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Life In The Slow Lane With Eric & Laurel

~Because it’s all about the journey~

Birds In The ‘Hood…And A Rock Wren Rescue

Birds In The ‘Hood…And A Rock Wren Rescue

Posted by on May 10, 2017 in Birding, Gallery, Oregon | 42 comments

It’s always exciting in our cross-country travels to encounter birds that we don’t usually see. But it’s also rewarding to make friends with the birds in our own backyard, and to have the opportunity to observe them as they go about their daily lives.

The birdlife is abundant and diverse in our little corner of the world. Although we haven’t moved our trailer for almost seven months, we haven’t lacked for bird sightings. Every morning, a White-breasted Nuthatch forages in the cedar outside our dining room window. Black-capped Chickadees, Scrub Jays, Stellar’s Jays, and Oak Titmice are regular visitors to nearby feeders, and families of California Quail patrol the grounds, zooming by like wind-up toys.

A serene pond just steps from our trailer shelters geese, ducks, blackbirds, and the occasional heron, even throughout the snowy winter. Come spring, the geese and blackbirds build nests. This year, we’ve been watching the Wood Duck nest box, hoping there will soon be babies.

At Emigrant Lake, just down the road, a large and varied population of woodpeckers fly among the gnarled oaks, entertaining us with their raucous calls on our daily long walks. Bluebirds flash by in a streak of sapphire, and brilliant yellow goldfinches appear in vast flocks, singing their little hearts out. Bald Eagles and Osprey dive for fish, while Red-tailed Hawks soar overhead. Recently, we came upon a fierce, fluffy owlet—and spotted the Great Horned Owl parent in a nearby tree.

It all delights us. But by far, our most extraordinary bird experience this year involved a family of Rock Wrens. Colored pale gray and brown, the diminutive songbirds blend perfectly with their favorite environment of arid, rocky canyons. We’ve spotted a few on our walks around Emigrant Lake, where they hang out on the rocky, boulder-strewn shores, making themselves known by their buzzy trills and comical bouncing movements.

Usually, Rock Wrens nest in rock crevices, hidden from sight. But just a few weeks ago, we discovered a pair of wrens nesting in a most unusual place. Several mornings in a row, we noticed wrens flying in and out of a steel pipe that serves as a gated entry to the lake. When we peered into the pipe, a pile of tiny stones marked the entrance. Rock Wrens have the unique habit of building “walkways” for their nests, and this was a telltale sign that the wrens had chosen the pipe for nesting.

Each morning, we looked forward to visiting the wrens. A couple of weeks passed, and we observed the pair busily foraging and carrying a variety of insects and spiders into the pipe. One day, Eric photographed a wren bringing a small lizard to the nest—our ornithologist friends told us this is highly unusual behavior, and something that had never before been recorded.

We surmised that the eggs had hatched, and were looking forward to seeing the fledglings when they emerged. But late one afternoon last week, Eric rode his bike to the lake to check on the wrens, and sent me a heartbreaking text—“The wren parents were killed today.” Both had been hit by cars while foraging for food along the roadside.

Neither of us could bear the thought of the nestlings starving to death while waiting in vain for their parents to deliver food. Even though we knew there was a slim chance for success, we decided to try to save them.

Equipped with a small cardboard box lined with paper towels and a jar of live bugs, we set out on our rescue mission. As we approached the pipe, we could hear the nestlings calling for their parents. The babies were more than a foot deep into the pipe, and although I was voting for Eric to stick his hand in the pipe, mine was the one that fit. I wedged my hand into the pipe halfway to my elbow, groped around, and one by one, gently dragged the nestlings out. Once secure in their temporary cardboard box nest, Eric fed the hungry babies the bugs he had captured.

We’re not experts in wild bird care, so we turned the wren babies over to Badger Run, a wonderful wildlife rehab center in Klamath Falls. The people there are extraordinarily dedicated, skilled, and compassionate. (And they can use all the help they can get—with no funding from state or federal agencies, they rely on donations and volunteer efforts.) Liz, one of the founding members of Badger Run, has been taking the wren babies along to her “day job” as an insurance agent, because they must be fed every 15 minutes.

As of today, one week after their rescue, the nestlings are thriving. In just a few weeks, they’ll be returned to Emigrant Lake, where they’ll be released back into their home territory. We’re sad that we won’t be here to see them take flight, but we’re preparing to take flight ourselves as we resume our fulltime travels. We’re hoping next fall, if we’re lucky, we’ll see the wrens in our walks around the lake.

