Sunday, August 20, 2017

Boat Races, Fire Evacuations Changes Our Plans

Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

Huntley Park, Gold Beach Lower Rogue Challenge Hydroplane Boat Race

Unbeknown to us, we had the #1 Huntley RV Park view of the “Gold Beach Lower Rogue Challenge Hydroplane Boat Race” today.  The Cal-Ore River Racers (CORRA) series made its yearly stop in Gold Beach for the Whitewater Hydroplane race on the Rogue River, a 4-1/2 laps event starting from the Old Mill site (the Boondocking site I had alluded to in an earlier post) Huntley Park, Live Band for a Company BBQto Lobster Creek (where we visited the National Forest campground and reported on in that earlier post), and finishing at Huntley Park which also serves as the pit area for the race.  Oh boy, sounds like a nice, quiet, peaceful Sunday…what could top that?  Well, perhaps the company picnic party on Saturday with a live band playing for about six hours between 11 am and 7 pm…

Huntley Park, Gold Beach Lower Rogue Challenge Hydroplane Boat Race

But this boat race…well, that’s a big event!  Must draw what, 2 to 3 thousand people…considering there is no “cover charge” to watch the event outside of the $5 day use fee per car “if” they decide to pay it to use Huntley Park.  Well…think again…

Huntley Park, Gold Beach Lower Rogue Challenge Hydroplane Boat Race

This panoramic shot tells it all…maybe, just maybe…50 cars and trucks…maybe, just maybe, 100 people lining the shores…maybe, just maybe others along the route watching at the Lobster Creek Bridge, or at the boondocking site…but I doubt it.

Huntley Park, Gold Beach Lower Rogue Challenge Hydroplane Boat Race

This guy in the picture above apparently won the race…did not catch his name, nor his number, nor where he was from.  It wasn’t even close…

Huntley Park, Gold Beach Lower Rogue Challenge Hydroplane Boat Race

I got this shot of the winner (headed to the left) as he starts his victory lap around the Huntley Park Area while the third place boat has just finished the race.

Huntley Park, Gold Beach Lower Rogue Challenge Hydroplane Boat Race

The third place boat happened to pull up in the site next to us…and our neighbors hooked it up to their red truck and drove it away as they all left.  Not sure the connection, but they were from Oregon, and a few days ago one of the sons blew the motor/drive shaft in the boat he brought that was also a fast boat, but not a Hydroplane boat.

Of course, PICTURES say a thousand words…but only VIDEO will give you the BUZZ of these little contraptions as they buzz up and down the river!  The above video is 25 seconds long, and you can hear the BUZZ and the barking in the background is none other than Skruffy, voicing her opinion on all that BUZZZZZZZ.

Chetco Bar Fire, Brookings Oregon

Our plans have changes…there is a fire right where we were headed back to, Loeb State Park.  This fire was small and miles away when we left Loeb State Park three weeks ago.  Well, a few days ago it “jumped” the Chetco River, something the fire officials thought would not happen.  Now the fire is out of control because the winds these past few days have been high, swirling, and well, just what the fire ordered.

Chetco Bar Fire, Brookings Oregon, Twitter Picture

Found this picture on twitter from the Fred Meyer where we have done our shopping in Brookings, and as recently as this past Wednesday.  The smoke, the ash, so thick it blocks out the sun!  Loeb State Park was evacuated on Friday, and now the evacuations are starting just at the city limits of eastern Brookings.  Currently, as of 6 pm Sunday night, highway 101 is still open, BUT they are asking everyone to stay away due to traffic, smoke, ash, etc.  They may shut it down from time to time over the next few days.  Emergency crews are pouring in from all over the place.

Coos Bay Boondocking Mills Casino 2015

So off to Coos Bay we head tomorrow.  Called Indian Creek RV park where we planned to stay for two day starting tomorrow, and asked if they were getting calls from people due to the fire…yes they were.  So we gave up our reservation, and we will drive up to Coos Bay tomorrow and stay in the boondocking area of the Mill Casino as we have done in the past (picture above is from 2015), or head over to I-5 and stay in the Myrtle Creek area, we should be back in the Sacramento area sometime Thursday…a few weeks ahead of schedule.

