A Travellerspoint blog

Oregon 2018 Spring

Eugene, Bend/Sunriver and Redmond

Eugene

Brad and I left California headed for Florence, Oregon for a 3 week stay over Memorial Day weekend but the truck (affectionately known as our 'little mule') had other plans for us. Coming through the mountain passes along Hwy 5 proved too much and the transmission was overheating causing us to pull off and let it cool. Long story short after a white knuckle ride we limped into Eugene and waited for service. A good friend invited us to join her at the local American Legion to dry camp; we spent a lovely week there making new friends and I became a member to honor my father who served in the Army as a helicopter pilot in Korea and Vietnam. We look forward to visiting more American Legion posts as we travel.

Bend/Sunriver

With the truck transmission fixed we were off again to central Oregon for a 3 week stay at Bend/Sunriver, we hadn't been there in 6 years so lots to see. Bend must be the brewing capitol of the US, so many brew pubs to try. We were staying out in the resort town of Sunriver, 20 minutes south of Bend so we didn't visit all that often. We celebrated my birthday in early June and our 29th anniversary on the 19th-woohoo! We took a drive around Mt. Bachelor but mainly enjoyed a very quiet stay in a very wooded park with mule deer passing by.

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Redmond

Some friends invited us to visit in Redmond just north of Bend where we stayed at the county fairgrounds. Our friend Mike introduced us at the local Moose lodge and Brad joined up, which is nice as there's a lodge in every town just like the American Legion and everybody is very welcoming at both places. Our new friends told us about the local hikes and scenic areas including Steelhead Falls State Park and Smith Rock, both were amazing, highly recommended. When we come back through we'll be sure to explore more!

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Steelhead Falls

What can I say, who doesn't love waterfalls! Nice half mile to the falls.

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Smith Rock

Technically located in the Terrebonne area, these ancient volcano cones are eroded and the Crooked River cuts through them. There are hiking trails all over and around them and lot's off rock climbers cling to the sheer cliffs as you walk the trail. Very popular place, I'd like to come back for a picnic.

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Posted by curlysharon 17:55 Comments (2)

Winter in the Desert 2018

Quartzsite and Tucson, Arizona

Quartzsite

After all the hubbub of So Cal we always look forward to the quiet solitude of the desert, especially in Quartzsite where your nearest neighbor is determined by yourself. On some areas of BLM land you can stay for free 2 weeks, no water or dumping privileges. Or you can opt to pay $40 and stay 2 weeks with those services (you're still boondocking; no hookups). It's a delight to the senses (when the wind is not blowing) to take in the distant hills with blue skies and sunshine, the flora is sparse but green enough.
We had grand plans this winter of exploring east Texas and then heading to New Orleans for Mardi Gras but fate had other plans for us as the Rig's big slide out needed a permanent fix along with some other trifles and we were obliged to wait for parts. This is of course our lifestyle and there's no end to it (ask any fulltimer) so it's best to enjoy and make the best of the situations we find ourselves in. We therefore spent our time between Quartzsite and Tucson waiting for parts and seeing friends.
We were in Quartzsite for the annual Gem Show during January when the population increases from 1500 permanent people to ??? at least 30,000 probably more and the traffic congestion is crazy but everyone gets along and it's one big party. For me personally it's like being a kid in a candy store with vendors displaying rocks, fossils, gems and jewelry to everything under the sun, no kidding! I found inspiration in the creations of others and the desert surroundings and especially the sunsets when Brad would make a big fire for us to enjoy the evening skies.
Brad enjoyed hiking every day that allowed and of course rock hounding and haggling, both of which he does well. I'm grateful for his diligence in keeping us stocked with water, wood, propane, groceries, beer; you name it! Thank you Honey♡♡♡

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Grinding Stone and Petroglyphs

One of the places Brad found on his hikes was an outcropping of rocks that when he climbed up he saw several grinding holes on the rock surface, one a foot deep. Upon another outcropping across the wash he saw petraglyphs, obviously the Indians had a settlement in this area. Brad brought me along to the site, a mere 30 minutes from our camp along Tyson Wash amid numerous ATV trails.

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Palm Canyon

Some of the locals in Quartzsite told of us an area southof us on hwy 95, Kofa Nat'l Wildlife Refuge where there were hiking trails aplenty and Palm Canyon containing the only indigenous palm trees in Arizona located in a crevice in the canyon walls. A scenic drive and 20 minute hike brought us to the viewing area where, sure enough there were small palms growing. Desert tortoise and big horn sheep are also present however we did no see any.

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Catalina State Park, Oro Valley / Tucson

Having never been and friends in Tucson we took the opportunity to travel there. Our friends recommended we stay at Catalina State park located in Oro Valley, north of Tucson and nestled against the Catalina Range. We're so happy they did as it was a beautiful park with the most Saguaro cactus anywhere I'm guessing. Brad really took advantage of the trails and roamed far and wide over the hills, washes and mountain ridges. (I was getting over the flu so only got out a couple times). We definately will come back next winter and be sure to make reservations far in advance as it's a very popular campground with large sites.