Next Up: A Hike In The Enchanted Forest

An Acorn Woodpecker, Always Fun To See

Acorn Woodpecker

Lewis's Woodpecker

Red-Breasted Sapsucker

Red-Naped Sapsucker

Northern Flicker

Wood Ducks At The Pond

Canada Geese And Ring-Necked Ducks

Mama Goose And Gosling

Patrolling Our Site

The Views Are Grand

California Quail

Red Winged Blackbird

Stellar's Jay

Black-Capped Chickadee

Rufous Hummingbird

American Goldfinch

Cedar Waxwing

Bald Eagle

Killdeer

Killdeer Nest

Common Merganser Family

American Dipper And Chick

Western Bluebird

Great Horned Owl

Cute And Fierce Owlet

Rock Wren

An Unusual Place For A Nest

Carrying A Lizard Back To The Nest

Hungry Baby Rock Wrens

Planning The Rescue Mission

Getting The Baby Rock Wrens Out

Successful Rescue!

An Acorn Woodpecker, Always Fun To See
Acorn Woodpecker
Lewis's Woodpecker
Red-Breasted Sapsucker
Red-Naped Sapsucker
Northern Flicker
Wood Ducks At The Pond
Canada Geese And Ring-Necked Ducks
Mama Goose And Gosling
Patrolling Our Site
The Views Are Grand
California Quail
Red Winged Blackbird
Stellar's Jay
Black-Capped Chickadee
Rufous Hummingbird
American Goldfinch
Cedar Waxwing
Bald Eagle
Killdeer
Killdeer Nest
Common Merganser Family
American Dipper And Chick
Western Bluebird
Great Horned Owl
Cute And Fierce Owlet
Rock Wren
An Unusual Place For A Nest
Carrying A Lizard Back To The Nest
Hungry Baby Rock Wrens
Planning The Rescue Mission
Getting The Baby Rock Wrens Out
Successful Rescue!
An Acorn Woodpecker, Always Fun To See thumbnail
Acorn Woodpecker thumbnail
Lewis's Woodpecker thumbnail
Red-Breasted Sapsucker thumbnail
Red-Naped Sapsucker thumbnail
Northern Flicker thumbnail
Wood Ducks At The Pond thumbnail
Canada Geese And Ring-Necked Ducks thumbnail
Mama Goose And Gosling thumbnail
Patrolling Our Site thumbnail
The Views Are Grand thumbnail
California Quail thumbnail
Red Winged Blackbird thumbnail
Stellar's Jay thumbnail
Black-Capped Chickadee thumbnail
Rufous Hummingbird thumbnail
American Goldfinch thumbnail
Cedar Waxwing thumbnail
Bald Eagle thumbnail
Killdeer thumbnail
Killdeer Nest thumbnail
Common Merganser Family thumbnail
American Dipper And Chick thumbnail
Western Bluebird thumbnail
Great Horned Owl thumbnail
Cute And Fierce Owlet thumbnail
Rock Wren thumbnail
An Unusual Place For A Nest thumbnail
Carrying A Lizard Back To The Nest thumbnail
Hungry Baby Rock Wrens thumbnail
Planning The Rescue Mission thumbnail
Getting The Baby Rock Wrens Out thumbnail
Successful Rescue! thumbnail

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A Beautiful Autumn In Ashland

A Beautiful Autumn In Ashland

Posted by on Apr 26, 2017 in Friends, Gallery, Hiking, Musings, Oregon | 30 comments

Autumn in our hometown of Ashland, Oregon is truly a thing of beauty. For a leisurely stretch of several weeks, the valley is painted with rich reds and golds, the weather is generally perfect, and the holiday season is ushered in with the most outrageous Halloween parade and street party imaginable.

We usually return home once a year in our travels, and stay for about a month. This year, of course, was very different with Eric’s unexpected health crisis and surgery. We arrived just in time for the fall colors, survived one of the coldest, wettest, longest winters in history, and are now enjoying the spring blossoms.

Sitting still in one place for seven months (seven months!!) was certainly not what we had planned when we started our full-time journey almost four years ago. But if we’re going to be settled down somewhere, Ashland is where we want to be. It’s been wonderful to reconnect with friends, and to even share our hometown for a few days with fellow full-time traveling buddies MonaLiza and Steve (Lowe’s Travels), who came to visit in mid-October.

