Friday, July 20, 2018

Pre-Wedding Festivities

At Casini Ranch Family Campground, Duncans Mills, CA

Micahel and Anna, pre-wedding BBQ, Rio Cafe Take 2, Monte Rio, CA

Michael met Anna at Cal Berkley where both of them were getting their Masters in Public Policy.  Anna was about a year ahead of Michael…the story goes that she was a Teacher’s Assistant, and gave Michael a “B” on an important paper/project that he had done…it was love ever after.  Now, they both live in Sacramento, he works at the State Capital, she at the State Water Resources (or something similar to that).  They bought a house this past January.  Prior to this he worked for the City of San Francisco, she at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.  Buying a home in the San Francisco Bay Area, especially in an area they would want to live in, was just not going to happen…hence, the move to Sacramento.  Anna got her job nearly two years ago, Michael just over a year.

Micahel and Anna, pre-wedding BBQ, Rio Cafe Take 2, Monte Rio, CA

They are having a very casual, simple wedding.  No maid of honor, no best man…they hosted this BBQ dinner Friday before tomorrow’s wedding, which will be in a Redwood Grove in Camp Meeker.  Tonight’s BBQ was held at the Rio Cafe Take 2 in Monte Rio, about a mile down from the Lodge most of the family are staying at, and 3 miles from the Campground, Casini Ranch Family Campground, where Marcia and I are staying at, and six miles from Camp Meeker.

Micahel and Anna, pre-wedding BBQ, Rio Cafe Take 2, Monte Rio, CA

Above I captured this picture of my son Ryan (far left) and his girlfriend Kaelyn (bending down), my daughter Stephanie (back to camera), their mother Shelley and her husband Bryan.

Micahel and Anna, pre-wedding BBQ, Rio Cafe Take 2, Monte Rio, CA

Here is a better picture of Kaelyn and Ryan…today was the first time I met Kaelyn, she is a very likeable person.  Both of them are in Chiropractic College, Ryan in Kansas City, Kaelyn in St. Louis.  Both should graduate next year, he in April, she in August.

Micahel and Anna, pre-wedding BBQ, Rio Cafe Take 2, Monte Rio, CA

To the far right in this picture is Anna’s mother Ruth.  Ruth is an American Classics scholar, a Professor of Greek and Latin at the University of Michigan.  The other two are longtime friends of the family.

Micahel and Anna, pre-wedding BBQ, Rio Cafe Take 2, Monte Rio, CA

The gal to the far right at the table above is Anna’s cousin, and her mother, dark glasses, is Anna’s aunt.  She also had two uncles and aunts who came, one pair flying in from France where they have lived for 13 years now.

Micahel and Anna, pre-wedding BBQ, Rio Cafe Take 2, Monte Rio, CA

Tomorrow is ‘their’ day…about 45 people showed up tonight, and probably 70-80 will be showing up tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Bear River Casino for a ‘One-Night’ Stop

At Bear River Casino near Fortuna, California

Bear River Casino blacktop camping, near Fortuna, Ca

Last year we stayed at the Bear River Casino for two or three nights.  All it takes it a FREE Bear River Casino Club Card, and then registering at the valet office, which seems to double as an outside security patrol’s office too.  Since I had the card, it only took a few minutes, and they give you a paper to put up on your window.  We are parked in the same location we parked last year…only this year the entire parking lot is being repaved…and they did the upper area, where RVs and large Trucks are suppose to park, first.

Bear River Casino blacktop camping, near Fortuna, Ca

We were the third RV to arrive, now there are five…far fewer than the eleven we had last year, but it is only 8 pm, so there is still time.

Bear River Casino blacktop camping, near Fortuna, Ca

It has been very sunny up until 7 pm…I took this shot just after putting the solar away, back under the bed where we store it when it won’t be used for a long time.  I figure it will be there for a month or more.  Tomorrow we will be in the Ukiah Fairgrounds, $37 with electric, water, and if we are lucky, sewer…if not, then use of the dump station.  Friday we arrive in the Occidental area where my son Michael and wife to be Anna will be married on Saturday…we will be there through Monday night, and arrive back in Sacramento on Tuesday.

