Pictures for Pam, Day 179: Pine Flowers
(+1 inset) One of the things that drew Steve and I to southern Oregon is the close proximity to beautiful natural areas and outdoor activities. In fact, our lovely 26 acres is located on such a pretty road that it's a regular bike and motorcycle ride for local clubs. Steve and I have explored many of the hikes in the area and one of the hikes took us to a place called Lost Creek Lake, which is a mere 45 minutes from our home. We've been on a few hikes along the lake and really enjoyed them. So when we started looking for a good choice for an RV destination close by but in a pretty place, we both thought of Lost Creek Lake as a likely candidate. It turned out that there were plenty of campsites available, and being a state park, the price was really affordable too! It was so nice to have such a short drive, and yet it was so lovely. Spring in southern Oregon is incredible. Green fields everywhere, countless farm animals to see (babies too!), flowering trees here and there. As we drove along, we got glimpses of the well-known and popular Rogue River through the trees. Sometimes wild and roiling, it tumbled over rocks and boulders. In other places it flowed smoothly through deeper areas, dappled shadows of trees. Making our way into the hills on our curving road, we soon left the farmland and the forests and meadows took over, always with the Rogue River as a lovely escort. Before we knew it, Lost Creek Lake was just up the road! We pulled in and soon located our site, a lovely, large spot that was easy for Steve to back into. We didn't even need to unhook the truck if we didn't want to, it was that long! However, we did unhook it because it's necessary for leveling the trailer. Our first impression of Joseph Stewart State Park was BEAUTIFUL! Every site has lots of space around it. Trees everywhere (conifers and maples, lots of others too) and mowed grass meadows absolutely everywhere. We were amazed at how pretty this place was. The park has over 125 individual sites and they have cabins too! On top of that, there is a marina and roped-off swimming area too. How could such an incredible place be so close to home? We felt like we hit the jackpot. ------------------- Once we got set up, we enjoyed a melt-in-your-mouth ribeye steak perfectly grilled on the bbq along with lovely asparagus and portabello mushrooms sauteed in butter…YUM! We had just enough time last night to hop on our bikes and go on a several-mile jaunt on some awesome trails! We got to enjoy the last of a beautiful sunset over the mountains as we rode along and found ourselves travelling in and out of forest and meadows…how GRAND! ------------------- We slept like rocks, it is so peaceful and perfect here. We have also discovered the cell signal is almost nothing. I hope I'm successful getting my two pictures up today! (Well, it looks like using Steve's cell service did the trick! Posting this early because I didn't know it we'd be successful...HOORAY!!) I wandered around a little bit this morning with my Canon and macro lens and got zillions of cool shots. I really liked this pine "flower" and so it's my main picture for the day. My inset shows our truck in dappled light this morning with our trailer at our site! HOORAY for RV camping!! :) Pam, you would certainly enjoy this pretty place. You're in my thoughts! *BIG HUGS MY DEAR* Explored on 5/8/19; highest placement #6.
