Munson Falls, Hebo Lake Boondock, and We Get a Curve Ball

Before turning in for the night yesterday I did a search for nearby boondock opportunities and find one near Hebo Lake, just five miles (up a steep hill it turns out.  Boy, this is getting real familiar!!) from the little town of Hebo.

We leave the wayside early and I drive to Munson Falls State Park located between Tillamook and Hebo on Hwy 101.  The road is a straight shot through a neighborhood on some rough, but paved, road.  There is not a single soul in this little park that is home to the tallest falls, at 319 feet, in the coast range.

Little Munson Creek is barely flowing and I wonder about the falls, but after a very short hike the boys and I get to where we can see the water flowing over the bluff.. It’s flowing pretty good, but it’s a drought year again, and I imagine there’s a lot more water that can cascade over that bluff in a good rain year.

DSC_0002 (4)We also take in Netarts Bay.

DSC_0004 Netarts Bay

Upon our arrival at Hebo Lake we cruise through the campground at the lake, but not only am I unimpressed, it’s $18 a night. Although they have tables and fire rings, and a vault toilet, there does not appear to be any water available, and not much privacy.  We head back down the mountain to around milepost four where I spotted a road leading back into the woods.

I nose the van down this short dirt road and into a clearing. It’s perfect.  I get the green beast as level as possible, walk the boys, then switch on the Kindle to check email, etc. The internet signal lasts long enough to find out my mail forwarding service in South Dakota is going out of business.  On the 31st!!!

I spend the afternoon trying to jockey the van into a position where I can once again pick up a signal, to no avail.  Criminy.  This won’t do. This has to be taken care of as soon as possible.  I need to research other services, get an application going, do all the change of address stuff.  We won’t be able to stay here.

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After a fitful night I am up early and we head back down the hill. The view is lovely in the morning mist.

DSC_0012Coming down off Hebo Mt

Gaining the town and spotting a man, who I hope is a local guy, walking back to his log truck I ask about a library. None here he tells me. Closest would be Tillamook.  I thank him and we drive back north. There’s nothing for it; we will have to go back to Tillamook and stay until this is settled.

Once in Tillamook I park at Fred Meyers while I research mail services, and make a couple of calls about my Medicare prescription coverage (even though I take no medications one still has to have this coverage or it becomes a lot higher if you wait until later down the road.  They penalize you for waiting.) making sure they will take it in the particular county I am “moving” to.   I choose a mail service and the next stop is the post office.

I go first through major town road work to the post office to pick up a form that will be required, a 1593.  The clerk has no idea what form that is. She requests I give her the NAME of the form instead of the number.  The service I picked out in western South Dakota just gave me the number. When I call they say I can get that on their website, not to worry.  OKAY, your site says the post office …

Fighting through the road work again, I find myself gritting my teeth, but we find the library, and I begin the process of printing out paperwork so I can fill it out and email it to the chosen forwarding service along with copies of required documents.
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Finally that has been taken care of and now we sit and wait to hear back from them. Once they process the paperwork they will email with our new address. Once that happens I send in the originals they charge my credit card, we will be down several hundred dollars, but will get our mail.  Then all that will be left to do is put in a change of address with the post office and change all the addresses for Medicare, social security, bank cards, retirement accounts, etc. etc.  I have a headache.

Thank goodness for Munson Falls. It was a bright spot in my day.  Thanks for stopping by.  Hugs, Shawna

 

Ecola State Park

July 28, 2018. I’ve been perusing the map this morning and asking questions; Ecola State Park, despite it sounding like a dreadful disease, is one I do not want to miss.

Some of the Oregon State Parks charge a day use fee, and knowing we will be spending about six weeks here I forego the $5 charge at the self-pay at the entrance to Ecola and wait for a ranger to man the booth. I  buy a yearly pass for $30. This will get the boys and I into any Oregon State Park that charges a daily entrance fee. Good for one year.

I am not disappointed; Ecola lives up to it’s description. The views from the parking area are breathtaking.

