Sunday, September 28, 2008


Klamath Falls, Oregon weather report: It was 34 degrees this morning at 6:30 am when I got up and Phil says it has been at freezing or nearly so a couple mornings when he got up a little later (I only get up early on Sunday ;-). The up side is that the days have been in the middle 70s and low 80s. However, those low night time temperatures dictate that we must move on to find warmer weather. Penny the Pace is not equipped to handle freezing cold and neither is her owners!

Monday is travel day on this 2008 trek southward. We are deliberately extending each stop to a one week stay in order to save fuel. One of the side benefits to this arrangement is the time to more broadly explore the area as well as visiting family and friends who might live nearby. Klamath Falls Oregon is no exception. There are two family connections for me here but unfortunately, one of them has resulted in a dead end (for now-but will do more research) although the other association has been acknowledged and will be examined and enjoyed later today. Genealogy is a capricious hobby or as in my case, passion; sometimes I can’t think about anything else and other times, I go for weeks without making any progress. Since we retired, in the past four years I have been less than aggressive in my inquiries and investigations so I am very happy to make this COX family connection today. I will tell you about the result next week. Interestingly, this stop came about because of extenuating circumstances and I will explain.

We have spent quality time this week with former Shelton friends, Pat and Dennis and their family. In the early sixties, Dennis and his sisters were like my own children as we lived across the street from each other. He and his siblings were older than my kids but without fanfare, they adopted me and the oldest girl, Shirley did some baby sitting for me. Later, after marrying Dennis, Pat worked for me when I managed a restaurant in Shelton and she became like a daughter to me on her own merit. I have stayed close to three of the four older siblings (another son was born later) over the years and this was a “must” stop on our way south since they moved here three months ago.

Several years ago, following a whole host of tests Pat was at long last diagnosed with fibromyalgia after suffering for an interminable length of time. In the interest of her health and on the advice of her doctor she left the wet, fungi infested northwest for a warmer, dry climate. Originally, about 18 months ago they moved to eastern Washington and have now relocated here to Bonanza Oregon. As hoped, over this time period, Pat has experienced a complete restoration of her well-being and we are all delighted with her recovery. Tony, their only child, a fine young man and father along with his lovely wife, Monica and their two sons, Forrest and Quinn—being transferred here by her employment—were a major factor in Pat and Dennis's decision to relocate to southern Oregon and we have really enjoyed our time spent with them.

Phil had never been to Crater Lake so we took The Lone Ranger on a day trip to the National Park this past Friday. The weather was beautiful and the lake was gorgeous. While exploring the newly renovated Crater Lake Lodge, we were fortunate to come across a ranger telling the story of the lake and all the things the park service has been doing to reduce the human impact on the area. My experience when I visited in 1968 was totally different. We picnicked on the lake edge and my kids went swimming in the cold clear water. Today there is no legal access to the lake except for a long challenging hike down (then up again!) to take a park service boat ride. The campground has been relocated to an elevation lower than the lake and the former septic system has been moved down as well and now all sewage is piped down and away from the lake. They are hopeful this will protect our National Park for future generations to enjoy.

The view out the front window of Penny the Pace at Tingley Lake RV Park from our parking spot.

Canada geese by the dozens are resting and feeding here on their way south.
Can't identify the two white birds. Interesting that there is only two.

Just three of the 20 or 30 resident pelicans on the lake.

Can anyone identify this fruit on the tree next to where Penny the Pace is parked?

It has seeds, color and texture like an apple but is very bitter and certainly can't be edible.

A closeup of the mature fruit. They are about the size of a cherry tomato.

Extraordinary mansion across the street from the Klamath Falls Visitor's Center on Riverside Drive.

I am really surprised this wonderful cast iron swing in the front yard hadn't been stolen.

Phil heading over to inspect progress on Pat and Dennis's new modular home on the 2.7 acres they purchased outside Bonanza Oregon.
Sorry about the picture quality ... it was just dusk and very low light. I have enhanced it as much as possible.

