Monday, August 26, 2019

Back in California's 100+ Degree Weather

At Sister's House, Citrus Heights, CA

Dad in Hospital

There is only ONE thing that would bring us back to the HOT Sacramento Valley...and that is someone who is sick.  Yep, dad ended up in the hospital again last Tuesday.  On Wednesday we made the decision to return, but it was raining in Southwest Oregon, so Thursday would be the day we would take off...but there was one slight problem...

Two weeks earlier as we returned from our weekly tank emptying, I surprisingly see this GASH in my front passenger tire.  WHAT!!!!  It was not there when we left my sister's place four weeks earlier.  The gash also included a balding spot about 3 inches each way...other than that the tread looked good.  

Michelin Tire near blowout

Down in Gold Beach there is a Chevron Gas Station which still does car service...for $20 they put the spare on the front right and that tire on the spare.  Although I was worried about driving those short 8 miles, we made it without problem...doing it as part of the next Tuesday tank dumping routine.  Besides dumping our tanks we also filled up with propane at the Union 76 gas station further south in Gold Beach, put in $40 of gas to get us to Fred Meyer in Brookings when we did leave...but the first priority was getting that tire changed.

Discount Tire 
For two weeks since discovering the bad tire, I had researched what tires I wanted to put onto the motorhome.  I knew I wanted to continue with Discount Tire...they have treated us well, and they are nationwide (not all states, but a bunch of them).   When the guy at the gas station took the tire off, he said that it appeared that the belt had busted, causing a weak area and eventually the hole.  We got these tires in the El Paso area back in 2015, and we have put over 55,000 miles on them, which included a trip to Alaska in 2016.  These tires were free, part of a recall of Michelin Tires which had history of the belts breaking...and one broke on us causing a blowout back in 2015.  I did buy a 7th tire back then as a spare...which was rotated onto the motorhome a few years later.  Bottom line, I was not comfortable with Michelin anymore. 

US Auto Authority  
Found a website published a few months ago by the US Auto Authority titled "Best RV Tires for Motorhome,Travel Trailer or Camper 2019".  This is their top 10:

US Auto Authority Top 10 RV Tires 

I then did more research on the Michelin XPS RIB and the Bridgestone Duravis M700.  There was NO WAY I was going to put on Goodyear, something that dates back to 1976 when I bought a set of Goodyears for my Malibu...long story which is not worth talking about now.  I decided upon the Bridgestone and planned to order them 10 days before we would originally have gone through Medford...buying tires in Oregon would be $250 cheaper than in California, and even a little less than in Florida...but there was no way we were going to Florida on these tires.  With our two week earlier departure date, I called Discount Tire in Medford on Wednesday and placed the order,  I was assured they would be in on Thursday around noon.  So at 6:30 Thursday morning we pulled out, bought coffee at one of those little coffee stands, pulled into a turnout to feed the dogs, filled up with gas in Brookings at Fred Meyer ($3.25 per gallon) and by 8:30 we were on the Redwood Highway in California headed for Medford.  Around 9:30 we got a call that the tires were in...but two hours later we got another call to say that only 4 tires were in, the other 2 were coming out of Washington State and would not be in until Friday...

Valley of the Rogue State Park 

I knew that the Valley of the Rogue State Park, 15 miles north of where Discount Tire was located in Medford, had nightly we drove there.  One thing about Medford is that we HAVE to drop by Harry and David to get sister Sandy Moose Munch, along with other goodies for Arny, Patti and Mom and we took care of that on Thursday after setting up camp.  Thank goodness there is a Cracker Barrel near Harry and David now, so we took care of that too.

