Ft. Stevens-Day 2 and 3-May 2016


Friday morning started very early–around 4 a.m., when I heard a lot of noise outside the camper.  Upon opening the door, this little guy was trying to get into Rob’s cooler full of fishing bait.  He succeeded in opening the cooler, but we chased him away before he could get the bait.  There was also chicken in there, and we saved that, too.  Good thing I’m not much of a sleeper in the wee hours of the morning!


It must have been wildlife day, because on our way to the beach, we saw this herd of elk.  There were quite a few of them, and we stopped and watched them for a while before heading on our way.


We wanted to go clamming for the first time in about 25 years.  To get to the place where a man and woman said the clamming was good, we had to climb down this jetty.  It was challenging, but we made it, with our containers, clam gun, shovel and coats.  J wanted to bring her coffee she had made in the camper, so she did.  That’s dexterity:)

We had great success–39 clams in total.  We could have had 60 (15 each), but it began to pour rain on us, so we stopped.  It was extremely fun, and I plan to do a post on how we dealt with those clams after we caught them.


Saturday morning, Rob and Patsy went fishing for trout in Coffenbury Lake.  J and I walked over, down the trail, and joined them.  He caught one, and we went back. It was very cold and windy, and we build a big fire and enjoyed toasting ourselves around it.

On Friday, some of our 4H friends joined us, and on Saturday, another family arrived.  We enjoyed some time around the fire, visiting, and the kids rode bikes and scooters along the many paths.


We ended up with a good old-fashioned marshmallow roast after dinner.

Sunday, we went to Ft. Clatsop and enjoyed the history behind the Lewis and Clark journey.  Many of the kids did the Jr. Ranger program and got lovely patches and/or badges.  Most of them are now down at the beach, playing.  We are having a great time!

Memorial Day Weekend-2016-Day 1


We had an easy drive down to Ft. Stevens State Park, near Astoria on Thursday.  After setting up camp, we decided to go fishing in the mouth of the Columbia River.  Actually, Rob wanted to go fishing, the rest of us went along for the ride.

We drove down the road, and turned into the place where Rob had fished years ago.  Our “Summer of Adventure” got off to a great start when the road was no longer there, and it turned quickly into a sand path.  Obviously, others had traveled down that way, so we tried to as well.  We quickly changed our minds and turned around.  Much to our dismay, our van was not up to the task, and the wheels began to hopelessly spin in the sand.  Oops!  After fruitlessly spinning for a while, going a bit, then getting stuck again, I declared I needed OUT!  NOW!  So, I jumped out while Rob, with a determined look on his face, gunned the engine, got going and blasted his way out of that predicament!  Whew.  To get out of the sand, he was going pretty fast, and got a little ways down the road, while I trotted behind.  He stopped.  I got back in and we both started giggling hopelessly.  “Summer of Adventure” we chorused in unison!

The next place we tried was better.  There was a parking lot.  Nice and firm.  We parked and got out, and went down the path.  Sadly, that one led to a drop-off and we knew that we could get down, but probably not back up–so it was a no-go.  We hiked first one way, and then another, and Ja’Ana found a way.  This was through quite a few bushes, I will say, which was interesting with the fishing poles, but we made it.


Rob has a 2-pole license, so he set up the 2 poles, and the rest of us read, sat on chairs, or roamed the beach at will.  He got 1 bite, but had fun.

We were treated to the sight of the lumber ship, pictured above, leaving the mouth of the Columbia, heading out for unknown ports.  It was a majestic sight, weaving between the markers that led it through the channel.

It started raining, so we packed it up and headed back to the camper.  Day 1 was a success.

The Summer of Adventure–May 23, 2016


The “Summer of Adventure” has begun!  We officially moved out of our house on Saturday and are now living in the camper until we find another house.  I’m so glad that we have finished phase 1 of that huge job.  Rob moved the camper over to my sister’s house on Friday, and we snatched a few hours of sleep before heading back over to our house to finish the big move.  All of our things went into storage.  The camper is loaded down, much too full, and we are already gathering things up to take out of there to the storage unit.

On Saturday evening, my sister gave us some turkey and rice she had cooked that day to eat for dinner.  I decided to make a quick stir-fry, as we had not been eating enough vegetables during the hustle, bustle and confusion of the move.

The garden my sister and I planted together has boc choi that is already bolting, because it hates long days.  I picked several plants and just used the good stems and leaves.  I also used 1/2 a red pepper, celery, some baby carrots, some mushrooms and an onion.  I have some travel packs of wheat-free soy sauce that I used for flavoring.  I also used some garlic salt that was in the camper cupboard.  I started with a little oil in the pan and 2 packs of the soy sauce.  I stir-fried the onion and carrots for a little bit (2-3 minutes) and then added the celery, pepper and boc choi stems.  I stir-fried for another 2-3 minutes.  Then the mushrooms went in and I tasted it.  I added more soy sauce and garlic salt until I liked how it tasted.  At the very end, I added the green tops of the boc choi and only cooked for about 1-2 more minutes.  It tasted great!  It was a great first dinner in the camper.

