Monday, July 31, 2017

Indian Creek RV Park for a Week

Gold Beach, Oregon

Indian Creek RV Park, Gold Beach, Oregon

After making the dump run to Brookings last week, we talked it over and decided that we needed a week “off of our aircard”, or we were going to be paying for 4 and up to 7 gigs of overage charges on our next Verizon bill.  First, it is a 31 day billing period, not the normal 30.  Second, we were at 15 of our 40 gigs, and only 11 of our 31 days were gone.  That put us on course for  45 gigs, at $15 per gig for each gig over 40.  So I called Indian Creek RV Park in Gold Beach.  I had read that they had decent weekly rates, as low as $155 if you don’t mind being stuck into an RV Park like a Sardine into a can.  However, they had three more options, a premium site for $240 per week, pull-through for $210, and what they call a “Circle Site” for $198.  Thank goodness we got a “Circle Site”, at least the sardine feeling is not as prevalent.  (There are five circles, just a handful of pull-through sites, even fewer premium sites, and many sardine sites.)

Indian Creek RV Park, Gold Beach, Oregon

Indian Creek RV Park, Gold Beach, OregonEach circle has plug-ins for up to seven RVs.  From what I can see, they are only using six sites around each circle…less of a Sardine effect.  Inside each circle are some picnic benches, a fish cleaning sink, and room to store some of your fishing stuff, or like the person opposite us, a little freezer for the Salmon they catch.  There are six entrances into the circle, and the water and cable hook-ups are along the edge of the circle, with the electricity just outside of the circle for each unit.  Not a bad design, especially if you like to fish…or you don’t like the “sardine effect” as shown below.

Indian Creek RV Park, Gold Beach, Oregon

Indian Creek RV Park, Gold Beach, Oregon
To the left you can see a few of the premium sites and pull-through sites.  The “Premium” site (far right 5th wheel) has a little fence and a picnic table.  The pull through sites are just large pull through sites, nothing else special about them.  In the far back they have tent campers…saw a few motorcycles headed that way today, but I have not walked back there to view them as of yet.  They have three pet areas, although one is just across the road from the entrance which is along the Rogue River.  There is an Indian Creek, and it enters Rogue River right at the property line.  And as for their Internet…it is GOOD, real GOOD. 

Internet Speeds, Indian Creek RV Park, Gold Beach, Oregon   Internet Speeds, Indian Creek RV Park, Gold Beach, Oregon   Internet Speeds, Indian Creek RV Park, Gold Beach, Oregon

To get an “average” download speed “IN” a RV Park of 10 megs per second, is pretty good.  Rarely I have had better…many times much worse.  And these test were taken at 7:30 pm, when the Internet is being used by a full park.  Just can’t complain about this, and that is what we were here for. 

Near Gold Beach, Oregon

Internet, and coolness…and being less than a mile from the Pacific, we certainly will have the coolness.  They complained as I checked in that it got up to 85 degrees yesterday.  At Loeb State Park it was 91, for about 90 minutes, and then the breeze kicked in and we were back in the low 80’s, and by 6 pm we were down to low 70’s again.  Yep, we can handle those type of temps, that is for sure.

Fawn between Loeb State Park and Highway 101

On our way down to Highway 101 we came across this small fawn in the roadway.  I slowed to a crawl, but the large truck coming the other way, with its big loud diesel engine, just kept driving along, scaring this young thing to the brink of panic.  Finally, it found a way up this bank, and it disappeared.  Thank goodness Marcia got this one and only picture of it as it scampered up the slope and we could only hope that mama deer was up there somewhere.  After a quick stop at Fred Meyer, and at the Rest Area to dump our tanks, it was a uneventful 30 mile trip up to Gold Beach.  After a week here, we need to find a place or two for another two weeks, then we intend to return to Loeb State Park for a full two weeks as we slowly start to head back to the heat of the Sacramento Valley, where we intend to land by September 13th at the latest.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Staying put at Alfred A Loeb through the Weekend

