Retired soil scientist living in Oregon. I share a home and motorhome with my friend, a retired teacher. We love to travel in the motorhome in the United States in addition to a cruise now and then and trips overseas.
Living in: Grants Pass, United States
  • Day5

    Home to Grants Pass

    December 8, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 39 °F

    We left Harris Beach in good weather with some sunshine along the way, arriving home in Grants Pass 2 1/2 hours later to high clouds and some blue skies. Beautiful day, lovely drive, as always good to be home

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  • Day4

    Harris Beach State Park, Brookings

    December 7, 2019 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 54 °F

    We took our time leaving Sunset Bay, knowing that technically we weren't supposed to check in to our reserved site at Harris Beach until 4PM. Leaving at noon and taking our time driving south along the coastal highway, we arrived just after 3PM.

    Wondrously, the skies were open enough that we could take a walk on the beach with Mattie before settling in for the evening. Rain had been predicted for our entire trip so walking the beach in decent weather was a huge plus.

    We at supper at home, knowing that the following night would be our big dinner celebration at O'Hollaran's, a famous steak house in Brookings. I slept incredibly well with the wild winds rocking the MoHo and the sound of the crashing waves on the rocks below the cliffs of the park.

    The next morning was quiet and beautiful, with some open skies and again, no rain predicted until later in the day. We had time to hike down the South Beach trail, and with my two sticks I managed to get both up and down the trail without too much difficulty. Definitely need the sticks for balance, and the downhill is a bit rough, but uphill isn't much of a problem. We took our time walking in the sands and letting Mattie play as we soaked up the intensity of the very high seas generated by the storm.

    That evening it began to rain, and it was hard to make the decision to go to the light show in the rain. We decided to first fortify ourselves with dinner rather than getting all wet at the show and then going to eat. It was a good decision since the bar was filled and all the bar tables and restaurant tables were reserved. We were lucky enough to get two seats at the bar and had a fabulous dinner. I haven't had a steak that good since we were in Reno years ago. Rib Eye with Blue Cheese. Mo had a New York that was excellent as well. It is sometimes hard to get a good steak and we were in the mood for it. Great dinner in a very festive environment. The bar is all decorated top to bottom with lights and garlands, and the atmosphere is so much fun. We met a man sitting next to us who is from Grants Pass, and turned out that he also is a geologist. Every Christmas when we come to this bar for our ritual Irish Coffee after the light show, we meet someone interesting.

    It was pouring hard when we drove to Azalea Park for the show. The Coastal Holiday web site answered my messenger question almost immediately, saying they had to remain open even in the rain for all the out of town people who had come to see the show.

    For only $2.00 we walked into a wonderland of more than two million lights...yes 2,000,000 LED's lighting the shrubs and pathways, with Christmas music piped throughout the park to accompany the happy cries of little kids and old grandmas in their wheelchairs. I forgot my sticks this time, but the ground wasn't too rough and I managed. Thank goodness Mo doesn't mind me grabbing her arm now and then to balance myself!

    Even with raincoats and umbrellas, we were soaked when we returned but very happy that we had walked the show. With all the rain, I made no attempt whatsoever to take any photos, but we have lots of them from our previous visits to Azalea Park for the Christmas lights.

    That night as we slept the rain let up a bit and the ocean didn't sound so incredibly loud. I slept well again, all cozied up in the MoHo with warm blankets and the little heater coming on as needed. It wasn't hear as cold as the previous night as well.

    The next morning the rain let up long enough for us to pack up and to travel the 115 miles home along highway 199 toward Grants Pass
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  • Day2

    Shore Acres State Park Christmas Lights

    December 5, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 48 °F

    The light show at Shore Acres has been an event since the early 80's with many people volunteering to make it the spectacular show that it now is. Our State Park receipt gave us free access to the show and we breezed through the entry kiosk with a wave.

    We have visited the Shore Acres gardens in the daylight in the summer but this was a completely different experience. With 350,000 lights in the gardens and along the paths it is like a Christmas fairy tale. The historic home was lit beautifully and hot cider was offered with cookies as folks came in from the cold to warm up a bit.

