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 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…

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Moved on to Huntley Park Today

At Huntley Park, Gold Beach, OR

Yesterday (Monday) I traveled to Brookings to publish yesterday's post (when there are pictures, it is hard to post without a faster connection...let alone saving usage on our Aircard), do laundry, and do one last quick shopping trip at Fred Meyer.  I found the public library to be the best place to post from in is open from 10-6, you can see the password as you walk in the door, and you can be in and out real quick.  Did some movie downloads at McDonalds...that took a long time, and the Fred Meyer Internet, which is also used by the famous coffee store located there, is just too slow to even download a movie.

The laundromat is actually in Harbor.  Harbor and Brookings are separated by the Chetco River, and most people passing through don't even realize that they are not in Brookings when they are in Harbor.  It is a large laundromat, and I had no problem finding washers or dryer.  The only thing, the washers are what they call "High Efficiency", and they take over 40 minutes per load, but you use way less detergent.  All came clean, and the people in there were real friendly...found out that one lady at the laundromat was also staying in Loeb State Park as we pulled out of Loeb today.

Huntley is very empty compared to last year...we are about 6 weeks earlier than last year.  Lots of fishermen use the park, and I expect as we closer to the weekend there will be more local people coming up for the 4th of July.  Last year it was $77 per week...this year it is $95 per week.  The daily fee is up to $15 per day, up from $13 last year.  WHY?  Probably because it is operated by the Port, and the Port is up to its neck in debt due to ex-staff lawsuits.  There have been turnovers (recalls) in the Port Authority board...I think in time things will be better.

It was a nice cool day here today, maybe reached 70.  Since we are right along the Rogue River, the temps here will be just a bit milder than we had Loeb.  Will get some pictures and do another posting soon.  But I will include this one picture below I got with my cell phone on my way back from dong laundry yesterday.

Mama and Baby Deer

Monday, June 25, 2018

RV Block Party Weekend, Memories of the Longest Day

At Alfred A. Loeb State Park, Brookings, OR

Bubba watching kids at Alfred A. Loeb State Park

I have sat outside for hours each day we have been at Loeb State Park.  On Thursday I noticed that there were lots and lots of people who seemed to know each other…there were many “locals” in the park, and they stayed all weekend.  The number of children on bicycles increased three fold, and on Friday and Saturday there were few turnovers within the campground.  (It is hard to see, but Bubba is looking down the street at about seven kids and three adults…at this point, most of the kids were down at the river swimming/playing.)  I commented to Marcia Saturday evening that it was like one huge old fashion block party…people talking, laughing, kids playing, everyone having fun.  It was like stepping back in time for me…we lived on a block where kids played outside all the time, football in the street…even baseball if we could get all the parked cars moved, and basketball was always at our house.  It was a time when kids could be kids…as long as we watched for the occasional car coming around the corner, all was well.  The same here at the park…it was nice to see.  By noon today, half the park cleared out…and at 3 pm, there were still 15 sites open.  This afternoon, only two children on bikes.  Amazingly, the noise level over the weekend was very reasonable. 

Brookings Oregon Pacific Ocean    Brookings Oregon Chetco River meets Pacific
Brookings Oregon Port

One day I went down to Brookings to get some groceries, check on getting the motorhome oil changed later on, and I decided to get some pictures of the Ocean in the Brookings/Harbor area, including a shot of the boat harbor along the Chetco River.  As you can see, the skies were clear…as they have been nearly every day that we have been here.  In fact, we had to run the A/C three times in the eleven days we have been here…but I never felt hot outside as long as I was in the shade.

Bridge near start of Redwood Trail, near Alfred A. Loeb State Park

I also did another walk…returning to the Redwood Trail that I struggled with on Father’s day.  No, not to walk this trail again…I am not a masochist…I just wanted to get better pictures of the scenic bridge that is at the start of the walk.  So I walked the couple hundred of yards up to and onto the bridge. 

Bridge near start of Redwood Trail, near Alfred A. Loeb State Park

When I went on the walk that Sunday, I turned left away from the bridge to start my walk.  By the time I got to the bridge at the end of the hike, I was just ready to get into the car and some air conditioning.  So Friday I drove back over and got these pictures.  It really is a very scenic, quiet place.

Bridge near start of Redwood Trail, near Alfred A. Loeb State Park

I could not decide which picture I liked the best…so you get to see the top three.  After I got my pictures, I returned to the car and drove over to the start of the Riverview Trail.  I was determined to do this easier walk again, but at a faster pace…so I left the camera in the car, and off I headed with my bottle of water at 12:20.  Made it to where the Riverview and Redwood trails meet by 12:50.  Around 1:05 I headed back to the car, and got to the car at 1:35.  That was about 20 minutes faster than the first time.