Bridgestone Duravis M700

With 4 tires at the store, and 2 more coming in around noon, we arrived at Discount Tire at 10 am. after filling with gas again at Fred Meyer, $2.75 per gallon. When FedEx arrived with the delivery, he did not have the tires because there was no room in the van when he left.  Telling him our predicament, he graciously returned to the terminal and got the dozen or so tires he had for delivery to Discount Tire, including our two.  I was so thankful, I gave him $10 for lunch, which he was very thankful for.  By 2:30 we were on our way.  Now, THIS is why I like Discount Tire.  Due to the bad tire experience with the Michelins, and with the one day delay in getting the tires, we were charged $1,075, which included a Certificates for Refund or Replacement for all 6 tires, mounting, balancing, tire disposal, and tax...oh ya, there is NO TAX in Oregon!  This is a savings of $275 over the normal Oregon price, and $500 less than the price we would have paid in California for all of this.  If there is a problem...if they screw up...if tires you bought previous did not meet your expectations, they take care of you.  As we pulled away, sister Patti texted was being released from the hospital.  Thought about turning around...but that thought did not last long.  I knew we would not make it to Citrus Heights on Friday, but we did get the motorhome washed at Blue Beacon Truck Wash in Corning, and stayed at the Willows Rest Area, 100 miles from Citrus Heights.  A bit hot, a bit noisy, by 6:30 Saturday morning we were on our way again, dumping our tanks again, stopping for coffee and feeding the dogs, we pulled into Arny and Sandy's at 9:30.  Nice to be back, but not nice weather.  Oh ya, I almost and dad moved to a different Assisted Living place on Friday, same day dad got out of the hospital.  Oh, what a weekend this has been!


Monday, August 19, 2019

Nearly a Month at Huntley Park, LOVING IT!

At Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

Bald Eagle near Huntley Park

We have been in Oregon for 40 days now, and here at Huntley Park for 4 weeks this Tuesday.  40 days, and we had rain for part of one day, overcast two days, early morning fog about 8 days (burned off by 9 am) , and we ran the A/C one day for 3 hours while at Loeb State Park.  To say the weather has been near perfect would be an understatement.

This afternoon I FINALLY got a few pictures of the Bald Eagle which has occasionally been traveling up and down the Rogue River.  Today it landed across the river from us, and I got the camera.  For the next 90 minutes it did not fly anywhere, but was keeping a sharp eye on the river, and the Osprey were keeping a sharp eye on the Eagle, although they did quiet down a bit after about an hour.  Skruffy’s alarm went off on my phone reminding me that she needed to have her diabetes test…by the time I got back out the Eagle was gone (Skruffy tested at 88, so she is doing well).  I still have 2 more weeks to try and catch it flying along the river.

So many birds along and in the water…


Of course, the Osprey are never too far away from the water…always watching, always aware, always sounding an alarm when an intruder, such as the Eagle or Buzzards fly in on their territory.  They work together, helping other Osprey.  I saw one Osprey miss a fish, getting in on a second try, and three Seagulls flew after it trying to steal some food…but other Osprey met the Seagulls head-on, and next thing I knew the Seagulls were headed back to the Ocean.  Just then the Eagle flew in…but being out numbered, it just continued along the river as the Osprey gave their shrilling cry over and over again until the Eagle was out of sight.

Inside the campground there is an abundance of Stellar Jays and Northwestern Crows…both loud, always searching out that camper who leaves food out, or fish guts which have been tossed out along the bank.  Sometimes they can descend upon your “area” and make things a bit noisy for a short while.  I have yet to have been “hit” by their "white debris" as they fly overhead…but we still have a couple more weeks...I might have to invest in a hat.

I took another short excursion along the north side of the river, found a place to turn around and low and behold, there was a young buck and a doe.  Saw the doe first, got a few pictures of her, and then I saw the buck.  Amazing how they blend in unless you really look things over.  Counting the deer we saw on the way to Agness, and on runs back into Gold Beach and back, we have seen around ten deer this year.  Others in the park have seen a few Elk, but we have not had such luck…yet.

For the past three weeks our fishing neighbors have been here in full force.  Our immediate neighbor was here for nearly two weeks, first with his wife, a daughter and two very young grandkids, but five days later the daughter and grandkids left.  A week later, the wife and husband left…but in their place three tents, relatives of some of the other fisherman, moved in for the week.  Today, they all left, all of them...but they left their RVs and their boats, and many will be back Friday. 

I close with this shot of “Libby Pond”, which is a body of water on the other side of the river from us...the north road runs along it. The Libby Pond property is up for sale, including what they call a sportsman’s hall (no sleeping, just a large hall includes a kitchen).  The entire property is 184 acres, and the asking price is just under $900K…just in case anyone is interested.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Day Trip to Agness—Population 100

At Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

Agness Oregon


Agness Oregon (yes, spelled with an extra ‘S’) is 28 miles up the river from Gold Beach, about 20 miles from Hensley Park where we are staying, and has a general population of around 100 people.  It is known for essentially two things…good fishing/hunting, and a stop for the River Jetboat Tourist excursions.