Osprey with fish, Huntley Park

Remember that picture of a Osprey carrying a fish I had been trying to get?  Well, yesterday I got one..not as clear as I wanted, but I still got one.  Tomorrow the Eclipse will be around 95% in this area, we should see it if the wind continues and the fog does not come in, and we should be on the road by 11:00.  My ears are still buzzing from the boats, but the park is back to its pre-weekend quietness.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Solar Power, Sea Lions, Set-Netting

Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

Go Power! portable Solar Panel

Have had more inquiries into our Solar Setup in this campground than ever before.  So I figured that others who are not here ‘might’ be interested too.  As I have mentioned before, we have the Go Power! GP-PSK-120 120W Portable Folding Solar Kit with 10 Amp Solar Controller purchased through Amazon.  They have two portable versions, 80W and 120W.  The nice thing is that the controller, which is needed so you don’t over charge your batteries, is built into the back of the Go Power! portable Solar Panelportable units.  All I do is set it up and hook to the batteries, and make sure it is “on”.  There are many options to connect to the batteries…either through ring terminals, clamps, and there is a trailer connector for those who find that easier.  We use the clamps, as shown to the right.  I did use the terminal rings, but I found it hard to keep the connector clean even though they come with a cover.  I ‘could’ tie down the cover each and every time I travel, but that is just a pain compared to using this clips. 

Go Power! portable Solar Panel

This is the “controller”, which is attached to the back of the solar panel.  It is simple in its use, but the newer models have an even better controller on them, and you can buy the newer controller to replace this one…which we are going to do.  The orange button is the on and off, and also used in selecting the type of battery you have…sealed, gel or flooded.  You need to have it on, with the red light in upper right corner lit, for things to work.  That part of this controller is fine…but the lights to the left…the Temp (temperature) light, the “PV” light, and the Batt (battery) light are the problems…they New controller Go Power! portable Solar Panelare HARD to see.  I don’t know if you can tell that the PV and the Batt are both “green” in this picture…imagine trying to see that outside, while the panel is pointed into the sun. The NEW controller, shown to the right, is a better controller, and provides much more information, including voltage, and current battery level, and percentage of battery capacity.  It is also much easier to see, according to the reviews.

Go Power! portable Solar Panel

To replace, you simply unscrew the four connecting screws for the red and black wires, remove from the solar panel (it is glued), glue on the new one, and connect the red and black wires.  We have been able to run on our batteries and the solar for the past three days, although tonight we ran the generator for 90 minutes to charge everything up to a higher level.  All the while we power two computers, two kindles, two cell phones and the aircard, besides the “stuff” that runs on electricity in the motorhome such as the refrigerator (propane but also needs 12 volt), the carbon monoxide sensor, the propane sensor, the toilet, and the lights as we need them.  So far our batteries have remained at or above 12.2 volts.

Sea Lion, Rogue River, Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

Took a walk up the river to where many people go swimming…but I beat the swimming crowd, except for the three sea lions out in the river.  I was told the day before that sea lions were seen along the river by a local…so I am taking his word on them being sea lions and not harbor seals.  I was not expecting to see them, but I heard the splashing and well, there were three of them.  Below you can see two of them together…never could get all three in the same picture.

Sea Lion, Rogue River, Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

As I got to the swimming area, I came across some set-net fishermen. (below)

Rogue River, Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

Of course, last year in Alaska when Skruffy got sick, we took her to the Soldotna Animal Hospital and Dr. Meezie Hermansen saved Skruffy’s life.  Meezie is a Vet by choice, she is a fisherman…a set-net fisherman…by birth.  Rogue River, Huntley Park, Gold Beach OregonShe still commercial fishes for a month each year…only a month because that is how long Alaska will allow the commercial set net fisherman to fish.  However, Oregon does not allow set-net or gillnet fishing…and that is when I saw the patch on this guy’s arm (picture right).  The group is counting fish in the river, working for the Oregon Wildlife Department.  They catch, measure, weigh and release.  As I watched, two different jet boat tours came by, stopped to watch, and asked how the “fishing” was going.  They said they were doing good in the morning, but the last six tries did not catch very much.  In fact, during the two attempts I witnessed, they only caught one Steelhead.

