Friday, May 27, 2022

From California to Oregon to California to Oregon......

 From our winery stop in Grants Pass, Oregon we made our way back into California on twisty, turny Rt. 199.    Our next stop was at Ramblin Redwoods RV in Crescent City.     We enjoyed a beautiful site nestled in the giant Redwoods typical of the area.

We explored the stunningly blue Smith River and drove into the Redwoods on Walker Road.   We ate lunch on Kellogg Beach with sweet Lewis and had dinners in Crescent City at the Fisherman's Restaurant (our favorite Halibut Fish and Chips) and at the Crescent Seafood on the docks.     Each morning started out gloomy and dark but we soon realized that it was just the marine layer creeping into the deep dark woods.   We emerged from the campground into dazzlingly sunny days, highs in the high 60s.

stony Smith River beach is hard on an old guys feet!

even tipped over they are huge and beautiful

the burls were so interesting, as beautiful as the trees they came from

Battery Point Lighthouse

one of the many murals in Crescent City

and mosaics

Lewis had a great time in Crescent City.    We took him along a number of times so he could have some new and interesting places to sniff and run (well, sort of run) along the soft sand.    He screamed with joy when we lifted him out of the Jeep and set him down, sans leash!    He quietly snuck up on resting seagulls and shooed them away.    He dug in the sand, he chewed sticks and pieces of driftwood   He shared our lunches and snored loudly when we got home.

a Jeep entry to Kellogg Beach!

he thinks they don't notice him coming.....

Even after the busy days,  he still gently and quietly insisted on playing a few minutes of ball with Dave while I washed the dishes.   We didn't mind,  he became our evening's entertainment since we had no cable or antenna tv in our wooded site. 


pay no attention to his old man teeth please, he's sensitive about them.....

He patiently put up with the new games we invented to "keep his mind active" and a new way to deliver his happy hour and second cup treats.....

find the treat

In an effort to find just one more ball to fill the cupcake tins, I discovered one of his old favorites.....He'd almost rather have that than the tiny treats hidden under the balls....

Our time in Crescent City flew by and before we were ready it was time to leave.    After a short and windy drive north along the rocky coast, we arrived at tiny Irelands RV Park, right on the ocean in Gold Beach, Oregon. 

two hands on the wheel day....again

 We drove in, picked out site from one of probably 30 mostly empty spots, set up then drove over to the Gold Beach Inn to announce our arrival and pay.     Good services, paved and relatively level sites, great cable tv, path directly down to our own beach, sunsets from Beluga and steps from the Rogue River.   Sweet.      After looking the weather report for this holiday weekend (rain, fog, rain, fog)  we decided to extend our stay here through the weekend.    Why drive in the wind and rain when we have such a good place to be?       We've had a couple pretty nice days but this afternoon, as we drove back into the campground after brunch, the forecasted weather began to creep in.....

the fog comes in on little cat feet.....

rainy days are made for couch snoozes, right?

We'll be here until Monday, stay tuned.....

Friday, May 20, 2022

McCloud and Oregon

 The drive to McCloud was another windy one on a windy, pine lined road.    Beautiful but, once again, a two hands on the wheel kind of day.

The views changed a bit as we got closer to McCloud.    Still through piney woods, only in this area they were all burned, just skeletons really.    Snowy Mt. Shasta was fully in view.

site 88

We were happy with our end site at the McCloud RV Resort.  It was quiet (except for the owls hooting in the pines after dark), the services were good and there were plenty of great spots to walk Lewis.   Mt. Shasta's snowy peaks dominated the landscape.      We came to think of it as a living being, appearing at every turn of the road, every break in the trees as if it were watching us.

We were only in McCloud for two full days so we spent one just driving around the area with no particular destination in mind.   We drove into the nearby city of Mt. Shasta looking for the visitor's center.   What a nice little city this is.   All the old buildings so typical in the west were made useful again in new incarnations.    A CVS Pharmacy was housed in a former gas station.  It wasn't a cutsie, old timey gas station redo, just a CVS adapted to fit into the gas station building.     An old car dealer  with its huge plate glass windows right on the sidewalk  was carefully restored and now housing a - car dealership!     Another white stucco bldg. was repurposed as the neighborhood's laundry.     We enjoyed our stroll around the area and then headed up the side of Mt. Shasta, as far as the road would allow.

We stopped at the barricades at Bunny Flats, about 7,000 feet, and wandered around the snowy area for awhile.   Lots of people were heading off into the back country with skiis and backpacks.

At that point, the mountain was pretty much the same color as the sky so I didn't take many pictures, we just enjoyed just enjoyed the views. 

The only touch of blue was a very noisy and insistent Stellers Jay flying along with us from tree to tree.

 As we drove back down the road, however, the cloud cover pulled back and - there it was again!

The next day we went off in search of Burney Falls.   MonaLiza said it was something we shouldn't miss when we were in the area.    As is our usual pattern, we turned off the road a number of times to see where that dirt track went, and what was down that way.   Many times we got out and walked for awhile, enjoying the soft needles under our feet, the warm sun on our heads and the familiar aromas of butterscotch and cedar in these woods.

