A Rainy Mess of a Day

Wednesday August 21st 2019

Today’s blog entry is an informative, but boring piece about the weather. I spent the day reading, watching TV and surfing the internet while mother nature did her thing outside.

It started to rain about eight this morning. A gentle, occasionally heavier, rain fell until about two in the afternoon. The sun tried to gain a foot hold during the afternoon without much success. During one brief period of sunshine the temperature got into the upper half of the sixties. The remainder of the day was in the low sixties. I had to turn the electric fireplace on in my RV home to take the chill off. As night fall approached the sun lost the battle for dominance. Thick cloud cover returned and soon transitioned into a heavy mist. As I’m writing this blog entry the mist has mutated into rain. Tomorrow is supposed to be drier and warmer.

View of a puddle in the road through the front window of my RV.

Pattern Changes

Tuesday August 20th 2019

In the more than two weeks I’ve been in this area the weather pattern has been pretty consistent. The clouds come in overnight then give way to sunshine and a northwest wind sometime before noon. Today the pattern changed. The overnight clouds started to give way to sunshine early but never really let go. The clouds allowed some hazy sunshine, but the day was mostly cloudy. The normal northwest wind direction was replaced by a southwest wind. The high temperature for the day was a few degrees lower in the high sixties. Tomorrow rain is in the forecast.

Pacific Ocean beyond an area of the Oregon Dunes and coastal pine trees.

I was touring in the Winchester Bay area at the mouth of the Umpqua River today. There is a large marina with many pleasure boats, and a few fishing boats. It’s the most concentrated group of boats I’ve seen on the Oregon coast, but there still weren’t many boats moving. It’s my impression that on a similar summer day on the Atlantic coast there would be a steady parade of boats in and out of the harbor.

Along this area of the coast there is a great concern with tsunamis. As you drive along the coast there are signs telling you when you are entering Tsunami zones and other signs directing the flow of traffic away from the tsunami zones. In the Winchester Bay area I saw warning sirens high up on poles and I drove over a blue line painted on the road that indicated the end of the tsunami zone. They take off shore earthquakes producing tsunamis very seriously around here.

Jetties on the south side of the Umpqua river. The area in the triangle is a cultured oyster farm.

Another observation in the Winchester Bay area was a lot of RV campgrounds that I didn’t know were existed. I have found many campgrounds and RV parks along the Oregon coast that weren’t listed in the various references I typically use to find parks. Some parks were listed but didn’t sound as attractive as they looked when I drive by. The lesson I’m taking from these observations is that I need to change my campground search pattern. I have to find additional reference sources and be less influenced by negative online reviews.

Oregon Coast North of the Dunes

Monday August 19th 2019

The sun broke through the overnight clouds late in the morning, but the afternoon was a beautiful clear and sunny day. To bad I didn’t know what day it was. I spent most of the day thinking it was Tuesday. Of course the day of the week has little real impact on my lifestyle.

The section of the Oregon coast north from Coos Bay is known as the Oregon Dunes. It is about a forty mile long area of rolling sand dunes along the coast. The coastal highway, US 101, travels along the inland side of the dunes area up to several miles east of the shore. My current location is near the southern end of the dunes. Off road vehicles are very common in this area and are really needed to truly explore the dunes. There are some more developed access areas that I will explore while I’m here, but today I drove north to checkout the coast north of the dunes.

North of Florence Oregon the dunes are pretty much done. The road starts to climb onto high cliffs along the ocean. US 101 gets pretty twisty as it hugs the coast in some areas. I followed the road north twenty miles or so beyond Florence before I turned around. On the trip back I stopped at many of the turnouts and waysides to view the Pacific, take a few pictures and walk on the beach. This area has a different form of beauty than the area south of Coos Bay. There aren’t as many big rock formations. Sandy beaches in front of high cliffs are more common. In the water there are low rock formations parallel to the coast that tend to make the surf break early.

After touring the area to the north of my RV home, I returned south of the RV park to the area I spent the last two weeks. My mission was stocking up on groceries for another week or so. Walmart was busy, but I managed to get everything I remembered needing. So far, I’ve only remembered two things that slipped my mind at the store. Between the touring and the shopping today was a success.

Second Relaxation Day

Sunday August 18th 2019

I don’t have a lot to write about in this blog entry. Today’s weather was a repeat of yesterdays and I had the ambition of a sleeping snail. The day’s big activities were reading and TV watching with a couple of walks around the campground thrown in for exercise.

