Friday, July 12, 2013

Our New Summer Home

Yes, we found a perfect summer home in Bandon.

Kathy had been thinking that she wanted a house before we went to Benson this past winter. After seeing the lovely new houses our Montana Owner friends had recently bought in Arizona, she felt  even stronger she wanted a house.

We had planned to return to Bandon this summer, but came back early this year because I had seen a couple of houses on MLS listing while we where still in Benson. Neither of them were what we wanted.

So, we left it at "if we find the right place" we would buy it. If not we would go back to Benson this fall and look again next year.

We think we have found the perfect summer house for us. It is a 4 block walk to the Dog Park and another 4 blocks to the Beach at Coquille Point. Bandon Beach was rated by CNN as the 85th Best Beach in WORLD!!  CNN Travel 100 Best Beaches

As you can imagine it is daunting to think about starting with nothing and trying to furnish a whole house. This house has been a summer home for the pervious owners, so we bought it completely furnished right down to the pots, pans and dishes, even including the patio furniture. I am sure that in time we will replace some of the pieces, but at least on day one we will have a place to sit, eat and sleep.

Needless to say we are very excited.

We are not done RVing and we still have our Montana 5th Wheel. We plan to stay in Bandon until the rain starts and then head south for the winter.

Molly’s new backyard

Backyard 1

Back yard part 2

Friday, June 21, 2013

Bandon Update for June 2013

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The 85th Best Beach in the World!!

We have always liked Bandon from the first time we came here many years ago. However, when asked why we like Bandon so much we were never sure why we liked it so much. This past month the CNN web site travel section  had an article on World's  100 best beaches. To our surprise Bandon Beach was listed as the 85th best beach in the entire world! Bandon Beach is not a put-on-your-bathing-suit-and-work-on-your-tan kind of a beach. In fact, I don’t recall ever seeing any one on Bandon Beach in a bathing suit. It is a put-on-a- sweatshirt-and-go-for-a-walk kind of a beach. You can go walking for miles, watching the waves breaking against the rocks and the sand. In fact, from Whiskey Run in the north and Port Orford to the south, you can walk 40 miles of uninterrupted beach. As long as you were willing to wade or swim across the many rivers and streams along the way. This is our kind of a beach and certainly Molly’s. I am sure the beach is a big part of why we like the town of Bandon so much.

Other things that have happened in June include: Kathy getting an MRI done on her knee. The Orthopedic Doctor said that some day she will need surgery to repair a torn meniscus, but that it could wait for now. He did give her a cortisone shot in her knee and that has helped a lot. She has started walking regularly again. I went back to the Cape Blanco Lighthouse as a volunteer but only for a few days in June. We have had some rain, some spectacular weather and of course some very windy days. Molly and I have continued to walk the beach between the rain and the worst of the wind.

We continue our search for a summer home here in Bandon. Some new properties have come on the market this past month and we have gone out to look at some of them.

Molly Update:

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Sometimes Dad needs my help navigating. For some reason he and Mom don’t like the “recalculating” Lady on the dashboard.

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This is my chair but when I want to sprawl out on the couch, I let Dad use it.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bandon Update for May 2013

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Come on Dad, catch up.

So what have we been up to during the past month?

We started the month with Kathy hurting her knee getting in to the truck. The Doctor  here in Bandon says that it is a “soft tissue” injury and she needs to be seen by an Orthopedic Specialist. As you can imagine there aren’t a whole lot of doctors here on the Oregon Coast. There is at least one very busy Orthopedic Specialist and we still have about 10 days to wait for her to get in to seem by him.

The weather this May has been much better than the past 2 Mays. Each of the past couple of Mays have been more rain than not. This May we have only had a couple of days with rain and then not all that much. Today has been our first all day non-stop serious rain day.

With Kathy unable to walk very far, Molly and I have been continuing my walks and her runs on the beach. We generally go every other day. We usually have Kathy drop us off at South Jetty and pick us up at Face Rock. The distance is about 2.5 miles for me and at least 3 times as far for Molly as she runs back and forth all over the beach.