Alfred A Loeb State Park, near Brookings, Oregon

Dump Station, Rest Area, north of Brookings, Oregon

I headed the ten miles to just north of Brookings to empty our waste tanks today, while Marcia sat at the picnic table in our site so that no one would steal our precious camping site while I was gone.  Stopped by Fred Meyer to get a few things, so I was gone, in total, just over an hour and a half.  Sent her this picture to let her know that I had made it to the rest area north of Brookings to "DUMP THE TANKS".  Texted her just a little later to let her know I was in Fred Meyer…which got her brain activated as I had a few texts back with items to pick up while I was there.  Oh well, gave me a good excuse later as to why it took me so long at the grocery store.  Open-mouthed smile

Neighbors, Alfred A Loeb State Park, near Brookings Oregon

Saw this guy and his “extended” family down in Crescent City California a few days ago when we were at Castle Rock.  They pulled in yesterday…two vehicles and trailers from Idaho…his “family” pulled in next to us.  I talked to the camp hosts because in Crescent City they were openly smoking dope at the pullout, which even in the Marijuana legal states is an illegal act.  The hosts told me that they have had run ins with these folks a number of times this summer…they had been warned about their behavior twice previous, and they would be kicked out at the slightest problem.  Well, this morning a Oregon State Vehicle pulled up in the site next to us and a Human Services lady had a talk with the young lady (probably about 15 years old) and the mother.  Since I left and Marcia was out at the table, she heard a bit of what was going on…Neighbors, Alfred A Loeb State Park, near Brookings Oregonespecially after the State worker left.  They essentially are on the lamb from the kids father, and the mother was heard saying, “We are getting out of Oregon right away and not coming back!”  As I was coming back up the hill to the campground from highway 101, I saw them headed the other way.  Called Marcia and got the scoop.  All I can say is, it is nice having the two older ladies in their motorhome next to us now.  The “father”, however, stayed in the park alone…and the camp hosts were not too sad about the the others leaving at all.  I had not been home for 5 minutes before these ladies snagged the site, then left some of their camping chairs with a note and did not come back until early this evening.

Neighbors, Alfred A Loeb State Park, near Brookings Oregon
On the other side of us is this 5th wheel which pulled in yesterday (Wednesday) and is leaving tomorrow (Friday).  They are from Colorado, and they go out for a few months each year.  Friday they are hoping to get into Florence Keller County Park & Campground in Crescent City.  I told them about the large pull through we had…I hope they get it.  Not sure how large their 5th wheel is, maybe 26-28’, but you can see that even with their truck they still have a good 10’ left in their site.  Many sites can handle a 45’, but it would be a problem parking a tow car along with it unless you are willing to park it off site.



Neighbors, Alfred A Loeb State Park, near Brookings Oregon

This site across from us has a family or two from the Medford area.  There are two ladies, most likely sisters, and about six kids ranging from teenagers to about 4 years old.  They have been here since Tuesday, and are leaving on Sunday.  Like us, they are just trying to get away from the heat…but unlike us, they are headed right back into it again.  As for us…we will be here until Monday, then we are staying at a RV Park 30 miles north of Brookings for a full week.  They have free Wifi, and laundry, and TV.  The big selling point however is free Wifi…we are 12 days into our month and nearly 1/2 gone with our data.  At $15 per gig for every gig over, it is worth the money to get a weekly rate at an RV park…which should run us about $180 for the week.

Plant life, Alfred A Loeb State Park, near Brookings Oregon

There are MANY blackberry plants in the park, and our site (#9) has many at the rear of the site.  I think the people who come in behind us will be very happy that we are on this low carb diet, which, at this point, does not include fruit until we loose more weight.  Eventually berries become a good food product on the low carb diet…but that is the next stage which, unfortunately, is still a long ways away. 

Plant life, Alfred A Loeb State Park, near Brookings Oregon

Another thing we have around our site are three leaf clovers…lots of them.  Tried to find a four leaf, but to no avail.  Also a number of ferns too.

Plant life, Alfred A Loeb State Park, near Brookings Oregon

Not sure what this plant/tree is, but they have a number of them in these wire cages around the park.  It looks a bit like Poison Oak, but there are no warnings…if it is, I will let you know before we leave because I will surely get it.  Not as bad as my brother Bob who would get it just looking at when he was younger…not sure if that is still the case or not.

