12-16-2021 Last Day at Bastendorff Beach and a Scary Dog Story

When we woke on Saturday after such a foggy Friday, we were thrilled to once again see brilliant sunshine.  The temperatures had warmed a bit and the winds were quiet.  It was time to drive down to the beach parking area once again for a last walk.

Being a Saturday on a three day weekend, the beach was already filled with people and dogs by the time we arrived around 9.  We had Mattie on a leash, but some people didn’t follow the rules and big and little dogs were running free everywhere.  One dog especially was a problem.

The owner of the dog told us that his dog didn’t like other females, but he didn’t leash her.  She was an older chocolate lab and we avoided them as we walked in a different direction.  We didn’t realize that he and his dog were coming our way until it was too late, and the big brown dog that was off leash came after Mattie.  It was too fast for us to pick her up which we try to do in these situations.  Instead, as the dog was attacking Mattie, I tried to push the lab away with my walking sticks as the owner came over trying to control his dog.  She wasn’t paying any attention to him but finally she backed off.  In the mean time, he started yelling at me saying I had no reason to beat his dog!!  Right!!  Am I supposed to just let my dog get injured?? 

I lost my temper, and yelled at him to get that dog on a leash!  I was so furious and my adrenalin was so high I yelled at him that I would beat him if I had the chance, along with some choice colorful words.  He said, “Yeah right”, but at least he didn’t come after me.  I was ready to light into him physically whether he killed me or not!  Don’t make an old lady with a cane angry.

It took awhile for my adrenalin rush to ease as we continued our walk toward the jetty.  The ocean was wild and the waves were huge and finally that inner shaking settled down as we watched the drama unfolding along the jetty.

People were walking along the edge of the rocks as the waves crashed over the sides of the jetty.  I heard one guy tell another one, “Hey Buddy, don’t be walking on that jetty today”.  Sneaker waves that sweep people away are notorious is this part of the Oregon Coast.

It was a lovely walk and by the time we got back to the car the bad guy with the mean dog was gone.  I was grateful for that since I had no more adrenaline for another confrontation.

We took our time packing up the rig, thinking we had until 2 PM to check out.  I thought it might be nice to get some photos of the rest of the campground in the sunshine.  As I relaxed in the MoHo working on those photos in Lightroom I suddenly saw a photo I had taken of a sign that said “Check-out at Noon”.

Oops!!  It was 11:45.  We had the MoHo packed up, unhooked, slides in and jacks up and Tracker attached in 15 minutes.

Our drive home over the coast range was gorgeous, with brilliant sunshine the entire distance.  We traveled Highway 42 again toward I-5 and then south toward home.  It was lovely driving in good weather and the weekend traffic was very light.  Delightful!  We fueled again at Seven Feathers to beat our Grants Pass prices and pulled into the driveway around 4 PM.  A perfect ending to a very nice getaway.

We enjoyed the beach and the campground was nice, but after our experience with all the people and dogs we decided that limiting our adventures to Oregon State Parks would be a bit safer for all of us.


12-15-2020 through 12-19-2020 Another December Escape

When winter comes, our best option for a short getaway is to head for the coast.  We had barely returned from our Thanksgiving trip when Mo said, “Can we make a plan to go somewhere again before Christmas?”  Ummm….took me an overnight minute but by the next morning I was ready to search Harris Beach for a reserved campsite.  Harris Beach is beautiful, and close.  Just a bit over 2 hours for us from Grants Pass.  I guess that is why you will see more photos and blogs about Harris Beach than just about any other location we have traveled.  So be it.  If you are bored…just move along.

With all the sites being full on our last trip, we didn’t want to take a chance.  Reservations are so easy, and for me personally it is much less stressful to know I have a place to land.  Especially when the weather is stormy I really don’t want to be wandering around hunting for somewhere to by dark.

The weather report for our four days at the ocean was grim.  Wind warnings, gale warnings, high seas and king tide warnings were many.  Still, we have camped at the coast enough to know that in between all these dramatic events the skies can clear unexpectedly and the sun will break through.  We planned accordingly.  I think I packed more outerwear and footwear than I have in a very long time.  Four days, four weeks, if it is cold and variable, I need all those alternatives to being wet.  Glad I did.