Our sweet friend Pat at her temporary quarters on Tony and Monica's property while their new home is being readied for occupancy.

One of the few benefits of getting old: there is no fee to enter national parks when we use my Golden Age Passport card.

Younger folks pay $10 a car load.

Spendy but gorgeous, Crater Lake Lodge. Visitors welcome to explore all the public rooms and view the lake from the expansive lakeside deck.

A perfect day to visit the pristine and spectacular Crater Lake National Park.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Weather report: Only about 45 degrees at 6:30 am this morning but it will top out at about 80 before the day is over. I know, I know ... it is a tough life but we will grin and bear it!
Well, my great idea is not going to work. I now realize that my daily diary, although full of quotable quips, juicy tidbits and lots of detail is much too long for my blog. In the past seven days I have written three pages and over 2700 words! So, I’m going to try and pick and choose the content I think my readers would most like to read and as a result reduce the length of my weekly communication. However, in my opinion this restraint in an effort to save my supporters some time will certainly make my blog less interesting. Oh … woe is me! Never at a loss for words, it seems trying to say less rather than more has always been the bane of my existence.

It is easy to understand why the intrepid forefathers of the Oregon population became enamored with the Willamette Valley. Lane County rests at the southern end and it extends from Cottage Grove north to West Linn, and lies nestled between the Coast and Cascade mountain ranges. Abundant sunshine warms the rolling green hills and now, rows of lustrous grapevines march from peak to valley in support of the ever increasing winery businesses. Mint-green fields in summer and golden yellow remains of acreage recently harvested in the fall, and of course the stately evergreens spiraling skyward, sustains the legendary "green” reputation we have all read about. It was love at first sight for me; however, I’m sure I would feel differently in the winter.

While hunkered down at the Douglas County Fairgrounds (Exit 123) this week south of Roseburg ($20.20 per day with W & E and a free dump – no reservations but lots of room) we have driven The Lone Ranger on a lot of back roads and I have indulged my hobby of taking pictures of post offices in the towns we visit. I have added 11 new ones this week. We have eaten out in eight different restaurants and can only recommend three: Tidal Raves in Depot Bay, Harbor Lights in Reedsport and Elmer’ Pancake House in Roseburg. These three served excellent food, the service was first rate and the prices were reasonable.

This past Thursday, trusting my 2008 Oregon map (totally inadequate I must say now), I picked out a back road route (noted as Mountain Trail on the map) to take us from Canyonville after our “linner” at Seven Feathers Casino (notice it is not on the above list) to Roseburg. If not for our wonderful “Carmen” Garmin we would still be driving around up in those mountains … lost until someone came along to lead us out as we had NO CELL SERVICE! Being the more nervous Nellie of the two of us, I was checking our food (one pkg. of cheese crackers with peanut butter and my sugar free throat lozenges) and water (one and half bottles) as we drove on and on, up and down, over pavement and gravel and some one lane road for at least 30 miles without seeing any other sign of life. We passed many turn offs that were not on the map (and several appeared logical) that would have no doubt seriously confused us if not for “Carmen” leading the way. Once we thought she was lost but she quickly caught up with herself and got back on track. There is no doubt in my mind the dollars invested in her were the best money we ever spent since going fulltime in our motorhome. My normally easy-going partner abhors not knowing his exact location when he is behind the wheel and he and I would certainly have been arguing from frustration (and a bit of fear) about which road to take had it not been for Carmen. I must say, both Phil and I were extremely relieved when we finally broke out of the woods and drove into the tiny town of Camas Valley. From there through Winston on hiway 42 we scooted on home where our pretty Penny was waiting patiently for us to return!

