Storrie Lake State Park

July 10-13, 2019 Leaving Las Vegas we motor the short three miles to Storrie Lake State Park.  It’s a smallish park that gets lots of use from locals who love water sports from fishing to boating, and everything in between

There isn’t much shade for use by us primitive campers, but we check out several places before settling on one of three shade shelters in a dirt turnout next to the main road.  It turns out to be a spot used by all those parked by the lake that do not want to use the paved road because it has speed bumps.  Busy and dusty, we settle in anyway, because I was fortunate enough to get the one shelter that is on the lake side and has a small shade tree.

DSC_0023The Boys and I enjoy long, leisurely morning and evening walks and in between The Chiweenie Brothers take turns trying to dig out a squirrel.  They were unsuccessful, but had a terrific time in the attempt.

The afternoon breeze keeps things from getting too unbearable.  Without the adobe shade shelter we wouldn’t have been able to stay.DSC_0020

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Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel. Hugs, Shawna

CURRENT READ:  Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier.  Historical novel based on the life of Mary Anning, first woman to be acknowledged as a fossilist and dubbed “The Greatest fossilist the world ever knew. The British Journal for the History of Science, 1995

The Polar Vortex and a Super Snow Moon

February 19, 2019 I just happen step outside MissAdventure in the early morning hours before dawn and see the Super Snow Moon falling slowly behind the mountains to the west. I am thrilled to have awoken to this as my shots of the super moon rising did not turn out well.


The temps have been dropping as the weather people around the nation herald the coming of a Polar Vortex. Little did any of us realize just how bad it was going to get. By February 22 Flagstaff was reporting 40” of snow; a one day record since records have been kept. Kingman had 18”, the road into Payson was closed due to the snow. Snowflake AZ saw snowflakes, Benson saw snowflakes as did Nogales on the US-Mexican border.
Mammoth Lakes on 395 in California received over 22 feet. Going to have to take that camp off our list for summer! They may never get anything but the roads cleared there this year!

Oregon had record snowfalls as did Washington. The places in the nation that always get snow, got more than they bargained for. It’s a crazy winter for sure! Bet YOUR area saw some interesting weather, too!

The Chiweenie Brothers and I spend most of our days inside. It’s too cold and/or windy to be comfortable outside for very long so only the necessary walks are taken. Poor guys are a bit bored.


DSC_0156Fries with His duck Head
On one walk I gaze off into the distance and the Kofa Mountains look a little strange. What the heck? Oh I see what it is. The Kofas are wearing white!! It stays for a few days, too. Seems like Q, Yuma, and perhaps Ajo are the only places that didn’t get snow. I tell ya, Quartzsite is the best place to be in the winter, even though locals say this winter has been the coldest they’ve seen. So much for global WARMING …
DSC_0011Snow on Kofa Mountains
Storms, whether rolling in or on the wane usually leave some beauty behind.

DSC_0008MissAdventure with Pink CloudsThanks for stopping by 2Dogs! Hugs, Shawna and The Boys.

CURRENT READ:  Still working on Mary, Queen of Scots 

The Desert Turns Green

Quartzsite, Arizona, our winter refuge, is cool with lots of moisture; it is turning green.  Lush, spring grasses and plants put on a show that is beautiful in its simplicity.  One would not even notice if you hadn’t spent several winters here, or at least experienced a few of the winter months at some point.  Usually the greening of the desert is so brief it’s hard to imagine it even happens.  This year it happens.

DSC_0132Green Desert Clouds, and Buttermilk Clouds
A Buttermilk Sky

DSC_0139The Desert is Turning Green, Plant with Rock

The spring flowers put on a colorful show and all of it with the “purple mountain majesty and the brilliant blue sky depending on the hour, is breathtaking.

The middle of February brings unusual cold, even frosty temps, lots of cold wind and some rain.  Many hours spent inside reading, planning, writing.

The boys need a little walk a couple of times a day and I bundle up and take them out.  It’s cold enough that my little Fries doesn’t mind at all when we head back to the van.

DSC_0005torms a Brewing

They play, nap in the sun if it has made an appearance, and just generally go with flow.  On Occasion there’s a row, but for the most part they get along splendidly.

Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel! Hugs, Shawna

CURRENT READ:  Mary, Queen of Scots

 

Waldport, Gov. Patterson State Park and Cooks Chasm

Waldport, Oregon—about the halfway point along Hwy 101 in Oregon. The intention for a couple day’s stay turns into almost two weeks.  The boys and I get in a lot of beach time.  We find one beach, Neptune, that if we go early enough we are the only ones there and the rocky cliffs on both sides are steep enough and reach out toward the sea far enough to keep two wild wiener dogs contained.  I let them off leash to run their little hearts out.

DSC_0043 (1)Fries, Bridge, Beach

August 11th. The sky lowers and a light but steady rain falls.  The boys, ever adaptable to what is placed before us, are content to curl up and nap.  I read and nap.

By early afternoon the sun makes an appearance and we have a glorious rest of the day in which to enjoy this beautiful area.  I find a patch of blackberries and pick a few for my breakfast cereal tomorrow morning.  Charlie picks salal berries, but none make it into the berry container!

DSC_0015 (2)Blackberries picked at Neptune

DSC_0010 (2)  DSC_0014 (1)Charlie Picking Berries

We spend our nights bouncing back and forth between Governor Patterson State Park near Yachats (pronounced yaw hots), Cooks Chasm, and a parking area beside Highway 34 in Waldport. Our days are spent on our favorite beach at Neptune State Park, and other beaches farther south.

DSC_0004 (1)Neptune Beach
The Left Side of Neptune Beach

Our nights at Cooks Chasm are a mix of soothing and intense sounds.  The surf pounds the lava rock and sounds like booming thunder as the sea works its way between narrow channels, lava rock overhangs, and shallow caves.  It pushes its way up into a hole in the rock to shoot spray up in the air as the force of the water pushes toward the rocky shore; The Spout. As the tide drags the sea back I am soothed and lulled into a sense of peace until the thundering crashes begin again.DSC_0053

COOKS CHASM BLOW HOLE

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Thors Well is a bit farther out at Cooks Chasm, and the sea boils into it from below— up, and over the rim of the large round hole in the lava then gets pulled back out as the tide makes its backward pull.  The well becomes devoid of water, and the fascinating scene repeats over and over in the ancient rhythm of the sea.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hugs, Shawna and the Boys

CURRENT READ: The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni

 

 

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

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