Pictures for Pam, Day 187: Droplets on Strawberry Blossom Next to Our RV!

(+2 insets) Steve and I are officially on our next RV adventure! We left at about 11:30 this morning and drove from our home in southern Oregon west and south into the top of California. Our destination, which was about 2.75 hours away, took us to a campground about half a mile away from a gorgeous redwood park called Jedediah Smith State Park. The drive was lovely, meandering through forests and little towns, often with rushing creeks and rivers in view. Our campsite is very nice but nothing like our last one, which was a slice of heaven. This place is very pretty but the sites are close together and though there are trees and lots of grass and flowers everywhere, it's not a postcard-pretty place. I'll get a picture of our truck and RV in place at some point but didn't bother today. Unlike our last campground though, we have full hookups and super internet too! So, no fancy views but we can do stuff online if we want to which is very nice. Did I mention that it's raining? And that the forecast is for rain nearly every single day for the next week?! Say it ain't so? NO, actually! I'm happy to say that neither of us cares but the funny thing is that it was warm and sunny everywhere until TODAY. I found out a few days ago that the warm, sunny spring we were having would be ending just as we were supposed to leave on our trip. I was a bit worried that Steve would be unhappy, but instead he said, "Would you rather be stuck inside at home in the rain or would you like to be inside our RV somewhere wonderful in the rain?" YAY!! That's the right attitude! So we're fully prepared to deal with inclement weather and that's just fine. It will mean droplets and fog and mist and all kinds of wonderful conditions that I adore photographing! We have games to play if we want and of course I will be working on my pictures, writing, reading, and if possible, visiting folks on ipernity too. It will be just fine! Once we got ourselves set up it was time for dinner, which meant lovely steaks, sauteed-carmelized veggies and potato salad made with cauliflower instead of potatoes...SO DELICOUS!! Desert was mini key lime cheesecakes that we made last night for the trip...soooooo goooooood!! After dinner I popped out with my camera and got lots of pictures of flowers and droplets on everything! What fun. I spent about fifteen minutes wandering around until the rain finally forced me back into the RV but I was pretty confident I had some winners to post...and I did! The main picture today is a strawberry blossom bristling with droplets. There is a large meadow next to our RV that was filled with so many pretty flowers including lots of wild strawberries! I have two insets as well: one of them is a wonderfully disheveled daisy that I nearly made my main picture because it's such fun. I really have been having some great luck with daisies on our trips. They are really wonderful subjects, aren't they? My other inset features droplets on a redwood sapling. I love the shape of the droplets, they remind me of crystal balls! Pam, Steve and I had a nice time talking about you at one point along our drive. We hope that you are doing well and Steve sends his love and warm wishes! *BIG HUGS* from our new campsite! Stay tuned for new fun pictures in the coming days! :) Explored on 5/16/19; highest placement #3.

