Archive for June, 2016


There have been many places I could have happily boondocked or dry camped. I decided not to for the dogs. I’d not traveled with Jeana and Jackson before and Mason is not so young now. Jackson had issues. I wanted power to run the heater for Mason and later the air conditioner, campgrounds often have trails or at least the grounds for walking. It was easier to stay at parks, and I had the money to pay. Oh and how I love having money! You know that dumb saying Money Can’t buy You Happiness, no of course not silly, you buy that yourself. You craft and shape and choose and make decisions that the money in your pocket will allow. Make stupid or abusive choices and you won’t find any happiness.

In the 70s boondocking was free. I don’t think it had a name then, we just did it, sleeping in the VW or out in an open field under the stars. Being close to nature did not have such a steep price tag but outside of family vacations or summer camp might be thought of derogatorily as escapism; like being a vegetarian and living off the land was a sure way to a quick end, by malnutrition, well I don’t know.  They said you had to be a little crazy to live like that.  I did back then, and adored it. Outdoor showers in a waterfall or a cool spring or soaking in hot water, watching the milky way spiral, knowing direction from the stars and weather from the birds, halos and the sounds of leaves in the wind. What happened?  Large populations moved into the cities. Little by little they started to crave adventure. The simple became unique. The price tag started to rise on the outdoors. Adventures became complex and technical. Far too many abused the landscape leaving mounds of trash, getting wasted, starting fires, landslides, destroying what they could not understand. Then rules and regulations followed by fees and fines and more fees and supervision and lists of NOs and annoying signs and more fees. Still more people came. They lined up in their motor vehicles with skis and backpacks, boats and ATVs, off-road bikes, racing bikes, in car clubs, motorcycles clubs, camping clubs, wine clubs, luxury glamcamping; families took to the outdoors for reunions and bought themselves an RV and the fees went up and up, then the economy tanked to the point where the homeless were not so broke they could not afford a car to live in or an RV to live in or a van and more people retired and wanted to travel, wanted to be free of escalating mortgages. Maybe it is really natural and normal to want to wander but now one has to pay for so much that once was free. See a pretty waterfall, pay for it, climb a mountain, pay for it. Camp out, pay for it. Want a campfire, pay for it. Hot springs, pay. You can park in a cement parking lot at a Big Box store or a Travel Center for free, lights on all night, not putting out a lawn chair or an outdoor grill. You can sleep in a rest stop or a tuck stop, sometimes a pull over spot, maybe a Camping World or REI or Safeway lot, casinos are free for the night, sometimes there are places where RVs are allowed for homeless campers and you can stay there for a few nights if you want, or in Forest Service Land, maybe $3, or BLM land, otherwise pay up and the prices might be high.

OK, that’s my rant. How expensive everything is and why I’m not free camping.

20160608_145232

BUT It makes me  SOOOOoooo  happy I can pay the prices. It also makes me picky. If I’m gonna pay I better enjoy it. I do not want to sleep in a blazing field of bright lights, canned noise, smoke, non-stop motor vehicles, screaming people, TVs, other people’s music, drunken revelry…  my money is limited and I want what I want which is calm, sweet, beautiful. I want to hear the wind, birds, animals scurrying and calling, I want to watch the sun rise and set, see the stars, the clouds, rain, sun, thunder, the wind, the gentle sounds of village or a harbor, a train passing is fine, footsteps, I can handle a dog barking, a cat, someone singing, the bright light of a full moon, a splash of water, the crackle of a smokeless campfire (note smokeless, not a burning pile of rubbish), or the roar of the ocean.  I do not need a TV set or outdoor electronics; a campfire program yeah sure, but turn down the lights and the all the noise at 10 pm, and campers remember don’t walk through another’s space, only takes a few steps to go around.

I clean my RV everyday.  There are 3 dogs on board and they bring in mess. They get brushed, fed twice a day, picked up after, exercised, we go on long long walks, they only bark in alarm, otherwise I teach them to be quiet, we look at the deer, the deer look at us. I spend most of my day with my dogs. They each have their riding spot when I’m driving and they each have their sleeping spot. In the morning they jump on my bed and look out the window….  where are we, where are we! We watch, we explore, they make friends everywhere. We are all happy but it’s not free. “Camping” has become expensive. I am so grateful I can afford this. I almost always feel safe in the places I choose and when I don’t I leave.

