Airstream Time

Exploring North America in an Airstream

Posts from the ‘Oregon’ category

Brookings to White City to Lakeview

October 30, 2017

Heading back home, across the country, we left Brookings and drove through the Redwoods National Park on our way to Grant’s Pass and on to White City. 199 is a beautiful drive along the Smith River. My new Pickup Pack was leaking water badly, so I called Highway Products to see if they could help. They very efficiently recaulked the sides while we ate a quick sandwich. I got a chance to talk with Steve, who guided me on the Rogue River twice. I sure hope I can get back here to fish with him again. Now we were in the “going home mode”, trying to make miles. Unfortunately, we went the wrong way for 30 minutes and had to backtrack.

It’s another beautiful drive from Medford, Oregon to Klamath Falls. We considered going up to Crater Lake, but one road was closed, it was cold and winter was coming. We didn’t want to get caught in the Rockies when it is snowing. Martha pointed her arm straight forward and on we went.

We made Lakeview by late afternoon, checking into Base Camp RV Park. It is run by a nice couple and was a good stop with a beautiful sunset.

The Oregon Coast

October 28, 2017

We drove north from Umpqua Lighthouse Campground to Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area. I had been there in July and liked it very much. It is a beautiful area with the creek running through and the river across the street. Little hills with changing leaf colors were shrouded with fog. Ducks, geese and egrets love this place, and why not? We didn’t see elk at the main viewing area, but I could have shot pictures of ducks and geese all morning, but driving to the north end, we found a surprising group of all bulls. Maybe the big bull has already kicked them out.

On the way back we stopped at a bakery with lots of cars parked outside. It was a happening little spot where people were lined up to get coffee and some of their many pastries, donuts and cookies.

As we came back through camp, we stopped at a Silver Streak trailer. A lady was outside, so we got out and chatted a bit. Martha was her name, and she was worried about finding a sports bar to watch the big game. “What game is that”? we asked. “The Ohio State/Notre Dame game”. She and Bob are from Ohio, but have been traveling west for a while. Bob’s brother gave him the trailer, which was produced for years by a former Airstream employee. We told them D&D Pub where we had gone the night before. They gave us a tour of the trailer, which was very cool.

Then we hooked up and headed south on 101. Although I had driven it the other direction in the summer, It was a different perspective in a different direction on a foggy day. It is an incredibly beautiful drive, and hard not to stop at every pull-over, picnic area or state park. Oregon has done a magnificent job of preserving the entire coast. We drove the Scenic Coastal Loop through Bandon, stopping for lunch where the Coquille River meets the ocean. Ducks were feeding frantically right in front of the trailer while geese and a kingfisher flew about. Seagulls sat and watched the happenings while a crashing surf pounded a jetty.

We stopped in beautiful places along the way. I love the scenery in misty fog. Harris Beach Campground in Brookings was surprisingly busy for this time of year. It was a weekend, and a pretty one at that. We found a nice site, but it was one of those days when I found it difficult to back into the spot without 19 maneuvers. Martha was just shaking her head. I decided I should go into town and get some wine. Fred Meyer grocery store had a great selection with good prices. A few other odds and ends and back to camp for dinner and a little reading.

 

AM Solar and Highway 101

October 27, 2017

The solar system has not been performing right since we had a power problem back in August. I called AM Solar in Springfield, Oregon and talked to a technician named Mitchell. We agreed the best way was to bring it in. I was delighted they could see me. I didn’t think it was a big problem, but it needed reprogramming. AM Solar is the leading center for solar, and I have read a lot of information on their website.

Mitchell met us at 9:00 and quickly reprogrammed some things. He was so quick, I couldn’t follow what he did, but he explained a lot of things, and I understand a few more things about how to manage the system. Mitchell and his team helped write the software that manages the system. He gave me his card saying I could call any time. Whew, what a nice, professional team they have, and so nice to have another contact when I need help!

We headed west to Highway 101 on the Oregon coast, stopping at the Visitor’s Center in Florence. We got some good information on the coast. Next door is a good seafood store where we got a great cup of clam chowder and some canned tuna. I wanted to go north to Hecela Lighthouse. It is such a gorgeous spot that I had quickly passed in July. A beautiful bridge was built in the 30’s in the Roman aqueduct design. A sea lion area is just around the corner, where we spotted some from the cliffs above.

Heading back south past Florence, we went to Umpqua Lighthouse Campground. Camp hosts, Liz and her husband, met us in front of the sign-in board, telling us the available sites. We chose a good site and went back up to pay. Liz gave us a lot of information about the area, including a bar in Winchester Bay that serves the best oysters around. They are farm-raised in Triangle Bay, washed by fresh Pacific waters every day. A beer and oysters sounded good, so off we went.

I ordered fried oysters and Martha Oysters Rockefeller, both of which were great. We were so lucky to find great company. The couple at the table behind us were Liz and Larry, farmers from Quincy, Washington. Liz was just a trip, telling all kinds of stories. Then Kent pulled up to the bar next to us and asked the very busy server/bartender/waitress to put on the world series game. Well, good company and conversation, good food and a good baseball game, what more can you ask for? Kent is a paramedic who travels around the state teaching courses. He had some good stories, particularly about dentists using Ketamine on drug users who were compromised. Liz talked about farming and corporate farming today. They come here frequently, and they also like Montana, going to different towns each time they go. She loves farmer’s markets as well as going to music events. They like to crab here. Although they hadn’t caught a lot, they caught enough to eat. “What more can you ask for? It’s just like farming”.