As we departed from home around 11, the skies were that gloomy gray dull that I like least of any, and the rain was spotty.  Just enough to be wet and boring, but the trip down the Smith River past the Jedediah Smith redwoods is a familiar one.  I usually like to drive home from the beach since the steep drop-off to the river is on the passenger side in the east bound lane.  Mo was happy driving to the beach that morning.  We switch off as needed, taking turns.  I function better earlier in the day so usually leave later trips to Mo.  We avoid night driving most of the time anyway and especially when traveling in the MoHo.  Lucky for me, Mo is still a great night time driver if need be.

Much of B Loop and part of C Loop are closed for the winter.  We are in A2

We arrived at our site in the A Loop and were delighted to see that most of the row was still empty.  I was relieved to see that unlike our last campsite at Harris Beach, the campfire ring was a decent height.  Mo had loaded up enough wood for four nights of campfires, in spite of the rainy forecast.  After settling in we put on our coats, including Mattie, and braved the inclement but still dry weather to go check out the beach.

It was just a little short walk to the overlook and we managed to walk down the path toward the big rocks before I had to give up.  Steep rocky stuff is out of my range now, especially when wet and slippery. 

Mattie did NOT want to turn around.

The view was great from that spot, and we could see that the beach was almost completely empty.  After walking back to the MoHo we picked up the car and drove down the steep road that leads to the main beach at the park. 

Mattie was in heaven, running wildly the minute there was space for Mo to let her off the leash.  The high tide had brought in some interesting tidbits that someone decided to arrange into a lovely still life that just begged to be photographed. 

Mattie ran and played and climbed rocks, her favorite thing to do other than running wildly in soft sand. 

Back home we settled in with some TV shows cast from the phone and a nice little steak on the BarB as the rain held off a few more hours.  By dark, the rain was coming steadily.  The rain drumming on the roof was as soothing as ever and we slept in much longer than usual the next morning.

We knew that Wednesday, the 16th, was to be the most intense day of the storm and we planned accordingly.  Snuggling in with hot coffee, some news on the TV and cozy sweats we enjoyed the indoor day completely.  I had come fully prepared with all my handmade Christmas cards ready to address and mail.  It was much more fun writing little notes and stuffing the envelopes in the MoHo than it would have been back at home. 

I started making Christmas cards back in the early days of COVID in the late spring.  The most fun is deciding which cards go to which friends.  The worst part of this is that if I make a similar card in the coming years I might not remember who got which ones the last time around.  I guess I need to keep better notes!

It rained all night but the next morning on Thursday the skies had cleared somewhat.  I decided to see if the Brookings Post Office was open and was delighted to find not a single person in the line and a friendly postmaster who checked each of my cards for weight and thickness. 

The skies were clear and beautiful as we piled into the Tracker for the short trip south to Crescent City and our favorite fish and chips restaurant, the Chart RoomWe stood in line with Nickie and Jimmy last September for our outside dining only fish and chips.

It was still outside dining only but the big difference was the weather and the lack of the long line of people waiting to order.  Although the sun was just as brilliant, the air was chilly and we wore coats.  Very few people in line and we had no trouble snagging a nice picnic table with a view.

We decided to check out the beach that we had attempted to visit last September.  At the time, it was too crowded and there was no place to park.  This time there was plenty of parking, but with the high tide coming in quite close there wasn’t much walking room.  We weren’t impressed with this particular beach, actually called Crescent Beach.  The sand is more like dark brown silt and while the surfers are fun to watch, the homeless tents and garbage strewn around was less enjoyable.

After lunch we drove north of town along the coastline to the remote headland trails at Point St. George.  I have written about the amazing historical lighthouse that is just barely visible from this point in a previous story here. There were a few people parked but only a few hikers walking along the beach.  The beach was gorgeous, wide open and clean with big breakers roaring from the high tide to keep us company.