We stayed home on Saturday. After Linner on Friday we found a fruit and vegetable stand where we bought some veggies, peaches and a pineapple. We ate leftover crock pot cereal for breakfast and then in late afternoon Phil grilled some NY steaks from our freezer and in my new free steamer (from a garage sale where everything was FREE) I cooked our baby red potatoes that needed to be used up and the cauliflower (past its pull date and also free) from yesterday and grilled some garlic French bread. We complimented our steaks with sautéed onions and sliced fresh mushrooms seasoned with butter, garlic, salt and pepper and a little white wine. They were delicious!

Earlier in the afternoon, I had baked an apple pie. I decided to try a trick I read about the other day which suggested pre-cooking the apples to cut down on the baking time. Soooooo, I peeled and sliced the apples then put them in the microwave to cook. Well, 10 minutes later on full power, I had cooked them w-a-a-a-y-y-y too long (remember this was my first time) and I was thinking we would no doubt have applesauce pie. Is there such a thing?

Ever the optomist, I stirred in a mixture of one fourth cup of Splenda, 2 Tbsp. flour, 1 Tbsp. cinnamon and 1 tsp. nutmeg and used two pre-made pie crusts (pretty darn good). After moistening the top crust with water I sprinkled about a Tbsp of the leftover Splenda mixture on top. In our wonderful convection oven, I baked it at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. It browned beautifully and I was amazed because the pie actually looked perfect. The “trick” will work … the timing just needs to be adjusted! When heated up later and served with some sugar free vanilla ice cream it was delicious!

Taking a hint from the Canadian Geese we have been hearing every morning; tomorrow we will be moving farther south to Klamath Falls, Oregon for a week. This will be brand new territory for us.

We decided this post office has been closed for lack of interest in the tiny outpost of Remote, Oregon.

Gorgeous lifesize bronze of a Cheeta in Winston Oregon, home of Wildlife Safari where the animals roam free and the visitors are contained in their cars or park vehicles.

Up on the hill above the Umpqua River that borders the Douglas County Fairgrounds. This area of Oregon is tinder dry and some gray matter challenged person probably threw out a lit cigarette! Don't scoff ... we saw it happen the day before. Fortunately no fire resulted from that act of stupidity.

Two helicopters with long lines and water buckets along with a small plane (not sure what his purpose was beyond being a lookie-loo) overhead

The fire department arrived to do the mopping up.

We didn't know it at the time but this suspension foot bridge across the Umpqua River to someones hidden home in the trees was our last sign of civilization.

Can you imagine carrying the groceries in from the car across this unsteady expanse?

Taken somewhere near the top of our mountain trail drive.

Yellow highliter is where Penny the Pace has been and the blue highliter tracks The Lone Ranger's travels.

My apple pie experiment ... different but still very good!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Weather report: It has been beautiful here on the coast of Oregon all week. Some fog in the morning but much sunshine later each day. At 6:30 am today the fog was thick but the forecast is for 80 degrees today. I am publishing my daily diary in an attempt to speed up this blogging process on Sunday morning.

Last Sunday: Granddaughter, Megan returned my call. She had not looked at her phone all day Saturday and just found my message that morning. They had a full day planned with church and dinner with friends in Morton—a long drive in the opposite direction from where we were. I took responsibility for the mess up since I should have called her the day we arrived instead of waiting until Saturday morning. We said our good byes over the phone and she told me they might see us the winter of 2009-2010 in Florida as they have made tentative plans for another adult play date in Disney World. Since they do not plan on bringing the baby with them, I guess I will just have to be content with seeing photos of the newest great grandchild until we return to WA. Bummer …