    The reflections of lights on the ponds were beautiful. The pathways were easy to follow, and there were quite a few folks wandering about enjoying the display. The one thing that seemed to be missing to us was music. There was nothing coming from a speaker anywhere to add to the Christmas spirit.

    We thoroughly enjoyed the show. I took photos with the phone and with the camera on hand held night shot and got a few images that at least can remind us of how beautiful it was.
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  • Day2

    Sunset Bay State Park, Coos Bay, Oregon

    December 5, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 54 °F

    We woke early so we could have a bit of breakfast and coffee and be at Phil and Joanne Hartwig's home by 7:45 AM. Phil had to go to work by nine so we wanted at least an hour to visit. It is great seeing both of them. We have been friends since 1977 when Phil and I worked together in soil survey. The visit was wonderful, and Joanne's home was all sparkly and decorated for Christmas.

    We were back on the road by 9, heading west toward the coast with no big plans for where me might stay. I thought of Shore Acres and the famous light show and suggested that we try for a site at Sunset Bay State Park, on the Cape Arago Highway south from Coos Bay. If there hadn't been an opening, we could retrace our steps and go back to the Casino in Coos Bay if necessary.

    There was plenty of space in the park, and we settled in easily by 2PM. It was the second time we would use our new big heavy surge protector. Both Armitage Park and the state park had iffy looking pedestals, so we were happy for that extra layer of protection for the electrical components of the MoHo.

    The rain came and went, but we still managed a nice little walk down along the bay on the beach. Mattie got to climb rocks, her favorite thing. We then decided that an early dinner would be perfect before we drove the 1.5 mile south for the early opening of the Christmas Light Show.

    I checked the blog and decided based on our own recommendations from our previous visit in 2014 that the High Tide Cafe would be our best bet for supper. It was even better than we remembered, with an award winning clam chowder that truly was the best either of us could remember eating. My supper was some excellent shrimp with a sweet hot sauce, and Mo had cod fish and chips that were excellent. The view was lovely, of South Slough where Mo and I had tried to kayak back in 2014.

    In the fall the winds are more quiet, and if it had been warmer and if we had the kayaks with us it would have been a perfect place to paddle. When we visited in 2014 it was springtime and the winds were so strong that we never did find a place to paddle the Slough.

    Thoroughly happy with our supper choice we returned along the highway to the MoHo, dressed warmly for the chilly evening, preparing for our walkabout at the light show.
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  • Day1

    Hult Center Eugene, Oregon

    December 4, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 46 °F

    Traveling north to Eugene on Interstate 5 can be surprisingly tense, but this time the traffic wasn't bad and there was no snow or rain to interfere. Fog settled into the valleys, and for about an hour before we got to Eugene it was clear.

    We had decided that staying at the Armitage RV Park was the most convenient location for us. We arrived at check in time around 2, and found that most of the sites were reserved. Glad we made a reservation! We had leftovers in the rig before helping Mattie settle in to spend the evening on the pillows before we left for Melody's house across town.

    We visited with Melody and Robert a bit while they ate their supper and then all of us piled into their car for the short trip downtown to the Hult Center for an evening with Mannheim Steamroller. Their Christmas albums have been part of my family history with Melody since her dad and I bought a new Christmas album every year to be opened and played on Christmas Eve. Melody has great memories of those times at the farmhouse at Hauser Lake.

    The Hult Center is a beautiful venue, and the show was sold out. Mo wasn't familiar with the band or their music, and I was delighted that she enjoyed it thoroughly. The concert was beautiful, great fun, and brought Melody and I to tears a couple of times with happy memories evoked by the music.

    After the show we said goodbye to the kids and drove through the fog back across town to the Mattie and the MoHo.
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  • Day1

    Summit Loop, Grants Pass Oregon

    December 4, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 45 °F

    Leaving from home this morning to travel north in I-5, 120 miles or so to Eugene Oregon

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