The Umpqua Lighthouse was originally constructed on the north side of the Umpqua river mouth, and was finished in 1857. However, the surveyors that had picked that location had never seen the Umpqua river at flood levels – and the original lighthouse tower tumbled down after a brutal storm in 1863.
After two decades of a dark coastline, the Lighthouse Board eventually approved the funding to rebuild the Umpqua Lighthouse, as well as construct the Heceta Head Lighthouse, her sister to the north. The lighthouses were built simultaneously, and with almost identical plans. Heceta Head was lit first in 1893.
Having learned their lesson with the first lighthouse, the second Umpqua Lighthouse was built on a headland above the mouth of the river, where it is the farthest away from a river or the ocean of all the lighthouses along the Oregon Coast.
The mouth of the Umpqua river at Winchester Bay was finally lit up again on December 31, 1894.
The lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. The old housing facilities have been turned into a museum, but the lighthouse is still an active U. S. Coast Guard lighthouse base today.
Development of facilities for Umpqua River State Park began with trails and a picnic area at the nearby Lake Marie in the 1930s. Access to the small freshwater lake was provided for fishing and swimming. In the late 1950s, the overnight camping area was added.
The campground is small with only 20 hookup sites, plus tent sites, yurts, 2 log cabins, a hiker/biker camp, and well-maintained restroom and shower facilities.
The nearby towns of Winchester Bay and Reedsport, Oregon both have shopping, recreational supplies, and restaurants. We recommend Don’s Main Street Diner right on Highway 101 in Reedsport. Their clam chowder is delicious, and their pies are to die for!
Nearby attractions include the marina in Winchester Bay with crabbing, fishing, and beautiful views. Reedsport offers grocery stores, river views, and the Umpqua Discovery Center, which is an educational and cultural resource for all ages.
What do you give your loved ones that are full time RVers? Not much, unless you’re going to get them a larger RV to put more shit in.
We purposely got rid of all our crap to live on the road, and we try not keep things that we don’t use. If we have forgotten we even own something (which happens more than it should, really), then we don’t actually need it do we? So, it gets donated to a thrift store that we come across in our travels (this is also where we buy most of the stuff that we donate – that’s what we call the thrift store circle of life, my friends).
So, again, WHAT do you give your loved ones that live in their RV? Well…I have made a list…make sure to check it twice.
A thermal backpack picnic set. You may think that this is something that people don’t really NEED…but it has a detachable thermal wine holder. Everyone needs this; even you. Order 2.
Food. Unless your giftee’s are people that don’t eat (in which case you should call in a welfare check on them) then food is always a win. Something delicious that they wouldn’t normally splurge for.
Games! RV people (well, at least these RV people) love to play games! Especially, the RVers that like to spend their time offgrid. Also…this is great for people like my husband that likes to make up words and call himself a wordsmith.
Do you know what every RV traveler needs? Whether it is a travel trailer, motorhome, 5th while or even a tiny house they will all need some petrol to move on to their next spot. Unless they have teleportation devices, which would really just take away the enjoyment – happiness is in the journey, not the destination. So, gas cards!
If you’re one of those people – you know the kind…they spend so much on their gifts that everyone else is ashamed of their homemade macaroni necklaces – then a membership to an RV club would be a great gift. RV Club memberships include some pretty impressive discounts for the RVers, as well as free stays. Do a little research, click buy, and WHAM! You are more awesome that Santa this year. You want cookies or carrots left out for you?
I saved the lamest, but probably the most useful for last. Gift cards. To Wal-mart, Kroger, Clothing Stores, Outdoor Stores, or just a prepaid Visa. This gift lacks imagination on your part, but will really be appreciated by your RVers.
Oh! I forgot the most important part. Have a happy and beautiful holiday season – and ditch the gifts, because the best gift is probably you – unless you suck.
If you’re anything like me, you might be wondering where you can find a small, quiet rural town with glorious fall colors and more pot stores per capita than anywhere I have ever been. Well, beautiful people. Look no more. Welcome to Huntington, Oregon, population 436.