2002-12-08 12.00.00-43 A view of toward Coquille Point

2002-12-08 12.00.00-44 Molly patiently waiting for me to catch up.

We have a sunny day!Cape Blanco Lighthouse

I have really enjoyed my time the past two summers as a Lighthouse Host at Cape Blanco Lighthouse.  The lighthouse uses volunteers from Oregon State Parks (OSP) 5 days a week and from the local Cape Blanco Historic Society (CBHS) 1 day a week for Lighthouse Host coverage. OSP coordinates 4 sets of volunteer couples to cover the 5 days. Knowing that they use couples, with Kathy not being able to stand that long, I contacted Greg the Oregon State Park Interpretive Volunteer coordinator for Cape Blanco Lighthouse to have him put me in touch with the CBHS. Greg past on my contact information to CBHS. However, as it turned out he also need some volunteer help. Due to health and RV issues Greg was short 2 sets of volunteer couples during part of the month. I gladly volunteered to help out Greg as a Oregon State Park volunteer and then also agreed to do some volunteer time with the CBHS. As I said really enjoyed my time as a Lighthouse Host. However what I hadn’t taken in to consideration was the commute. When we were on-site volunteers at Cape Blanco, our commute to the Lighthouse was a 3 mile round trip. From where we are staying in Bandon it is a 60 mile round trip! So, my 11 days of volunteering this month have put 660 miles on the truck and used about $180 of diesel fuel!! I need to rethink the number of days that I will volunteer for in June.

The only local birding group and volunteer opportunities actually here in Bandon is Shoreline Education for Awareness or SEA. Our friends John & Sue (currently volunteering in Homer, Alaska) were volunteers for SEA the past 2 summers. I went to their web page filled in my contact information and said I would like to be a volunteer. Apparently, they have all of the volunteers they need as I never heard back from them. As busy as I have been at Cape Blanco this month it may be just as well.

Molly Update: Because, apparently Molly doesn’t get enough Internet exposure she now has her own blog. Molly, the Golden RV Dog. I have enough trouble keep this blog up-to-date do she is on her own.

Nothing new to report on our search for a summer home here in Bandon. Very few properties have come on the market this past month.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Molly, from Desert Diva to Beach Babe

From Desert Diva to Beach Babe

If you read our last blog posting you are no doubt wondering what ocean is connected to New Mexico. Two things I wrote in that blog entry were: “As full time RVers our plans are cast in Jell-O at best.” and “We are thinking about spending September in Bandon, Oregon (we really like that town)”. During each of our visits to Bandon we have talked about how nice it would be to have a summer place in Bandon. Each year we have looked at one or two places but nothing met our needs. As we waited out the strong winds in Benson I saw two properties on the online MLS Listings that looked like they might work for us. So, we decided to go back to Bandon and the beautiful Oregon coast.

Our trip to Bandon was blessedly uneventful. We had a break in the winds for our 3 day journey across the desert. A new cold front started coming in as we reached Bakersfield. Our big truck handles the wind fine for driving, BUT 2 days of headwinds to our stop in Fortuna, California really kills our already no-that-good-fuel mileage.

We stayed in Fortuna for couple of days as the strongest winds of the front came though the area. During each of our trips to or from Oregon the past few years, we always stop in Fortuna for a day or 2 because it is the home of the Eel River Brewing Company's Taproom and Grill. This is one of the the very best Brew Pubs we have come across in our travels. They have both very good food and very good beer. With 14 all organic beers on tap.

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Eel River Brewing Company’s logo and motto.

The roads along the coast are pretty much deserted this time of year, so it is usually a relaxing and very pretty trip. The day we left Fortuna it was dead calm, but just a few miles down the road and the strong headwind was back. It makes for bad mileage, however, the 200 mile trip to Bandon had great views.

Our beloved Raider loved running on sandy beaches, he was the rare Golden Retriever that was afraid of water. When we still had a house he would refuse to go outside if he heard the sprinklers running. We were anxious to take our Arizona girl Molly to the beach to see how she would handle the water. Oregon has the most dog friendly beaches anywhere. With the exception of beaches that have endangered species (like the Western Snow Plovers). Pretty much all other beach allows dogs off leash.

