New Beginnings

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Our summer of adventure has come to a close!  We have a new house and are no longer living in the camper.  With that came a lot of work. First, we had to look for hours and hours on the internet for housing options that we could afford.  Then, we worked with a realtor to show us many, many house over a period of weeks.  After we found this one, we were outbid–$15,000 over the full asking price that we offered.  Eventually, after searching some more, this one came available again, this time for the original asking price.  Finally, we were successful!  Our offer was accepted, with a little back and forth, adjusting for a couple of things that needed fixing.

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We tore up the old carpet to reveal beautiful hardwood underneath. We had it refinished.

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We painted the entire house with Kilz to get rid of the lingering smoke smell.  Then, we painted it cream color in the main parts and our bedroom.  The kids choose other colors for their rooms.

We gathered family and friends and moved in, most of the way.   There has been a lot of work, but it is coming together nicely.  We have a long ways to go, but we are living in there and do a little unpacking each day.  It’s going to be different to live in town instead of the country, but we have enjoyed the convenience of everything.  I’ll keep you updated!

Triangle Lake

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Triangle Lake was our stop last week as we continued our Summer of Adventure.  We were signed up to cook at a high school camp at Camp Eagle Cove.  It was only 43 miles from Florence, where Honeyman State Park was located, so we drove directly there from our camping spot.

Rob has a 2-pole fishing license, so just had to put his poles in the lake at least once.  And, that’s exactly how many times he was able to put them in–once!  The rest of the time, he was extremely busy cooking on a huge Traeger barbecue he brought with him to camp.  The kitchen at this camp is quite small and the Traeger was a life saver. He did not catch any fish during the short time he got to fish, but there were 3 fish caught by  a couple of guys who went out in a boat.

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The first 24 hours, we fed staff who had come for meetings, set-up, and a little training.  So, it was only about 40-50 people.  Once the campers and the rest of the staff arrived, it was between 150-170 people.   The number varied as different staff members’ families came and went.

We were not the head cooks.  A woman named Maggie was, and she had it well organized and much of the food pre-cooked.  Much of it was warmed up in the Traeger, cooked on the grill, or done on griddles all under the tent.  The indoor kitchen is very small and ill-equipped to make enough food for that many people so Rob was everyone’s hero.  He grilled at almost every meal, until the end, where the huge, 2-sided grill was allowed to cool down so it could be cleaned for it’s journey home.  It is nice and large, and has to be towed behind a vehicle.  All dishes were done by hand, so paper products were used as much as possible.  Half way through the week, my sister and I went to the closest large town (about 1 hour away) and bought more produce and some other items that were needed.  That was a pretty big chore, but we enjoyed our time together.

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All-in-all, it was a very good week.  It was fun to be around such a bustling hive of young people.  They had a great time–alternating between their meetings, meals, and free times, which were spent in the water or on the boat(s).  If I ever have another Summer of Adventure, camp definitely deserves a place in my agenda!

And, I definitely appreciated the multiple washing machines at the laundromat today, as we did the equivilent of 24 loads of laundry!  (That included all of J’s blankets.  She took them outside at camp and was convinced that there might be a bug or 2 or 10 or 20 in them, so really, really wanted them washed!!) Thank goodness for machines that can take 4 loads at once, and ones that can take 3.  So efficient!!!  And, now, we are settled back at my sister’s again–all cozy next to the garden until the next time that we take off on our Summer of Adventure!

Honeyman State Park and Barbecue

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This past week, we were camped at Honeyman State Park, near Florence, Oregon.  It was our first time there.  There were some things we liked, and some we weren’t as enthusiastic about.

Before we left, Rob barbecued lunch for the extended family on Sunday, as he often does.  He decided to make tator tots on the grill.  2 pans were lined with foil and the frozen tots were placed in them.  They were placed on the grill and the cover was lowered.  They took about the same time as the hamburgers.  He learned that they needed to be stirred occasionally, as they tend to burn on the bottoms.  He repeated this at the state park this week, as it worked well.