Highway 101 south of Crescent City   Highway 101 south of Crescent City

The 100 mile ride from Crescent City changed from sun to ocean mist over and over again.  Every view of the Ocean looked like….

Pacific Ocean along highway 101 south of Crescent City

…this…misty, clouds, fog combination.  The drive is full of 30 mph to 55 mph (65 if you are not towing), and there were three construction spots which required us to stop, although one started up just as we arrived.  Traffic was light to moderate, and surprising, only a handful of bicyclist today.  With all the ups, downs, turns…one had to stay alert, so it is not an easy drive, glad it was only 100 miles today. 

Trees at Bear River Casino near Fortuna

Tomorrow will be closer to 150 miles…right through some very tall Redwoods.  Won’t see very much of the ocean anymore, sure like the looks of these trees along the coast, sculptured by the Ocean winds.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Florence Keller County Park & Campground Again

At Florence Keller County Park & Campground, Crescent City, CA, USA


Florence Keller County Park & Campground, Crescent City, CA

It was very mixed emotions that we left Huntley Park east of Gold Beach today.  Had a very good and long talk with Sean, the Camp Manager, last night.  Told him how thankful we were to  be able to get an extra week there (I think he extended to us because I fed him lots of info on the fire from three weeks ago…it pays to be a librarian who knows how to find information)…they have a strict 2 week policy, and we are so thankful that we were able to stay the extra week.  Sean and Patty, his wife, are great people…they have done a lot to make Huntley a better park than it was before they arrived over six years ago.  Of course, if the Port of Gold Beach would support them with more money it would be better…nothing Sean told me, just a fact I picked up myself.  After all, they have three sites with electricity…the Manager site, the camp assistant host site, and one for the public…if they can do three sites, they can do more…but the port does not want to invest the $$$$$.   So during the winter, the park sits nearly empty…what a shame.  Put in 12 electric sites, and that would bring in up to $300 per week.  But without electricity, no one wants to boondock in weather which is around 60 degrees high, 40 degrees low..so for the most part it sits empty.  What a shame!!!!

Florence Keller County Park & Campground, Crescent City, CA

We started getting ready to leave around 10 am…pulling out by 11.  Did not need to dump our tanks until we got to Brookings since we dumped the other day when someone nearly let the propane go to empty.  Sad smile  Thank goodness the Union 76 station in Gold Beach sells Propane, and since we were in town, we dumped our tanks.  While in Brookings, we filled the motorhome with gas at $3.05 per gallon, then we went across the street and disconnected the car, took it back to Fred Myer to get some gas ($3.15 per gallon,. only had a 10 cent discount left on our loyalty card)., and do some shopping, then went back to the motorhome, put stuff away, and took the motorhome over to the Valvoline Instant Oil Change across the other side of Fred Myer to get the oil changed in the motorhome ($55).   We then joined the car to the motorhome and headed to Crescent City, specifically Florence Keller County Park & Campground.  This is our fourth time in the park, twice last year and twice this year.  We did not get site B, our favorite, but we did get site 4 which allows us to park without disconnecting our car.

Florence Keller County Park & Campground, Crescent City, CA

Arriving around 3, I sat outside for awhile, Marcia took a nap, and we had our dinner (Steak and Salad…yum).  The park is more busy today than the last times we were here.  Nice park for $15 per night, and we are only going to be here for one night.  I already miss the solitude of Huntley Park, despite the family that arrive with a tent trailer at 10:15 last night, parked behind us, tried for an hour to put up the tent trailer, and eventually headed off to a motel room in Gold Beach.  They arrive back as we were pulling out…not sure if they ever got that tent trailer up, or if they gave up and drove off with it.  They are lucky we are not early to bed type of folks…  Tomorrow will be a Casino Parking Lot….

Monday, July 9, 2018

River Hydroplane Race – Huntley Park

At Huntley Park, near Gold Beach, OR

River Hydroplane Racing, Huntley Park near Gold Beach

The “Peace and Calm” of Huntley Park ended Thursday night until mid-day Sunday.  The fourth of July was not bad at all…but by Thursday night the park was 80% full, and by Saturday it was 100% full…not sure they turned anyone away, but managers Sean and Patty said they ‘filled ‘er up”… maybe they might of crammed someone in if they had a small rig, or a tent…but essentially they were full.  Saturday also brought out the Hydroplane boats.  Saturday was worse than race day on Sunday.  Most of the boats practiced, and they did not all practice at the same time…so we heard the revving up of the engines and whine of boat after boat most of the day with a short break at low tide around 1 pm. 