Huntington sits 25 miles west of the Idaho border, and is the closest town to Boise that legally sells marijuana. In Oregon it is not illegal to sell to out-of-state patrons, as long as they are of legal age. Going out of their way to make sure they will not be held responsible, the dispensaries in Huntington make out-of-staters sign a waiver stating that they won’t cross state lines with their purchases…luckily, patrons are not under oath when they sign.
In addition to the dispensaries, there are also a few local pot farms within city limits which makes for a lovely crisp, fall aroma.
Huntington is an odd assortment of residents, history, and rugged beauty.
Okay, so if the marijuana isn’t enough to make you want to visit, maybe the herds of deer that wander freely through the town will convince you.
Wildlife is easy to find nearby, like at the Spring Creek Recreation area along the Snake River. Spring Creek Recreation area is BLM land; you can stay for $5.00 a night during the active season, and for free in the off season. There is potable water, and vault toilets but no other amenities. The views are gorgeous, and the small critters are aplenty – including some RV hitchhikers of the little mouse kind.
For those that enjoy a more civilized RVing life, there is the Farewell Bend State Park 4 miles from downtown Huntington (which is also the whole of Huntington) with water and electric hookups.
Farewell Bend is named such because of the Oregon Trail pioneers that followed the Snake River, would pause to rest at the bend before continuing on their trek.
The park is beautiful, well-maintained with helpful rangers. We were there in the off season, so only one loop was open in the campground. So, there may be loops in the campground that have full hookups, but the winter loop does not due to freezing temperatures.
The Huntington area is rich with history, with a modern day twist on their local wares. We loved the 2 weeks we spent there, and will definitely stay in the area again on our way through.
Plus – where else can you see a kid dressed up for Halloween as the Black Panther wearing worn out shitkickers?
We put in some serious effort in September to actually travel! Mr. Write on the Road healed pretty quickly after his liver surgery, and when we were able, we headed north through Washington to Bellingham.
We wallydocked in Longview, which is where we saw our first squirrel bridge. The Nutty Narrows was built back in the 1960’s by a businessman that was tired of seeing all the flattened squirrels on the road. So, he and some co-workers worked together to design the bridge and brought the proposal to the city council, and voilà!
Onward to Bellingham, which is a city of about 90,000. There are a lot of small, rural towns nearby, though. And a lot of farms. It smells like cow poop almost all of the time. Which is just bullshit.
Near Bellingham is Mt. Baker. It was a drizzly day, but we drove up the mountain to take a look-see. And we failed on that mission because it was too foggy at the top to even see the mountain. But it was still a beautiful drive.
Here at Write on the Road, we are going to do our best to keep up our travelling…since we are a travel blog and all.
Until next time – have your Trumper friends spayed or neutered.
July was an interesting month for us here at Write on the Road. There was a lot of travel. Correction – there was a lot of driving.
Lakeside, OR to Prineville, OR to Portland, OR to Prineville, OR to Madras, OR to Grants Pass, OR to Lakeside, OR to Prineville, OR to Mitchell, OR to Prospect, OR to Grants Pass, OR Ugh. I want out of Oregon for awhile!
The month was filled with doctor appointments, family visits, and family emergencies. It’s not what we had in mind when we decided to travel full time, but there it is…life.
It wasn’t all errands though. We went swimming, we saw cool stuff, we saw scary stuff, and beautiful stuff. Because there it is…life.
Welcome to August. Hoping for less driving and more travel!
The first of the Crooked River Campgrounds is located about 15 miles south of Prineville, OR along the Crooked River Highway. There are between eight and ten BLM campgrounds along the river. All of the campgrounds have bathrooms and garbage service, and a few have drinking water as well. You can stay a total of 14 days on BLM land, but you can switch to different campgrounds during your 14 days.
We chose to stay at Stillwater Campground, and had a whole end of the campground to ourselves for most of our stay. It is ridiculously warm during the summer, but that is what the freezing cold river is for. So, wear a swimsuit with a snowsuit over it.
There is a lot of wildlife in the area. We saw deer, a beaver, ducks, geese, all kinds of birds, and even bunnies! We didn’t get pics of all the critters, but we can’t do everything for you, now can we?