The large rock in the photo below looks like a seal’s head, no?

DSC_0046 (2) Viewpoint in Ecola State Park OR

Haystack is one of only two places the puffins come back to nest along the Oregon coast. The other is Face Rock, in Bandon, Oregon.  I am told by a docent in another park that it is due to lost habitat.

DSC_0057 (1)Haystack

A hike up the hill, steep in places, and to another point a bit farther north gives a great view of the rocky beach down below.

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The Chiweenie Brothers enjoy our time here as much as I do. DSC_0028 (1)

Also within this park is a road that goes down to Indian Head Beach. It’s a surfers paradise and very busy. So busy that they have a person along the beginning of the narrow, twisting, steep road letting one car in for every one car coming out.  We wait in line for over 15 minutes until it’s our turn. Don’t even think about taking a trailer in here.

DSC_0053 (2) Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel. Hugs, Shawna

 

CURRENT READ:  The Flight Attendant 

 

 

Cape Meares

Sunday, July 29th.  Cape Meares is on my agenda for today. In a quest to photograph all the light houses on the Oregon Coast this is the first on the list. Our first attempt to get to the park meets with this . . .

DSC_0001 (3)Cape Meares Road closure signI turn the big green machine around and find this, that I obviously missed on the way in, and read about a town that didn’t make it around here.

DSC_0002 (1)City of Bay Ocean Park sign

Backtracking and taking Hwy 131 we finally get to our destination.

DSC_0003 (2)Capes Meares sign

 

It’s a wicked winding road to get to this park … sounds familiar doesn’t it?  Once in the park proper The Chiweenie Brothers and I take a hike. It’s a steep trail leading to lighthouse.  Down, down, down.  Lots of informational signs regarding the birds and wildlife of the area dot the paved path.

The lighthouse is gorgeous!  I shoot several angles. Climbing back up to the parking lot I am totally out of breath by the time we get to the van. I upload the photos to my laptop only to find blurry pictures! Dang it!  I will be so glad to have my camera looked at once back in Cali when we go for a visit with family and friends. I leave the boys in the van for a second hike down to the lighthouse.

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Huffing and puffing my way back up the trail to the parking lot I get a light-through-the-trees-and-fog opportunity.

On the opposite side of the parking lot is a trail leading to the “Octopus Tree” which I want to see. Two hikes down and back up from the lighthouse has taxed my energy, and I leave the boys in the van. I can’t deal with the rambunctious Chiweenie Brothers right now.  They don’t like this, but, it is what it is!  Sorry guys.

I am thrilled to find these foxglove with an industrious bumble bee!

It’s been a delightful day, and I am pooped! I find a small wayside on Hwy 131 once we leave the park, and we spend the night here.  Thanks for coming along on our adventures. Hugs, Shawna

A Pedal Train, Girabaldi, and TRAFFIC!

July 28th, Saturday.  The weekend is not a good time not to have a plan of where to stay. Let me put this another way.  A backup plan in case the first choice doesn’t work out. The planned boondock on Cook Creek is not to my liking. It’s too far out and too isolated.

As we head back to the coastline and Hwy 101 we stumble upon this group having a blast on the pedal cars cruising along the abandoned train tracks near Mohlar.  Looks like fun!

I pull the van over to the side of the road and watch as a young man opens a box alongside the tracks and turns on the railroad signal.  Traffic stops and he waves the human train forward.

We end up in Girabaldi, a tiny fishing village on the coast. Highway 101 goes right smack dab through it . . .  It’s their annual “Girabaldi Days” celebration and the traffic is backed up as far as the eye can see. We finally worm our way into the line, and I head north inching our way along trying to locate a campground.  There isn’t a single site to be had. I get turned around after pulling off the highway into a residential area, and we again inch our way along Hwy 101 heading south this time.

Coming upon a dirt pullout on the way back south I pull in, determined to wait out the traffic.  I take a photo of the bay.