That happened on this day. I was looking for the Quinault Lodge that Ricki had mentioned. She showed me a photo of her VW camper parked in the woods and told me they allowed use of the Lodge with camping. I wasn’t sure where she meant. I stopped at the Lodge, it looked lovely but they did not have camping or RV spots. I was tired and confused so took the advice of the first person I saw, he referred me to a campground down the road, I wound up going back the way I came and then around in a circle to get there following the inne advice of my GPS.  When I got there I didn’t think I found the right place. I wanted to not be driving. Up here in one moment you are in Olympic National Park, the next, Olympic National Forest and then tribal lands.

Rules change depending on what land you’re in…  dogs ok, dogs ok on leash, no dogs not even on leash. I paid for a spot at the campground I found, I think it was tribal land, it was near the water and there were cabins in front, then a long row of parking spots all the same with partial hookups, there was only one other camper, actually two together, they seemed to be in some sort of cult, not smiling but marching hand in hand in couples while looking glassy eyed.  even the children did not smile at my dogs or at anything that I could tell. The dogs were okayed to swim off leash but the water was mucky so I opted for a hike in the rainforest. We didn’t go that far, I had a strange feeling; when I returned to my RV it was evident someone had tampered with the locks. I was told at the check-in store/office that if I left my spot (the entire campground was empty except for the strange folks at the other side) that my space would be given to anyone else that wanted it even though I paid and had a receipt.  No, they couldn’t be expected to remember that they had rented it to me for the night. I tightened up the RV shutting all the blinds and went for another walk, my cell phone went weird, it flickered and then suddenly lost its entire charge and went to battery zero! It was pretty in the rainforest but the road ahead was National Park and that meant no dogs on trails, no dogs on overlooks, no dogs left in vehicles I wasn’t sure how far we could walk on the trail before getting into different land. National Parks do not treat dogs like people (like the state of Oregon does!) they are less than people, less than wildlife, they are non-entities, they are treated as pests. I was not happy and ill at ease. I checked out the bath house and it was kinda creepy. I packed up and drove from my spot thinking I’d just drive around, maybe do the loop and return and then go to sleep if my space was still there. It doesn’t get dark for a long time. Funny thing is I went the other way and just kept driving once I started. I felt good to not be there so I kept going. . . and going until I reached the ocean. The further away from that place, the more at ease I felt.

20160608_170309a

$7.50 for this spot with a senior pass

20160608_183504a

Up on the overlook

20160608_183942a

Yep, would rain for awhile, then the sun would come out and then it might rain some more. Lovely and cool, fresh air that smelled and felt good.

That night I found myself in one of my happiest places. I landed at South Beach. It was $7.50 with my senior pass. I parked on the overlook above the ocean. It was heaven, the only mar was the rather strange 2 women parking in the space next to me. They were from Texas, car camping and clueless. i listede not very patiently to their tales of near tragedy in Portland landing as they did with the hookers and did I think it would be cold…  it was raining and jacket weather when they asked fortunately I was able to convince them I was not all that friendly and they left me alone.   I did watch with disbelieve as they dined on some sort of pink and cold looking slurpee thing….  they decided to sleep in their car. The dogs ran and ran and ran on the beach. We found an overlook trail and there was no one there, no one but us. I woke around 5:30 am to see a double rainbow dropping into the sea, the colors were fantastically bright, I ran inside to get my phone, the colors were already fading, moments later it was gone. Everyone else was asleep.

We went down to the beach but Mason wasn’t happy being on the sand and wanted to check out rocks, he insisted I take this shortcut back up to the camping area so I took him back to the camper, we had breakfast then I took Jeana and Jackson back to run on the beach. Felt like I’d been on the beach all day but it was only morning when we left. The Texas girls had not yet woken.

20160609_071456a

Mason checking out the rocks

20160609_074427-1-1

Flying Curls Jackson

20160609_074904a

Jackson and Jeana on the beach just after dawn

20160609_075149a

It’s so fun to watch my dogs have so much fun.

We stopped a lot after than. Checked out several beaches that were empty of other humans, hiked through rainforest and saw no one. It was a beautiful morning. I laughed thinking of the crowd and traffic back at Quinault and their silly no dogs rules. Jackson’s tail was back we were all feeling good.

20160609_092321a

My own personal rainforest

Advertisements
OH Jackson! No wonder your tail is sore! And pacient Mason.

OH Jackson! No wonder your tail is sore! And patient Mason.

The Place I did not stop at for lunch.  See the guys off on the right on their motorcycles....  really fellows!

The Place I did not stop at for lunch. See the guys off on the right on their motorcycles…. really fellows!

