Monday, June 21, 2021

Grandma Goes Sand Boarding!

If two weeks ago you would have asked me if I thought Barb and I would be flying down a sand dune on a thin piece of laminated wood I would have said you were crazy! But that is exactly what happened last week as we visited the Oregon coast with Forrest, Somer and Lily.

We arrived at Jessie M. Honeyman State Park just outside of Florence Oregon about 5:00pm on a Sunday on a grey cloudy day. If fact grey and rain were to be theme for the next several days there. The majority of the over 350 sites were occupied. Site #221 was large enough for both our camper, Forrest’s tent as well as both of our vehicles.

Forrest went and got a tarp on day #2 to help keep his area dry which helped a lot. We were not at our site a lot but when we were we got to enjoy loud music from our neighbor which was really enjoyable. After they left another family moved in who argued more than anything. Apparently the husband forgot either their tent or sleeping bags as they were yelling at each other about having to sleep in the truck. He tore out of there and was back 30 minutes later where they were setting up again. Next thing you knew they were yelling again as he forgot the "F'ing pillows!" If it was not so annoying it would have been entertaining! 
Lily being annoyed as Somer brushes her hair

After getting set up we headed into town for dinner. Although it was Sunday night and everyone should have been heading home to work the next day we found every restaurant packed with up to an hour wait for a table. We walked down the street and finally found a restaurant with immediate seating. We later found out it was for good reason. If you happen to be in Florence and are hungry, DO NOT stop to eat at the Bay Street Grille The food was bland and underwhelming.

One of the things were looking forward to was having clam chowder each day to try and find who has the best chowder in the area and this place came in dead last.

Our final list is as follows: Mo's Restaurant 

                                            Novelli's Crab and Seafood

                                            Krab Kettle

                                            Harbor Light Restaurant (Reedsport) 

                                            Bay Street Grille

So if you are in the Florence area and have a hankering for chowder you cannot go wrong with any of the top four!

Other highlights of our trip included a short trip Jeeping in the dunes.

Clamming in the mud flats.

Somer looks a little muddy!

The clamming was good but muddy. Somer was the lucky one who fell backwards in the mud and got her pants soaked! We got 30 or so clams which we took back, cleaned and made some tasty clam strips!

And no trip would be complete without crabbing on the docks. 

Somer and Lily setting up a crab basket

We even had some visitors while we were there when Foster Lake Frenchies  Zoey's birth family drove the hour and a half down from their hometown to visit Zoey!
Eric, Amy and Kaitlyn

Zoey loving up Kaitlyn

Amy getting her hugs in!

Although it was still raining, we found a covered porch that we could take refuge and visit for a couple of hours while playing with Zoey and two of their 4 Frenchies. One of the two that they brought was Zoey's dad. One has to wonder if Zoey remembered these two. Kaitlyn even bought Zoey a nice "Ruff Hippie" bandana that she is sporting in the last picture in this post. It was so nice of them to drive down!

On our way over there we drove on highway 58 along the way and stopped by Salt Creek Falls. A  spectacular waterfall of almost 300' and best of all, it is only 1/4 mile from the parking lot so it is a nice easy hike that even Dino could make!

But back to the sandboarding…something we have never done before but Forrest, Somer and Lily had. You can rent Sand Boards or Sand Sleds for $16/24 hours. We hit the dunes ready to fly! 

Each of us took a few turns going down on the slide. You had to drag your hands otherwise you went way too fast and out of control. I took a few videos and almost got run over by Barb!

Forrest is a big snow boarder so he stuck to the sand board. 

Not to be outdone I had to try the sand board. After all, I can waterski without a problem so sandboarding cannot be that hard. Although it is not a good video you can get the gist of the result. I learned one important lesson; sand is not as forgiving as water. That was my last run of the day and now, almost a week later my backside is still a little sore when I sit. 

Forrest and family departed on Tuesday as it was time to get back to work. Barb and I moved to a more secluded and quieter campsite for the night. The next day we packed up and headed north towards Winchester Bay. We checked in at the Umpqua Lighthouse State Park Campground and did some exploring. 

We found a secluded section of beach where the dogs could run free and explore. What is it about beaches that makes dogs love to run in the sand? Every dog we have had loved the beaches on the ocean. 
Do I have something in my teeth?

The dogs just ran and ran and ran. We finally had to pick up Zoey as we were afraid she was going to overheat. 

Last but not least Forrest and I got one day of fishing in on the Williamson River,

 Forrest managed to catch and release this monster trout!

Barb and Lily came along too and waded in the shallows....

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Zoey's First Travel Adventure!

