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



From Heber City we head north (is there another direction?? 🙂 to find and travel Hwy 150, the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway. We pass some beautiful country along the way.

The Jordanelle Reservoir and the river that feeds it.

Our 4-day visit along Hwy 150 from Kamas, UT to Evanston, WY is unbelievably breathtaking. High in the Uintah Mountains this Scenic Byway winds through three national forests.

We don’t travel far our first day as I was told by the clerk at the Forest Service office in Kamas that although the road is “officially”closed, the road is clear of snow, however, there are still patches of ice here and there, and if we choose to go on, they are not responsible. She suggests finding a camp within the next 13-14 miles and waiting until Monday to travel on.  This sounds good to me!

We find a dispersed campsite right off the highway, just 10 miles or so out of Kamas. Sounds awful, but this time of year traffic is sparse. This time of year in these high mountains, I don’t want to be way out back in the solitude of the forest with three days of storm predicted: 60%, 30%, and 30% respectively. Probably will amount to nothing, but why take the chance?

Yellow Pine dispersed campground has 8-10 campsites with a fire ring, some sites with shade, some in full sun.  The site I covet has already been taken, but we find a decent spot and settle in.

This Friday, May18, 2018 the weatherman is pretty much spot on. We arrive in partial sunshine, and I get the dogs staked outside while I make camp.

DSC_0008 (2) I roll out the mat that is used as our outdoor staging area, put all the extra water jugs on it along with the lounger then hop back in the van and have a bite to eat.

Belly happy I remember that I need to get the solar panel off the top of the hitch tray box and get it out where it will catch a few rays today. I had the vehicle-battery-to-house-battery plugged in while we were driving (thank you C. It’s awesome!!) and the house battery is fully charged by the time we arrive, but now it’s mother nature who will do the work of keeping it charged . . . as soon as the sun comes out again. Thunder is rolling. Time for all of us to nap, me thinks, and I bring the Chiweenie Brothers inside and they curl up straight away and close their eyes.

We awake to a brightening sky and honking Canada geese. The boys and I take a walkabout, and I snap a shot of the mountains across the way.

I can visualize what this looks like in the fall with the gold of the aspen shining bright against the green of the pines.  It’s hard to do Utah justice anywhere within her scenic places.

The wildflowers are beginning to bloom, and an attempt is made to get good shots against the pull of the wild wiener dogs  against their leashes and a camera that takes the same shots whether in landscape mode or close-up … yes, there are still problems, but thankfully it still works! Focus is iffy at times.

We have no cell or internet signal, so I read the rest of the afternoon. The evening is filled with a movie and a TV program selected from what I have downloaded to watch offline for just such occasions.

Goodnight! Hugs, Shawna

CURRENT READ:  Off Season by Anne Rivers Siddons.  An excellent book!


Fowler Falls Day Two

No matter how hot the days, nights this time of year usually cool down really well.  REALLY well.  Like into the low 40s.  The last two nights were no exception and even without a  roof top fan to cool Miss Freedom down during the day, by early morning hours it’s downright chilly.  I hurriedly took the boys out for their just-woke-up pee then we scrambled back into the van where Burger curled up in his front seat nest and The Chiweenie Brothers once again snuggled under the covers while I made some coffee.  The water was already hot as I had boiled some the night before and stored it in a Stanley thermos just to have an easy cup of joe while still stumbling around half asleep. After making coffee in the Melita, I too jumped back under the covers and read for a solid two hours before taking a little siesta. After that it was time to get up and get this day going.

We will have to head home, but not before checking out Upper and Lower Falls. I begin breaking camp, and the dogs need a longer walk than this morning’s offering. Things get packed up and put away, and the boys are raring to go.

A leisurely walk around our campground and the river trail is just what all of us need. The late morning air is warmer; soft and inviting.  This walkabout is where the boys really shine and show how well they are learning the lessons of not barking at certain times.  We stop often to take in the view of the river below us.  It’s so low!  California’s four year drought has taken its toll.

Click on photo(s) to enlarge

Once back at our campsite all that is really needed is to load ourselves up and go.  It’s hard to break away, but I do want to see the other two falls. I get the boys settled in the van, drop our garbage in the bin, and we are off.

