Friday, May 24, 2013


Sunriver Oregon - May 24, 2013

We're here, already for Memorial Day Weekend.  We arrived before the crowds and have been watching the stream of families with packed RVs looking for the perfect spot.  Our criteria is enough space for the slides and a clear view of the south so the satellite works.

We took the bikes out and plan to ride them everyday we're here.  Weather is still a bit chilly, but there is a promise of warmer weather in the next couple of days.  Ray has fire wood so this site will feel like camping instead of resort stay. 

Looking forward to visiting with friends and enjoying Central Oregon


Santiam Pass Hwy 20 - May 22, 2013

Today is moving day.  We are traveling from the Oregon Coast to Central Oregon.  Should be easy.  Day started off ok.  Items in the RV put away.  Bikes in the RV and dogs in the truck.  Slides all tucked in and the power cord in the back to the truck.  I just happened to notice the dish satellite still standing proud and tall on top of the RV.  Guess what happened next?  Power cord and slides back out and dish down.  After some muttering about a check off list, we were in the truck and headed east.

The garmin had us turn off at Albany and we traveled through Silo and Lyons which was a new road for us.  It is always exciting guessing if the garmin knows more than we do on the correct road to travel.  Everything went great and we were on schedule.  I had checked the weather forecast and it reported 50 degrees over the pass - easy money.  Ha - they were wrong.  SNOW!  Just enough to make the trip interesting but not dangerous.

Made it to Thousand Trails Sunriver/Bend and got to set up camp with a few snow flakes teasing us.

View of Hwy 20 - almost at pass

Had to stop and take the pic.  It is so pretty

Stopped at Sisters Oregon for fuel.  Found Huckleberry Smoothie - Highly Recommend

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


- Newport Oregon  May 21, 2013

Well, it had to happen…it rained.  I mean really rained.  We were prepared and followed the Deb Carroll rules regarding "What to do on rainy days at the beach: Visit tourist traps."  Ray and I headed to one of my favorite spots in Newport, the Nye Beach area.  

Nye Beach in 2013 looks a lot different than it did in the ‘70’s/80’s when I lived here.   I loved walking to this beach and finding a nook in the cliff or between driftwood to sort out what ever was bothering me.  I felt safe going to the beach alone and my big problems would dissolve into small ones by the time I headed home.  When I was 18, it was a very interesting place.  Quite colorful characters lived there and had interesting stories.  Not the type of people my mom would be excited me knowing about.  My friend Denise and I lived there the summer after high school graduation and felt quite independent even though her parents lived around the corner.  

Now the area is trendy. The shops are quaint and the hippies have left.  But there stills remains something special about Nye Beach whether it is the Nye Beach of my teens and twenties or today.  It always draws me back to it’s welcoming arch, turnaround, vintage houses and interesting people. 

Nye Beach Turnaround

Chowder Bowl @Nye Beach
One of my favorite places in Nye Beach is the Chowder Bowl.  The chowder is exceptional and that is saying a lot since this is the hometown of the worlds famous Mo’s Clam Chowder.  Ray and I had a great lunch and then purchased chowder base so we could enjoy it again.  We made a short attempt to act like tourist and shop but the rain and the thought of a nap convinced us to return home. 

Chowder with a shrimp sandwich - Yummy

This evening the skies have cleared and it looks like one more sunset for us. I just keep thinking in a few months I’ll be looking at sunrises over the ocean instead of sunsets.

Bend tomorrow – hope there is no snow over Santiam Pass. 

Monday, May 20, 2013


– May 20, 2013

ANOTHER beautiful day on the Oregon Coast.  First thing on our schedule is a trip to the beach.  This time Ona Beach just south of South Beach.  Ona is a secret beach.  Doesn’t look like it would have great beach access, but a short walk and you are there.  The walk between Ona and Seal Rock contains interesting rock formations and there are not many creeks to cross.  Best news is it doesn’t have as many people.  We’re counting our blessing for the good weather.  As they say on the coast – Happy as a clam…now how happy is that?


