Thursday, December 30, 2010

Back on the Trails

Jeanette took this photo of me on the trail early this morning. I’m back to working on the trails here at Buckskin Mountain State Park. I’ve now spent four days working on them, and finding it very enjoyable and fulfilling. It’s great to see that the work I did last year for erosion control held up and functioned. I need a couple of more days yet to finish cleaning out the water-bars, ditches and culverts and then they will be in tiptop shape again.

Yesterday we got our schedules for next month. I’m quite pleased to be leading bird walks two days a week this year, Mondays and Thursdays. Fridays I will lead a nature hike, and Tuesdays and Wednesdays I will work in the Information Center. Jeanette is currently working on a special Ranger assigned project to clean and organize the shop. Then on January she will start her regular schedule of working in the Registration Office and the Gift Shop. Saturdays and Sundays will be our days off.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Olive Harvest

We have a number of olive trees here at Buckskin Mountain State Park. This seems to be an unusually good year for olives, the trees are loaded with ripe olives.  I’ve seen a large number of small birds, in the trees, and I assumed they were feeding on bugs.  Yesterday after watching a House Finch closely I realized they were actually feeding on the olives. They don’t have to be large enough to eat the olive whole; they simply peck a hole through the skin to get at the pulp. Shown here is a Verdin, a tiny bird of some four inches, eating away on an olive. Not only are the House Finches and Verdins busy feeding in the trees, I’ve seen Gambel’s Quail dashing about to snag olives on the ground.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Squirrel

Arriving back at Buckskin Mountain State Park this afternoon after our drive from Surprise, we were in need of a little bit of leg stretching.  So, we took off on a hike and while climbing up the Lightning Bolt Trail we spotted what looked like a chipmunk on the canyon wall. After returning to camp, down loading the photos, and pouring over identification books, I came up with the identification of a Harris's Antelope Squirrel.  They look and act like chipmunks, holding their tails straight up when they flee.  This one is feeding on a mesquite tree bean. The strange thing is this is the first squirrel we have ever seen here.  We didn’t see any in the four months we were here last year.  

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Surprise - - we are in Surprise, Arizona!  Jeanette’s sister Patty and her husband Kordel invited us to their home in Surprise for Christmas Dinner.  Here is Jeanette, Patty, and Kordel in their pool this evening.  Notice the orange tree in their neighbor’s back yard in the background.  Lots of sunshine here today with the temperatures up to seventy degrees. Surprise is a suburb of Phoenix, and about 160 miles from where we are staying at Buckskin Mountain State Park.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Site Number 33


We are all tucked-in now in campsite #33 here at Buckskin Mountain State Park where we will spend the next two months in our volunteer positions.  We arrived yesterday afternoon before the BIG rainstorm just in time to get set up and visit with a few of our co-workers.  Today we finished our set up by completing the two giant tasks of setting up our new water softener system and connecting the satellite TV system. I took this birds-eye view this afternoon with my zoom lens from the viewpoint over looking the campground on the Lightning Bolt Trail.     

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Camping at Wal-mart

We fled the fierce rainstorms of San Diego this morning and drove over the mountains to El Centro hoping for some drier weather.  It’s wet here too, but less wet. The best we could do for a campsite in an RV park was 25 dollars with no hook-ups, which didn’t make a lot of sense to us, as we knew we could park at Wal-Mart for free.  So we drove on to Wal-Mart and are parked in their parking lot for the night.  So far we have made three or four trips into the store and have spend about 50 bucks.  I’m not sure you can camp at Wal-Mart for free.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rain, Rain, Rain

This is the view out our window this morning and it looks like it will be the story all day. We are having quite a bit of rain here in the San Diego area but I realize I’m probably not going to get much sympathy from anyone judging from what’s going on in the rest of the country. Although it’s wet here, it’s warm with the temps in the low 60s. We are about to run out of indoor activities, we have already been shopping at REI, which resulted in new shoes for us both, and a super-sized bird-watching bag for me. Tomorrow our time is up here and we will be heading over the hill to the desert expecting dryer conditions. We will be at Buckskin Mountain State Park by the 23rd and be ready to start our volunteer assignments.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Black-crowned Night-Heron

This Black-crowned Night-Heron is one of four species of herons we have seen here at Santee Lakes. The others being; Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, and Snowy Egret.  We see numerous Great Egrets, and Snowy Egrets daily, but we have only seen a total of two Black-crowned Night Herons. They are good sized at 25 inches and are rather stocky looking birds compared to the gangly looking other three.