Pictures for Pam, Day 203: Droplet-Covered Purple Bud

(+1 inset!) (I've produced another War & Peace tome but I wanted to make sure I had it all written down for myself! Hopefully you'll find it interesting!) The title of this blog could be: "Janet and Steve learn more about RV reservations and reality checks!" Heh… Last night we started making reservations for our next adventure! My-oh-my…how quickly itineraries change the moment you try to book a spot for a favored destination! Our PLAN was to drive from our home near Medford, Oregon, up to Sun River, Oregon, and spend 4-5 nights. Then we'd drive over to John Day Fossil Beds area for a few days. Then over to Bend, Oregon for another few days and finally down to Diamond Lake for our last destination before heading home. *insert hysterical laughter* Yeah, right. We noticed there might be a slight problem when we couldn't even get the first place booked as we hoped. Then we found out that our second destination, John Day, doesn't even HAVE campgrounds with electricity/water hookups! Third place: nothing available in Bend. Last place: there was so much winter and spring storm damage that Diamond lake is totally shut down until they get it cleaned up! *insert more insane laughter* Steve wondered if we'd be forced to stay home all summer but I suggested we throw our plans out the window and start over with the attitude of a dandelion seed parachute...up into the air and where we drifted, we didn't know! We approached our next trip in a different way...which RV-camper-friendly state parks were within three hours of us and had at least three nights available? After some hunting we found one! It was actually at the original place we looked at but instead of asking for five nights, we tried for three and found a spot, hooray! Spot number two was found at a high-desert lake campground we'd never heard of before: Cove Palisades State Park We were delighted by its beauty and unique rock formations and look forward to spending time there! We found another place to camp a few hours away in the northwest corner of Oregon at LL Stubb State Park Yet another park we'd never heard of, we realized how little we actually know about our state parks. What we ARE learning is that our favorite camping experiences have all involved state parks so we were confident this popular park would delight us as much as the others have. The next place we found threw us a curve ball. There were lots of days available at Detroit Lake but we couldn't go directly from LL Stubb because there was a gap of two days. Oh those two DAYS! ARGH!! They cost us hours of frustration and fruitless searching. Our nerves frayed but held as we worked together on this challenge. We wondered why that particular weekend was such a problem. I finally figured it out. The last day of school for K-12 would be the previous Friday. Logic shakes it out: that weekend and the following week would be when parents got ready for their summer get-aways with the kids, who would be out of school and available to help get ready too. The crazy weekend we couldn't find any lodging was likely booked up many months ago by wise and experienced parents who knew the drill, unlike us newbies! Oh well, live and learn. With that in mind we looked for lodging outside state parks and finally found two nights at a place near Tillamook, which is actually on the coast! Only an hour's drive from our last destination, we were happy to learn about all of the wonderful hiking and biking available there...and I discovered a CHEESERY there too! Oooooo...we'll definitely be picking up some specialty brie from Blue Heron during our stay! HUZZAH! A bit more than two hour's drive will take us to Detroit Lake State Park for our last stay and it promises to be a very nice place to spend a few days. We might even try out fishing! :) Finally we'll drive south and spend a night at the first campground of our trip so we don't have to drive five hours to get home. Driving a 52-foot truck and trailer is not the most relaxing pastime and even though Steve is more and more comfortable driving our rig, it's still a serious responsibility. It's stressful, no two ways about it, and that includes being a passenger. We're relaxed about it but driving days are exhausting. We don't like to drive more than three hours if we can help it. As expected, it's easier to go longer distances as time goes by, and we'll need to get used to that, especially if we want to travel beyond Oregon! We ended up spending hours last night working on our travel plans and today we were finally finished at about 3pm after beginning at about 9:30! It's a LOT of work to plan a trip!! After we finished, Steve opted for a cup of coffee and I dove into bed for a nap! We're so happy our next trip is planned, but we also know that if we want to try to avoid the problems we ran into, we'll need to begin our trip after this one sooner rather than later! SHEESH! With all my time taken up with our travel plans, house work and so forth, I haven't had time to process any new pictures but happily I have a bunch that are already done so I'll pick a few to share! Today's main picture is a droplet-covered flower bud I found in the meadow outside our RV when we stayed at the campground near Jedediah Smith State Park. There were so many lovely flowers that I took pictures until the rain forced me inside. The shocking truth is that the very next day they mowed down the entire meadow. Every flower that I photographed there was destroyed, including this one. So I'm very happy to share this picture because at least this beauty will live forever in an image. :) I'm also sharing a picture I took of a wild Azalea I saw at Stout Grove. It was amazing to see these flowers everywhere. In fact, there were wild Azaleas and Rhododendrons all up and down the coast that we couldn't help seeing as we drove. Plenty were planted in gardens but we saw many thousands of wild ones too. What a treat. Pam, I hope that all is well where you live...I've been reading about the crazy tornadoes in your neck of the woods and I hope that you and folks you know around there are all escaping the damage. Oh, and thank you for the lovely comments...I'm not at all surprised to learn that your caravans needed work too. It's a common theme, but I'm glad you guys were able to get yours ship-shape too! *BIG HUGS* Explored on 5/31/19; highest placement, #3.