Hey, when you gotta go, you gotta go, and on that boat, there ain’t no where to go.  Ok, now don’t let the above image stop you from taking the tour boat…the $65-$100 price might stop you, but the boat does stop at a small resort area in Agness, and yes, they have flushing toilets.  The first four pictures “IS” Agness…the Country Store (just reopened after being closed for a few years), the Community Building, the Public LIbrary/City Park (in a old 2 room school house which shut its doors in 2010) and the Post Office (which is one of two Post Offices in the country that still get their mail delivered by river boat).

Lucas Resort is along the Rogue River just after the Illinois River dumps into the Rogue River.  Cougar Lane Lodge and Singing Springs Resort are the two stops that the Jet Boats use to allow people to get out, take care of business, and eat lunch if they desire. These resorts are next to each other, and if two or more boats are docked at the same time, you had better get to it (lunch and your business) because you only have an hour.

The views of the Rogue River are just spectacular.  Getting to Agness is a bit awkward…you travel up the road along the south side of the river, go past Agness by 3 miles, cross the river, and then travel back along the north side of the river where Agness is located.  The two middle pictures show views from the bridge over the Rogue River, with the left one looking up river, and the right one looking down river. (Yes, I just stopped on the bridge, got my pictures, and got back into the car…not any traffic whatsoever.)

This bridge above is the south side road, known as the Agness Road or Agness Highway, and it is crossing the Illinois River right before it empties into the Rogue River. 

The upper picture is a view of the Rogue River right after the Illinois River merges, and in the upper left by that building, you can see the spot where the bottom picture was taken from.  Yes, we went down that little steep dirt road, got to (not on) the sandy beach and decided that was not going to happen (although there are tracks from other vehicles, most likely 4 wheel drive vehicles)...I had to back up that dirt road until I could turn around because I did not want to get stuck in that hard sand.  I still have the fingernail marks on my right arm from Marcia who was either scared, or mad..I still don’t know which.  Bottom line, we made it out just fine…(and no, I really don’t have marks in my arm, that was a joke…but she really hates it when I go down these dirt roads.)

If one desires to bypass Agness, they can go up the Bear Camp route, with warning signs, all the way to Grants Pass, about 55 miles away.  It is a paved, mostly single lane road, which, in the winter, is not maintained and has been the demise of numerous people who, in late fall/early winter, traveled this route (mostly due to GPS commands), got stuck in snow, and froze to death.  If you were coming west along Bear Camp, you would see this directional sign as you merged onto the Agness Road...left to Gold Beach, right to Agness.


On the south side of the river (remember, Agness is on the north side of the river) is the Agness RV Park, with a Grocery Store, Dump Station, WiFi, and rates of $34 per day, $204 per week, $329 for two weeks, $440 for three weeks, and $475 for a month..but with metered electricity.  These are for full hookups, with WiFi and Cable TV.  Now, here is the kicker…there is NO VERIZON CELL PHONE SERVICE (there is AT&T) after you pass Huntley Park.  “IF” you have a smart phone, I am sure you can make calls hooking up to the WiFi which reviews say is spotty most of the time.  All of the reviews at are positive with the only negative mentions is the “long, winding road for 28 miles from highway 101”.  Many people are calling this area "New Agness".  The RV Grocery Store stole so much of Agness' business, that the Grocery Store in "Old Agness" shut down for a few years...just reopening this year.

Halfway between Gold Beach and Agness is the Quosatana National Forest Campground. 

It is a lovely 43 sites campground, $20 per night, $10 with senior pass.  Like Huntley there is no electric hookups, and water stations to fill your tanks, BUT it does have a dump station, BUT no cell phone signal at all from any company outside of satellites.  During this very busy fishing season, it was about 3/4 full.  There are small and large campsites, and it is first come, first serve park.  The picture at bottom is the fish cleaning station, which stands away from all of the campsites not far from the boat launch, and has closing garage style doors to keep the bears out, and a garbage disposal to rid the remains of the fish.  BEARS?  Yes, there are bears…just a mile down the road from the campground we saw some Quail cross the road, then a fawn…and 1/10th of a mile later we saw a black bear…both of which ran quickly away before we could get a picture of them.  Later we saw a young buck as we got closer to Agness.  We struck out getting pictures of any of them.  It took us four hours to get to Agness and back...thank goodness for that potty station!

