Roseburg, Oregon Continued. . .

Sunday was a rainy day and the boys and I stayed snuggled in the van for a good portion of the morning. Coffee, snuggly pups, and a good book!  After a leisurely breakfast,  Frannie and I spent most of the rest of that lazy Sunday chatting the day away, taking the restless dogs for many, many walks, and watching a movie.  It’s a good friend who will take one of your dogs on so many walks and subject herself to all his idiosyncrasies and penchant for pulling like he thinks you could never possibly walk fast enough.  Thanks Frannie!  Burger loves you and I am endlessly grateful.

Monday was fairly nice and we drove up the Umpqua River, again on Hwy 138 (Diamond Lake Hwy), but heading east this time.  We stopped at one section where Francesca has done some SCUBA diving and found this memorial.  Something terrible happened here.  It was obvious this man was well-loved and will be missed.

                                          The river is so low!

We motored on and took a hike up to Fall Creek Falls.  Oh. My. Gosh.  GORGEOUS hike on an easy trail (except for the dogs pulling like sled dogs 🙂 .  It was cool, damp, and everything was green. I could just picture the wood fairies scampering among the ferns.  The falls was beautiful too, but with much less water than normal, so it’s potential for spectacular will increase with an end to the drought.  A lot of the boulder strewn creek bed (BIG BOULDERS) was dry in places, but it was obvious that in a normal year there is a lot of water fighting for space there.

This photo below had us thinking about the Cascadian Fault (read about it HERE) and the fact it’s 50 years past it’s “due date” for a major earthquake.  If you read up on that, the potential for a catastrophic event that would devastate everything west of I-5 along Washington, Oregon, and part of California could happen at any time. 

Yes, the trail goes through these rocks.
 
 

Imagine the falls with maximum water plunging over the edge. 
 

On the ride back toward Roseburg, we made a quick stop at Colliding Rivers, where a river on the left, Little River, “collides” with the River on the right, the North Umpqua.  These photos do not do this place justice.   In the flood of 1964 the water here was FIVE FEET ABOVE the railing from which I took these photos.  It’s quite a ways down to the water…….. mind blowing.

 

It was a wonderful visit with a wonderful friend–and long overdue–and I truly hated to face having to come home.  I keep chanting to myself ‘one more year, one more year’ until the day the boys and I can take off on our traveling adventure full time.  I don’t like to wish the time away but………..

I mentioned at the beginning of this post about kicking back and doing some reading on Sunday morning.  Finishing the last book in Jane Kirkpatrick’s Kinship and Courage series leaves me with the question of what to do with these three books.  Yes, I could give them to the local library as I have done with many of my books, but I thought it might be nice to give them to one of you.  If you want these books please comment that you would like them and the first one to respond will get them.  We’ll work out the details of getting them to you later and keep your information private.  Here’s a synopsis of the books:

Published in early 2000, these books are historical fiction based on the true story of 12 pioneer women who lost their husbands to cholera and faced the 1800’s frontier on their own.  Their journey takes them from a wagon train heading west to California where some settle and some move on.  I particularly loved these books as the second and third in the series takes place in my own county, Shasta, and gives a good portrait of life in the mid 1850s town of what is now Old Shasta.  The third book takes place in both Old Shasta, south to Sacramento, and north to Jacksonville, Oregon.  Jane Kirkpatrick is an extremely talented writer. 

Thanks for stopping by Two Dogs.  Until next time, Shawna

FINALLY!


Yes, finally, a date was set for a trip north into Oregon to visit a friend in Roseburg. The Boys and I left Friday after I got the last of the items onboard Miss Freedom, heading north on Hwy 89 to merge onto I-5. If it had been summer we would have taken a more meandering, less traveled path, but it wasn’t and we didn’t. 

The trees that show color in the autumn were halfway between pretty and kind of dried up and dead looking. Pretty much half and half on most of the trees. The drought seems to have taken the life out of everything. Still, it was a nice drive. 