It’s a bit disconcerting to realize that so many months have passed. I can’t quite tell you where all of the time has gone—but suddenly, we’re just weeks away from leaving town. It’s a strange feeling to have had something of this magnitude happen, and to have had our lives rearranged for us for such a long stretch of time. It certainly puts into perspective the illusion of control.

I’m excited about resuming our travels, and also feeling a bit tentative. Part of me wants to go, and part of me wants to stay in our beautiful hometown, surrounded by people we love, doing things we enjoy right here in our own backyard. This is a familiar internal tug-of-war. I don’t know that I’ll ever reconcile the two.

But as I think about our summer and fall plans—the Oregon Coast, Olympic Peninsula, San Juan Islands, North Cascades, and Glacier—I feel the spark of adventure rekindled within. And in my mind, I hear the words of my favorite poet, Mary Oliver, nudging me along: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and wonderful life?” For now, travel wins.

Next Up: Birds In The ‘Hood

Brilliant Fall Colors In Ashland

In The Japanese Garden

Beautiful Lithia Park

A Walk In The Park With MonaLiza And Steve

A Fun Day With Friends

Our View In The Fall

Old Farm Down The Road

A Few Of The Neighbors

Halloween In Ashland

Dia De Los Muertos Costumes

Even The Ferret Has A Costume

Double Take

Flying Dragon Baby Stroller

Not Just For Halloween

A Hike On The Rogue River

Peaceful Autumn Hike Along The Upper Rogue

The Rogue River Near Natural Bridge

A Contemplative Moment

Brilliant Fall Colors In Ashland
In The Japanese Garden
Beautiful Lithia Park
A Walk In The Park With MonaLiza And Steve
A Fun Day With Friends
Our View In The Fall
Old Farm Down The Road
A Few Of The Neighbors
Halloween In Ashland
Dia De Los Muertos Costumes
Even The Ferret Has A Costume
Double Take
Flying Dragon Baby Stroller
Not Just For Halloween
A Hike On The Rogue River
Peaceful Autumn Hike Along The Upper Rogue
The Rogue River Near Natural Bridge
A Contemplative Moment
Brilliant Fall Colors In Ashland thumbnail
In The Japanese Garden thumbnail
Beautiful Lithia Park thumbnail
A Walk In The Park With MonaLiza And Steve thumbnail
A Fun Day With Friends thumbnail
Our View In The Fall thumbnail
Old Farm Down The Road thumbnail
A Few Of The Neighbors thumbnail
Halloween In Ashland thumbnail
Dia De Los Muertos Costumes thumbnail
Even The Ferret Has A Costume thumbnail
Double Take thumbnail
Flying Dragon Baby Stroller thumbnail
Not Just For Halloween thumbnail
A Hike On The Rogue River thumbnail
Peaceful Autumn Hike Along The Upper Rogue thumbnail
The Rogue River Near Natural Bridge thumbnail
A Contemplative Moment thumbnail

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Biking, Brews, And Covered Bridges: Eugene, OR

Biking, Brews, And Covered Bridges: Eugene, OR

Posted by on Apr 13, 2017 in Biking, Food, Gallery, Oregon | 32 comments

At the risk of completely confusing everyone, I’m going to post a couple more “catch up” blogs from last fall, just before our travels and lives were temporarily derailed by Eric’s surgery. Next month, we’ll be back on the road. But for the sake of completion—and so that I have some hope of remembering what we’ve done before we start adding to our stash of travel memories again—let’s return to early October, and our visit to Eugene.

With abundant biking opportunities, cool neighborhood brewpubs, an epic farmers’ market, tasty local foods, and a liberal vibe, Eugene offers up our idea of fun. At only 178 miles from our hometown of Ashland, Eugene is a convenient stop for us as we travel the I-5 corridor. Even though we’ve visited many times, there’s always something new to discover, as well as “favorites” to return to.

This time, we took a little field trip 20 miles outside of town to bike the Row River Trail, which originates in Cottage Grove, the “Covered Bridge Capitol of the West.” On a pretty fall day, we biked 30 miles of the scenic trail that travels along Dorena Lake, through pastoral farmland, and past several of the historic bridges. Oregon possesses one of the largest collections of covered bridges in the country, and the most extensive collection in the West. Did you know the picturesque structures protect the timber trusses from the damp Oregon climate? (One of these days, all of these little tidbits of information are going to come in handy.)

