March 28 2016 Florence to Newport OR

Today we pulled out of our shady camp spot at South Jetty RV and hit the road going north. Since I had such a nice time dumping the waste tanks and disconnecting the water supplies yesterday, we were able to get out of town pretty quickly. By 11:00 we were on the road despite doing a monthly tire air pressure check and tire inflation with our puny compressor.
We turned north on 101 and passed through Florence toward Heceta Head which is a tiny little pimple on an otherwise straight coastline. We stopped by the Heceta lighthouse a couple days ago for an admiring view but passed right by it today. There are quite a few construction projects allegedly in progress on 101 although it was tough to find any workers inside the long, flagman-controlled sections where the signs indicated there was work. Happily, the views when stopped were great and delays were short.
We continued through towns with funny names like Yachats and Waldport, crossing many bridges over a bunch of rivers and creeks pouring into the Pacific. North of Yachats, the road gets pretty straight without the squirrelly, bluff-side passages encountered a bit south. After about an hour and a quarter, we drove into South Beach, a tiny dot on the map south of Newport, OR. We pulled into another TT resort named Whaler’s Rest here and promptly set up our stuff.
By about 2:00 PM, we were done with lunch and decided to take a spin. Just south of the camp spot on the other side of 101 there is a gorgeous beach side turnout at a place called Seal Rock. I didn’t spot any seals but Peggy was treated to a amazing demonstration of a gray whale breaching and flopping around offshore. The wave action visible from the turnout is amazing with white foam in all directions. Many sea birds find this place homey because they can be spotted all over the cliffs and offshore rock projections.
We ended up the day by visiting a local Safeway store for re-supply before heading back to Whaler’s Rest. We were greeted at the gate by a resort employee who we got to unlock the cable TV jack at our site. There are a bunch of trees in the campground which make reception with our satellite dish impossible. The employee was very nice but not altogether squared away on his math because he charged us $3 too little because we are such nice folks. That may be a trademark trait around here because we passed a place yesterday where the proprietor was selling bundles of firewood for $4 or $12 for 3. The quantity discount is not available in that particular spot although we did note folks in town selling firewood for $4 a bundle but $10 for 3. There is apparently no firewood regulatory agency controlling prices.
For a couple pix, click here

March 27 Woahink

The weather is mixed today. The sun comes out fairly often but by the time we get our coats on, it is raining. We lounged around quite a bit this morning, sometimes pursuing the tasks associated with figuring out where we are going and making camp spot reservations. It looks like we are going to another Thousand Trails (TT) campground tomorrow in Newport, about an hour or two up the coast.
A bit after midday, I was able to get outside in dry weather long enough to dump and wash the waste tanks and fill up the on-board water tank. Before I got all the stuff put away, I was working in the rain. The temps are in the 40’s.
We eventually bailed out of the trailer for some exploring but it started raining as soon as we opened the doors. We turned on the truck heater and took a spin down the road to the south jetty of the Siuslaw River. The south side of the river looks just like it looked from the north side where we drove the day before yesterday.
Then Peg took me around Woahink Lake which is a couple miles south of our camp spot. There are some very fortunate folks living in some gigantic houses around the sides of the lake that do not border 101 which passes along the west shore. We even found a guy who had a topiary train in his front yard. Woahink (pronunciation unknown) Lake is just on the east edge of the Oregon Dunes and the vegetation is dense. Driveways disappear down pathways bordered by impenetrable brush surrounding relatively small conifers. You would need a chain saw to leave the path.
After circumnavigating the lake, we drove into Old Town Florence which is about 3 blocks long. Those 3 blocks have great old buildings with the usual assortment of shops selling tourist stuff and local art, some restaurants and ice cream spots along with a bar which had some drunks loudly explaining something to anyone within earshot. We strolled along a riverfront dock installed by the city. I know for a fact that they frown on diving, swimming or fishing anywhere near the dock. It seems to be a place for folks to tie up their yachts while taking advantage of the shops in Old Town. One yacht was sighted.
We have now driven all 3 possible roads exiting Florence so we figure it is time to move on. Headed for Newport tomorrow, I think.
See some pix by clicking here

