Friday, February 5, 2010

Wow, we awoke this morning to a bright light in a perfectly blue sky, what a welcome sight, and the best part is that it lasted all day, which made for a nice day for driving.

I didn't bring in my camera last night so didn't have any pictures to post but here are some from yesterday. We had passed these old Airstreams at Humbug Mountain many times so finally stopped and took a couple of pictures. The smaller one has a very worn Wally Byam Caravan Club sticker on the front, we wonder if this is one of the trailers that went on the African tour many years ago. Gotta love the old Dodge! We have no idea who they belong to or why they are parked there but they certainly are in sad shape!!

And our last pictures of the Oregon Coast

Our Site at Willet KOA

We left Willet KOA about 9:30 and went south for about 15 miles on Highway 101 and then picked up Highway 20 east. Tim, at Port Orford RV Village, had said this was a good way across to I-5 and it was a pretty trip through to the interstate although there was lots of hill climbing – and coming back down, plus lots of little towns to go through. We drove for many miles along Clear Lake, a very large lake and a very touristy area, I imagine it would be a really busy place in the summer.

Clear Lake

The View Along Highway 20

All of a sudden we came around a curve and the mountains disappeared, it was really weird how fast they disappeared and we were then in very flat land, it reminded us of southern Ontario. We picked up I-5 north of Sacremento and will be on it until tomorrow when we head east at Bakersfield. All along I-5 there are miles and miles or orchards, vineyards and market gardening and everything is so green, and flooded from all the rain.

California roads certainly aren’t great, the interstate is pretty rough in spots but the traffic wasn’t too bad today. It was quite busy through Sacramento and Stockton but other than through those two cities it was not nearly as busy as we had thought it might be.

We are now at Kit Fox RV Park in Patterson, a very nice park and cheaper than last night but still more expensive than it should be, but then, this is Caifornia. We stopped about 3 this afternoon so it wasn’t a bad day at all.

Just before we got here we got back into mountains on the west side of the highway, it is really weird as the west is very hilly and when you look east it is all orchards – quite pretty.

We stopped at Williams to get diesel before getting on the interstate and it cost $3.099/gallon, fortunately it only took $25 to fill up and hopefully the next stop will be cheaper but that seems to be the going price most of the time from what we can see.

And so ends another great gift of a day and we look forward to another nice day tomorrow.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Today was our day to depart Port Orford RV Village and start our trip to Yuma so, it was with sadness but see you again, that we said goodbye to all our new friends, we really do hope to be back this way next spring.

Yesterday was a totally miserable day, we woke up in the morning to torrential rain and it stayed like that until mid afternoon so we were really thankful that John wasn’t out in it hooking us up. I did laundry and walked around the park when the rain stopped but all in all it was a pretty quiet day.

This morning we woke up to quiet – hey, it wasn’t raining!! John actually got up early enough to go over for the morning coffee session that happens from around 7 to 8 a.m. – usually too early for us!! I even made a late appearance about 8 a.m. – I am sure they all thought that I had had an accident to be up so early – LOL! We were on the road by about 9:15 a.m. – just as it started to rain.

We had rain pretty well all the way to Brookings, that was disappointing as I couldn’t get any final pictures of the Oregon Coast. We stopped at Gold Beach and picked up a Dungeness crab for dinner – our last of these wonderful, tasty crabs. Right after Brookings the rain stopped so we had high hopes that this would be the end of it – how silly can we be!!

As navigator and co-pilot I had planned on stopping at Fortuna but when we got there the pilot thought it was too early to stop so wanted to carry on. Okay, I found another park around Legget that sounded not too bad so we headed for there. Well, never having driven in northern California before we were in for quite a surprise – Highway 101 south of Fortuna was very hilly, narrow at times and slow going – especially in the rain and with very few towns along the way. And rain it did, it came down in torrents and we had a few good gusts of wind – not what I would call a nice travel day. There was also lots of fog just to add to the fun.

By late afternoon we were getting low on fuel with no gas stations in sight. I might add that once in California the price of diesel was anywhere from $3.099 to $3.199/gallon so that wasn’t really making us happy. Now, to make matters worse, Alice - our GPS, had the wrong spot for the park we were going to check out and all of a sudden we were passing it and Alice was telling us it was still 10 km down the road – not pretty as there was no place to turn around!! At this point the pilot and co-pilot weren’t saying too much to each other as recriminations don’t do anybody any good so we were just silent!! Finally we came into Laytonville and there was a Chevron that a) sold diesel, b) we could get into and c) (best of all) the price was $2.999/gallon.

