Thursday, December 12, 2019

Across Oregon - November 2019

Oregon is one of those wonderful western states with completely different environments, from desert to mountains to ocean shore.  Leaving the mountains of Northeast Oregon, we made a visit to Boise and Mountain Home AFB to stock up on groceries before we backtracked up the interstate and entered the dry high desert along the Malheur River in Eastern Oregon.  

Malheur River
Malheur River
Traveling west along the river, we came across one of the state's little known phenomena; the rare Malheur Shoe Tree.  These trees, formed by the unique minerals in the river and local soil, produce a crop of shoes that can be harvested.  We were fortunate to discover the tree late in the year when the shoes to adult sizes; earlier and they would have been too small.  After careful study, Brenda selected a nice pair of tennis shoes while I found a pair of Converse Chick Taylor high tops.  We laughed that parking under one of these in the fall when the shoes began to fall would be pretty noisy!  

Shoe Tree1
A Rare Shoe Tree

Shoe tree2.jpg
Look at those great shoes!

We spent a night in Burns, then a few days in Bend (where everyone owns a bicycle and two dogs) then headed into the mountains, passing near Crater Lake.  The weather turned wet and cold, and climbing past the 5000' level we ran into snow.  Fortunately the road remained clear since it was a balmy 37 degrees, and after we had descended a while we stopped for lunch.  There's nothing like the high mountain forest on a foggy, drizzly day - silent except for the running water in the stream and an occasion bird singing.

Crater Lake Forest
Parked for Lunch
Crater Lake Forest2.jpg
Our Lunchtime View

Finally we arrived in Medford where we'd spend a week with motor home repairs and annual maintenance.  Although it doesn't compare to New England, the trees here do change colors and provide a fall atmosphere.  The Valley of the Rogue State Park was a great place to get into the fall spirit - trees were bright colored and the air had that "autumn is here" smell that makes you think of pumpkin pie.  

Rogue River Trees
Autumn Colors
Rogue River Rest Area
Valley of the Rogue State Park

The explosion of wineries across the west is amazing - it's tough to find any area that's not in a forest that doesn't have a vineyard.  The area around Medford is no exception, and we came across this pretty view of vineyards and foothills:

Rogue Panarama
We stopped on our way to the coast at the Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville to take in their Friday seafood buffet.  Dungeness Crab, oysters on the half shell, jumbo peel and eat shrimp...and even caviar!  We ate enough that I had to pump up the tires a notch for the remainder of the trip!.  Finally arriving at Bandon, we pulled into our winter home at Robbin's Nest RV Park, a great little park close enough to the water to hear the waves and the fog horn.  We quickly set up and made a trip to the water where we watched Salmon fisherman trolling the Coquille River in front of the old Coquille River Lighthouse.

Coquille River Lighthouse'
Bandon has become "home" for us, at least for now.  The beauty of the area never gets old - the ocean and sea stacks are simply magical!

Bandon Sunset
Bandon  Sunset
That's it for now - Brenda and I hope you're enjoying life wherever you are and that you have a memorable Thanksgiving!