Rogue River, Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

They gather the net up into the boat with one end “set” upon land (in the hands of one or two people), head up stream letting out the net, work their way over to the other side still letting out net, work their way back down stream letting out more net, and then head back to land still letting out net.  (In the picture above, they are headed back to land to the pickup truck.)  Once there, they attach the end of the net to the truck’s tow ball, and it drives up the bank about 20 yards.  They unhook, and then the truck backs up to the spot where the boat took off from and they attach that end to the truck, and it runs parallel to the river for about 20 yards.  After that, everything is done by hand, pulling in the net, trying to capture the fish.  Once captured, but still in the water close to shore, the fishery biologist (I am assuming he is a biologist) weighs and measures and lets them go.  I enjoyed watching the process…thinking about our “Favorite Vet”, and how she does this out in the rough seas of the Cook Inlet, Pacific Ocean, in Alaska, sometimes in very extreme weather conditions. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Chances Are…You RV Long Enough, You’ll Do Something Stupid

Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

Osprey at Huntley Park

We made the move two sites down…and low and behold, I can see the nest right out my window.  But you all don’t want to hear about Osprey, you want to know what the heck Dave did that was SO STUPID.  Well, I’ll get to that…

Huntley Park

Since we were moving, and since I did something REAL stupid, we decided to drive back to Brookings to go to Fred Meyer, before coming back and pulling into our new spot, two spots down from where we were.  We use to be where the second trailer in this shot, which I took this morning, is located.  That trailer is the son of the restaurant owners, and runs the restaurant during the week…they operate it during the weekend, along with their daughter who is located four trailers away in this picture.  “D & D” are the third trailer.

Watercraft, Rogue River, Huntley Park    Watercraft, Rogue River, Huntley Park

It sure looks like it is going to be a “boys and their toys” type of weekend.  Jet ski, fast boat…all have come into the park for what appears to be the last weekend of summer before school starts up.  The park is getting very busy.

Camp Host, Huntley Park 

This is the nice lady camp host…she was out and about a lot today.  Had a chance to talk to her for a bit…she said that on top of everything, a large business end of summer party is going to take place on Saturday.  The park is so busy this coming weekend, she opened the group area where the wedding took place last weekend to normal campers for this weekend.  She said they typically fill up just once or twice each year…this weekend is going to be one of them.

Rogue River Jet Boat, Huntley Park
Ok, time for the “STUPID” story….  Our generator works real good most of the time…but every now and then it acts like it is running out of gas.  In fact, D & D’s daughter's generator did run out of gas yesterday and it acted just like ours does.  Problem is, we are not out of gas while they were.  So I figure our problem “might” be a bit of water in the gas, which the generator is more reactive to than our engine is.  So I decided to add some of our Lucas Fuel Treatment to our gas tank.  Lucas Gas TreatmentOf course, it would help if I really put it in the gas tank, and not in the fresh water outlet.  WHAT?  Did Dave just say what I thought he said?  Yes, in some sort of “STUPOR”, I opened the fresh water outlet, which is right above the gas tank outlet, and proceeded to pour about two, perhaps less, ounces of Lucas Gas Additive right into our fresh water tank.  I stopped only because it did not pour in right…that is when I realized what I was doing.  OH CRAP!  I have attempted, in the past, to fill up the fresh water with fuel before on more than one occasion.  But as soon as I open the outer door, I have always realized I did not have the right door open, and then opened the gas door instead and proceeded to fuel up.  I still don’t know why I did not stop myself this time…just a brain fart I guess.