I had all kinds of ideas as I crossed into Washington. The Bridge (as compared to the first time years ago) was fun to drive, it was windy as per usual but I’m confident in my RV, I know all its workings, shortcomings and quirks. A woman alone is just fine. I make all the decisions, handle whatever comes up, take care of my dogs, the RV, where to go, where to stay. If I change my mind 4 times it’s just fine. If I don’t want to do something, go somewhere, stay somewhere that I thought I might want to, it’s great, I just turn around and head off. I can be picky.  I am picky. It’s my time, my money, my adventures and my memories. Washington started off like that, me changing my mind.I’d thought I didn’t want to stay at the State Park and I was getting tired so I turned into the first promising RV Park that I saw.

The Columbia River has to impress you:  Here’s an intro from http://www.ccrh.org/river/history.htm
The Columbia River drains a 259,000-square-mile basin that includes territory in seven states (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah) and one Canadian province. The river is arguably the most significant environmental force in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It flows for more than 1,200 miles, from the base of the Canadian Rockies in southeastern British Columbia to the Pacific Ocean at Astoria, Oregon, and Ilwaco, Washington.

It would have been impressive to see this river without its 400 dams and reservoirs including 19 hydroelectric plants and source of drinking water. Once this river boasted the largest population of salmon and steelhead along with white sturgeon, lamprey, trout, and varieties of host species of fish such as smelt, and birds of all kinds . . eagles, ospreys, hawks, waterfowl and other riparian and estuary wildlife from beavers to bears cutback by the dams and the alteration of river flow. How will the changing climate effect this massive river and all that need and love her?

The proprietress of the RV Park, told me she did have room for me but that I might not want to stay. The river access was deep mud. Thick and sticky mud….  she’d seen my somewhat clean-looking dogs; she advised I head to the more commercial area for easier water access giving me a map and directions. I headed off from Ilwaco to check out Oceanview stopping at the Info Center. Always sign the book when you go into these places, that’s how they keep their funding; the folks working in these centers are wonderful sources of local information (and gossip) much better than GPS or guidebook. The Park I was sent to was actually the best of all the RV parks I saw. Drove around a lot, that first one would have been nice, was practically empty at the time but it seemed nothing was going on there so being fickle I went around in circles, poking my RVs nose in here and there. The info guy  told me I should go to Cape Disappointment. He circled a bunch of places for me to see around the peninsula. Finally when I was good and worn out and it was getting late, you have to check your phone (I don’t have a watch) to see what time it is as it stays light almost until bedtime to know it’s getting late I turned back and headed for Cape Disappointment…  I think I passed the place I stayed in before, but no matter. The brakes on my RV were not happy on the steep downgrade but the fellow at the Park booth pointed out to me the section nearest the beach and off I went to check it out. They are accommodating at the State Parks, you can go look and then come back and tell them which spot you want, it’s too far to walk, so a little more back and forth and there we were and it was beautiful and I loved my space!

The beach at Cape Disappointment

The beach at Cape Disappointment

Dogs all tumbled out, Finally MOM!!  Let’s go let’s go! We hiked the beach, we hiked the park, we got lost in the park, we found our way back. Mason took a nap and the 2 Lagotti and I went back to the beach after dinner staring at the lighthouse, the massive driftwood, dogs doing zoomies in the sand and again in the early morning. It was so dark that night. the wind howled. I was resting in the back on my bed as it was darkening feeling the most peace I’d felt in unknown years. We were cradled there in half circle of trees listening to the sounds, watching the light play in the boughs, in the bark, in the clouds and then vanish.  The night was so dark I had to turn on my tiny light once or twice in the night to check on one thing or another.

20160607_174205a

My neighbor across the way was another solo women camper, older than me. She’d left her dog at home, because he was not a good camper. She’d worked Cape Disappointment as camp host and had history as one of the first women expedition rangers. She might have wanted to talk more but the quiet was too alluring for me.

20160608_081752a

 

Holding Nature So Tight
A Kind Of Hush, The Carpenters 

Depoe Bay, Oregon

Enjoying a great time in Florence it was tough to leave, esp with invitations to stay. North was beckoning, singing promise in the strong wind, luring the wanderer to come.

I was proud of my dogs for getting along with the big group and continual activity in Florence. Mason at one point asked if he could go in the van and take a nap but the pups ate it up. They would adore a vigorous lifestyle of wide open county, swimming, hunting for truffles, visitors and land to explore. There are other great places such as Agate Beach and Ona Beach and nameless others for dogs and their people, we stopped at a few, walked on the sand but did not get wet. All my love to you Oregon where the beaches are free and available to all and dogs are “people” and not objects!

Why Dogs Love Oregon . . . and their People!

Why Dogs Love Oregon . . . and their People!