DSC_0066 (2)Estuary at Girabaldi OR

I debate staying here for the night, but this doesn’t feel right either. We stay here long enough for the traffic to thin out some, then head back toward Girabaldi spotting a wayside just at the entrance to the town. Fortunately there is a slot to slide into.  We stay here for the night, and listen to their fireworks as they explode over the bay.  They are VERY close and I peek out the window to see what’s what. They aren’t rocketing very high into the air.  They appear to be barely getting off the ground. I don’t bother getting out of my cozy bed to get any photos.  Goodnight.

Hugs, Shawna

The educational sign at our home for the night.

DSC_0067 (2)Wayside in Girabaldi OR

 

The Oregon Coast! Fort Stevens, Fort Clatsop, and Astoria

July 25th.  WE’RE HERE! The Oregon Coast at Seaside!!  AHHH, the cool air feels wonderful! We meet up with a fellow van dweller, Sue. Sue is a born city gal, the daughter of circus performers, who ended up in Oregon around 2004 and stayed. She taught me a few things about van dwelling in the town environment. Being FB friends for a couple of years through a van group, it’s so nice to finally meet face-to-face. Both her sons are currently in Sweden and she is planning her second trip there for visit after her trip to the east coast. She is also throwing a trip to Thailand somewhere there in the mix.  The boys and I spend a lovely day along the boardwalk—The Prom—with Sue, meeting  more interesting people.

We meet two gals from Virginia who BIKED their way to the Pacific Ocean. Seaside, one of their last stops before they are on a plane home. Another gal and her boyfriend, vanners also, are enjoying the ocean beaches. She, a Canadian with an Australian accent (lived quite a while there and was a firefighter) but currently from Virginia is out here on the west coast with her boyfriend, an artist.

Sue heads north, the boys and I hang at the beach.

Next morning we head to Fort Stevens to spend the day.  This is a huge state park and it’s very busy.  We spend time walking along the shore where the wreck of the Peter Iredale rests on the beach, its bottom half entombed in the sand .

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Read about the sailing ship HERE 

DSC_0044 (1)       The fog does, finally, lift. Wreck of the Peter Iredale, Ft. Stevens northwest Oregon Coast

Once we head out of Fort Stevens I stumble—by pure chance– upon a dog park in Warrenton, and of course we stop.  The boys enjoy some off-leash time, and I enjoy chatting with the locals. In the same area as the dog park is a hiking trail along the Columbia River.

There are homes along this trail, and I spot a particularly pretty yard.  I get a small pang of regret as I gaze at the beautiful flowers.

DSC_0034 (1)Somebodys Garden along carruthers Trail on the Columbia River It doesn’t last long though, as I realize I have no weeding, watering, or dead-heading to do.  I can enjoy without all the work. 🙂

July 26th, after another night of “boondocking” in the city I locate a laundromat and do a load of wash, then head to Fort Clatsop where they have a wonderful replication of the old fort. Read about Fort Clatsop HERE

A cleverly disguised trash can within the park.  DSC_0013 (2)

What I love most about every state park we’ve been in so far–AND most rest areas–are the hiking trails.  A dose of education and some exercise; a great combination.

Not wanting to miss getting to see the first permanent United States settlement on the Pacific Coast, I point Freedom’s nose to the north and we head to Astoria. Read more  HERE .

Whoa.  I LOVE the old buildings here, but the streets are narrow and the traffic is horrific. I grab a shot of Flavel House, even though there isn’t enough room to get the whole of the beautiful old building in the shot. DSC_0018 (1)  In the parking where we are parked is this building, ye old pokey, now a film museum.DSC_0019 (2)Astoria OR

read about Flavel House HERE.     I attempt to find “The Column” but fail.  Hunger pains win out over getting to the column, and I regret not seeing it, but it just gives me a reason to come back someday.

Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs!  Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Shawna

Sunset Rest Area

After leaving the dog park in Sandy, Oregon, we drive on to Greshman and find a Winco market where I buy supplies and ice.  After grabbing a quick bite to eat while parked in the shade we are blessed with here in the parking lot we head out.