We're always amazed at the different sizes and shapes of needles in the forest, some sharp and spikey, some so soft.

We drove along the racing McCloud River for a bit before getting back on task.   Spring is a beautiful time in the woods.

We knew there would be "others" at Burney Falls State Park, so we found a quiet and solitary picnic table beside Lake Britton to eat our lunch before continuing into the park.

Beautiful butterflies, Pale Swallowtails I think, were puddling along the muddy shore.   I was fascinated watching their gathering.

We were commenting to each other that we were surprised we hadn't seen a Bald Eagle yet.   A number of Osprey flew by and stopped to fish nearby, but no Eagles.

 I know, a very bad picture, but I was so excited that I didn't take time to properly focus!    A Bald Eagle flew right over our heads!    Two Bald Eagles actually!

this long, striped toe lizard kept close watch on us as we ate

I was right, there were quite a few people hiking down to the bottom pool at Burney Falls, but we didn't feel crowded at all.   The path was paved and very steep with some sections utilizing stairs instead of just an incline.    A real knee buster for us, but it was so very worth it!

One side of the walkway gave us tantilizing peeks of the thundering falls and the other side sported ferns, lichens  and a few tiny spring blooms so we took our time on the way down.

The sound grew louder the closer we got to the falls and it's blue blue pool.   When I say "falls" you may think we were going to see a single water fall but Burney Falls has two major falls and the walls on either side of the major falls were covered by smaller ones seeming to ooze out of every crack.   Where the water emerged, so did green ferns.   Just beautiful!   Pictures don't do it justice.

We spent awhile just marveling at the sound and beauty of this place before turning around and heading back up those stairs.....

   So much more to do in the area, so many beautiful places to see....and a couple good looking restaurants in nearby Mt. Shasta to check out, we said we'd definitely return to this area.

We left the next morning, but evidently we weren't quite through with the area.   Since our drive to Valley of the Rogue State Park wasn't a very long one (115 miles) we decided to drive Beluga (towing the Jeep) into Mt. Shasta for lunch.     Dave found a good and long enough spot on the city street and we walked to Bistro 107, one of the places we had looked at a few days before.     Wednesday - the only day of the week they were closed was Wednesday.      A young man was outside painting the deck so we asked where we could have a lunch as good as the one's they served.    He laughed and told us about one just a block and a half away, Pipeline.      He was right!   Great burgers outside on their streetside seating area and we were back at Beluga and on our way to Oregon.

 We arrived at Valley of the Rogue State Park around 4 p.m.   No one was in the ranger station, no one to check us in.     Luckily we knew our site and went directly to it.    Camp hosts were doing something to our fire ring and she came out and very bruskly told us to go somewhere else to unhook the Jeep.   Grrrr.   Not a nice welcome.     We left, found a spot to unhook and reclaimed our spot.    What they were doing in the fire ring we don't know.   It was wasn't left in a tidy state to say the least.    ah well, perhaps they were having a quarrel......

Yesterday we just hung around the site, napped and took care of business. Today we visited a couple nearby wineries,  one for lunch and a tasting and another for just tasting.   Two in one day is all we can handle and still feel comfortable to drive!

here comes a happy man!

At Schmidt Family Winery we each ordered a different flight of wines (Dave picked the reds, I chose whites) and each selected a woodfired pizza that went with our respective wines.....

Dave chose a traditional pepperoni pie, you know, to go with his red wines, and I picked a white pizza with mushrooms, fontina cheese and truffle oil for my whites.    Mmmmm     We brought half of each home with us for dinner.

Since Covid, wine tasting has changed a bit, but changed in a good way for us.   Not as much people contact, lots of beautiful, well spaced spots to sit outside and savor and, if food is available it is  picked up, not delivered by wait staff. 

After the eating and tasting and purchasing (don't ask....) we strolled the beautiful manicured grounds.  Have I mentioned how lovely spring is?

oh Dave!

Our second, and last, stop for the day was a repeat, a winery we went to with an ulterior motive.

We were looking to find a bottle, or two, of their port,  Troon Insomnia.    The last time we were there, quite a few years ago, we bought one and were so sorry we didn't get more.    Hopefully, we'd remedy that today.

As luck would have it, Troon has changed hands, no more Insomnia.   Ah well, a reminder to buy what you want when you want it and not wait, or do what you want, don't save it for later.     Neither of us remembered any of the wines we had at that tasting, except that port so today was a new adventure.

We sat outside and shared one mixed flight.    Our server (sadly, we didn't get her name) was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their biodynamic estate wines and we totally agreed with her favorites.    She served us a few more than the standard flight contains as we talked about what we liked and didn't like.   She encouraged us to toss any unwanted swallows on the grass, (there was only one.....) it likes it, she said!

We left with a couple bottles, well, there may have been more than a couple but we didn't really count.

So many wineries, so little time.       Onward to the Redwoods and the ocean!


We had lunch sitting at a solitary picnic table on the shores of Lake Britton.