After a long day of biking, we recovered at the award winning, eco-friendly Ninkasi Brewing Company, named for the Sumerian goddess of fermentation. Their Total Domination IPA is one of Eric’s perennial favorites, but all of their beer is tasty. The neighborhood beer garden with live music and food trucks makes for a good time hanging out with the locals. Another evening, we made our way to Sweet Cheeks Winery, about 20 miles west of town on a winding, beautiful country road. Gorgeous views, decent wine, and a beautiful patio with cozy fire pits—and they don’t mind a bit if you bring a picnic.

The Row River Trail is a good ride, but our favorite biking in Eugene remains the Ruth Bascom Riverbank Trail System. We never tire of biking the scenic 14-miles of trails that meander along both sides of the Willamette River, with a variety of interesting diversions along the way, including the lovely University of Oregon campus, the Owens Rose Garden, and wildlife ponds.

A visit to a salad bar might not be high on your list of attractions, but we never miss stopping at Provisions Market Hall in the Fifth Street Marketplace in downtown Eugene. We often make a detour when we’re biking on the Riverbank Trail. The salad bar offerings are creative and delicious (roast chicken, marinated cauliflower, pickled red onions, French potato salad, kale salad), they have yummy homemade soups and wood fired pizza, and you can enjoy a glass of good wine with your meal at their lovely wine bar.

Although biking and eating and sampling beer and wine consumed most of our time in Eugene, we did manage to feed our minds a bit at the small but excellent University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History. It’s a gem of a museum, and worth a visit just to admire the beautiful architecture and the wonderful sculptures of salmon, bear, and other Pacific Northwest critters that adorn the building.

Finally, we plan our visits to Eugene so that we can spend time at the lively Saturday Market—as the country’s longest running outdoors market, it’s been a happening event since 1970. We loaded up our shopping bags with an assortment of organic and locally produced foods, browsed the wonderful crafts (I’m always looking for travel sized treasures), listened to local music, and had fun people watching. There’s a reason Eugene was voted the “hippiest city” in the country. If you enjoy a laidback counter culture atmosphere, you’ll like Eugene. We certainly do.

About the RV Park:

We always stay at Armitage County Park, just a few miles outside of town in Coburg. The sites are spacious and green with full hook-ups, good Verizon coverage, and an excellent laundry. There’s a lovely, although rather short, walk along the river. If you plan to visit in the fall, check the University of Oregon football schedule—the campground is booked far in advance for the Duck’s home games.

Next Up: Ashland In The Fall (and then we’ll be caught up!)

Currin Bridge, circa 1925

In Cottage Grove

Sweet Little Farmstand Along The Way

On The Row River Trail

Mosey Creek Bridge, circa 1920

Fall Abundance At The Eugene Farmers' Market

Pastured Eggs At The Market

The Empathy Tent, Only In Eugene

Love The Logo For Sweet Cheeks Winery

Beautiful Afternoon At The Winery

Cool Neighborhood Microbrewery

Excellent Beer At Ninkasi

Fifth Street Market In Eugene

Delicious Lunch At Provisions

The Willamette River Bike Trail

Philosophical Truth Along The Trail

Lovely Owens Rose Garden

The Museum Of Natural And Cultural History

That Giant Sloth Was Creepy

Tribal Dress Decorated With Elk Teeth

Counterculture Immortalized: Ken Kesey Sculpture

Fall Colors In Downtown Eugene

Armitage Park In Eugene

Currin Bridge, circa 1925
In Cottage Grove
Sweet Little Farmstand Along The Way
On The Row River Trail
Mosey Creek Bridge, circa 1920
Fall Abundance At The Eugene Farmers' Market
Pastured Eggs At The Market
The Empathy Tent, Only In Eugene
Love The Logo For Sweet Cheeks Winery
Beautiful Afternoon At The Winery
Cool Neighborhood Microbrewery
Excellent Beer At Ninkasi
Fifth Street Market In Eugene
Delicious Lunch At Provisions
The Willamette River Bike Trail
Philosophical Truth Along The Trail
Lovely Owens Rose Garden
The Museum Of Natural And Cultural History
That Giant Sloth Was Creepy
Tribal Dress Decorated With Elk Teeth
Counterculture Immortalized: Ken Kesey Sculpture
Fall Colors In Downtown Eugene
Armitage Park In Eugene
Currin Bridge, circa 1925 thumbnail
In Cottage Grove thumbnail
Sweet Little Farmstand Along The Way thumbnail
On The Row River Trail thumbnail
Mosey Creek Bridge, circa 1920 thumbnail
Fall Abundance At The Eugene Farmers' Market thumbnail
Pastured Eggs At The Market thumbnail
The Empathy Tent, Only In Eugene thumbnail
Love The Logo For Sweet Cheeks Winery thumbnail
Beautiful Afternoon At The Winery thumbnail
Cool Neighborhood Microbrewery thumbnail
Excellent Beer At Ninkasi thumbnail
Fifth Street Market In Eugene thumbnail
Delicious Lunch At Provisions thumbnail
The Willamette River Bike Trail thumbnail
Philosophical Truth Along The Trail thumbnail
Lovely Owens Rose Garden thumbnail
The Museum Of Natural And Cultural History thumbnail
That Giant Sloth Was Creepy thumbnail
Tribal Dress Decorated With Elk Teeth thumbnail
Counterculture Immortalized: Ken Kesey Sculpture thumbnail
Fall Colors In Downtown Eugene thumbnail
Armitage Park In Eugene thumbnail