Rogue River Jet Boat, Huntley Park

Since we had been five days into boondocking, our fresh water tank was only 1/3 full.  We were dumping in the morning…we always use bottled water to drink, but typically use the fresh water for doggie water and for coffee in the morning.  So on Wednesday, while at the dump station, we emptied all the water we could.  We drove to Brookings for a Fred Meyer trip, where I knew we could purchase two 2.5 gallon containers of spring water.  I added that water to our fresh water tank, along with some bleach, and drove back to Gold Beach’s dump station (after spending megabucks at Fred Meyer to stock up our pantry and freezer of course).  About 6 miles out of Gold Beach there is construction going on, and we had to stop for about 5 minutes…so I turned on our pump and turned on our water faucet real low to start draining it into our grey tank.  When we got to the dump station in Gold Beach, I also ran water in the shower and the bathroom sink until everything came to a trickle.  Back at Huntley, I filled the tank to point that it overflowed.  We are still giving the dogs bottled water, and still making coffee with bottled water…and will do so until we get to Loeb State Park in a week.  In the mean time, we will empty the fresh water tank one more time…and the GOOF will be history.

Rogue River, Huntley Park

There are a few advantages with our new site at Huntley Park, besides being able to see the Osprey out my window.  We get about 2 more hours of sunlight each day for the solar power…we get shade mid-day for the RV, and our bench is in the shade for much of the day with this great view.  Of course, the nature of the park being busy has cut down one our likability factor…but the type of great neighbors we have has made that change easier to deal with.  It did get up to 91 degrees today…for about an hour…then the cool sea breeze kicked in and it dropped back into the lower 80’s.  It is 10 pm, and 66 degrees right now…the perfect weather conditions.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Family Camping at its Best - Australian Bulldog

Huntley Park, Gold Beach, Oregon

Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

Our new neighbors have been moving in the past two days.  It is a family of Grandma and Grandpa, who own a cafe in Gold Beach, their daughter and son-in-law (she works weekends at cafe) and their two or is it three boys, their son (who helped move stuff, but isn’t up here totally yet because he runs things during the week at the cafe) and his two girls…and of course, their dog Hank…more about Hank here in a minute.  Now these are the ones we know about so far…there are more coming because they have already paid for the two sites on the other side of us.  Told the “grandma” that we feel like the peanut butter between two slices of bread.  We offered to move but she insisted that we stay put…until this evening when she saw the wisdom in having all four sites together, so tomorrow we move down two sites.  Since we have to travel to Gold Beach to dump our tanks, it is nothing big on us…and everyone will be for the better.  The family is just adorable.

Hank the Dog,  Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

This is grandma and grandpa’s dog Hank…a very friendly, occasional barking dog.  He gets Skruffy going, but is trying to restrain herself.

 Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon
Every site has its own fire pit, like the one here that we park next to.  This is “our” fire pit”, so no one is going to use it…hence, we parked near it to get further away from the road.  Well, Hank has his own fire pit too, and guess what he likes to use it for?   No, not as a toilet…I know some of you are thinking that…

Hank the Dog, , Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon     Hank the Dog, , Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon
Hank the Dog, , Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

Hank thinks the fire pit makes for one good dog bed for Hank!  Let’s just hope Hank decides differently after they make their nightly fire because it is that fire pit which has all the wood stacked up around it…and the chairs forming a circle around it.

Ausralian Bulldog, Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon
On the other side of this ‘family gathering’ is a very large class c…the one with  a trailer with the “trike” that I talked about before.  Well this couple, who are Fulltime RVers, have an Australian Bulldog.  The Australian Bulldog is newly developed breed created by two families that were interested in creating an improved version of the English Bulldog that was healthier and possessed increased working abilities. English Bulldogs were crossed with Boxers, Bullmastiffs, mixed-breed dogs, and American Bulldogs.  Looks like an English Bulldog, but the legs are longer, and it does go on walks with them.  (As I write this, another black dog, one I have not seen before, is running through the park, on its own, with no one chasing it…I figure someone will realize their dog has vanished and will come looking for it.  The grandma next door tried calling it, but it ignored her.)

Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

Walked over to the Gazebo, where the wedding was held last Saturday.  Nice little garden around it, and some of the flowers are still in bloom.

Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon   Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

I have no idea what type of flower this is, but they were the ones which were in more abundance…the other type of flowers were withering away already…but the plants themselves are all very healthy. 

Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

This ‘almost’ wants me to say, “Merry Christmas” to everyone…

Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

I just love how you can frame pictures of the boats going up or down the river with this tree…lucky we are not camped there or that’s all you would see pictures of.

Osprey at Huntley Park, Gold Beach OregonFinally located the nests of two different Osprey pairs.  This one is the most open for taking pictures of…and the mom and dad Osprey were both very active.  They have at least one young one in there…perhaps more than one.  Earlier I was outside without my camera, and low and behold…an Osprey, probably one of these two, flew the river headed towards this nest with a fish in its claws.  GRRRRR.  That is “the” shot I am trying for.

Osprey at Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon     Osprey at Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

But I did get them flying off the nest.  Although they look like they are consecutive shots, they are not…the one on the right was taken about 10 minutes before the one on the left, and from a different angle.  The good thing about moving…I think I will be able to see this nest from our picnic bench!  Winking smile

Sunday, August 13, 2017

From the Mouth of Dogs

Bubba and Skruffy, Huntley Park

Hi everyone, this is Bubba (talking) and Skruffy (barking…hee hee, I’m so funny)  Dad said we could have a turn doing the blog tonight, so here it is.

Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

Lot’s of action down at the water today.  Don’t know what these birds are, but I haven’t had a treat for over a month now (I miss my Uncle Arnie so much) that I wanted to jump in and catch one for an afternoon snack.

Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon     Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

Dad gets so excited when the water is smooth as glass like it was for much of the morning.  Hey dad, if you like it so much, why didn’t you take us for a walk down there again today, huh?  All your shots were from way up by the RV.  Besides, there is FOOD down in that water.

Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

Oh, you’re right…that is a good reason…that boat is going super fast, and if I was out chasing birds in the water, I could be history…good point.

Bubba and Skruffy, Huntley Park

[Whisper]  Hey Bubba, do I get to talk yet?

[Loudly]  No Skruffy, you little shrimp, this is MY story.  YOU are the one who constantly gets your picture taken.  This waterfall, that lake, even inside a Big Tree.  So there…

[Louder]  DAD!  Bubba is being mean to me…

[Chuckling]  Ya, go tell Dad…like THAT worked for him when he was a kid, it ain’t going to work for you either….I hope.   Now, where were we….

Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

Dad said another reason we can’t go down there today, beside the fast boat, the yummy birds, and the fishermen…is because there are CRAZY people here today.  This guy took his boat down and tried to launch it in the river.  There are no boat launching ramps down there, and he tried backing in into the river two times.  The last time he got stuck…but by the time Dave got off his lazy butt and got the camera, the guy had pulled out of it with his 4x4 truck…but it sure made a racket.

Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

That was right as the sun went over that big hill again on the other side of the river.  Now “if” he got it in the river, what was he going to do with it?  Dad said that if he got it in, he sure wasn’t going to get it out without going to a boat launching site….I think he was right.

Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

On one of our walks Dad found the site which has electricity…it is right there by that funny tree.  Someone moved out today, and someone else paid for the site and they are moving in tomorrow.   Dad said that this is not a fair way of doing things…but hey, it is Oregon, they do things differently up here.  For instance, every now and then you smell a strange odor in the air…like someone is burning something, but it is not wood.  I think it might be incense or something like that.  Dad says it is wacky tobacky, what ever that is.  We have not smelled it here, but sure did in other places…come to think about it, we smelled that in California too!

Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon


Oh no, that “favorite little doggie” must have gotten dad’s ear.  Just enough time to share this last picture of the night.  Hope you enjoyed it…and hey, if someone wants to come and rescue me from the “dog house”, we are at Huntley Park near Gold Beach (dad said I was suppose say that first thing…but hey, I’m just a dog), and we will be here for another week.  BYE

See Dad, Bubba didn’t let me say anything.  BARK BARK BARK  Take that you big Cocker Pooper

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