I’m already learning a lot about myself.  First, I’ve been surprised at how slow I am getting ready to go anywhere because I can’t find anything.  I’ve camped for years, but I clearly have so many things in the camper this time that I’m losing stuff:)  Lesson:  Take some of it out!!  Second, with all my routines broken, and the huge job of packing and sorting that I’ve been doing for months finished, I found myself wandering around in circles for a while today.  Lesson:  Make a list for myself tomorrow!!  Third, I am exhausted from all the activity and it will take a while to get rested up.  Lesson:  Put a rest period or nap on my list.  Fourth, don’t let a child pour milk while watching t.v.  It makes a really huge puddle and soaks the area rugs when she gets interested in the show and just lets the milk overflow the cup.  Lesson:  Either eat or watch t.v.  Not both:)

On Thursday, we head out for Ft. Stevens.  I’m excited!  This day has been a long time coming.



Tonight, Rob and I went for a walk around a park.  At one end of the park is a little pond, and in that pond were nutria.  There were at least 2 large ones swimming around and I was trying to get close enough to get a good picture.  Imagine my surprise when I came across 3 young ones playing near the edge of the pond.  Rob soon joined me and we enjoyed watching their antics for quite a while.


Pretty soon we started back to the van, but not before watching 2 ducks eating some bread someone had dropped earlier.  Much to my surprise, one of them got territorial and started charging me.  Thankfully, I was able to discourage him and we continued on.


On our way back to the car, Rob spotted a wild rose bush and captured its beauty forever.


Wheatland Ferry


Yesterday, after church, we had some time to kill before it was time to meet up with my mother at a restaurant for lunch.  We took a couple of our kids and our niece, Michaela for a drive.  We were looking for “For Sale” signs, but only found one.  We did, however, come across the Wheatland Ferry, near Keizer, Oregon.

Of course we wanted to ride it across.


Michaela, Patsy and I got out of the car and enjoyed the wind on our faces and admired the view.


After crossing the Willamette River, the girls and I stayed on the ferry while Rob and Lovana went and turned the car around so we could ride it back.  We had used just enough time and made it to the restaurant in plenty of time to get a table for the others who were at a later church service.  It was a lovely way to spend some time on a sunny Mother’s Day Sunday.

Baby Geese


Today, we packed a picnic lunch and stopped in Oregon City at Clackamette Park to eat it in between some errands that had to be done before we move.  The river was teeming with ducks and geese, and fishermen.  I walked down a closed boat ramp for a closer look.  I saw more than one family of geese, but this one was polite enough to swim right over to where I was taking pictures.  We really enjoyed watching the moms and dads swim with the babies safely  bobbing along between them.


Ja’Ana especially enjoyed eating her lunch outside, jumping from rock to rock with her sandwich in the beautiful weather.  Who says only the birds feel free on a day like this?


Summer of Adventure, Coming Right Up


Quite a few days have past since my last post.  We have had many, many changes here. I’d love to catch you all up on what’s going on.

After putting our house on the market, it sold in only 23 days.  Obviously, that threw us into a frenzy of sorting, packing and organizing.  We had been doing some pre-sorting, and pre-packing, but now we are getting down to business as the sale looks like it is going to go through and we are only going to be in this house for a short time more.

During the past few weeks, we have been able to address any and all issues relating to the sale, so far.  Rob has worked hard to fix the items that the buyer wanted fixing.  We have had the hillside re-planted with baby trees to re-forest where we logged.  We held a huge barn/tool sale and had great success with turning items we couldn’t take with us into much-needed cash.  We’ve planted part of a large garden at my sister’s house.   We are going to garden together this year.



We’ve moved several loads of wood to my brother-in-law’s and sister’s place, one piece at a time.  We’ve started taking load after load to storage, either at their house (they have an old semi trailer we can fill), or in the storage unit Rob was finally able to secure, after being on 10 lists!  Who knew?  Certainly not us, as this is the first time we’ve ever had a storage unit.  Now we know.  They are in demand!

So, why are we putting all of our things in storage?  The very same “hot” market that allowed us to sell so quickly means that we are going to have a summer of adventure–a few weeks in our camper while we choose the right house for us.  I don’t want to choose too hastily, and every house we’ve seen in our price range, that we liked, is taken before we have a chance to get our money from this sale.  (Yes, we could make an offer with contingencies, but I don’t want to feel pressured to choose quickly)

The Uncle Rob’s Outdoor and More business will continue, with most of the items still being offered for sale.  He is just de-listing a few of the odd items to make the transitory summer easier.  With the internet so accessible, he can easily run the business out of the camper.

I told Rob that if we were going to be in the camper for a few weeks, we are going camping! We made quite a few reservations for the upcoming weeks, at different state campgrounds, for a few nights each time.  We will make my sister’s place home base, and come back there in-between our short jaunts.  Trust me, we will be very motivated to house hunt after a few days in the camper. Stay tuned as we chronicle our summer of adventure!