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L.L. Stub Stewart State Park

Daisies at L.L. Stub Stewart State Park with Updates and 6 insets! (don't miss them!)

Daisies at L.L. Stub Stewart State Park with Updates and 6 insets! (don't miss them!) 

(+ 6 insets!) (please view large) This post is another War & Peace door stop…read at your peril! Or get a cup of coffee, kick back, and get caught up on part of our RV adventures !

Adventures with Groceries and Bikes!

Oh dear…we are stranded in L.L. Stub Stewart State Park without a car while our truck is getting its transmission totally rebuilt. This park is a glorious slice of heaven…whatever shall we do?! :D I think we'll have a fabulous time, that's what! L.L. Stub Stewart is known for its massive web of hiking, biking and equestrian trails, and if we were interested, they also have a challenging disc-golf course too. The photography opportunities are endless and Steve has a reasonable internet connection as well. Stranded indeed. Heh.

However, as wonderful as it is here, we had a problem. Namely, groceries. When we left for Tillamook the other day, the first stops were to be Costco and a large grocery store. Our provisions were planned to last for increments along the way and resupplied at predetermined destinations. It's true that we could probably survive without more food but it was far from ideal if we could come up with a better solution.

Steve realized that the nearby towns of Banks and Vernonia--22 miles apart in opposite directions--both had grocery stores. And they were easily accessed via a very popular, paved rails-to-trails path which led right through L.L. Stub Stewart State Park at the midway point. This easily-accessible trail was one of the reasons our campground was so popular and we knew this first-hand.

Just the day before we left for Tillamook we'd ridden our bikes 11 miles down the gradual descent to Banks and then back again. It was a wonderful and beautiful ride through healthy, vibrant green forest dotted with countless flowers along the way. The 22-mile trip, with its combination of distance and 500-foot elevation gain, was enough to totally wipe us out by the time we'd returned to L.L. Stub Stewart. Remembering our original plan to do all 44-miles in one day made us laugh weakly as we panted and pedaled in our lowest gears slowly up the last hills to our RV. Still, we were bummed that we didn't get to enjoy the entire trail. We made a promise to come back in the future, so we'd just do the other half of that marvelous rails-to-trails ride.

Now, with an actual need, we had a real challenge to ride from L.L. Stub Stewart to Vernonia and back! Raise your fists in the air and join us in yelling, "HUZZAH for the BRIEN GROCERY CHALLENGE!"

There were plenty of things we needed. For one thing, we were beginning to run low on creamer for our life-blood espressos.*GASP!!!* But more than that, we needed an entire henhouse full of eggies! Prepare to be amazed! We eat four eggs for our brunch every day, which means a normal dozen eggs only lasts us three days. We were out of our egg-sausage muffins and the recipe calls for ten eggs. We need to make another batch of "fauxtato" salad and those require six. Pancakes, which are a once every two-week treat--require four eggs. If we were staying for another full week we would need a total of--SERIOUSLY???!!--48 eggs!! Heh. (By the way, did you know that cholesterol has nothing to do with risk of heart disease? Don't believe me? Here's just one article (click link) In other words, eggs can be eaten at will!)

Our next problem was figuring out how we'd get our groceries back to our RV intact. Steve and I stared at our little ice chest which returned our stare, laughing. "I am a huge, heavy, rectangular box and you won't be able to carry me to the store and back." Apparently the ice chest didn't know Steve very well. He is an ingenious jerry-rigger with a great mind for working out amazing solutions to crazy problems. Just like this one. I knew he'd come up with something perfect and he did.

He started off by placing the box on the narrow pannier rack behind his seat and staring at it quietly. "Hmm…what I need is something wide under the box to support it." After a moment of thought he put the box down and said, "I've got it! One of the boards I use for the leveling jacks under the trailer would be perfect! I've even got screws to mount it to my bike." (Steve adds, "The thickness of the wood wasn't ideal but it was literally the only wood we had!) With a grin and bounce in his step, Steve was soon building a sturdy platform on the pannier. A few minutes later he had the box attached, rock-solid, to the platform with the use of several strong bungees. I beamed in appreciation. "Honey, you're amazing! That's awesome!!"

The Ride to Vernonia
I packed a few snacks, we put on our backpacks, stashed our water bottles and off we went. Like the trip from L.L. Stub Stewart to Banks, the trail to Vernonia led through thick, beautiful deciduous forest accented by conifers here and there.

