Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lake of the Woods, OR

Three days now in this charming woodsy campground at 5,000' elevation in the southern Cascade Mountains.
Built in the 1920s in the midst of what is now the Winema National Forest, this resort offers wooden cabins, a rustic lodge with bright red Adirondack chairs, a marina/store, all up the hill from a two mile long lake.

They tell us that the freezing nights and daily snow showers is unusual for this time of year.  So we've spent most of our time indoors, enjoying the velvet green scenery and resting up for our new jobs.

Snow this morning

Looks like we've escaped the summer heat.

Yes, that's right. We're going back to work [Ha ha ha ha!]. On June 1, we start four hour shifts in the gift shop of Collier Memorial State Park.

We've most often heard three things about this park: mosquitoes; good fishing; and mosquitoes.

More to come....


Friday, May 27, 2011

Medford Oaks RV Park

We stopped overnight at this RV park principally to visit a couple from our former life.  Bruce's life actually, as he worked at Western State Psychiatric

Hospital with the male portion of this couple.  We shared stories of RVing, [our former] work experiences, and dreams to come.  They want to travel more, but annot sell one of their Seattle homes during this depressed housing market.  Which just reminded us of how lucky we were, and are.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ashland, OR and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

We spent four nights at Emigrant Lake County Park on a beautiful lake.  Since we had stayed at this park before, we reserved the primo site.
Unfortunately we endured rain and wind after this first partly sunny day.

But no matter.  We stopped at Ashland principally to attend live theater again at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  People from around the world attend productions in this four theater complex.  We bought tickets six months in advance, and found half of the productions sold out.

Despite the name, most of the plays are not written by Shakespeare.  We saw the following shows:
The Imaginary Invalid - Moliere's last play.  Rewritten with a 60's flair, it was delightful and unexpected, with satire, music and dance, and clever plot twists.
August: Osage County - a Pulitzer Prize winning tragedy about a dysfunctional family reunited over a death.  The story was somewhat familiar, but the acting and direction were superb.
Julius Caeser - by you-know-who.  Well conceived and unique.  Even to the point that the title character was female.
The Language Archive - the weakest play of the four.  The author couldn't seem to make up his mind if he was writing about love or communication.  And the ending, indeed the final words, referred to a theme unmentioned to that point.

But then, everyone's a critic.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Cold Snap - the Sequel

We were enjoying a rare episode of travel without repairs.  Made it almost one thousand miles without incident.

Then the refrigerator door fell to the floor.

Truth to tell, we were not surprised.  The first time the hinge broke, we had used it less than one year.  We received a new door under warranty. 

The new one lasted about one year.  That time I fixed the hinge with epoxy.  Which lasted about another year.  This time requires another replacement, at our expense.

The good news - the local dealer got a new door in just one day.

The bad news - we paid for it.

Oh, and don't ask me about the truck right now.



Saturday, May 21, 2011

The End

Taken on a sidewalk in Grants Pass today, the day the world will end, according to California radio preacher Harold Camping.

So we are actually in the End Time, with five months left till the total destruction of the world.

I'll do my part.  I'm voting for Sarah Palin!

Seen the light

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Garberville and The Redwood Forest

What's not to like about the Redwoods?  They're red and made of wood.  It's a perfect combination.

We have visited this forest at least three times in the past eleven years.  The first time during a motorcycle trip down from Washington State to Garberville.  The second two years ago on our way north like now.

The Humboldt Redwoods Visitor Center Link to Park page on the Avenue of the Giants road thru the forest contains a fascinating exhibit about Charles Kellog, a naturalist who lived from 1868 to 1949
Wikipedia article.  He traveled the country in vaudeville shows, imitating birds by singing from his throat rather than whistling.  He traveled in an early version of an RV, made of a huge hollowed out redwood log mounted on a truck frame - no slides tho.

Later in life he campaigned for to protect the California redwood forests.

This day, we returned to the Founders Grove.  Our impressions
Light rain descending. 
Looking up into the trees, small drops against the background of the trees, mingled with large drops from the branches.
All heeding the siren call of gravity. 
Rain falling on the clover below, making them quake and dance from the impact. 
And all around, only the sound of the birds.


Which is why we return to this forest.

