Umpqua Lighthouse State Park – Winchester Bay, Oregon

The original Umpqua Lighthouse. Photo courtesy of lighthousefriends.com

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.

Umpqua Lighthouse 2019

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.

View from the lighthouse today.

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 rotation mechanism needed to be restored in 1985, but it is still the original mechanism.

The mouth of the Umpqua river at Winchester Bay was finally lit up again on December 31, 1894.

This former U.S. Coast Guard facility built in 1939 was restored by the Douglas County Park Department and dedicated as a public recreation facility on June 19, 1960.

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.

On site Museum and Gift Shop

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.

They also have the jawbone of a whale on display because we are fucking savages on the Oregon Coast.

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!

Mmm. Pie.

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.

Winchester Bay Marina
Railroad trestle near the Umpqua Discovery Center
Lots of great photo ops nearby!
The whale watching station near the lighthouse.

More information

Umpqua Lighthouse State Park

Don’s Main Street Family Diner

Umpqua Discovery Center

Holiday Gifts for the RVers in Your Life

Gifts for the RVers in Your Life

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!

Sadly, we are still without free gas.


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?

Some memberships do have age restrictions on the RV, so do your research. Photo courtesy of AMC


Riesling. Gewürztraminer. Chardonnay. Sauvignon blanc. Merlot. Cabernet sauvignon. Pinot noir. Boone’s. Ale. Lager. Microbrews. PBR. Vodka. Whiskey. Gin. Tequila.  Moonshine. 

“Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy.” -Frank Sinatra


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.

Happy Holidays from Write on the Road. <3

Fall colors and Green Farms – Huntington, Oregon

Fall Colors and Green Farms – Huntington, Oregon

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.

Welcome to Huntington, Oregon

Huntington’s City Park exploding with fall!

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. 

Although this is in the window of one of the dispensaries, this is true for the entire town if the breeze is blowing right.

Huntington is an odd assortment of residents, history, and rugged beauty.

Picnic in the City Park

An old train car that the town uses for local events is parked at the City Park.

The trees in Huntington have nothing but love.

Mater sits in a field nearby.

Downtown Huntington building.

Even historic buildings could use an update sometimes. “Clark’s Cafe. All White Help. A good place to eat.

Coca – Cola from prehistoric times.

Huntington is very proud of their historical railways, which still run 24 hours a day through the area.

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.

These lovelies were making out at the library, about 5 feet from me.

Excuse me ma’am. Do you have a minute to discuss our lord and savior, the Great Prince of the Forest and his son, Bambi?

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. 

Sunrise over the Snake River

Oh! Hello! Have you seen my brothers, Theodore or Alvin?

A popular member of the community. He is invited to dinner every Thanksgiving.

A few miles north of the Spring Creek Recreation area, we came across this little…town. Welcome to Jack Gordon, Oregon. Unincorporated. Population 2 or more. Elevation 2095.

Views of the Snake River

Most rural towns in America have a spot where the local graduates get to graffiti their graduation year, and Huntington is no different. This giant rock is located just outside of Huntington. The oldest mark we found was from 1964.

A heart-shaped cave…even their caves have nothing but love!

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 State Park

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 last camp on the weary journey across the Snake River plains. Here the Oregon Trail left the Snake River and wound overland to the Columbia.

This is the farewell bend of the Snake River

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.

Restored wagons welcome you to Farewell Bend State Park

Lookin for a pal, ain’t it a pity, Lookin for a gal, needn’t be pretty, if she’ll ride on the Wagon Train. Wagons ho!

…there are riders with guns by their sides, the wagon train’s full of women and hides, the men drink and smoke to pass the time

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?

What are thoooose?


Learn more about Huntington, Oregon here.

And you can get our awesome thermal backpack picnic set here.

 

Through Washington

Through Washington

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! 

The Nutty Narrows

Perfect for squirrels on the go!

This large squirrel is there to let the regular squirrels know where to cross.

Except for this guy. He does what he wants.

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. 

They do have large cocks around here, though.

Did you see the size of that chicken?

This is a Hairstream. It’s located in a tiny town on the way to Mt. Baker. I can’t imagine they get a ton of business out there, but I appreciate their wittiness.

This is a fence made out of ski’s in a small town up by Mt. Baker. It’s brilliant!

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.

Two very large ravens welcome you to Mt. Baker.

Views of a valley below the mountain.

Beautiful fall colors!

…and this is Mt. Baker….somewhere in there.

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.

 

Somewhere in Washington

Flashing gang signs. But seriously, I don’t think peace and Trump go together.

Until next time – have your Trumper friends spayed or neutered.

 

All of July – All in Oregon

All of July. All in Oregon.

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.

Just a deer running by our front door in Lakeside, OR

Crooked River near Prineville, OR

Old Highway tunnel near Madras, OR

This is what we call a No Thanks.

A fairly naked Mt. Hood

Interesting way the trees fell (or the Blair Witch is moving on to larger and more challenging designs.) near Mt. Hood.

