I almost turned around and walked back out ... but the service was excellent and we were immediately seated.

Best fish tacos EVER!!!  The Southwestern Taco Plate was amazing!!  Even better, my car wasn't making that awful noise any more as I headed back home, fighting traffic all the way.  To the guy that kept turning his windshield washers on (which soaked my car) every time I got a little too close because he was driving 10-15 miles under the speed limit ... thank you!!  My windshield was sparkling clean by the time you turned off!!!
When you turn on the road to the Elks Park North of Florence, Darlingtonia Wayside is immediately on the right ... which pretty much looks like a turnout with a couple of picnic tables.  Little did I know, until friend Nick Russell called to check on my car situation (more praises for Les Schwab) and suggested I stop in.  

If you have time, spend a few minutes at this weird roadside botanical preserve.  There's some really awesome plants here called Darlingtonia Californica.
Walk back in time down the garden path through the shade trees ......
to the wooden walkway where you will find these amazing meat-eating plants.
Called the cobra plant, flies and insects go in the tube from underneath, get disoriented and crawl down the throat, where they find little hairs that keep them from getting out ... and eventually hit the bottom where they are digested.  YUCK!!!  But how cool is that???
There is a large bog here, chock full of these amazing green cobra plants.  It looks like something from the dinosaur age, along with many plant varieties that look prehistoric!!  It's a very interesting spot to stop ... maybe bring your lunch!!!
Finally back home, I breathed a huge sigh of relief about my Jeep and thought about how nice it was of Nick and Terry to check on me and my car problem!!  Here I am several hundred miles from home and there are people here and on my blog who look out for me.  I can't say thank you enough!!!!  

With a couple hours of rest under my belt, I headed back out to Chen's Family Dish to meet Miss Terry and Nick for some chinese food.  It was DE - licious!!  I had shrimp fried rice and brought enough home for three more meals.  They don't skimp on the portions!!  

Today I'll head off to the beach to see what treasures I can find ... in my car that Les Schwab fixed FOR FREE!!!!  Imagine that!!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

I Made It To Florence Oregon!!!

It was easy peasy to hook up the car and take off from Bandon, so I took my time.  Once on the road, you begin to cross bridges over rivers and lakes full of water.  A nice sight to see if you are from California!!
Traffic was definitely heavier and I had to keep my eyes on the road, so there's not so many pictures.  I got stuck behind a truck pulling a fifth wheel VERY slowly ... until I began to pass, then he sped up just enough that I couldn't get by.  Not sure what that was all about!!!
As I came through Coos Bay, I took a double take at the Mills Casino parking lot.  FMCA is having a rally there and they are sold out.  SO sold out that there isn't even enough space in the gravel parking lot to park a volkswagon!!  No wonder I couldn't get a reservation!!
No problem however ...  until I continued on to Florence where I took a wrong turn.  Then my lovely GPS sent me straight into a senior facility with closed gates!!!  My worst nightmare has come to pass!!!  Thankfully before I had to unhook the car, a couple of nice gray haired ladies drove up to open the gate for me so I could turn around in the parking lot.  That was trick driving if there ever was any ... as I barely slid between the bushes, the curbs, the steel posts and the cars.  WHEW!!!

Florence is located at the mouth of the Suislaw River and used to be known for logging and commercial fishing.  That has given way to tourism, as it has now become the destination of retirees.  Over one third of the population are retirees who have moved here, keeping the economy going.
At last I made it to the Elks Park and I have a nice spot with no neighbors ... yet anyway!!  The bad news is that the phone service is non-existent.  I can use the Elks internet, so at least the blog won't suffer and I can get email.  My phone is another story.  It takes a three mile drive to town to get it to work.
It's funny how disconnected I feel with no phone ... but I'll survive for three days before I head to Harrisburg for rig repairs.  I hear it's been 98-100 degrees over there every day and no open spots at the inn (everyone I called is full).  Guess I better stick my clothes in the freezer before I go on THAT trip so I don't melt!!!

Today I was actually going to drive back to Coos Bay to see friends at the rally, but once unhooked, my car's right front wheel seems to be making a noise I'm not at all happy about.  It's a scraping sound every time the wheel gets to a certain point.  Then it quits .... then it starts up again.  I can only hear it when going very slow, and it's making me nervous enough to cancel the trip.  I'm taking it to Les Schwab's today to see what they might find.

Friday, June 26, 2015

ICE CREAM .... It's What's For Dinner!!

I'm getting ahead of myself a little though ... I woke up yesterday in Bandon Oregon at beautiful 5:00 am, not sure if it was the puppies or the logging trucks getting an early start that woke me up.  No matter, I like this RV Park and the people here provide great service ... I'll be back for sure!!