Saturday, August 3, 2019

AUGUST Already

At Huntley Park, Gold Beach Oregon

Sailsurfing Pistol River

Another week under our belts here at Huntley Park…time is of no consequence.  I have taken over 200 pictures this past week, ALL of which you will have sit through and ENJOY!  Well, I'll narrow it down to just a few.  We have had three sets of neighbors on our driver’s side, and the absentee fisherman on our passenger's side.  The second set on the driver's side was a couple of Engineers from Santa Rosa who LOVE to windsurf.  They told me they go down to the Pistol River area where there are many other people windsurfing and kitesurfing, so I went down there for a drive hoping to grab some good pics.  WELL, unless I wanted to hike down this steep embankment down to the beach and around some large rocks, I would have to get my pictures from way above. In the picture above, I don't know if this is one our neighbors or not.

This picture (above) is a shot of three kitesurfers, also called kiteboarders.  They actually get air…saw one guy headed out into the ocean, went up on an incoming large wave, was in the air and landed on the next approaching wave.  Being so far above them did not provide the shots I wanted, I did not hang around very long.

This is one of the views that I enjoy here, looking out at the river.  You can see a white trailer being pulled down the road on the other side of the river to the right in the picture.  We only really hear an occasional large log truck go by.  When our third set of neighbors came, Linda and Calvin from Coquille near Coos Bay, we were all sitting out talking and meeting each other, and I saw a deer on the far bank just the other side of that rock island out there (the dead tree stump covers a bit of the island).  That is the first time we have seen any large wildlife here at Huntley, although we have seen them along the highway between here and Gold Beach, or up by Lobster Creek.  Wish I had my camera with me that evening.  Our new neighbors are going to be here at least a month, and they have been coming here for over 20 years...they remember when it was free, when the bathrooms were pit toilets, when the water was through a hand pump, and when the showers was jumping into the river.  They know lots of people here.

Lots of birds fly by all the time, and occasionally you find a kayaker or paddle boarder floating by.  Of course, the Jet Boats are a daily routine…you get to the point that you don’t notice them anymore.  Besides, they may be a bit loud, but it only lasts for a moment…unlike the generators that run in the morning and late afternoon.  However, even the generators have not been that hard to handle.

This is another view that I enjoy in late afternoon.  It gives me a good vantage point of two Osprey nests, and I know there is another in that mountain of trees, which is on the other side of the road from Huntley Park.  In the afternoon some of the Osprey fly cover way up in the air.  At first I thought these old nests were vacant…but the one on the right definitely has one or more juvenile in it because I see one spread its wings now and then, but it is not flying just yet.  A pair of adults come and go with food, and one typically is always in the nest to thwart off any attack which may come.

Above top is the nest on the left from where I sit, and the above lower picture is the nest to the right where you clearly see two Osprey.  Earlier I saw a crow standing almost in the same spot as the Osprey in the top picture is…which leads me to believe it is an empty nest…no eggs or juveniles inside it.

I ‘should’ always take my camera outside with me when I sit…but sometimes I am not alone, and it is hard to have this beast on my lap and take pictures at the same time.  If I let her lay on the ground, she gets all sorts of leaves, stickery things, and dirt all over her…so I don’t do that anymore.  Being in the shade, and not facing the sun, she sees people walking by, and gives a short deep groan…but if they have a dog, there is no stopping her from letting them know she is there.

On Tuesday we had been here a week, so it was time to head to town with the motorhome and empty our holding tanks.  After that, we took Highway 101 up north about ten miles to Sisters Rock.  It was a lovely day, and below are a few more pictures we took on our journey back to Gold Beach.

Smaller rocks near ‘Sisters Rock’

Looking South towards Gold Beach

Looking north towards Port Orford

Rogue River meets Ocean and Fisherman

We have had cool sunny days all week, with a bit of overcast coming in around 4 pm on only one day, which required about an hours worth of engine time to be sure the batteries were charged.  Friday is laundry day, with bedding done the first week, and the rest of the laundry done yesterday.  Internet for the most part has been adequate, but it does slow down now and then, especially between 5-8 pm, and it is sporadic during the weekends. Keeping ourselves entertain in the early evening until midnight by watching Amazon Prime movies and TV shows.  We thought we would stay here until August 20th, and then go back to Loeb…but we might change our minds and stay here through Labor Day and then go back to Loeb for a few days before heading back to California.