Crater Lake

I know I said I didn’t think I would be able to do any blog postings here at Crater Lake RV Park, in Prospect Oregon. But we were finally able to get logged into the free WiFi they offer here, and even though it is really, really, SLOW, it’s free, and presents an “opportunity” for me to practice patience.

I read somewhere that you should never pray for patience, because then God will send you many, many, challenges in your life, to help you learn patience. Unfortunately, for me…, I didn’t read that until I had already prayed for many years for patience. That said, I do have my limits on how much patience I can endure. So I will keep my postings short and sweet due to the fact that I could do a load of laundry while I’m waiting for my pictures to load..

Anyway, we arrived, and are all settled into our lovely campsite for the next six weeks.  Surrounded by lots of big shade trees, and parked right next door to one of several camp hosts here in the privately owned RV Park. I met the owner of this adorable RV Park this morning when I was taking my walk. We chatted it up for a while, and she told me if we ever want to come here and spend the summer hosting for her, she would love to have us. She said her hosts work one day on, and three days off…one on, and three off… Sounds pretty sweet to me, and if we were ever going to come back this way for a summer we would look into taking her up on her offer. Great way to see this beautiful area with free space, free full hook-ups, free propane, and even free Dish TV… Sweet deal!

 

After we finished getting settled in this morning, we couldn’t wait to go and see Crater Lake, which is only 30 miles from our campsite. OMG! It is everything we have been told it would be and MORE! I’ve never seen a lake with that color of blue water. The next two pictures are what I decided to keep out of 22 pictures I took. I will make one of them my background picture for my FB page.

After a quick view of Crater Lake, we stopped by the Visitor Center to find out about boat trips to the island in Crater Lake. You can fish for free in Crater Lake, but it is another 700 ft hike down to the lake, and of course the same distance to get back up after your finished fishing… And, don’t forget you have to carry all your fishing gear down to the lake, and back up again, not to mention that 20 plus pound big fish you are going to catch… And, the only rule is you can’t clean fish at the lake. You have to pack them out and clean them at home… After the 700 ft. up/down hill hike Bill and I just completed at Mirror Lake, we are still pondering if we are up to this next 700 ft. challenge. More on that later

On the way home, we stopped by an adorable little ice cream shop “Cones and More” Bill “took one for the team” again, and tried their ice cream. And, right next door is a little restaurant that has been in that family since 1922. We will go there for breakfast or lunch sometime soon.

In the yard between the ice cream shop and the restaurant, which is owned by the same family, along with the country store and B-B-Q smoker across the street…, is this HUGE chair and end table. Big enough for the Jolly Green Giant to sit in. Of course I had to have Bill take a picture to show this off. He said all you need now is a BIG glass of wine to match the chair and end table…  Well, OK, I guess I’ll take one for the team…  bring it on.. Good thing I didn’t have any wine, because it was harder getting out of that huge chair than it was getting into it. Ha!  🙂

LOVE it here, and can’t wait to explore all this area has to offer.

Stay tuned!

 

Lavender Field And Blueberry Patch

Oh my, my, my, what a lovely, fun-filled day Bill and I enjoyed yesterday. We took a drive to a beautiful lavender field near Mt. Hood. Bill and I have never been to a lavender field, and it was a real treat for the senses.

When you arrive at this lavender field, you are greeted by this adorable little purple farm stand that just begs you to sit a spell and take in all the beautiful lavender aroma. Inside the building are lavender products of every kind. Soaps, body mist, bunches of dried lavender, bath bombs, lip balm, etc. I could stand in that little shop all day just taking in the smell of lavender.

 

Then we made our way out into the lavender field… So, so, beautiful. Bees were very busy, busy, busy, but not one of them paid any mind to me taking pictures all around them.

The green, tree-covered hills, surrounding the lavender plants, and the smell of lavender in the air, just make you feel like you are in a dream…

We didn’t know that there are several varieties of lavender plants. Some are almost white in color, and each has a very unique scent.

We finally had to tear ourselves away from the lavender field, and made our way to a “u-pick” blueberry patch. Bill and I had never picked blueberries before, and we are so glad we stopped and had this experience. This blueberry patch had three different types of blueberries, each tasting different. We sampled a few of each type and decided on the taste we liked best.

We started off picking the blueberries one by one. Then, we very quickly learned the fastest way to pick blueberries is to put your hand under a big bunch and roll them very gently between your fingers…

And, in no time at all we had our bucket almost full. YUM!

We stopped and had lunch, then made our way down to the edge of the Columbia River Gorge, to watch the activity on the water, and the cars going across the toll bridge over to Washington State.

Another day of “firsts” for Bill and I here in Oregon.

Stay Tuned!

 

 

Florence, Oregon

Today was a picture perfect day here at Bullards Beach State Park and surrounding areas. It stopped raining, the sun came out for a visit, and blessed us with blue skies…

Well, when that happens, it didn’t take long for Bill and I to get the “big picture”, and take advantage of every beautiful day we have here, especially when one falls on our day’s off…

 

So off we went, to visit the lovely, quaint, little town of Florence, Oregon.