It was a peaceful stay, and with Prineville so close there is access to everything you could need. There are grocery stores, fast food, restaurants, a cool dog park, and an RV Shop that has a Dump Station and a fresh water fill for only $10.00. If you find yourself passing through central Oregon make sure to stop and enjoy the Prineville area!
Even living the amazing RV lifestyle that we live can be stressful at times, and at other times just downright crappy. We do still have family, health issues, and other responsibilities. Due to that we have been back in Oregon since the beginning of March and pretty stationary in Coos County area. It’s not ideal for writing a travel blog to not really be traveling. So, let’s get away! Go off grid for a few days, recharge our batteries, and ignore stress! Yes!
Back before we ever owned a travel trailer, we liked to tent camp in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in the southwestern part of the state. There are multiple small forest service campgrounds that range from free to $10 a night for primitive campsites. These campsites come with a picnic table, a fire ring, and the sound of water flowing by. And that is exactly what we need.
4:00 p.m. Thursday.
We arrived at Daphne Grove campground. The campground is empty; they don’t even have a host yet! It is still the off-season, and I couldn’t be happier about it. There is NO ONE around, and it is amazing. No noise, other than birds and rivers. No country music blaring from a local. No kids yelling. No dogs barking. Our dogs can run off leash. I think it took exactly 30 seconds for the stress weight to lift from my shoulders. I have found bliss – and I am going to enjoy the hell out of it for three days!
7:00 p.m. Thursday.
Another camper has arrived…and decided to set up in the site directly next to ours. The entire campground is empty. They moved in beside us. They pissed on my bliss.
7:21 p.m. Thursday.
Our new neighbors have finally managed to park their 5th wheel and turned off their loud, stinky diesel truck.
7:30 p.m Thursday.
Their dog barked. Then our dogs barked. I miss bliss.
8:00 p.m. Thursday.
They started the diesel truck again, left for 20 minutes. Came back with freshly cut firewood. Unloaded truck. Thump. Thump. Thump.
8:03 p.m. Thursday.
Thump. I need a drink.
8:05 p.m. Thursday.
Turned off the diesel truck. Chop. Chop. Chop.
8:10 p.m. Thursday.
They have an air pump.
8:15 p.m. Thursday.
They have a ridiculously slow air pump? Maybe another drink.
8:19 p.m. Thursday.
Air pump! They must be inflating their blowup doll friends, because they can’t have real friends – no real person would be able to stand the amount of noise they make.
8:30 p.m. Thursday.
Cling. Clang. They’re making dinner. Vodka understands my pain.
8:35 p.m. Thursday. *eye twitching* I’m pretty sure I just heard them crunching their potato chips.
8:46 p.m. ThursdaySlursday.
Their dag borked. Our dogs barked. Cranberry juice with vodka make it goods for you.
8:62 p.m. Thorsday.
They have big fire in fire pitch. Chop. Chup. Chump the firewood.
Almost out of cranberry juice. Better double the voodkas.
9:18 p.m. Imma go bed.
Ran our generator for half an hour. Revenge can be blissful, too.
Public Service Announcement #1 RVer’s (and tent campers) HATE it when you park next to them and you don’t have to!
Public Service Announcement #2
Mixing cranberry juice with your vodka does not make it good for you.
We prefer to stay in small towns and find the cheapest space rent possible, which is how we ended up in Pahrump, Nevada and Searchlight, Nevada. Pahrump was a bit of a bust, but Searchlight was a nice little town.
We stayed at Cree’s Mobile Home and RV Park for one month. $400 for full hookups and great WiFi. Netflix was a big part of our January.
Searchlight has two casino’s (small rooms with slot machines), a Terrible’s Steakhouse (in one of the casino’s), a McDonald’s (in the other casino/gas station/mini-mart), a laundromat, a post office, and two old motels.
At one point in time Searchlight was looking to be the county seat of Clark County – back when it had a larger population than Las Vegas. The current population of Searchlight is 539 and Las Vegas’ population is 612, 932.
