Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back to Work

I got back to work today in my volunteer position of surveying trails for the Cottage Grove District of the Umpqua National Forest. Here is a self-portrait I took at my starting point at the Shane Saddle Trailhead of the Bohemia National Recreation Trail. I surveyed the next 6 miles of trail to finish this segment of the historic route of early miners from Oakland to the Bohemia Mountain mines. Check the TRIP JOURNAL for more photos.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Honeymoon Remembered

We are back home in Elkton now. The motor home is unpacked and we are busy watering, weeding, washing, and cleaning in general. While spending time in the Columbia River Gorge this past week we were reminded of our Honeymoon there in May of 1993. We struggled to remember our route and where we stayed. It gets a little confusing because in the following two years we took other people with us on various route combinations. Now back home, I am digging out old calendars, journals and photos in an effort to piece our trip back together. This photo is of our start at Skamania Lodge in Stevenson Washington. In an effort to keep it all together so that we can easily see it I am in the process of putting it in the Trip Journal of Cascade Ramblings.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sandcastle Beach

Staying at the Inn at Sandcastle Beach proved to be a big hit for the Summer Scott Reunion. Everyone loved time on the beach, example------grandson Luke balancing on a log.

Friday, June 25, 2010

All Aboard

Grandsons William, Luke, and Jake are getting on board our Holiday Rambler in Dallas for a trip to Waldport for the Summer Scott Reunion at the Inn at Sandcastle Beach. They were great passengers, the best a grandpa could possibly hope for.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Polk County Fairgrounds

This is where we are hanging out now for a few days, the Polk County Fairgrounds in Rickreall. We discovered this camping opportunity last fall, it is very quite and at fifteen dollars a night it’s a real bargain. Besides the normal assortment of county fair buildings, there is also a picnic day use area with walking trails along Rickreall Creek. A museum is also located on the grounds, and next-door is a restaurant, neither of which we have taken advantage of yet. The pick-up in the picture belongs to Jeanette’s brother, Bill who is out of town for a few days and loaned it to us to enable us to do some running around for appointments and getting together with friends. There is a big event planned here at the fairgrounds this weekend, Bus’n USA is having a big rally and will need all the sites, so tomorrow we will be moving to daughter Lisa’s drive way in Dallas for a night before moving on to the coast for a couple nights for the Summer Scott Reunion.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wind in the Gorge

It was quiet when we left Prosser this morning, but by the time we had dropped down into the Columbia River Gorge the wind was blowing at a good pace. White caps rolled up the Columbia and head on blasts to the motor home made for some difficult driving. We decided to put it down at Peach Beach Campark for the day. It makes sense to hunker down for the afternoon in the protection of the trees, then make an early morning start to make it through the rest of the Gorge before the day heats up and the winds develop.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Prosser Scottish Fest

Eleven-year-old Logan Pearson is shown today turning the Caber (above) and throwing the Stone (below), as apart of the youth field events at the Prosser Scottish Fest. Logan’s mother Kori, a cousin of Jeanette’s, had invited us to come up to Prosser for this festival, which became our original focus point for this trip. Kori had a both at the fair and her husband Tracy, daughters Hillary and Hayleigh, and son Lane all helped in many of the events. Kori’s dad, grandpa Frank, had tee shirts printed up with the Southerland clan tartan for all the family. It was a great time.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Prosser, Washinton

This morning we walked from our site in the Wine Country RV Park into the charming down town of Prosser, complete with its old brick buildings, train depot, and county court house. Jeanette found 6th Street Coffee were we enjoyed coffee and a scone in street-side elegance. Prosser bills itself as the birthplace of Washington’s modern wine industry and it looks like they are making a big effort to cater to the tourist trade. There are at least ten wineries with tasting rooms within walking distance of our RV park. Not sure how many I can visit in one afternoon.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Columbia Crest Winery

We left Maryhill State Park this morning for Prosser, driving up the Columbia River and into the Horse Heaven Hills, stopping here at the Columbia Crest Winery. It’s a beautiful winery and a huge complex. I tasted several wines, warmed up to a Grand Estates 06 Shiraz, and the next thing I knew I was walking out the door with a case of wine and a free wine club membership. What a way to travel! We are set up now in Prosser for three nights at the Wine Country RV Park.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Transition Day