Pictures for Pam, Day 180: Trunk at the Edge of Lost Creek Lake
(+1 inset) (Once again, sorry for the length of this post--I'll be doing this whenever we are out in the RV. If you want to know about the picture, just scroll down to the bottom. :) ) It's Tuesday night right now and I'm about to go to sleep…Steve and I went on a bike ride after lunch that turned out to be quite exciting! We were entertaining the idea of riding around Lost Creek Lake, which is supposed to be about 20 miles. However, we weren't sure if that was a very wise idea, given that we've only just started to get ourselves back into shape and our last ride at home was only 8.5 miles. We thought we'd start off by riding on the bike path that led down to the camp marina, just a few miles away. Funny enough, the path we took actually led the wrong way and brought us right back to our campsite! We couldn't stop laughing as we turned around and tried again, this time choosing the correct turn that we'd missed. Through lovely woods and over narrow wooden bridges, we made our way down to the marina and stopped to look in their little store. It had the bare minimum of supplies, all at twice the price they should be--big surprise…not! :D The marina was small but fun to see and I got a few pictures while Steve relaxed outside the store. While I was taking pictures I discovered the paved but lumpy single-track path that went along the lake and soon we were bouncing along the trail and enjoying the adventure. However, we soon realized that there hadn't been any maintenance done this season and we found a few poison oak branches that we narrowly avoided. Even though the trail was there, it became more and more worrisome as we continued. Many downed trees across the trail required us to carry our bikes over them, more and more poison oak was in the pathway and finally we couldn't even avoid the leaves which brushed against our arms as we rode by. There were many places that I couldn't ride my bike over--roots and rocks in the path, unexpected steep spots, bridges that could not be ridden over, etc. Then we encountered a spot where erosion caused a tree to fall into the lake, taking most of the trail with it. We could walk our bikes past the missing trail but just barely. Beyond that, a very steep hill going down and around a curve…and that was enough of that. Our nerves were shot. We'd hoped for an easier ride and this was just too much. We both ended up with poison oak on us and when we got back we took turns taking showers and we're hoping that we successfully washed the urushiol oil off of our skin before it's been able to give us rashes. Time will tell…keep your fingers crossed for us! Dinner was delicious barbecued New York Steaks and more yummy garlic-and-herb-spiced asparagus and Portobello mushrooms sautéed in butter, but I added green onions this time…NOM! Desert was brownies we made before we left on our trip…so tasty! :) We relaxed for the rest of the evening--Steve in the hammock outside with Molly, me working on my pictures inside with Pumpkin…such a nice evening! Finally we watched a show and got Pumpkin settled in for the night before diving into bed ourselves. :) Goodnight all! :) --------- I'm so happy that I'm able to upload pictures…I was really worried about it because the signal is nearly non-existent here. Thank goodness Steve's phone signal is working! We are going to look into a signal booster for the future. It's really important to us that we can hook up to the net. For now, I'm just hoping that I'll be able to upload a couple of pictures each day! As I sit finishing up this post, I'm outside at the picnic table, listening to the birds and feeling a warm breeze dance through my hair. Steve is chilling in the hammock which he set up in a pair of nearby trees, Molly is relaxing in her outside pen and Pumpkin is chortling to her music inside while she enjoys the view outside through the blinds. What bliss. (Heh, a Red-Breasted Robin just ran across the site, under the hammock and over to some trees…lol) This morning Steve and I hopped on our bikes and did a repeat of the ride we took around the park on our first evening, which included a lovely 3-mile woodland bike trail. You can't beat a meandering trail complete with dappled light and a couple of narrow bridges to cross! We even surprised a fox along the way, such a beauty. The forests here are a mixture of deciduous (Maples and "leaf-shedding trees") and evergreens like pines and cedars. Because of our nearly non-existent internet connection, I'll only be posting one extra picture along with my main picture. Today's picture was one I took yesterday when we walked out to see a view of the lake. The tiny beach had this magnificent stump on one side which made a nice focal point. I am also including a really lovely picnic spot with a lovely Maple tree overlooking the meadow. I have lots of other pretty views of the camp ground but they'll have to wait! :) Pam, have you done any camping here in the US? We are coming to realize that this RV camping business suits us quite well, heh. It's one thing to read about its popularity and why people enjoy it so. It's another thing to live it. Yep. We love it. I hope that you have a good day…you'll be in my thoughts my dear! :) *BIG HUGS* Explored on 5/9/19; highest placement #5.