You see my dear, Jackson, my problem child developed a limp tail. This can happen with too much exertion. It cleared up in a few days without intervention still I kept half an eye out for veterinarians. The tail becomes exhausted and cannot wag or lift at all, or maybe beyond half mast. Sad to see him like this, the way he sat on the passenger seat squeezed in tight, standing on the seat leaning hard on his tail couldn’t help, Jackson liked getting there, taking to the beaches like a seal and the grasslands like a gazelle, every time I stopped, no matter how minor, was occasion for wild happy! but riding as we drove, not so much! Jackson’s not as brave as he appears. He’s my little itty-bitty tiny puppy …  he’s always been big since the day he was born and ahead of the pack. He gets suspicious with his imagination, anything could be dangerous until he really knows for sure, things can fool you.  He’s unstoppable energy and enthusiasm and very much all boy yet he more than the others needs to check things out, one at a time, and he gets into trouble and then he needs his human to make everything okay.

The shops were closed in Depoe Bay; darn, had been looking forward to killer bread-pudding as recommended by Carrie, another time.

There were a slew of those parking lot type RV parks, resorts they call them; see these everywhere on the coast. I suppose they’re ok if you have a 5th wheel or a trailer and you plan to get up early and come in late after a day of boating, hiking, fishing, etc. Parking on cement or gravel on top of your neighbors is totally not appealing to me. Was about to push on when I spotted a sign for the Sea & Sand RV Park, it was on the ocean side, the side closer to the whales, so what the heck, I turned back (not with the greatest enthusiasm given what’ I’d already seen) down the frontage road and drove around the park. It was campy with trees and well spaced sites then out on the cliff I saw an empty space facing the sea.

The walk down to the beach at the Sea & Sand

The walk down to the beach at the Sea & Sand

I booked it for the night, reverse parking my rig in the spot, I can do this since my RV is less than 20 feet long. Could not understand why they had sites backwards to the view, may be an explanation somewhere? And why oh why did they post 2 little signs directly ahead saying,  No Parking in front of RVs, Pick up after your pet and Keep off banks. Couldn’t they have placed those a bit off to the left not right dab smack in the view of space 103? Hummm? Yep, I think every space should be equal here.

20160606_155347

Didn’t mind this sign. Seems like a reasonable idea. Trash and cig butts too should be on this list.

But these signs could have been moved over.

But these signs could have been moved over.

My beautiful night. Sunset and dusk take a long sweet time.

My beautiful night. Sunset and dusk take a long sweet time.

Grassy, Spring flowery walking trail NS stairs down to the beach with killer view! Given Jackson’s tail situation we forego swimming at the beach. Walked along the seawall in Depoe Bay, named for a Joshua Indian, Charlie DePoe, admiring the spouting waves, reading warning signs for tsunamis and then along the side with the shops and restaurants, mostly closed at the early morning, a few starting to open, then back up the coast.

In Depoe Bay

In Depoe Bay, Oregon

20160607_102148

 

20160607_101329

Depoe Bay. there are some large waves happening out there.

 

In Raymond, OR, scores of metal cutout figures hold up friendly arms; there are deer, elk, bears, wolves, people holding dogs all cuddled, walking dogs, people sweeping the street, fishing, planting a tree, riding a bike, groups of children . . . and for some reason they were all wearing purple shirts. Wanted to stop for a better look but did not see an easy place to park. The metal creatures made the town seem extraordinarily friendly as in a bizarre TV-drama-land sort of feeling, where anything could and would happen. If one could go out and touch one of these would it speak, were the “real” people and animals around, watching, waiting? Didn’t get any pictures, too busy driving. Driving and dreaming.

20160607_101927

I’d passed another little town previously looking for a bite of breakfast, there was a war veteran type stature and 2 older guys on motorcycles, wearing back leather jackets, one of them walked over and peed on the statute! He has his back to me at least, I decided not to eat there.

I had in mind to stay in Astoria where the Columbia River joins the Pacific Ocean about 120 mile drive from Depoe Bay, was looking forward to it but as things often go, places change, they grow and develop in-between visits without asking my opinion, ha-ha. the RV Park I had in mind was like another homeless encampment, I’m sure it would have been okay but there was too much traffic.

 

Last time through here I had Olympia and Mason, we had a great breakfast at an outdoor cafe, I’d loved it …  today it seemed crowded and noisy. I drove all around and finally crossed the long truss bridge to Washington (if you look back far enough in my blog I managed a photo in my first crossing.)

 

 

Astoria-Megler Bridge to WASHINGTON

 

Taking a nap at Port of Siuslaw Campground and Marina.

Taking a nap at Port of Siuslaw Campground and Marina.