Our stay here at Santee Lakes has mainly centered on birding. I had not expected this before hand, but it has turned out to be one of the better bird locations. In fact I have been able to add photos for 20 species to the Critters section since arriving here on the 11th. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Google Maps

Yesterday while at Mission Trails Regional Park we spotted a car with this strange device on top come whipping up the drive way and through the parking lot.  It took a few minutes to realize it was the camera car filming the Street Views for Google Maps. I took a couple of photos and the driver gave us a thumps up. So if you happen to be looking at Street View of San Diego and see a couple of old farts with binoculars, a camera, and a little dog, it might be us. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Buster and the Mountain Lion

Today we drove to the Mission Trails Regional Park to hike a couple of trails and see the Visitor Center.  It’s a huge park of some 5,800 acres. It seems like every park we have visited this year as posted signs warning of Mountain Lions, also called Cougars.  However, in this photo Buster seems quiet unaware of any danger, in fact seems a little proud to be hanging out with the big cat.  Of course he might have been coerced to pose with a peanut-butter pretzel treat.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thee Days of Birding

This photo of a Red-tailed Hawk tearing apart an American Coot kind of caps off the last three days of intense birding here at Santee Lakes.  I already posted our Monday birding experience.  Tuesday’s effort was in getting good photographs.  I returned to the coach with 65 great photos of a variety of birds, but in attempting to download the photos into the computer I mistakenly deleted all the photos in the camera. Very bad!  Today my goal was to recapture as many photos of birds as I could. But the sun never really made it out, with the result being very poor light conditions.  I took 42 photos in the morning, but nothing was really new or exciting.  I made another try this afternoon and was lucky to have some people point out this feeding hawk to me. I’ve now added a dozen new photos to the Critters section of Cascade Ramblings since we have been here at Santee Lakes.  And, one other milestone, it has now been a month since we left home.   

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Pair of Wood Ducks

We knew from the past two days here at Santee Lakes that the birding was going to be good when we got around to it.  This morning we made it our priority, and spent the morning circling several of the ponds identifying and photographing.  In the end, we positively I.D.’d 28 different species.  At this point it looks like I’ll be adding at least 8 new photos to the Critters section of Cascade Ramblings.  Birds are so numerous here it is almost like birding at a zoo.    

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Santee Lakes

This is the view from my recliner at our campsite in the Sycamore Loop at Santee Lakes.  You can see Buster’s nose in the corner from his position of sitting on my lap.  Soon after taking this photo we moved inside to the comforts of air conditioning. Our thermometer read 89 in the shade; too hot. It is expected to cool in the next few days and we will be more comfortable.  We are not complaining, as we feel very fortunate to be here in this amazing park, particularly after yesterday’s experience of driving through LA.  I referred to it as driving through the belly-of-the-beast. We arrived here pretty frazzled yesterday afternoon, but we have settled in today and are looking forward to our stay of a week or so.  

Friday, December 10, 2010

McGrath Beach State Park

This Great Blue Heron seems to think this campground is his.  Actually, most of the campground is closed because of high water.  We learned after talking with a Volunteer that the high water is caused by the ocean sand damning up the Santa Clara River. Actually the whole place is pretty much deserted, in fact it’s only open on the weekends.  Lucky for us we got here Friday afternoon.  We are staying here to give us a strategic launch site to blast through Los Angeles early tomorrow morning with the plan to land at Santee Lakes in San Diego tomorrow afternoon.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

So Long San Luis Obispo

Jeanette bid fair well to San Luis Obispo and its bright fall colors today during our hike of the Felsman Loop Trail on Bishop Peak.  Tomorrow we will be leaving and heading on south on Highway 101 towards San Diego. We have enjoyed San Luis Obispo immensely.  The climate is pleasant, the downtown is compact and vital.  Its citizens are friendly, happy and active.  Walking, running and cycling are all around. We will be back.   