Pictures for Pam, Day 189: PAM WILL BE BACK

(+3 insets) I began my Pictures for Pam project allllllll the way back on November 8, 2018. It seems like a million years ago. At the time I was in a very low place. Unhappy, confused about my life and my direction. I'd stopped taking pictures a long time before and had absolutely no creative energy whatsoever. One day I was stumbling around on the web and thought I'd glance at ipernity. Even that place depressed me deeply because it was failing badly and plans seemed eminent that it would be shut down, leaving me with no place at all for my photos online. Not that it mattered. I really didn't care about much of anything at that point. Noticing I had mail, I found a message from Peggy C, letting me know that my dear friend, Pam Johnson, had an stroke in September and was on a very slow mend. I just about fell over...WHAT?!!! NOOO!!! PAM???!!! It couldn't be! But alas, as I read and visited different pages, these terrible fears were confirmed. I was in total shock. Last time I was on ipernity, all was well with Pam's world. How instantly things can change. That day was a mess of emotions and sadness as I tried to make sense of it all. What could I do to share my compassion and express my sorrow for what had happened to my friend? The next morning I was doing my usual hourly trek up and down my driveway and all I could do was think about Pam and how to express my feelings adequately. I thought, "What if I send her a picture and a note?" That sounded good but the problem was that I didn't WANT to take pictures. I didn't want to do ANYTHING. My creative pool wasn't even ZERO. It was NEGATIVE. I walked up and down, grumbling. The fact of the matter was that it would do me good to pick up my camera. The best thing to do in a deep depression is ANYTHING POSITIVE to get the gears grinding forward, if even just a bit. What better reason could there be than to take a picture for a friend who was ailing? It would be good for both of us. If only I could kick my *** into gear. Just thinking about photography got my hibernating creative eye slowly opening. I couldn't help but notice the light shining through the grass and empty seed pods here and there. By the end of my walk, I'd managed to convince myself to try. I went into the house, dusted off my camera, put in a fresh battery, checked for a memory card and stepped outside. I went over to the dead plants I'd seen earlier and stared at the way the light shone through the remains of the seed cases...gee that was pretty, wasn't it? I took pictures. It was so weird to be doing this again. For the first time in a while, something felt right. Maybe this WAS a good idea after all. Posting my picture that day, I added a message to say that I would be working on a new project, "Pictures for Pam", where I would post a picture every day to give Pam some love and support. It was so nice to learn that Pam was touched by my gesture and at the same time, the ipernity community welcomed me back with open arms. I had forgotten how much I loved ipernity and all of the wonderful people who I knew there. It was wonderful to feel so cared-about, even though my intent was to express my affection and support for my friend Pam. Soon it was suggested that I create a public group so that everyone could contribute their support for Pam through pictures. Within a week of beginning my project, the ipernity group, "Pictures for Pam" was born. As I type today, there are 77 members and just under 3700 pictures there now, all aimed at making our dear friend know that she is loved, cared about, and in our thoughts. It's amazing. I really didn't think about this project seriously at the time, but the fact is that I'd begun another 365 Project, and it's been a really cool experience. Sometimes I post pictures taken that day, sometimes they are from my archives. It's all good. And every one has something just for Pam to read and enjoy. Additionally, it's so wonderful to visit contacts and find that they've dedicated that day's picture to Pam. How awesome to be part of a group of people who are so warm and caring. Over the days, weeks and months of working on this project, I have totally changed, thanks to Pam. From an extremely depressed person, I quickly turned around and woke up again. Everything in my life got better and better. Today I am an improved version of myself when I was at my best. Full of excitement and creativity bubbling over from every pore. Life is good...no...GREAT! As I sit typing, Steve and I are realizing a dream we've had for many years...travelling in a RV trailer! It's been amazing and we've only just begun our adventures. The bummer is that Pam is still ailing. However, our support means the world to her. Our daily contributions to the group that's dedicated to her means so much to her. And of course she and I exchange notes every day, mostly in our photo comments, but sometimes in letters too. After returning from our last trip, Pam asked where we would be headed next and when I told her we'd be at the Oregon coast, she asked me to do something for her. She asked me to write in the sand with a stick, "PAM WILL BE BACK". I told her we would make that happen for her the moment we found ourselves on a beach. Yesterday we walked out onto the beach in Crescent City and the first thing I thought of was the promise I made to Pam. Steve grabbed a stick and carefully scrawled out her message in the sand and we took pictures with the Battery Point Lighthouse in the background. Perfect. Pam, I hope that you get to visit the ocean again sometime soon...we sure do hope this message gets to the right entities out there and it helps speed things along because we know how much you love the sea. For now, we're sending our virtual hugs too and you are in our thoughts of course! (I am also including two flowers picture I captured in the meadow next to our RV yesterday morning and also a picture of our truck and trailer at our campsite!) :) Explored on 5/18/19; highest placement #4.

