Saturday, May 23, 2020

Dealing with Circadian Rhythm Disorders in Oregon

Before you start sending flowers, sympathy cards and planning benefits I should probably explain what Circadian Rhythm Disorder is.....Basically it is when your internal clock does not match the actual time of the day where you are. During our 4 days, 3 night trek from North Dakota to Klamath Falls Oregon we covered almost 1,500 miles and 3 time zones. Three time zones you say? Should not be an issue, but for some reason this trip really messed up our internal clocks. We are typically early rises but with the time changes we found ourselves waking up earlier and earlier. 

The first leg of our journey took us from Douglas, North Dakota to Lewistown, Montana. This 427 mile trek took us a little over 8 hours only stopping for fuel and dog breaks. We stayed at the Kiwanis Club Campground/Rest Stop on the west side of Lewistown. The Rest Stop and all the facilities were actually closed but the sign posted informed us that self-contained campers were welcome to stay for the whopping sum of $0.00! 
Lewistown Airport with the mountains in the background
Nice grassy campsites
Like most rural areas we have been through life seemed to be going on like nothing was going on. Bars, restaurants and other businesses were open with very few people wearing masks. Some of the restaurants were take-out only while others offered inside seating. We opted for a great American staple….McDonalds. 

The Kiwanis Campground is right next to the airport and has a great view of a mountain range to the south. Shortly after getting settled and tired from our long drive we hit the hay pretty early. With the time change from the Central Time Zone to the Mountain Time Zone I remember it being somewhere between 7 and 8 when we went to bed.

The time change means nothing to the dogs so they were up, hungry and ready to go at....wait for it....3:30am!  After they took their walk outside and were fed I forced myself to go back to sleep but Barb was up for the duration.

Our next leg was another long one from Lewistown to Superior Montana. We took Highway 200. The scenery west of Lincoln Montana on 200 was some of the prettiest we have seen in quite a while. Definitely an area we would like to explore (and fish) in the future. Barb found a nice little camping spot near Superior on at the Clark Fork River Big Pine Fishing Access Site. Big Pine was named after…..can you guess? A big pine tree! Standing at almost 200’ tall, this 350+ year old tree is the oldest in the state. Imagine what that tree has seen in its lifetime!
The "Big Pine" behind Barb and Daisy



Our campsite along the river. That is the "Big Pine in the background in front of our truck
Our truck is the white dot in the trees

 We were the only ones there and had our pick of the 5 sites there. Not big rig friendly with a 23’ recommendation for max length but a great place to stay for a few days (up to 7) if you are in the area. 

We again woke up at 3:30am but a light rain lulled us back to sleep. Even with that we had an early breakfast and were on the road just as the sun was rising. A few miles later we crossed into Idaho and changed time zones yet again. So after our breakfast wore off we were ready for lunch at 9:40! (Hey, it had been almost 5 hours since breakfast!) That is one bonus of getting up early, you get to sneak in another meal!

That was our 4 state day; Montana, Idaho, Washington and finally Oregon where we spent the night at the Threemile Canyon Campground/Boat ramp. Under normal conditions this campground has about a dozen free campsites but they were closed so we camped at the boat ramp with 3 other rigs. Another nice place to spend the night. So that made 3 nights, $0 in campground fees!
Columbia River in the background
Our camper is one of those white dots along the river
The next morning we drove two knuckle whitening hours along the Columbia River. We have never experienced winds that strong while on the road. It had to be 30mph sustained with gusts over 50. We were very glad we were not driving the big rig! There were a couple of times we were blown right into the other lane of traffic! We finally turned south towards Bend and eventually pulling into Forrest and Somer’s about 3:30pm on Wednesday. Lily ran out to greet us, we had not seen her since last fall and she has grown quite a bit in the last few months!

We quickly got the camper settled into its home for the next month and Lily gave us a tour of their property showing us what was new. The most obvious being the pair of sheep they bought last month. Snowflake and Frosty follow Lily all around like she is the leader of the pack. Either that or she is the one who feeds them!
I am not sure if this is Snowflake or Frosty
They also got 12 chickens. 6 layers and 6 meat birds. Unfortunately there are only 4 meat birds left, the other 2 have moved to a cooler climate (aka the freezer).
Farmer Somer letting the chickens out for the day

Last week Forrest and the family went hunting morel mushrooms up in the mountains and we wanted to give it a try as well so the next day we headed to a burn area about 40 minutes from their house to see what we could find. We missed the peak of the morel season but Forrest thought if we tried a little higher on the mountain (5,000 feet) we might find some. 
Headed up the mountain!

Barb, on the hunt!
It did not take us long and we started finding some...
A trio of morels
Not sure what this one is but it was not edible

A pair of morels

Lots of pretty flowers through the area. 


Lily by a burnt out tree
We spent about 3 hours wandering the mountain side picking up about 2#’s of mushrooms. That night we wrapped some of the bigger ones in bacon, stuffed them with jalapeno and cream cheese and baked them. Delicious! The next night we finished the rest with some ribeye steaks.

Morel hunting is a big deal out here as they have the proper climate and a lot of burn areas as that is where they tend to grow the most. Morels can go anywhere from $50-$100/ pound and as much as $250 for a pound of dried ones. 