Molly walking with Dad at Face Rock Park in Bandon, OR

Molly and Dad at Coquille Point Bandon, Oregon before going down to the beach.

It turns out that Molly LOVES running on the beach and LOVES running in the surf!

Molly the Sunbather

Like all true Beach Babes after a run along the beach she has to lay out in the sun to work on her golden tan.

As it turned out neither of the houses we came to see or a few others that the agent showed us worked out for us. Mostly because they had too much land and were too thickly forested. We are looking for a small very low maintenance place, not too far from town and hopefully close to one of the beaches.

We have decided (for now) to stay awhile in Bandon to see what other properties might come on the market as the summer season starts.

Since we are going to be in the area for awhile I have volunteered to return to the Cape Blanco Lighthouse a day or 2 a week to give tours.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Time to get back on the Road

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We are fine, but have been really busy.

March was pretty much like February, but with better weather (mostly).

Kathy continued to bead and I continued to volunteer at Kartchner Caverns State Park.

Three couples from our Montana Owners group have bought homes in the area, so we went to visit and see their new homes. We also had two other couples from the Montana Owners group come down to spend a few days at St. David, the next town south of here. So there have been a lot of lunches and Happy Hours to attend.

Paul and Nina from Wheeling It, that we volunteered with at Cape Blanco Lighthouse last August, came to spend a few days at the SKP Park. So, naturally there were more lunches, dinners and Happy Hours.

A few of the interesting places we visited include:

Triangle T Historic Ranch this is a dude ranch just off of I-10 about half way between Benson and Wilcox. In other words “in the middle of nowhere”. It has an authentic Saloon right down to the swing doors. The Saloon was built around an enormous rock for apparently no good reason. They also have their own Triangle T IPA and some excellent burgers. Needless to say we went there more than once.

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About a mile further down the road from Triangle T Historic Ranch is the The Amerind Museum in their own words “Amerind Museum exhibitions tell the story of America's first peoples from Alaska to South America and from the last Ice Age to the present. Amerind's Fulton-Hayden Memorial Art Gallery features works on western themes by such artists as Carl Oscar Borg, William Leigh, Frederic Remington, and Andy Tsihnahjinnie, and one room in the Art Gallery is reserved for the presentation of contemporary Native American art. A museum store offers southwestern arts, crafts, and books on prehistory, history, and Native American cultures.”. It is an amazing museum sitting in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately cameras are not permitted.

We have been at the SKP Park in Benson the past 5 months and plan to leave on Wednesday to go  spend some time in Southern New Mexico. We are not volunteering this summer. Kathy's 86 & 83 year old parents are having health issues.  We never looked into any volunteer positions because we are not sure if we will have to go to Mariposa suddenly.

We think our plans are to take our time heading north on I-25 to revisit the Black Hills. Then we think we will go to the Escapee Escapade in Gillette, Wyoming over 4th of July. After that we will head west on I-90 to Washington. We are planning to visit the SKP Park in Chimacum, Washington and then on to Olympic National Park. From there we will head down the coast. We are thinking about spending September in Bandon, Oregon (we really like that town) and then head to San Jose in October for our yearly Doctor visits and to see our youngest son. Then back here to Benson around the first of November.

Another option we are considering is: Our Montana owners group is having a rally near Spokane in June. So, maybe we will not do I-25 and the Escapade at all and go to the Spokane rally, then head west to  Chimacum and Olympic National Park. Then visit the SKP Park in Sutherlin,Oregon before heading to Bandon in September.

As full time RVers our plans are cast in Jell-O at best. Only time and weather will tell were we end up.

We have enjoyed our time here with Kathy's beading and my volunteering at Kartchner Caverns. The SKP's Beading Group had 25 women that met 3 days a week for about 2 1/2 hours. There have also been some SKP hikes, and many dinners,  breakfasts and entertainers at the club house. There are so many activities that we couldn’t even go to half of them. The people have been friendly and try to make sure we feel included. Of course EVERYBODY LOVES MOLLY.

A few of the bracelets Kathy has made:



Molly the Lap Dog

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Monday, March 4, 2013

I missed the month of February!