We drove back to Astoria (did I tell you we loved Astoria?) and wandered through the Sunday Street Market which is three blocks long and two and three blocks wide in spots with over 100 vendors. Everything for sale is either made or grown by the vendor. No “made in China” products here. After enjoying a delicious ice cream cone, we hopped on the Astoria Trolley and took a leisurely, 45 minute ride for just $1.00 from one end of the Astoria waterfront and back again with a very informative narrative about the history of the city by the knowledgeable, volunteer lady drivers. We learned a lot and realized this should have been our first stop instead of our last. We sat outside on the patio for dinner at The Cannery Café, another restaurant on the water with a wonderful view of the Columbia River. The prices were again very high so we restrained ourselves and I ordered a small plate of fried Willapa Bay (in WA) oysters and Phil had clam chowder. I gave Phil the slaw that came with mine (I thought it was awful) and he finished off my French fries and two rolls so we both got plenty to eat. This time the chowder was fair and the oysters were delicious. We watched as a Coast Guard Cutter and a small tender did some interesting maneuvers and saw a river Pilot climb from the Pilot Boat up the ladder hanging over the side of a huge tanker while neither one even slowed down. I had forgotten to return the SD card to my camera after transferring the last batch of pictures into my computer so we only managed to take a few pictures that the camera can hold without the card.

Monday: We drove from Clatskanie via Astoria to Lincoln City and settled into the Chinook Bend RV Resort. The weather was beautiful all day and the peek-a-boo scenes of the Pacific Ocean through the conifers along the highway were great but frustrating. The views of the Pacific from Hiway 101 are a lot more open in southern Oregon. Chinook Bend is a membership park for us and we paid only $10 per day. We will stay for a week while Phil decides where our next stop will be. All we knew for sure at this point was that it will be farther south and a bit east. After getting set up we drove into town and had dinner at the Hilltop Restaurant. Very much like a Denney’s … good service, reasonable prices and satisfactory food.

Tuesday: Not much sun for most of the day. The fog hung low out over the ocean nearly all day but the temperature inland made it to 70 degrees. In this park, we have minimal cell service here and for some reason, our satellite internet is on again, off again and totally undependable; very frustrating! We had breakfast/lunch at Lil’ Sambo’s a local eatery not affiliated with the national chain known as Sambo’s. I had a Taco Salad and Phil had biscuits and sausage gravy. The food was good, appropriately priced and since his portion was small and mine was huge, Phil finished my salad for me. While in town I called and talked to my cousins in Salem and Newberg and made plans to visit this week then tried to reach a cousin who lives here in Lincoln City without any luck. We drove down to check out the little town of Depoe Bay then after we got back to Lincoln City went to the Chinook Winds Casino. Phil and I rarely gamble but since their machines take real money, we made a small donation on our way back to the door after checking out the buffet line and the menu in the dining room. The buffet was typical and the dining room menu was too high priced for our budget so eating at the casino is not in our plans. We had our dinner at a restaurant named Roadhouse 101. They advertise the best burger on the Oregon coast … excuse me … we beg to differ. I had a deep fried halibut fish sandwich that came with fries and slaw. I passed up the bun and gave Phil my slaw again as it was really bad. This time, even he couldn’t eat it. The halibut was overcooked and much too greasy so with the few French fries I had, I ended up a bit sick to my stomach on the way home, too much grease for me. When we got home … still no internet! Grrrrrrr!

Wednesday: Phil fixed the Internet by tweeking the dish. We had already deployed the dish before we put the slide out so the cantilevered weight on that side of the coach repositioned the dish. Every time any weight was over there (Phil on the couch or one of us in the dinette seat) we lost our signal. Hooray Phil! You are my hero! We headed out to visit with my cousins, Dottie, Sandy and Sy in Newberg. Had breakfast at Pig n’ Pancake … great small appetite menu and we both had a tasty meal. Of course, my sweet cousin Dottie had thought ahead and late afternoon presented a wonderful spread of delicious food complete with coconut crème pie … Phil’s favorite! We didn’t get home until 9:30 pm but the drive west on Highway 18 was uneventful except for being stopped a couple times by flaggers for some overnight paving going on. Stinky!