A banana split bus! I hate bananas, but I like the split. Oh. Wait.

A TARDIS bus stop. I am officially jealous of these kids!

This School Bus Stop is the property of …. jealous. So jealous.

John Day River near Mitchell, OR.

Chasing sticks…

I got it! I got it!

I thtill gots it! I thtill gots it!

I see a little silhouette of a bird · Scaracutie, Scaracutie, will you do the chirpdango?

I haven’t see one of these in ages! Is that a bird? A plane?

It’s Superman! An illegal immigrant here to save our asses!

A long-awaited trip to Crater Lake..

Wizards Island in Crater Lake…through the smoke.

Fire Information. It’s hot. And it’s everywhere.

The Ghost Ship Island in Crater Lake. I think we’ll go back when the smoke clears. 

Welcome to August. Hoping for less driving and more travel!

 

Crooked River – Prineville, Oregon

Crooked River Campgrounds

Along the Crooked River Highway

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.

Campground entrance…and exit, actually. Are we coming or going?

One of the campsites at Stillwater Campground.

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?

An Osprey waiting watching for his fish dinner. (Go Seahawks!)

A Blue Heron at dusk.

What’s this you say? Come on. You don’t know a beaver when you see one? 

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! 

Beautiful drive along the river!

River views from the campground.

A shoe tree! No one knows why they exist, but theories range from serial killers to fertility rituals. 

 

 

Seeking Bliss – Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Oregon

Seeking Bliss

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!

Look at this blissful place!

Don’t you just want to roll around in it?

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. 

Our peaceful home for the next few days !

The bubbling creek right outside our window.

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!

Slow your breathing down to come and go with the trees in the breeze.

This moss hangs from the trees. It sways gently with the breeze like an exotic hula dancer.

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. 

little bastard

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.

…she was possessed. I’m pretty sure that I’m not.

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.

9:06 p.m.s.
Almost out of cranberry juice. Better double the voodkas.

9:18 p.m.
Imma go bed.

6:45 a.m.
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.

 

Searchlight, Nevada

Searchlight, Nevada 

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.

There were coyotes and booplesnoots galore!

And roadrunners!

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.

Home Sweet Home for 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.

They also have abandoned buildings.. a lot of them.

A lot of old mines in the area…

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.

Our old friend, the Joshua Tree.

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.

The desert sky in Searchlight was an amazing setting for the Super Blue Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse!

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! 

Out of Searchlight…

Beep, beep, bitches.

Dumps and Chumps of Pahrump (Nevada) – and one great place!

Pahrump, Nevada

What can you say about Pahrump, Nevada?

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.

So, again what can you say about Pahrump, Nevada?

They have Preferred RV Resort!

Preferred RV Resort – The light in the center of darkness.

Preferred RV was the shining light in the middle of a shadowed community.

Beautiful views…upwards…toward the sky, not toward the town.

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.

Horseshoe pits

Shuffleboard

Heated indoor/outdoor pool – the roof is retractable.

Hot tub

Playground and grassy areas for their over-population of bunnies!

Shaded picnic areas

Cute and clean park

Picnic areas near the Koi pond

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.

See? The light in the middle of darkness…

Koi pond

Koi are not even close to being coy – what’s up with that?

There is fish food, too… if they manage to convince you that they are starving.

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.

What we discovered we didn’t enjoy – so, maybe it is one or the other…

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.

What?! Who knew?!

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.

Fuck Pahrump.

Tonopah, Nevada

Tonopah, Nevada

Between Hawthorne, Nevada and Area 51 there is Tonopah.

Welcome to Tonopah – Home of some old holes in the ground. 

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. 

A lonely big boy, a horse, and mining equipment. When you can’t quite decide on your outdoor decor, put everything out! 

It’s frickin’ freezin’ in here, Mr. Bigglesworth.

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!

Thanks!

Tonopah has a rich history of mining. They have the Tonopah Historic Mining Park ($5.00 per adult) and the Central Nevada Museum (free admission). Although we did not have time to visit the museums, we did do a drive-by for photos. 

Tonopah Mining Park

Stamp Mill

Maybe I would know what this piece of equipment was used for had I visited the museums.

Mobile jail? Don’t worry about where you commit the crime – we’ll come to you!

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 can’t get friendly service at a clown motel, you should just give up. Amiright?

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.

Welcome clowns on every single door!

Park here. I won’t touch you, I promise. Bazinga!

Clown Bikers. Cool?

The office is filled with clowns, and the cemetery behind it is filled with plague victims. Good times.

Although our visit to Tonopah was brief, we will probably not visit again anytime soon. It was pretty…meh?

Maybe if we had more time to visit we would have a different opinion?

But on our way out of town we were reminded why we were passing through…

Tonopah Test Range – located on the northern fringe of Nellis Air Force Base – home of Area 51.

Why, yes. Those are unmarked vehicles with no back windows and an absurd amount of antenna’s escorting an unmarked semi-truck…

…toward Area 51.

Up NEXT – AREA 51!!