The Port of Siuslaw is where I head to for camp. I love watching water and the hustle of a port, feeding and swarming birds, the lapping of water, clanging of ship lines and rigging, otters, seals, people moving about focused on the boats; I didn’t know that my mother is also drawn to harbors.

First time landed a space on the water’s edge. LOVED IT.

The little LT on the river's edge.

The little LT on the river’s edge. My dogs and I were so very welcomed by the staff and complimented as being excellent guests. Mason’s an RV expert, good to know the pups are starting to get the groove.

The Port, I believe is on the estuary or within estuary restoration, it’s about 4.7 miles from the ocean. Over 30 lakes are within the district. I studied estuaries, brackish water at Sacramento State as an environmental biology student and forever fell in love with these muddy nursery, refuge, feeding grounds giving life for us all. Historically estuaries suffered blatant destruction; it is good to see restoration and renewed appreciation.

3 little peas

It was windy! My 3 little peas under the table.

Waking up in Port Siuslaw1

The mist of early morning, the birds are calling.

 

Bridge

Old Town had stretched since my last visit with music, food and shops, it’s only around the corner from the harbor and our regular walk. But on this day, Florence history was made….  3 and soon to be 4 Lagotto Romagnolo for the first time ever in Florence Oregon!

Meeting Carrie and Steve and Capote the Lgotto in downtown Florence.

Meeting Carrie and Steve and Capote the Lagotto in downtown Florence. Jeana, Jackson, Capote, Carrie and Mason. The shot before the one where they were all lined up!  LOL

Carrie and Steve and their friends Joe and John and others as well so warmly welcomed me and my 3 dogs, we became friends. Later we met up with Ricki and her Lagotto Kelly by chance traveling up to Port Townsend and back arriving in Florence at just that time…  and then we had 4 Lagotti!

I was invited to Joe’s house for dinner. His place is stunning, directly on Dune Lake neighboring National Forest land. It is so picturesque, private and natural it’s hard to describe; a fantasy of forest, lake and home. He remade the interior with all knotty pine, a striking woodsy retreat, this is where my Jeana and Jackson found their water dog roots. Jackson “forget” he was timid of the water with all the water dogs chasing and swimming in the lake: the “dry” dogs running in the woods exploring, some 6 of them all so happy!

dinner

Joe made us dinner. Caught salmon for me…  the list of fish in Joe’s freezer is impressive, the others had lamb.Included roasted squash and forged mushrooms (which I don’t really eat very much) Chantelles, no I think it was another. Relaxing meal in a great environment. Joe also has crabs and clams, oysters and more… all the bounty of the area with stunning display of the lake, sun and rain.

At the Lake

Another photo (see prior posts for others) of the Lagotti swimming in the lake.

I also took my crew to North Jetty Beach (same as above other photos previously posted.)

Another shot from Jetty Beach (others posted previously)

Another shot from Jetty Beach. The boys, Jackson and Mason .

 

Invited to dinner again, this time at Carrie and Steve’s lakefront rental home…

Beautiful lakefront home: Thank you Carrie and Steve

Fun lakefront home: Thank you Carrie and Steve

Carrie and Steve

… they are deciding on the perfect location and on the banks of a lake seems to be an amazing and perfect fit.  They have a dock and just bought kayaks when they are not out foraging, hiking, beach-combing or doing the town but are home entertaining and hanging out.  All these friendly people kept showing up including John Michael Getz and Jonathon who are producing a film about truffle searching, several women, Joe and his friend and others.  John’s lab along with John are expert and long versed in truffles, educational and a ton of fun! They set up a few scenes to film the dogs hunting for truffles and we did a little training session with my two newbies.

The two truffle hunters! Carrie and John's dogs. Cut off a little sorry... yeah Mason's hanging in back.

The two truffle hunters! Carrie and John’s dogs. Cut off a little sorry… yeah Mason’s hanging in back.

The fellows all made a collective dinner, the dogs played: life here is social and inclusive. Food is foraged and crafted for anyone’s dietary needs. Eating, sharing, hiking, activities, sharing skill sets, they are all a group; they love Florence and their lives in this town.

Joe is preparing food again :) There were morels and truffles and nettles and a flour-less vegan chocolate cake.

Joe is preparing food again 🙂 There were morels and truffles and nettles and a flour-less vegan chocolate cake.

I spent a night parked in Carrie and Steve’s driveway to be treated by made from scratch sweet buns with a spicy kick. They were perfect!We ate those after Ricki and her sister had stopped by with her Lagotto on their way home to San Fransisco and Arizona (respectively.)