When we arrived in Roseburg and pulled into my friend’s driveway we were delighted to find Francesca’s neighbor had several maple trees in various stages of fall glory. And they were not showing signs of the drought.


Once the boys and I got settled in we waited for her to get home from her job then, of course, there was all that catching up to do. And we did a good job of that!

Saturday morning we planned a little day trip to Bandon-By-The-Sea, a jaunt of about 70 miles if you go the direct route, but we decided it was a lovely day to do a little sight seeing so we went via Hwy 138/38 to Elkton following the scenic North Umpqua River. Loved this carved pole, one of the four that decorated each end/side of the bridge across the river.


 We took in Fort Umpqua, a wonderful re-creation built with as many old techniques and skills as possible; pegs, hand-hewn timbers, etc.

The Monkey Puzzle Tree.  I’ve seen these around the coast and inland a ways before.  They always fascinate me. And the tips of the “leaves” are needle sharp!

At last we arrived in the quaint little town of Bandon and drove through “Old Town” and out where we could park and walk the beach. The wind was fierce and we did not get the photo of us we always take to document how we’ve grown, ummmm…….aged, but I did get a shot of the roiling surf and a sweet little pigeon who was either very confused about just what time of year it is or just plain crazy. She was perfectly content to just sit there on her basket nest watching the people come and go. Not sure which came first, the nest or the basket. I think she got some help from someone, what do you think?

A trip to Bandon is never complete without a stop at the Bandon Bakery for a cream puff so after a bite to eat at a local restaurant where we shared a table with a very charming Canadian and a local gentleman, we went straight for the puffs. Oh man. Heaven! I was good; only had one. :). I thoroughly enjoyed every last bit of it, and it wasn’t until I was savoring the last bite that I realized I hadn’t taken a photo of it. Oh well, probably a good thing I didn’t.  It might have been more than you could take.  Yes, they are that good!  🙂

Some local art.  And a sculpture made of garbage to bring awareness of the threat to wildlife, human life, and the eyesore garbage is to the environment. 


Despite the biting wind, we had a wonderful time and Burger and The Chiweenie Brothers were three very tired pups. Guess we were pretty tired, too, because I didn’t get a picture of the hounds!              

Sunday and Monday of our little getaway will be the focus of the next post. Thanks for stopping by!

Hugs, Shawna

LOOK UP! Tomorrow morning (and Friday) the predawn sky has a treat for you. Check it out HERE and scroll down. 

The Rest of the Story…at Upper Rush Creek

OH NO!  The other van is gone.  They must have been up and at ’em rather early.  At least earlier than we cared to be.  They were still there when I took the boys out for a quick potty run, but then we snuggled back under the blankets for a bit.  I should have been bold the previous night.  *sigh*.

The boys gobble their breakfast. I savor mine and linger over another cup of forbidden coffee.  Yeah, the doc wants me to give up the java, too.  I can cut down, but not sure I can quit altogether.  The meat and dairy are a cinch compared to that insult. 

Breakfast, second cups, and a little tidying done we go for a walk.  The boys must have slept well; they are raring to go and we head the way of campsite number 5.  Look at that!  This one has easy access to the creek.  I cut the walk short and we head back to our Vome, and I pack up. We snag number 5 and get settled in.  We again attempt a walk and make it a long one.  The boys are ready for a nap but change their minds once we walk down to the creek and I set up the tie outs.  They have access to the water and begin checking it out.  Charlie likes the water!  I doubt he has ever seen a creek, being a former city street dog.  You don’t know the story of my rescue pups, do you?  We’ll have to change that this winter. 

 Charlie
 
 Burger
 
Fries (from Small Fry).  Fries just goes so well with Burger, ya know?                           

Fries is curious as to why the other two are so fond of the water.  He’s not one to be cold, so he’s content to watch.

