Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Prospecting on Gold Beach

We've been here in Gold Beach for a couple of days now. The weather has been cool (low to high 60's), its been overcast almost the whole time, and it has rained a bit each day.  It almost makes me wish I was back in Murrieta getting baked.  Almost.



This is one of those RV parks where there are some permanent folks, some tent campers, lots of kids, and some interesting rigs.  Here's a cute one.

Anyway, one of the interesting (for me!) things to do each day is go down to the beach and go rock hunting.  There are a bunch of people who do this, like old prospectors hunting for gold nuggets. (There used to be gold in this area, back in the mid-1850's. Hence, Gold Beach.) Nowadays, the beachcombers are looking for agates, petrified wood, and other unusual small beach pebbles.  Here's a few bigger pebbles.

The beach extends for miles in each direction, and the tide (from high to low) is maybe 6 feet.  There is some decent surf here, and there are very large logs that have been washed two hundred yards onto shore. So, there is considerable energy out there, depositing and rearranging pebbles, cobbles, and 1 pound stones up and down the shore with each high tide.  In the morning, me and my hounds join the "pros" out in the cobble patch and root around trying to find unusual minerals. Here's some smaller stones.

Yesterday, I met a young guy who seems to know what he's doing.  He'd found some agates and one nice piece of petrified wood.  This morning, I collected a couple pounds of cool specimens and showed a couple to him when we met on the beach.  He confirmed that I had a couple of agates and at least one (maybe two) pieces of petrified wood.

I noticed that he has one of those "trash picker-upper" devices, so he doesn't have to bend over to root around or pick up specimens.  I think I need one of those!

What am I going to do with this stuff?  Well, I'm thinking that I can make a nice planter with cacti, and then sprinkle the unusual rocks among the plants to make it look exotic.  We'll see. Maybe I'll polish a few up!

I've been into town a few times already; it's only a few minutes up the road.  The state liquor store is located in a Hallmark Card store, half with cards, and the rest of the area (about as big as the interior of my RV) is liquor.  The cashier told me that state liquor stores are allocated on the basis of population.  I guess that 2,500 people don't drink too much.
We're getting tired of these state stores.  They really hose you on prices; probably 20 percent higher than grocery stores in So. Cal.  Besides, they make me feel like some kind of criminal or pervert (uh, do you have any rubbers? Or, hey, where do you keep the porn videos?), when I'm just trying to get some anesthetic for my poor working wife.

Gold Beach sits at the mouth of the Rogue River.  It is a major river up here in Oregon that starts right up near Crater Lake.  It is navigable by boat for about 100 miles, with the last 40 miles including rapids, steep cliffs, etc.  There is a company up here that has been running speed boats (nowadays they are jet boats) up the river for many years.  We're signed up for this coming Friday. We're going to give the 80-mile trip a shot.
It will be a long day, maybe 6 to 7 hours away from the hounds. There's a spinster lady here in Turtle Rock RV Park who babysits dogs in her little cottage.  I met her yesterday and she seems to be very capable of entertaining Booger and JayJay.

At the mouth of the Rogue River, right next to the harbor, there are many small fishing boats on the water, in a string across the river flow toward the sea.  That is the gauntlet that spawning salmon must get through on their way up river.  It almost seems criminal; those fish must have to literally dodge fish hooks in that channel.  It must be like throwing bait into a hatchery...I'll bet even my brother Terry could catch a few!

Speaking of dodging things, how about his guy that I ran into.
It took me a few tries, but I was able to stop him in his tracks by tossing a coin into his yap.
That's what the Brothers call "dropping a dime".  Works every time.

Jay Jay has been messing up the bed each time that I make it up.  I'm sick and tired of that pooch.


Other than that, not much happening around here.  Enjoy the heat, you SoCal losers!


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Turtle Rock

Today we drove 88 miles south to our new location, Turtle Rock RV Park in Gold Beach, Oregon.