Home again to a lovely evening with the rain holding out long enough that Mo built us a great campfire to enjoy before retreating to the cozy MoHo. As usual, Mattie had to have her own camp chair and blanket for fire time.

Most of the next day was sunny and beautiful with enough time to walk the beaches once again.  We were surprised at how the temperatures moderated after the rain and the winds were almost non existent.  It was a gorgeous day and we enjoyed every minute of it.


Mattie found many mini mountains to climb

For our last night in camp Mo once again built a beautiful campfire and we opened a bottle of champagne to enjoy by the fire and to drink with our truly delicious fish and chips.  It is great when a good dinner is enough to last for two great meals.  I am pretty sure that the Chart Room fish and chips at 14.95 each is one of the tastiest and best deals ever.























Saturday morning dawned gray and foggy once again and we took our time getting ready to leave. Even though we have an RV dump station at home, it is a bit easier to dump right there at Harris Beach.  It is a good dump with a perfect angle for a complete clean dump.  RVr’s will know exactly what I mean.  It is also easy to get to and rarely busy.  It’s the little things that matter when out traveling!

The trip home was uneventful, except for one minor detail.  In Kerby, about 25 miles west of Grants Pass, there is a fair style food booth with hot dogs, hamburgers, curly fries and yes, corn dogs!  Best corn dog I ever ate was at the Albuquerque Balloon Festival in 2019.  Mo said, “Hey, want a corn dog ?”  I didn’t exactly slam on the brakes in the middle of the highway, but I did find a way to turn around and get back there.  Yup…Albuquerque quality corn dog.  Once every year or so isn’t that bad for some truly delicious junk food.  Then again, I might have to be sure to remember that place is there on our next trip to the beach!

08-16-2020 Camping Along the Rogue River

Just a short note here: If you click on a photo you will be taken to the high resolution image on my SmugMug site and will also be able to see the entire gallery.

We had planned to leave by noon, with no real rush to get to the campground since we couldn’t check in until 3 PM. We needed propane and fuel in the MoHo and a few other grocery items that I had forgotten to bring and by the time we were actually on the road it was almost 1:30.

Then, as we traveled south on our usual route leaving town on I-5, out of habit when we are going east I told Mo to use exit 40 so we would be sure to miss the narrow bridge that almost wiped out the side of the MoHo one time in the past.  What I forgot, however, was that we were NOT going to Klamath Falls, we were going to Crater Lake and should have taken exit 43 to go through Gold Hill.  These kinds of mental glitches are so annoying.  The extra miles weren’t terribly troublesome as we meandered the long way around toward the east, and we still managed to get to the park right at 3PM.

I had reserved site 59 without much to go on at the Recreation.gov website, but found a campground map and a photo of the site online somewhere and it looked level and private.  We weren’t disappointed.  The site was quite lovely, very close to the last site in the park on an almost empty loop.  We were surprised to see how many sites were marked with an “open” sign.

After settling in, we decided to walk the campground a bit and check out the river.  I made notes of sites that looked appealing to us.

Our favorite was site 40, right on the river, large, level, and fairly private.  Other sites that would be acceptable would be site 39, 26, 47, and 58.  We did love the fact that our site 59 seemed to be out of the main path for people walking dogs and for kids on bikes.  We rarely saw anyone pass by.

Farewell Bend campground is visible from the highway but the only part you can see well without entering the park are sites 1 through 10, tightly spaced between the river and the highway, and one of the main reasons we  had never considered staying in this particular campground in the past.

Our closest neighbor

We were pleasantly surprised to find that the rest of the campground was well laid out, with plenty of space between sites, and level sites with nice big picnic tables, although most sites had a considerable distance between your rig and the table.

It wasn’t far to the river, and I thought it might be a good opportunity to try out my new walker.  I don’t need it all the time yet, but I am trying to be proactive and prepared, and I have enjoyed using it around home sometimes.  It was fine on the road and on the trail, but not quite so good on the rough rocks along the river.  I did manage to bump along but had to carry the walker a few times where it was especially rough.  Kinda misses the purpose of a walker I think.

