Wednesday, October 17, 2018

In Northern California Near Crescent City

October 6 and 7

We are at a beautiful northern California RV campground called Redwood RV Resort, and parked among huge trees.   

Our first night we got settled in and wandered around the park with our dogs.  The second day we drove to the Hiouchi visitors center of the Redwood National and California State Parks, which have established a cooperative management effort. Together they manage one national and three northern California state parks covering 105,516 acres. Per the park brochure, those parks have 36 percent of the old growth redwood forests.

Jim asked the rangers for a recommendation of where we could hike with our dogs.  A very enthusiastic ranger gave us advice about that, recommended a scenic bypass on our way to our next stop, and even recommended a GPS system made especially for RVs (it’s called Garmin 769 RV, he said.)

When we got to the trail, however, a sign said “No Dogs.”  We weren't sure if the sign was old, or if in the ranger's enthusiasm to describe a favorite hike he didn’t hear the word "dog."

So we went with the first and kept the dogs on literal short leashes. In retrospect and after some research, it was a no dogs hike.  We try to be responsible dog owners, so our apologies to the beautiful trail. We will not do that again. But as usual, we packed out all dog "by products."

Later we drove into Crescent City, about eight miles north of our campground, to get some groceries. I read online that Crescent City is susceptible to tsunamis and that a large part of the city was destroyed by a tsunamis caused by the 1964 earthquake near Anchorage. in 2011 the city's harbor was damaged by tsunamis after the 2011 earthquake near Sendai, Japan.Thirty-one tsunamis have hit Crescent City since 1933.

One of our first views (this trip) of the Pacific Ocean as we drove from Coos Bay, OR toward Crescent City, CA. It's a typical Oregon coast scene:  pretty beaches and big rocks.

Our RV site at Redwoods RV Resort.  Jim saw a light peaking though the trees and thought it was some sort of streetlight -- until he realized it was a sliver of sunlight beaming through the heavy tree canopy.  We are not getting a lot of natural light in this spot.
Bev and Maddie on the four-mile out and back Hiouchi Trail at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.  The tree we are standing in front has a hole near the bottom that we walked through.
Jim and Arlo admiring a stand of redwoods.  Per our park brochure, some of the redwoods along the Pacific coast are 2,000 years old.
At our campground: A fallen redwood becomes a "nurse log," providing water and nutrients to a seedling that sprouted on top of it. Now that seedling is another very big tree. 
A few redwood pinecones Bev picked up in the campground. So tiny.  

Monday, October 15, 2018

Coos Bay

I'm many days and one state behind on the blog, so I'm going to start adding dates.  That way when I look at the blog in the future, I'll know when we were actually at a certain place. And so will you.

October 4 and 5

From Corvallis we drove to the Oregon Coast town of Florence, turned left and started down Highway 101 South. We traveled parts of it before and it's beautiful. But it's also curvy, bumpy, and something we just might not do again in the motorhome. 

First stop was Coos Bay, Oregon, the largest city on the Oregon coast with around 16,000 people. 

Our tow car battery was dead again when we got to our RV Park.  I called AAA for the second time this trip; the customer service rep (who later told me he was in Arizona)  thought "Coos Bay" was a pretty weird name. Originally known as Marshfield, the city gets it name from the Coos Indians, one of several area tribes.

Coos Bay looked a little economically depressed to us.  Maybe it was the fact that it rained pretty much constantly the one full day we were there.  Or maybe it was because we were just off a very active week with family and in Corvallis, and needed a "down time" stop. Sorry, Coos Bay. We probably gave you short shrift.
The McCollouch Memorial Bridge spans the bay on the north side of the city of Coos Bay. It was built in 1936 and is named for Conde McCullough who designed (or helped design) this bridge and ten others on Oregon's section of US Highway 101 -- plus over 600 others. The bridge above is on the National Register of Historic Places and is 5,305 feet long.

Some ships seen in downtown Coos Bay.  Coos Bay was historically a ship building and lumber center. But per the web, forest products (isn't that lumber?) tourismfishing and agriculture now dominate the Coos County economy.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Corvallis, Oregon

Next stop was Corvallis, Oregon, home of Oregon State University where Jim got his degree in forestry -- plus most of his hoodies and many of his baseball caps.