June 21, 2018, about 3 pm, Alfred A. Loeb State Park

Thursday was the 21st, the longest day of the year.  As I sat in my chair outside, I see the moon rising over the trees on the hill to the east.  It reminded me of our night in Alaska…midnight as the calendar turned from the twentieth to the twenty first….camping at the Seward Waterfront RV Park.  The nights in Alaska are long during the summer…and though it was midnight, it looked like it was just dusk, and it had looked that way for a couple of hours already.  I look out the motorhome window, I grab my camera and was out the door.

June 21, 2016 around 12:15 am, Resurection Bay, Alaska

A full moon just coming over the mountains on the other side of Resurrection Bay.  As I take picture after picture, I see this small fishing boat coming from the left headed out of the bay.  I see that the boat is going to pass right over the reflection of the moon on the water, and I got this shot above.  It is my favorite shot, I even have it as the wallpaper on my computer.

Skruffy, June 21, 2016, Sick as a Dog headed to Soldotna Animal Hospital

Later that same day, we realize that Skruffy is one sick dog…the Vet in Seward has gone on vacation, and off to Soldotna which was 90 miles away…it took three hours.  That is where the Soldotna Animal Hospital, Dr. Meezie Hermansen in particular, saved Skruffy’s life.  It was then that we found she was diabetic.  Since her recovery, she has been fed twice a day, 12 hours apart, with an insulin shot for dessert (she actually gets it as she eats).  Skruffy is doing GREAT now. That was one long day…a day which could have turned out much differently had it not been for the Soldotna Animal Hospital.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Took Me a River Walk, 1 1/2 Miles

At Alfred A. Loeb State Park, Brookings, OR

Chetco River as seen from the Riverview Trail, Alfred A Loeb State Park, Brookings OR

One would think that after Sunday I would not be up for another hike…but I was.  The Riverview Trail is a 3/4 mile hike from the campground to the Redwood Trail along the Chetco River.  The Chetco River is only 56 miles long…so I walked around 1/60th of the length of the river.  The river drops over 3,200 feet over those 56 miles, but thank goodness the drop is very slight for the Riverview Trail hike.  However, this trail is also NOT an ADA trail…so I would be by myself again.

Brochure for the Redwood and Riverview Trails, Alfred A Loeb State Park, Brookings OR
The good thing is that I found the brochure on the Redwood Trail…at the start of the River Trail, and it covers both trails.  Unfortunately, of the 12 spots of interest, marked on the trail A through L, there were only four trail posts along the path…A, B, C and J…so the brochure did not help me much today.  And although it was a Tuesday, I saw three times the amount of people today than I did on Sunday doing the Redwood Trail…but 8-9 people is still not that many people.  And the noise level was only broken by a young child crying out for mom and dad until they found each other…and that was at the end of my hike.

Start of the Riverview Trail, Alfred A Loeb State Park, Brookings OR

Above is the start of the trail…the brochure was in a box on that larger sign to the left.  There is a small picnic area here, free to use for day use, along with parking very close by.  I walked to this point from the RV, and that was probably 1/10th of a mile extra…but we will just call it a 3/4 mile hike each way for a total of 1.5 miles.

Riverview Trail, Alfred A Loeb State Park, Brookings OR    Riverview Trail, Alfred A Loeb State Park, Brookings OR

The trail was very similar to the Redwood Trail, except for the lack of elevation change, it was only a slight change here and there.  Yes, I did sit on that bench, (picture right above) but not until I had finished the 1 1/2 mile hike (and yes, I did sit in other areas before I sat there, but no real huffing and puffing today.) Today was also much cooler, and…

Arrowhead Sparkling Water, Triple Berry Flavor

…I remembered water….Arrowhead Sparkling Water, Triple Berry flavor.  We love this sparkling water…it has zero carbs, zero sodium, zero calories…and it tastes good, just a hint of berry, for this one, or orange, lemon, lime and cherry for other flavors we have.  You can see the water is 3/4 of the way gone, and I was headed back at this point…

Riverview Trail, Alfred A Loeb State Park, Brookings OR    Riverview Trail, Alfred A Loeb State Park, Brookings OR
Riverview Trail, Alfred A Loeb State Park, Brookings OR     Riverview Trail, Alfred A Loeb State Park, Brookings OR

The river walk trail is very pretty.  Very few great views of the river, but you see it through the trees much of the way.  My only trouble was going through this “hole” shown in the bottom right picture.  A tree is over the trail, so they dug a path under, and this big boy squeezed through… actually, I fit ok, but seeing down while walking and not hitting my head is hard with transition trifocals.

Riverview Trail, Alfred A Loeb State Park, Brookings OR

For some reason, the water was glistening with green in this area…especially along the far bank.  In other areas, the water was very clear…don’t know what is up with that.