I did enjoy sitting in my comfy seat as I watched Mo take Mattie to the water.  As usual, Mattie wasn’t all that interested in swimming, but loved running around in the soft sand and climbing rocks.  Climbing is her most favorite thing.

I think the walker did help me out a bit and I felt pretty good until evening when I was thoroughly wiped out.  This camping trip is another test for me, to see what I can and cannot do.  So far, so good.  We ate our spaghetti dinner outside and then played some cards after dinner at the picnic table.

Both of us were tired after spending the day loading, driving and setting up camp and we were in bed with out books by 7:30.  The air was warm and heavy with predicted thunderstorms.  Somehow they missed us and with no phone service or internet we had no clue if anything was coming our way our not.

As I fell asleep I laughed at myself wondering how I manage to miss things we need for a trip. I made long lists and we checked them off as we packed. Still…we invited friends for hot dog night  while we are here and in spite of all the condiments, buns and extras, at the very last-minute I realized I hadn’t put in the hot dogs. Once at the campground, making salad for supper , I realized that I had forgotten the rest of the fresh food waiting in the fridge at home. I had forgotten the onions and peppers for the company mac salad, and cream for the planned “creamsicle” cocktails for our guests. Then in the middle of the night I discovered that I should have checked for Advil, assuming our big jar was still in the rig, but no. I must have taken it in the house for whatever reason. Tylenol just doesn’t do it for the first night in the rig backache. Sigh.

It was a dark quiet night and quite warm till midnight or so and I only woke up 2 more times. By morning the backache was gone.

Tomorrow we are planning to explore an unknown trail to Boundary Springs, the headwaters of the Rogue River.  Looking

September 21 Day 1 and 2 Off to Dublin

Catch-up posts from our trip to Ireland.  Most of these posts are quite lengthy, with a lot of detail that is important only to us, or close friends and family.  Feel free to cruise through at whatever speed suits your fancy. All the additional photos of the trip will be located on my SmugMug site eventually, but not just yet.

grand tour with goahead toursOur trip to Ireland was with Go Ahead Tours – Grand Tour of Ireland.  We have used Go Ahead in the past, and it is a good value for price and content.  The pace is a bit quick, but since we may not get back to Ireland with so many places in the world to visit, we would rather see a lot, even if it means a lot of moving and traveling.  Much like a cruise, a tour like this is a good way to see a country for the first time, and then if you return later it is much easier to do on your own if you want, and you know where you want to be.

It is 4 in the morning here in Dublin, 8 pm back at home  After an incredibly long and tiring day on airplanes and in airports, we are somehow still awake.  Last night after we arrived, we were addled completely from the lack of sleep.  After our welcome dinner, we fell into bed exhausted, and then woke up at ten pm.  Back to sleep and then awake again at 1am.  or 2 am.  I don’t remember.  But we are still awake.  Talking, laughing, getting quiet, and one or the other of us breaks the silence with a question.  “Which night is the included dinner and where is it”.  Mo gets up to find the itinerary and we figure it out.  Back to darkness and silence. 

OK then…a few more minutes pass and one or the other of us says, “Let’s read.”  “OK.  Maybe I can write”. Without an easy way to blog and no way to process photos, I decided that the best way to track our days was with emails to the daughters and the very short list of friends.Temple Bar (1 of 1)

Dublin at the moment feels a lot like taking a trip to New York.  They didn’t even take our passports at the desk here at the Maldron Parnell Square Hotel.  The wait staff last night at dinner was Thai, with several people from several other places, and the accents were less strong than many we hear at home.

Our tour guide, for this two weeks in Ireland, is Italian, with a very strong accent.  Italian, not Irish.  We will see how that goes, I guess.  We arrived after 6pm, with the welcome dinner at the hotel scheduled earlier, they postponed it for our arrival.  We hit the room, and had 15 minutes to regroup and get back downstairs.P1050331

Couple of things we did learn however.  Folks who showed up at the airport early in the day spent up to two hours waiting for the shuttle.  Not a good thing.  A taxi picked us up and immediately took just the two of us to the hotel.  Nice driver, nice drive through a part of Dublin that I recognized from looking at the Google maps obsessively back at home when I couldn’t sleep.  Other nice thing, the check in process was almost instantaneous.  We met our guide, and received our keys.  Only thing we had to sign was the order for what we wanted for dinner.