Pictures for Pam, Day 181: HFF: Bridge & Steve
Steve and I are back from our trip to Lost Creek Lake! What a great time we had. It's hard to believe that such a lovely campground is a mere 45 minutes from our house. It really felt like a place for the elite and well-to-do, and yet, it was a state park! We paid only $24 each night, what an incredible deal! After lunch yesterday, we planned on going on a long photo walk, but as we were about to leave, our plans abruptly changed. RVs have three tanks that need to be monitored: the fresh water tank (50 gallon), the "grey water" tank (42 gallon) and the "black tank" (26 gallon). "Grey water" is from the sinks and shower; the "black tank" is just what you are thinking it is! There's a gauge that gives a readout on how full each tank is and they are notoriously inaccurate. Still, we have no other way to read the amount, ugh. We were surprised to see that our grey water tank was nearly full at mid-day on our second day. Then, when we were about to leave on our walk, Steve checked it again and it was reading full. ACK! That put the brakes on any other plans and became our top priority. Not that it was a huge deal. The campground had a dumping station that was only a couple of minutes' drive from our site, but it did mean hooking the trailer back up to the truck and driving it over there and back. Our initial thought was, OMG what a Pain In The A**!! But it only took a few minutes to stow anything that might fall over. I put a few things on the picnic table--including Pumpkin in her travel cage! Before we knew it, the trailer was hooked to the truck, the wheel chalks were out of the way (in case there was any slope, "chalks" anchor the tires to keep the trailer from rolling) and Steve left me to guard the fort with Molly in her outside pen and Pumpkin on the picnic table. We were all happy as clams. The last detail was our walkie-talkies! We have a pair of very powerful walkies that are sensitive to more than a mile away! I chilled out in our super-comfy bungee lounge chairs while Chicken chortled at all the things she saw. I was working on a crossword puzzle when I heard Steve over the walkie..."I'm done and heading back!" It had been just 15 minutes! WOOT! A couple of minutes later he was backing the trailer into place and soon we were all settled. Hooray!! We decided that dinner was in order so Steve fired up our grill for a pair of burgers and I set the table with all the condiments a person would want—avocado slices, onions, mayo, ketchup, spinach leaves and just in case, dill relish! The burgers came covered with melted cheese to die for—and we'd forgotten what grilled burgers tasted like! What a delicious meal we had. This camping business seems to suit us I think. :) With our hunger out of the way, we rounded up our gear, stowed the chicken (Pumpkin, of course!) and Molly in the camper and headed off for our little hike. We ended up heading out to the same area we'd been cycling on our first evening and it was just wonderful. I was hoping to get some pictures of three things: 1) I'd found some plants that had tiny white flowers sitting in a bed of great big green leaves. 2) There were some plants with lovely stalks of white flowers that I wanted pictures of. 3) Ferns!! I saw lots of them on our bike rides and hoped to get some pictures In the end, I was 100% successful! And then some! Steve and I had such a wonderful time. We strolled along, enjoying the incredible beauty of this place and I got so many lovely images! We had marvelous conversation as we went and soaked up the soothing atmosphere aw we went. The funny thing is that we both knew and enjoyed this place in the past. But it was only as a very temporary visitor. As a several-day resident camper, we could know this place at a different capacity. It was so much more. Both of us could see what it was like as a drive-in hiker...it was like a watered-down cup of coffee compared to this new experience. How amazing to have a new understanding of this place. And the revelation that, as RV campers, we would have deeper connections with all of the places we stopped at in the future. Something to think about...how awesome. Today's picture is my choice for Happy Fence Friday! It's really a "double fence". Ok, it's a pedestrian bridge, starring Steve! We went on a walk from our campsite and down to a view of Lost Creek Lake. There was a beautiful little bridge nestled in a deep forest of ferns and thick woods and I asked Steve to walk to the far side and pose for me. Voila! My Happy Fence Friday picture! :) Pam, I did a search for "fence" and found some of your "ice storm" images...this one with ice-laden branches and a fence in the background were just right for a HFF image but still...*shakes head*….what a shame. I hope that you had a good day. Thank you so much for your enthusiastic comments about our trip. *BIG HUGS* You're the best! :) Explored on 5/10/19; highest placement #9.