Riverview Trail, Alfred A Loeb State Park, Brookings OR

Thought this was a bit strange along the pathway, but they needed to funnel water from one side of the road to the other, and this pipe did the trick, and the stairs, which go up, over, then back down, made a nice bench which I readily used on the way there, and the way back. 

Riverview Trail, Alfred A Loeb State Park, Brookings OR

When I got to this bridge, I wondered just how old it is compared to that downed tree which could also be used as a bridge…when I was much, much younger, like a teenager, I would have walked across the tree bridge…but I am slightly wiser now…just slightly.

Riverview Trail, Alfred A Loeb State Park, Brookings OR

Was happy to see this yellow sign up on the roadway…knew I was getting close to using the non-existent crosswalk across the roadway over to the start of the Redwood Trail…and a nice place to sit for a bit before I headed back.

End of Riverview Trail, Start of Redwood Trail, Alfred A Loeb State Park, Brookings OR

Yep, I was right…and the lady and man I passed near that bridge I sat down on…they were wrong, telling me that I wasn’t even half way done yet.  I did not argue, but I knew I was pass the halfway point, and my estimation now is that I was over 2/3rds done.  Don’t know why she kept saying, “No even halfway yet!”, but she said it over and over.

Parking at the Redwood Trail, end of Riverview Trail

Sat there long enough that all the cars left…maybe 10 minutes max.  Very discouraged seeing a older man, in his 70’s for sure…perhaps upper 70’s…coming down off the Redwood Trail.  “Did you make it the entire way?” I asked.  “Of course, why do you think I wouldn’t?” as he walked by and go in the car.  I just smiled, thinking to myself, “…because it nearly killed me two days ago….”   Anyway, today’s hike was 1.5 miles, the degree of difficulty was easy to moderate according to the brochure. (It says the Redwood Trail is Moderate to Steep…I think they should emphasize the word STEEP.)  All in all, I was back to the motorhome in 2/3rd of the time it took me on Sunday, and I was not tired out like I was on Sunday.  We paid for another 7 days here at the park…I might just hike this trail one more time…

For Nancy….

Loeb Campground

In answer to your question of the other day…here is a motorhome about your size with a truck much larger than your tow car…so YES, there are places you can park your rig here at Loeb.  In fact, a couple came by Monday night and could not get in, came by today and did find a place…they have a 40’ and a jeep, they fit just fine.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Took Me a Redwood Father’s Day Walk

At Alfred A Loeb State Park, Brookings OR

 Redwood Nature Trail near Loeb State Park

 Redwood Nature Trail near Loeb State ParkJust about a mile east from Loeb State Park along the river road is the Redwood Nature Trail.  This 12 mile hike, I mean 1.2 mile hike (it just felt 12 miles to me) takes you up 2,000 feet (make that 200 feet, just felt like 2,000 feet) into a forest of myrtle woods, ponderosa pines, ferns and other underbrush, and a small grove of Coastal Redwoods.  Some say this is the northernmost grove of Map,  Redwood Nature Trail near Loeb State ParkRedwoods in the United States…but there are reports of other small groves just a few miles north of here, but I can’t find out if they were spared from last year’s fire or not.  The National Forest website says that the trail is “More Difficult”, but I am sure that is a mistake…it should be listed as Very Very Very Strenuous!  The map to the right shows the route, which is easy to follow, just don’t go down the few less used paths, they will probably just lead you into poison oak.  There is SUPPOSE to be a brochure telling you about what to look for at all the numbered locations…but alas, no brochures available, could not even find one on the Internet.

 Redwood Nature Trail near Loeb State Park

So I had hiked about 1/3 of the trail…stopping a few times to admire all the trees in the forest (huffing and puffing) and one time I even laid down to get this picture (took a quick nap and caught my breath)…then this lady comes jogging down the trail in front me headed the other way.  As she passed, I asked if I was near the halfway point…she chuckles, looks back behind her (which is the direction I was headed) and says, “Well…getting close to halfway I guess.”, but I could tell she was just trying to be nice.

 Redwood Nature Trail near Loeb State Park

Every good hiker knows to take water along…I ain’t no good hiker.  I was so thirsty after my first hour I wanted to jump into this stream, but figured I was so tired I might drown in the two to three inches of water passing by.

 Redwood Nature Trail near Loeb State Park
As I got closer to the end of the hike, I heard some talking behind me.  After the humiliating conversations with the “jogger”, I wasn’t about to be humiliated again, so I tried to find me a hole to hide in…this burned out Redwood would do just fine, but they caught up to me before I could slither in on all fours, and I struck up a conversation with this younger couple.  They live in Brookings, but the male had lived in St. Pete and in Clearwater, just down the road from where we live in Florida.  I asked if this misery, I mean wonderful hike would ever end, and they assured me that it was all downhill, and that noise I heard was indeed cars passing along the road just down the ridge.  Well, they were correct, and I made it back to the car, turned on the car’s AC and sat there a bit.

