Heceta Head Lighthouse

August 16 — After spending almost a couple of weeks in and around Waldport, OR we once again travel south. My quest to photograph the lighthouses of the Oregon coast will be one lighthouse closer to accomplishment after our stop at Heceta Head.

It’s a gorgeous day, mostly sunny with no wind, and the Chiweenie Brothers and I enjoy the short hike it takes to get to the lighthouse.  The lightkeeper’s house is down the hill from the lighthouse.  Photos of the big house did not turn out, but a shot of it shows up on the informational sign. I encourage you to Google information on this lighthouse as it has some interesting history.

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In addition to the big house down the hill, there are living quarters attached to Heceta Head Lighthouse also.  Space was tight and made it impossible to get everything in the photo.

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Building attached to the lighthouse

Anyone care to guess what this is?

Concrete mounting blocks at Haceta Head Lighthouse

Thanks for stopping by!  The Boys and I love having you along for the ride!  Hugs, Shawna

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.

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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.

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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.

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Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel! Hugs, Shawna

 

 

Baker City and The Burn

After five days at our sweet little camp off Hwy 244 beyond the little town of Ukiah, Oregon, we head east to La Grande. The only appeal this city has for me is their dog park at Riverview Park. The Chiweenie Brothers are treated to two different play times on Sunday, July 8th and another romp the next morning. The weather is warming up and it’s quite a complex decision on which way to go from here. Mileage. Elevation. The availability of shade. All play a factor, and I spend a very warm afternoon making that decision.
Tuesday morning, July 10th, I bounce out of bed just before sunrise, the boys get a quick walk to relieve themselves, and we are on the road by 6:00 a.m. heading southeast toward Unity. The boys are excited to be on the road, Fries doing his usual front-paws-on-the-dashboard thing when he’s excited about going somewhere. It’s only a hundred miles, but it’s twice as long as our usual driving days are. I nose Freedom onto I-84 and we head to our halfway point, Baker City.

Sticking to today’s “It’s a Wild Wiener Dog Day” (a nice ride, the dog park, McD’s) we head directly to the dog park. Waggers going ninety, the Chiweenie Brothers are beside themselves with this delightful surprise. And …. They have the place to themselves. After about an hour of running, wrestling, and hiking (of legs), I load them up and head to McD’s for a large coffee and a sausage biscuit to share, and we are on the road to our destination, Unity, Oregon.

I follow the GPS’ directions which takes us down Main Street into the historical section. I had no idea what we would find and am dismayed that I am not prepared for the historic old buildings here. I am oooing and awwwing and totally forget about photographs.

Once out of town we drive through a beautiful valley DSC_0043 Oregon Hwy 7 Valley Floor after coming down off Dooley Mountain

and then onto Hwy 7 and into the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.  It’s a two-lane, tortuous, snaking road of about 25 miles with a speed limit the same, and it takes us for a climb before throwing us downhill through what is left of the forest after the Rail Fire swept through here in 2016.

What’s left is terrible and fascinating at the same time. The recovering undergrowth of grass and bushes is lush and green,  the blackened skeletal remains of the burned trees jut upward toward a brilliant blue sky.

Although a terrible tragedy it is interesting to see the underbelly of a forest now gone. It allows one to see just how rugged and steep this mountain range really is, and seeing the road ahead in places where it twists and turns, actually makes for a very interesting drive.

DSC_0047Hwy 7 Fries looking out the window in burn


As we come out of the mountains we travel along the irrigated green valley with some interesting old barns. We’re still a ways from our destination, but the drive is lovely, taking us through some bald, rolling hills; an interesting backdrop to the lush green of the valley.

DSC_0053one of the old buildings along Hwy 26 in Oregon

 

To be continued …

Thanks for stopping by! Hugs, Shawna

 

Couer d’Alene Rails to Trails

After our overnight in Cabin City we motor out of Montana and into Idaho. The town of Smelterville has a Walmart that allows overnight stays so we do.

On the second day it’s apparent that it’s time to do laundry AGAIN and an internet search tells me there is a laundromat in Pinehurst, just up the road.  I plug in the address and we are westward bound toward this cute little town … but there is no laundromat here any longer.

As we had back to Smelterville I spy with my travelling eye (catchy, no?) a sign for the Couer d’Alene River Trail. This would be a nice place to spend the afternoon and walk the boys!  We find a spot along the edge of the parking lot so we can have the side doors open while we grab a bite to eat, then we head out.

The paved trail follows the Couer d’Alene River and the old railroad tracks for 70+ miles! Walkers, joggers, and bicycle riders are out in force on this beautiful, sunny day.  Recumbent bikes are thick as herds of cattle. They look fun and comfortable.

My photo of the board showing the trail and telling the story about it did not turn out, but you can read about it HERE .  Teamwork!

Thanks for stopping by!

 

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. 

The Idaho side of the Grand Tetons

As we drive away from Palisades Reservoir we take Hwy 31 to Victor where I pick up my forwarded mail then we head north to the town of Driggs and begin looking for a spot to stay.