March 26 2016 Heceta Head and Mapleton

The rain started last night and has been pretty steady since. Nevertheless, we bravely ventured out for some damp exploring.
We started north on 101 from our spot in Florence and drove up to Heceta Head. There is a very scenic lighthouse here that paying guests can walk up to but we felt little compunction to wade out into the rain to see it. Glimpses of the lighthouse are available from 101 which near Heceta Head is narrow, steep and unforgiving for those that venture near the edge. There is an impressive old bridge carrying 101 that you pass under when entering the park which spans a very brisk creek dumping into the ocean. It is emerald green here. Everything is covered with moss or lichen or ferns, even the concrete.
We then turned back south on 101, right into some highway construction adjacent to a local attraction called Sea Lion Caves. While waiting in the queue for the construction, we could hear the bellowing of the mammals below. Fortunately, we were not downwind so we were saved the pleasure of smelling these critters. Once through the construction zone, we drove back to Florence where we turned east on OR-126 to Mapleton. 126 turns toward Eugene in Mapleton but we went the other way up OR-36 to Swiss Home. The drive from Mapleton up this river is pretty spectacular with waterfalls alongside the road and rapids in the stream. The water is clear. Many spectacular homes are located along the opposite shore but they are all behind locked gates. The residences on the road side of the river are slums, inhabited by folks with many wrecked trucks, 55 gallon drums and broken equipment in their yards and some few teeth in their heads. There are some wood products businesses up here but we did not see any retail outlets north of Mapleton. It is very pretty.
At Indian Creek we turned around and headed back toward home. Fortunately, when we made it back to town Peggy wanted some ice cream so we pulled into the Florence Dairy Queen. Strangely, this particular Dairy Queen has a boat parked at the exit from the drive-thru which makes manueuvering Charlotte dicey unless unconcerned about pushing the parked boat over a cliff into Old Town. We both ordered things that were probably very bad for us. I noted as we were driving away from the order speaker that the calories of each treat was shown. Through squinting and averting my gaze, I was able to devour my human killer without guilt or remorse.
Pix are available by clicking here

March 25 2016 Around Florence

The weather was clear but cold so Peg and I hopped into the truck for a local spin. We wandered around on some Florence backstreets until we came to Rhododendron Drive which took us to the north bank of the Siuslaw River where it meets the ocean. Despite there being a substantial breakwater system, there were still some pretty big waves coming up the channel. No boats in sight.
After a bit we headed back toward Florence where we stopped at a giant Fred Meyer store for re-supply. The store sold almost everything but the prices were a gyp. Fred Meyer used to be cheap but now they ain’t. Skinny, bone-in New Yorks were $12 a pound which is a pretty big hop from Costco with thick, juicy, boneless New Yorks for about $8.
Peggy’s sister Kathy showed up at our campground at about the time we were finishing up at Fred the Crook’s so we all joined up at our trailer for some fat chewing. Around 8:00 PM she felt obliged to get her son’s truck back to him in Eugene so she skedaddled and we settled down inside for some Top Gear.
Our camp space is in a thick grove of trees that almost completely obscure the sun for all but about 2 hours a day. It is quite pretty here and almost tomb-like for noise.

March 24 2016 Coos Bay to Florence

Since all the asset division is over for Peg’s sisters, we hooked Charlotte up to the Barbarian Invader and departed the Coos Bay area headed north. Bastendorff Beach has no sewer system available at the individual campsites but they do have a dump station where we stopped before leaving the park. The functions performed there may be classified as one of the unpleasant tasks with continuous traveling but I really don’t mind it much. It sure lightens the load prior to highway travel.
We moseyed through Coos Bay and North Bend at a maximum speed of 30 miles per hour, the highest posted limit. The roads in town are severely pockmarked with giant potholes and there are ample supplies of areas with construction barricades and signage but no visible work in progress. It is remarkable so much road surface can be fouled up and so much repair work allegedly in progress yet no real progress seems to occur.
We finally made it to 101 and turned north for a nice, leisurely 50 mile drive from Coos Bay to the South Jetty RV Resort, a TT facility in Florence, OR, where we get to stay for free. We must have arrived at the proper time because we got the last available space with a sewer hookup in addition to power and water. A couple drivers hauling trailers came by right after we pulled in and gave us miserable glares as they realized they would be stopping by the dump station prior to departure.
Our site is in a thick stand of cedar, fir and spruce forest adjoining the Oregon Dunes which run about 50 miles all the way back to Coos Bay. There is a creek running past our camp spot. It is nice here.

March 23 2016 A day of rest

Peggy and I spent the day together around the trailer since all the crud to be sorted at her folks’ former residence has been winnowed down to a large irregularly-shaped pile of stuff nobody cares about. Peggy went through her boxes of treasure hauled back to our trailer yesterday and now where two boxes were needed only one is required. Peggy threw out some of the worthless stuff she had received since I refused to haul it in our trailer for a couple thousand miles before ashcanning it.
Late in the day we stopped into a store in Charleston (a Coos Bay fishing port) where they had a sign outside advertising “Cannabis for all people over 21” which we investigated. It turns out that Oregon voters have passed laws making recreational reefer legal for everyone over 21 which I think is a very reasonable and progressive concept. The local newspaper indicates the state took in 3.5 million dollars last month from taxes on reefer. We picked up a product called “WiFi” which smells terrific. Soon, I will know how it tastes.
We did join the whole family for dinner at Ty’s Chinese restaurant, breakfast joint and casino. The dinner was quite good and we took enough leftovers to eat once we got hungry in about 2 hours. My sister-in-law Katie joined us and we got to chat since we were seated at one end of a skinny table with 15 other diners. I hope whoever paid tipped the waitress because we were a pretty big, unruly crowd.
Katie brought Robin along and I got to shmooze a bit with her before our departure which is scheduled for tomorrow. I was again tempted to snatch Robin but it would leave Katie without a fantastic friend and I’m not that big of an asshole.