It’s not far to Lower Falls.  It’s just as pretty as Middle Falls, but with a different flow pattern.  And it’s easy to see just how much water is NOT spilling over — it should have many, many more CFS than this, but still beautiful.

 Lower Falls

Nearby 14,179 foot Mt. Shasta

We head back the way we came in order to get to Upper Falls, another beauty with another, different look.  It is also evident here just how much more water should be flowing down the McCloud.  The drought has sucked away Mother Nature’s precious resource without putting anything back.

 time and force have worn holes into solid rock
Sadly, it’s time for us to head back home and dream about the next adventure. We head out toward Hwy 89 and head south, pointing Miss Freedom’s nose toward home.  

This is gorgeous country we are so fortunate to live in.  If you haven’t been to northern California —far northern California, come for a visit. You’ll be blown away.  As always, thanks for stopping by Two Dogs. 

Next week it’s back to the mundane; a post about the elastomeric I put on Miss Freedom’s roof.  🙂
Hugs, Shawna

Fowler Falls Adventure

The boys and I couldn’t stand it — we had to plan another camping trip.  This time we stayed a bit closer to home selecting Fowler Falls Campground about 40 miles north west of Burney off Hwy 89 near the town of McCloud.  Soon as Burger, Fries, and Charlie see certain items heading out the door they begin the excited happy dance :); well, maybe twirling and whirling around like demented little dervishes would be more accurate.  They do love to go! Me, too!

The Fowler Falls/Cattle Camp Campgrounds are no reservation, water, and vault toilet sites.  It’s a popular tourist area, but many just drive in to see the Lower, Middle, and Upper Falls never planning to camp, and there were lots of empty sites to select from. It’s also the week before school starts so I am sure that had something to do with it, too.  Very warm, sometimes too blasted hot, is normal for afternoons around these parts this time of year so we chose a site with plenty of lovely dappled afternoon shade. 

 Click photo(s) to enlarge

Despite our first outing through Lassen Park and on to Susanville (read about that HERE,) this one yielded even more insight on some things that need to be changed, things that need to be added, or things that can be left home.  I will be changing how I pack the Cube Cooler, changing up the storage drawers to make things more convenient, as well as putting my cooking items in a different spot.  The anti-gravity chair is going to stay home. I need to find one of those old fashioned webbed chairs to haul around instead.  I have never been very comfortable in the big lounger, it bothers my neck.  If I need to put my feet up I will find something from nature to use.

The boys and I hiked the short, 1/2 mile trail to Middle Falls

This trip was also an excellent opportunity for the boys to get in some more socialization practice.  My little Charles Barkley is a former street dog who had a broken jaw, and he’s not used to other dogs coming near “his” area. Some people are given the stay away message, too. He lets them know when he doesn’t care for their demeanor. He’s learning there’s a time for the alarm, and a time he needs to be quiet. Slow progress, but he is learning.  Burger, the stubborn wire hair, eggs him on.  Charlie had never seen a deer either I am sure, so he was pretty freaked out when one tried to creep through the trees and through camp to get down to the water.  All in all though they weren’t too terribly bad, and our last day there yielded some really good behavior from him and the other two who are also rescues with varying degrees of abuse problems to work through. They all made progress in those areas this trip.

I couldn’t wait to try out the backpacker’s stove I bought a while back.  Looks like I need a bit more practice with it; it got a lot hotter than I anticipated, and I burned the hot dogs on one side and they weren’t cooked enough on the other.  The fuel used was small twigs. Burger and The Chiweenie Brothers didn’t mind the charred parts of the samples they received, though 🙂 —keep ’em coming mom!

Next morning’s breakfast eggs were cooked using a cast iron skillet and canned fuel.  It took longer than anticipated to cook, but the heat was more even.  And I was so happy to have a decent meal I forgot to take a photo.

 Part Two of our Fowler Falls Adventure coming up tomorrow
We  leave you with a shot of the McCloud River (it’s really just a little creek now) meandering sweetly toward Lower Falls.

Thanks for stopping by Two Dogs!  Hugs, Shawna