Happy Holidays from the Oregon Coast

City Holiday Display in Florence, OR

2018 has been a long year.

Don’t get me wrong! I am not complaining, because I know how lucky we are living the way we do. We don’t have average 8-5 jobs, we hardly ever have to set an alarm to wake up, and if we don’t like our neighbors we just move without having to pack a single box.


An entry in the Holiday Float Parade in Florence, OR

We started the new year in Las Vegas playing poker tournaments at Binions. From there we got to spend time with our friends and families in the Pacific Northwest. The Mr. had to have a pretty serious surgery that took almost half of his liver. I am hobbling a bit with an unknown (for now) diagnosis. The year was long and life continues to always try to get in the way, but we are still Writing on the Road – so I consider 2018 a win for us. I hope it was for you and yours as well, but if it wasn’t – there is a new year just around the corner. And, hey, that is how we always find our best dry camping spots…by looking just around the next corner!


Coos Historical Railway Display in Coos Bay, OR.

During this holiday season remember that we all have our own gifts to give to the world, whether it is writing, or photography, or just some simple painted rocks that you leave laying around for others to find a free smile. Perhaps you take garbage from the ocean and turn it into art. Maybe you are a connoisseur of beer? Whatever it is that you do – just do your thing. Do it great. And always try to be better than you were yesterday…or last year.

Veteran’s Memorial Park in Florence, OR


So, at the end of 2018 try to take a minute and appreciate what the year gave you. Love? Happiness? Friendship? Tell them you love them! Tell them they make you happy! Tell them you are grateful for their friendship. New job? Work hard! New dream? Make it come true! Heartbreak? It means you still love beyond yourself and that makes you amazing.


A snowman hitching a ride on a small boat. I hope he doesn’t fall in!

Happy Holidays from Write on the Road!

Near the Siuslaw River in Florence, OR
We hope your path in 2019 takes you somewhere beautiful!

Links

For more information about the Oregon Coast Historic Railway you can go here.

You can learn more about Florence, Oregon 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.

 

Diary of Oregon Coast RVers – North Bend, Oregon

Diary of Oregon Coast RVers

Day One – April 3, 2017 – Rogue River, Oregon. Rained a bit today. But we’re back in Oregon, so it’s to be expected.

Day Two – April 4, 2017 – Rogue River, Oregon. Mostly cloudy. Rained this afternoon. Good to be back in Oregon where everything is so green!

Day Three – April 5, 2017 – Rogue River, Oregon. Rained all day. Spent the day in our trailer, watching the rain fall outside our steamy windows.

Day Four – April 6, 2017 – Rogue River, Oregon. Wind blew like crazy. Trees falling in the Valley of the Rogue State Park. Far away lightning and thunder. So glad for electric hookups to be able to run our heater – until the power went out. Trailer is damp. Still happy to be back in Oregon….?

Day Five – April 7, 2017 – Rogue River, Oregon. Sun was out this morning. Had coffee on our way out of Grants Pass area. Rain started while driving to the coast. Coastal weather. It happens, right?

Day Six – April 8, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain. All. Day. Silver lining; coastal weather is consistent.

Day Seven – April 9, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. It’s raining. Just a bit here and there, and cats and dogs in-between.

Day Eight- April 10, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain. Our trailer smells like wet dog.

Day Nine – April 11, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. A strange glowing orb showed itself in the sky today. If it occurs again tomorrow we may call in the authorities for investigation.

Day Ten – April 12, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. No worries. Orb is gone. Rain is falling. All seems normal.

Day Eleven – April 13, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Heavy rain with intermittent showers.

Day Twelve – April 14, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain, followed by tears from heaven.

Day Thirteen – April 15, 2017 – Coos Bay, Oregon. Showers this morning. Break in the rain in the early afternoon, followed by coastal flooding.

Day Fourteen – April 16, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain has slowed to a constant dreary, trickle. Considering selling our RV.

Day Fifteen – April 17, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain. Trailer is damp enough to turn it into a greenhouse. Growing your own food is good, right?

Day Sixteen – April 18, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain.

Day Seventeen – April 19, 3017 – North Bend, Oregon. Heavy rain.

Day Eighteen – April 20. 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain, with occasional rain.

Day Nineteen – April 21. 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Surprise rain storm.

Day Twenty – April 22, 2017 – Coos Bay, Oregon. Cooler with rain showers.

Day Twenty-One – April 23, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Heavy rain. Why does God hate Oregon?