Pictures for Pam, Day 201: Battery Point Lighthouse at Crescent City

(+3 insets!) (please view large for all the nice details!) Oh my it's been such a busy day! More than one of you mentioned in your comment that coming home from a long trip means a bit of work to get things back in order. You weren't kidding! We have had three RV trips now: two were 3-night/4 days and this last one was 13 nights/14 days. Getting settled after several days away didn't take much effort but two weeks had me working for hours yesterday and most of today! I'm nearly done now, whew!! Thankfully I've enjoyed myself. There's something so satisfying about getting laundry washed, dried and put away, food put away/replenished, computer files backed up and so forth. And meanwhile, the weather is just wonderful. Sunny, warm but not too hot, flowers everywhere, birds singing in all of the trees. So pleasant. I am delighted too that there are lots of California and corn poppies in bloom here and there where I've planted seeds. The splashes of orange, red and pink are so beautiful. It hasn't hurt that we've gotten much more rain than usual this May and the reward of so many flowers is so nice to see. While I've been busy inside the house doing a million things, Steve fired up our powerful DR mower and our heavy-duty wheeled string mower and he spent several hours cutting down the grass and weeds around the house. Still much more to go but he's made great progress. Once he's done with that he'll be putting the flail mower on our tractor and attacking the areas further from our house. After having a wildfire roar through part of our property a few years back, we aren't interested in adding any fuel to a possible situation. Today's featured shot is a view of Crescent City's Battery Point Lighthouse and the beach and rocks beyond it. It's not a great picture of the lighthouse but I think the overall image is nice enough that I wanted to share it as a main picture. More importantly, this photo has a story and message behind it that are very meaningful to us. We hadn't planned to visit Crescent City. But we'd spent the first night of our trip at our campsite near Jedediah Smith State Park with rain pelting our rig and the next morning the rain was forecast to come down heavily all day. Hiking and biking would be out of the question. However, instead of moping around in the RV we decided to drive out to nearby Crescent City, if only to have lunch there. Our fare turned out to be an amazing pair of fish tacos (which we couldn't finish but gobbled up later!) and as we ate, we couldn't help but notice there might be a chance to sneak a walk on the beach. Grabbing our umbrellas, we took the opportunity. Oddly enough, the rain stopped soon after we set foot on the beach and we proceeded to have a wonderful time taking lots and lots of pictures—which included my feature of that day just for Pam! (Inset included, also shows another view of the lighthouse!) :) What we didn't know was that Crescent City had its own lighthouse! I was so excited when I saw it at the end of the beach and I clicked away as we walked ever-nearer. We didn't really want to walk all the way up to the lighthouse for better pictures and angles because our lucky gap in the rain looked close to being over and we wanted to walk past the lighthouse instead. (We were wise to trust our instincts because just as we set foot on the main road back to the truck the skies opened up and dumped a wind-whipped deluge on our heads! Thank goodness for our umbrellas but they couldn't keep our legs from becoming totally soaked by the time we got back into the truck!) I'm so glad we made the decision to continue past the lighthouse. A lovely little cove revealed itself to us along with huge rocks strewn that direction and driftwood everywhere to complete the scene. Steve and I spent a few moments just enjoying the view and thinking about the day. It had started off feeling rather gloomy and both of us were unhappy about the weather. In the end, coming out to Crescent City turned out to be an completely unexpected and rewarding surprise. So, this picture also serves as a reminder: even if a day may not seem to be working out the way we hoped, it's possible to end up having a great time after all! Oh, I've also included a couple of insets: walking on the beach we got so many lovely images, so here's a couple of them: one is a lovely iceplant blossom in pastel pink; the other is a feather I found lying on the sand. (And I included my past picture to show this day, which was all about Pam...it's got a great view of the lighthouse too!) Pam, I remember reading about your England adventure and having some days full of rain. You certainly made the best of the situations too. Bad weather doesn't have to spoil everything...it merely changes ones' opportunities! Thank you too, for your comments and reflections on couples and working on issues. I find that there is a whole lof of "eating crow" for me but it helps to understand why issues arise so they can be dealt with! *BIG HUGS TO YOU MY DEAR!* :D Explored on 5/30/19; highest placement, #5.