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Near Starvation

Midway through our hike today on the Lemon Grove Loop Trail I was really getting hungry, so hungry in fact that I almost took a bite out of a Prickly Pear Cactus fruit.  Guess I should have eaten a bigger breakfast!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bishop Peak

I’m finding out that if you spend the morning birding, you don’t get in much of a hike, or if you spend the morning hiking, you don’t get in much birding.  So, we’re trying to mix them up a bit. After having a great birding day yesterday we tapped today as a hike day, and set our sights on the Bishop Peak Trail. This photo is taken from the saddle between two of the spires. For more details check out the Trip Journal.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Morro Bay

Today we took a trip to Morro Bay, a special place to us, filled with many good memories.  We first “discovered” Morro Bay in 1999 during our bicycle trip from Canada to Mexico.  We returned in 2003 in October on a combination trip that involved an AMTRAK trip to San Luis Obispo, and then a bicycle trip that looped through the area and included Morro Bay.  We last visited Morro Bay in January 2009 staying in Morro Bay State Park in our Rexhall motor home. Today’s trip was different in that it was just a day trip there, mainly to bird watch.  We spent the morning walking the path along the bay in Morro Bay State Park. It was a wonderful sunny morning and we were able to identify 30 different species of birds, and for the second time in the last few days our path crossed with fellow birder Dave Keeling.  Our morning was concluded with lunch at Jeanette’s favorite place for fish tacos, Giovanni’s.   

Saturday, December 4, 2010

SLO Saturday

Staying close in today.  Had a little early morning rain, which was done by the time we got up.  Spent the first part of the morning working on the Trip Journal, and late morning took a short walk through the botanical gardens.  This afternoon we’re watching the game---GO DUCKS!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Exploring the Area

We did a good bit of exploring today and have a much better idea of where we are here at El Chorro Regional Park.  In the morning we did a four-mile hike on the Eagle Rock Nature Trail, which is how we got this birds-eye view of our campsite. If you look closely at the photo you can see our coach in the center between the trees and the golf course in the upper right. Our site is at the back of the campground and we are literally a stones throw from the 11th tee. It's a quiet location without any close by campers. In the afternoon we went into San Luis Obispo and did some shopping, a bird book for me, a long-sleeved shirt for Jeanette, and groceries. It was fun to travel through the town and remember great memories of past trips. Tomorrow we will probably stick close by to be able to watch the DUCKS beat the Beavers!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Park New Friends

We left San Lorenzo Park this morning where we had grown fond of an immature Red-Shouldered Hawk that we saw most days.  You can see a photo of it in the Critter section with a morning catch. But now we have moved a little south and are now camped in El Chorro Regional Park close to San Luis Obispo. After getting set up and having lunch, we heard the now familiar cry of a Red-Shouldered Hawk!  Looking out the window we could see this immature sitting on a perch in the Dairy Creek Golf Course next door. We got our birding stuff and stepped out side to take a walk through the park, but before we got out of our campsite we had identified 7 different species, and by the time we had walked through a couple of loops of the campground we had scored 19 birds! There is no way we are only staying here one night. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wildlife Sightings

I took this photo the first day we were here after coming back on this trail.  Tomorrow we will have been here a week, and no Mountain Lion sighting.  This morning however, we did spot a Bobcat!  I first got a glimpse of what my best guess would be of a feral cat fleeing across the road, next came a Bobcat.  Jeanette got to see it too, and we are both confident in our sighting.  Poor bird morning, only 7 confirmed species, but then, we did see a Bobcat.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

California Thrasher

Just last night Jeanette mentioned that we hadn’t seen any Thrashers yet.  So, of course this morning I got my first photo of a California Thrasher.  I also got a good photo of a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk with its morning catch. Our daily bird count is rising slowly; first it was 11, then 13, and today we made it to 15.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Buster is shown warming in the sun coming through the window this morning.  We have had cold nights here at San Lorenzo Park, a couple down to 25 degrees, and one more is forecasted for tonight. Did we make a mistake mmmm---.    

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Birding at San Lorenzo Park

This morning we made a concentrated effort to do some birding here at the park.  Full gear --- binoculars, spotting scope, and bird guide books. We heard American Crows the minute we stepped out our door, but in the end, it was kind of slim pickin’s with only 11 birds for two hours of birding.  The most numerous where Western Scrub Jays, followed by Black Phoebes as the one shown here catching insects in the eves of the old King City Train Depot. Next in numbers were Audubon’s Warblers, and a covey of California Quail. My favorite photo of the day was the Nuttall’s Woodpecker.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wine Truck

Jeanette took this photo today of this old truck hauling wine barrels, thinking of our vineyard and winery friends back in Elkton.  It’s a 1916 Republic truck, and is in the Museum Barn here at Lorenzo County Park where we are staying. This is truly an amazing park.  It has so much to offer with displays, museums, camping, and hiking trails, all in a wonderfully landscaped park.  We’re fighting the temptation to accept a volunteer position here, and not travel any farther.

