Shore Acres and Cape Arago Lighthouse

Once we leave Sunset Bay we head south to Shore Acres State Park.  This park used to be the summer home of lumber Baron Louis J Simpson who built a magnificent home on the rocks of the shore overlooking the ocean with a gorgeous flower garden complete with a Japanese inspired pond.  The gardener’s quarters and the restored gardens are all that is left of this magnificent estate.

During the winter holidays from Thanksgiving through New Year’s metal sculptures depicting ocean-related themes and creatures and are brought in and festooned with over 300,000 lights. I’ve visited here before during this time and it is absolutely gorgeous. And very crowded, but worth it!

The Simpsons’ view from their cliff top home. Read more about this Oregon State Park and its benefactor’s HERE 

Cape Arago  lighthouse from afar.   Somehow, some way I missed the road to get to this lighthouse.  Dang! A good excuse to go back!!!  DSC_0045Read more about it HERE

Thanks for stopping by!  Hugs, Shawna

CURRENT READ:   The Return Journey by Maeve Binchy

Florence, Oregon, The Place to Be Now

FLORENCE, Oregon.  I chose Florence as the place to hangout and spend some time idling in order to keep out of the inland heat. I am really missing family, and now that the Boys and I are so close it’s hard not to just make a dash south and east into Cali; only about five hours away!!! But the heat. And another fire near Redding, this one north of the city, makes me listen to reason and just kick back for a time.

Not a ton of things to do here, but there is beach access in a couple of places.  Great sea food at Mo’s. Pretty Oregon scenery all around. But one of my favorite places is the marina in the Old Town section of Florence. Watching this cormorant dive for his dinner was fun . . .

These super petunias lining the boardwalk are so pretty…

DSC_0006Old Town Marina

DSC_0005 (2)Boats in marina. Old Town Florence OR

And it’s beginning to look a lot like autumn

DSC_0002Turning Leaves, Florence Oregon

A ride on Hwy 36 along a fork of the Siuslaw near Swisshome shows just how parched the Oregon Coast is. This river is so low! I find the flat rocks showing in the riverbed interesting.  I know, I’m a rock freak.  LOL

20180903_123723Flat Rock on a fork of the Siuslaw River

Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs! Hugs, Shawna

 

 

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

Fishtrap BLM Campsite

June 26, 2018.  We are up early — and have been most every morning since leaving the mountains of Montana and Idaho.  Dang! Sunrise is early when there’s no mountains to delay it! We really don’t mind because the air is deliciously cool.  I feed the boys and make coffee, and of course the morning walk. It’s quick, quick, quick, no longer than needed to take care of business. I am anxious to leave the city behind; some peace and quiet is needed.

We head to the Laughing Dog Park so The Chiweenie Brothers can get in one last romp here. It’s all but empty, but we three walk the perimeter a couple of times, then back in the van, and I poke the van’s nose out into traffic from the on-ramp and head west on I-90.  Spokane traffic is unbelievable, but I suppose that’s just me.  Not used to it, and don’t want to get used to it.  However, we are soon out of the city proper and traffic thins.

We are headed west is all I know at this point, to eventually get to Moses Lake, when I spot the sign for Fishtrap with the little brown triangular sign that signifies camping. And what do you know, it’s BLM land.  It’s easy to find the designated site, and there’s only two other people here, camped at the only table.  There’s room for four or five very close campers, but we’re only here for a night or two. We’ll deal with it.  There is a vault toilet and gathered-rock fire rings.

The campsite is on a bluff that overlooks Smick Meadow and a lovely little pond.

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On the bluff to the left is an old barn. I leash the boys and wander over to the sign that tells all about the area.  This is Folsom Farm, or what’s left of it, from the early 1900s. The barn still stands along with another outbuilding.  The house is long gone from a fire.  The farm was sold many times between it’s beginning and end.


DSC_0001 (7)     I am pleased to see that no vandalism has occurred here.  How nice!!!

All is quiet here during the night except for a distant train on occasion.

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In the morning I hear a coyote howl which reminds me of Arizona, which reminds me of the glorious sunrises and sunsets in the Arizona desert.  As if in answer to a silent yearning, the second morning we are blessed with this

DSC_0023 (5)There are no trees to give shade in this camp and considering it’s almost July, it’s beginning to warm up.  Too warm.  We head out, to once again take I-90 west.

I can’t resist stopping for a few moments to get shots of the wildflowers blooming with abandon along the road into Fishtrap Camp.

Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel. Hugs, Shawna

 

CAMP AMENITIES
Water:  No                                   Garbage: No — pack it in/pack it out
Bathrooms:  One Vault Toilet  Electricity: No
Tables: One in Camp area        Shower: No
Fire Pit: Makeshift fire rings   BBQ:  No
# of Sites:  Room for four/five Fee: Free
Other: There are picnic tables past the gates (they ask you that you keep the gates closed) and a hiking trail down to the pond.  

 

 

 

 

 

Missoula and Fish Creek

June 17, 2018.  We leave our overnight camp in the Drummond City Park with a light mist falling. Hoping to find some sunshine we chug along through this tiny town and find the freeway entrance to head west on I-90.  I don’t like to travel the freeways unless it’s necessary, and in Montana it is quite often necessary. Due to the gorgeous, towering mountain ranges connecting roads are, more often than not, non-existent. It’s the long way, the freeway, or no way!