River Hydroplane Racing, Huntley Park near Gold Beach

On Sunday, they loaded into the water around 9:45, started up and headed down to Gold Beach.  There was silence for about 15 minutes…then it sounded like an army of bees headed our way…got louder and louder and louder, then this guy in the pictures above showed up, followed by the other dozen boats or so.  The guy in the above two pictures was in the front from the start of the race to the end…so I figure he won.  There was no loud speakers, no announcers…it was just over, and silence once again fell on Huntley Park.

River Hydroplane Racing, Huntley Park near Gold Beach 
River Hydroplane Racing, Huntley Park near Gold Beach    River Hydroplane Racing, Huntley Park near Gold Beach

The most exciting part of the race was this Zebra Boat…the guy had to pull into the pits for a quick adjustment.  A minute or so later he started to get back into the race…but when he gave it full throttle, it knocked him out of his boat.  The “kill switch” did its work cutting the engine’s power, and one of the safety boats captured the boat.  I am sure it was a long, embarrassing walk out there to get his boat…just glad he did not get hurt because it could have been worse.  Only wish I had the picture...but it was behind some bushes from my view...oh well.

Emergency -- Huntley Park near Gold Beach

About 15 minutes later this ambulance comes storming into the campground, sirens cut as he pulls in, but lights still flashing (I just got unlucky and took the shot between flashes).  At first we thought it was for the racer who got knocked out of his boat, but it was for a camper down the way who had a diabetic attack…they hauled him off to the local hospital, with spouse trailing a bit behind after the tent and everything got packed up into their van thanks to neighboring campers.

River Hydroplane Racing, Huntley Park near Gold Beach

After the race had ended, this guy shows up.  I thought at first that he was just a bit late….

River Hydroplane Racing, Huntley Park near Gold Beach

…then realize he was in the race, broke down either up or down river, and they had to go pull his boat out.  This gal was taking a picture of the propeller area, so I assume that is what busted.

Fellow Camper, Huntley Park near Gold Beach

We knew it was going to be a crazy weekend, and it was.  But the people were all friendly, by 10 pm the quiet time was recognized by all, and other than the noise of fisherman pulling out with their boats in the early morning, all was quiet up past 8 am.   The worse part of the weekend was the overcast both days...had to run the engine to keep batteries charged to where I like them. Today it is 65 degrees, sun shinning, the quietness has returned, and frankly…just a bit boring….naw, just joking, we enjoy the peace and quiet.

Lobster Creek Fire 100% Contained

My last fire update.  It is 100% contained…the sound of helicopters flying overhead is long gone.  The group renting the camp have claimed responsibility, according to the local newspaper, but they still won’t talk about “how” it happened.  They assured the paper that they had insurance, and it would cover the cost of putting the fire out…estimated to be over 1.5 million dollars now and rising.  However, I am certain the forestry company whose land also burned…who lost a 10+ year area of a Redwood Grove that they planted…is going to go after them for a business loss…hope they have lots and lots of insurance…well, on the other hand, going bankrupt and shutting their eco-activist business down might be better.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Smoke Free, Nearly Noise Free, 4th of July

At Huntley Park, near Gold Beach, OR

Flag at entrance of Huntley Park near Gold Beach

At our age, we YEARN for a nice, quiet place to enjoy the 4th of July.  Huntley Park seems just like the place.  Huntley Park is 7 miles up river from where Highway 101 crosses over the Rogue River…eliminate the twists and turns, we are probably 6 miles as the crow flies.  There was a large fireworks show in the harbor near the bridge in Gold Beach…we could faintly hear it from Huntley Park.  Could actually hear the “new tent neighbors” (man, woman, two little girls) way more than the fireworks…both adults like to talk loud, and …how can I describe this in a nice way…talk in a very impolite way to each other.