Before we left, I gave the dogs one last romp on the beach.  They found three other unleashed dogs and ran all over the place.  They absolutely loved this wonderful beach in Charleston, Oregon. I hope our next location will allow dogs to run on the sand and in the surf.


Remember my last post, when I said The Beast was performing brilliantly, with no new problems.  I should have knocked on wood.  This morning, when we were preparing to leave, Charlie spotted a large crack in our windshield, up in the left corner.
 
That is going to cost us.  The windshield is maybe ten feet across and four feet high.  We'd better start saving money.  Oh, Boy! (Get back to work, Charlie!!!)

The drive down to Gold Beach was pretty, I'll give it that.  However, a good deal of it was on cliffs way above the ocean, on a winding highway.  Charlie doesn't like that at all.  Luckily, when she was about ready to burst a vein, the highway returned to sea level and we were able to calm down a bit.

The RV park at Turtle Rock is located next to a lagoon.  All around the park are gorgeous evergreens.

Just like at Paradise by the Sea, but better, you walk under the bridge (Highway 101) and you are on the beach.  And there, staring right at you, is a giant rock formation that looks like a turtle.
The beach has darker sand here, and there are a lot of smooth rocks, pebbles, and shells on the shore. It looks like a beachcomber's paradise.
I found a big white rock that looks like a giant molar. (Eat your heart out, Tim!)


The beach runs for miles in either direction, and there are occasional outcroppings of rock out in the sea like this one.
And, the best thing about the beach is the absence of "Dogs Prohibited" signs!!  Booger and Jay Jay have hit the Mother Lode again!  We will be spending a lot of time on that shore over the coming ten days.  Hooray!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Quittin' Time

We're about ready to quit this wonderful place, so tomorrow will be prep day.  Charlie will give the inside of The Beast a G.I. cleaning, while I will do the same for the exterior and the tow car. Should be a vigorous day.  We'll use a heap of white towels, rub our elbows sore, and piss off the dogs (because the spoiled brats will be whining about not being able to go down to the beach and goof off). Give me a break!

Charlie's work level has reduced to about a 3 on a scale of 10 (from about an 11 in the past month!). Each day finds her with some down time now, so we are able to take beach walks, hand-in-hand, or have a lunch date, or, like today, go to downtown Coos Bay, have some Mexican food for lunch, and kill a little time at some antique marts.  THIS is what we expected to do most of the time when we left Murrieta, and hope that this recent trend will continue.

Charlie is anxious to leave this place because...of a fog horn that can be heard in the far distance, every 30 seconds.  That seems to be a big deal for her. If you're doing anything at all, you never hear the thing...at least I don't.  It's like the train at Paradise by the Sea. Sure, it comes by numerous times a day and is loud. But, in the great scheme of things, the good weather, the ocean, the relaxed atmosphere, who gives a crap about a few trains?  To me, the fog horn (which resides at the entrance to Charleston Harbor, a couple of miles away), is a reminder that I am living on the beach in Oregon, which is kind of cool thing.  How lucky are we?!

I hope that the next spot, Turtle Rock at Gold Beach, Oregon, compares favorably with this nice location.  The mile-long beach here is wonderful for walking, there are very few people out there to bother you, and it's leash-free.  At least it is now.

In the past couple of days, we have found some fresh dog poop on the beach. I can't understand the stupidity of dog owners who allow this to happen.  Just a few complaints to whomever owns this beach and, Voila!, dog-walking privileges will be revoked. It's not like we're seeing a great number of violations, but even one, on a pristine beach like this, is an insult to nature and a grievous dog etiquette faupaux.  What cretin walks his dog on a beach without a dog poop bag at the ready?  There's no excuse.  People like that should be summarily executed.  I'd vote for castration, or incarceration, at the least.

