It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a……. Iridium Flare?

What is an iridium flare? Well…..if you were with us at the “Star Party” at Stub Stewart last night about 10ish then you would be able to see one. Here is some background:

http://www.space.com/6898-reflections-space-spot-iridium-flares.html

We also got to see the rings of Saturn with some awesome detail.

http://www.space.com/3135-saturn-data-sheet.html

Fun, fun and more fun!!

The walk home (about 2 miles) was through the woods with (mostly) no flashlights because the moon was about 99% illuminated – bright!!!

Fire Bug Finally Fortunate

You know the feeling…Your REALLY need to do something. Not just anything but THAT thing. Well for Dave that would be a fire. Not just any fire but a camp fire… We were recently in Eastern Oregon and most of the area is under a fire ban. Massive wheat crops and dry desert grasses do not mix well with camp fires.

But now: S H A Z A M ! ! ! We are in fire central. We are surrounded by thousands of acres of woods and we have access to mega mucho old trees and tree limbs. I also have access to the campground wood stash but that is NO fun. Gotta go out there and pick up your own!!! I suppose in one of my previous lives I gathered wood for the communal fire ring. Or better yet I was the dude who gathered the wood (and lit it) as we burned the witches in Salem Mass back in the day… Who knows.

Anyway: This is a picture of my most current creation as we sit outside the RV, watch the most excellent hardwood burn (no pine here) and listen to the distant rumble of the race cars making the turns at the local speedway in Banks Oregon.

FinallyFire

Who needs TV when you can watch that?

Mo Mole

In town for a pizza…  We are eating at Spooky’s …   http://spookyspizza.com/

We have been working hard to get things done at the state park. Here is Heather up to her neck in her work of the day…

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She gets WAY into her work…

After Heather hand dug the 4 foot wide 3 feet deep hole Dave and Dave (Not kidding there) double check the plans. A minor “crap” was uttered but the four posts were somewhere close to where they were supposed to be…

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Hey… YOU looking at me?

If a snake could talk then THIS snake would be saying that…

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Here in Cottonwood Canyon State Park we have lots of snakes. Big ones, small ones, and some that crawl on rocks. Some are poisonous and some are not. But all are  S C A R Y  (to me that is). But not to Heather. She “ain’t skeered” at all…

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As you can tell in the photo above…. NOPE. Not skeered at all..

Most of you know that I am retired Army. Jump out of airplanes and blow stuff up. No fear there… But snakes.

NOPE.   S K E E R E D…. That’s me. Not happy around snakes. But I am getting better. I think I actually touched the snake she has on the limb she is holding. A couple of guys were in the park studying the snakes in the area. They took the time to show us how to collect blood samples and scale samples from the resident snake population. Watching them take blood samples from rattlers was “interesting” to say the least… We got to help a bit.

Eventually we introduced this Gopher snake (named Spring by a young visiting camper) to a group of mice we had in the park. Notice I said “had” as in they became lunch for Spring the next day.. Spring ate at least three or four mice in a very short time. The snake dudes and Spring were all happy.

We took Spring around the campground a couple of days after he/she/it ate the mice and showed Spring off to the campers. They loved it!!

0430042202 Here is Heather holding the head of a small Gopher snake while it checks out the tail of a rattler… If only snakes could talk. Notice the pink on the rattler’s tail? The herpetologists that were collecting samples paint the snakes tail with a pink paint (it washes off) so they know a sample has been taken. Soooooooooooooo while in Cottonwood Canyon you can look for “pink tail rattlers” for real without making up the story. Sounds like a story I would make up…

Heather pointed out that ALL the girls in the campground wanted to see the snake and MOST of the men declined.

Go figure.

Typical male that I am…

Cottonwood Canyon is an awesome place..

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Snake included.

 

 

Watching the time fly by…

I can’t believe it’s already the end of March!! What happened to the rest of the month?! Or the rest of the 5 months we’ve been here? Geez, time flies by way too quickly.

We’ve been staying pretty busy the last couple of weeks.

