Saturday, September 22, 2018

Meeting Stephany Smith

Jeanette & Stephany

This morning while Jeanette and I were birding and walking our dog Buster at Fairfiew Drive Wetlands we met a lady walking her dogs.  Here first question was "Are you Cascade Ramblings?" Well yes, how would you know? Her name is Stephany Smith and she met us a couple of years ago in Tuscon Arizona at Gilbert Ray County Park.  Here is a link to a post for some of our time there. As it turns out she is a regular reader of our blog, and completely unknown to us, has kept track of us and even knew that we had a new van.  Beside the obvious common interest in dogs, and possibly birds, she also has an RV, a Lazy Days.  After several questions concerning our Roadtrek Zion we gave her a tour.  She was particularly interesting in our Pico chairs that fold up into such a small space.

 Jeanette giving her spiel on Pico chairs

Sunday, September 16, 2018

New Designs and Improvements

Jeanette has been busy making new designs and improvements in our Roadtrek Zion.  This finished product in the above photo is some rear storage space.  First she designed and build a shelf made of slats, and then today on a trip to The Container Store in Tualatin we found these three perfect storage boxes. It is quiet a challenge, often daunting, to prepare such a small space as the van to live in for the winter months we plan on traveling around California and Arizona.

In the lower photo is our rear twin-bed set-up.  She has spent literally weeks working away selecting material and sewing to make a comfortable sleeping arrangement.  This project, finished earlier this week, includes two memory foam mats covered with removable slip covers and matching pillow slip covers.  This is actually a second design, the first she deemed a failure.  Luckly she forged on and came up with this beautiful finished set.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Recent Van Trips

I seem to have gotten behind in posting.  I guess in part because we have been so busy trying to get the van arranged to our liking. We have taken a couple of trips to the coast to escape the heat and test out the van. I'm going to post a collection of our two most recent trips   

Fort Yamhill State Heritage Site

On Tuesday August 28th we took off early in the morning for a one nice stay at the coast.  It was going to be in the high eighties in Salem.  Buster's impatience led us to make Buell County Park on Mill Creek our first stop. We had the park to ourselves and got in a good bird walk. Our second stop was at Fort Yamhill State Heritage Site, where we got in a second walk and made up a second bird list. Our third stop was on the Salmon River Estuary at Knight County Park.  Here we had lunch, rested in the shade and made up our third bird list of the day. In late afternoon we drove over Cascade Head to make our night parking at Neskowin Beach State Recreation Site and have dinner at the Hawk Creek Cafe, which for some unexplainable reason was closed! 

Knight County Park

Our second trip to the coast started on Tuesday September 4th.  Our first stop to accommodate Buster was the Riverview Park in Independence, and surprisingly again we had a great bird walk.  We continued on to Corvallis and over the coast range towards Newport, but turning at Toledo to stop at a favorite of ours, Paddle Park on Yaquina Bay. Here we spent some time relaxing at I used my mobile office set-up to catch-up our bird lists and photos. Leaving Paddle Park we drove along Yaquina Bay, and then over the Yaquina Bridge, stopping on the south end at a favorite fish place to purchase a shrimp salad and a crab salad for lunch which we stopped at the South Beach Day Use Area to enjoy. After lunch we continue south on Highway 101 to Walport, stopping at Governor Patterson Memorial State Recreation Site for a good walk on the beach and a bird list. Our night parking was back in Walport at an undisclosed location.

  Paddle Park

Our second day on this trip we headed north on Highway 101 making a stop at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area to park at a very scenic spot that we used two years ago and seems to be mostly overlooked.  Here we spent a good part of the day relaxing, taking short walks, having lunch, and catching up with computer time. Our dinner plan was to stop at Moe's in Otter Rock. Again we found a closed restaurant!  Checked out some spots at Depot Bay and elected to park for the night at Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint.  Leftovers for dinner and a glorious sunset. 

Yaquina Head view point

Sunset at Boiler Bay

Conclusion: Three days and two nights, zero for camp fees, 25 dollars for lunch, 50 dollars for gas. Great weather and scenery.  Biggest disappointment, the Girard On-demand water heater. Unbelievably impractical to the point we will probably be replacing.