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We enjoyed our time camping.  The park has 2 large lakes and many sand dunes.  We do not have ATV’s or sand buggies, or a boat, so we did not take advantage of those opportunities.  What we did was go out to a jetty and take a walk, take a drive and eat ice cream, do laundry, grocery shop, and drove back to the valley one day for business.

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We feel like we are ready for a week at camp, where we are going to volunteer, cooking.  There is not wifi or cell reception, so I will be out of touch until next week.  I’m looking forward to staying put for an entire week!

 

Sunset Park–Keizer, Oregon

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Sunset Park is a tiny park in Keizer, Oregon. It is between 1 and 2 acres and sits on the Willamette River.

On Friday, after house hunting, we took our picnic lunch there to eat it.  Parking was on the street and there was a little path to walk down closer to the river. There was 1 table and 2 benches in a pleasant grassy area near the river.

This hawk in the picture above, has a fish.  He ate a bit, then nervously flew off.  We did not see him catch it.  There were 3-4 hawks flying overhead at times, and even a bald eagle that made a hasty appearance.

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We enjoyed watching the birds and eating our lunch, some of us choosing the bright sunshine and some the cooler shade.

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It was a nice place for a picnic.

Champoeg State Park–Heritage Area

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Our latest stop during our Summer of Adventure was Champoeg State Park and Heritage Area.  We stayed there for 4 nights last week.  I grew up only 7 miles from this park, so visited there many times, but never camped there before.  There were several miles of bike trails and we took several rides.  On one of the rides, we rode up to the visitor’s center, near the entrance.  Unfortunately, it had closed 15 minutes earlier, but we could still look at the heritage garden outside.  We were bummed, but there’s always another day!

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Clearly, if we had been able to be there during “open” hours, we would have possible been able to see some demonstrations of splitting rails, making shingles, etc.  Instead, we contented ourselves with reading about the historic barn that was to the right of the bales. There were also a couple of museums we did not visit, either.  We just ran out of time.  We did visit the historic Butteville store last week, and again today and enjoyed ice cream.  I was delighted to see that one of the girls I babysat often when I was a young teenager was running the store. It was so nice to catch up with her and see the lovely lady she has become.

We had quite a few appointments, including house hunting, orthodontist, etc., so didn’t get to stay in camp as much as we usually do.  We have looked at many, many houses over the past few weeks.  Many we have seen on the internet are gone before we can even view them.  We have made 2 offers so far and  were outbid on one by quite a bit over the asking price, decided against the other (too much repair work–couldn’t afford to fix all the problems) and now have to keep looking.

Having a campground near our regular lives was handy, and we got to enjoy a camp ground while still doing our regular errands.  We emptied our tanks.  I was able to tidy up some cupboards in the camper and do some cooking between things.  I got the r.v. vacuumed and cleaned up.  It’s amazing how dirty it gets so quickly.  It also cleans up quickly.  We got all of our laundry done at a laundromat.

Now, we are parked back at my sister’s house for the next week.  It is peach season.  I helped sell u-pick peaches all day Saturday, and am going to help can green beans tomorrow and sell peaches for a while both Monday and Tuesday.  Then, we will be off to the coast and to volunteer to cook at a camp after that. The Summer of Adventure continues!

A Fishing Trip With a Twist

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Yesterday, Rob tried fishing off the rocks in Yaquina Bay again.  Finally, he caught something!

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But it wasn’t  what he expected to catch!  He ended up landing a lovely Dungeness crab!  Better yet, it was a male and was large enough to keep!

I know what we are having for dinner soon:)

Salmon River Fish Hatchery

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Today, we went to a fish hatchery on the Salmon River, near Lincoln City, Oregon.  As you come over the Coastal Range, the road winds along the Salmon River.  We turned off and visited the fish hatchery.  There are many hatcheries in Oregon, and we love to visit them, but realized we had never taken Patsy to see one.

