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Make a few earrings

Monday, April 24, 2017: I spent much of this rainy day making some earrings for my mother. These are made of lapis and red jasper on sterling silver ear wires. Mom: a package was mailed to you today.

I checked and double checked the items in my pack today. The last thing a backpacker wants to happen is missing a key part of the equipment like my spoon (which happened last year) or hiking pants (which happened to Richard a couple years ago). We've had to put all our food into bear tight containers which adds 2.5 lbs to the weight and take up lots of room in the pack. I dislike having to do that but Richard insists they are necessary. We will be hike the Wild and Scenic portion of the Rogue River in southern Oregon. It is about 40 miles accessible by trail of float boat only. This will be my last post for a week but I plan to take lots of photos to record the experience.

Hiking in the rain


Sunday, April 23, 2017: I'm hiking each day to prepare for the backpack which begins on Tuesday. We expect to be backpacking in the rain on Tuesday so I thought it appropriate to hike in the rain today to test my equipment. It kept me dry but I can see I will probably wear only a T-shirt and shorts underneath. Even though the temperature was only in the 50s, it was too warm inside my rain suit. My hiking buddy RichardSo I'm going to change the clothes I take along a bit. My hiking boots are advertised to be waterproof but I'm concerned about them so think I will bring my waterproof cycling socks too.

My hiking buddy Richard took a rainy day hike on the coast. He wore the same rain suit only in yellow. I did my best to purchase a different color, I surely didn't want to match rain suits with any of my backpacking buddies, that would just be weird! He even has the same hat but his is green and mine, blue. I expect Richard learned what I did, lighter clothing is needed. So why is Richard standing is such a strange pose? It is his signature stand. Check out his Website for reports of many Oregon hikes.

Gwen is learning to use a polarizing filter Gwen is looking for a lost lens cap. :-) Gwen likes to take closeups of flowers
Gwen has found something else on the ground to photograph We find Susan Creek Falls We share a sandwich at Steamboat Springs Cafe
Saturday, April 22, 2017: Gwen suggested something today that I have always liked to do, take a trip just for photo shooting. She has a new camera and she wanted to begin to learn to use it. I've always enjoyed a day to take photos which usually means (in the past) a day in the darkroom to process those photos. Now, it is time at the computer processing and manipulating photos using software rather than an enlarger, dodging tools, chemicals and different kinds of photo paper in the darkroom. Gwen took most of the photos with her camera while I took less than a handful. I used the camera which is part of the Samsung Galaxy S6 phone on most of the photos above. In fact all six above were taken with my phone. Click each photo for another view. Only two photos behind these were taken with Gwen's camera, see if you can guess which ones. I also did a very short video of the North Umpqua River from North Bank Road as we were returning home. Be sure to check Gwen's report of the day to see her photos.

Friday, April 21, 2017: Two strange photos, let me explain. Today began with fog but was forecast to be the warmest day in 2017 so far and no rain. The fog cleared in late morning and the sun began to warm. So I decided to be brave and walk around town to help prepare for my backpack trip happening next week. While walking around town I had to pass the railroad tracks twice. I'll admit to some artistic manipulation of the photo on the right.

Meanwhile, Gwen was with lady friends at a quilt show in Roseburg. She didn't return until late and reported enjoying every moment of the day.

Testing my hammock system, this is the rain fly, hammock is behind
My lens has arrived
Thursday, April 20, 2017: Making sure today that everything was good with the hammock system. The rain fly is hung first, likely because it will be raining and it will make a good place to fix the night meal, under the rain fly before the hammock is hung. Click the photo to see the hammock. I wrapped and folded both ready for packing. While I was working with the hammock, UPS arrived with my camera lens. My plan is to use this lens as the main lens to stay on the camera. I got it used at a very good price in "like new" condition. So far I agree with the "like new" condition but I won't really know until I have a camera to put it on. The lens came with a lens hood used to help protect the lens glass and to help keep the lens from being "sun struck". Click the lens photo to see the lens hood in photo position.
The weather forecast for next week Frogg Togg rain suit
Wednesday, April 19, 2017: Continuing to communicate with backpack partners and prepare for a five day backpack next week. Richard introduced me to Frogg Toggs, an inexpensive, light weight rain suit. I was planning to wear my bicycling rain pants and a plastic poncho. This rainsuit is about 1/4 the weight of those two items and cheap enough, I won't worry if some part of my suit gets injured. The long range forecast for next week is rain the whole time we are on a backpack. It is bound to be a very uncomfortable backpack but I need to do this with the guys. So, the plan is to prepare! Click the forecast photo to enlarge, click the Frogg Toggs to see how it looks on ME.
Adding my spoon to the bear can. Poison Oak 20 foot tall tree of Poison Oak
Tuesday, April 18, 2017: I spent much of the day locating the stuff I will need for my backpack next week. The last time I packed with my friend Richard, I forgot my spoon and had to use my spade as a spoon. I sent this photo to Richard showing that I was packing my spoon into my bear can. I mentioned that he might have to remind me where I put it next week. I walked to motorhome storage to do something for Gwen then ended up taking a long hike into the mountains. I found where the local timber company has been harvesting the forest. Click the spoon to see the clear cut. Hiking further, I found a forest of Poison Oak. Some were just stems while others were a nice maroon colored leaf. The photo at right is a twenty foot tall tree of Poison Oak. Click the Poison Oak photos for larger views.