Dinner2

Some of the guys

Dinner 2a

4 Lagotti

 

So, I’ve finally caught up to where I was when I started posting about my current trip. Being the pups first camping experience most of my time has been spent having fun with them and Mason of course.

As I headed up the coast, at first I was not happy. I had figured on doing this part of the drive after gorging myself on the luxurious beauty of the Washington Peninsula and I would be prepared and ready to drive the coastal route home. Oregon becomes crowded, RV parks, RV parking lots as well as RV repair shops dot the roadways. Passing through the redwoods was startling short. Two hundred million years ago they could grow all over the planet, now they cling to this small region hugging the Western US coast from Big Sur to just before the Oregon border. The trees are stressed and even though I camped among them and passed the usual tourist locales their presence hit me with a wavering uncertainty

 

In Coos Bay I past the Mill Casino where I’d stopped before…  on that trip I’d wanted to explore Coos Bay, it was a satisfaction in the recognition but this time I only wanted a quiet spot to walk and run the dogs and rest; my goal was the Olympic Peninsula and on the way Oregon town of Florence. I felt unsettled and angry at the general level of commercialization; yes, I should be used to it living in Southern California, in my heart it is the wilderness and the sea, natural lakes, wild rivers, busy harbors, open fields and cute towns that draw me to the road, not spreading of the blacktops, cement, tourists baits, the trash in blown remains from the grasp or children and dedicated vacationers; homes crammed up next to shopping malls and all that.

I use several apps on my cell phone: RV Parks, RV Parky, Allstays, Roadbrekers and Google Maps, the Garmin is more or less useless at finding specific information. I found something I thought would work; I think it was Ocean Pines in North Bend, but I’m not certain, will have to search about for the paperwork. I thought it would be a different place than it was.  The proprietor greeted me when I entered, I was tired and ready. I thought he was going to tell me they were full, or that no dogs were allowed. They were almost full, he had dry camping (that means no utilities) out in the field with use of the bath house. He took me out there and said come back with five bucks if I wanted to stay. It was cool, there was only one other camper on the field and they were way on the other side. Some kind of animals, lamas or alpacas or something, but I came to think of them as yaks occasionally used the field. I let the dogs out to romp and yep, first thing Jeana found a pile of that poop and rolled in it, then she invited Jackson to check it out! Washy washy washy…  with wet Dawn detergent dogs in tow I headed to the office with ten bucks. He said he didn’t have change so it suddenly became free. As he said this wasn’t exactly a money making operation. I think there were 1 or 2 or maybe 3 other visitors among the long timer/permanent residents…  it seemed like kinda a homed-homeless camp. One fellow gave me two roses from his garden, several women said hello, lots of dogs barked at us quite aggressively even little ones. It was quiet, cool, roomy and nice, perfect for the night.

My spot for the night out in the field.

My spot for the night out in the field.

Long timers at the camp.

Long timers at the camp.

The next day I started out for Florence, esp Old Town Florence, for me this is where Coastal Oregon begins. Along the way I stopped frequently getting into a rhythm with my 3 canines. Did not expect this!

Never Did Find Out What Was Wong With The Trees

Never Did Find Out What Was Wong With The Trees?

Land of Dangerous Trees

Land of Dangerous Trees

Found this along the way; might be a easy spot for a night.

Found this along the way; might be a easy spot for a night.

Winchester Bay Lighthouse

Winchester Bay Lighthouse . . . arrived hours too early for a tour.

Winchester Bay in the Oregon Dunes, Port of Umpqua

Winchester Bay in the Oregon Dunes, Port of Umpqua.

Plenty of fly fishing, salmon, sturgeon and crabbing in the bay, along with oysters and whale watching. Nice quick drive to the beach for a look around, plenty of sand dunes.

 

Previously I paid for a mobile hot spot connection from my Verizon cell phone service which allows me to post to my blog while traveling. I did not do so this time as Verizon has manged to increase my grandfathered unlimited plan by  $33 a month. They claim this is only a $20 increase, the other fees and taxes seem to not register with Verizon as an increase, that is as long as you pay them. There was no reason given for the increase they just did it. I’ve also had trouble with them arbitrarily cancelling services like text and then charging me a per text charge and major overcharges last year when I went to Canada which still have not been adjusted …   all in all I am Leary of adding charges like mobile hotspot so thought I could do without the extra $40 but next time I will look into other options. Free wifi seems to be tricky and or non functional more often than not.

 

So another brief post. Lee asked if I knew about Trindad. Oh yes I do! I’ve camped several times in the Emerald Forest Campground which is very close to the beach in Trindad there is a rest stop a little further up for those watching their budget.  I noticed one change and/or perhaps it was not enforced on prior visits; dogs are now only allowed on the RV sites, not the camping / dry camping sites, but that was no problem. It’s full of redwoods and a perfect location.