– Newport High School, Class of 73

Ever been to your reunion?   I know the stories; saw the movies…who would ever want to be on the planning committee?  They are the villains in the movies.  Sitting at the registration table, making judgments on the heroes of the movies and then having meltdowns and getting their just deserts.  Well, I have to tell you a secret.  We are circumventing all the pitfalls of being labeled “The Committee” by not calling us a committee and including anyone who will come to a meet-up as part of the planning group.  It is working out great.  I have reacquainted myself with people that I haven’t seen or talked to in forty years.  They all would be the heroes in the movie and all have led interesting lives.  

Saturday was one of the “meet ups” at the Agate Beach Best Western.  Its exciting because you never know who will be there and what interesting facts they might know.  Again, I wasn’t disappointed and I loved seeing everyone.  Funny thing, not one of us looked like we did when we were 18… how did that happen. 


 – May 19, 2013

The best part about visiting Newport is the beach.  But there are a few things you need to know about visiting the beach along the Oregon Coast that only a seasoned beach goer knows.  I am extremely qualified to share this knowledge since I spent 14 years of my life living in this beautiful coastal city.

First always go to the beach in the morning.  Why?  To avoid the afternoon NW wind.  Even if its blowing a little (5-15) in the morning, it will be twice that in the afternoon. 

Second, always check the tide chart.  Why? Nothing worse than getting all ready for a long walk on the beach and discovering there is a 12’ high tide.  

Third, don’t plan on swimming in the ocean unless its August or you are 15 or younger.  Why? Seriously, it is cold.  It didn’t bother me when I was younger but now the experience of wading into 57 degree water is something I’m not interested in doing.  However, for the record, I was an excellent body surfer, wave jumper, and poor board surfer in my youth.  Just not going to temp faith with a romp in the waves in May.

Fourth, don’t feed the seagulls.  Your sitting having a nice snack with a nice view of the ocean and a friendly gull comes to visit.  No matter how temping it is to feed the begging gull, don’t.  That gull has a 1000 friends that will join you immediately.  Thoughts of movie “The Birds” will cross your mind immediately.

Fifth, wait to shop the tourist traps (shops) until the afternoon.  Wait until the wind is blowing 20 to 25 mph to pop in and out of shops.  Spend every minute of good weather on the beach.  Exception to this rule is rain, then you can shop all day long.

Last, don’t miss the sunset.  Schedule your day so you are on or near the beach to view the sunset.  It will not disappoint you.

Now I have passed on my knowledge, enjoy.  Grab the dogs, take lots of pics and get out there on the beach.  Recharge your soul (not sole - what was I thinking).  Nothing like the beach!

Did I mention it was my birthday – so happy to be at the beach!

I'll start my diet tomorrow, I promise!


  - Newport Oregon May 18, 2013

We have had many discussions about where we start this adventure.  It gets complicated.  First instinct is to travel East as fast as you can, away from everything familiar.  But it is still cold in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.  AND what is the hurry?  Our plan is to stay in Oregon for a few weeks to enjoy “one more trip” to the beach, mountains and the “other side of the mountains,” Eastern Oregon.

Newport is our first stay.  We are located just south of Newport at Whalers Rest.  After a lesson by the ranger on proper protocols for checking into a Thousand Trails Resort and a strong discussion in the truck cab on how to read the park map, we found the perfect spot.  We actually have a snapshot view of the ocean. 


 – Tri Met May 17, 2013

May 17 our realtor sent us the email message we were looking forward to seeing. “We’re all done.” Ray signed his retirement papers and had the pleasure of dropping off his “official issued stuff” and receiving hand shakes and hugs from folks he had worked with over the years.  It was fun and perfect.

Our plan had come together.  There was no looking back we were/are committed to this great idea of traveling for a year.