About Victor ID

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The Grand Tetons are even more amazing from the Idaho side.

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The Grand Tetons from the Idaho side
The Grand Tetons as seen from Swan Valley in Idaho

We end up in a boondock in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. Our camp in this national forest ends up being a one-night stand as there are many mud puddles from recent rain and although they are drying up many remain with standing water.  Those remaining must be teeming with mosquitoes because we practically get eaten alive.  The air is so thick with the buzzing blood suckers that I can vacuum them up with my little portable vacuum cleaner.  The poor Chiweenie Brothers spend a too warm night under a light blanket, but still suffered many bites.

On the way out of our camp I spot these butterflies enjoy some refreshment at one of the dryer areas

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From Driggs, ID we take Hwy 33 toward Rexburg where we will hit a Walmart to get supplies and gas up the green beast.  It is a beautiful drive through  potato farming country in the Swan Valley, the seed potato capital of the world.

No overnight at the Wally in Rexburg, so we head on toward Ashton where I plan to do laundry.  The laundromat is easy to find, but it’s been a long day, and I just don’t have the energy to tackle that chore.

I take Hwy 47, finding a dispersed camp site again within the Caribou Targhee  National Forest–also loaded with mosquitoes–and we spend a too-warm, restless night with the windows rolled up. Tomorrow we visit Mesa Falls.

Thanks for stopping by! Hugs, Shawna

Montpelier, ID

May 24, 2018, with Montpelier ID as our intended destination, we head north on Hwy 30 and leave Wyoming behind.

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Along the way we stop in several places to read information at the kiosks provided. Hwy 30 is part of the Oregon Trail where early emigrants, mostly from Missouri, traveled by wagon train to get to Oregon and California. At this particular stop the descent from the BIG HILL was described as being the worst of the whole 2000 mile journey.

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We travel through some beautiful ranching country.

We get to Montpelier and the hunt begins for the dog park that is here. The boys need some free run time and I especially want to find this particular park as it was the senior project of a local high school girl. There is no address, just the name of the road, Adams. I plug that into the GPS and we are taken on ride out of town, around a loop named Sharon, and finally out into what is a housing area, and then onto a dirt road. Twelve miles out I see this going nowhere I want to be, and I turn the van around. Sorry guys. SOOOOO happy I didn’t mention the D.P. words!!! They know the difference. I’m learning.
As we get back into town I notice a sign advertising that Butch Cassidy robbed a bank here. That devil gets around! Last I heard his name was back in Circleville, UT!! We’re not stopping.
We do stop at a convenient spot, however, to check ice. There’s still a big chunk, and I want to see just how well the new little cooler will actually hold ice so … I read over the directions to our next probable camp and we head out.

The Montpelier Reservoir

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is located right off the highway, and by the way we are back on 89, and we find a nice little spot by the overflow spillway.  Lots of room to walk the Chiweenie Brothers and some lovely grass for lying in the sun.  They won’t even miss the dog park I couldn’t find!

We only spend two nights here.  The intention was to spend all of Memorial Day Weekend here and be off the highways, but not all of this gypsy life is moonlight and roses.  There’s partying going on at the other end of this parking area, but we don’t hear much of it, however, someone takes exception and a sheriff shows up.  A trailer that had been parked but unoccupied for the two days we are here is suddenly gone.  A woman–a very gleeful look on her face–begins backing HER trailer into that vacated spot.  I think we have the unhappy camper right here with us now.

Later in the afternoon someone, who apparently knows the unhappy-but-soon-happier camper, pulls their huge travel trailer right in front of us, and I do mean right in front of us. All I can see out of Freedom’s windshield is their trailer’s slide out.  UGH!   By Saturday morning the area is so packed full of people one cannot step outside without being in someone else’s camp.  We are out of here.

Back to the town of Montpelier we go to get an internet signal so I can do research on where to head for a camp.  KOA is real close, but they want $35 for a dry camp.  Nope, not going to happen.  I remember a campground just beyond KOA called Montpelier Canyon and with nothing else close by and a tentative  direction to head if it is full we head back up the way we came.

Driving into the campground I am delighted to discover not only are there several spots available, there is a site, fairly secluded, along a chattering creek, and the cost is only $10 per night, half that for us old folk.  And here we stay until Monday morning.

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Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs!

 

CAMP AMENITIES

Water: No                    Garbage: No
Bathrooms: Vault       Electricity: No
Tables: Yes                   Shower:  No
Fire Pit:  Yes                 BBQ: No
# of Sites:  15                Fee: $10 per night, $5 with senior pass
Other:  Not all sites are shaded, and the campground is right next to the highway although I didn’t find the traffic bothersome.  Sites are small, and probably only a couple of them will accomodate a real large travel trailer, probably not a motorhome. Most sites have enough shrubbery and aspen trees to give a very descent amount of privacy between sites.  I lucked out and even had privacy from the road through the campground.