We started with the trip to Bandon and Langlois that Dave mentioned a couple of weeks ago. I found a few more pictures…

After we ate our delicious hot dogs at the Langlois Market we went across the street to the Wild Rivers Wool shop which has been closed on all of our other trips there. It’s an amazing shop, for crafty people like me anyway, and the owner is really nice so we stayed and chatted with her for at least 30 minutes. During the conversation we mentioned that we would love to find a farm or ranch somewhere that needed help. Just so happens we were talking to the right person and she invited us to come out to her sheep farm for a tour and lunch, of course we accepted! A couple days before we were supposed to go she asked if we’d be willing to help with some last minute sheep shearing, and of course we said yes! We got up early that next Thursday and went back to Langlois to help wrangle sheep for the shearer. It only took about an hour but we had so much fun with it! She has a small herd of Shetland sheep which are a smaller breed of sheep, they only weigh about 60 pounds so they’re easier to handle.  She also has a super cute and friendly Corgi. He and Dizzy sniffed each other for about 10 seconds then acted like they’ve known each other forever and just hung out, not really paying attention to each other. We will definitely be going back the farm at a later date to help clean up some land and learn more about wool processing, spinning, felting and hand dying. Can’t wait!

After leaving the farm we reached the intersection and sat at the stop sign for a few minutes deciding “Do we want to turn left and head home or turn right and head south?”. Since we’re blogging about it though I’m sure you can guess what we chose…we turned right… We drove south down Hwy 101 all the way to the California border, just because.

First stop was Cape Blanco State Park to see Cape Blanco Lighthouse. It sits on the western most point in Oregon and is an insanely windy but beautiful place. It was so windy I had the hardest time standing still just to get a picture.

Cape Blanco Lighthouse on a crazy windy day. I could barely stand still long enough to snap a shot. Side-note: We've taken our RV down that road....

Cape Blanco Lighthouse on a crazy windy day. I could barely stand still long enough to snap a shot. Side-note: We’ve taken our RV down that road….

Next stop was a place called Arizona Beach. We’ve seen it many times but have never stopped. It’s a great day use area. Right off the main highway but probably not visited by too many tourists. An awesome place to take kids for picnics and kite flying.

Then we just went straight on to the end of the state.

By then it was dinner time so we headed back into Brookings for pizza at our favorite pizza place in Oregon, Zola’s. The pizza is always amazing and we love the decor, especially the bathroom. All of the wall and ceiling space is covered in the artwork of the patrons who take advantage of the butcher paper and crayons on the tables and the bathroom is totally painted in chalkboard paint and there’s a bowl of chalk on the counter. It’s always busy and for good reason, fresh made wood-fired pizza and a great atmosphere. We stopped here about 5 years ago on our very first trip together down the Oregon Coast and come back every time we’re in Brookings.

We left just before sunset and made it to Harris Beach State Park just in time to see the sun disappear. Then we made the 2 and a half hour, 130 mile drive back home in the dark. By nightfall, Hwy 101 is very quiet. We passed less than 10 vehicles the whole way home and luckily only saw 1 deer!

Back at home we got a couple of things done in the last couple weeks. We finally built a pantry shelf in the kitchen. We’ve got the first half of it finished and will build the rest when we get settled in to the next park. And, I finally pruned my leggy geranium.

We also cleaned up a fallen cedar tree snag in the museum yard so there is a fresh stack of firewood for the incoming hosts! You’re welcome :)

We’ve been working every day since Friday and have three more days left. It’s Spring Break here in Oregon so we have been busy! The first few days we had absolutely gorgeous weather, on Tuesday it started raining and has been grey and wet since. Even with the wind and rain, Dave has been doing back to back tours, he loves it when we’re busy though!  Even the dogs are tired from greeting everyone.

We did find time, however, to finally get out on the Dunes on ATVs! A friend invited us out on his rigs and, even though one of the ATVs broke down and had to be towed/pushed back to the truck, we had an absolute blast! We can’t wait for the next opportunity to get out there and ride! And, we lucked out with the weather, it was a really nice, sunny day with no wind blowing sand in our faces.

So, we’ve been busy but we’ve had a lot of fun and learned some new skills.

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