When we left Rocky Point yesterday morning, it was gorgeous.  Perfect September weather, with dry, clear air and blue skies.  By the time we got to Eugene, it was cloudy and raining.  go figure.  Both of us were like parents leaving a kid at daycare for the first time.  Our friend, Joanne, was excited about taking care of our dog Mattie, and in true Joanne nature had our list of written instructions all printed out with red lined questions and markings to check with us.  Mattie seemed just fine, pottying in the yard, barking at Joanne as expected, but deciding that with a hot dog in her hand, Joanne was a pretty cool and interesting person. She took her outside to the back yard while Mo and I disappeared out the front door. 

We decided to get gas in Albany…what maybe an hour from Eugene….when I get a frantic text from Joanne, “Mattie won’t let me put her leash on.  What do I do”.  Seems as though Mattie would only bark at Joanne when she tried to get close.  I told Joanne to let her go in her cage and then try to get the leash on her.  Response back was that Mattie went in the cage, but when Joanne approached, she ran out, but still managed to get the hot dog bribe.  Panic.  Then a few minutes later, another text.  “All is well, she let me do it”.  I immediately called and Joanne said, “You guys are going to drive me crazy if you keep calling every few minutes!”  Eventually Mattie just walked up to Joanne, sat down and accepted the leash without a qualm.  Whew.  Texts later throughout the day, and a couple of emails here to Dublin seem to indicate that all is well, Joanne and Mattie are having a great time, and Mattie could care less about he fact that we are nowhere around.  Fine.

Gas was all the way down to $2.13 at the Albany Costco, so getting in and out of that place was still worth it.  We made great time, the rain cleared up by the time we got to Portland, and the skies were once again blue and clear.  Haven’t seen that from the Portland airport very many times.  We checked in without a hitch and found the Beaches restaurant for a snack and a drink.

beaches-restaurant-and I could foresee that being the best food of the trip if last night’s welcome dinner is any indication.  I had some kind of amazing Thai crispy breaded pork and sweet hot chili sauce and Mo had perfect taquitos.  My drink, some kind of orangey marguerita was rather incredible.  We had time to lounge in the bar and decide that by the time we were through our 4 hour layover in Seattle, we could have a light dinner there before boarding the plane. As we were boarding in Portland, waiting in a long line, when the agent saw our pre printed boarding passes, he said, here, go this way and don’t take off your shoes or empty anything out of your bags.  My boots, purchased especially for wet cobblestone streets in rainy Ireland, still rang, however and I had to take them off, but they are easy and I was ready for it. The flight from Portland to Seattle is something like 22 minutes.  Again, perfect clear skies with the volcanoes looming to the east and the Olympics and Puget Sound shining in the west.  Once on the ground, we checked the reader board and..wait…what?….our plane was scheduled to begin boarding in half an hour.  Somehow I had morphed a 90 minute layover into an imaginary 4 hour layover and dinner was not to happen.delta 767 seat map

Our flight is operated by Delta and KLM, and the plane was a Delta 767 with our seats almost in the very back.

We like the 767’s because they have side rows of only 2 seats across, so we can share window and aisle space without dealing with someone else next to us.  Not all that huge, but at least a lot roomier than some of the flights I have been on lately.  We had ten hours to go, and imagine our surprise when the drink cart came along dispensing red and white wine complimentary along with the usual teas and sodas.  Yes.  We even got refills of wine with our supper, which was not nearly as good as the wine.The little boxes of pasta for me and chicken for Mo were in some kind of awful sauce, and Mo’s chicken was served with some mushy overcooked veggies that actually tasted OK.  I ate the veggies, and she ate my pasta, tortellini’s, which are not a favorite.  Dessert was a brownie that was so thick and gummy you could hardly chew it.  I was happy for our fresh baked chocolate chip cookies that I had made the day before to fill in the blanks. Finally around ten or so PST, I snuggled into the neck pillow, put my big scarf over my head, and took a sleeping pill.  I don’t remember sleeping, but neither do I remember being awake that much.  By 3am PST, I had jumpy legs and thought I wasn’t going to make another two hours.IMG_5109

