Monday, October 08, 2007

Finishing Up Our Oregon Stay

We've had a great time on the Oregon Coast - wonderful scenery, interesting and enjoyable volunteer work, and great people; but now it's time to wrap up our stay and head for our winter home in southern Arizona. Our last week here was busy; we made a trip to Eureka, California to find a place that could replace Brenda's eyeglass frames, finished exploring the coast, and wrapped up our stay with a picnic lunch hosted by the park. We didn't have much time to explore Eureka, an eclectic town of shabby strip malls, lumber mills, and an interesting historical area, but did manage to take this picture of the former Carson Mansion, now a men's club. Back in Brookings, we traveled the coastal highway and visited some of the many oceanside parks. One overlook in particular was truly amazing; the view of Arch Rock from a wooded coastal trail. We were able to sit on a park bench and watch cormorants fish and listen as the waves crashed....what a relaxing place! State parks and overlooks are located every few miles in each direction from Brookings: we have to say that in our travels we haven't seen any state that has a more beautiful and well developed park system than Oregon. And they do it without a state sales tax!
At Harris Beach SP, it was a time of change; all of the volunteers were leaving on the 1st of October to be replaced by a reduced number for the winter (and fishing) season. Including us, there were 5 couples with RVs in the park, three of us full-timing. In addition, the park operated the rest area located across the highway, and a large number of local folks volunteered there in the visitor center. We all gathered at the rest area on a sunny day for the park's "volunteer appreciation" picnic, where we were treated to sub sandwiches, chips, and small gifts. The park manager, Ranger David, thanked us all for our efforts and made a presentation to a rest area volunteer who had contributed many, many hours. It was a great time to say goodbye to everyone and spend some time with Ranger Angela, who we'll miss - her energy and cheerful personality (and those tasty organic chicken and pheasant eggs) made for a wonderful stay. Thanks Angela, and have a successful fishing season!
Our route from Oregon took us south into California, then back into Oregon where we picked up I-5 South back into California and the Mount Shasta Area. Approaching the' snow-covered 14,000' mountain, it seemed that it was hovering in the distance. We stopped to admire the beauty, then continued on our journey through the mountains, through Reno, and down the barren and largely uninhabited US 95 to Las Vegas, where we'll spend some time with our daughter and her new husband. With a little luck, we'll double our retirement savings in the casinos and send you all a little something.....until then, thanks for stopping by!

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