From Woody Guthrie's THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND
From the redwood forest,
To the fresh tank waters,
This RV's made for two or three [Clancy].


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Healdsburg, CA

We dropped in on Healdsburg, CA today.  Their motto, "Where women go to shop."  In other words, Hell.

Many wine shops where you can try samples from the local vineyards.  Too fancy schmancy for us, we ate at the local brewpub.

The most unique shop there?  The Hand Fan museum  http://handfanmuseum.com/

Wherein you learn the history of fans down through the ages.  Who knew?

Next up is the Ball of Twine Museum.  http://www.darwintwineball.com/


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Santa Rosa, CA

Why Santa Rosa, you might ask?  What, do you not know about the Charles Schultz Museum and Research Center?  Remembering Snoopy and Charlie Brown and the rest of the cast of the beloved Peanuts cartoon series?

Schultz lived in Santa Rosa for many years.  Wandering around this city of 160,000, you come upon statues of characters from the series.

Still, why?  Jenna grew up in a Snoopy household.  Her mother collected Snoopies in all forms.  Jenna and her sister carry on the tradition.


For this, we worked 30 years.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Monterey and Carmel-By-the-Sea

After five days drycamping at San Simeon, we drove to Monterey, CA.  Stayed at Laguna Seca, a race track that hosts the American Le Mans race, among others.  With nice RV spaces around the perimeter of the racetrack.  Quiet place to stay outside the scheduled events.  And just ten miles from Monterey and the ocean.

John Steinbeck wrote about Monterey in his classic novel, Cannery Row.  We toured that area, now mostly surrounded by boutique shops.

 Plus a stroll on Fisherman's Wharf, tho nary a fisherman in sight.  Instead you find seafood restaurants, one after the other along the pier.

The next day, we drove further south to Carmel-by-the-Sea, on the southern end of famous Pebble Beach Golf Course.  A very upscale community.  I counted five Ferraris during the few hours we spent there.  The town sits in the center of the shoreline of Monterey Bay.  Blue green water, greenery all around, flocks of pelicans and seagulls diving for fish, yellow-white crunchy sand.  Nice.

You may know that Clint Eastwood served as mayor of the city in 1986  We ate lunch at The Hog's Breath Inn, once owned by Eastwood.  Decided not to try the Dirty Harry burger.
Bruce looking notorious

Then on northward.


Friday, May 6, 2011

San Simeon State Park and Hearst Castle

We moved north 30 miles to San Simeon State Park, along the ocean again, and just a few miles from Hearst Castle.
160 sites in this park, and only a dozen occupied.  Dry camping - no problem for us with large holding tanks and solar panels.  So nice we don't know when we will leave.

Today we toured the Hearst Castle, a joint venture of the Hearst Foundation and the California State Parks.  Whadda place!  William Randolph Hearst, one of the wealthiest men in the world at the time, this before the Arabs got smart and raised the price of oil, spent 15 years and spared no expense building this huge estate [90,080 Square Feet in all, with 56 bedrooms] and filling it with art and antiques from around the world.  And accumulated a vast holding of 250,000 acres of ranch and coastal land.  Orson Welles classic film Citizen Kane was a fictionalization of William Randolph Hearst's career.

The tour guide said, "It's hard to take a bad picture here."  But take a quick tour with a large group, and you won't get a chance for a good one.  Here are just a few, almost all outdoors.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

San Luis Obispo - Too Hot!

Upon our departure from Park Sierra, we drove southwest to San Luis Obispo.  [They call the city and county SLO.  I guess they live too fast to say it slow.]  Nice little California town.  The downtown area reminded us of Eugene Oregon.  And the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas.
Jenna at the gardens near the mission church.

But each of two days there, the "unusual" 90 degree heat drove us out to the coast. 

First day we relocated to Pismo Beach, a prosperous beach town with a small boardwalk and a fishing pier.  And great fish and chips at the Pismo Beach Fish and Chips, natch.

Second day we fled in the opposite direction to Morro Bay, a smaller community with a nice state beach next to Morro Rock, a 581-foot "volcanic plug ."  This is a great time of year to travel the California coast, just before the tourist season begins.  We spent hours on the beach with few sharing it.  Listening to the foghorns [on a bright sunlit day?!], the waves crashing, the smell of salt air, seagulls screaming overhead.  The best.