We arrived in Amsterdam at 1 in the afternoon (5am to us) and it was quite gloomy out, but you could see the water and the huge windmills in the ocean to the west of the city.  Amsterdam is just so incredibly clean and manicured.  I commented that I doubted that there was any kind of wild country anywhere in the Netherlands.  All so pristine and cared for.

IMG_5107 The airport is a lovely one, but somehow not quite as enchanting as it was the first time I was there with Melody in 2012.  I kept searching for the comfy sofas with plug-ins.  We walked a lot, and did finally find the chocolate stores and the tulip kiosks, but they looked kind of drab instead of so bright and fresh as I remembered.  Maybe it was because it was raining by then, and there was a lot of construction going on inside the terminals. Still, it was a pleasant wait, and with neither of us hungry after our airplane dinner (and tiny breakfast), we just relaxed after our check in and passport check.  Four hours went by in a flash.

The Air Lingus Irish airline to Dublin was a bit different.  All shiny new airplane, but no amenities at all, no sound plug ins, no in flight entertainment, and even a cup of coffee was available for 3 Euros.  At only an hour and a half, we didn’t really care, but the quarters were tighter than the previous plane as well and we were both so tired that we kept falling asleep.  Mo dropped her book with a crash, and her elbow kept falling off the armrest with a bang while I would suddenly wake choking because I had been breathing through my mouth and probably snoring.

Wasn’t all that much to see anyway.  Blue ocean and lots of clouds between us and the water, with an occasional glimpse of England and the edge of Ireland as we approached the airport.  What surprised both of us the most was how brown some of the landscape looked in Ireland from the air.  Probably fields that were ripe, because other fields that looked like pastures were green enough, but somehow I didn’t expect to see Oregon late summer brown anywhere.

at the Maldron Hotel (4 of 6) On the ground and our baggage appeared very quickly, nothing delayed, nothing lost.  Lovely.  Once we passed through customs, also very quick and easy, where they checked our passports, we were into the main terminal without a hitch where our Go Ahead taxi driver was waiting with a big sign on his IPad screen with our names.  Lots easier than printing something, I would say. Fifteen minutes to the hotel, and as I said before, 15 minutes down to dinner.  At first I was horrified, because it seemed that there were at least 80 people in the main dining room where we were to have dinner.  Turns out that many of those people were with another tour of German travelers who were arriving as well. 

Our group consists of 31 people, but the way that the dining room was set up, and with us arriving a bit late, we were at a table of eight.  The four people who were at the other end of the table were conversing with each other, and even when I asked a question I was ignored.  The young woman next to me was quite conversational however, and seemed to quite the traveler and quite brilliant.  Some kind of contractor for NASA in Houston.  She and the other folks had arrived early today and spent the afternoon touring the Guinness Factory, something that is obligatory when visiting Dublin.  Something we are going to skip actually, in favor of our own tour of the Neolithic world heritage sites in the Boyne Valley.  Ancient history and prehistory, Druids and temples all win out over beer for me!

at the Maldron Hotel (6 of 6) I was a bit disappointed with the way that Go Ahead handles these welcome dinners, and this one was even worse.  Unlike in the past, where there was at least a private banquet room, this was in the main dining room, quite noisy, and not at all conducive to communicating with anyone.  Even though she was near us when speaking, we couldn’t hear much of what Isabella said, and had no interaction with anyone else from the group.  In the past, there has been at least a rudimentary introduction so you have an idea who you are traveling with.  While not especially social, I do like to have an idea and a bit of encouragement to interact in the beginning.