I shouldn't say this, but...everything in the RV seems to be running properly and we've about mastered the daily operational choreography. There are a few minor items that need fixing (we have to re-level the rig once per day, and some of the moving parts have wear-and-tear issues), but basically we have a nice little 300 sq. ft. home.  It's quite intimate, and the four of us are getting along nicely. Even with the dining room table area set up as an office, there is plenty of room for everything else we need to do. The dogs have identified favorite napping areas when they are not needed to entertain us, walk on the beach, or beg for food.. They have no issue with this vagabond lifestyle in the least.

Tomorrow...we clean.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Bandon-by-the-Sea

We awoke this Sunday morning with a plan: to actually VACATE a bit during our supposed-vacation. We got the dogs all fed, peed, and pooed, and then parked them in the rig for a 4-hour sabattical. They still looked sharp from yesterday's cleaning frenzy.

Yeah, they weren't too happy that they were being excluded from the road trip.

We headed south toward the seaside town of Bandon-by-the-Sea. It has a famous golf complex that I'd wanted to check out, and also a nice Old Town nestled against the harbor. Charlie was in desperate need of some retail therapy.

On the way, we had to stop for three deer who stepped out in front of us: Mama, and two little spotted fawns. I snapped a picture through my windshield but they'd already moved across the road.

I'd heard about Bandon Dunes Golf Resort from some Bear Creekers. It;s supposed to be the nearest thing to golfing in Scotland (on the sand dunes), and I knew that it was pretty pricey. Back in the day, when I was a single-digit handicapper, there was a group of well-heeled, scratch and single-digit handicap golfers that would make an annual trip to Bandon Dunes for a week of golf, gambling, and enjoying expensive food and fine wine. Probably a $5K-$10K expense per golfer. I was once asked to go, but found an excuse not to.

We cruised into the Bandon Dunes Resort complex, parked our Hyundai among the expensive cars, walked by a bunch of rich-looking men and women in fancy golf outfits, and went into the Pro Shop. I inquired about maybe playing a round this coming week, and asked what it cost. "$310 plus caddy", I was told. Oops, we're in the wrong place, I thought. So, we skeedaddled out of there with our tails between our legs. (To be honest, Charlie said, "I will pay if you want to golf here; I want to do it!" But, the thing is, I didn't want to spend that kind of money golfing...without being in Scotland. Besides, I haven't played but two rounds in the past two months, and I would be miserable hacking my way around such a nice layout. It would be criminal, and I wouldn't enjoy it.)

So, we decided to continue on to Bandon-by-the-Sea and attempt to blow the $300 in Old Town. And, I think we might have achieved our goal.

The Old Town area reminded me of "old town" areas in a number of places like Temecula, Laguna, West Yellowstone, etc. Lots of shops selling art, crafty things, candles, post cards, doodads that would catch a woman's attention, a couple of clothing shops, and a bunch of restaurants. Actually, there were two short streets, one with the shops, and another with the eateries.

Some of the art was interesting. Next to the sidewalk, as you entered town, was a huge sculpture of a red rockfish that had been made entirely out of litter that had been collected on the shore.
There were some very nice art galleries. Our sculptor friend, Austin Casson, who often does eagle motifs, would have liked this one.
I thought this one was a pretty clever use of a bison skull.
Of course, there is always one of those stores that sells every manner of cheesy, touristy crap under the sun. This particular store was absolutely crammed with such stuff, so that one had to turn sideways to get down the aisle. I think that the owner was a retail hoarder, and had kept every single item that hadn't sold over a 30-year period. Anyway, I think Charlie bought a few postcards. I was tempted by a couple of T-shirts, but couldn't pull the trigger.


That last one made me think of son Tim's family for some reason. (Just kidding!)

When the spending orgy was over, we retired to the Wheelhouse Seafood Grill and had a very nice lunch overlooking the harbor. Charlie enjoyed Fish and Chips, while I had the Cajun Mixed Seafood Grill. Both meals were excellent.