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Saguaro National Park

Another beautiful area, the Saguaro National Park in Tucson is a scenic drive that winds through the small hills of cactus and other fauna.

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We both really enjoy the desert in the winter and look forward to next year here. Happy trails! ♡♡♡

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Posted by curlysharon 08:54 Comments (2)

Early Summer Washington Travels 2017

New name for our Travel Blog, haha! Brad's been retired for awhile now, hope you like it!

Ocean Shores, WA

After a couple of unseasonable heatwaves in Nor Cal this spring it was time to beat feet to the coast and cooler climes.
Our chosen destination of Ocean Shores, Washington was to change it up a bit, do something different than the past few years. So up to Washington first and then back down to Veneta, Oregon to volunteer at the Oregon Country Fair in July and then we'll head east for the rest of the summer/fall.
Ocean Shores was a little chiller than we were used to (usually there in late July) but we had some fine weather and were able to walk on the deserted beach and absorb the sunshine.
We enjoyed a visit from our son and daughter-in-law, Tom and Ally Robinson, newlyweds from 2016, who tent camped next to us. We showed them around the coastal communities (our favorite bars!) and cooked them fried oysters and steaks the 2nd night, good times!
I celebrated my 52nd birthday with Brad at a lovely restaurant overlooking the ocean, Sea View. We also made some new friends and visited a new bar, always on the hunt for new places!
PS, The first pics are of a full Lake Shasta (hasn't been full in years) and Mt. Shasta and Shastina in northern California.

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Long Beach, Washington

After only a couple of weeks we moved south to Long Beach, a town we first stayed at last year that we really liked. Thankfully we arrived during a sunny day for Brad to set us up because the next day it was stormy and we drove over the Columbia River bridge into Seaside, Oregon to stock up on groceries. That's not a fun ride over the span in crappy weather but at least we weren't towing the rig!
Long Beach is a great little town with a bike path that runs along the coast all the way through town, and just a few minutes walk from the campground to the beach. Brad made good use of the walking trails and beach logging 30+ miles a week; that new hip is fabulous! I accompanied Brad on some lovely walks but also enjoyed biking around as Long Beach has some really beautiful and quaint neighborhoods to explore.
Less than a mile away from our campground there's a bar and also a new restaurant we discovered called the Depot in an old converted train depot that was quiet, romantic and delicious. We also celebrated our 28th anniversary dinner at a wonderful restaurant called The Pickled Fish that has views of the ocean, an all appetizer dinner of yummy delicacies! One other notable restaurant is Salt Pub overlooking the marina in Ilwaco a mile and a half away. We explored some other communities close by, visited Goose Point Oyster farm for a 1/2 gallon of fresh shucked oysters and hiked up to the North Head light house, part of Cape Disappointment on the Lewis and Clark trail. As I'm sure is evident, we love Long Beach and look forward to coming back next year!

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PSS, The last couple pics are of Brad's Father's Day breakfast of bacon and jalapeño wrapped oysters over poached eggs!!! We will so miss the fresh oysters, might have to score some before we head east!

Safe summer travels friends, enjoy!

Posted by curlysharon 14:32 Comments (1)

Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens

Spring time in the desert

Desert Botanical Gardens

Often when we have to have the rig in for work we are faced with killing time while we wait for our home. In such situations we enjoy taking in some local sights be they museums, gardens, cemeteries or scenic drives. We were fortunate to have an excellent spring day in which to visit the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix to view the cactus and other indigenous plants. So many varieties of succulents, flowers, shrubs and trees, even a butterfly exhibit, we we're delighted. Afterwards Brad treated us to an outdoor lunch at Cibo an upscale bistro for some awesome eats.

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I'm happy to report the rig has been outfitted with a new solar panel on the roof and 4 new 6 volt batteries allowing us to "boondock" or dry camp easily. So although we have enjoyed the last 3 years here in Peoria and have made some good friends, we have decided that we won't be coming back next year as it's time to explore other areas. We're excited to hit the road again at the end of April and make our spring/summer trek to the Pacific Northwest. Safe travels to all and as always, happy trails!

Posted by curlysharon 13:43 Comments (1)

Parker Boat Races 2017

Bluewater Casino fun with the gang!

Parker, Az

Our good friend Leslie of Tustin, Ca invited Brad and I to a weekend of boat races in Parker on the Colorado River (Arizona side) for Team Reiter as part of the support crew. We had a great time cheering for the driver Mark and seeing all the boats racing the course as we had never been to boat races before. We had excellent weather, plenty of ice cold beer and good people to keep us happy. All of the rooms at the Bluewater Casino face the river so great views and an easy to navigate casino (not too big). The best part was cheering on Mark as he came in 2nd on race day (Sunday)! In fact we had such a good time that we failed to come home on Monday and stayed another day! The last pics are of us at the saloons along the road home, enjoy.

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The videos can't capture the exhilaration of boat racing; the smell of the high octane fuel, the roar as the big boats skim the surface of the water. We look forward to being a part of the races in October when they return to the Bluewater!

Posted by curlysharon 09:20 Comments (2)

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