The Redwoods2

Mason takes a look around our campground, does he remember being here before?

Trindad

Trinidad, CA in Humbolt County. Rocky bluffs overlook a busy moorage.

Trindad1

The Beach!

Trindad2

This trail to another beach was directly across the road from our campground. Spruce, redwoods, ferns and Lagotti!

Trindad3

My RV parked at the beach. We’d gone for a hike.

Trindad Beach

Another shot (posted another awhile back) of the dogs first romp of our trip on the beach at Trindad. Wasn’t sure if there was a leash rule so they kept their leashes close, just in case.

Beach Plants

Beach Plants, I always enjoy how flowers and plants grow in sunning variety almost anywhere. While tolerant of change close inspection indicates health and adaptation on a much larger scale.

Beach Plants 2

 

Case in point, this beautiful little pond further up the coast is polluted.

Case in point, this beautiful little pond further up the coast is polluted.

The Pond

It looks healthy but it’s not.

Bad Pond, Good Dog!

Bad Pond, Good Dog!

flowers

These first few days were about learning and adjustment. Jackson became seasick, well carsick, once we hit the mountain pass and the RV started to twist and turn. Add to that the rather bizarre steering capacity of the LT. . i.e wild and erratic drifting, heavy wind and nasty little strips on the road that make a rumbling loud vibration and poor Jackson definitely wanted to not get back into the van. …  and did I mention both Jackson and I drank some bad water and were sick to our stomachs. Ah yes, one woman traveling with 3 dogs!

And trying to take pictures while handling 3 tangled leashes…  my poor camera was badly neglected in favor of my phone.

Another Quick Post

It took me quite some time to figure out why I could not connect to the Internet with the free (no password) wifi.  I tried complicated fixes when it turned out to be simple, one needs to set the connection to “private” not “public” that’s it!  If you have that trouble it’s simple. The State Parks here in Washington and some private ones offer this free, no password wifi, now finally I can connect!

On My Way. . . leaving Sacramento

On My Way. . . leaving Sacramento

So back to leaving CA . . . leaving the traffic of Sacramento behind was a joy. I headed across the state to the coast via Hwy 20 and Clearlake. I love Clearlake and thought of spending more time there except for the mosquitoes; at that time I already had gobs of inflamed bites, these new winged hunger machines seemed not to care at all, finding my blood quite to their liking.

I didn’t have time to look into it but it seemed life was being infused anew into the area. I hope the lake is protected, someone once said they feared it becoming another “Lake Tahoe” if that’s the case then the algae blooms it suffers should perhaps remain, like a very fast mare La Bruja, from a book my mother gave me as a child. The wild mare ran so fast she was coveted by all that saw her when all she wanted was to be free.. Someone gave her that gift to be wild by nicking her slightly impinging her breathtaking speed but giving her forever freedom.  If it’s about money and how a unique beauty becomes a commodity, the most special are often possesed. . . which reminds me how I attempted to put a value on non-material gains in doing analysis and evaluation when I was a public planner…  but I stray, I’m off to sleep in a moment, it’s very late.  …   more later.,

Driving past Clearlake

Driving past Clearlake

Around Clearlake1

 

In attempting to catch up here’s where I was at one of my favorite spots in Florence, Oregon the first night I landed a camping space on the water. Yes, loved it! The next I was on the grassy field in back and my final night in Florence in Carrie and Steve’s driveway.

 

Florence, OR, history in the making, 3 Lagotto Romagnolo grace downtown with their approvals.

Florence, OR, history in the making, 3 Lagotto Romagnolo grace downtown with their approvals…  Jeana and Jackson meet Capote.

Waking up in Port Siuslaw, Florence OR

Waking up in Port Siuslaw, Florence OR. The tide is out! The birds are singing wild.

Waking up in Port Siuslaw

Waking up in Port Siuslaw

Play Time at South Jetty Beach, Florence, Oregon

Play Time at South Jetty Beach, Florence, Oregon

Jetty Beach7

Mason and Jeana

Jetty Beach3

Playing with some kids, Jackson and Jeana

Jetty Beach, Oregon

South Jetty Beach in Florence Oregon

Mason and Jeana on the beach

On the way to Trindad Beach back in California. Stayed again at the Emerald Forest.

On the way to Trindad Beach back in California. Stayed again at the Emerald Forest.

Lots more to catch up!