Portland in mid-afternoon.  UGH!  Highway 26 goes through, but there are some twists and turns before we can leave the metropolitan area behind.  Once we do, we have several bedroom communities of the area to deal with, but at least the highway is wide, and I don’t feel like I will be pushed off the road or rear-ended at any second.

Soon we are out of the city area and cruising toward the coast.  We spend a night at a nice little rest area called Sunset, and we are here early enough to take a hike on one of Oregon’s lovely trails.  I love their rest areas. Many have hiking trails and almost all have signs with information on Oregon History.

We spend a very nice, peaceful night here. It’s only about 30 miles to the coast!!! Days, and days, and days of delightful cool air!  Thanks for stopping by! Hugs, Shawna

20 years from now

The Sandy Dog Park

After our very quiet, very restful night at Zig Zag Falls we head, early in the morning as usual, heading for Sandy, Oregon and the dog Park!  I take a chance and mention it OUT LOUD.  The boys know.  Yes, they know, and they are excited.  I sure hope the grocery store doesn’t show up first, because then they will think I am teasing.  😉

The grocery store does not show up.  Walmart is nowhere to be found anywhere near where my GPS says it should be.  There’s a big building that looks like it could have been a Walmart at one point, but … No worries.  I plug the address to the dog park into the GPS and we’re off.

As the van gets moving again, the boys are beside themselves with excitement.  It isn’t far to this park, located in a residential area, and as we pull up it doesn’t look like anyone else is around.  It IS early.  Come on guys, let’s get in there.

They do the usual; circling the perimeter, hiking their legs, doing their business.  Before all that is done a lady pulls up with a beautiful, older yellow lab, and a large beagle.  The beagle, Parker, is sooooo happy to be at the park.  He and The Chiweenie Brothers get acquainted.  Soon other dogs come to play.  They all have a grand ‘ol time.

Try as they might, still there are those that do not feel it’s their responsibility  to clean up after their dogs,  but the towns and cities keep trying to get the message across.

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Thankfully there are those who will pick up a few piles of other dogs’ poo when they are there. I do it as a way to say thanks to these cities and towns for these parks. Thank you Sandy, Oregon!

Love this information on spotting aggression:

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They day is warming up. The Chiweenie Brothers have had a great time, and they are getting tired.  Charlie looks for, and finds, a nice shady spot.

DSC_0004Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs!  Hugs, Shawna

The SnoPark, Timber Lodge, and Zig Zag Falls

Friday, July 20, 2018. It’s a warm, sunny beginning to the day even at 6:00 a.m.  As I pull out of the rest area north of Madras, Oregon I think of the cooler weather up ahead. At least I am hoping it will be cooler.

We are headed west, still on Hwy 26, and drive through the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. Other than the casino at the very eastern end there isn’t much out here but a few houses here and there, brush and some timber. The wind is blowing sideways, and it’s pretty strong.  I white knuckle through and we gain the SnoPark with no mishaps.

The plan is to stay at the SnoPark in the Mt Hood National Forest for a few days.  Upon arrival I note there are a few travel trailers and a motorhome or two. The very large parking area is divided in half by a strip of brush and trees, and the vault toilet is located here, too. I find a spot on the west side. There is only one other vehicle parked here and he’s at the very tippy top, next to the road. It’s a peaceful quiet night.

July 21st, Saturday.  I feed the boys and we take a walk.  I discover, on the other side of the access road to the SnoPark, a small dispersed campsite on a dirt road.  We finish our walk then we move to the new camp.  Big mistake.

As the morning gives way to afternoon we are bombarded with dirt bikes. Waves of dirt bikes in groups of five or six roar past our camp and envelope us in dust.  Once the herd is past it is quiet for the rest of the day, but they again gear up and roar past in the evening.

We take a wander across the road to the parking lot and discover the SnoPark has filled to capacity with a sea of moms and dads, grandpas and grandmas and their motor homes and travel trailers, some tents.  All manner of recreational vehicles and trailers here for a motor cross event!  Oh boy, that explains the dirt bikes. We hear a few oohs and awwwes, directed toward The Chiweenie Brothers. I know they are smiling!