We do take a short nap after their romp in the creek, then another walk.  The air is scented with the smell of dry–very dry–pine, fir, and cedar.  As we finish our long, leisurely walk and are heading back to camp we hear a vehicle coming up the road.  It’s the Forest Service, and I wave as he slows down and passes us.  We catch up to him as he is finishing his inspection of the vault toilet. I comment on the fee being waived for this campground.  He says it’s because there is no water, but they are working on getting it repaired.  He tells me they were always running out of water in this campground and found out someone was stealing the camp’s water to irrigate their marijuana patch.  And they caught him!  For now they are considering the campground dispersed camping, hence no fee.  We chat a bit more and the nice gentleman heads out.  We head back to our spot by the creek and while away the rest of the afternoon.

Our view from the van

The air quickly turns cool as the sun goes down.  Although there is a fire ring and some firewood someone left, I do not build a fire.  It’s just too dry.  I know others do, but I just do not want to risk it.  We live in California, known for it’s wildfires, but we are in a four year drought on top of that.  Too risky for me.  We went through the hell of fires threatening our little town of Burney, burning homes in nearby Hat Creek and up on Day Road last year. They should forbid campfires here as they have in Oregon.  Too many careless people.  The devastation is not worth the comfort and ambience of a campfire at this time.  Just my opinion folks.  The boys and I stay out as long as we are halfway comfortable, go for another walks before we lose what light remains, then we head inside.

The evening is spent reading, studying the Benchmark Atlas for future trips, making lists, and watching a movie I downloaded onto the Kindle to view offline.  It’s an excellent, but sad, selection.  Rabbithole  if you are interested.

It was colder last night than on Tuesday night.  I had to grab for an extra blanket in the wee hours of the morning and you couldn’t get The Chiweenie Brothers out from under their warm, snug lair if you wanted to.  Burger isn’t one for  being undercover, thankfully, and he’s too big even if he did think it was his right.  He curls up into a ball on top of the covers and snores away.

It’s the usual morning routine of coffee, breakfast, and–um–more coffee.  I walked the boys earlier and staked them out so I could get packed up.  Everything is cleaned up and put away.  It didn’t take long.  We are ready to go, but I am not ready to leave.  I look over at the boys and Fries is worrying something.  I go take a peek.  A hedgehog!  Fries has a hedgehog!  No, not a real one, a stuffed one.  But he thinks it’s real and he is fierce in his determination to subdue this interloper.  Go Fries!   Funny the things you find.

Finally, I can put it off no longer and we must leave.  No real reason to actually have to be home, but there are things I need to get done and I don’t want to wait too long and end up being on the road after dark.  I grab the boys, take one last look around, and we are off. 

The scenery is pretty flat once we get back onto Highway 299 and head west toward home.  Lots of big and small farms and ranches in Big Valley;  some gorgeous and well kept, some dumpy but still alive, the effort put into the constant outside work not on the house. 

The leaves are turning!  I stop to take a couple of photos.

Just before we reached this pretty little scene, there were some metal sculptures that I wanted to photograph so I walked back from the only safe spot to park Miss Freedom to get them.  The boys waited patiently in our Vome

Thank you for stopping by Two Dogs.  Hugs, Shawna

 

Out and About For a Couple of Days

Hello blog Peeps!  The boys and I took off for a couple of days for, possibly, our last run of the season.  Hoping to still get one more in, but it all depends on work, the weather, the moon and the stars.  You get the idea.  If everything aligns we’re golden.  Speaking of the moon, the harvest moon is coming up this weekend. The Super Moon here

A dental appointment took up my Tuesday morning, and as I sat in the chair I kept thinking Miss Freedom wants to go somewhere.  Yes, yes she does.  Where would she like to go?  Oh I know, somewhere EAST because that is what comes to mind first.  OK, east it is. 

When I arrive home on this perfectly lovely, kind-of-on-the-hot-side late morning I grab my California Benchmark Atlas and choose Upper Rush Creek Campground just outside of the tiny little town of Adin, population 230 something.  I throw some things together, load up the waiting Miss Freedom and off we go.

The campground is a few miles east of Adin and two miles off Highway 299.  Once you get back there it’s heavily wooded with pines and cedars and true to its name Rush Creek tumbles and gurgles along one side of the loop of 10 campsites, ‘rushing’ to it’s unknown–to me–destination.

