Saturday, September 23, 2017

Revisiting Waxmytle Campground

Truth be told, this trip was just an excuse to spend time in our motor home, Serenity.  We love the sense of freedom and adventure it provides.  We had had a rainy week, so our first thought was to head for a drier area like the east end of the Columbia Gorge.  But as we were packing-up we discovered that I-84 East Bound was still closed between Troutdale and Hood River because of the Eagle Creek Fire.  How about the Washington side?  Highway 14 was open, but closed to all vehicles of 10,000 lbs, we are 11,030.  How about Summer Lake?  A look at Trip Check showed snow on the Willamette Pass.  That left us with some area on the Oregon Coast, which we had already visited a good deal this summer.  We settled on camping at Waxmytle Campground, a long time favorite of ours.  It's a place we have enjoyed camping, hiking, birding, and volunteering.  The additional appeal for us is that our good friend Glenn is the current campground host.  

Eight o'clock the next morning Glenn, Jeanette, myself, and Buster headed out on the Waxmyrtle Trail for a morning of birding.  Although not the birdiest, we did eventually get a good list of birds which you can see here.

Glenn is finishing up on two and a half years as serving as a volunteer on bird surveys, plover patrol, campground maintence, and campground host.  He takes off the end of the month for parts unknown in the southern direction. We hope to catch up with him this winter and get to do more birding together.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Camping at Lake of the Woods

Here is our campsite, #2 in the Aspen Point Campground at Lake of the Woods.  We made a stop up here for two nights on our way from the wedding at Collier Memorial State Park to Henderson Line-Up in Grants Pass. (We had an appointment at Henderson's to install rear Koni shocks on the Serenity, which by the way we are really impressed with the improvement.) This camping in the tree forest was our first opportunity to test out our new solar system.  With the hot weather, having shade was a necessity, but possibly a problem for the solar system. We found that even in shade some electricity is still being generated and with careful use we still had all the electricity we needed to keep laptops and phones charged. We made the big plunge to install solar this summer, in an effort to give us more days of dry camping without the dependency of being hooked up to electricity.  The experts on solar here in Oregon are AM Solar in Springfield, but they were not able to work us into their busy schedule until December. We wanted to be in Arizona by then so that was a no go.  Fortunately they have trained certified installers that they could recommend and we connected with Scott Harris of Urgent Care RV Repair & Solar, a mobile installer, who spends his summers in Newport.  He was able to install a solar system for us on August 16th.  We have not been connect to shore power at home since then, which in two more days will be a month! We loved our time at Lake of the Woods, even with some smoke in the air, the cooler temps were welcomed.

Rainbow Bay with Brown Mountain in the background

Monday, September 11, 2017

Birding at Wood River Wetland

We have been hanging out in Klamath County for the last several days, attending our nephew Matt Scott's wedding, and squeezing in as much birding as possible. From last night's parking sight at Kal-mo-ya Casino we drove to our morning destination for birding at Wood River Wetland, the top eBird Hot Sport in Klamath County. We have birded here a couple of times in past years, so we knew to expect a good number of birds. We usually encounter a variety of people on the trail.  Some come to walk their dogs, some to fish, and some even to hunt.  In fact today we saw three hunters on mt. bikes coming back with what I think we Canada Geese stuffed in their backpacks.  But today we also actually came across some birders.  We could tell they were the real thing because they not only had binoculars, but also spotting scopes, and would stand for long periods of time identifying birds in the trees, in the bushes and out on the water.  Jeanette who has the uncanny ability to engage anyone with-in a 20 yard radius in conversation, soon had these guys by the ear asking all kind of questions. Turns out they are the top two eBirders in Klamath County, Dave Haupt (on the left), and Kevin Spencer (on the right). They were a huge help to us in nailing down species that we hadn't gotten a good enough look at to be sure on the identification. Here is a link to our observation list.