Pictures for Pam, Day 188: HFF: Back and Forth Fence with Flowers!

(+2 insets) Please note: Steve and I are away for a while in our RV and during this time I will have very little time, if any, to spend commenting. I will do my best to make up for my commenting when I get home! *BIG HUGS to all of you!* We are snug as a pair of bugs in a rug here at our campsite with rain coming down around us. The pitter-patter of droplets on the roof of our rig ebbs and flows as the showers come down. It's delightful! We both slept like rocks and I joined Steve for an hour of snuggling when I first got up. Spooning my sweetheart is not a bad way to start the day I think! Today we will likely be staying inside because it's supposed to rain steadily and heavily all day but I also knew it wouldn't really get started until after 9am. Thus, I sprang out with my camera and macro flash and creeped around the large meadow just next to our rig, taking pictures of things I hadn't found yet. In case we went out, I wanted to make sure I had my pictures taken care of. Woot! Change of plans! There is an ocean-side town nearby called Crescent City and it features a restaurant known for its fish tacos...we both thought that sounded GREAT! And maybe we could walk on the beach while we were there! RAIN BE DAMNED, HAHAHAHH!! Will add to this when we get back! *many hours later* After an awesome lunch, Steve and I walked out to the beach and spent a couple of very happy hours wandering along taking pictures. The rain stopped after about 15 minutes and we enjoyed the fresh air while we captured images of birds, shells, seaweed, the ocean and the lighthouse there. We'd hoped to spot the seals which can be found on one of their piers but the closest I got to seeing one was the wonderful sea lion bronze outside the Crescent City aquarium. When we finally felt "full" of our beach adventure, we headed back up to the road and what would I find but the perfect fence opportunity for today's main picture, complete with pretty flowers for an accent! Just as we got back to the street and started back to the car, the faucets opened up and rain absolutely POURED from the sky and the wind picked up to a fair. We couldn't believe our good fortune! Despite having umbrellas, both of us were pretty soaked when we climbed into our truck and thought it made good sense to pick up rain slickers while we were in town. As I sit finishing up this post, I feel really happy that we didn't end up holed up in oiur RV and I returned with bunches of wonderful pictures to share! Along with my picture for Happy Fence Friday, I am also including an inset of the seal bronze (with replaced street background!) and a picture of waves crashing on some rocks that I was along our stroll. I'll have plenty of other pictures to share but it's late and I need to post this! Pam, we thought about you a lot while we were on the beach... A bummer I had to post a fence picture today or the image would be different! Enough said my dear! BIG HUGS from both of us!! Explored on 5/17/19; highest placement #7.

Pictures for Pam, Day 207: Curled Fronds in a Double Dedication with Marie-claire Gallet