Sunday, April 16, 2017: After Easter celebration I had time to search through my storage areas for outdated items. I was specifically looking for items that I could list for sale.

I found a "like new" wind breaker, a camp pot/pan kit and these two items.

This is a Lowe Alpine backpack which I've owned for at least 30 years. It came from the days I would pack with a huge load and didn't mind the weight. Now, when I pack, it's with a much lighter pack and smaller load.

The Sierra Designs tent at the right is another item I've owned for at least 20 years. I remember buying it in Medford. It's a 2+ person tent, very well built and has kept me dry is some very serious storms. However, it is far too heavy for my backpacking now and I have no need for a 2 person tent.

Until they are sold, you can see the Craigslisting by clicking the photos.

Sierra Designs Tent
Table Rock Mountain with pears in bloom Depth of field practice Now it's all in focus
Saturday, April 15, 2017: When visiting Gwen's daughter, Lesa, in Brookings a week ago, she mentioned loaning Gwen her Canon 50D camera with three lenses so she could learn to use it and take better photos. Yesterday Gwen suggested we meet Lesa in Medford to secure the camera and to see her for a second time in a week. Of course I agreed and we drove two hours south to Medford to meet Lesa for lunch. We had a grand visit with Lesa and Mark at a convenient but low quality (food) restaurant. The conversation and visiting made up for the poor food. About the photos: on the way back to Sutherlin we passed near Table Rock Mountain with the pear trees in bloom. I thought I would borrow Gwen's camera to learn if I could use it to take a photo of the mountain with blooming pear trees. I chose to use the 70 - 300 mm lens to compress the photo. The photo on the left is a wider view of the scene at the 70 mm focal length. Click the photo for a larger view. The two photos in the center and on the right are my attempt to learn if I could still control "depth of field". Notice in the center photo that the mountain is in focus but the pear blooms are not. The photo in the right, both the mountain and the blooms are in focus. THAT is control of "depth of field". It is a technique used to help identify the true subject of a photo and to help direct the focus toward a particular area of the photo especially when used when photographing people. Click these two photos to see a larger view. I won't be using Gwen's camera again, I'll be using my own when I have one. I love using depth of field to direct the focus onto a person's face. In the larger views of the right two photos you will see people on top of the mountain. I didn't notice the people until I looked at these photos. I also caught this photo of Mt. McLoughlin while trying to take pear blossom photos.

My hiking buddy, Richard


Friday, April 14, 2017: This is my friend and hiking, backpacking partner, Richard. We have a backpack trip planned in ten days and Richard has taken my advice to sleep in a hammock and he wanted help to learn how to set it up. I showed him how I always set up the rain fly first so Richard is celebrating the hanging of the rain fly. We were fighting the wind the whole time but were successful in, first, setting up my hammock then setting up Richard's hammock. We learned what else we might need to make the hammock camping right.

After the hammock practice, Richard showed me his new high performance Bike Friday which was custom made for him. Click the photo to see Richard's bike. It has a new eleven speed, internal hub, transmission which is belt driven, not chain driven.

Today's projects Another project
Thursday, April 13, 2017: This day began with a Timber Valley RV Park board meeting. All Escapee parks are run by an elected board of directors. The meetings are once each month with a general meeting once a year. Today's topics included the number of renters in the park, compensation for park employees and vehicle washing in the park. That took two hours so the board took a break. Gwen and I left for lunch during the break so we don't know what else was discussed. I took the afternoon to complete some promised earrings for Lesa, Brook and Gwen. They had all chosen parts while we were in Brookings together. I didn't have my tools with me so assembled them into earrings today. Click both photos to see the completed earrings. Of course I made more than two sets.

A truck accident nearbyWednesday, April 12, 2017: This KVAL photo of a truck crash was on Facebook today. The crash happened earlier today on the narrow two lane bridge we always cross to get to the coast. The driver is in the hospital. The highway is currently block and the bridge inspected.

