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!

Can She Bake A Cherry Pie, Billy Boy,

Billy boy, can she bake a cherry pie, charming Billy?

Yes, she can bake a cherry pie, quick as a cat can wink an eye…

Pre-baked.

Baked.

That’s right, just because I don’t bake desserts very often doesn’t mean I don’t know how.. I’ve had years of practice helping Chef Shantel baking up all kinds of wonderful desserts. I just don’t really like to bake sweets. But today, I baked a cherry pie for charming Billy, because he is the “apple of my eye”… That, and I told him if I had a bake oven that I liked, I just might bake him a pie. And if nothing else, I’m true to my word..Ha! 🙂

And, while I was at it, I baked Panko crusted pork chops, and sweet potatoes too..!

Before.

After.

Dinner served.

Bill’s desert served.

Now that I have this little bake oven that I really like, I’m going to practice making all kinds of goodies. Why, because when we get back to McDowell Mountain Park this fall, there is no end to the potlucks, and happy hours that take place there!

And, we are going to have friends, that are family by choice, visiting us in Oregon this summer, and I will also bake up some goodies for them… Can’t wait!

Stay tuned!

 

Lunch At The Country Club

So yesterday, I posted about the trip Bill and I took to Strawberry, Pine, and Payson, and what fun we had sightseeing, hiking, and that we were going to have a picnic lunch.

Everything went as expected. Well, almost everything. We planned to have our picnic lunch in the Tonto Natural Bridge area, but we finished our hike a little too early for lunch, so we decided we would make our way on up to Payson. I reminded Bill of a lovely park in Payson, that we used to take Shantel to when she was very young and we went camping in the Payson pines… I told him the park was Munds Park and it was just off the main drag in Payson…

Well, when we arrived in Payson, we looked and looked for that special little Munds Park, but we couldn’t find it anywhere. We drove up and down every street in the town of Payson, but could not find Munds park anywhere.

Finally, I told Bill I was starving, and said “we’re in Payson, just find a nice shady spot so we can have our picnic.” We happened to be passing the Payson Golf Course so he pulled in, parked under a big nice shade tree, and we had a lovely picnic lunch in the parking lot of the Payson Golf Course. Ham and cheese sandwiches with all the fixings, chips, fruit and nuts… It was wonderful!! We laughed as the people on golf carts drove by looking at us. We didn’t care one bit what they thought, because we were in our own little picnic world.. And I told Bill, hey, I guess you could say we are having lunch at the Country Club… 🙂

Of course, we all know things don’t always go as planned. But you see, for Bill and I, it doesn’t really matter what we are doing, what really matters to us is that whatever we do, we almost always find a way to make it fun. Certainly, fun things haven’t always just fallen into our laps over the years, but one of the most important things our daughter, Shantel, taught us, is that when something doesn’t go as you planned…, make another plan.

Bill and I are going on 30 years together. We thought we always did that, but as Shantel got older, and is now living out on her own, and we see all she goes through just to manage her daily life…, we find we are really just beginning to know what that really means.

And, because inquiring minds want to know…, when we got home I looked up Munds park. No wonder we couldn’t find it in Payson… It’s 15 miles south of Flagstaff! Opps, my bad. Good thing we are good at making new plans on the spot. And, nothing to wonder about here as to why we didn’t think to Google it while we were driving around looking for it… we just didn’t that’s all. Nothing to wonder about us at all.. Ha! :):)

Happy Cinco de Mayo to all. Bill and I will celebrate with leftover homemade green chili that I will use to make burritos’.  I’m sure we will laugh and say we’re almost visiting Mexico tonight.

Life is all what we make it, we choose to make it FUN!

Stay Tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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