Although Zoey had been on a road trip to and from North Dakota in April, this week she had her first road trip as a part time RV traveler. Our first day only took us 130 or so miles to Devil’s Tower Wyoming. As much as we have been in this area this is one sight we had yet to see. We were impressed by a few things. First was the amount of traffic there was to get into the park. The line to get in had to be about ¾ of a mile long taking us a good 30 minutes of inching our truck up to the pay station. This is where we had our first opportunity to use Barb’s newly acquired Lifetime Senior National Park Pass! No more $80 each year for the annual pass, as long as we don’t lose this one we are set for life!

The second thing that impressed us was the reason we came here. We had seen numerous pictures of Devil’s Tower over the years but none of them matched the beauty of the real thing.

You may wonder if Dakota was even with us. She was but she really does not like being posed for pictures and gets a little stressed out if we try. The key to taking a picture of her is to pose her without letting her know. Zoey on the other hand does not seem to mind being posed for pictures, I think she is going to be quite the camera hog!

We stayed right in the park, only $10 with the pass. As busy as the roads were, we were surprised to see that the campground was only about 1/2 full. By the time the sunset however, the park was full. 

The next day we were on the road by 7 and continued our journey west where we went through some beautiful country. 

North Cove in the Bighorn National Forest
Our destination for the day was Cody Wyoming and the Buffalo Bill Museum. This museum has a huge gun collection and has been on our bucket list for several years. 

My main interest is early frontier rifles like the flintlocks up through the lever actions that won the west.
Some early muzzleloaders from the late 1800's

A flintlock firing mechanism
They had rifles, pistols and shotguns from every era.....
After leaving the museum we drove about 40 minutes we the North Fork Campground in Buffalo Bill State Park where we spent the night. The sign said camping was $18/night but when we checked in they added a $12 day use fee bringing the total to $30. 

It was a nice park with great views but certainly not worth $30. 

This young elk made an appearance at our campground

We were off and driving early the next morning again driving west. We entered Yellowstone National Park through the East entrance. We entered the park about 7am with little of no traffic.
Although Yellowstone was just a drive through for us this trip we did stop and take a look at a few attractions. Such as Zoey at an overlook viewing Yellowstone Lake.....

She was not a fan of the sulfur smell at the Mud Volcano...

And she was a little more than curious at the sight of her first buffalo...

By the time we were leaving the park at West Yellowstone traffic had picked up. In fact there was a line of cars 8 1/2 miles long in stop and go traffic just inside the park entrance! 

We had a long day driving just over 500 miles but we had reason for it. We made it just west of Boise where we stayed at Caldwell Campground and RV Park at $37 with FHU. The hook ups were necessary that night as it was 95 when we arrived and the air conditioning was much appreciated. It was an okay park; crowded with lots of long term residents. 

Continuing west we ended the next day in Redmond Oregon where we checked into the Deschutes County Expo Center RV Park. The reason for our long day the day before? We had a hot dinner date with our FT friends Dale and Ruth! It had been a couple of years since we have seen them and by speeding up a little we could be there a day early and spend some time with them. 

We went to dinner then back to our place for more visiting and playing with the dogs. It was nice to catch up with them!

Our last day of travel (for a while) took us south to our attraction for the day.... The Newberry National Volcanic Monument. There are several sections to this monument spanning over about 30 miles. Our first stop was the Lava Lands Visitors Center where we drove up to the top of Lava Butte.
This cinder cone is a result of an eruption several thousand years ago. It is cool to see how the lava flowed for a mile or so from the cone where there is nothing but a lava field then the trees start again. 
Lava field meeting the trees in the distance
Next, we traveled about 20 minutes down the road to the Lava River Cave. At over a mile in length this lava tube offers self guided tours after a short orientation. After the orientation they offer lanterns for rent at $5, "That's how they get you" I tell Barb and we head off to the cave with our trusty flashlight in hand. 
Barb heading into the abyss. 

The temperature in the cave is a constant 42 degrees and once you are in the cave it is dark. I mean can't see the hand in front of your face dark. We headed off down the path taking in the sights of the lava tube. Once we got about 3/4 of the way to the end. I asked Barb "Is it my imagination or is the flashlight getting dimmer?" "Definitely getting dimmer she said". With that we started hightailing it back to the entrance. We did not want to be the poor saps too cheap to rent a lantern and needing to be guided out. We made it out without the flashlight dying but we were both sweating from double timing it out of the cave. How does one sweat when it is 42 degrees?!?!?

 Next up was Paulina Lake, one of two crater lakes in the area. If we are ever in this area again, we are camping there!