Thursday: Our ultimate goal was the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville and we took all the back roads we could in order to check out all the little towns along the way. Viewing the “Spruce Goose” was quite the experience … it is huge but they haven’t missed a bet when it comes to charging for every move you make. There are two museums and an Imax theater and the price goes up with each choice. We only wanted to see the airplane so paid the least amount at $12 each. If we had wanted to go up to the cockpit it was an additional $20 and if we wanted a photo of us in Howard Hughes seat it would have been $50. It is a beautiful complex and the buildings are spectacular so I suppose it takes a lot of money to keep it in good order but I can imagine many people passing on the experience because it is so expensive.

As we were leaving, the local state and county police had lined up their cars for a couple blocks along highway 18 for some kind of event or perhaps a display for American solidarity in regard to the anniversary of 9-11. No signs or clues were evident. It would have been an ideal time to rob a bank in McMinnville … the cops were all busy outside of town! Crawled the back roads photographing farms, farmland (I love seeing all these farms and farm houses- my heart is definitely a farmer’s heart) and of course post offices in all the small towns along the way. Got back to town at 6:30 pm and had dinner at the Kernville Steak and Seafood restaurant which is just at the end of our road where it joins Highway 101. Every night the parking lot has been packed and we just had to try it for ourselves. The service was good but the food was only fair and VERY spendy. I guess the river view is the big draw. I ordered two pork chops, baked potato and veggie with a cup of chowder ($16). Phil had seafood fettuccini ($20). The chowder had hardly any potatoes; I had to search for the bits of clams (I think I found two miniscule pieces) and my pork chops were thin, pale and had little flavor. I brought one of them home along with half my baked potato. Phil’s dinner grew on him as he went along but he says it still wasn’t as good as Olive Garden. The best part of dinner was watching the seals hunting in the Siletz River from our window table. The restaurant provided a set of binoculars which was nice. We didn’t see the seals doing any catching … just hunting … so the salmon must be around somewhere but we heard later that the fishing has been poor for two years. Home late again and very tired.

Friday: After a lazy and late morning, we finally got on the road about noon. We stopped for breakfast at Pig n’Pancake again then headed east towards Salem. We were using the map and trying to find back roads to see some new country and actually got lost. Phil had to program our GPS, “Carmen Garmin” to find our way to cousin, Sherry and her mother, Lola’s house and we didn’t get to her house until after 3 pm. We had a short but wonderful visit and Sherry baked us a wild blackberry pie sweetened with Splenda to take home with us and gave us tomatoes from her garden and a bag of plums. She also gave me a box of genealogy related pictures and papers that belonged to her brother, Bob who died from cancer in 1992. We went to Wal*Mart on our way out of town and bought some supplies then programmed “Carmen” to take us home. We arrived at Chinook Bend RV Park about 9:30 pm safe and sound.

Saturday: A stay at home day. I cooked, cleaned out the fridge and Phil walked and walked and walked some more. His back has been hurting him a lot the past few days and the only thing that seems to give him relief is walking. He bought new walking shoes because his old ones are falling apart and of course, the new shoes seem to make his back worse. Still no word from my cousin here in Lincoln City (they must be out of town) and tomorrow is travel day. We will drive south then turn east at Reedsport toward Roseburg where we will hang out for a week at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

Here comes the sun! ;-)

Clatskanie to Lincoln City

Howard Hughes flying boat, The "Spruce Goose." Manufactured: 1947
Wing span: 319 ft. 11 inches
Overall Length: 218 ft. 4 inch
Gross weight: 400,000 lbs
Engines: (8) Pratt & Whitney R4360; 28 cylinder/3000 HP
Propellers: 17 ft. 2 inches diameter

Front window of the museum at night. Just wide enough for the airplane wing span.

Joy and her much loved Newberg cousins - Dottie on the left and Sandy on the right.

Joy, her cousin, Sherry and Sherry's lovely mother, my Aunt Lola.

Joy and Phil with her delightful Aunt Lola who will be 94 next January 30th. What a sweet and charming lady!