Buster is shown here hooked up to the Doggie Hitchin Post in Tumalo State Park on a warm sunny afternoon a couple of days ago. We have been enjoying bright warm sunny days in Central Oregon for the last five days. We were so carried away with the experience on Saturday in Bend seeing everyone out enjoying the sun that Jeanette expressed it as intoxicating. Today however was a more sobering experience, this morning the cold temps and rain made the prospect of being confined to the motor home for the whole day unbearable. Checking the weather forecast on my iPod for our route brought up the results of dryer conditions and warmer temps by 15 degrees in the Biggs Junction vicinity. So, late morning we unhitched Buster, hitched up the motor home and galloped up Highway 97, leaving behind a cold and soggy Tumalo State Park and arriving this afternoon at Maryhill State Park where despite the wind it is dry and warmer. On to Prosser tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Little Brother

My brother Mark is 15 years younger than me, and because of our age difference we didn’t spend much time together growing up, but as adults we really enjoy hiking together. He had us over to his house in Bend for dinner last night and showed us all his new ultra-light hiking gear he is putting together for thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Today he took us hiking on the Deschutes River Trail from Big Eddy to Dillon Falls. Check out the Trip Journal for more.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tumalo State Park

Today after doing laundry and washing the motor home we moved on from Dan and Charlene’s and drove to Tumalo State Park in Bend, with the idea of being able to get in some hiking with my brother Mark. When we arrived at the park we were told they had no sites available with hook-ups, only tent sites, however we found this one and moved right in, electricity, water, and sewer. A nice site with some shade, TV, phone, and Internet reception, and another day of glorious sunshine!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Scout Camp Trail

Sunday's hike took us deep into the Deschutes River Canyon on the Scout Camp Trail. This was a trail I had only learned of recently, and none of us had done, so Dan, Charlene, Jeanette and I and our dogs Buster and Coco headed off for an adventure. Check out the TRIP JOURNAL for more details.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tollgate Trail

Day three of our trip finds us in the Sisters area hiking with friends Dan and Charlene on the Tollgate Trail. This morning we walked out their back yard in Tollgate, into the National Forest and onto the Tollgate Trail, a connecting trail to the Sisters High School. This is a part of Sisters Trails, an impressive network of trails that are being developed in the Sisters area. The stated purpose of our hike was to give the dogs a good walk, but we quickly fell into bird watching and wildflower identification----and in glorious sunshine!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cookin for the Cook

We are on the road again for a little trip and our first nights stay was in the new RV campground at Armatage Park a Lane County Park just outside of Eugene. Son Michael and wife Robin came out for dinner last night. Michael is now cooking in the Central Kitchen at the University of Oregon and came directly from work, hence his uniform. Jeanette fixed a wonderful pot roast dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and fresh bread, finished off with brownies. We got in a great visit and got to watch the Celtics beat the Lakers!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Spotted this buck resting in my backyard last night. Possibly the dad or brother to the nursing fawn I photographed in the morning. Or maybe he’s an uncle or cousin.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sun Comes Out!

The sun came out this morning in Elkton. Locals stumbled out of their houses blinking blindly in the brightness. Buster wanted to get out and take his daily walk. All kinds of birds were out. Of course there were the turkeys, starlings and crows, but also mourning doves, scrub jays, swooping swallows, circling vultures and a soaring osprey. But the most tender sight was this doe nursing her fawn in the warmth of the morning sun.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

More Doves

We are at my daughter’s house in Dallas for a few days and I wrote the previous blog about Eurasian Collared Doves yesterday morning from her house. That afternoon I thought I heard the familiar three syllable coo-Coo-coo call of the Eurasian Collared Dove coming from her back yard. I stepped out onto the patio, and sure enough a Eurasian Collared Dove. They are everywhere! In fact, it was the first sound I heard this morning as I was getting out of bed!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Eurasian Collared Doves

I spotted this pair of Eurasian Collared Doves atop a light pole this past weekend in downtown Elkton. I was dismayed to find them already in the Northwest. This dove was orginally introduced into the Bahamas in the 1970s and then spread from there to Florida by 1982. They have since rapidly spread across the southern United Sates. In fact you might not find them listed in your bird quide unless its very recent. In 2005 I saw my first one at Buckskin Mountain State Park in Arizona. This past winter of 2009 while at Buckskin I was surprised to find that they had become the dominant bird in the park. They seem to have driven out the smaller native Mourning Dove. Now, it appears they have arrived in my home town of Elkton.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Fruits of Our Labor

During this Memorial Day Weekend Jeanette put together kind of an introduction tour of Elkton’s four wineries for our new friends Ken & Jeanne Canfield. On Saturday we visited and tasted at Anindor Vineyards. Sunday afternoon we did Brandborg Winery. Monday we finished with Bradley Vineyards and River’s Edge Winery. We are shown here on Monday tasting at River’s Edge Winery. This is the same winery that Jeanette and I had worked at on last Thursday bottling wine. It was, so to speak, nice to enjoy the fruits of our labor.