Pictures for Pam, Day 182: Lovely Meadow in Evening Light
(+ 2 insets!) (Please view large to get a feeling of being there!) Steve and I were busy today doing errands and that's kept us out rather late. While we were driving around we talked at one point about how things are changing for us... You know when you travel for a couple of weeks and you come back and it seems like nothing has changed at your home but you feel like a different person? We are now back after our second trip of four days/three nights away. It doesn’t seem as if that should be enough to make a difference, but it really has. We feel as if our lives are morphing into something new. It is an odd kind of feeling but nice too. Having an RV is giving us a freedom we have never experienced before. We have gained the ability to go wherever we want--and we get to bring our dog and parrot with us. It's a way to travel in a relaxed manner without a time frame if we decided to just wander. After dreaming for so long and saving our pennies to make it happen, it's such a strange sensation to recognize that we are actually reaping the rewards of our efforts. We are a bit shocked to be honest. At the same time, we are incredibly thankful for our good fortune. Today's picture was taken on our last evening when Steve and I went on a long hike so I could take pictures along the way. As we were heading back, the light in this meadow was just so incredible that Steve and I just stood there and appreciated the view in front of us. How the leaves glowed, the grass shimmered, and the way the shadows streamed across the scene. Pure magic. We'd planned on hot-footing it out to the lake to take pictures of the sun setting behind the forest and hills but decided to take the advice that so many have stated: stop hurrying from one thing to the next. Enjoy the moment. So we abandoned our initial plan. Our quick boogie to the lake became a slow stroll back to our camp with lots of pictures as we went. There will be other sunsets but the pretty sights we were seeing now deserved our attention, appreciation and enjoyment. We certainly made the right decision and both of us had a lovely time! I am also including pictures of some ferns taken with my Sony (taken from the bridge in my last picture!) and a bumble bee resting under a stalk of flowers. (Anyone know what they are called?) Pam, I totally loved what you said in my last picture's comments, " The marvelous difference it makes to be able to stay and grow into a place. New insights." You are so completely right about that and it's how we feel! There are so many things in this world which must be experienced in order to understand. That understanding takes a bit of time to settle into as well. Ok...we can do that! *BIG HUGS from southern Oregon! Explored on 5/11/19; highest placement #14.
Pictures for Pam, Day 186: Magic Hour near Lost Creek Lake
(+5 insets) (Please view large for best impact!) :) In some ways it feels like it's been such a long time since we were camping at Lost Creek Lake. Yet it's only been six days! I've had time to process 30 pictures of our trip and I hope to get a few more finished but I'm just about out of time. There is no way to win the battle against time so I've been working hard to process the most important pictures first and then the extras. I haven't been perfect about this so time will reply by not allowing me to process others I should have worked on. Considering the priority of pictures is really hard. As you all know, my specialty is macro. However, when we're on our trips, images of where we are and the amazing scenery we find there takes precedence. That has been a very tough pill to swallow but in the end, I do have to admit that it's the right choice. In all honesty, I want to see the pictures of where we were first before I want to see the details of the trip like animals, flowers, plants and any macros associated. At the same time, I think both are extremely important to the overall experience. Balance. Oh, it's so hard for me. My husband says I'm black or white with no shades of grey. He's right even though I have gotten much better about this over the years. I do my best. I have to admit that it's very hard do a bit of each thing instead of laser-focusing on one thing. However, coming back to Father Time…he is an unrelenting task-master and will never give in to my demands for more. I think I've done well on both trips with my balance of photography but it's such a struggle. However, this time around I dove straight into my scenery pictures and got them all done before moving on to detail shots. I'm happy about that but still feel the frustration of not having more time. You may ask, "Why are you worried about time? Can't you just process your pictures later?" Well, yes and no. It is always an option but at the same time, when Steve and I return from a trip, I have a finite amount of time before we go on our next adventure. I don't know how often these trips will be but for the next few months we will be on the move on a regular basis. Realistically, working on older pictures is not something I should be concentrating on if I only have a few days before the next outing. Let's just say it's all quite the challenge. That plus…everything else going on in our lives! In any event, I think I did well and have a nice assortment for this trip. I also thought about all the pictures I missed from my last trip to keep me on point. The sting of not completing the beautiful series of incredible Barn Swallows, the Loons, Greebes, Robins, etc, etc…and there are so many other cool pictures from our Upper Klamath Lake trip that may never see the light of day. Tragedy! Heh…I am sure you all know what I'm talking about. :D So, for today I'm sharing another glorious evening picture from our last day at Lost Creek Lake. The light was just so incredible. Steve and I stood there just gawking in between our picture-taking. What a gift. I'm also sharing a handful of other pictures but I won't post all of the images I finished…you'll all kill me if I do that! So I've got some more scenery and some of my macros too. It is just so amazing that we have the chance to visit places like this. I thank my lucky stars that I can take pictures that show the wonderful things I want to share. :) Pam, we had a little chat about your wishes on our trip. You'll get it. And you'll be in my thoughts, and Steve's too. Wishing we had a teleporter for you ma'am. Wouldn't that be fun. :) Explored on 5/15/19; highest placement #1.