Molly the Desert Diva

Molly the Desert Diva

Yes, they do have February here in Arizona. I just haven’t gotten around to writing about it.The weather this February has been 4 or 5 days of very cold weather with nights in to the 20s. Followed by 4 or 5 days of warm weather with high reaching into the 70s. Then back into the cold; followed by back to warm. At one point we went from 70 degrees to 3 inches of snow in just 2 days.

2002-12-08 12.00.00-162002-12-08 12.00.00-172002-12-08 12.00.00-192002-12-08 12.00.00-20We had snowMolly found out that snow is COLD! Molly found out just how cold snow can be.

On one of the very nice days we took Molly on her first Birding Trip.

Molly on her first bird watching trip

We went to Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area this is the winter home of over 20,000 Sandhill Cranes and many kinds of ducks. Molly, as always, was as good as gold and didn’t bark or try to chase any of the birds.

After visiting Whitewater Draw we headed back home via the old copper town of Bisbee.

Molly pictures:

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Did the bunnies go that way?

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Or did the bunnies go this way?

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   I think I will just sit here and work on my tan until they come back

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See my new bandana from my Aunt Judy?   .                                          

Monday, January 21, 2013

Arizona can get COLD!

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Molly the Desert Dog on her morning walk.

We survived the Arizona deep freeze. For 5 nights we had overnight lows in the teens and one night our thermometer said 10 degrees!  Even though we wrapped our hose and ran a trickle of water, we would wakeup to no running water. One night we unhooked our hose, but the next morning we found the RV Park faucet had frozen. We always keep some water in our fresh water tank so it wasn’t a catastrophe. Prior to this the lowest temperature we had been in with either of our 5th wheels was 17 degrees.

Back in December the locals were saying “it is never this nice in December”; this month they have been saying “it never gets this cold in January”. The good news is we are back to the real Arizona with non stop sunny, clear days in the 70s.

Molly has now been with us 2 months and continues to be a sweetheart. We have been told by many people how lucky we were to get such a wonderful, sweet tempered dog as a rescue. If she had any issues about being a rescue she is over them. Molly has filled out and her coat has come in nicely, she now looks like the Diva she has become. Her crate has become her den. We leave it in the living room and open all of the time. When she decided she needs a nap she goes into the crate and curls up.

 She gets along with everyone she meets, person or dog. This RV Park has its own Dog Park and Molly loves being able to play with other dogs off leash.

The only information we had about Molly when we got her was that she became a rescue because she had run away from home so many times that the Animal Shelter told her owner that he needed to think about finding her a new home. That is when he surrendered Molly to the Animal Shelter. We have been extremely cautious about making sure she doesn’t slip out as we go in and out the door. However, Molly has never once bolted for the door and never tried to go out the door at any time. She has also always been responsive to our calls when playing in the Dog Park. So, after her being with us 6 weeks we where brave enough to let her off leash on the desert trails behind the RV Park. Now she could run with her big black Lab buddy, Hunter. We were very anxious but she always returned to us when called. Since then it has become a regular part of our day to take the desert trail to or from the Dog Park. Also she and I have made a number of exploring forays, just the two of us out exploring the desert around the RV Park. She has been eager to sniff and explore new areas, but also stays close enough to keep me in sight.

Since the weather turned nice we where all eager to get to see some new sights, so we went to the Ghost Town of Fairbank, Arizona. Fairbank was the railhead for Tombstone back in the silver mining days. It was also the location of the stamp mill that crushed the ore. We took the trail from the town to the old mill site and back with a few detours. We weren’t sure about leash laws in the area so we kept Molly her leash. Our walk turned out to be 4 miles, the longest walk we have had Molly on. She did great and saw as far as we know her first horses. Molly looked at them but didn’t move and didn’t bark. She was one tired puppy when we were done and slept the whole way home.

One tired puppy

One tired puppy.

I know what you are thinking: “So where are the pictures of Fairbank?”. It has been so long since we have used our cameras we forgot to bring any with us.

Molly and her "baby"

Molly and her "baby"

Molly LOVES her bell scracth position

Molly LOVES her bell scratch position