Finally, a word about the first line of the blog.  Had a follower by the name of Bob who, while reading the blog on Crescent City, wondered if it was New Orleans I was talking about, or Northern California.  He suggested that I add the location of where we are at the top of the blog to make it easier…so I am going to try and do just that.  I always include the location in Blogger, and they put it at the end of the blog.  Tried to change that to the top, but it won’t do it…so I am just going to manually add it at the top in each blog…when I remember.  Always appreciate constructive suggestions to make the read a bit easier…thanks again Bob.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Alfred A. Loeb State Park, near Brookings Oregon

1a    1b

The Alfred A Loeb State Park website says it best:
Your first impression of Loeb may well be the fresh scent of the myrtlewood forest ... a crisp, eucalyptus-like fragrance.  The park is nestled in a grove of these lovely trees, many of which are well over 200 years old.  The pristine Chetco River runs clean and clear along the southeast edge of the park.  (http://oregonstateparks.org)

1c     2b.
2a

The sites are not too close, the park has water and electric at the 48 sites, with many sites well over 40’ in length, all back in.  There are some tent campters here, but they pay the same as RVs…$22 per day.  There are also three small cabins, $40 per day, and each cabin faces the river.  The three pictures above show the area to our left if facing the motorhome (picture upper left), to the right where you can see our motorhome on the far left in this picture (picture upper right) and another which shows our two neighbors to our left, then us and barely in the picture our neighbor to our right (bottom picture)  The campground road is straight for about the first five sites on each side, then there is a loop…the upper left picture is where the loop starts…the bottom picture is taken from where the road loops back to itself. 

3a     3b

Picture above left is the three cabin as viewed from the road to their own parking area.  Picture right is one of the cabins facing the river.

4a

I was surprised to find a few vehicles down at the river.  When we entered the State Park we then immediately turned into the campground…so somewhere in the day use area is a road giving access to the river.  I know that just a few miles upstream is the Miller Bar Campground, and this National Forest Campground $10, $5 with senior pass, allows camping right on the river stream.  Personally, I would have to think twice about driving my motorhome along these rocks…but after walking it, it is very solid…just think about how it has been under water during parts of the winter though…

4b
This is the Chetco River, a 56 mile long river that descends rapidly from about 3,200 feet level down into the Pacific Ocean.  The Chetco River is mostly undeveloped, protected by the Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest and the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. The upper 45 miles of the river is designated Wild and Scenic.  The name “Chetco” is from the 4cThe Chetco Indians once lived along the banks of the river.  The last full-blooded Chetco died in 1940, but around 1,500 descendants of the tribe remain...although they once were one of the largest tribes on the Pacific Coast of Oregon.  And yes, people swim in the river, which runs very easy in this area.  We saw many people walking along the road in swimming clothes with towels, and later they walked back, many time very wet. 

The park is about 8 miles from Brookings and Highway 101.  The weather is just a bit warmer this far from the Pacific, but by no means is it hot.  In fact, it is just a little more comfortable, and I expect the night time temperatures will not be as cold either.  Not sure how long we will stay here…paid for one night just to see how we like it…my guess we will be here at least through Wednesday night…perhaps through the whole weekend.  Unfortunately there is no dump station, but there is a free one just north of Brookings less than 10 miles away. 

All the above was written on Monday night…it is now Tuesday afternoon.  I paid for two more nights here, and on Thursday we might very well extend through the weekend.  It was a very quiet night.  Of course, our holding tanks cannot handle through the weekend, but we have devised a plan in which I drive to Brookings, and Marcia and one or two of the dogs will stay in the campground holding our spot.  After seeing the “vultures” come in this morning grabbing just abandoned sites very quickly, it is the only way to ensure we will have a site when the motorhome gets back from Brookings. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Castle Rock National Wildlife Refuge - Illusive St. George Reef Lighthouse - Battery Point Lighthouse

Castle Rock, Castle Rock National Refuge

After attending church at the Calvary Chapel of the Redwoods, just north of Crescent City, we to the coastline around Crescent City.  We tried the  Tolowa Dunes State Park, but when you park a large sand dune blocks your view of the ocean.  So I headed south into Crescent City, headed for Point St. George.  But first, we found a nice parking area along the way right in front of the Castle Rock National Wildlife Refuge.  Pictured above is Castle Rock.  It looks lonely in the picture…but pictures can be deceiving. This island, and the surrounding rocks, are full of life.