Sunday, September 07, 2008


I’m not sure how to review our past week. As usual, when we stow the leveling jacks and prepare Penny the Pace for travel in the late summer the anticipation is exhilarating. It was especially so this past Wednesday knowing it was the first step in a longer than usual trek. If you have been reading Backroad Chronicles on a regular basis, you are aware that we will be heading east in the spring of 2009. Most likely our return to the state of Washington will be extended out to a minimum of two years … maybe even longer depending on many factors. Our expectations are over the top for an entertaining as well as educational tour which we will share with you in the blog.

That said—there is a downside to leaving our family and friends behind. Logically, I know my feelings are irrational, but our good health, footloose and fancy free lifestyle and need to head south before winter has overwhelmed me with self-reproach this year. New life-threatening health issues of my loved ones have come to light and knowing I will not be available for daily support has given me pause for thought. I tell myself that Penny has wheels and even if the weather is bad, we can fly back if need be but even so, popping in for a few days in times of crisis just does not compare to being there for the long term. Have any of my firmly anchored readers or fellow full-timers dealt with these issues and if so, how did you handle them? I would love to hear from you.

Last Sunday we made the rounds saying good bye to family and friends then on Monday while the nation celebrated Labor Day we spent the day repacking the storage unit and loading The Lone Ranger. I had done some serious purging and rethinking our needs while we were in Shelton so packing up Penny on the inside was actually fairly easy. We stopped at sister, Dixie’s house for a couple hours of computer training then we all went to the my niece, Tammy and her husband, Steve’s home for a farewell dinner. I met the newest addition to the family, a tiny new puppy they named Isabella. What a darling animal and I received a major dog fix! On Tuesday, we went back to Dixie’s for her last dose of computer lessons then spent a few hours with our friends and gracious hosts, Gloria and Lester. All summer Gloria has been ill and although she has seen several different doctors, she can not seem to get any positive results. Hopefully, that will change pretty soon!

Our late morning departure was leisurely on Wednesday as we only had a little over 100 miles to travel before we stopped again at Clatskanie City Park in Oregon. The trip was uneventful (just the way we like them) and we enjoyed the sunshine as we traveled south. The park has two FHU spots and we signed up for five nights then prepared for some serious day trip sight seeing along the lower Columbia to Astoria and beyond. On Thursday evening we called our dear Aunt Elaine to find out what she had learned from her doctor’s appointment on Tuesday and the news was not good. For family members that are reading this I’m sure a phone call or a get well greeting would be appreciated by this special and much loved elder of our family.

On Thursday we discovered a little ferry and for three dollars rode across the Columbia River from Westport Oregon to Puget Island and the bridge to Cathlamet WA then traveled west on the WA side and crossed the Astoria-Megler Bridge back into Oregon. After taking a cursory orientation tour of Astoria; preparing for some serious sight seeing on Friday we headed on down the coast to Seaside. Neither of us had ever been there before and it was indeed a sight to see! A weekend car show was starting on Saturday so the town was crowded with classic cars and their enthusiasts. A carnival atmosphere prevailed and although we didn’t stop and spend any of our tourist dollars it was not because the opportunity wasn’t there! No doubt in winter, the place is deserted but this litle town has gone all out to show off for the summer time visitors.