 – Sherwood Oregon May 16 – 17 2013

It has always been in our plan to stay at Elks while traveling, but didn’t think it would be our next stop.  Good thing about fraternal organizations, you immediately have friends wherever you go.  Sherwood Elks was no exception.  Dropped in Wednesday night to check out the situation for RV spaces.  We met the camp host, Linda, and ER Guy and his wife.    Everything was arranged and we were good to go.  Our space, again, was very interesting.  Ray did an exceptional job of backing in between two large RVs.  I think the Rhodie across the narrow road will live but it did lose a few blooms...  The good news is we didn’t scratch the RVs on either side of us.  
See our 5th wheel scooch in between the two RVs?
Best part of Sherwood Elks was the view.  The Elks is situated on a hill with the RV’s parked on the west side of the parking lot.  Ray’s parking strategy created an unobstructed view from the back of the RV of a Christmas tree farm and Coastal mountains.   

The view from our living room window,

AND I have to mention Anjee T stopped by for a visit and to pick up the roll of fabric I have been storing since 90’s for that special project.  Thanks Anjee for accepting responsibility to make that long forgotten project have a happy ending.

On the list of first experiences: We played bingo with dobbers or are they called dabbers – who knows?  Thanks to great mentoring from Linda the camp host, we made it through our first night of bingo.  Didn’t know there were so many ways to make a bingo.  Next time there is a bingo opportunity, we’ll be ready. 

Most interesting part of the stay was waking up at 5:30 on Saturday morning, sneaking out to walk the dogs without much prep work to my appearances and finding 20 people in the parking lot preparing breakfast for cyclists participating in the “REACH to the Coast” ride sponsored by the America Lung Association.   

By 9 a.m. there were 100s of cyclists.  This just happened to be the same time we were prepping to leave for our next destination, the coast.  Fleeting thoughts of Big RV vs cyclists crossed my mind and what would that look like in the newspaper...  So Plan B was put into action.  We went down I-5 and crossed over by Corvallis. This circumvented any swearing/horn honking that might have occur between Sherwood and Lincoln City by the driver of the Big RV.  

Next was the challenge of getting out the creative parking spot.  Not to my surprise, our neighbor popped his head out of his beautiful motor home and nicely volunteered to help guide us out.  (I would too if I was him.)  But Ray had a plan and with a little wiggle and waggle, we were out of the spot.  Rodie was not harmed. 
Bye Sherwood Elks


 – Tualatin Oregon May 8 – 15 2013

May 8 was our first night in our new home, our 38’ fifth wheel.  We were at the bitter end of cleaning and clearing our house of 24 years and determined to be living in the RV by this date.  So we loaded up the fifth wheel and traveled six miles to Roamers Rest in Tualatin Oregon for our first stay.  Roamers Rest was the perfect launching platform for all the tasks we had to finalize in Portland and regroup what stays with us and what goes into storage, Goodwill, etc.  Each day for a week we had a task list.  By following Wednesday, May 16, I asked Ray what we were going to do the next day and he didn’t have anything to add to the list.  We knew we were ready.

Roamers Rest is a nice and popular RV park on the Tualatin River.  We enjoyed the walks along the river, extremely clean shower and laundry facilities and helpful staff.  Down side was the narrow space we were assigned.  Lesson learned was make reservations well in advanced or live with what is available.  Highlight of the stay was our first visitor, Cathy E, who couldn’t wait to see our new home and she made us lunch.

Tualatin River 

Dog walking area between river and campers.

I did see a coyote on one of my morning walks.  At first I was worried that it followed us from our house in SW Portland.  That would be strange.  Then I realized there are probably several coyotes living in the urban area…not just in my neighborhood.  What a city girl.

Coyote on a morning walk - where is your leash?

It’s all in the logistics. Ray wasn’t going to retire until the house title was officially transferred and that wasn’t until May 17.  Problem was Roamers Rest didn’t have space for us May 16 and 17.   So we moved four miles west to the Sherwood Elks.