It does quiet down for a good night’s rest, but next morning I hear revelie.  The motoring herd will once again make an appearance.  Enough of this, we’re outta here. It takes a mere ten minutes to pack up and we are on the road. I love being so mobile!

We drive to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood.  I LOVE Mt. Hood.   There is just something very special about this mountain, but I have no idea what.  Maybe the lush green that surrounds it?  Maybe the way it juts up into sky with a commanding air?  I don’t know.

You can read more about historic Timberline Lodge HERE .

I make a quick, illegal stop along the highway on the way back down the mountain to get a couple of shots of these small waterfalls alongside the road.

As we tip over the top and begin the decent down Hwy 26 toward civilization again, I begin looking for the road into Zig Zag Falls that I had found on the map last night.

An easy hike and a beautiful water fall.

Love this old bridge, part of the old highway that once went through here at one time.

As we are taking in the bridge and surrounding area I discover a small empty campsite right at the perimeter of the parking lot. It’s banked on both sides with green bushes and sits right along Zig Zag Creek. We spend the night here before continuing on down the highway.

 

 

The Painted Hills

It’s Thursday, July 19th, and  we are up early and ready to rock and roll.  I packed up before bed last night after a couple of gals pulled into the campground in a small gold passenger car, threw up a tent, and proceeded to build a huge campfire.  From my perspective it looked like the flames were four feet high.  The wind usually comes up in the evening here at Barnhouse, so it had me a bit worried.  No harm getting ready to roll just in case.  To their credit they stayed right with the fire until it burned down a little and didn’t throw any more wood on it. 

The boys fed and out for a quick potty run, I get the big green machine on the road.  The morning air is nice and cool and we take our sweet time wending our way down the mountain.

The boys are suddenly on high alert when they notice a herd of antelope crossing the road ahead of us.  I slow down from a meander to a crawl and get as close as I dare to get a photo.

DSC_0022 (2)Antelope on road into our Barnhouse CampAs we gain Hwy 26 the plan is to take in the Painted Hills Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. I spot this old barn along the way.

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These hills are fascinating and beautiful.

DSC_0068Painted Hills

Once we are finished drinking in the odd, stark but colorful Painted Hills we head west again on Hwy 26 and go through Prineville purchasing gas here.  Almost $100 to fill up!! Welcome to the west coast.  Just prior to landing in Redmond, I get this shot of The Sisters through the trees only because there was a place to pull over.  Most two lane roads are not conducive to photography for lack of sufficient places large enough to get off the road, but I was lucky with this one.

DSC_0073 Sisters Mtns

And I wasn’t about to pass up stopping to photograph this gorgeous old building when a parking spot right by it called my name. Of course it was too close to get the whole beautiful building in the shot, but I will take what I can get.

DSC_0072In Redmond, OR   Then we make a dog park stop.  The Redmond dog park is one of the cleanest dog parks we’ve been in.  I was a bit weary and didn’t bother bringing the camera in with us, but the boys had a marvelous time!

With no place found to stop for the night we head on to Madras. I have enough time to do laundry and get ice and then we’re back on the road heading to the rest area just north of here.  It’s in a construction zone and they worked far into the night, but a place to park is a place to park, and I am grateful I didn’t have to drive on in search of a camp.  AND, I found out who discovered Mt. Shasta.  Say what? One finds this out in Oregon?  Yep.

DSC_0075Sign at the rest area

Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel! Hugs, Shawna

 

 

Prairie City. John Day. Fossil Beds. Barnhouse Camp Ground

July 7, 2018. We leave our lovely camp, Wetmore, in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and head west on Hwy 26.  I rarely go more than 50 miles a day, sometimes 75, but this day proves a long one. 

We make a quick stop just up the road from Wetmore Camp Ground and I buy a block of ice and think how getting rid of the bigger Cube Cooler in Utah was such a good choice. This smaller one is so much easier to handle.