If you want to be able to easily visit Las Vegas or Laughlin but not have to stay there, Searchlight is great middle ground. Las Vegas is 60 miles north, and Laughlin is 40 miles east.
We visited Laughlin often for poker tournaments and groceries. We only drove to Vegas once while staying in Searchlight — for the 2018 Women’s March -COMING SOON!
Well, a few years ago the LA Times had quite a lot to say about Pahrump, when the entire city council was almost taken to jail by their constituents – you can read that here.
If you read that article and you’re still confused about the kind of community Pahrump is, then you should try this article. Just 11 years ago they passed a law in Pahrump; you had to speak English only. Yes, really.
Depending on the kind of person you are you may really like the idea of Pahrump, or you may really despise the idea of Pahrump – either way, I wanted you to have a little history on the area. We didn’t do our homework and we were completely caught off guard by the regressive attitude toward laws, politics, and human rights.
Preferred RV was the shining light in the middle of a shadowed community.
The park was beautiful! There was a heated pool, hot tub, shuffleboard, crafts, woodworking, and a lot more. They scheduled daily events like breakfast in the club house, water volleyball, Bingo, and casino nights.
Preferred RV also has large outdoor BBQing areas, along with shaded picnic areas, fenced pet areas, and a Koi pond. Also, if you tend to squeal with delight (I may have been known to do this….) when you see wildlife, then you will love the crazy amount of wild rabbits that come out at dusk. Bunnies everywhere! The dogs and I enjoyed the bunnies very much, but probably for very different reasons.
The only issue we had at the RV park was while filling our tanks at their on-site propane fill. There was a mishap and our tank knob was damaged so much that it needed to be replaced. We brought the issue to the manager and we were reimbursed in just a few days – no hassle!
Also, Preferred RV park is gated with 24 hour security at the gate, which gives you a nice safe feeling of being cut off from the rest of the town.
If you are into crappy customer service, sad attempts at masculinity, and a poker room with dealers that think rape jokes are funny, the Nugget Casino is just across the street.
Sadly, it was the only poker room in Pahrump, so we didn’t get to play as much poker as we planned. But if slot machines are your thing, Irene’s and Saddle West are nearby, both of which had good customer service and didn’t make you feel unsafe.
You may have noticed by now, but I have a bit of a pissy attitude toward Pahrump. We witnessed men being sexually inappropriate in public (around children), sheriff officers not caring, random citizens displaying their racism and ignorance like it was something to be proud of, and heard stories from female Nugget employees that are scared to go to work unless they share the same shift.
Pahrump has grown really quickly over the past 20 years…as far as population, anyway. Growth, such as being decent humans, seems to have slipped right by them. And as much as we loved Preferred RV and the people there…we will slip right by Pahrump next time, too.
Between Hawthorne, Nevada and Area 51 there is Tonopah.
We only stayed one night in Tonopah, and used the time to stock up on supplies and gas for our upcoming visit to Area 51.
We stayed at the Tonopah Station Casino and RV Park. The RV park is really just part of the parking lot with electric and water hookups. It was pretty difficult to get the motorhome level, which kind of sucked for just a one night stay. The Tonopah Station does have a cool assortment of knick-knacks and mining equipment in front of their building, though.
There is only one grocery store in the town, but they were super cool about us leaving our motorhome there for a few hours while we ran errands. Go say hi!
Another cool thing Tonopah has is the Clown Motel. Now before you get all weird about clowns – there are over 600 clowns in just the motel lobby, so it’s really no big deal.
If you are lucky enough to get a room upstairs at the Clown Motel, your room will probably have an awesome view of the Old Tonopah Cemetery. The old cemetery only accepted new residents from 1901 -1911. It filled up quickly due to mine fires and a 1902 epidemic known as the “Tonopah Plague.” So, you’ll probably forget all about the clowns when the ghost of miners past come to visit you in the middle of the night – on fire, with plague boils.
Although our visit to Tonopah was brief, we will probably not visit again anytime soon. It was pretty…meh?
But on our way out of town we were reminded why we were passing through…
Up NEXT – AREA 51!!
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