At this point we were on plan C – staying at the Willet KOA, and for anybody who knows us you know how much we dislike KOA’s, but at this point it seemed like the only choice. But wait, while I was in the gas station I was talking to a local lady who said there were a couple of RV parks about 15 miles south, okay we’ll check these out. Well, again, the first one was by us before we knew it was there but the second one was better marked so we pulled in.

It didn’t look really great when we pulled in but the owner said we could probably get in site 9 and not to have to unhook. Meanwhile, we are parked in front of the office and people are yelling at us as they can’t get by – what are we supposed to do as the road is narrow and there is no place to pull over and check in at the office. The owner told us to go ahead and park and either come back and pay or pay in the morning on the way out – at this point I noticed on the counter their price was $42/night but he did say they were a Passport America park. Well, we headed into the park to find site #9 and went into shock, we have never seen a worse looking park in our lives and we knew we wouldn’t feel particularly safe there, plus our bedroom window would be backing right onto Highway 101 – we don’t think so! Now, how do we get out of this mess? There was a fellow outside across from site #9 who told John there was a turnaround at the end of the park so we cautiously went on and did manage, just, to get turned around and get the heck out of there.

On to the Willett KOA and here we are – at a cost of $37/night which is a total rip but what can we do – it was pretty well dark when we got here so there was no way we were going any further.

We have now had a wonderful dinner of Dungeness crab and have managed to unwind after our long, stressful day on the road and the rain has even let up to just a few drops but we don’t expect that to last as the forecast for the next three days is for rain, rain and more rain.

And so ends a couple more great gifts of days and we look forward to another interesting day tomorrow, no matter what the weather is like.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

February already, where on earth does the time go!!

We have had a few quiet days here with nothing happening to write about. Sunday was a really nice day so we spent time outside enjoying the sun, the forecast is for rain all this week so we have to enjoy the sun when it happens. The cherry trees in the front of the park are all out in bloom and look so pretty.

Claudia came over with her pictures from diving and we really enjoyed seeing them, we always think of the Caribbean when thinking about all the pretty underwater sea life but it is just as pretty here; now I look at the ocean and think about all the underwater beauty as well as the majesty of the waves.

Claudia and Gene were saying the large hoist at the dock isn’t working so they haven’t been able to get out fishing lately. It is an iffy business between the tides, weather and getting up and down at the dock and we certainly have gained a new appreciation for the fishermen from talking to them.

Sunday night we went to the Crazy Norwegian for dinner and had their special for the evening, fish tacos, yummy! The last day of the month is cake and ice cream at 6:30 here at the park to celebrate any birthdays or anniversaries during the month; well there weren’t any to celebrate but we had cake and ice cream anyways and a nice visit, although there weren’t too many people there. The cake and ice cream were a great finish to our delicious dinner.

Yesterday we went to Brookings to pick up a few groceries and just to get out for the day. It rained off and on all day and was a bit foggy at times but we had a nice day anyways. We stopped at Gold Beach and got a Dungeness crab for dinner, and as usual it was delicious.

Looking North Towards Humbug Mountain in the Fog

On the way home we went down to the dock, there wasn’t a lot happening but we saw this pelican sitting on the dock, when I tried to take his picture he flew off and landed on this boat, so I did manage to get a few pictures.

Pelican on the Dock

And Peeking Out from His Hiding Spot on the Boat

Today is wet and overcast but the good part is that it just rains off and on, not a steady rain all day - that is forecast for later in the week. We were going to leave tomorrow and spend a day in the Fortuna California area but the forecast is for rain all day Thursday so it wouldn’t be much of a day for touring around, therefore, we have decided to wait and leave here on Thursday and just make a straight run through to Yuma, arriving there next Monday the good lord be willing and all going well.

I must say we are looking forward to sun and warmer days although we have really enjoyed our time on the Oregon Coast and especially here at Port Orford and hope to return some time. We would like to return in the spring on the way home in another year or two and see what the spring is like here.

And so ends more great gifts of days here on the Oregon Coast and we look forward to another interesting day tomorrow, no matter what the weather is like.