Today began with the Escapee Chapter 9 breakfast. When we arrived back home we cleaned and prepared Miss Dory to park in the storage lot. Beginning April 1, our second RV is not allowed on our lot and must be parked in storage, it's a park rule. I have some more repairs to make which will happen when the rain stops.

Dave walking Mazie Gwen finds a beach "treasure"
Monday, April 10, 2017: A travel day from Brookings back to Sutherlin, Oregon. Before leaving Brookings, however, we took one last walk on the beach. This time it was Whale's Head beach with all the dogs. Gwen, Dave, Brook and myself with Morgan, Mazie and Belle. Click the photos for additional views.

We can't stop walking the beach


Sunday, April 9, 2017: Even with the "Wave Incident" we can't stop walking the beach. Actually, we did laundry early this morning before the beach walk. Something special today, while walking McVay Beach, I collected tiny, colorful pebbles for my granddaughter, Chloe. While she visited a week ago I taught her how to make her own stud earrings and she can use the pebbles I collected to create more of her own. So this was another day on the ocean with Dave, Brook, Lesa, Mark and Gwen. Click the photo for another view. Another storm is arrived this afternoon but we have a weather window to leave tomorrow afternoon.

On to Indian Sands On the edge! The Wave Incident!
Saturday, April 8, 2017: A relatively good weather day for Dave, Brook, Lesa, Mark, Gwen and I to hike the Chetco Park overlook then the Indian Sands overlook. Both near Brookings, Chetco Overlook is in the city and Indian Springs is eight miles north. Both have spectacular views. I took a video of both hikes where you get to see the "girls" imitate Miss Dory calling the whales and toward the end of the video, the "Wave Incident". Click all photos for another view.

Our family at Sushi

Friday, April 7, 2017: Gwen's daughter Lesa and her partner Mark arrived this afternoon so we chose to have Sushi for dinner. Dave and Brook are on the right, then Lesa across from Mark. Dave took the photo on his iPhone.

After sushi, we headed to Dairy Queen where we all ate something we shouldn't have.

Later the "kids" went for a hike on the beach while I finished the edit of a beach movie.

South Harris Beach

Thursday, April 6, 2017: Gwen and I meet David and Brook on South Harris Beach. This has been our longest hike yet on the beach making it a loop from one end of South Beach to the North Beach at low tide, otherwise there are spots we could not walk. These bird seemed interested in what we were doing. Later in the hike, David and Brook join us with Belle (black and white dog) and Mazie. I took a video of the walk. Click the photo for another view.

Looking west over the Pacific

Wednesday, April 5, 2017: This morning we had breakfast with David and the other campground hosts, a Wednesday morning tradition. Then off to the farmer's market where we looked but didn't buy anything. David showed us the "At River's Edge RV Park" where he will move at the end of April. Finally, to Fred Meyer looking for groceries.

We took Morgan for a walk on the beach where I captured these photos. Click each for a larger view.

Gwen and Morgan take in the view

Dale, Gwen and Eric

Tuesday, April 4, 2017: We are driving from Sutherlin to Brookings, Oregon on the coast to visit Gwen's son, David. Eric, our French Canadian hitchhiking friend wants to be delivered to Bandon so he can photograph Face Rock, a famous coast rock formation in Bandon. He is ready to continue his adventure. This photo was taken at the moment we delivered him to within 200 yards of the Facerock view point.

I'm sure he will post his photos as soon as he has Internet access again.

We arrived in Brookings two hours later and found a nice camp location very near David.

Sunday, April 2, 2017Our friend Eric, a French Canadian hitchhiker


In 2013 we were traveling in Death Valley with Gwen driving our Prius. She stopped to pick up a hitchhiker. It turned out to be Eric, a French Canadian from Montreal. At that time he had hitchhiked most of the United States. Since that time, he has hitchhiked Iceland, Greenland, Scandinavia and Germany. This last year, when we were in Alaska, Eric hitchhiked all of Central and South America and has just returned from that adventure. He is on his way north to Alaska and contacted us knowing we were in Oregon. He'll stay with us until Tuesday when we travel back to the coast to visit Gwen's son David. Eric wants to see Bandon so we'll drop him off as we pass through. You can follow Eric by "friending" his Facebook page, where he has hundreds of photos of his travels. Eric makes friends very easily so nearly all those who have given him a ride still follow him on Facebook.

During his travels, the bag he uses for his tripod has worn out so he picked up some old jeans from the trash and is remaking one of the legs into a tripod bag. Gwen taught him how to use her sewing machine to finish his project.