In the morning, I spent a couple hours knitting this scarf my friend Patty Chance gave me for my birthday.  I know, my knitting is about as good as my cooking ... but I thought I'd give it a shot once again, and this time it seems to be going well!!
Not able to sit long though, I headed to Old Town Bandon to check out the shops.  With the stress of the ranch sale and talking to my tenants who have to move in 60 days, nothing makes me feel better than a little therapeutic shopping!!  First, I ordered another round of halibut and chips, with cole slaw that had cranberries in it, from the Bandon Fish Market.  Delicious!!!  Then I found dessert!!!  Coastal Mist is a chocolate shop that has little mousse cakes, cheesecakes, cookies and all things wonderfully chocolate!!  This little morsel was downright crazy good!!
If a little chocolate can make me feel better, baskets made with local beach-found items can do wonders!!  This one is made by a native from Brookings with dried kelp.  Hey, I can do this!!  Isn't basket weaving good therapy??
Then I found THIS one!!  My adrenaline shot up and my stress level about having to remove my tenants from the property went down a little.  There's nothing like finding treasures!!!
This was the final moment of relaxation .... at least for one day.  It's made from pieces of driftwood found on the beaches around town and nailed together.  I'm pretty sure I can do this too .. what great therapy to relieve computer ... property sale ... notices ... tenant complaints ... can't get my printer to work ... STRESS!!!  It's a good thing I have the Realtor I do or I would be crying in a corner!!
Since milk is supposed to help you sleep at night, I figured ice cream would be a close second, so I wandered back to Face Rock Creamery for dinner!!  Yes ... DINNER!!  Piled 5 inches high and 4 inches wide (before I ate the top scoop), this did the trick!!!
Today I head on up the coast to Florence.  I originally planned on spending time in Coos Bay at the Mills Casino, but an FMCA rally has booked the entire park.  When I tried to join the rally just so I could spend the night there, THEY were sold out ... so I'll just wave at that really nice yarn shop as I drive by!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Much More To See Around Bandon .....

With my wild animal fix in my back pocket and a little remaining manure on my shoes, I headed south to Cape Blanco Lighthouse.  Unfortunately I was a day early and missed the tours which happen Wednesday through Monday, 10:00-3:15 pm.  It's a beautiful site, but a little walk from the parking lot.
I should have known it was the wrong day because there was absolutely no traffic on the 6 mile road to get here.  I spent 30 minutes completely alone enjoying the scenery!!
There's access to the beaches, but no real path to follow.  The shark's tooth sea stack was all alone today ... 
I admit, the REAL reason I came this far south to Port Orford was to check out the Crazy Norwegian's fish and chips, right on Hwy 101.  Unfortunately it was a bad day for staff.  Even though the lunch crowd was gone, they were rather rude when they told me not to touch the menu sitting on an empty table.  I was finally allowed to check out a different menu and placed my order, which I had to pay for immediately.
Hmmmm no receipt ... oh well.  Ten minutes later I came back as instructed and was asked to pay again by a second waitress.  No, I already paid, as she looked at the ticket and rolled her eyes.  Shortly, MY waitress came back with my order and said that will be $11.45.  NO ... I already paid!!!  Remember??  "Oh we just like to charge everyone twice!!!" was the response, which I didn't really think was very funny.  At any rate, there was lots of food, no utensils and no napkins.  All in all, no where NEAR as good as Bandon Fish Market.
Across the street is another of my favorite quilt stores ... this one full of the latest fabrics and quilt designs and the most helpful staff ever!!  Quilter's Corner has everything you need and ladies who know their stuff to help you find anything you want ... I think they enjoyed picking out fabric as much as I did!!
On the way home, I stopped in Langois at Wild Rivers Wool Factory and picked up a couple skeins for knitting.  I know, my knitting skills are worse than my cooking!!  This Needle Travel book was a great buy, found by Miss Terry at $9.95.  Unfortunately for me, it was marked up to $16.00 by the time I stopped in!!  I found out later, sometimes it's good to shop around!!
Back in Bandon, the RV Park personnel had recommended the cheese factory .... mostly for the ice cream they sell!!  Again, they were right on the money!!  Face Rock Creamery is another MUST see ... and taste!!!  I arrived just in time for the clean up process, but no matter ... I got to taste their wonderful cheeses.  They have freezers full of smoked mac 'n cheese and cases overflowing with squeaky flavored cheese curds!!
The most important part however, is the ice cream counter.  You definitely have to stop here!!  I got the best chocolate peanut butter and black walnut ice cream I've ever had ... about four huge scoops in a "childs" cup for $2.00.  That's right, two dollars!!  Baskin Robins would charge $8.00 for the same!!  
With cup in hand, I went upstairs to relax by the windows and watch the world go by on Hwy 101.  This is the view from the balcony of all the cheese they have for sale.  The vats for making that cheese can be seen threw the windows.  There's also many bottles of bbq sauce, pie filling, salad dressing, syrup, etc.
If you can't stay in Bandon for a day or so, at least pull in to the big gravel parking lot across the street and come have some great ice cream.  
My last stop of the day was the Wool Company here in Bandon.  Again the service was amazing!!  The owner spent over an hour helping me choose an easy pattern for a felted purse and gave me a coffee cup for stopping in!!  This is the kind of store I'll come back to every time!!  She has everything you need for knitting, felting, weaving and craft projects.  She also has that Needle Travel book listing every yarn and wool store in the United States ... for $9.95, the suggested retail price!!  RATS!!!!!
Lastly, the service at Bandon RV Park is again over the top.  I really needed to receive my mail since I was waiting for a rent check.  When I spoke to Shirley and John, they enthusiastically said "heck yeah" ... have your mail sent here!!  Two days later, John delivered it to my door.  This park definitely goes on my BEST EVER place to stay in Oregon and I'll be back for sure!!

One last picture from West Coast Animal Park ... here's part of the reason you watch where you step!!!
It's going to be laundry and catch up day as I deal with renter problems due to the ranch sale and check my bank accounts to be sure there's enough money for the next quilt/wool/ice cream store adventure!!