We stayed at the Benton Oaks RV Park at the Benton County Fairgrounds in Corvallis. I wished I had taken photos of the campground.  While the sites themselves weren't anything special, the setting was pretty darn nice for a fairgrounds campground, with a huge grove of big oaks in the middle.

I kept thinking "why do they call it 'Benton' Oaks?"  Turns out to be the most logical of answers: Benton is the name of the county.  Thomas Hart Benton served as a US senator from Missouri 1821-1851 and advocated for westward expansion of the US, including control over the territory that is now the state of Oregon.

We walked and drove all over Corvallis and the campus and took the dogs to two dog parks.  We had lunch at a McMenamins, a local chain that buys historic buildings, restores them, and turn them into pubs, hotels, and breweries.  And Jim stocked up on his Oregon State gear.
Oregon state has an experimental turf field next to our Corvallis campground. They also had master gardener plots still in bloom.

Oregon State won the most recent college baseball championship, held last summer in Omaha.

Oregon State's mascot is the beaver and there are beavers galore on campus.  This guy is a door knob at the student union...

...And this guy -- named Bennie -- posed with Jim in the student union.
The Oregon State University campus. With 28,000 students its the largest university in Oregon.
Maddie, Arlo and Jim at one of the two dog parks we visited. This one was not fenced so we kept the dogs on leash - both of then are too prone to run off, usually with Maddie in the lead and Arlo willingly joining in.
Jim found one of the apartments he lived in while going to Oregon State in 1973-74 and is standing in from of his former home.  They were new at the time and Jim said they were especially nice for a guy who had recently gotten out of the Navy.  He loved that the door of this one opens to a woods. They still look nice.
As seen in downtown Corvallis:  No bikes and ... no large pickles?  Tubular vegetables?  Blimps?  The list is endless, although it's probably skateboards.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Silverton, Oregon

After two days in Season and Lee's yard in Stayton, we moved to nearby (18 miles away) Silver Spur RV Park in Silverton, Oregon. Big RV park, plenty of room to walk the dogs, and other than terrible signage it worked for us. 

Silverton is a great small town. We were there three days and barely scratched the surface of things to see and do. We'll go back next time we visit Season and her family.  

Day One we hiked a trail at Silver Falls State Park with Season, Lee and their boys. The park allows dogs on some trails, so we took Arlo and Maddie.  Day Two, Jim and I explored Silverton which has lots of antique and second hand shops. I bought a pin for $3 and earrings for $2.  Day Three we toured the Oregon Garden, a beautiful 80-acre botanical garden -- which again allowed dogs -- and includes a Frank Lloyd Wright house. Over the two days we went to two brew pubs: Silver Falls and Seven Brides -- we liked Silver Falls the best.  Better food, better beer, better atmosphere.  For us, anyway. 
We did a three-mile hike at Silver Falls State Park near Silverton with, L to R: grandson Owen, daughter Season, grandson Connor, SIL Lee, Jim and Arlo.  Silver Falls is Oregon's largest state park and has a 177-foot waterfall that you can walk behind.  We didn't get to the waterfall this time -- next time we will.
A scene from the Oregon Garden, which is pet friendly.  They had us bring our dogs through the gift shop, which seemed a little odd, but no gifts were destroyed by anyone's tail.  
Jim and Arlo at the conifer area of the Oregon Garden.  Including the conifer area, there are 20 specialty gardens.

You can barely see Jim, but he's in the middle of this Oregon Garden photo going up steps with Arlo.
A downtown Silverton memorial to "Bobbie," a dog who was lost by his Silverton family while they were visiting relatives in Indiana in 1923.  Per the story, Bobbie found his way back to his family's home and became a celebrity once his story got out.  People who said they saw/fed/cared for Bobbie on his journey wrote to the family.  From these letters it was determined that Bobbie may have traveled 3,000 miles.
When my Mom sees photos like these she says "Did you really eat that much food?"  Yes, Mom.  We did. But my grilled cheese sandwich and Jim's sliders at the Silver Falls Brewery were both lunch and dinner that day.

This Frank Loyd Wright-designed home is part of the Oregon Garden.  It was designed in 1957  and completed in 1963, four years after Wright's death.  It was one of his last designs meant for "working class" Americans.
Like a lot of town we visit, Silverton has murals painted on building walls.  This one honors NASA astronaut Don Pettit, who was raised in Silverton,  traveled twice to the international space station, and per NASA's web site is still an active astronaut.