Let's not forget the never-ending wildflower show along the way! Large daisies, zillions of blossoms in the dandelion family of all types and sizes, elegant tiger lilies, wild berry flowers and so many others. A first for me was the foxgloves (Digitalis purpura) that were simply everywhere. Mostly in shades of magenta, lavender and purple, I would sometimes see an occasional spike of pure white ones with purple-spotted throats. I was curious enough to look this flower up online and discovered that it's not a native flower (its home is in Europe, Asia and Africa) but has naturalized to the point of being a noxious weed in some places. All I can say is "HOORAY!!" because I love these stunning flowers, native or not.

We were ready for a well-deserved break when we finally pulled into Vernonia, locked our bikes up at the grocery store and picked up our supplies. We found just about everything we needed and better yet, almost all of it fit into the ice chest affixed to Steve's bike! How cool is that? I handled the bag of apples and a couple of other items but it was a surprise that we had so much room to spare.

I hoped the load wouldn't be too much for Steve to handle but his first comment was just what I wanted to hear: I can barely tell there's anything back there! YAY! Before we left for our return trip, we stopped at a nearby park to eat our snacks and have a short rest. While munching, we enjoyed watching a group of horses nearby that were relaxing outside their trailers after a trail ride. We also chatted with an older couple who strolled by with their German shepherds and, of all things, a blue and gold macaw!

The Ride Back to L.L. Stub Stewart
Before we hopped on our bikes to leave, Steve noticed that his back tire was nearly flat. Again. He's been having a continual problem with his rear "tubeless" tire. He filled it before our ride but now it was nearly flat again. Talk about annoying! That darn tire has plagued him since he got it a couple of months ago and he's had enough. He couldn't help announcing, "That's IT! When we get back to the RV I'm going to put a tube in this tire!"

Once he got the pressure back up we rode our bikes back the way we came on the Banks-Vernonia Trail, enjoying the lovely scenery. For about 10 minutes. He crackled over the walkie-talkie, "It's flat again…" We pulled over and he refilled it, grumbling about his stupid tire.

This time when we continued our ride, he let me know that he'd be riding as fast as he could to get a far along the trail before needing to refill the tire. I didn't mind being left in the dust and his logic was sound. I was far enough behind him that sometimes I didn't see his bike but eventually I'd catch up when he had to stop and refill his tire.

We did have a fun time with a pair of ladies riding along the trail with us. They were a lot slower than Steve and a bit slower than us so Steve whizzed by them with an amusing comment for them. He let me know via walkie-talkie that they would be happy to move to the side when I got to them. When I arrived, I said, "Hey guys, I'm going to come through the middle!" They said ok with happy laughter and away I went.

A bit later I arrived at Steve's side where he was busily pumping up his back tire. After a few minutes, along came the ladies and Steve said he was sure he'd seen them before. They laughed and one turned with a challenge, "TAG…YOU"RE IT!" Hoots and hollers of gleeful mirth filled the air!

Once his tire was full, Steve took off again, eventually reaching the pair of ladies again. As they moved to the side to let him pass, Steve told them, "If anyone ever suggests tubeless tires to you, Just Say No!" I shared the laughter over the walkie-talkie and after a few minutes I caught up to them as well. They'd been keeping an eye on where I was and slid to the side so I could pass. As I did, I couldn't help crooning, "I have arrived to return the favor…"TAG! YOU'RE IT!" The air filled with a fit of giggles from all of us and I pulled ahead. We didn't see them again but won't forget this fun-loving pair.

Happily (and with a bit of sarcasm) Steve only had to do that three (yes, THREE) more times before we finally chugged our way up the last few hills into L.L. Stub Stewart and pulled to a stop at our RV. Can you spell T-I-R-E-D?! That would be us!

Steve was totally done for, the poor guy. Not only had he dealt with a back tire that went flat every 15 minutes, he was also carrying about 10 extra pounds of groceries in his backpack and at least 40 pounds from the heavy old ice cooler box, the heavy wood plank platform and the groceries which included a half-gallon of creamer and bunches of other stuff. Ridiculous, and yet he did it! My hero! :)

Needless to say, we didn't do much more other than take showers, drink our afternoon espressos, eat dinner and relax until 9 sharp when we watched our show with Pumpkin and then fell into bed face-first. It had been a wonderful day. We were so proud that we rose to the challenge to get groceries. We also got to complete the 22-mile Banks to Vernonia Rails-to-Trails ride. With a day between rides we rode 44 miles in total with 500-feet elevation gain both days. That may not seem like much but trust me, the combination of distance and elevation was quite the accomplishment! We will always remember this adventure, hooray!