Blossoms of the day

There was a good amount of turn over in the RV park as would be expected on a Sunday. It also showed how many of the residents are here for a longer term. I’d estimate that two thirds of the sites are occupied by longer term residents. I was surprised that the neighbor I wrote about in yesterday’s blog as a probably long term resident appeared to depart, but then during one of my walks I found them setting up on another site. This time they looked more organized.

Relaxing First Day at My New Location

Saturday August 17th 2019

The overnight clouds were back heavier than ever. It was a very dreary sight at 7:30 this morning. I rolled over and went back to sleep for a couple of hours. The cloud cover hung around until almost noon. The sun came out, but it brought the wind with it. The wind probably wasn’t as strong as a couple of days ago, but my RV home’s orientation to the wind direction is bad. My slide toppers, inside window blinds and lots of other things were flapping in the wind.

Blossom of the day

Today was a relax and get oriented to my new location kind of day. Sometimes I’m immediately comfortable in a new location and other times it takes time. This one will take time. Understanding were you are with respect to the sunrise, sunset and major roads is important in identification of the unknown. Noises outside with the blinds closed are easier to discount when you know what’s in the direction it came from. Walking around the RV park today should help with my area awareness.

Marina at the RV park on Tenmile Lake

The campground is full this weekend, but it did have some turnover today. I have new neighbors across the street that look like they plan to be here a while. An old pickup truck with the back full of stuff arrived pulling a trailer shortly after noon. They parked the trailer on the site then started to unload the truck stacking stuff along the side of the trailer before departing. They lined up six big plastic storage tubs, two big packages of bottled water and a chest freezer with who knows what inside. They returned a few hours later without the truck in an SUV. I usually wouldn’t pay a lot of attention to the arrival of new neighbors, but these folks made enough noise they couldn’t be ignored. They seem to be out of character for this park, but time will tell.

One Paddle Boat, Two Paddle boards and a power boat.

For relaxing entertainment today, I watched some of the preseason football games and the NASCAR race from Bristol TN on the TV. Watching sports on TV raises my awareness of the Pacific Time Zone. A lifetime of living on the east coast conditioned me to sporting events occurring at specific times. Out here they are three hours earlier. I never seem to get used to it.

Travel Day to Lakeside Oregon

Friday August 16th 2019

My two weeks at the Mill Casino and RV park on Coos Bay in North Bend Oregon was up today. I slowly packed up this morning and got on the road for my fifteen mile drive north on US 101 a few minutes after noon. I arrived at the Osprey Point RV Resort in Lakeside Oregon shortly after 12:30. My site was available and I was setup by 1:30PM.

Getting my car hooked up for towing this morning was a challenge. One of the two tow arms didn’t lock into place on the tow bar. I needed to disconnect the car, re-position the car and re-hookup the car on a level straight stretch. To accomplish the task, I moved the car and the motorhome to the dirt truck parking area between the RV Park and the Casino. Once I had level ground with an area for a straight pull after I connected, the hookup went smoothly. The positive side of having to re-hookup the car is the delay. It added almost half an hour to my departure time.

Site E-1 at the Osprey Point RV Park in Lakeside Oregon.

I’m at the Osprey Point RV Resort for two weeks. It is located a little more inland than my last stop on the shore of Tenmile Lake. The lake seems to be a collection area for a number of creeks before the water flows out to the Pacific. So far the RV park seems to be a weekend party spot with a coffee shop and a marina on site, but it will probably be fine during the week.

Cape Blanco

Thursday August 15th 2019

Today’s weather was just a little bit different than yesterday. The overnight cloud cover moved out an hour or two earlier and the wind was even stronger. The temperature was about seventy in sheltered ares, but it was uncomfortable in the wind.

I drove about fifty miles south to Cape Blanco State Park today. It is one of the areas of the south coast that I’d heard about before I got to this area. The lighthouse that sits high on the cliff at the end of the cape sticking out into the Pacific is striking. The rest of the area I didn’t find that impressive. The most notable element was the wind. It was hard to stand without leaning into the wind. Overall, I found the cliffs and rock formations along Cape Arago in the Coos Bay area more interesting than Cape Blanco.