Adventures done, it was time to complete our journey to Forrest's house in Klamath Falls. Since we were here last year Forrest and Somer had a garage constructed that included a level spot for our camper, water and power! 

So we are all set for the next few weeks of visiting, adventures and a couple of projects!

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Zoey and the Magic Mushrooms

Ah, the little things in life….. last Wednesday was the first day in 7 weeks that I did not have to get up before 7 and get to work on something right away. So what time did I get up? 6:00 of course but at least I did not have to have breakfast and rush off somewhere. I did however catch this awesome picture of a redheaded woodpecker! I used to see them all the time as a kid, I don't know the last time I saw one....

I am happy to report that Kevin and Cheryl’s  inspection/appraisal went well so they too can slow down and enjoy a morning or two. Their house is pretty close to being done. They still have a couple of small jobs left…grout the rock outside, caulk the outside and a couple of things inside. I cannot wait until we are to that point!

My next job at our place was to put the rock cap on the siding in preparation of putting the scratch coat and eventually the rock on an area 140’x40” along the entire east side, south side and about 15’ of the west side. To be honest, we just were not too motivated this week. The sad thing is that I felt guilty not working on the house all day every day as there is still so much to do. 

The rock cap is on the bottom of the metal siding

For Barb’s part she stained and varnished some trim parts for the loft area. Now that it is carpeted we can put the trim up!

Looks like the flooring and tile is going to take up to 6 weeks to get in so that too will have to wait until we get back from our next adventure. Oh well, that will give us something to do when we get back.

We made two big (well biggish) purchases this week. We bought a 5’ mower deck and a back blade for the tractor. The mower deck will help us keep the tall grasses down around the house and the back blade will help us keep the driveway maintained. It is kind of fun and therapeutic to go out on the tractor for an hour or so at a time and work on things.

I am starting my own implement row!

We also got our first blog2print book this week! It is not exactly like we had envisioned it but we like it enough to do the rest of the years. The first thing that we did not realize is that it had a paper cover and the printing/picture is not embossed on the actual book. Apparently that is another option that we did not choose and will do so next time.

Front Cover

Back Cover

The other thing we did not realize is that the captions on the pictures appear where they did in the original blogger post but the pictures do not. The pictures show up pretty close to where they originally were so that part is easy to follow along but the caption appears without the picture, so the narrative does not flow seamlessly as it did when the pictures were in the right place.

All in all, we are very happy with how they turned out. It will be nice to have them to page through and read occasionally.

Our big excitement for the week was while Barb and Zoey were out for a walk. Zoey loves to run through the tall grass and play hide and seek with Barb. She will run ahead of Barb, turn lay crouch down in attack mode waiting for Barb to approach. Then she will jump straight up in the air. Spin 180 degrees and she is off again! Other times she will run, then drop her front end into the grass and push her body through the grass with her hind legs.

Then there was the time she ran ahead of Barb and started to eat the grass like it was a Filet Mignon. When Barb got up to her she saw it was not grass she was chowing down on but a batch of mushrooms! She had downed about 6 of them by the time Barb caught up to her. 

Oh oh…. Barb gathered up some of the mushrooms and brought them and Zoey back to the house to show me. At first I thought she wanted me to eat some too so we could both go on a magical mushroom ride but sadly, she just wanted to show them to me. We tried looking them up to see if they were edible or poisonous but could not find that exact mushroom on any sites. So we decided to call the vet. They said some mushrooms show immediate signs if they were poisonous while others would not show any symptoms for 6-12 hours until the mushrooms hit the GI tract. Barb sent the vet the pictures and after about 15 minutes they called back and said they too could not find them to determine if they were poisonous or not and suggested that they call the Pet Poison Control but that would be a minimum charge of $65. 

Not knowing what we were dealing with we went that route and Barb started driving the 30 minutes to the vet. Meanwhile the vet also took Barb’s pictures and posted them on a Facebook Group that vets sometimes use in these situations. From the looks of the site, anyone can use it in an emergency for pets, humans, you name it...

Once Barb got down there they had received several responses from the Facebook Group identifying the mushrooms as Marasmius Sp., non-poisonous but might irritate her GI Tract. To be on the safe side they gave Zoey a shot to induce vomiting. Barb said the results were instantaneous. Everything came out of her stomach including….. lots of deer poop! Zoey continued to vomit until they gave her a reversal and she stopped. She probably would have been alright if we just let things go but better to be safe than sorry. So how much did this emergency vet call cost? Well, including the $65 charge to the poison hotline the total came to $105. Gotta love those country vets! It has been several days since this incident and Zoey has been her normal crazy self since then but Barb does not let her get that far ahead of her in the field anymore!