 

 

 

We are on a quest to sample clam chowder, and fish and chips, from various areas along the Oregon coast while we are here. Last week we had some folks come into the lighthouse while we were working our shift, and they told us if you want “really good claim chowder” you must go to Mo’s, in Florence.. Well OK… Mo’s it is…

Both Bill and I had the fish & chips that came with a cup of clam chowder.

In all honesty, it was just OK. Both Bill and I agree, that so far… (and we have only been here 17 days), Captain Jack’s Crab Shack in Charleston, has the best clam chowder, and Bandon Fish Market, has the best fish and chips… But, hey we still have six weeks to explore many more good seafood eats in and around Bullards Beach State Park.. 🙂

Lunch didn’t meet our expectations, but it was well worth the beautiful drive to visit this pretty little town.

Stay tuned!

Destination, Cape Arago State Park, Oregon

Today Bill and I took a short, little day trip, outside of the park. Our destination was, Cape Arago State Park, here in Oregon. But first, we just had to stop off at Cap’n Jacks Crab Shack in Coos Bay. We read about this little place on-line, and wanted to see for ourselves if it was as good as it is advertised to be…

 

When we arrived, at 12:00 noon today, Cap’n Jack himself was just opening the door and welcomed us in.

And when I say Cap’n Jack, that is for real… He actually, owns the place, and he is the Captain of the fishing boat that goes out to catch a lot of the seafood that supplies a lot of local restaurants. He has his own boat, and a full crew. We know that for sure, because while we were there, several other restaurant owners, that surround Cap’n Jacks ,came in to put in their orders for the next week…

The next picture is of what Cap’n Jack told us is a rock crab. He said when it’s in the ocean it looks just like a rock..

And of course, they have fresh crabs for sale in their showcase for you to purchase and take home to cook..

Bill/Bro had a clam chowder bread bowl that he said was the best HE ever had, even better than what we had in San Francisco.

I had the fish tacos, Yum, Yum, but only because they said crabs would not be ready for a while, and we wanted to get on our way…

After lunch, we stopped off at Sunset Beach, to check out the tide pools. We were able to collect some feathers on the beach, but we were not able to really get to the tide pools. Or at least we didn’t see how we could get there…

Moving on, we made our way to Cape Arago State Park. Oh, my, it was just breathtaking to Bill and I. I talked to our daughter, Shantel, who is totally blind, on the phone today, and tried to explain what all we saw today, and of course, as her mother, it always brings tears to my eyes when I see this kind of beauty, and know I don’t really have the words to help her understand what she can’t see..

We could hear the sea lions barking, barking, barking, from these rocks… But I couldn’t get a close enough picture, because some of this area is closed off due to sea-lion pupping season..  When I told our daughter, Shantel ,about the sea lions, she wanted to know if we could pet them… It’s just so hard to explain what we see, and what she never will..

Driving home we took the “seven devil’s” road. It was beautiful as well…

Another beautiful day. Another reason Bill/Bro and I are so thankful to be here… And, I’m still being told… “you ain’t seen nothing yet”…

Stay Tuned!

Bandon Oregon

After Bill and I attended 10:30 a.m. Mass this morning in Bandon, we went to try a fish & chip place our supervisor, Ranger, Patrick, told us about in Bandon, called the Bandon Fish Market.

 

This is a tiny little place with only about five tables inside and some benches on the outdoor patio. There is a constant line of people, that wraps around the building, waiting to get in to order their baskets of fish etc. When we saw all the people Bill and I were hoping this was going to be as good as Patrick told us it was, and it was!

Bill and I love fish and chips, and we both agreed that this was some of the best we’ve ever had. YUMMERS! They give you huge portions, six pieces of fish, and a seemingly bottomless box of fries, as well as coleslaw or garlic toast on the side. It was delicious, and we will definitely go back for more sometime.

After lunch, we walked around Old Town Bandon. What an adorable little place it is. We visited this little shop that is attached to Tony’s Crab Shack.  We asked the man behind the counter to tell us about the crabbing pots (big wire basket looking things stacked in the front of the store), they have for rent outside the shop, and about the crabbing season. He explained that in the summer, usually towards the middle or end of summer, is when the larger male crabs come in towards the pier, and are more readily available for catching in the pots. He said there is a size limit and you have to release anything that isn’t the right size… He said you can purchase a crabbing license, rent a pot(s) and go crabbing right off the pier behind the store. And when you catch your crabs, Tony’s Crab Shack will even cook them up for you if you don’t want to take them home and cook them yourself.. How cool is that?

 

This little shop also sells every kind of colorful whirly things you can imagine.

All up and down the pier you can find all sorts of interesting boat dock related things to explore.

And, they have all sorts of wood carved figurines placed all around the pier as well.

In the middle of the pier, they have an enclosed area with all kinds of unique wood carved furniture.

This weekend the pier was also showcasing a local grade school’s art work project.

There were sea gulls flying overhead, and I was hopping one would drop a feather or two, because I’m trying to find some feathers from different kinds of birds for my frister who needs them for some of her special art projects. So far no luck…but I keep looking…

The streets of Old Town Bandon are lined with one of a kind little shops, and all the stores seem to be adorned with the most beautiful flowers.