View south from Cape Blanco.
I didn’t see if this rock had a name, but it looks like an arrowhead.
View north from Cape Blanco.
Cape Blanco Lighthouse

Back at my RV home late in the afternoon I started to pack for Friday’s move. It’s a short move north of about fifteen miles. I’ll try to leave here as late as possible so I don’t get to my destination before my site is ready for occupancy.

Travel Planning Day

Wednesday August 14th 2019

The overnight low clouds hung around longer this morning. It was almost noon before the bright sunshine dominated the sky. The cloud bank never got very far off shore. Dark sky was visible toward the coast all afternoon. A strong wind out of the northwest rounded out the major weather characteristics of the day. The temperature barely made it to seventy.

White capped waves on Coos Bay in front of the RV park.

I was in travel planning mode today. I’ve had reservations through the middle of September for a few weeks now, but I needed to work on the fall and winter. With the exception of three single night stops on long travel stretches, I have reservations through the middle of April 2020. This is probably the longest contiguous block of reservations I’ve made.

The longest stop will be for four months in Las Vegas. I’ll be staying at the same place I spent the 2017-2018 winter. Las Vegas isn’t the warmest place to spend the winter. Last winter it had a couple of snow events, but most of the time the daytime temperature is in the fifties or higher. The advantage is the resources of a city and all the entertainment options.

Before I park for November through February, I’ll finish visiting the Oregon Coast, and re-visit the Columbia River Gorge in salmon season. To get to Las Vegas, I’ll spend a week on the west side of the Cascade Mountains north of Bend Oregon, two weeks in Reno Nevada and two weeks in Pahrump Nevada. The Reno stop should coincide with some fall colors on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Lake Tahoe area. The Pahrump stay will serve as a base to visit Death Valley.

In late February I’ll leave Las Vegas for the Phoenix area. I have two reservations for a total of four weeks in the middle of Baseball spring training season. I hope to see a few good games. As March ends and April begins I’ll be in the Cottonwood/Sedona area of Arizona for two weeks and then I’ll move north to the south rim of the Grand Canyon for a week.

The remainder of 2020 is still in the planning stages, but I am already in the year out reservation window for a few popular places. My rough plans are to go north along the east side of the Rocky Mountains then cross through the Dakotas to the mid west before turning south toward Florida for the winter of 2020-2021.

A Little Exploring on the North Side of Coos Bay

Tuesday August 13th 2019

The overnight low clouds/fog didn’t burn off until about ten this morning. Eventually the sun managed to get the temperature into the low seventies. So far the clouds have not returned tonight.

Today I did a little exploring across the McCullough Memorial Bridge on the north side of Coos Bay. The bridge is an impressive cantilever structure spanning the bay high above the surface. It is currently draped with tarps and netting to support repairs and painting, so I didn’t take any pictures. The Wikipedia page linked above has a nice picture.

High tide in the Haynes Inlet on the north side of Coos Bay.

The Oregon Dunes begin just north of Coos Bay. I drove out into the Horsfall area of the Siuslaw National Forest. You really need to get off the road to see the area, but it doesn’t appear to be particularly safe to walk. There are Off Road vehicles speeding around everywhere. The campgrounds are filled with several ATVs at each site. The sound of two stroke engine filled the air. I didn’t stay long, but I got a general idea of the lay of the land.

I got my exercise this afternoon by walking around the RV park a couple of times. Most of the sites in the park turn over every few days, but there are a few that were here before I arrived and will likely be here when I leave. There is a twenty eight day limit, so I don’t think there are any really long term residents.

Chores and Relaxation

Monday August 12th 2019

Most of the day was a clone of yesterday’s good weather. The sun warmed the air into the low seventies. A gentle breeze blew most of the day. Toward nightfall the similarity departed. Low clouds started to move in from the ocean.

Curious boat passing by the RV park. I’m not sure what it’s used for.

I spent the morning watching the turnover in the RV Park. For some reason there was more departures this morning than Sunday. Where my site is located the majority of the RVs have to pass by to exit the park and there can be some interesting interactions. One trailer had pulled into a “pull in style site” designed for motorhomes. To depart this morning it had to be backed out into the road. Let’s just say they should have had a pull through site.

Blossoms of the day

This was a stay at home day. I caught up on a few chores, caught up on some reading and watched some TV. I had planned to head over to the coast late in the day to watch sunset, but the arrival of a low cloud bank put a halt to that idea. The clouds will also make checking out the meteor shower tonight difficult to impossible. I’ll try to catch the sunset another night.