We choose site number 3 on the creek side, and I set up camp.  This consists of pulling out the backpacker stove, my anti-gravity chair, and the tie outs for the boys.  A pig-headed wire hair fox terrier and two rambunctious minds-of-their-own chiweenies can’t be trusted to stick around.  Oh they would come back, I am sure, but I am not into the stress and worry so they must stay prisoners of the camp.  Poor things.


I notice vault toilets and water spigots.  Glad to see they have water, but I am kind of a water snob and used to drinking the best dang water ever out of my own tap at home so I brought some.  The boys aren’t quite that discerning so they get creek water, and I take their bowl over to fill it up.  No water.  What the heck?  Well, it is getting on in the year, perhaps they have already shut it off for winter.  Glad I brought a couple of gallons; I’ll have to share my treasure with Burger, Fries, and Charlie. 

We are the only ones in this campground!  How nice!

The boys and I take a fast paced walk consisting of them pulling me along as fast as they possibly can; have to sniff and hike and pee on everything they possibly can.  It might disappear, you know! And we take a short siesta.  Short because I hear something skittering around outside the back side window.  The boys are sound asleep which is a good thing, because I want to see what it is.  Something catches my eye on the small pine just outside the window and I wait.  Just a few seconds later a sweet little furry face peeks around the tree staring at the van as if to say what the heck are YOU doing here?  It’s a Douglas squirrel, also known as the pine squirrel or chickaree, and he keeps circling the tree, hesitating every few inches on his way down the trunk until he reaches the ground.  When he gets there he just stares at the tire for a time and cautiously digs around on the ground before leaping about two feet up and onto the trunk and he is gone.  These are gorgeous little creatures with darker fur than a grey squirrel and smaller by half, and rusty red-to-orange fur on their bellies. 

I read several chapters in my book, the second in a three-book historical fiction series by Jane Kirkpatrick.  Excellent reads if you like that kind of novel. 

It’s time for dinner and I gather some twigs and pine needles and build a tiny fire in the backpacker stove to cook a veggie burger (doctor’s orders, no more meat.  Dang!) .

 It’s pretty darn good, actually, and I like that I can eat all the starches I want.  Starch, veggies, and fruit and this girl is already losing weight.  🙂 

The view from our table
 

The boys and I enjoy the rest of the dying light in our little slice of heaven by taking another walk.  It’s the last one of the day beside a quick before-bed pee run, then prepare to head inside our Vome where we settle in for the evening.  And guess what shows up?  Another van!  They park two spaces up in camp number 5.  It’s white, a cargo type vehicle, and has a pop up top!  Nice.  There’s a bicycle attached to the back bumper.  I am going to go say hi and be nosy in the morning.  I’d love to know if they are living in it, or just on vacation.  Something tells me this is their lifestyle. 

Goodnight all.  Hope you sleep as well as I know we will.  See you tomorrow with “the rest of the story”. 

Thanks for stopping by! If you enjoy my blog, please follow and comment below by clicking on the little comment  link that is below every post.  Email addresses are never published, nor are they ever shared.  Hugs, Shawna

 

Just a Few More Days and

it will officially be autumn.  The leaves are beginning to turn, and there’s a nip in the morning air. So hard to say goodbye to summer, but boy is it worth it when fall sneaks in.

Hello blog Peeps!  Thanks for stopping by.

It’s been awhile since I posted–life happens–but I have been super busy getting my health back and working on prepping for the colder months.  And…a little twisted ankle that resulted in a fall set me back a little, but it’s all good.  Could have broken something and I didn’t so I am very grateful!

There’s been minimal work done on Miss Freedom but there are PLANS being made.  Solar is going to happen before autumn bids us adieu so looking forward to that. Maybe one last trip before winter sets in.  I have a lead on a part-time job.  YIPPEEE.  Praying this works out; just going with the flow folks and taking life as it comes.