Some of the many Redwoods,  Redwood Nature Trail near Loeb State Park

Rocky Pathway...not a accessilbe hike, that is for sureLooking back, it was a wonderful hike, yes, a bit tiring for this ole 300 pound boy (would have never made it a few years ago), and no…Marcia could not go because it is no where near being accessible.  Picture to the left is a part of the trail…going down a rocky slope.  At times I appreciated the tree roots in the trail as I climbed up and when climbing down…it made for sure footholds.  I only saw the three people, I was gone for 2 hours (It is a long 2 minute drive to the trailhead), and, of course, I had to pick the hottest day of the year to do this hike (camp host told me it was upper 80’s in the park today, maybe even 90).  As Redwoods go, I have seen bigger, seen better, but have never been along such an isolated trail, having the forest to myself…which was appreciated, that way I know people weren’t counting how many times I stopped, how many huffing and puffings it took to catch my breath, nor was anyone around to complain about the trail of sweat I left behind me.  Was able to get a signal now and then to let Marcia know how I was doing, and called her up on my drive back and asked her put a beverage by the door so I could sit outside and cool off.  After that, I headed to showers….what a wonderful Father’s Day it has been.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Why We Like Alfred A Loeb State Park

At Alfred A Loeb State Park, Brookings Oregon

 Loeb State Park, view to front sitting along the side

There are many features about parks that we like….location, space, quietness, safety, friendliness….Alfred A Loeb State Park has these for us.  Located 8 1/2 miles from Brookings, but only around 6 1/2 by the way the crow flies.  The temperatures during the summer are very moderate…today it is 65 degrees in Brookings, probably closer to 70 here at Loeb.  VERY comfortable.

Loeb State Park, view to our right

Here is our closest neighbor right outside our door.  YES, there is really another camper on the other side of these bushes…we don’t see them, they don’t see us.  My camping chair, which surprisingly after 6 years of this lifestyle is new (never carried one before) sits right outside the door, and I took both of the above shots sitting in that chair…in the shade…in 70 degree weather.

Loeb State Park, view behind us

Above is a shot from that same chair of the back of our campsite.  Beyond those bushes is the North Bank of Chetco River Road…not a very busy road, so not much noise.  Typically, if a car goes down the river road, it turns into Loeb, but not always.  Now not all sites here at Loeb are like this…but many of them are.  Get here on a mid-week morning, and you will probably have many sites to pick from.  Doubt you will get in on a Friday or Saturday though….

Loeb State Park, Butterfly on Berry Blossoms

There are lots of berry bushes here in the park.  They are not ripe yet…perhaps when we get back in July…but berries are not yet on our diet, but a taste here and there won’t hurt, right???

Loeb State Park, Bumble Bee on Berry Blossoms

Bumble Bees and Honey Bees are all over these blossoms…but they are not aggressive, just actively going from blossom to blossom.

 Loeb State Park    Loeb State Park
Plaque about Loeb State Park

It cost the same to camp in a tent or in a RV, and there are a few cabins which I showed last year when we were here (Last year’s blogs: Alfred A. Loeb State Park, near Brookings Oregon and Staying put at Alfred A Loeb through the Weekend).  There is an extra charge for a vehicle, but it is defined as follows:
Some campgrounds allow extra vehicles at each campsite. Some allow extra vehicle parking only in overflow areas. Check with campground staff before you park an extra vehicle at your site—a $7 extra vehicle fee for campers may apply . What's an extra vehicle? In addition to the car or RV you drive into the park, you may tow one additional car or truck at no charge. If you drive an additional vehicle, the $7 fee kicks in. (Oregon State Park Link)

Bathrooms and Showers at Loeb State Park

Took a shower in the shower / bathroom building the day we got here.  I normally just shower in the motorhome, but we are hoping to only dump once while here for 12 days, so using public showers area must for me.  As public showers go, these are not bad at all…and free to campers ($2 to non-campers).

Kids Bikes down the way from us, Loeb State Park

Some would be highly turned off by the kids at the park…but both years we have found the kids to be just normal kids, not too loud, and parents set the boundaries as to where they can ride.  Also, both today and yesterday a State Patrol Car came through the park…as they did last year. 

Loab State Park, view to our left      Loab State Park, view to our right

Loab Campground Map

We like sites 9, 10 and 11 because of their location within the park.  However, any of the sites 1-8 also are good sites.  As you go around the loop, the privacy of the sites is not as good…and the closer to the river one gets, the more river noise (folks down at the river) there is.  Many people come up from Brookings to use the river for the day, especially in the heat of July and August (when temps get up to mid-70’s down in Brookings).