If the men folk get tired of shopping with the ladies… they even have special waiting areas outside the shops just for them…

It was a really fun day exploring the Old Town Bandon area. Before we left, I did purchase a colorful three tiered whirly wheel to decorate our little campsite yard. Now, if I had about six more colorful whirly things to place around our campsite, we might look like we fit in with all the other camp hosts that come here every summer.. Ha! I did find a really cool, colorful windsock that said “Happy Hour” on it, but I wasn’t about to pay $24.00 for a windsock. Nope, I’m just as happy with my colorful little whirly wheel.

Just before we were ready to leave Bandon, I stopped in the restroom, and captured this note someone wrote on the inside of the restroom door.. While I don’t think it’s at all nice to write on anyone’s property, since it was already there, I thought it was a nice thought, and so I will leave you with it too..

Stay Tuned!

Batter Up!

For a homemade catfish dinner.

Our daughter, Shantel, and her best friend, Jaz, love, love, love, catfish.  And oh, my, Shantel, papa and I made some this week that was melt in your mouth good.

We soaked some fresh catfish in buttermilk,

coated the fish in cornmeal mixed with some flour, Old Bay seasoning, and some other  ingredients specific to our taste, which I’m sure it will be to your liking as well. Then we pan-fried it up to a golden brown.

Of course we served it up with some fresh-baked, homemade, cornbread that had to be served with butter and honey..

And the meal wouldn’t be complete for us, without some homemade coleslaw…so, so, good. I’m sure you and Jaz would also like some mac and cheese with this as well, but papa and I were fine with just the coleslaw.

When we get back to Arizona, papa and I will for sure make this for you and Jaz.

Stay Tuned!

Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Today Bill and I visited Dead Horse Ranch State Park. This is a beautiful park nestled in the cool climate of the town of Cottonwood. Dead Horse Ranch offers numerous outdoor opportunities for camping, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, fishing or just wading in the cool water.

The information sheet we received when we entered the park says “Dead Horse Ranch got its peculiar name in the late 1940’s from its previous owners, the Ireys family from Minnesota. They were looking to buy a ranch and on their tour they discovered a large dead horse lying by the road outside of the property. After two days of viewing ranches, Mr. Ireys asked the kids which ranch they liked the best, and they all agreed the one with the dead horse! Acquired in 1973 by Arizona State Parks, the Ireys family made it a condition of the sale that the park retain the name Dead Horse Ranch.”

Bill and I decided we would hike the self-guided interpretative trail. We thought it was going to be like the interpretative trail we have at McDowell Mountain Park, where we give our guests an information sheet that explains everything they are seeing on the trail, i.e., plants, mountain ranges, wildlife, etc. But, no, this park didn’t even have a map that made it easy to find the trailhead, and there was nothing to explain what we were looking at on the trail. So, Bill and I had to make up our own version of what we were seeing as we hiked along..

This little tiny sign that was almost hidden in the bush was the only thing that gave any indication we were even on the right trail.. The only way we knew that was because I remembered reading that the self-guided interpretative trail was called the Mesa Trail.

Lucky for us we know what a blooming cactus looks like, and this one had lots of pretty blooms.

Then there was this pretty flowering bush that I have no idea what it is, and some pretty yellow flowers that I don’t know the names of either… so there is that…

This was growing out of a large cactus, and I told Bill I thought it is called a century plant, but to be honest, I’m just guessing. See, it’s important that parks provide informative information for their guests, because inquiring minds, like mine… want to know.

Here are some more pretty blooming cactus with yellow flowers this time.

The trail lead us up a hill, and when we reached the top, there were very pretty views all the way around, so that was nice.

After that hike, we made our way down to see the lagoons within the park. As we pulled into the parking lot of that area, we saw this covered wagon hitched to these two big horses. Then we found out that is where you go if you want to take a trail ride. They rent horses by the hour for guided horseback tours around the park. Now that’s cool that they provide that service.

The lagoon area was my personal favorite. So beautiful, peaceful, and quiet, with only the sound of birds chirping and an occasional fish jumping up out of the water. Take a look.

And today, we found the perfect spot for our picnic lunch.

I didn’t have cold fried chicken for our picnic, but I did have cold baked pork chops from dinner last night. Add a touch of B-B-Q sauce, some chips, olives, and cheese, and it was a tasty picnic lunch that both Bill and I enjoyed.

After lunch, we made our way down to the Verde River Greenway Trail. This trail takes you right along the bank of the water. So pretty with the trees creating a canopy of shade over the trails.

Bill stopped to see if he could locate the frog he saw jump into the water just as we passed by.

While we were disappointed with the lack of information, about the different trails the park offers for their guests, we were very impressed with the overall beauty of this park. They have 100 RV/camp sites, and eight one-room log cabins. The cabins sleep up to four people with a maximum capacity of six people available for reservations.

It is such a pretty park with so much to offer in the way of activities, Bill and I decided if we ever decide to work/camp in Arizona for a few months during the summer, we would definitely consider this park.

Stay Tuned!

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