Of course, while we were living the high life in Bandon, the dogs were sleeping back at the rig, I'm sure. And, who knows what else those two do when no one is looking? There might be some romance going on...
Nah, that's unlikely. Booger would rather sleep than fool around, and, Boy, can she sleep!
Everything considered, it was a very nice outing for us, and exactly the getaway that my bride needed. Things have slowed down in the past few days, and I'm thinking (and hoping) that we will have many other restful and romantic days ahead, just like we planned. I'm keeping my fingers crossed...

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Our Work-cation

It's Saturday, it's overcast and misting here at the beach, so it's a good day to get some cleaning chores done. We're at the beach, and the RV has accumulated a lot of sand and dirt debris in it. So, I vacuumed the place. The dogs smell like seawater, fish, seaweed, and crab. And, their claws need un-sharpening. So, I manicured them, bathed them, dried them, and put some doggie foo-foo on them to make them smell brand, spanking new. We had a ton of dirty clothes, too.  So, I spent a couple of hours going back and forth to the laundromat shack doing a couple of loads and then drying them.

Those are some of my irregular chores, in addition to keeping the RV and car clean. On a daily basis, I busy myself preparing meals, washing dishes, making up the bed in the morning, walking the dogs and picking up their poo, and running errands to the store and post office in my car. When there is bookkeeping to do, I help out on that, too.

Speaking of the bookkeeping business, the big, special job that Charlie's been working on for a month is winding down. The physician client is now working with the lender on the appraisal and finalizing up the loan stuff. Charlie's "middle man" work is about done...and not a moment too soon. The whole project has been an unwelcome intrusion on our road trip. Yes, she has made over $6,000 doing this one special task, so it basically pays the bills of the 4-month excursion. That's the silver lining. But, we'd have been happier if she'd been able to relax a bit more on her so-called vacation.

We've talked (and griped) about this issue quite a few times over the past 9 weeks. We had always planned to do bookkeeping work on the road...the two of us splitting up the work...on the 8 clients that we decided to keep. We figured that it might take 40 to 60 hours per month. That would leave plenty of time for adventure and relaxation. What we never anticipated was the "special project" (actually, a couple of them) that arose. Given who she is, and the devotion to her clients, Charlie couldn't/wouldn't refuse to help out. Her clients are like her children, or her patients, when she was a nurse. She's a caregiver; that's who/what she is. My wonderful wife occasionally bitches and complains about the work, but she'd never say no to a client in need, one of her children with a problem, or a friend in crisis. Yes, she's not been able to enjoy this trip (at first, we called it a "vacation; then, a "relocation"; then, a "work-cation") in the way that we had originally envisioned. But, she will have a great sense of satisfaction when her two clients conclude their real estate purchases and they have room to grow their businesses. That is more important to her than sightseeing, climbing mountains, rafting down a river, or coming home with a nice tan.

We've got a little more than five weeks left to go, and, hopefully, there will be more time spent soaking up sunshine and seeing the sights than bookkeeping. At least that's the plan. (Actually, at the next stop, we are going to have a jet boat adventure on the Rogue River.)

I'm sure I've mentioned that this is an exceptional place here in Charleston,Oregon, just south of Coos Bay. It's the best beach side RV park that we've ever visited in terms of being dog-friendly. It's almost impossible these days to find beaches that are not regulated by either the Feds, the State, or a local municipality, with restrictive rules re: dogs on beach. This place is heaven; the beach must be privately owned, or the city/state is very lax about dogs. Anyway, there are dogs out there all times of the day, playing in the surf, chasing frisbees, and walking with their masters. Almost without exception, people pick up their dogs poo, so the beach is pristine. It's so nice...and, it could never happen in California. That's because there are so many people, which means that there would be many more exceptions to the good dog-owner rule...who would not pick up after their dog. I'm sure that's why virtually all beaches in California are prohibited to dogs. What a shame it has to be like that!