Friday was a full day as we toured all the places in the area that I have had on my list of things to see and do for many years (pictures to follow). It was somewhat cloudy in the morning but the weather cleared off and warmed up making it a beautiful day for our adventures. I don’t usually write a critique of restaurants unless it is exceptionally good but in late afternoon we had dinner at a place on the waterfront called Baked Alaska. The write up in the “US 101 Mile by Mile” website on the Internet made the restaurant sound very special and although we knew it would be expensive, we decided to indulge ourselves. Well, even Joy and Phil draw the line on the cost of restaurant food occasionally and after choking on the prices and expressing surprise at the very limited menu we finally ordered one baked oyster appetizer and two bowls of clam chowder. Phil and I consider ourselves connoisseurs of both and both were a disappointment. The best part of the meal was the dip of pungent extra virgin olive oil and quite possibly the best balsamic vinegar I have ever tasted, for the delicious foccacia bread. The service and presentation were fair to average and I should have known better but after hearing they had a chocolate chip-peanut butter cheese cake I ordered a slice to go. After much anticipation my few bites were such a let down I gladly put aside the remainder for Phil. He thought it was okay—too sweet but okay. Be forewarned that if you want a perfectly exquisite view of the Astoria harbor this is the place to eat but if you want flawlessly prepared cuisine or if not the greatest at least reasonable prices … forget it.

Yesterday morning I called my granddaughter, Megan and left a message for her to call us back. She lives in Longview and we were sure we would hear from her soon so we decided to drive over hoping she would call before we had to leave. After having breakfast at one of our favorite restaurants in town called The Pancake House we went shopping for a new wireless WiFi card for Phil’s laptop hoping to fix some connection problems he has been having. We found one at Wal*Mart and I picked up several other things I needed. Megan still hadn’t called us back so we wandered over to Circuit City and Phil picked the brain of one of the many “Geeks” on the sales floor.
After some heavy duty contemplation, he decided that what was really needed was a new computer after putting up with his old (and slow) laptop for the past four years so we bought a highly recommended Compaq with a generous rebate. By now, there was still no return call from Megan and since she has moved and we do not have her new address we had no choice but to head for home without seeing her and dropping off some gifts for their baby due in November. We ended our day in Rainier Oregon at a little restaurant called The Cornerstone Café where we enjoyed the weekend special of Prime Rib. It was actually pretty good and the prices ($12.99/8 oz and $14.99/10 oz) were just right. Of course, I brought home half of my dinner for another meal. Phil stayed up until 1:30 am getting acquainted with his new best friend.
I will plan a little better next week before I post my blog considering the time it takes to upload the pictures. I could change them to a smaller size but then they might not enlarge as well as they do now when you double click on them. I am also having second thoughts about slide shows and videos but will do some more research to see if I there is a way to quicken the upload process.
Thank you so much for your patience.

Penny the Pace parked in her snug little spot in Clatskanie, OR City Park.

We found this in downtown Clatskanie ... a rack of beautifully dyed skeins of CAT hair! A cat lover's innovative idea and as a former human owned by six indoor cats, all I can say is, why didn't I think of that!

The nine car Waikiakum Ferry. What a great discovery!

Phil on the bow of the ferry across the Columbia River from Westport, OR to Puget Island and the bridge to Cathlamet, WA. A beautiful day and so much fun for only $3.00!

Joy on the front porch of her new house ...

Well, probably not ...The Flavel House built in 1885 by Captain George Flavel occupies an entire city block. Flavel earned his fortune as a pilot guiding ships across the bar at the mouth of the Columbia River. Now operated as a museum by the Clatsop County Historical Society, it is beautifully restored and elegantly filled with furnishings, art and decor typical of a century ago.

Wow! What a view of the Columbia River from the top of Coxcomb Hill.

Sign on the visitor center door.

Astoria Column high on Coxcomb Hill, built in 1926 marks the spot of America's first permanent settlement west of the Rocky Mountains.

A nice visitors center and a 20 minute film of the expedition welcomes visitors.

This reconstructed fort on the site at Fort Clatsop is now a National Memorial in Astoria Oregon. These replicated buildings are where the 33 members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition wintered from December 7, 1805 until March 23, 1806.
Another item I can mark off my Life List of things to do and see.

Just two of the dozen or so houseboats on the John Day River along US Highway 30 in Oregon.

Pretty flowers lining the streets of downtown Seaside Oregon.

Jessica and her new baby, adorable little Isabella.

Phil checking out the games on his new Compaq computer.