Castle Rock, Castle Rock National Refuge

The islands features allow it to host more than 100,000 breeding seabirds of 11 species, as well as provide haul out grounds for harbor seals, northern elephant seals, California sea lions, and Steller's sea lions. . Castle Rock, Castle Rock National RefugeWe can hear the seals and sea lions, even though they are a half mile off shore along the 14 acres of the National Refuge.  If you click on the picture to the right, you can see more seals on the rock in the foreground, but look at the rock in the back…all those black dots are birds!  One of the birds I have never seen up close in the wild are the Puffins…and this island is full of them…but it is too far off shore to get a good picture with our camera…one would need a super duper zoom lens for that.  Frankly, Puffins might be in the picture…but again, might not.  The Refuge is home to many birds.

Point St. George Crew Quarters
A mile north of the Refuge is Point St. George.  To the left is the living quarters of the men who manned the lighthouse, and if they had families, they lived there too.  St. George Reef Lighthouse was one of the least sought-after assignments in the service. Five keepers were typically attached to the station, and they worked in shifts of three months at the lighthouse followed by two months here with their families.  Point St. George LighthouseThe lighthouse itself if six miles off shore…on a tiny rock island.  The lighthouse was built between 1887 and 1891, with the station’s twelve-inch steam whistle activated on December 1, 1891 and the lighthouse was finally lit for the first time on October 20, 1892.  Being six miles off shore, I could not get a clear picture of it…in fact, the mist was so thick I could hardly see it out there.  So in the picture to the right I have drawn a red arrow pointing to the lighthouse…that is the best I could do…a shadowy figure out there in the dense mist.  Oh, how would you have liked serving out there?  Or being one of the family members who stand up on the overlook of a large sand dune, covered in weeds, looking out trying to see where your loved one was working.

Point St. George Lighthouse with CGC Blackhaw by MKC Roger S. Wright

The above picture, taken by MKC Roger S. Wright and found at the Lighthousefriends.com website, shows the Coast Guard Cutter Blackhaw going out to service the lighthouse, probably between 1971-1990 when it was stationed in San Francisco.  (As a side note:  This ship was used in the movie The Hunt for Red October, depicting a Soviet icebreaker and its crew.)  This picture shows the large elliptical pier, which holds the engine room, coal room, 77,000-gallon cistern and the base of the lighthouse.  In large storms, waves would crash OVER this base, which is 70 feet above the ocean, and spray would hit the top of the lighthouse, “causing the tower to tremble and the men to fear for their lives.”  Who would ‘want’ to serve on this rock island?  No wonder it was “one of the least sought-after assignments. “  By the way, this lighthouse is the most expensive lighthouse ever built by the USA.  Costing $752,000…equivalent to $20 million today, and cost twice as much as its first estimates (seems they had construction overruns even back then!)

Point St. George Crew Quarters and parking lot (Boondockers)

As I was atop a grassy sand dune, Marcia was below in the parking lot with a wild bunch of boondockers and other visitors.  Yes, it is a place one could overnight…would we?  Uh….no…not here.  So we drove back south to the Refuge area, and eventually further along Pebble Beach Drive, headed towards Battery Point.

Pebble Beach Drive with Battery Point Lighthouse in distance

I knew the moment Marcia took this picture that it was a great shot.  In the middle distance you can see a building…that is the Battery Point Lighthouse.  In the distance, the mist covered hills south of Crescent City.  To the right, the scenic coastline, and in the foreground, the limb of a tree and vegetation infested coastal land.  It really shows the majestic coast here at Crescent City.