Day Twenty-Two – April 24, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Praying for drought.

Day Twenty-Three – April 25, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Possible 2 minute clearing, following by constant rain.

Day Twenty-Four – April 26, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Cloudy with persistent showers.

Day Twenty-Five – April 27, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain showers, followed by dreary drizzle, followed by rain showers.

Day Twenty-Six – April 28, 2017 – Oregon. Leaving the coast for one week to travel to Central Oregon. Sunshine on coast all weekend. Rain to return as soon as we do.

The Desert Queen Mine – Joshua Tree National Park

The Desert Queen Mine

The trail to the mine is a short .75 mile hike. It is a maintained trail, with wildflowers in the spring and excellent views of the mining valley.

Bright colored wildflowers along the Desert Queen Mine trail.

The Desert Queen Mine operated from 1895-1961, with multiple owners. The mine was massive, and (according to The United States Bureau of Mines) produced 3845 ounces of gold.

View of the mining valley and the remains of a cyanide tank. Go ahead, give it a lick – I’m sure it’s fine.

The mining camp included housing, office facilities, a stamp mill, winches and other structures and machinery needed for the mining process.

Um…some mining equipment of some sort. I don’t know what it was, but I am sure it something spectacular.

Mines giving you the shaft…

The current remains include cyanide tanks, cabin ruins, and mine shafts. The mine shafts were covered by the National Parks Service for the safety of visitors.

The Cabin in the Desert – You think you know the story. Oh. Wait. That was Cabin in the Woods….

Cabin Fever – College friends rent an isolated cabin in the desert to spend a week together. When they arrive, a man contaminated with a weird disease asks for help to them, but they get in panic and….no? Well, I’m just trying to make this more exciting for you.

Mining valley and piles of gravel leftover from blasting the crap of them-there hills.

In 1976 the National Parks Services entered the Desert Queen Mine into the National Register of Historic Places.

The Desert Queen Mine was the mining camp that Bill Keys worked at upon arriving in the desert. After his boss died, he filed for ownership of the Desert Queen Ranch (Keys Ranch) to compensate for unpaid wages.

You can read more about Keys Ranch here.

Story Time – Selfie by M.D. Parker

SELFIE by M.D. Parker

“It’s gotta be something inside the lens right?” Denise turned the cell phone’s face back towards him.

Stephen looked at it for a long minute before finally conceding, “You’re right; creepy looking as hell.”

He glanced at the dark humanoid blob in the far corner of the room behind Denise in her self-taken photo.  She had been trying to be coy, sending him the selfie with her pouty face look, adding the message that he better hurry home before she changed her mind about the evening’s plans.  He hurried.  When he came through the door, there she sat, hands shaking as she stared at her phone.

“I mean it isn’t there when I take a regular picture,” she said as she switched the aperture setting and snapped a picture of the room again to show him.  She had already done this twice.  He didn’t blame her and avoided calling her silly.  The shape was just so human-like, and the way the image was angled – it was just there in the darkest corner of the room.

He looked again.  She was right, no black form in the front facing picture.  She was beginning to calm, as she was proving her own theory.  He handed her the phone back again.

“And now, I bet it’ll be there again.  Just like it was the first two times.”  She held the phone up, facing herself and pressed the button.  She saw it again.  The image, that black form, but it was different.  For an unmeasurable amount of time, she didn’t see it – until she did.  It had moved.  The form was in a different place.

“Yeah, but shouldn’t you be able to see the spot on the screen when you face it tha…” Stephen’s voice broke as she saw her face.  All the color was gone.  Those baby blues that he was so fond of were wide and frozen.  Her hands began to shake, slightly at first, but grew in intensity.

“Oh, God.  It’s not possible.”  Her voice stuttered as tears filled her eyes.  She jammed the button again and saw it instantly.  The shape was closer than before.  She mashed it again and the shape came closer yet again. “No … not possible,” She said once more.

Stephen’s face was a reflection of the dumbfounded wave that washed across his mind as she pressed the button over and over pausing only long enough between to see what each push captured.  He reached for her.  He moved to grasp her shoulders and pull her in close.  He meant to bring her into the safety of his arms.  She pushed the button one more time, and his hands closed on nothing.  Her phone clattered hard against the floor.  She was gone.