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First, we visited the long, rectangular “ponds” where they put the little fingerlings to grow them large enough to release into the river.  Most of the tanks were empty.  A ranger told us that they are much busier in the fall when the adult fish are spawning and the workers are collecting eggs.  This tank had thousands of baby salmon in it.  If you look carefully, you can see a tiny fish jumping in the second stream of water from the right.  These fish are great jumpers and we were greatly entertained watching them vainly try to jump over the “waterfall” at the end of the tank.

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After that, we walked over to the river itself and gazed down on the spot where they fenced the river off.  Right now, no salmon are running, but when they are, the fence will divert at least part of  them into the fish ladder where they jump up to the holding area and their eggs can be harvested by the workers.  They fertilize the eggs and then raise many more baby fish, which will then be released into the wild, keeping the salmon population up.

It was a fun stop for all of us.

South Beach State Park-Newport

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This week we are at South Beach State Park in Newport.  It is quite a bit south from Ft. Stevens, where we were last week, and is on the central Oregon coast.  We did land at my sister’s house for a few days in-between the 2 campgrounds, where we got the garden in shape, picked produce, grocery shopped and spent Sunday going to church and with family.

At South Beach State Park, there are no full hook-ups, only electric and water.  Therefore, we are using the central bathrooms as much as possible, especially for showers so our tanks don’t get too full.  There is a place to empty those tanks after our stay.

So far, we went for a family bike ride yesterday, and the girls literally rode for miles today. The bike/hike trail leads to the South Beach Jetty.

Today, Rob and the girls went out and caught some sand shrimp during the early morning low tide for bait.  Then he went fishing off the rocks at the jetty while the girls rode around on their bikes and I watched.

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He used his biggest pole and put 2 sand shrimps on 2 hooks.  He was worried that the pole was too big for the job, and spent some time using a smaller one, only to return to this stronger one.  He got several good, strong bites, but did not catch a fish.  No one else we saw caught one, either, and we were there for a couple of hours.  Then, a seal came along and scared the fish away, we presume, since there were no more bites after that.    Rob has fished off the rocks before, in the ocean, but it has been many years since he had time for it.  It was fun, but would have been even more fun if he had caught something!  It was a lovely day, though, and I really enjoyed looking at the boats going in and out of Yaquina Bay, the bridge, the blueness of the water and the birds and tiny crabs scuttling around the rocks right below where we were sitting.

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Multnomah Falls

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Our summer of adventure continued with a journey up the Columbia River Gorge on our way to visit our friends in Eastern Oregon.  We took time to stop at a few places along the way.  The first place was Multnomah Falls.  We had not stopped for many years and really wanted to.

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The walk from the parking lot was beautiful.  There were countless signs warning us to “leave our valuables in the car.”  When I got up to the base of the waterfall and saw another sign, I turned to Rob and said “I’m assuming you got your most valuable possessions out of the car.”  Bless his heart, he looked at me blankly, and said “I HAVE my children and you.  As long as I have you, everything else is extra.”  I was touched by his response.  I guess that’s one of the reasons we’ve been married for over 33 years.

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Patsy and I wanted to hike up the trail to the little bridge.  When we got to the top, this was the view of the little waterfall.

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This was the view out over the Columbia River.

Ja’Ana did not care to hike up.  She was concerned that the bridge did not look sturdy enough to hold itself up.  Rob cheerfully stayed behind with her while Patsy and I hiked up.  The path was fairly short, but did have switchbacks because we were heading up the hill.  We heard reports from others that if we had continued on the trail farther, it was “very steep.”

After hiking back down, we went into the small visitor’s center and looked around, and then walked back out to the parking lot.  It was only a short hike, but it got the kinks out of our legs for the next portion of the journey.  I would recommend it!

 

 

Ft. Stevens-Day 2 and 3-May 2016

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!