Pictures I'm including today are a pair of droplet-covered daisies after a late-night shower with insets of Foxgloves in purple and white! I also have a picture of Steve on his bike (with a flat back tire) and the attached ice chest!) And finally, the lady who drove the tow truck kindly sent us the picture she took of the unbelievable sight which she drove so competently! THANK YOU LAURA!

Thinking of you, Pam, and you too, Marie-Claire!! ALL MY BEST!

Explored on 6/25/19; highest placement, #7.

appo-fam, Smiley Derleth, niraK68, Gabi Lombardo and 60 other people have particularly liked this photo

40 comments - The latest ones
 William Sutherland
William Sutherland club
Wonderful series!

Admired in:
12 months ago.
neira-Dan club
Très belle photo ;
la série sur les digitales est extra !! je les aurais bien aimées dans le groupe Scrophulariacées
12 months ago. Edited 12 months ago.
 Gisela Plewe
Gisela Plewe club
Love the series.
12 months ago.
 Pam J
Pam J club




12 months ago.
Kawasirius club
Magnifique capture de ces marguerites et des gants de renard en notes ! Impressionnant attelage avec le camion de dépannage et votre caravane! La ressemblance du remorqueur avec votre pickup est incroyable ! Bonne journée Janet !
12 months ago.
MichèleM club
Très belle photo … avec ses perles d'eau. Quant aux digitales, quelles merveilles ! bravo !
12 months ago.
 Ulrich John
Ulrich John club
So beauriful again ! Good Morning, Janet ! Wish you a very nice day !
12 months ago.
Ruesterstaude club
Guten Morgen, Janet! Die Margeriten von unten nach dem Regen: Nasse Knie? - hat sich aber gelohnt! Bei uns sind sie fast schon verblüht.
Schöne Grüße!
12 months ago.
 Jaap van 't Veen
Jaap van 't Veen club
Breathtakingly beautiful; taken with a wonderful low pov.
12 months ago.
 Dominique 60
Dominique 60 club
brillante photo janet !!
12 months ago.
 Thorsten (T.S-B.)
Thorsten (T.S-B.) club
A great close-up and perspective! Well done, Janet!
12 months ago.
Reyk club
Deine Geschichte rund um diese kleinen Blüten, ist mal wieder richtig interessant.
Ich mag deine Bilder und deine Erzählungen.
12 months ago.
 Rosalyn Hilborne
Rosalyn Hilborne club
A delicate and beautiful shot Janet. I love the PiP's....as always!! The foxgloves look gorgeous.
12 months ago.
RHH club
Fabulous flower photo, Janet. Love the perspective and enjoyed the story that went with it. So happy you guys are dealing with the truck, bike and grocery challenge so competently and cheerfully. It's easy to let things like that get to you, but you do have a wonderful place to stay while the truck is fixed. We might have to look up that park the next time we are down that way.

We arrived Thursday at our youngest son's in Lynden. Showers and beds and civilized food never seemed so good. Went hiking Friday with another son who was in for the wedding, had the wedding Sunday and headed home Monday. We are enjoying the comforts of home now for a few days before our next excursion, espressos especially!

Saturday we leave again (Maybe Friday) and head for Seattle where we pick up our oldest daughter who is coming in from Belfast (UK). We're going with her up to Lynden for a few days and will also do an overnight backpacking trip with her. She's never been backpacking and wants to go. Had to choose a trail carefully, though. Lots of snow in the mountains.

Haven't really had time to do much with photos from the trip. Mowed the lawn yesterday and did all the other chores that needed doing. Still have to do the car today and get it in order for the next trip and take care of the bills, but we're in pretty good order. May leave a day early for the next trip and do some orchid hunting along the way.

Better get going and make some eggies for breakfast and an espresso. Nance is a tea drinker, so I don't usually make one for her.
12 months ago.
uwschu club
Mal ein ganz anderer Blickwinkel, wirkt auch sehr schön.
So sehe ich die Wassertropfen mal von unten
12 months ago.
cammino club
A beautiful compo, an unusual view!
12 months ago.
 Keith Burton
Keith Burton club
A beautiful set of flower photos...............the daisy image is really stunning - the light has picked out all the detail underneath the flower which we never usually see!

The foxgloves are superb...........wonderfully captured in superb detail and colours. I have some of the purple ones in my garden and I love them. They don't come up every year though so it's always a bit of a lottery as to whether we get any. The bees love them too.