Pebble Beach Drive with Battery Point Lighthouse in distance

A bit further down the road there was a turnout where I was able to position our motorhome for a shot with the lighthouse, which is to the left.  Pebble Beach Drive Brother Johnathan Memorial CemeteryAcross the street from the turnout is the Brother Jonathan Cemetery, dedicated to those who lost their lives in the wreck of the Pacific Mail Steamer Brother Johnathan at Point St. George's Reef, July 30, 1865.  The ship was carrying 244 passengers and crew, together with a large shipment of gold. Only 19 survived, making it the deadliest shipwreck up to that time on the Pacific Coast of the United States. The boat had faced bad weather from San Francisco all the way to Crescent City where it anchored on that fateful Sunday morning.  It continued on to Portland that afternoon, but the fierce weather and seas forced it back as it neared the Oregon border just 20 miles to the north.  As it neared Crescent City, it struck a rock in the reef of St. George.  Although there were enough lifeboats for everyone, only a single surfboat, holding eleven crew members, five women, and three children managed to escape the wreck and make it safely to Crescent City.  The loss of life in this wreck was a major factor in the building of the Lighthouse along the reef off of Point St. George.

Battery Point Lighthouse

There is a parking lot near Battery Point Lighthouse, one that would fit a 30’ RV or smaller…if it wasn’t already full of cars and RVs.  But we were able to get a good shot of the lighthouse as we drove through.  Congress authorized the building of the lighthouse in 1855, and in 1856 the lighthouse was lit and was active all the way through till 1965, then reactivated in 1982 as a navigational aid.  It survived the Tsunami of 1964 which was caused by the Great Alaska Earthquake. 

Hot Rod in Crescent City    5b
Hot Rod in Crescent City

As we left the Battery Point area this hot rod pulled out right in front of us.  With my brother-in-law Arny being such a Hot Rod Junky, we just ‘had’ to follow it.  Hope you enjoy the pics there Arny…I haven’t a clue what it is other than it looks good.  For us, it was another night at the Florence Keller County Park & Campground, even got that great pull through that we had on Friday night.  New batteries worked GREAT, we were able to have the floor’s isle lights on all night and still had a 12.5 charge on the batteries.  But off to Oregon to turn in the old batteries, and find us another park to stay in.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Put Your HORSE on a Leash!

Great Dane on loose at Florence Keller Park

Ok, so it isn’t a horse…but it is tall enough to be a miniature horse, and I would hate to have to carry around a poop bag for this baby.  I don’t understand WHY some people think their dog is too good for a leash.  First noticed this friendly monster as I took Bubba and Skruffy for a walk after we changed sites at the Florence Keller Park…more on the change in a bit.  As I walk by the site this large group of people were at I noticed this HUGE dog, with a short lady holding onto its collar.  Its head came up past her belly button…but the dog did not fight her, or do anything but look at Skruffy and Bubba as they past by.  Skruffy did not see the dog, but at the last minute she smelled it and just started to run over that way until I gave her a small tug.  Bubba did see it, went over by it, but just did nothing but keep walking.

Great Dane on loose at Florence Keller ParkTo be fair, in both of these pictures the dog is on a leash.  But it was running around off leash for a long time.  Just prior to this picture I was outside at our new site sitting on the bench.  I look down and it is looking right at me.  Then it looks at its owner, then back at me and takes four steps my way.  Then stops and looks back at the owner, who is oblivious to the dog, and the dog is smart enough to know this, so it takes four more steps, looks back, sees it is clear, and trots over to me.  It is very friendly, and I tell it hello and pet its head, which is eye level with me as I was sitting down.  Then the “master” calls for it, and I tell it to go home and not to come back.  Next time I see it, it is on leash.  However, a few hours later I see it is off leash again.  PEOPLE, you might think YOU have a nice dog…but the dog someone is walking by your site might not think it is so nice, and a fight could come fast and furiously. 