Friday, November 26, 2010

More on San Lorenzo

The photo shows our campsite in San Lorenzo Park in the morning sun after a cold night in the mid 20’s.  Although cold here, it is dry and sunny, and we are looking forward to exploring the area.  I’m always curious about history and names and places.  As it turns out this area was orginally a 22,000 acre Mexican land grant given to Feliciano Soberanes in 1841, called Rancho San Lorenzo.  In 1884 Charles King purchased 13,000 acres of Rancho San Lorenzo, started wheat farming, and founded the town as King’s City.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

San Lorenzo Park – King City, California

This sign at the end of the railroad tracks here at the Monterey County Museum located in this park, pretty much sums up our day. This morning we fled the intense congestion and mayhem that is the Bay Area and headed south prepared to stop when we could find a place of peace and quietness.  We had pre-selected King City and San Lorenzo Park, based on distance and planned to stay one night before moving on.  As soon as we were parked in our site we piled out of the coach and went for a walk through the park, by the time we had only gone a quarter of the way through the park and talked to some volunteers, we had decided to stay a week.  Jeanette chased down the head Ranger and sweet-talked him into a deal, so we are only paying twenty-one dollars a night for the week instead of thirtyfour dollars a night! We have definitely come to a stop!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Jeanette Gives Thanks

Today was Jeanette’s Thanksgiving contact with her two boys, Sean and Tony.  They have been moving this week, so a little hard to get together, but today we did.  We picked up Sean in his new place in Oakland and then drove to Tony’s new place in San Francisco. It was a dry sunny day, which is always a plus in SF, and made for a pleasant walk of a couple of blocks to Pasta Pomodoro where we had a great lunch.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bad Weather Everywhere

Here is the road cam photo this morning from the highway junction in our little town of Elkton, Oregon.  It’s a little hard to feel sorry for ourselves because of all the rain we are having here in Pleasanton, California when we see the snow back there. We do however feel very fortunate we left when we did and were able to get over the Siskiyous before the snow.   

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Dry Day

We are having a dry day here, so we got in a nice walk this morning to downtown Pleasanton and back of four miles.  Buster is shown waiting patiently on my lap in the street-side courtyard while his mom is inside picking up some goodies. We also stopped at Towne Center Books to pickup a book we had ordered on California Campgrounds, which strange as it may seem, was shipped from Roseburg Oregon. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Two-Bird Day

Yesterday was just a two-bird day.  The sun was out briefly in the morning and we got in a short one-mile walk here at the fairgrounds before the rain hit.  I managed to get these two photos; a Western Bluebird in its drab winter colors, and a brighter colored Audubon’s Warbler.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Racing the Rain

     We left our campsite at Buckhorn Campground at Black Butte Lake this morning with dry conditions and overcast skies. As we drove south we could see the clouds threatening to come over the coast range. By the time we turned west on Highway 80 rain started to become a real possibility and before turning south on Highway 680 I had the wipers going. As we continued south it cleared and by the time we pulled off at Pleasanton it was dry. I’m sure the next two days the rain will catch us.
     We are set up now at the Alameda County Fairgrounds shoulder to shoulder with other RVs in a packed campground. Kind of a shock to the system after being one of only two RVs in a 65-site campground last night.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Full Day of Birding

Jeanette and Buster are seen here heading back to the motor home, tired after a full day of birding.  We were out birding from 10:00AM until 3:00PM, covering almost 5 miles, on and off trail, through the oak savanna and along the shoreline.  We identified 25 different species, but that doesn’t give you an accurate picture because we probably saw over 50 each of Western Meadowlark, and Lewis’s Woodpecker. What is particularly interesting is both of these species are on Oregon’s Sensitive Species List, but are found in great abundance here. We also saw about 50 Grebes, both Clark’s & Western. It’s supposed to be the last nice day, so we wanted to get as much in as we could. Looks like tomorrow we are going to pull up stakes and head for the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Black Butte Lake

Today we stumbled upon Black Butte Lake. Jeanette and I have traveled up and down I-5 in California more times and years than you can count and have never noticed a place on the map west of Orland called Black Butte Lake.  It’s a US Army Corps of Engineers Project for flood control, irrigation, and recreation.  There are two campgrounds, with Buckhorn Campground being the one that is open year around.  It has 4 different loops with a total of 65 sites.  No hook-ups, but the price is only $12 a night, and with my senior pass its only $6.  When we arrived we were greeted with the sweet song of the Meadowlark.  Later we realized there are flocks of them, more than I have seen in my entire life.  We stopped at one of the first pull through campsite we could fit in and then walked back to pay for the site, it took a long time because there were so many birds; most impressive were Lewis’s Woodpeckers, they were everywhere.  We had lunch, got in a hike, and discovered even a better available site.  So, back to our site, pull up the jacks, pull in the slide, and move to the new site with this impressive view overlooking Black Butte Lake taken late this afternoon. We stopped today thinking we would stay one night, we now plan on staying five!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Red Bluff, California