I love the pic of your rig on the recovery vehicle and the one of Steve on his bike, although having read your story I feel really sorry for him. A very impressive performance :-))

It seems like you two are having fun, despite your troubles with the truck.................you work well together as a team........even if you do make him carry all the heavy stuff.

Take care!
12 months ago.
Wonderful capture and fun read =) I concur with Steve --- tubeless tires suck ;)

Please post your superb photo in the Admin. Choice Photos thread at Amazing Details.
12 months ago. Edited 12 months ago.
 Nicole Merdrignac
Nicole Merdrignac club
Superbe photo avec notes. Nicole.
12 months ago.
Peter_Private_Box club
Hi Janet,

Nice collection of flowers ("foxgloves" we call them).
Shame about the truck transmission.. How much does that trailer weigh?..... MMMM!

Best wishes
12 months ago.
 Boarischa Krautmo
Boarischa Krautmo club
beautiful pictures (of the plants ;-))
the rest isn't that beautiful.....
12 months ago.
HappySnapper club
Good point of view, the flowers blend well with the backdrop and the vague bokeh makes an appealing shot for me.
12 months ago.
 Peter Castell
Peter Castell club
A beautiful floral capture Janet
12 months ago.
 David Michael
David Michael club
Love this macro, so nicely minimal and the diary is a real treat!
12 months ago.
 Helena Ferreira
Helena Ferreira club
12 months ago.
 Adriana Grecu
Adriana Grecu
Si beau!!
12 months ago.
 Eunice Perkins
Eunice Perkins club
Superb flower shots!! Foxgloves commomly grow wild over here. I love them too. Your Steve looks cheerful despite his trials. I have been missing your posts and am sorry you have had vehicle problems.
12 months ago.
tiabunna club
Beautiful flower images, Janet, particularly the foxgloves. They're uncommon here and not invasive (at least in our area - we have plenty of other species doing that). It was good to read of your shopping excursion and to know the truck is under repair (amazing image of the tow arrangement).
12 months ago.
 Jenny McIntyre
Jenny McIntyre club
Oh I love hollyhocks, they do grow wild here in the UK and are found on many a hedgerow. The colour purple seems to be the most prolific. I went to a National Trust home with gardens a while ago and they had the most amazing hollyhocks garden. They were all different colours and it was my favourite garden.

Oh dear you have had problems (but well sorted out!!) on your holiday. What a shame about your truck, but luckily you still had your bikes and how inventive Steve is, so you not only got your bike rides in but also managed to get all your groceries back. What a shame though that Steve's tubeless tyres let him down so badly. That will certainly be a lesson learnt.

I assume you are still on holiday, and I do hope you are having a wonderful time. I'm now back home and back to normality - whatever normality is!!!!! LOL
12 months ago.
sasithorn_s club
Exquisite floral series as always, Janet! I love them all!
12 months ago.
╰☆☆June☆☆╮ club
Good work, well done :-)
12 months ago.
 Nora Caracci
Nora Caracci club
simply exquisite !!!
happy WE !
12 months ago.
 Susanne Hoy
Susanne Hoy club
What a beautiful picture of this lovely flowers! The droplets enchant the blossoms. The white of the petals looks so great against the white background. Fantastic!

The insets are beautiful too.
12 months ago.
sea-herdorf club
Wunderschöne Blüten, Janet...
auch in den PiPs.

Freundliche Grüße und einen guten Abend
12 months ago.
 Valeriane ♫ ♫ ♫¨*
Valeriane ♫ ♫ ♫¨* club
cette photo est une merveille de délicatesse ! j'adore ! merci Janet ! bon week-end ! bisous♫
11 months ago.
Ruth club
Sorry I’m late with my input Janet. A lovely photo my friend and as ever a very entertaining story to accompany your picture, always a joy to read.
11 months ago.
 Fred Fouarge
Fred Fouarge club
Het heeft daar weer geregend (?) zie ik,,,hier wil het maar niet lukken
11 months ago.
slgwv club
Quite an adventure, Janet! It's back to the 19th century in a big hurry when the Fleet Steel Chariot isn't working!
11 months ago.
 Janet Brien
Janet Brien club
ROFLMAO, it's so true. Had some struggles adjusting for a while but I'm good now! :D Just need to pack some nature books for reference and I'll be set! :)
11 months ago.
niraK68 club
what a a ride ;-)
11 months ago.

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