Lobster Creek Fire -- helicopter headed to fire over Huntley Park near Gold Beach

The Oregon Department of Forestry has taken over the fighting of the Lobster Creek Fire.  This fire has been handled VERY WELL by all those involved…unlike last year’s Chetco Fire where the fire, discovered in June, was allowed to burn uncontrolled until the August Winds blew it up to a 200,000+ acre fire.  Lobster Creek has been stopped at around 450 acres, it is fully lined (fire break all around it) and as of last night, it is 30% contained (large enough fire break that “if” fire blew back up, it is unlikely to cross that containment line.)  They have multiple heavy and medium lift helicopters working the fire, and the planes are ready to fly in from Medford, but they are not needed anymore.  Over 700 fire fighters are working the fire, and the command center and camp area has been moved to the Fairgrounds in Gold Beach.  Outside of Sunday night and Monday morning, we have been smoke free…and very little smoke is pouring out from the fire right now anyway.  If you want to see some good pictures, including a bucket drop of water on the fire, look at this site here.

Firefighters headed to showers, Lobster Creek Fire -- Huntley Park near Gold Beach

These young men fought the fire all night long on Sunday, and a temporary camp was set up in one of the group areas here at Huntley Park where they came in Monday mid-morning, took showers, and then slept.  by 7 pm, they were gone, as was their entire camp site equipment…Marcia enjoyed the view for one morning.  Winking smile

Sheriff car looking for banned fireworks at Huntley Park near Gold Beach

Around 8 pm two county sheriff’s cars came cruising through the campground.  At first I thought there might have been a problem, although the park is still less than 3/4 full…but then I realized they were making their presence known looking for firework activity.  Heck, it has been so free of booms and bangs that I forgot all about fireworks.  Glad to see them, we sure don’t need any stupid person starting a fire lighting off fireworks.

4th of July at Huntley Park near Gold Beach

After I took the solar panel in for the night (see the black cord at the back of the motorhome, that’s what I hook the solar to), I took this shot to show that we now have more neighbors.  On Tuesday, only the cargo van, which is owned by the Camp Manager, was here…now we have a person sleeping in a van, and numerous RV’s that are beyond that trailer you can see at the back. 

4th of July at Huntley Park near Gold Beach

Out our entrance door side we have the tenters, and two RVs off in the distance.  However, the Hydroplane Races are this weekend…there are two family reunions coming into the two group spots today, and I expect that we will be excited on Sunday evening after most of the people pull out and go home.  Open-mouthed smile

4th of July at Huntley Park near Gold Beach

Speaking of Solar earlier…yesterday was not a good solar day.  Lots of high clouds, marine layer stuff, keeping us with few glimpses of the sun (mostly as the sun was going down), and temperatures which were frankly just a bit on the colder side.  Had to run engine for 90 minutes to charge batteries during the evening hours.  Had a hard time sitting outside for very long, so I sat in the front seat and plugged in the Kindle and watched a Spaghetti Western which I had not seen before.  Even though it was the 4th, I went down to the Library on a hunch, and YES, their Internet was up and going and strong as I pulled up next to the building.  Filled up both Kindles with movies.  One thing about Spaghetti Westerns…you think you have seen them all, as you watch you realize that you have not seen this particular one, but it is as corny as all the other Spaghetti Westerns you have seen (outside of Clint Eastwood ones, of course).

I promise pictures of the hydroplane boats as they pass by.  We are elated that the fire is under control, and not a worry anymore.  Have decided to stay here until July 17th, then we started heading south to my son’s wedding.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

YIKES! Another Fire…

At Huntley Park near Gold Beach, OR

Lobster Creek Fire, ten miles away

Last year our travels were plagued with fires…and today another fire popped up real fast.  About 2:30 we heard a few sirens going by…they seemed to police, figured some people up stream got into a fishing argument or something.  At 4:00 I hear the Camp Manger here at Huntley Park talking to a Camp Host about a “fire”, and I got up and walked over to find out more.  Yep, a fire at the Lobster Creek 4H Park.