We motor on and gain the area near Prairie City where there is an overlook presiding over the valley below.  A  giant replica of a Conestoga wagon houses a few tiny facts about the surrounding area, but is mainly advertisements for the little town.

DSC_0003 (2)Larger-than-life Prairie Schooner, Prairie City, OR  It looks hot and dry down there in the valley, and we’re headed that way.

There are several small towns and a lot of highway we travel on before we reach John Day where I make a stop at their local market. A box of Cheese Nips is almost $5. I don’t buy much just enough to get us through a couple of days.

We stop at the little park in town and find a nice shade tree under which we park and have lunch.  Lordy, it’s hot. I am grateful for the large shade trees.

After lunch I scout a road I saw coming in that goes to a little town called Canyon City only to find there is road work, and a lot of it, up ahead. I am not in the mood to sit in this heat waiting to get through so I turn around and head back toward Hwy 26.

There is a marvelous old antique shop alongside the road with old buggies and some wonderful metal sculptures of pigs and goats and such, but I am too tired and too hot to bother stopping for photos. I know I will regret this later, but right now, at this moment, I do not care.  I just need to get the big green machine moving with some air blowing on us.

Travelling back through town again, we leave John Day behind, and the day seems to get warmer, but we determinately move forward, eventually coming to an overlook just before the John Day Fossil Beds.  It’s an interesting stop, but lordy it’s SOOOO hot. I know. I am whining.

The boys don’t even want to be outside, but they do need a potty break, and it’s a quick one.  On the way back down the hill I stop and get a shot of this old homestead and one of a wooden farm thingy, looking like it’s for loading grain or hay or something.

Just up the highway is the John Day River and the entrance–after a short ride through the rock-walled canyon–into the Sheep Rock Unit of the fossil beds.

DSC_0014John Day River

 

DSC_0016Just past the Fossil Bed National Mon Sign

DSC_0015  It’ not far in, maybe three or four miles, but once at the visitor’s center I find not a spot of shade to be had anywhere.  I will not leave the boys in a hot car and it’s hot, hot, hot. Reluctantly, but necessary, I turn the van around, and we head back out to Hwy 26.  I do stop briefly in a couple of places to grab these shots.

It’s been a long, hot day, and as I am wondering just where we are going to lay our heads tonight, I spy out of the corner of my eye as I am driving by, a National Forest sign and the words ‘Barnhouse Camp’.  At this point I really do not care how much I have to pay for a site, we need to stop.

I get turned around, and we head into the Ochoco Mountains and toward TREES.  It’s about four miles in and it’s paved all the way to Barnhouse Campground and beyond to two more campgrounds.  This is a dry camp, but it has a vault toilet, tables, and fire rings.  FREE. No water, and pack your garbage out.  That’s a deal to me!

Grateful to have a place to call home for a day or two, but I don’t make camp until the next morning, after a cool and restful night.  Oh how wonderful to be out of the valley and up where it’s cool.   We’ll sleep good tonight.

DSC_0037 (2) Next morning we take a hike along the Barnhouse Trail.  It’s not a regularly maintained trail, and pretty tough going so we don’t go too far.  DSC_0039 (2)Barn House Trail Sign                                                        DSC_0052 (2)Fries along the creek at Barnhouse

DSC_0044 (2)Water Trough Barnhouse Camp     This old water trough hewn from a log is interesting!

Even though we don’t hike very far on the Barnhouse Trail, there are enough chipmunks in camp to keep The Chiweenie Brothers extremely occupied between morning and evening loops around the camp lest we forget how to walk.  🙂

DSC_0025 (2)Digger Charlie, Barnhouse camp

 

DSC_0036 (2)Charlie digging at Barnhouse FS Camp east of Mitchell OR off Hwy 26

Thank you for stopping by 2DogsTravel! Hugs, Shawna

We stay three days then head out. Coddiwompling all the way.

Coddiwomple