We gain Missoula and spend a night at Wally. I do absolutely no scouting; the traffic in this city is horrendous! There is a dog park here that is supposed to be a really nice one, but although I find the park next morning, the access is by footbridge, and I can find no place to park.  The businesses must have gotten tired of dog people parking in their lots and there are signs everywhere threatening being towed if you park in their lot and are not a customer.  I’ve learned my lesson and do not mention DOG PARK, so The Chiweenie Brothers don’t know they are missing out.  

Our next camp is found along Fish Creek at the Big Pine fishing access area.  It’s about 4 miles in off I-90, the last mile or so dirt.  Or should I say mud.  The clouds are breaking up so the hope is that it will dry out a bit and we can stay here a few days.  

There are five or six camp sites at Fish Creek, and only one is occupied.   Lots of trees and bushes separate the campsites giving wonderful privacy. I choose a site down a short “driveway” leading right to the river and park so our view out the side doors is of the rushing water, the driver’s side–which has the cooler–in the shade.  We head out exploring.

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This fishing access camp along Fish Creek is home to the largest known ponderosa pine in Montana.  

There are also some beautiful wild rose bushes here.  DSC_0007 (5) and this shrub with the white flowers.  Any guesses as to what it is?   DSC_0008 (5)

The boys settle down for a little nap.

One night here, and we leave. It’s raining again and it’s just plain muddy.  The road out is fine even though it’s soup.  I need to find a spot where I can walk the boys without bringing Mother Earth inside the van every time we step outside. 

We stop at a wayside along I-90, kind of a mini rest area for lack of a better word. There is room for a truck and a couple of cars and it has a vault toilet.  This sign tells the story of the building of the road through these mountains.  I try to see where the cut was made but I don’t find it here. nor do I find it once we get moving again. There is road work going on and I daren’t ogle the scenery much.

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Thanks for stopping by! Hugs, Shawna

Fish Creek Fishing Access is a boondocking site, but it does have a vault toilet, tables, and fire rings.  NO water and no garbage (pack it in/pack it out).  Cost:  Free.  There are one or two spots big enough for a medium sized trailer. Walk the “driveways” before pulling in as several of the sites have no way to turn a vehicle and a trailer around. Unless your really good a backing up 🙂

 

Anaconda, Montana

June 15th. From Butte we take Hwy 1, the scenic route, toward the town of Anaconda which comes up in short order.  We get “the rest of the story” about copper mining when we discover The Stack, a park in Anaconda dedicated to the miners who worked the mines in Butte and the workers who ran the smelter here in Anaconda refining the copper.

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The copper smelter

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Anaconda has some beautiful old brick buildings. I thoroughly enjoy driving through this town stopping where I can whether it be an actual parking spot I snag or just stopping in the middle of the street if no one is coming to grab a photo.

We continue the scenic loop drive on Highway 1. The campground I am looking for along this highway is closed for repairs. My guess would be because of flooding.

Several miles up the road I discover a forest service road on the right, and I take it in hopes of finding a camp.  While I don’t find a camp, I do find these lovely carpets of lupine.

Moving on we eventually end our tour of Hwy 1,  and glide into the little town of Drummond.  Thankfully they have a small park with about 12 camp sites.  I pay the $10 fee and get parked. A walk for the Chiweenie Brothers and we can finally rest our weary heads. It is once again raining.

CAMP AMENITIES
Water: Yes                        Garbage: Yes
Bathrooms: Vault toilet 

Electricity: Available for $25 per night and you have to make a phone call to have some one unlock the box

Tables: Yes                         Shower: No
Fire Pit: Yes                        BBQ: No
# of Sites: 12 or so.            Fee:  $10 for a tent site. $25 if you want electricity 

Other: Right by the river, has a day use area for fisherman, and you are allowed to use the baseball diamond if you want.  It’s also next to the rodeo grounds. Nothing going on while I am here, but might be a problem getting a site at certain times. 

Dry Creek Road

From Montpelier Canyon Campground we again head north on Hwy 89 and back into Wyoming. At every turn is a scene I simply must photograph.

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Or a wildflower calls out not to be forgotten.  They are everywhere!
DSC_0048 (2)Surely the westward travelers were uplifted and encouraged by the sights of this area when they marched ever onward toward Oregon and California. How sad it would have been to be too downtrodden with exhaustion to enjoy the beauty around them, those who travelled this area when the grass was new and the wildflowers burst forth.

As we get closer to the little town of Afton, and the even tinier town of Smoot, I begin searching for a forest service road somewhere along the highway in the Bridger-Teton National Forest when I spot Dry Creek Road.

The dirt road takes us back into the forest DSC_0053 (2)

and with all the rain up north, Dry Creek is anything but Dry. The roaring creek claws at the banks and the roots of the trees and bushes lining its path.

We drive back farther than I like to be without cell service and turn around, heading back to the very first camp site I saw once past the houses on private land.  It’s very shaded!

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We take long walks and long naps, spending two nights here.

 

 

 

 

The boys smell something in the air

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Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs!

CURRENT READ: Sweet Hollow Women   by Holly Tierney-Bedord