Dinner was just OK.  We made our choices from two options, and both had a vegetable soup that was probably some kind of squash puree, the main entree of Guinness Beef Stew which was rather flat and flavorless.  I make a Guinness stew sometimes for St Patrick’s day and I wish this had been half as good as mine!  Dessert was excellent, however, an apple crumble pastry pie sorta thingy, that was a bit tart and really good.  A couple of glasses of wine were nice along with some excellent coffee with dessert.

at the Maldron Hotel (1 of 6) By the time we got back to our room, we were a bit more ready to tackle the tight quarters and try to figure out where to put stuff.  The room is very nice, but in true European style, very cramped, and there are a couple of chairs, tables, and a desk that makes it impossible for us to pass each other or even get around the suitcases as we tried to unpack.  No place really for the cases, so we struggled a bit with the whole thing.

at the Maldron Hotel (5 of 6) We were very well and tightly packed for the airplane and transfers, but everything changes when we are in a room and getting into things differently than the way we do when flying.  It didn’t help that the nifty little converter I bought to charge USB devices didn’t work on the UK part. I had no problem with the Euro part at the airport, but for some reason it refuses to work here.  Sigh.  Mo, thank goodness, brought her converter as well so we have one plug to charge the iPad, the iPhone, and two Mophie batteries, and oh yes, the curling iron if I want to use it.  Frustrating.
I was so tired I was feeling weepy about losing my Advil baggie, but eventually I found everything, found tight spots for what I needed after realizing that the three tiny drawers are only about  6 inches to the back, and moving the suitcase holder in front of the door.  Till we have to get out of it in the morning, then all will be moved around again.

at the Maldron Hotel (2 of 6) We will be here  at the Maldron Parnell Square – Dublin, for three nights.  The WiFi in the room seems fast and is free so the phone is on airplane mode for the duration, but I can talk to people via facebook chat and email without a worry.  It is now 5:11 AM.  We will go down to breakfast at 7 and then leave for our extra tour of Newgrange and the Boyne Valley with Mary Gibbons Tours around 9:30.  That involves walking a bit toward the famous O’Connell Street to catch the tour bus in front of the bank. Maybe I can sleep for two hours now that I have all this out of my brain on on paper so to speak.

Next: Dublin and Visiting the Boyne Valley, the Hill of Tara, and Newgrange

August 3 “Bird Lady of Blogland” Visits Rocky Point

Current Location: Rocky Point, Oregon  74 Degrees F and Mostly Sunny

back yard conversation (1 of 1)-14 Mo and I have been lucky enough to meet some delightful people as we travel around in the MoHo.  Most readers know about the infamous meet and greets of people who have known each other only through the internet, and the extended family of RV bloggers who read and comment on each other’s blogs over the years.

back yard conversation (1 of 1) For people like the two of us, somewhat solitary and not especially socially inclined, the people that we have met in this way have been an incredible treasure, and some have become life long friends.  Judy, Travels with Emma, is one of those.  We have enjoyed each other’s company in the past out on the road.  It was great to have her volunteering here in Oregon, close enough that she could manage a short visit.

smoke from the Stout Fire and California fires converge on Rocky PointSmoky skies at Rocky Point

Mo and I drive that road between Rocky Point and Brookings often, so much so that we are almost immune to the narrow curving highway and its steep drop-offs.  It is a four hour drive, a little less than 200 miles, and most of the time, the scenery is gorgeous.  Not so much this time for Judy, with smoke from both the California and Oregon fires converging in the Rogue Valley, and coming over the crest of the Cascades to settle into the Klamath Basin as well. 

Judy kayaks Recreation Creek (1 of 1)-2 In spite of the smoke, when Judy arrived mid-day, after a bit of visiting and a few snacks, we loaded up the kayaks and headed down the road to the public boat launch at Rocky Point.  Even though there were some towering thunderheads overhead, the skies were quiet, and no sign of thunder or lightning frightened us away from the glassy, still waters.