We took a very leisurely start this morning and only drove as far as Red Bluff to stay in one of our favorite campgrounds, Sycamore Grove Campground. We felt ourselves fortunate to find this shaded site! Spent the afternoon in t-shirts and shorts, walking the trails and birding. Our favorite was watching a pair of Ladder-back Woodpeckers. Summer seems to still be hanging on here.  We were here at this same time last year and the giant Sycamores leaves were bright yellow, but this year they are for the most part still green.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Jeanette took this photo today at about the time we were crossing into California.  We crossed the Siskiyous in dense fog and then descended into bright sunshine.  We stopped for the night north of Redding at Mountain Gate RV Park.  This is a park we have stayed at before and enjoy its beautiful landscaping, pull-thru sites, and friendly service. Tomorrow we will continue on to Sycamore Campground at Red Bluff where the temps are forecasted in the mid to high 70s. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Day of Packing

It is surprising to me to be experiencing a day of bittersweet, this day of packing. It’s difficult of course to have to choose all the things that we will need for the next four months.  But I’m finding it hard, even a little bitter, to say good- bye to friends and family. It’s not that we want to be gone from them.  But there is also the promise of warm sunshine, ah, that’s the sweet part. Today I have to keep focused on that sweet part, to remember the good hiking and birding we have had to the south.  To realize this cold wet day will soon be left behind, come Monday we will be fleeing south over the Siskiyous to the warm temps of California. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Book Worm

The grandsons have always refereed to Jeanette as Gam’net, and when Gram’net and the boys get together there is always a major amount of time devoted to computer games, the current favorite being Book Worm.  I have no idea how it’s played, but knowing it involves spelling, means count me out. However they all love it from the youngest at 5 years to the oldest at 11 years, well make that 64 years.  It’s hard to tell who enjoys it the most, Gram’net or the boys, they all participate with such concentration and glee.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day with the Boys

Daughter Lisa and her three boys, William, Luke and Jake came to spend the Veterans Day Holiday with us in Elkton.  Lisa needed to study, grandma need to cook, so grandpa volunteered to take the boys on an outing.  Buster got to go because he is a boy and we all piled into the van. We stopped first at the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area to use the spotting scope to look at the elk, then on to Reedsport where we hit the Umpqua Discovery Center.  That was a quick run through where all routes seem to end in the gift shop.  However, the outside area shown here was good to run off some energy.  Over lunch at Subway I posed the question; would they like to go bird watching next, or go to a playground.  In retrospect a silly question on my part, our next stop was a playground.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ducks in a Row

I took this photo of these male Mallards last month while at Collier Memorial State Park. I have been wanting to post it for some time hoping to be able to come up with something witty and profound to say, like the importance of one having ones ducks all in a row.  But today, thinking of the U of O football game, the best I can come up with is---GO DUCKS!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Birding Day Two

We had such a great day of birding yesterday in Reedsport that we decided to go again today and invited friends Michael and Melissa Garguilo.  We essentially covered the whole of Scholfield Levee, starting with McIntosh Slough and then along Scholfield Creek and past the pond next to the RV park.  Sunshine did not appear as we had hoped, but we had a fantastic day of bird watching, identifying 31 different species of birds.  Plus we also got to watch a River Otter and a Harbor Seal. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Great Day of Birding

The goal for the day was to get in some hiking and birding, and with that in mind we left Elkton this morning in the fog and drove into glorious sunshine at Reedsport.  We first explored some sloughs in the industrial area and were rewarded with this handsome male Hooded Merganser.  We also saw his group of females and a couple of diving Cormorants.  After that we moved to a pond where we saw quite a few Canada Geese, pairs of American Widgeon, Ring-necked Ducks, and Mallards, and a sprinkling of American Coots. From there we hiked a portion of the Scholfield levee and watched several Cormorants diving and sunning, and got to see our first Band-tailed Pigeon. Add to that, lunch at the Crows Nest in the Reedsport Natural Foods store, and a full day of warm sunshine.  Hard to beat. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fall in Elkton

We have been enjoying the mild temperatures and great fall colors since being back in Elkton. After the sub freezing temps at Collier State Park, lows in the 50s feels like a real luxury. The plan is to hang around Elkton until after the 15 of November when we will take off for California. Incidentally, ODOT has a new road cam on the east end of this Elk Creek Bridge, which is the junction of Highway 38 and 138.  Check it out here. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Escape from the Snow

Here is what Jeanette and I escaped from by leaving Collier Memorial State Park Yesterday! This photo by Thom Hoch at their campsite this morning in LaPine State Park, which is about the same elevation as Collier. Thom and his wife Dar are fellow RVers and we follow their bog, RV Sabbatical Journal.