Lobster Creek Fire in relation to Huntley Park

Now this park is about 10 miles away from the fire as the crow flies…the winds quickly moved it from 30 acres (around 4 pm) to 300 acres (around 8 pm).  The winds are starting to die out (it is 8:30 now), and they are on this bad boy like a mother spanking her wayward child for lying about and steeling candy from the supermarket.  (oops, I guess moms can’t do that anymore…it sure worked back in my day…not saying I ever stole candy from a supermarket…honest mom, never did).   They have 4 single engine tankers and 2 helicopters and a number of men and bulldozers hitting this fire as we speak…I mean, as I write this blog.  Huntley Park is going to stage a camp for some of the fire fighters…last time this happened the fire fighters worked in 12 hour shifts, working the fire and resting at the camp in rotating shifts.

Helicopter headed for Lobster Creek Fire

Caught this picture of the helicopter taking a bucket load towards the fire…it was headed towards Gold Beach (also got a pic, but this one is better) about 20 minutes earlier.  Could hear the planes now and then, but have not seen them.  They will be flying out of Gold Beach Airport.  No word on how it started…but the camp was hosting a large 4H camp for 3rd-5th graders…all were evacuated to the Calvary Chapel Church in Gold Beach…which is affiliated with our Calvary Chapel back in Florida!  Will keep you all tuned in, and will try to update via Facebook as much as I can.   My Facebook Page    GoingRvWay Facebook Page

Friday, June 29, 2018

Lobster Creek – Rogue River

At Huntley Park, Gold Beach, OR

View west from Lobster Creek Bridge

Last year when we were in the area we traveled in the motorhome up river from Gold Beach along Jerry Flat Road up to Lobster Creek…along the way we found Huntley Park, and less than a week later we pulled into Huntley and stayed for two weeks  Wednesday evening I decided to head the 2.5 miles up to Lobster Creek to see if I could see any wildlife…and with the sun already over the hills, I saw this amazing view above…

View west from Lobster Creek Bridge
Saw just a handful of people, most shown in this picture above..so note the boat launching ramp…that is located in the Lobster Creek Campground, a National Forest Campground which has perhaps a dozen sites…many of which are for tents.  When we drove through last year we found  a couple of sites we would have fit into…but no Internet or Cell reception at all…not good for us.

View east from Lobster Creek Bridge    Lobster Creek Bridge

The picture to the left is the eastern view from the bridge, and the picture to the right is the one-lane bridge at Lobster Creek, said creek flows into the Rogue River here.  The campground does not require the use of the one-lane bridge as it is accessed from Jerry Flat Road.

Lobster Creek flowing into Rogue River

,Above you can see the total amount of wildlife which I saw while I was at Lobster Creek.  And yes, that is Lobster Creek running into the river.

Flowers along Jerry Flat Road    Flowers along Jerry Flat Road

Along the roadway are these violet flowers…not sure what they are, but they are pretty.
   
Huntley Park near Gold Beach OR    Huntley Park near Gold Beach OR

I promised pics of Huntley Park.  We are under this tree which gives us morning sun, then cool shade during the day.  The solar panel picks up the sun behind us all day long…just need to adjust the position a few times each day,  Three nights and we have recharged our batteries each day so far.

Osprey Nest, Huntley Park

Found an Osprey Nest yesterday…and got this shot near dusk.  Going to try and get a pic of it fishing…wish me luck!

Curry Public Library in Gold Beach

As I write this post I am sitting outside the Curry Public Library in Gold Beach.  Yesterday I came here and found the Internet to be very good, much like Brookings except no password needed.  They might leave it on all night, so even on Sunday you could probably get it out in the parking lot close to the building.  They are in the midst of an expansion of the building…adding about 40% more space.  It sure looks nice.  Yesterday I came to download some movies.  My Kindle had about 4 gigs of space being used by phantom music which I had removed…but the missing data was still taking up space.  One option is to reset, which wipes everything off of it.  It did do that, but would not let me download movies…but it would download TV shows.  I went back and researched at the motorhome, ended up calling Amazon and talking to a tech for about 45 minutes.  He asked if he could call me back today, and I told him I was going back to the library in case it needs another reset.  At 10:30 last night I tried my Kindle again and it was working.  I have already downloaded  a dozen movies, the maximum you are allowed, and some country music, Blake (Shelton) and Brad (Paisley), and nearly done with blog…might be headed back before he calls back…