I am thinking that our second "work-cation" (next year) will include a lengthy stop here...maybe for a month...because of the beach, the cool climate, and the local scenery. There are sites in this RV park that are better than others. We have a decent site, but it would be nice if we were 50 yards closer to the beach and oriented to the sun a bit differently. I will have to be on the phone, 9 months to the second, in advance, calling this RV park, to reserve one of those prime spots right up next to the shore dune with my patio awning facing east. That would be cool!

Well, it's getting into the afternoon here, time to start thinking about adult beverages, a walk with the dogs on the beach, making a tasty soup for dinner, and continuing with the books that we've been reading. It's a crappy life, but safer than going to a movie theater and dodging real bullets.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Some Time Together

Charlie was pretty burned out and bummed out yesterday. We vowed that a bit of fun needed to be budgeted each day so that she could de-stress a bit. Walking, little trips around town, lunch on the town, etc. Anything to get her out of the rig.

Today we left the dogs to babysit themselves and hit the road at about 10 a.m. We went down to Shore Acres State Park so that Charlie could get some fresh air and enjoy nature. We walked along the cliff path and watched the awesome ocean doing its thing.



I took Charlie to the botanical gardens. We spotted a few shrubs and flowers that we liked.



Mr. Cheapskate presented his wife with a mini-bouquet.
After touring the park, we headed off across town to do some shopping at WalMart and Staples, picked up some supplies at the Post Office, and washed the car for $2.00.

Then, we had a nice lunch at our favorite joint in Charleston harbor. Charlie got her favorite Soup and Sandwich, and I had a repeat of the best Jambalaya on the planet.

I wish Terry was here; he'd love the Jambalaya! He and I really loved the Seafood Diablo when we went fishing in Sitka, Alaska some years ago. This Jambalaya dish is THAT GOOD. Yummy, I could eat it every day.

We just got a call from our old friend Barbara Card. She confirmed that she is dating another old friend of ours from Bear Creek, Bob Knorr. We are so happy that they have found one another. What a great couple they will make.

When we got home, Charlie and I took a long hike along the beach with Booger and JayJay. It is a marvelous day, blue skies, air temp around 68 degrees, with light winds. And, the sand was warm on the feet. The only thing that spoiled it was the dogs stopping to eat some seaweed. They (we) will pay for that later.

Charlie's back on the computer now, tending to the latest bullshit that her client's bank is asking for. I don't think it will ever end. She's got the patience of Job.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Arf Arf Woof Woof

Hey, it's Booger. I just wanted to let everyone know that Jay Jay and I are having a ball here. We are getting fed regularly, we get to take a lot of dog naps, and we are allowed to roam off leash at the beach. That's the Best!

This morning Craig took us down to the beach two times. The first time was early, before breakfast, when we had to pee and poop. We love it when Craig has to PICK UP OUR POOP! Ha Ha.

Later, when Charlie was busy, Craig took us back to the beach for an extended romp. Its a beautiful place, with lots of room to run around and check things out.
After we peed again, and Jay Jay took his second fat poop of the day, we wandered over to the cove to investigate stuff.

 There were some anenomes (Craig told us what they were) all over this rock. They didn't smell too good, to be honest. The dead seagull, now that was interesting!


We like to climb rocks. There's a bunch of them there.

Over on one cliff where we were climbing, there was a bunch of green stuff growing out of the rocks. There was also an earhole in the cliff.

We also found a big cave in the cliff. I didn't go in, but Jay Jay explored it. Nothing to eat in there.
I found a nice rock for sunbathing. A girl's got to work on the tan line, right?
After awhile, Craig took us back home. We would have liked to stay longer, but he had to go put his wash in the dryer. It's just as well, because we were getting tired and thirsty.

Jay Jay crashed on the couch, and started snoring, as usual. That guy bugs me sometimes.
I'm OK as long as he doesn't lay on MY WHITE BLANKET.
See ya!

Hey, wait a minute! Did someone say FOOD?
P.S. We got to go for a third walk on the beach in the late afternoon with Craig and Charlie. But, I got into trouble for chasing one of those damned Chihuahuas. I hate those little f-ers.