One thing that I want to make part of the blog is a little feature on astronomy.  When the boys and I “get out there” living the life I anticipate many evenings gazing at the sky.  I have always wanted to know more about the stars and planets and learn the constellations so let’s learn together.  What do you think?

To start it off here’s a little article  I found about why we have seasons and a lovely photograph by Manish Mamtani Photgraphy for you to enjoy.   It’s the same photo on the site, but that one is bigger and pretty darn spectacular along with other beautiful shots.  Enjoy!

 
 

 If you are an early riser, check out Venus in the east about an hour before sunrise tomorrow.  She will be her brightest. 

Elastomeric

Previous changes in our Vome are working well, and I will most likely leave everything as is for a few weeks–Baahahahahah! So what to do, what to do; I decided to tackle putting the Elastomeric coating on the top of  Miss Freedom’s roof for a little more comfort factor when the sun beats down on her. You know how hot vehicles can get, and a 15-20 degree difference in temperature is significant.
There is a perfectly designated area on the top of the fiberglass high top marked by a small “step” down toward the front of the van before the roof begins the very pronounced slope toward the windshield. I masked off the area  leaving a two inch border around the perimeter of the roof so the white Elastomeric cannot be seen unless you are really, really tall or hovering in a helicopter.  I was dreading the “skunk” look and doing the top in this fashion and not taking it all the way down the slope of the roof solved the problem.

Out comes the step ladder, roller, paint pan, open can of “goo” and I am ready to roll 🙂  Elastomeric is thick, like whipped cream, and there really is no danger of it dripping off the paint roller, but I still took a deep breath before I brought the roller up to the top of  Freedom’s roof and began the process.  I was more than tickled when I got that first coat on without any problems.  I let the first coat dry then rolled on another coat in the opposite direction as per instructions.  Thrilled to have this done!

One other tiny detail, but major factor in safety for Burger and The Chiweenie Brothers, was fixing the door lock and window button on the passenger side so when the boys want to stick their heads out the window they do not inadvertently step on one of those buttons and cause things to happen that shouldn’t happen. Some plastic rigid packing foam, double-sided carpet tape, and a piece of rubber mat cut to size did the trick.  No more worries about the window going up or down at a most inopportune time.  Enjoy the wind in your adorable furry faces boys!

Thanks for stopping by Two Dogs.  We appreciate your interest in our blog.
Hugs, Shawna

Rearranging the Back of Miss Freedom

Good day!  Thanks for stopping by Two Dogs.

This past couple of weeks have been busy. I spent several days working on our Vome. Van + Home = Vome. I stole this word from a fellow van dweller.  Don’t you just love it!  It’s perfect, isn’t it?

When the boys and I got back from our first little adventure I jumped right in to tackle those things I had made note of that I wanted to change.  Mostly it was re-organization but two of the main things I wanted to accomplish were moving the three drawer plastic storage unit from being secured along one of the side doors to having it backed against the bed, and doing something different with the storage area at the back of the van.

Moving that three drawer plastic unit  means I can once again open both side doors.  I realized this needed to be done that first night out when, after a full day in the sun, the van was sweltering inside and it wasn’t cooling down.  Being able to open both the side doors should make a big difference.

The second thing —doing something different with the back.  It was organized, but I didn’t like the way it looked.  I am not opposed to making do and  I make do quite often, but once home I experienced an epiphany. I removed one of the shelves from a four shelf plastic shelving unit I have in the sun room and replaced the board and mickey-moused  wood cube I had in the back supporting the plastic Sterlite drawer units that give me so much storage.  So it went from using this

( sorry, in my excitement I didn’t get a photo of  “before” You’ll have to use your imagination for how this looked with the drawer towers on it. and one shorty unit to support the right end of the board) To this

 It’s organized and looks good too, I think.  The area underneath the shelf will give me room for the two AGM batteries I will need for power storage from the solar panels, and because I bought portable panels, they will have to be stored when we are on the move. Their dedicated space will be right in front of this storage area. 

 DONE! DONE! AND DONE!  

Thanks for stopping by.  Happy Trails!  Hugs, Shawna