March 29 - April 1, 2017
Ben, Dale and Noah Noah

It has been an active few days with son Ben plus Chloe and Noah. We have done projects making earrings, dinosaur puzzles, finishing Noah's train cars, rock pendants and felt coloring cards. Then we played lots of card games like Skipbo.

The highlight of the week, however, is the trip to the coast for a dune buggy ride then a hike on the beach looking for shells and driftwood. I took a video of the coast trip.

Click the photo of Ben, myself and Noah above to see the dune buggy we rode.

Dale, I'm taking the dune ride video
Chloe with finger lights Tuesday, March 28, 2017: My son Ben with Chloe and Noah have arrived. We spent the late afternoon playing and showing them their living quarters while they visit. After a hamburger barbeque we took a short drive to Dairy Queen. Then I started my gas campfire for them. Finally it became dark enough to get out the box of finger lights I ordered just for them. The kids had experience with them and had to show me how to put them onto my fingers properly. I took a short video with the kids and their finger lights. Noah with finger lights
Getting ready for a visit from the grandkids Personalized dollar store tool boxes
Monday, March 27, 2017: We have two grandkids visiting beginning tomorrow so I have been working all day getting projects ready for them. I decided I wanted to teach Chloe how to make earings for herself (and others) so she needs a place to keep her tools and treasures. Noah needs a tool box for some hand tools I'm giving him. I picked up (2) dollar store tool boxes then made name plates for each of the kids. Then I filled them with stuff for our first projects. I used the woodburning tool I purchased a couple weeks ago. I also made a name plate for a very special box we bought for Chloe. Click both photos to see more views.

My pick for the new shelf


Friday, March 24, 2017: Today was a rainy travel day from Tillicum Beach Campground back to Sutherlin, Oregon. I promised a photo of the "special find" at the "Flea Market" store in Waldport. It is a ceramic lighthouse very much like the Heceta Head Lighthouse and the price was only $15. It is designed to use Tea Lights (the little candles found in dollar stores). One tea light goes in the lighthouse tower and the other goes in the house. I could only find one Tea Light so used it in the house. I bought the lighthouse for my shelf. Click the photo to see a wider view of the shelf. All the items inside and on top of the shelf came from this trip to the coast. They were all found in thrift shops or were on-sale. I also picked up some sea shells for the copper bucket but just hadn't found them among all our "treasures" before taking this photo.

Waldport bridge over the Alsea River Thursday, March 23, 2017: This is our last full day on the Oregon Coast and there is one thing we have not done yet, visit Gwen's favorite restaurant for clam chowder. It is the Salty Dawg located next to the Alsea Marina off the "beaten path" in Waldport. As it turns out, the Oregon Ducks basketball team is playing in the NCAA March Madness Sweet Sixteen just as we finished lunch. We hung out at the Salty Dawg and extra two hours to watch them beat Michigan by a point and move on to the Elite Eight. Click the right photo for the Salty Dawg. Click the left photo for another view of the Waldport bridge over the Alsea River. One of our favorite coast restaurants
Breakfast at Drift Inn, Yachats Wednesday, March 22, 2017: Another mostly rain day. Our favorite restaurant is the Drift Inn in Yachats so we had to have ONE breakfast there before leaving the area. Gwen got the best view of the Yachats River as it enters the Pacific Ocean. After breakfast, we drove eight miles to Waldport. Our first stop was the "Flea Market" store where Gwen found another jigsaw puzzle and I found something special for my shelf back home. Next, off to the Waldport Library for Internet access. Back at the campground, I made a video of the Tillicum Beach Campground. I also got a nice photo of the Pacific as the sun was about to disappear. Oh Yes! Another 550 piece jigsaw puzzle
Gwen and Morgan on the beach

What do you do when you have no Internet?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017: What do you do when you have no Internet and no TV? First, we go for a long walk on the beach with Morgan. Gwen likes to look for "treasures" on the beach so we end up putting those treasures into the bags we carry to pickup Morgan poop. After dinner, Gwen likes to do jigsaw puzzles and purchased this one at Goodwill in Florence for $1. I don't usually like jigsaw puzzles but this one was fun and relatively easy so we finished it in about 3 hours. Click both photos for more views.

First day of spring and we are on the Oregon coast Monday, March 20, 2017: This is the first day of spring. We have moved from Florence Elks RV to Tillicum Beach National Forest Campground between Yachats and Waldport, Oregon. We are 100 yards from the water and 10 yards above the water. We can see the Pacific waves from our windshield. Since the next few days is forecast a series of storms, we'll be able to watch as the storms approach. There is no Internet or cell phone access at the park so nothing to distract us from the ocean view. We are also boondocked to make sure we remember how. We haven't boondocked since Mt. Robson Park, BC last August. Plenty of space for Morgan
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