Florence Keller Park

Here is our new site…it is the largest pull through in the campground…site “B”.  Why some are numbered and some lettered beats me…I think this portion of the campground is not as old as the numbered area.  After two nights we decided that we needed to catch some free WiFi to download some movies from Amazon.  We first tried Walmart, but it was very slow…but we did buy just a few things while there.  Then we tried Starbucks, but the Home Depot signal came in better…but I was still thinking we could do better.  We headed over to the Public Library, and before I went inside I tried to find some WiFi…and to my surprise, the State Park Headquarters across the street had a good, fast, strong WiFi, and we sat there for a couple of hours downloaded about six movies.  While there, I decided to finally try a DVD in our GPS Sound System…I had told Marcia I thought a DVD could play in it, and yes, it can.  So we watched “Quiet Man” for about the tenth time in the past couple of years.

Florence Keller Park

You can see between the two pictures above that this pull through is very large…however, if you have a 40-45’ motorhome, keeping your tires on the pavement might be hard to do as it curves around these trees.  However, a truck and trailer combination would work just fine.  We would have pulled into the spot we had the past two nights, but some car with a tent took it from us.  We did not try to save it because we were only 90% sure we would return…and return we did.

Florence Keller Park

All of the sites come with a picnic table which is made of hard plastic or rubber…I am sure it uses recycled materials, it is very firm, very durable, and you don’t get splinters in your butt.  There is a fire ring, and a nice place to pitch a tent if you are so inclined to do so.  All for $15, and there are many water spouts throughout the park, along with toilets…although many of the latter are the kind you see along side the road in work areas…if you know what I mean.  And their trash bins are made to look like tree trunks of cut-down trees…cute, but without signs I think many people don’t even know they are there.

Old Duracell Batteries
In every RVer’s life comes death…death of your batteries.  I have noticed that our battery charge is getting shorter and shorter.  Once we got down to one of three lights, but after just an hour or so it would go from three lights to two lights on our meter reader…and I have voltage tester that I plug into a 12V outlet and it dropped from 12.6 volts to 12 volts in less than an hour with very little juice being used by us.  In normal use we could stay above 12.4 volts for a few hours.  So instead of waiting for a full death, I decided to get new batteries today (Saturday).  Being so close to Oregon, where not sales tax exist and typically cheaper prices, we headed to Brookings to Fred Myer.  This Fred Myer was as big as the one in Soldotna Alaska that we used a lot last year, but the parking was smaller…go figure.  However, they only had ONE of the Interstate batteries that I wanted…but as luck would have it, there is a place right across US 101 from Fred Myer called Carpenter Point S Tire & Auto Service, and they had two of the batteries I wanted.  Total price was $295, but we will get $30 back on Monday when we return the old batteries.  Went up to the rest area just north of Brookings where I “thought” we were going to change the batteries.  Thought about it and remembered a Passport America park just south of the border that we had been to before, so I called Salmon New Interstate BatteriesHarbor Resort (I hate when they use that resort name when they are nothing but a park), and they had one last spot that we could have for $19 per night.  So we turned south, declared no fruits or fire wood at the border check, and we pulled into the park in less than 20 minutes.  After resting for about an hour I took out the old batteries and put in the new…An hour later we were back in business with power.

Salmon Harbor RV Resort where Smith River meets Pacific Ocean     Salmon Harbor RV Resort where Smith River meets Pacific Ocean
Salmon Harbor RV Resort where Smith River meets Pacific Ocean

Salmon Harbor has some nice views…especially if you are one of the dozen lucky enough ones to get the waterfront spaces as seen in the picture above-right.  For everyone else, you are stuck in the other area which has little space, little privacy.  For us, however, we just wanted to get the batteries installed and give them a nice charge before we camp in more secluded areas.  Sunday night we will most likely stay at the Lucky 7 Casino and give the new batteries a try.

Salmon Harbor RV Resort

This is the office, game room, etc.  They have laundry, showers, and about 2/3rds of the sites have mobile homes in them.  Salmon Harbor has been a family-run business since 1989, but eight months ago the Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation (which owns the casino) purchased the Salmon Harbor Resort and some other surrounding lands, about 60 acres in total, which are historical lands of the Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation.  For now, nothing has changed in the park…put people who have lived in the park for a long time are worried that it will shut down.  This area along the shoreline was a major village of the Tolowa Dee-ni’, there was a large Native American city in the area which was destroyed in 1853.  I think soon the whole area will have a new name…Xaa-wan’-k’wvt Village and Resort.

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