Stephen looked down.  He saw the phone on the floor and picked it up.  It was Denise’s phone.  He walked toward the kitchen.  “Must have dropped it on her way out.  Better leave it here so she can find it when she gets home,” he said to the earless walls.  He laid the phone down on the edge of the breakfast bar and snatched up a beer from the fridge.  Stephen sat down on the couch and grasped the television remote, and began the wait for Denise to come home.

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The Rockin’ Rocks of Joshua Tree – Part Two

The normal human brain is wired to see faces on everyday objects…Write on the Road’s brains are wired to see geeky stuff on everyday objects, including the rocks in the desert. So, here is a little insight into how our brains see things….(this will be an ongoing blog while we are caretaking at Joshua Tree National Park.)


A Desert Moon

A Wiggly Moon


Loafer Rock

A man-made replica of Loafer Rock


Nazgul Rock

The Nazgul


Anatomy Rock

What exactly were you looking for as an example? Perv.


Grandma’s Teeth Rock


Heart On Rock

Happy Valentine’s Day! I have a heart on for all of you! <3


The Rockin’ Rocks of Joshua Tree – Part One

5 Things About Compact Living That Drive Me Bat Shit Crazy(er)

We chose to live in a small trailer with two full size dogs. We made this choice, and it has been an amazing choice so far. But let’s be honest here….it is not all campfires and s’mores. There are things about compact living that drive me nuts and I wanted to share them…not to talk you out of full time rving, but to make sure you are aware that it does have…complications.

Top 5 Things About Compact Living That Drive Me Bat Shit Crazy(er)

  1. The refrigerator/freezer
    We exited a very large house with a full size family living in it, to our tiny home with our tiny fridge. It is difficult to adjust from monthly family-size shopping trips to only being able to fit a week’s food at a time. It has been a challenge. Just last night we realized that it’s nearly impossible to put an ice cream tub in our freezer. We considered staying up all night and eating all of the ice cream, but decided if we use that as a storage strategy we soon won’t be able to fit in our tiny home at all. We ended up only eating half the tub of ice cream and then cut the container down half the size so it would fit.
  1. Sweeping the floor. Over and over and over and over and over –
    Regardless of whether we are on the rainy coast of Oregon or in the dry desert of Arizona, we have to sweep the floor soooooo much. Be it tree needles, sand, grass, dirt, gravel, dust, cactus….seriously. There is so much sweeping. And then the dogs come back in the house, and it turns out that sweeping was pointless.
  1. When the weather is crap and we are forced to stay inside –
    When all four of us are in the trailer, it is difficult to get around. There is a lot of strategic placement of our dogs. The placement depends on what we are doing; cooking, cleaning, reading, or just trying to get to the bathroom. It can be frustrating, but more so for the dogs, I think, than for us. At least they aren’t stepping on our ears (Sorry again, Rusty and Milo!).

Full size dogs, trying to take up as little space as possible – and working together to try to protect their ears from me accidentally stepping on them.

  1. The moisture –
    We have been back on the coast since Thanksgiving. It has rained almost the entire time. With four creatures living in the trailer the condensation is terrible. We have to open certain windows, depending on which way the trailer is facing and how the rain is falling. We run a heater almost constantly, and run the exhaust fan over the stove. We bought a Dri-Z-Air container that absorbs quite a bit of moisture (but also takes up valuable counter space).
    About once a week we have to lift the mattress off the bed and the cushions from the dining area and prop them up for about an hour to make sure everything is staying dry. At this point, I am VERY much looking forward to some time in the desert.
  1. Moving things around
    We have to stack the pillows and blankets on the table to change the sheets. We have to move the heater from the table to under the bed to be able to eat. We have to take the garbage can and broom out of the bathroom to take a shower. We have to move the garbage can and broom back to the bathroom and move the heater from the table to under the bed to eat our lunch. We have a cutting board that covers the sink to give us counter space, and every time we need water for coffee, cooking, etc., from the sink we have to move the cutting board/counter space somewhere else, and then have to move it back over the sink because we need the counter space to make the coffee, food, etc. It is a constant re-arrangement of all items that are not permanently attached.

The moral of this story is that there are things that can be quite maddening about living in a tiny, movable home. I have begun to understand why people go for the larger RV’s and 5th Wheels. While I still don’t believe that we need a traveling mansion, if we purchased a larger trailer someday it wouldn’t make me sad at all.

I do not regret our choice. I have enjoyed the traveling we have been able to do so far. I have loved the amazing displays of beauty that our planet has to offer.

If I were to write a pro and con list of full time rving, the pro list would far surpass the con.