March 22 2016 Possible final search for more stuff

Another day of taking Peggy to the pits for the division of stuff. Peggy did show me that she had received a couple of rings that her mom wore that Peg got as her share of the stuff. One was a wedding ring and another had some interesting stones and they looked like they may be valuable. Everything else she had acquired looked pretty suspect to me. I suspect the items are made from pot metal, plastic or paste stones, broken china or ordinary glass.
Peg did get a portion of some silver dinnerware which is pretty snazzy. I understand there was some Noritake china but I have no idea who got that. We certainly have no use for it with our current lifestyle.
The estate was intended to be split in such a way that the family male heirs were to get the successful corporation assets and the girls were to get the real property. Unfortunately, we found out today that the only valuable piece of real estate was confiscated by the boys along with all of her father’s firearms. I’m confused about how guns could be considered corporate assets when registered in an individual’s name. Many of the firearms had never been fired.
The end result of this division process ended up with the male heirs getting all the valuable assets and the girls taking out the garbage. I will ensure my children do not get their inheritance in this fashion.
I spent the day with Katie, Jeff, Amanda, Daisy and Ruby at Sunset Beach where we took Robin for a run. This park near where we were camped is a gorgeous round bay protected by tall cliffs. At low tide there are great tide pools here along with pristine ocean waters and spectacular scenery in every direction. There were even some extremely hardy Oregon children in the ocean despite the outside temperature in the high 40s. Robin loved it.

March 21 2016 Even more garbage sorting

The sorting of the estate leftovers continues. Peggy and her sisters found more boxes of worthless crud (non-functional watches, broken bracelets, cheap plastic stones, china crap, dinky and useless spoons, cheesy glass containers, broken wood boxes and other valuable items) and continued the division process. I imagine the biggest pile was the one headed for the waste bin.
I saw that Peggy had two large cardboard boxes of items that were now hers. However, the division process continues because the girls keep finding cleverly concealed boxes of additional junk as the rat killing continues.

March 20 2016 More garbage sorting

Peggy had me drop her off at her brothers’ (formerly her folks’) business, Main Rock Products, where all five girls were again quorummed to divvy up many worthless items left after her mom passed away five years ago. I knew things were going to be uninteresting for me when I went into the fighting pit where the girls were engaged in their activity and I heard “There are two glass salt shakers here without lids. Who wants them?” I have a different technique when dealing with items of this type. I throw everything that is not made from silver, gold or gems into the dumpster and anybody who wants any of the valueless crap can dumpster dive for all the collectibles they can haul.
I bailed after about 3 minutes and drove back down to Coos Bay and stopped at my brother John’s widow’s house for a visit. I got to hob nob with Katie for a while. Amanda, her eldest daughter, and hubby, Jeff, were there with their two kids who were making a racket.
Also there were Zeus, the giant cat and Robin, the gorgeous dog. I’m glad Katie has Robin to keep her company now that my brother is gone. Robin is a golden lab with an absolutely wonderful temperament who loves to play tug-o-war and fetch and also seems perfectly content to sit alongside me to let me scratch her. I am tempted to kidnap Robin every time I get a bit of time to spend with her.
Peggy garbage sorting operation continued until late afternoon after which we got back together and went back to our Barbarian Invader at Bastendorff Beach.

March 19 2016 Peggy and the loot

Today Peggy had an item on the agenda. We drove up to the pit where all four of Peggy’s sisters had met to divvy up all the jewelry her Mom and Dad used to have when they were around. Peg’s Dad died last a couple years past and the the big division took place today.
Since I am a smartass and would be of scant or no use for the division process, Peggy banned me from the proceedings. I picked up her brother, John, and we took a spin around some places I had not been before up Larsen Slough before heading into North Bend for fish and chowder at the Captain’s Choice. The fish and chowder are pretty good here and the prices were okay, too.
After that we kind of wandered out toward the beach and checked out the seals at Simpson Reef again. They are quite noisy guys and I would estimate there were a couple hundred pulled out onto the beach and maybe another 30 or 40 dining in the surf. All the residents looked quite fat. There must be a lot of grub here.
It was getting late so we went back to the pit to get Peggy but the rat killing there was still in progress for another hour before they quit for the day. I understand more estate stuff will be split up tomorrow. Seems there is more shit than anybody figured so the killing will extend into a second day.