I had to have at least a little time to read my book, so we went back to camp thankful for another good day.

Too Hot! Move to The Coast

Thursday, August 3, 2017

It was 112 degrees at Valley of the Rogue Campground yesterday afternoon. Oppressive, horrible heat. The campground was thinning out. A gentleman next door came over to see the pickup pack. They are from Arizona and came up to escape the heat. His wife is from Grant’s Pass, so they know the area, and were visiting family. Now they figured they might as well go back home.

I packed up and headed out. Cursing at the nearly worthless GPS in the truck, I set the iPhone for Ludlum Campground in the National Forest about 15 miles from Brookings. I studied a couple of campgrounds in town, but they were packed like sardines. I set out through Grants Pass, picking up Rt. 199 west. It wound through the mountains and dipped into California following the Smith River. This is a gorgeous river, although dry and relatively low. There are apparently a lot of rivers in this area. I might have fished this, although it is heavily traveled, being the only road going through here.

I whizzed past Redwoods National Forest before I could think about stopping. It wasn’t going to be so far from the campground, and I wanted to be sure I could get a spot. I turned on 101 north toward Brookings and turned right on Winchuck Road. It follows a beautiful stream with pretty houses lining the road. I will have to go back and get some pictures. Then a left turn on a dusty gravel road, which I had read about. About a mile up the road, a truck pulled over to let me pass. He looked at me like I was crazy, and I thought I might be. There might not be a place to turn around if this didn’t work. The iPhone ran out of service, but amazingly still gave me perfect directions. It’s a tiny campground with only 7 sites and a camp host. The circle through the campground was small, but I could get through. I got out and looked at one empty spot, but didn’t think I could get in. #7 was empty, and I thought I could squeeze in there. The trouble was there was no room to swing the truck out to he right. I was going back and forth when a nice guy came over to help. After about 8 times of starting and restarting, I made it. I shook hands and thanked Cody from Louisiana. He is camped across from me and presently out of work. He came back to borrow my trash can to wash his clothes in. There is a big water pump on the corner. He was fired from his last job for criticizing the boss. A sociology major, he has been traveling and looking for work. A $10 campground helps stretch what little money he has left. He said he would move on Monday, as it is really hard to find a campsite on the weekends.

I settled in, walked around the campground and took a look at the stream. It is probably fishable, though low and crystal clear. It was a delightful 65 degrees. Since there is no cell service, I tried the InReach, but it couldn’t get anything either. I needed to tell Martha where I was, so I drove into Brookings. It’s a small harbor town with 6,500 people. I stopped at the harbor to look at all the boats. Steve said the harbor is loaded with sardines. The boat harbor was loaded with dead sardines. As I drove a road along the river on the south side, seagulls were munching something, sardines I suppose. I looked for a place to get down, but couldn’t find one. I drove up the north side with the same result. There are lots of campgrounds, some very fancy. All were full. I was lucky to have a spot – a great spot!

I drove all around town, trying to find a seaside or harbor-side place to get a beer or glass of wine, but couldn’t find it. There was an Irish pub that was full, but it was right on the main road. Driving north of town, I found a Harris Beach State Park and went it. The nice campground with generous sites was full. There is a beautiful beach below. Huge rock islands dotted the bay. People were walking the beach, laying in the sun and building things out of driftwood logs washed up on the beach. Pelicans and other birds perched content on one island. Probably had their fill of sardines. I took a few pictures and texted Martha.

Heading back into town, I stopped to call Kelly. He was going to call me, but since I had no service, I thought I should let him know. He has lined up some guides for our fishing trip in 2 1/2 weeks, and reserved some campgrounds. He also booked two guided trips, and was very excited about fishing in Montana on the way to pick up the girls.

As I hung up, I noticed I was in front of a pretty big post office. I checked to see if I could find WIFI, but there was none. I searched for a library on the phone. It was one mile away. Nice library! With a fishing section! Steve corrected me on my post and I wanted to change it. There are no Dolly Varden on the Rogue. They were cutthroat. A very pretty librarian, who didn’t want to talk to me, showed me the WIFI password that was tied around a little bear statue. I corrected my mistake and quickly read emails, then asked the cordial lady where the fishing section was. She asked what kind of fishing. Um, all kinds. “Look in 799 in the tall stacks.” There were some interesting books. The hiking and kayaking sections were just to the left. I would have to come back and explore, perhaps on a rainy day.

It took about 25 minutes to get back to camp. I was startled by a big elk cow standing beside the small road. She was startled too, and scurried back down the bank toward the river. I love my campsite, surrounded by tall ferns, it seems secluded. A little raised flat area behind me with a massive picnic table and fire pit. I’m on for four days. Steve might not come for another week, and I would love to fish with him again for salmon in the bay just off shore, but there is so much to see and do.

Lost Creek Lake

July 24, 2014

There are two Lost Creeks and they are appropriately named. Neither had any water in them, or I could not find an access to the one on the east side of the lake. Lucky I didn’t. Loggers were working above it. Way up on the top of a vertical mountain right above the stream. Let one of those trees go and you are done for! It was fun to explore the area in the morning. By the middle of the day, it gets too hot for much activity. Too hot, too much dust, I washed the truck and returned to the trailer. Think I’ll head back to Collier State Park.