Mattie on Recreation Creek (1 of 1)-3 It was a perfect day for Judy’s second foray into a kayak, nice and still, no wind, no current.  I was impressed with her ability to slip into the kayak easily, (well almost easily), and do a pretty good job of keeping up with us.  We wandered around Recreation Creek a bit before deciding to paddle south into the Harriman Creek spring run so Judy could see the incredibly clear water.  Recreation Creek (2 of 2)

Even though some rather fat drops of rain fell on us, it wasn’t enough to dampen our spirits or get us wet.  Judy on Recreation Creek (1 of 1)-7

It was Mattie’s first trip out in the kayak, and she wore her new little vest with pride and did great.  She stood up most of the time, watching where the boat was headed, often turning around to Mo to be sure that everything was all right. 

Mattie on Recreation Creek (1 of 1)-4I so loved being back on the creek, on the bay, in the boat once again.  I have really missed our times kayaking this year and hope that in the next few months before winter we don’t wait so long between paddling days.

Back home in the late afternoon, I finished up the ribs, making sure I did some “naked” ones for Judy and some gooey sticky ones for us and with some roasted potatoes and a salad.  It was the first time that we had introduced Mattie and Emma and the two did just great. 

Mattie meets Emma (1 of 1) I was amazed at how gentle Emma was with little Mattie, getting down to her level and so gently putting her paw on her to subdue her.  Mattie would have none of that, however, and because Emma was so good with her, she was all smartie pants hot stuff, thinking how tough she was. It was great fun watching them tussle around.

back yard conversation (1 of 1)-7 Judy seemed to enjoy the cabin, although the extensive booklet of instructions that Mo left for the composting toilet were a bit much.  We told her, “Just turn the crank, Judy”.  I guess it worked fine, since I never did notice Judy sneaking outside to the old outhouse.

After breakfast the next day, Judy and Emma and I headed east through Klamath Falls toward the Tulelake and Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuges.  It would have been a beautiful drive if not for the smoke, and I spent a lot of time telling Judy what she would be seeing if the skies weren’t so murky.

birds at Tulelake (14 of 50) I’ll let Judy tell you about our day, but the best part for me was Judy’s excitement when she saw the birds.  “Oh, I am back in my element”, she exclaimed when we pulled off Stateline Road at the first sighting of birds in the marsh.  It was great fun for me to view the refuge through Judy’s eyes, and as usual, when I am with Judy, I learned so much.birds at Tulelake (13 of 50)

birds at Tulelake (47 of 50)Loved seeing the mama grebe feeding her babies

After a long day exploring, we arrived home late afternoon and settled in a bit before I built a taco supper for the three (five) of us to share at the picnic table.  We have lots of places to sit around the property, but often find that we end up in the same place most of the time.  It was fun having Judy here, because we sat around in some different chairs, and ate at the picnic table instead of on the porch table.  Silly how you can get in a rut sometimes.

After breakfast Judy headed back to the coast, and Mo and I slipped back into work/chore mode.  Tomorrow we will be going again to Grants Pass and the Cottage.  We try to get there at least every ten days or so to be sure things are OK, and keep the little patch of lawn watered.  cottage acre  (7 of 12)The “Cottage” in Grants Pass

Our other projects are coming along, bit by bit.  My house on Painter Street is waiting for the appraisal and the closing and with the buyer renting from me until that time, Mo and I no longer have to maintain that property.

painting has started for the exterior (5 of 5)The Old Fort Road Apartments in Klamath Falls

Mo’s apartments in Klamath Falls are coming along as well, with the exterior painting and repair nearly finished, and the interior of the apartment Mo and I plan to use all freshly painted.  Daughter Melody with grandson Xavier, and granddaughter Axel are well settled in their two apartments, and Mo and I plan to spend time there this winter when we aren’t here in Rocky Point or out traveling.  It is smaller, easier to maintain, less snow to plow, and yes, cable internet…unlimited bandwidth.  You have no idea how much I am looking forward to that!

House at Rocky Point Lumix (4 of 7)The “Big House” at Rocky Point

Then again, with more than a decade of treasured time here at the Big House in Rocky Point, there will be a bit of nostalgia of course when it comes time to actually downsize and leave it behind.  That is for a future time, however, and for now we are enjoying having this place to share with family and good friends now and then.