Sunday, September 28, 2014

Changed Plans

As will happen in the Ranger's lives, plans changed.  We were slowly working our way South in California when we needed to move a little faster.  My heart decided to need the services of a hospital.  So Wednesday afternoon we drove to Terri's sisters town and I went to spend three wonderful days at Valley Medical in Pleasanton (East of San Francisco).

They went for an inside look at the my heart (Angiogram) and after a few days kicked me out and told me I was fine.  No stent this time, so I was not able to add to my collection.

So instead of pretty pictures of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys you get a boring report on hospital food.  It was O.K.

I get to sit around for a few days before we can resume our travels.  At least the weather will be beautiful here for the next week.  All sun and in the high 70's and low 80's. 

We are parked at Terri' nephews house in Livermore.  We get to visit Cory and Jeanette and their cute kids which is a big bonus in life.  Eva is enjoying playing with their dogs.  If Eva is happy, so am I.

Life is good.... think I'll practice being lazy.

Perhaps I needed to look harder for a 4 leaf clover the other day.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Redwoods, Elk and More Lighthouses

Monday night we stayed at Klamath River just over the California border.  It had been a busy morning visiting our last lighthouse in Oregon before moving South.  The remaining coastline in Southern Oregon gets wilder and rougher as you go.  It's a great road to travel.

Cape Blanco Lighthouse.
The lighthouse sits on a cape that makes it the furthest West lighthouse on the West coast of the USA.  Built in 1870 it is also the oldest on the Oregon coast.

The lighthouse keeper was in full uniform as he gave the tour.  This is the only lighthouse we have been allowed to go into the lens room.

What goes up, must come down.
The last lighthouse photo.....
Thus ends my obsession with lighthouses, at least the Oregon ones.  We've already seen our first Californian one in Trinidad.

Now for photos from the Redwood National Park.

Off for a walk in the Redwoods.
They're tall.......
And they're big.
Redwood burls in their native state.
In many ways the Redwood forest reminds me of the rainforests on the Olympic Peninsula.  The green ferns and darkness at ground level have the same feeling.

Looking for a four leaf cloves on the forest floor.
We saw dozens of Roosevelt Elk today.  They warn you not to get to close but they all looked pretty laid-back and lazy today.  However I did heed the warning and kept my distance.

It was another good day.  We are at a small campground in Scotia, California for the night and will continue South on Highway101 until we exit onto Old Highway 1.  We will follow the Coastline toward San Francisco for the next several days.

Life is good.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Up a Creek

Today we were up a creek.... make that the Rouge River.  We did the 64 mile round trip starting in Gold Beach and going up river to Agnes, Oregon.  It was beautiful, educational and a blast.  Mostly it was an adrenalin rush jet boat adventure.  It is a definite bucket list event.

Weaving through the fishermen.
Hold on tight..... we were in for a RIDE.
We are headed for that little v in the canyon at 35MPH.
We only need 8 inches of water.  You could see the rocky bottom.

We stopped in Agnes and had a great BBQ lunch sitting outside in the sun, then we were ready for the even faster trip back down the Rouge River.  Every 5 or 6 miles the skipper would warn us to hold on tight and spin an instant 360 degree turn.  He also might go from 35MPH to a very quick stop by reversing the 3 water jet engines.  It was a wild ride.

It was another very good day.  Life is good.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Cape Blanco State Park, Oregon

We got moving early this morning and continued South on Highway 101.  When I looked at our odometer it read just over 200 miles.  That's for 5 days travel.  A measly 40 miles per day.  That just shows how many wonderful sights there are to be seen along the Pacific coastline.

We'll be spending the next 3 days at Cape Blanco State Park.  We have a full schedule planned for those days including a 64 mile jet boat ride up the Rogue River tomorrow.

Cape Blanco Lighthouse.
To some people that photo might look like a fog bank being blown into the coast by a 30 MPH wind.  We believe there is a lighthouse there but we haven't seen it yet.  We have 3 days to find it.

So I'll move along to three lighthouses we DID see today.

Umpqua River Lighthouse.
Coquille River Lighthouse.
The best part of the Coquille River Lighthouse was the breakwater coming in from the Pacific. Pounding surf and a great beach for Eva to run on made us all happy.

Bare foot in the sand again.

We were only able to view Cape Arago Lighthouse from a distance because we choose not to take a major hike to get near it.  But we did stop and have our picnic lunch at a small cove near the Cape.

Eva and Terri enjoying the white sand.
A relatively calm cove with huge breakers just outside the entrance..  Shore Acres State Park.
Sand dunes in Southern Oregon.

After dinner we bundled up and went for a short hike.  If it looks like I am leaning a few degrees off center it's because the wind is really blowing this evening.  Terri's words of caution were, "Don't blow over the edge."  Good advice.

Life is good..... if we don't blow away.

If you click on the satellite option on the Google map on the right hand side of the blog you can zoom into an amazing satellite picture of our location.  This is a jewel of a state park, perhaps the best we have visited.  But I always say that. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Newport to Florence, Oregon

Today was a bright and sun filled day on the Oregon coast with another lighthouse to be seen.  The drive ended with us spending the night at Honeyman State Park. (Thanks Walt for this state park suggestion.)  Here is a sample of what we saw along our way today.

Devil's Caldron.

A mile walk up hill to Heceta Head Lighthouse. 
Another walk around in circles.
Each lighthouse we have seen has been uniquely different.  Todays was the only remaining lighthouse in the USA using an English made Fresnel lense.  All other lighthouse have French made equipment.  It is a fully functional lighthouse and the lense was turning as I reached the top today.  For a guy who loves mechanical things the inner working of the lighthouse were fun to watch.

View looking South from the top.
Good views from up high.
Eva continues to hike with us and is always ready for a good walk.  As I look at our lighthouse reference map I can see that we are about half way down the Oregon coast with 5 more lighthouses to visit.  5 down and 5 to go.  I hope you are not getting tired of my lighthouse obsession, it will change to something new in about a week.  We'll see what it is when it happens.

Playing with my camera....Black & White & Green.
Life is good in all colors.  It's been a very green day today.

Lighthouses, Whales and Amazing Roads

Cape Meares Lighthouse.
The last two days have been full of hiking, whales, lighthouses and amazing scenery.  We are loving our time along the central Oregon coastline.  We've traveled many of the small roads that closely follow the water just West of Highway 101.  As usual the small roads are the best.

We are South of Newport at South Beach State Park.  Yesterday we visited Depot Bay and Newport and all the wonderful sites between those two towns.

Inside the lenses of Cape Meare Lighthouse. 
A short lighthouse on a very tall cliff.
Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.
Our third lighthouse for the day was our favorite.  Yaquina Head Lighthouse is at the end of a beautiful peninsula that provided an amazing view of the migrating Grey Whales.

There are whales out there.
Around and around.  142 steps to the top.  An interesting discovery was that the lenses in a lighthouse also reflect heat inward, it was like being in a sauna.  The ocean breeze was a big relief when we came down.

Panorama of Yaquina Head. 
We followed Otter Road coming back from Depot Bay and I rate it as perhaps the best 8 miles of roadway I have ever driven.  Breathtaking would be the best word to use when describing this stretch of backroad.

Otter Road
Crashing waves 100' up the cliff.

Devils Punchbowl.

It was another very good day so I can confirm..... life is good.