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Happening in Southern Oregon
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Swollen Bear Creek
Click to see What's New at RVeCafe January 10, 2006: This is a walking bridge in downtown Medford, Oregon. Bear Creek flows under the bridge and is normally small enough, a good hop would get you across the creek. After several weeks of rain, some days heavy rain, the creek has swollen and is full of mud. I cross this bridge every day I must work. The parking lot is on the right while my office is on the left. Fortunately, there is a Bad Ass Coffee Shop just across the bridge and before my office.
  Winco lunch stop
January 11, 2006: I make my own lunch, well, I use to make my own lunch. It was always such a chore to remember to do it, have all the right ingredients, pack-it and remember to throw it in the car in the morning before leaving for work. I figured out a method to make the chore easier. It's called WinCo Foods. They have a variety of ready made sandwiches for $2.08. You have a choice of bread, cheese, meat and little packets of mayonnaise plus mustard. I convinced myself that I could not make my own for that price so each morning I stop, purchase a banana and my choice of sandwich. That ends up as lunch. While at the store, I also pick up a bagel for 30 cents to go with my morning decaf coffee. I'm actually pleased with the quality of the food, especially the bagels. I will only purchase the sesame seed bagels, very tasty. The only problem with this plan is that after 6 months of doing this it can feel pretty "routine" and add to the doldrums. I'm ready for full time RV ... just need to figure out how to do it.
VA Rehabilitation, White City, Oregon
January 12, 2006: Today was a day I gave up some history. I donated a well used road bike and some bicycle repair tools to the VA Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center in White City. They have their own bike shop in one of the corner buildings on their campus. The bike I donated was a French road bike I purchased new in 1986. It is an aluminum bike, very light weight and responsive. I rode the bike for eleven years for many century rides and work-outs. It probably had 30,000 miles on the bike. The tools came from a bike shop I owned from 1987 - 1990 in North Lake Tahoe. These were the last of the tools and extra parts from that three year experience. I haven't been on this bike for nine years since I replaced it with another road bike. This bike was well appreciated by the veterans because it has some expensive Italian components which can be used on other bikes. It might be possible for repairs to be made to this bike too. I learned of this bike shop when I went looking for some used bike parts last year. They have a good collection of repair tools and bicycles for the residents of the center to use. I was saving this bike because I had spent so many miles on it I wanted to mount it to the wall of my "summer cabin" for a decoration. Since I'm thinking more of full time RV, I need to get rid of everything that won't fit.
  Learning Mac OS X  
January 13, 2006: Today was a special day. I got 1.5 hours of training in the Mac OS X operating system. That's pronounced "Mac OS Ten". I've always referred to the Mac as a "toy" computer and particularly liked teasing Mac owners. I owned a Mac in 1985 and used one in college in 1994 but that's the last time I've touched one. They have come a long way. As it turned out, I read all about the new Windows Vista operating system which will be available some time this year. It seems that Microsoft has done it again. The features of the new Vista operating system sounded wonderful yet they matched the features that are already available on the Mac. Is Microsoft making a copy of the Mac again? I have a new PC in my office but I have to wait on it all the time, there was no waiting for the Mac. Was I convinced to trade-in my PC. Not yet, but I'll sure look closer when the time comes.  
Cortney Plays Cootie with Annie

January 14, 2006: Today Courtney is visiting from Klamath Falls. She chose to play with Cootie but did not play alone. Annie has joined her and really likes many of the Cootie animals Cortney has made.

Today was a day I picked up my mountain bike from Bike Kraft where it got a free tune-up. I also filled one of the trailer propane tanks to be ready for the next trip and last ... I picked up the lawn mower from the repair shop. It wouldn't start after sitting for 7 months without being used.