(+2 insets) (view large for the best detail!) It was so pretty this morning with the sun shining brightly and so lovely to be outside as the world was waking up around me. Well, ok--to be honest, when I begin my walk at an early time like today it's 7:30am and the sunrise ship has already sailed away two hours before! But I'm sorry, 5:30am is officially "0-dark-hundred" and that is no time for a sane person to be getting up! At least, not in my mind, anyway! Heh...I'd consider myself a "morning person" now but that only goes so far! Steve and I have been so busy working on the property and prepping for our trip that I've had to neglect my pictures from our last trip. However, today things were much more relaxed so I took the opportunity to get some images finished from our lovely visit to Stout Grove, in Jedediah Smith State Park. This lovely park is nestled in a huge forest of old-growth redwood trees. These magnificent trees include the largest and tallest trees in the world! They only live along a narrow strip in northern California to southern Oregon and are quite the magnificent sight. (I'll be sharing pictures of the redwoods in another post) :) The forest here was also brimming with fern species and I went totally hog-wild with my photography the moment we got out of the car. You may know that I'm a hopeless junkie for ferns, especially when the fronds are unfurling...they are so unbelievably cool to me. :) And so, today's presentation is all about some of the lovely ferns I photographed! The main picture is a close-up of an unfurling Sword Fern and the insets show two other pictures of this super cool species, including their "elephantine" unfurling fronds and a fun shallow dof art shot! I hope you enjoy the show! Pam, I can't remember if I've asked you whether or not ferns grow on your property or not. You don't have any in your photo stream but I'm going to bet you do have at least one? We have a few here which I've found at the edge of our larger seasonal stream and on the hillside, but that's it. It's too dry and honestly, it was a huge surprise to discover these in the first place! What survivors they are to deal with this arid place. By the way, I just LOVED that you are both a Nimoy fan AND you use the LLAP gesture!! Silken thread indeed! *BIG HUGS* Here's hoping you had a better than average day my dear! :) Explored on 6/5/19; highest placement, #4.

Pictures for Pam, Day 190: SSC: Selective Color

(+1 inset) (please view large for the pretty details/!) (By the way, I'm away on my trip, posting a picture every day but I don't have much time to comment...thank you so much for your visits, comments and stars, and also for understanding that I don't have the time I usually do to give you the attention you deserve in return!) Boy, it's been a busy couple of days! We've really been enjoying ourselves but it's kept me off the computer and away from working on my writing and photo processing. I will need to figure out how to balance that too, but for now I'm doing my best! Yesterday after lunch, Steve and I grabbed our rain gear along with our cameras and headed over to Stout Grove in our truck, leaving the RV at the campsite This remarkable and famous redwood forest sits inside the protective borders of Jedediah Smith State Park. We couldn't wait to see it! The rain was coming down but we hoped for the best. The short drive was accented by unbelievable masses of glowing ferns which were seemingly growing everywhere. As stunning as they were, have you ever seen wild azaleas and rhododendrons in full bloom? I haven't. It was incredible! We couldn't miss the flashes of magenta and purple of these leggy bushes and small trees which peeked out from behind the towering and majestic redwood trees which ruled this place. What a show. Stout Grove sits at the end of a pothole-filled dirt road and we made our way carefully to the trail head and found plenty of parking. We were happy to learn that there weren't many other people brave enough to deal with the inclement weather. Those we met were warm and wonderful people with joyful smiles and glowing spirits. It was nice to share this place with other nature lovers like us. As we took off down the trail we protected our cameras as best we could from the droplets coming down, but as we walked, the rain slacked off and within 15 minutes, it stopped altogether, almost as if it were planned that way! HUZZAH! I went crazy with fern photography. Steve was using the Sony and having fun with that, and after a while we traded cameras and I got some nice pictures of the trees. Heh, a 100mm macro lens really can't take a picture of a towering redwood...unless it's just a tiny bit of it! :D I know I could have brought some other lenses but that's why I had the Sony. At a few points I was carrying BOTH cameras, *shakes head*...I think I may be certifiable! :D Our visit was just fantastic and after we felt we'd seen enough, we headed back to the car. Once we were tucked in, it began to pour again! What are the odds?! :) (I apologize for not including pictures of the redwoods and the ferns but I just don't have time right now, *cry*...I'll be posting plenty of pictures once I'm home and have time to go through them!) After we got back and had dinner, we pulled out a game that Steve's sister sent to us, "Qwirkle". What a fun game! Easy and yet full of strategy, we had a really good time and look forward to playing more games in the future. --------------------- This morning we got everything tucked away and headed out by 10:30, heading out to the coast and then north for a couple of hours to our next campsite on Coos Bay! It rained the entire time we were driving but it was such a lovely drive! Views of the ocean and enormous boulders with waves crashing against them...it was very amazing to see. The lush green of the forests and farmland was a beautiful contrast as we rode along. Once we pulled into our campsite both of us assumed our various roles. It wasn't long before we got everything in proper order, we're really getting used to how to most efficiently get our RV set up. Steve took Molly out to use the bathroom and soon came back to tell me that I just had to come out to see the beach! It was a mere TWO MINUTES WALK from our RV!! The rain, once again, STOPPED when we left to go to the beach! Our luck is incredible...it keeps happening!! The beach. Holy cow. It's just lovely here. Either direction is marvelous. Tide pools one way, miles of beach the other. Tomorrow we'll ride our bikes along the water's edge. I hope to creep around the tide pools and get some cool shots of anemones, crabs, barnacles and other wonderful subjects. Won't it be nice to just relax and enjoy this place that we don't have to drive out to?! We are so happy...this is our favorite campsite this trip, and exactly what we hoped for! Ok, I really have to stop my blabbing! :D It's SATURDAY SELF CHALLENGE! Today's theme is Selective Color, so I picked one of the gorgeous little flowers I found at Stout Grove, kept the flower in color and removed the color in the background. I've also included one view of the jaw-dropping beach that's just a short walk from our RV! Pam, I loved your note about Cannon Beach. Unfortunately it's too far north for this trip but it's on our Bucket List so we'll definitely be visiting at some point down the road. No worries though, there is beauty-galore here that we will show you! :) Steve and I are sending hugs your way! Explored on 5/18/19; highest placement #1.

