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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