Interlude

I will post photos and stories of my current travel very soon..  soon as I have the bandwidth to do so. Am parked up against the sea tonight in a place where the ocean appears never-ending. It’s 8:47 pm and the sun has sunk into the fog bank at the horizon with its red orange-yellow hallmark. The wind has calmed, and the sea froth has become less frenetic. I’m so glad I have a little RV and not a big one because I fit in the most beautiful of spaces. I’m in Oregon…   new friends, new foods, new adventures, re-connections and the love of dogs..  I will post soon.

I’m now getting behind as tonight I’m at one of my favorite spots in the Port of Sisuslaw in Florence Oregon and will meet up with a Lagotto family to have some Lagotto fun!  This is the first time I’ve landed a spot right on the river…  so nice and cool!

 

Here’s my first post from several days back:

Yep, managed to get the LT back on the road, finally!

No, Jackson that's not your seat.

No, Jackson that’s not how we sit! …  there would be trouble with this later when he tired very very hard to squeeze himself up on the dashboard!

I left town very early morning on Fri of Memorial Day Weekend, kinda a crazy time to hit the road, but I figured not knowing how the LT would handle I might not mind going slow. It was actually a lovely drive, at least until Gilroy. I decided to take 101 rather than shooting over the Grapevine and getting blogged on I-5. After Gilroy the roads were a mess studded with accidents and gridlock. I actually burst out laughing seeing one of the hwy overhead signs that said SLOW TRAFFIC AHEAD…  Really!  The traffic had been moving at a whopping 5 to 17 mph for at least the prior 2 hours before that gracious message!

 

The LT did fine, not as smooth as I would have liked but nicely tolerable; the steering seemed to set in a bit as the miles past, no problem with the wind or drifting out of lane. A long way from perfect but I’m starting to believe that more miles as stated, may improve the ride.

Yeh, you kiddo . . whatya doing up there?

Yeah, you kiddo . . whatya doing up there?

Going for a rest-stop walk at a little lake.

Going for a rest-stop walk at a little lake.

I’ve had a great time visiting with Lee and her husband Craig…  my bed here at their Placerville home is so comfy and I swear I’ve eaten better and more tasty food this last weekend than I have all year. It’s a pleasure I take to heart to be welcomed and looked after by such an amazing friend! Olympia who has been visiting here in Placerville for several months has settled in with a lively  routine of snuggling with her hosts, playing ball, doing her rounds on the property, going hiking and off on excursions even getting along with Zak.  Lee and I took all 3 of my Lagotti to the Hangtown Cluster Dog Show at the Placerville Fairgrounds.  Lee proved patient and steady with the disorganized and somewhat chaotic eye clinic but perfectly irate with what she explained to me is all too typical absurd manners of the local community. Not only confusing and time consuming it was hot and both I and my dogs were overly excited and flustered.  All went well however, Dr. Lana Linton did the exam. I enjoyed talking to her esp hearing what a delight it was for an older dog to have cataract surgery . . . coming in stumbling and prancing out all sharp eyed and eager.  Wish all dogs in need could have this surgery, but it’s very expensive; in any case my 3 will not pass on any heritable eye disease, happy to say they are all healthy and normal.

We watched the American Eskimos go round the ring  (in honor of Lee’s dogs of course) only a few of them and some with odd haircuts, there was a real beauty in the group, and then the small party of Lagotti Romagnoli (mine were not entered so we just watched, chatted and cheered.)  Did not like to see one of the entries with a poodle kinda look and possibly oversize. Let’s keep the Lagotto Romagnolo true to its rustic sporting heritage, all curly and ready to work! Hummn…. judges may need more education.

At the dog show At the Hangtown Cluster At the Hangtown Cluster1 At the Hangtown Cluster2

There’s a heat wave in India and one right here in Northern California and Oregon there’s an early summer heat wave, one that will break records. Getting far too hot….  I’ll post much more soon about the climate, it’s so important.

Mosquitoes have ravaged the outdoors..  as the edge comes off the heat and I can finally go outdoors to play with the dogs, the mosquitoes attack. In 5 min I average 9 or 10 bites, most of them on my ball throwing arm.  Cut lemon slices on the bites, stings badly but is a great improvement to prolonged swelling, sleepless tossing turning and itchy inflammation: follow this up with Aloe Vera and it really helps.  Apparently I’m allergic, no I’m not trying to be the first to get a mosquito borne disease just want to go out and play with the pups in my friend’s beautiful yard. It’s sweltering in my guest room, too hot for me, so it’s time, I’ll be heading north hugging the coast and just see what happens.

Mason relaxing on the porch.

Mason relaxing on the porch.

Lee's beautiful property.

Lee’s beautiful property.

My kids