Pictures for Pam, Day 193: Beach on Our Coos Bay Hike

(+2 insets!) Today was another travel day! After we had a delicious breakfast, we each did our parts to pack up the trailer. Both of us have lots of little things to do but it adds up to a lot of stuff if only one person was doing them. As a team, we are getting faster and more efficient at the break-down of the RV and the hookup of the trailer to the truck. It's fun to see how we're improving as time passes. The weather was perfectly dreadful with rain coming down in a constant torrent and wind gusting against our rig. Big deal! We didn't care...no amount of bad weather could ruin the gorgeous scenery that we enjoyed as we drove along. The rugged coast was accented by incredible waves crashing against the rocks. The rain made the green of the pastures and forest positively glow with vibrance and lushness. The droplets pattered on the road, making beautiful reflections and interesting textures to appreciate. Water peppered the truck, the windshield wipers were such fun to watch as they wiped away the constant splatters of water... We had no worries as we drove along. Pumpkin was in her travel cage on my lap and she was as happy as could be, munching on her fruits and veggies and twittering at us. What a doll! Molly was content to sack out in the back seat. Our family loved this travelling thing...bring on the rain, it didn't bother us at all! :) We headed up the coast from Coos Bay with an eventual destination of Devil's Lake State Park. On the way we stopped at the charming town of Florence where we shared a jalapeno and bacon burger (without the bun!) and a little salad at a popular local restaurant. We had time to stroll down their main shopping street and enjoyed our visits to a fantastic gallery and a specialty bead shop. What a delight. We pulled into our campsite at about 5:30 and got everything set up in about an hour. Soon we had our yummy espressos-with-cream and then steaks with veggies along with an unbelievably delicious "fauxtato salad" made with cauliflower instead of potatoes. Better than any "real" potato salad we'd ever had. NOM!! After dinner, Steve had to do some other stuff but afterwards we had just enough time to walk to the lake...what an incredible campsite and what a stunning lake! My goodness, it's going to be an amazing place here!! Today's main picture is from our hike a couple of days ago, along with insets that show the forest and the view out to the water from the beginning of our hike, which was over the top of our campsite at Coos Bay...totally amazing views!! The ocean view in my main picture was just one of the dozens upon dozens of jaw-dropping sights we had the good fortune to see on our hike. Best Hike of the Trip! Pam, I hope that you enjoy the pictures...you're certainly in our thoughts on our adventures! Hope it was an ok day for you...maybe a bit of improvement? Wouldn't that be grand? *BIG HUGS from DEVIL'S LAKE*! Explored on 5/22/19; highest placement #2.

