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RV Journal Oregon and Family

  • Travel Journal Oregon

    After leaving the Oregon coast and going inland to visit Mom and sister Barbara we spent time with them eating and chatting and catching up on things that happened after we saw each other last. Mom, Tanya and I toured Oregon Gardens, which in the spring must be an extremely beautiful park with many different styles of gardens. This is late summer and many of the garden flowers were past their bloom, so the park had planted large colorful flowers that bloom in late summer in the central walkways adding color to the park. Next we toured Silver Falls where you can walk underneath the water fall. Mom walked part of the way to a spot where she could see the falls, and Tanya and I walked down to the base and underneath the falls to wave at her from the bottom.



    After spending a few days with Mom we head up to brother Bob’s home outside Portland, OR. We spent quite a bit of time eating and chatting, same as at Mom’s – I guess that’s what families everywhere in the world do when they get together after not seeing each other for some time - and Bob and I would do tasks around the property together and enjoy doing things together. Tanya did her work during the day, but each evening we all would have dinner together and have great conversations about many things.

    During the time in Montana Tanya had suggested that I get a motorcycle so that while she is working, I have transportation to hiking or fishing spots that may not have cell service where she could work. So, I bought a small motorcycle! A Honda Rebel 250 cc that my feet could touch the ground when I stopped. Yes, I am not very tall, so this was a high priority for me. I had not ridden since my 20’s so it took a little while to refresh my skills and be comfortable with riding again. Oh, what a joy it is to ride a bike again! What a smart wife I have to think of this. ?

    Of course, we needed a way to carry the bike with the Rialta. My brother had a small trailer that was too small for the work he needed done so I bought it and he bought a bigger trailer. All of the things that were stored on the back rack of the Rialta and many things from inside are now carried on the trailer. It will take a little more thought when traveling to look ahead and ensure there is enough parking and turning room for the Rialta and the trailer, but this is very doable, and the trailer is small enough that I can take it off the Rialta and pivot it as needed.

    A first for me was to help Bob “buck hay”. This is to go purchase 40 bales of hay, load on the trailer (Bob’s new one), then back home load them on a mechanical track to put them under the roof of the barn. Hmm, not so bad with machines helping, it went pretty fast actually. I could actually see teenagers getting summer earnings helping farmers bale and “buck” hay.

    Tanya has had many “Firsts” on this trip, lets see if we can capture them all.

    First ride in a jet boat! We went on a boat ride up the Columbia River to Mulholland Falls. It didn’t take long for Tanya to get her sea legs and was smiling and laughing.

    First time picking blackberries off a bush! There are several fruit trees and berry bushes in Bob’s orchard. Tanya would take a break from work on occasion and walk into the orchard to pick and eat blackberries, apples, plums, and blueberries. While she was picking fruit, the llamas and sheep would crowd around their new friend and compete for who gets the most fruit!


    Tanya and her new sisters raiding the blackberries:


    Tanya wants to fly out in the spring to plant the garden with her new sisters. Of course, I warned them that there may be strong tendency to fill the entire garden with all kinds of tomatoes. ?

    First time driving a vehicle with a trailer! We went to an empty parking lot and Tanya practiced backing and parking the Rialta with a trailer attached. As many of you know, it can be counter intuitive which way to turn the steering wheel, so a new trailer driver needs practice. This is a short wheelbase trailer so minor turns react aggressively, and it took me a little time to get proficient with it as well. But Tanya catches on very well and learns to adapt her driving.

    First motorcycle ride together! It was very scary to her since she has never rode on a motorcycle before, so she didn’t know how to allow the driver to control the balance when turning – it is easier when you relax and go with the flow. The first few times it takes a conscious effort not to lean the other way to bring your body back to normal. Fortunately, no crashes or falls and we make progress. Tanya envisioned we would have 2 motorcycles and ride together. I think that would be great once she learns to ride on her own, we will definitely get a second motorcycle. Brother Bob gave us a helmet with bluetooth communicator so while ridding we can easily talk to each other. I installed a cell phone holder/charger so I can have GPS, for while traveling I never know the area and it would be necessary to get around. Thank you, world, for inventing cell phones and GPS!

    Other “firsts for Tanya” on this trip was seeing prairie dogs and burrowing owls, bighorn sheep, buffalo and elk in South Dakota and Wyoming, bear in Montana, sea lions in Oregon. And making homemade huevo rancheros for breakfast!

    Covid19 update. As the US has seen resurgences and increased precautions it was noticeable on our travels how most populated areas reacted and followed the guidelines. Some rural areal were not so diligent as the populated areas are. Fast food places continue to use closures of sitting areas but have improved the curbside features. Restaurants having closed tables reducing their capacity but ensuring safe eating places. Stores with signs saying no service without masks. Overall, I believe the vast majority of the nation has accepted this as their new normal and are doing a good job being responsible. Occasionally there are a few individuals without masks, and I notice everyone avoids them and keeps a distance. This not the norm though and most people are doing the right thing.

    While visiting brother Bob there were other “Boondockers Welcome” campers and practicing social distancing we continued to meet interesting people. Bob has 2 campsites on his property, so we filled one and visitors through “Boondockers Welcome” were at the other.

    Boy does time fly, we spent 3 weeks with brother Bob and his family and decided its time to move on and see a few things before meeting sister Jean and her husband Bob in the California Redwoods over the Labor Day weekend.

    Crater Lake National Park – WOW, so impressive! This is definitely a must-see destination. We entered through the northern entrance and the very first view of the lake just took my breath away. I could not help thinking we are standing on a volcano and its full of the most beautiful clear blue water. Oh my, I am impressed with the beauty of natural wonders.


    This following pic is of water vents that hardened the pumice as the lava flowed down a canyon. The pumice was hardened around the water vent then erosion carried away the surrounding material, leaving the water vents standing. Wow! Quite different from the hoodoos in the Bryce Canyon.


    After a fascinating tour of the Crater Lake National Park, it seems we did not get enough of volcanos, so we camped at the Lava Beds National Monument and while Tanya worked Tom went caving.

    Mammoth Crater which created the Lava Tubes which is the caves Tom toured.


    We arrived here 2 weeks after the fires and 2 days after the last of the smoke cleared. We are so lucky sometimes. What is interesting is the contrast in the landscape views. You would have to look hard to see lava rocks in the areas that still had vegetation, but in the areas that have burned you see all of the lava rocks as well as the skeleton of trees or bushes. It was sad to see all those burnt trees and bushes, but the camp host explained that such areas actually benefit from wildfires. It was so quiet in that campground, not only because there were few people but also there were no sounds from leaves and underbrush and insects. But the animals and birds and lizards are there! One morning when Tanya was working and Tom went exploring the caves, a family of deer visited our camp site.



    I toured through 6 caves and 3 hikes to include Petroglyphs - this was enough caving for me. It was fun that while Tanya worked, I was able to use the scooter to go see and do things. What a life! At the Petroglyphs there was a lot of birds living on the cliff wall, some interesting displays about some of the bird population there. Did you know that a horned owl would eat all of its prey and the owl’s stomach separates what the body needs, then the owl regurgitates the bones, feathers and items that the body does not need? The display showed a picture of this and when I walked along the base of the cliffs there was one area that contained a lot of these pellets - so many of them that I thought there must be a lot of owls living here.

    This ends the Oregon portion, for we are off to Klamath, CA to meet with sister Jean and her husband Bob and spend the Labor Day weekend together.