We did make it home to Elkton this morning after some great service by the guys at Les Schwab Tires in Roseburg.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Almost Home

Today we attempted an escape to home in Elkton. The change in the weather to rain and snow prompted the park to close the Gift Shop.  This caused us to look a little closer at the weather forecast, concluding that today would be the best day to get over the Cascades before the upcoming snowstorms. This morning the road cam on Highway 138 near Diamond Lake showed no snow and a temp of 44 degrees.  By noon we were packed, unplugged, and pulling out of the campground. As we climbed the grade to Diamond Lake it started snowing, getting thicker and heavier by the minute, but all we could do was press on and get on down to lower elevations. We made it, and when we stopped for groceries in Roseburg I discovered a leaky valve stem on the right hand inner dual. Because it’s Sunday, Les Schwab is closed, so tonight we are parked in their parking lot here in Roseburg awaiting their morning opening.  It’s not a bad deal at all, we’re warm and cozy, had dinner and showers and are relaxing with computers and TV. When your home is on wheels I guess you’re always home.  

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sittin' by the Stove

A little too cold to sit outside this morning, so here I am with my butt planted firmly by the stove. I did leave the warm of the stove this afternoon to move the motor home back to the campground, as they were finished with the burn. With the change in weather, this may be where I’ll be spending my time.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Me & Ursula

With the campground closed as a precautionary measure due to the burn, business was really down at the Gift Shop today.  I guess the majority of our customers must come from the campground.  Anyway, it was so slow I ended up striking up a friendship with Ursula the Donation Bear.  She was sort of miffed due to lack of donations I think. It was probably one of the situations when it’s best not to say anything, just be there as a friend.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Camping in a Museum

One of the fun things about having an RV is camping in different locations.  It’s kind of exciting and interesting each time you set up in a new location and adjust and get acquainted with your surroundings. Today’s move added another element, our first time to camp inside a museum!  The logging museum here at Collier Memorial State Park is world famous, and because it is such a large scale it is located outside.  However, when they close and lock the gate tonight, we will be ----well, -- locked in a museum.  I wonder if there are any ghosts of loggers past? Perhaps a tired old cat skinner, who with bony hands, grabs the levers on the old D7, and causes it to rattle out across the parking lot. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Prudent Move

We found out this afternoon that we will have to move from our site in the campground tomorrow because on Thursday the Forest Service is going to conduct a burn on the meadow next to the campground. As you can see from the thick pine forest in the campground, moving is indeed the prudent thing to do. Although it’s called a “controlled burn”, I can recall a number of controlled burns that have gotten out of control.  We will move temporarily to the Logging Museum parking lot for Wednesday and Thursday nights, then back to our site on Friday.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Exploring the Area

Today was a day off for us here at Collier Memorial State Park, so we took advantage of the time off to explore some more sites in the area.  Our main objective was Jackson Kimball State Park where the photo was taken.  The park is the location of the headwaters of the Wood River, which springs out of the hillside cold and clear. There is also a small campground there. We also stopped at the Klamath Fish Hatchery on Crooked Creek. But our most impressive stop was a visit to the Winema National Forest’s Wood River Day Use Area.  The paved trails, inviting picnic benches, and scenic winding Wood River made us dream of returning with fly rod and picnic basket.  

Friday, October 15, 2010

Holding Down My Job

Jeanette and I have both been suffering from bad colds for over a week now, but we have still been able to get to the Gift Shop.  Here I am shown sitting out in front on the bench holding down my job. Each morning I open up, start the wood stove, and then sit outside in the sun and enjoy watching the birds and the squirrels. It’s a great job!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Douglas Squirrel

The Douglas Squirrel is by far the most vocal of all the squirrels here at Collier Memorial State Park.  Their high-pitched bark it is probably most often mistaken for a birdcall if not followed closely. Every morning when I open the Gift Shop I get a loud and long protest from this little guy in the pine tree by the front porch. I don’t know if he thinks it’s his cabin, or he doesn’t like me making a wood fire, but he is definitely not happy with my presence.