Pictures for Pam, Day 202: HFF: Rugged Coos Bay Coastline

We are still busy settling into our home after our last RV trip. I've been refilling supplies that were used, stripping the beds and washing all of the linens and so forth. Not too much left to do but I like to get it done and out of the way. This morning we also got a delivery...a replacement for the rinky-dink, cheapo plastic toilet that came with the RV! The new one is ceramic and normally-sized instead of feeling like something you might find at kindergarten. Steve was so excited that he had the old one replaced within an hour! It's a really nice upgrade, especially for 6'2" Steve because the original was so short and small. It made us wonder—we are both slender and yet that toilet made us feel like elephants...what are these standard RV toilets like for people who are even the least bit heavy? We realized soon after we bought this trailer is that the original owners did almost nothing to upgrade the RV except to put in a new dinette table...we figure it probably broke so they had no choice but to replace it. Having spent about a month living in our trailer now, it's amazing that they put up with all of the annoying little problems we needed to fix right away. RVs are CHEAP. The workmanship is truly abysmal. Anything that isn't visible is shoddy...there are missing screws, nails, boards, you name it. Rough-cut wood, uneven, lopsided, poorly done everything. "Care" is not a word used in the behind-the-scenes building of an RV. At least, that's been our experience. It didn't take long to learn that unless you pay top dollar—and I mean a LOT of money—an RV is just barely held together and must be upgraded, altered, tuned up and fixed if you hope to use it for a lot of traveling. Basically, getting an RV means that one or both of you must be handy and clever about the myriad fixes that are required to turn an RV into a comfortable home away from home. You won't believe everything Steve's done to the trailer! He's changed out the light bulbs, added a dozen light fixtures, put up at least a dozen hooks all over the place, replaced both the kitchen and bathroom faucets and the shower head too. There's a paper towel holder now, and every cabinet is full of removable baskets to keep everything organized. He added proper towel racks and a toilet paper holder in the bathroom and put in a super fluffy bathroom rug! Both the smoke and CO alarms have been replaced. All four of the tires are brand new and he had the brakes professionally worked on so they are factory fresh. We now have a runner carpet that goes the length of the coach so our 3-legged dog is comfortable and has traction. He's added a bunch of space under the counters just by making the hoses and wiring neat and tidy. He'll be creating a cubby hole cabinet by the door because the space is available and we have to wonder, why didn't they do this to begin with? Space is such a premium in an RV! Likewise, he'll be building two large pull-out drawers under the dinette seats instead of the stupid situation it is now: pull off the cushions, lift up the cheapo piece of plywood and get into the huge space on either side. A sliding drawer will be perfect and should have been there to begin with! Because of Steve's skills, we've got an RV that's really becoming an awesome place. We'll probably need to upgrade our refrigerator/freezer to a larger one but for now it's fine. Oh, and my bed required another topper to make it useable...and now it's perfect! We also have other things to fix and change but the changes we've made have made such a big difference. How could the original owners have put up with it as it was?! Oh yes, my main image! Today is my day to put up my Happy Fence Friday picture and I'm choosing one that I took on our Coos Bay hike. While we were at our turn-around point and eating our late lunch snacks, we noticed a fellow photographer off in the distance at another point. He was there for some time, enjoying the view and we wanted to see too, so after our break we found the trail that took us out to that point and...WOW! WHAT A VIEW! While I was walking over to get a better look, I was surprised to see a chain-link fence that didn't seem to be doing anything but stick out like a sore thumb. But then I thought, "What a perfect picture for HFF!" So here you go! (very busy tonight so no insets!) Pam, we have thought so many times how nice it would be for you to live out here on this coast. We don't know where we'll end up settling down after we've finished having our adventures but Steve feels the same way you do. I don't want to be in cold, foggy, windy conditions that the coast is so known for, but inland a bit would be ok for me. Access to the beach would be lovely. We'll have to see how things shake out way down the road! Wish we could wave a magic wand for you though! *BIG HUGS MY DEAR* :) Explored on 5/31/19; highest placement, #6.
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