So here we are for the next 4 weeks or so. We are going to wait here until Canada and the U.S. decide to do with the border on June 21st. In the meantime Forrest and Somer have a handful of project that we can work on so there will certainly not be a lack of things to do!

By the way, heard from Farmer Bob yesterday in North Dakota and they got the rest of the crops in this past week. And here I thought they could not do without us! 

32 comments:

  1. What a long drive. Hopefully you get our internal clocks adjusted. lol It always hits me hard as well. I'm sure you will enjoy spending time with your family. Stay safe.

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    1. Slept until almost 6 this morning, woohoo! Hopefully things are getting back to normal.

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  2. I’m laughing at the bear sign. The IGBC is made up of 6 bears: Ben, Kodiak, Smokey, Polar, Yogi and Boo-boo. “Do you think we can get into that container? Let’s vote. 5 yes and 1 no. Approved.”

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    1. One has to wonder why that statement had to be in such prominent print on the sign?!?!

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  3. Beautiful country. My internal clock is always way off ... at least now I know what to call it!! Enjoy those morels!!

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    1. Ususally it does not bother us but when we are traveling or somewhere where we are not on our own time it can really become an inconvenience!

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  4. Looks like you found some great spots to overnight. We were waking up for days at 3:30 after our Africa trip and a 9 hour time difference. Forrest and Somer have a great looking place...enjoy your family time!

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    1. We cannot even handle 3 hours, not sure how we would do with 9! Still hoping to see you in a few weeks!

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  5. Welcome back to Oregon. Maybe we'll meet.......someday.
    Steve in Bend

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    1. Thanks, you live in a beautiful state. There is so much to do here and so vastly different from the west coast to your eastern border!

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  6. I am glad you know how to slow down and enjoy the scenery. That's a joke. So how many mushrooms make up 2#'s(2 hashtag's)?

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    1. Hey, for us that is slowing down. Last time we did it in two 11 hour days! 2#"S? That is about 1/3 a grocery sack full of delicious fungi!

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  7. What a beautiful place to be spending the next month! Our grandson Adam loves Bend OR he travels there whenever he can. the mushrooms with bacon, jalapeƱo, and cream cheese sound so yummy! Beautiful trip you had coming across! Always nice to spend time with grandchildren!

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    1. We have only traveled through Bend but everyone we talk to says what a great place it is. Sounds like that city is really growing!

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  8. I hear ya on those time zone changes. We'll be doing the reverse next week. Enjoy your stay with the family and hopefully they'll open the border for your Alaska excursion.

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    1. So the Wisconsin folk will be thinking that you two are party animals when you don't go to bed until after midnight and don't wake up until 10am!

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  9. AZ to TX in 3 days, a new time zone each day, just reverse of what you did, totally know what you went thru. At least we're retired, makes it easier. We got here too late for morels but one of the rangers says he'll take Dave next year. Enjoy your time with the family.

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    1. You won't regret getting there earlier for the morels. Unless there is snow then you will most defintely regret it!

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  10. Great spots along the way. That’ll be nice to have that family time. Nice mushroom hunting! We love the Bend area! So much to see/do in an hour or so from there. I think we spent a month or so there last year (or was it was the year before?!)

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    1. Rumor has it you have stayed at that Kiwanis Campground in Lewistown. I think I saw Steve's phone number on the restroom wall.

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  11. My Late Wife's Grand Parents lived in Lewistown.
    Glad you made it Safely even though White Knuckled.
    Enjoy helping the kids bring their dreams to life.

    It's about time.

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    1. Lewistown looked like a beautiful small community. Nice area!

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  12. Kevin and I have long had screwed up circadian rhythms, but in the opposite direction. If you're ever bored at 2:00 a.m., feel free to give us a call. We'll be awake. 9:00 a.m. on the other hand? We'll likely be sound asleep. We try to battle it, but those internal clocks just do what they do.

    Looks like you've landed in a great place. Fingers crossed on the border opening for you.

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    1. Somedays I wished we were wired like that. We get a lot done in the mornings but are just too tired to anything at night!

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  13. You didn't say if the dogs got up earlier the next few days as well. Lucky you with the mushrooms. Lovely boondocks spots.

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    1. The dogs have adjusted fine, Daisy actually slept until 6:00 this morning!

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  14. Glad you made it safely to Oregon. I know you'll enjoy your time with family. The sheep are adorable. What fun to hunt for morels.

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    1. Bummer that you guys are not going to make it up here this year but it looks like you are making the most of it in AZ!

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  15. Great spots you found along the way, the camper makes parking so much easier just need to get used to less space. We hit some wind gusts in the 40's on hwy 84 coming east this spring, I tucked in behind an oversize loaduntil we turned north on 97 where there was hardly any wind. Have a great stay in Oregon.

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    1. I guess that area is known for their strong winds along the Columbia River, it is also a favorite stop for wind and kite surfers.

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  16. So many more great boondocking spots with a smaller camper! I will need you to educate me on mushrooms. Luv them, but never know which are edible! Lily is growing up quickly!

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    1. We only know the one at this point but if you want to be our Guinea Pig we are willing to try a few others!

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