January 15, 2006: Today was a day for gutter cleaning and lawn mowing for me since we did not have rain today. But for Courtney and Dustin, our visiting Grandchildren, it is time to turn their Christmas Toys-R-US gift cards into something of interest. It did not take long to find just the right toys. They had to look down every isle. Dustin and Courtney in Toys-R-US
Courtney and Dustin are Real Estate Tycoons January 16, 2006: Martin Luther King Holiday, Courtney and Dustin are on their last day to visit before returning the Klamath Falls. It's time for a game of Monopoly.. who can get the most hotels? Grandma Gwen and Daughter Lesa are also playing with these two real estate tycoons. Of course I'm outside doing the yard work before the next storm arrives. Yard work - one of my favorite chores!
Another Ace Hardware Store  
January 17, 2006: You already know that I can't pass an Ace Hardware store. I found them during my coast trip. This Ace store is about 8 miles south of Grants Pass in a little town called Murphy. It is one of the largest stores in the area with a huge selection. It is about as far from my house as you can get and still be in the Grants Pass area. For that reason, I don't get to visit here very often. This time I was looking for carpet-tile transition trim. I found what I was looking for pretty quickly but still had to walk every isle to be sure I wasn't missing anything.  
  A favorite activity?  
January 18, 2006: I arrived back in Grants Pass at the end of October and my first goal was to mow the lawn. The lawn mower hadn't been used in 7 months and guess what? The mower would not start. Well, with going to the King of the Road Rally and preparing for our December tour of the Oregon coast, the mower was not ready to work until this week. The grass is wet from 3 weeks of rain but this day was NO rain so time to mow. Yard work is one of the reasons I would love to go full-time RV! This time it took most of the day, but luckily the grass does not grow in the winter so I won't have to do it again soon. Take a look behind me and behind the fence. There is our trusty Direcway satellite dish. It took only a few minutes to set it up again after our return from our coast tour. After all, I had lots of practice during the tour.  
Hellgate Canyon on the Rogue River  
January 20, 2006: Lots of rain today so Gwen and I took a short drive to view Hellgate Canyon on the Rogue River. This is only a few miles from our house and a good location to watch the rafters and jet boats in the summer but today, we watched a near flood stage river. Hellgate Canyon is where several famous movies have been filmed such as Rooster Cogburn with John Wayne and The River Wild with Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon. We didn't see any famous actors today but we did see a Blue Heron flying just over the surface of the river.  
Looking northwest from our house January 22, 2006: So it will be the Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Superbowl this year. That should get the whole nation interested. I climbed onto our house roof to point the antenna toward a better playoff picture. While on the roof I needed to
take a photo of the sunny day, since this is the first sun we have seen in many days. This photo is looking toward the northwest. You can see we live in a great area, quiet country living. The buildings in the distance are greenhouses for vegetable and flower starts. The starts will be sold in April and May.  
January 24, 2006: The winter weather pattern in southern Oregon is rain or fog, especially in the early morning. This is Interstate 5, my commute each day. Today was fog but it is not the San Joaquin Valley, California kind of fog where you must Fog in the Rogue Valley
drive at fifteen miles per hour because of the severely limited visibility. I've not experienced that in southern Oregon yet. This fog is cold and hangs around until at least 11 am. Today, it cleared at about 11am and ended being bright and sunny ... at least in Medford.  
Digital Xrays January 27, 2006: Today was a day for tooth maintenance .. just cleaning but I learned something new at the dentist today. They have a new tool, it's a digital X-ray machine, no more film X-rays. This is just like putting a digital camera into your mouth to take photos of your teeth, creating a individual file for each tooth. These files can be

manipulated and stored just as you would any digital photo.

I've been visiting this dentist for several years and always make sure I get Jodi as my hygienist. She does a great job of paying attention to all the crevices and pockets around each tooth. She is also easy to talk with except when you have a mouth full of instruments. My teeth feel much cleaner now, great job, Jodi!

Jodi, my hygenist
G.I. Joes January 29, 2006: Today was a day to struggle with the new DW7000 modem. The installation of this new "faster" technology was suppose to give me a better connection to the Internet. Instead it has slowed my connect to a crawl. I spent many hours on the help line to Direcway to find a solution

to the problem . The solution was not found today. I'll keep trying tomorrow.

Gwen found an ad in the newspaper for a pair of shoes she has been wanting. She found them on sale at G.I. Joes in Medford. We had more than one reason for the 40 minute drive to Medford so after hanging up with Direcway support, we headed to Medford for the shoes and other errands. She got some very comfortable New Balance walking shoes, $30 off.

Gwen's new shoes
Lower Table Rock Mountain  
January 30, 2006: During my commute from Grants Pass to Medford each day, I pass by one of the two Table Rock Mountains in the Rogue Valley. This is Lower Table Rock because it is downstream from Upper Table Rock on the Rogue River. During the spring and late fall, there is a great hike to the top. Great views from the edge of the table. You must watch for Poison Oak which is on both sides of the trail. You can often see eagle soaring very close to the cliffs.  
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