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Enjoying Portland, Even In The Rain

Enjoying Portland, Even In The Rain

Posted by on Mar 29, 2017 in Family, Food, Gallery, Oregon | 35 comments

In early October, we spent 10 days in Portland, Oregon. We love visiting Portland in the fall. The leaves are turning, the temperatures are perfect, and the rainy season doesn’t begin until November. Except for this year. In October 2016, Portland set all-time records for rainfall, and the deluge continued throughout the winter.

We didn’t expect day-after-day of gray skies and showers, but we still found plenty to enjoy, even in the rain. It’s a good thing, because 10 days cooped up in our 27’ trailer would have been about 9 ½ days too much.

Fortunately, rain in Portland isn’t like rain in the East or the South. Most of the time, there’s just a constant light drizzle, not enough to warrant unfurling an umbrella. Throw on a fleece, a rain jacket, and waterproof shoes, and you’re good to go.

Our main reason for visiting Portland every year is to spend time with Eric’s sister Peggy. While there, we also carve out time for hiking, cultural, and culinary adventures. There is no lack of interesting things to do in Portland—the biggest challenge for us is narrowing down our choices! 

Some of our favorites from this visit:

Urban Hike: The 2.6-mile Waterfront Loop meanders along the waterfront, including the Eastbank esplanade’s floating walkways, and crosses the Willamette on a couple of Portland’s famous bridges. The views of the downtown skyline are terrific.

The loop passes right by the Saturday Market—an excellent place for a taste of “Keeping Portland Weird.” (Honestly, Portland doesn’t seem weird to us at all—our hometown of Ashland is equally, delightfully weird.)

Neighborhood Wanderings: The Alphabet District/Northwest Portland is one of our favorite neighborhoods to explore on foot. It’s a charming mix of appealing shops, cafes, and beautiful renovated historic homes. On a rainy afternoon, we wandered in and out of interesting shops, lunched at award winning Ken’s Artisan Bakery (the soup and salad specials are excellent), and spent a couple of hours reading and relaxing at the cozy Dragonfly Coffee House.

Nature Fixes: Given that we stay 15 miles outside of Portland (it’s the closest RV park for our visits to Eric’s sister) we’re always in search of nearby places to hike/walk. This time, we discovered Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge and Graham Oaks Nature Park, both with several miles of beautiful trails. We also spent an afternoon at Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve in search of birds—all of which had more sense than we did, and were snuggled up somewhere out of the rain.

The Japanese Garden: Always a delight, the Portland Japanese Garden offers a tranquil respite in the city. We were a week or two early for the full-on display of autumn colors, but appreciated the peaceful beauty of the gardens, as well as a temporary show of fantastic sculptural bamboo pieces scattered throughout. Not only is this place gorgeous, it’s considered to be the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan. If you want insights into the deeper meaning of the natural elements of the garden, take one of the excellent free guided tours.

The Food: The food—oh my, the food! Portland is renowned for creative, local, handcrafted, organic, delicious fare. This visit, the standout for us was Dove Vivi, a friendly little neighborhood bistro in Northeast Portland that “celebrates the loot of their locale” by making everything from scratch. We were smitten by the crispy cornmeal crust pizza baked in an iron skillet, layered with balsamic roasted red onions, fresh corn, and smoked mozzarella, accompanied by a kale salad and local beer. Really, really, tasty.

Another day we enjoyed a late lunch at Pine Street Market, a trendy showcase of nine local restaurants in a very cool renovated 1886 historic livery. Lots of choices here—we opted for the excellent roast chicken and radicchio salad from Pollo Bravo. We happened to arrive mid-afternoon after a long ramble through downtown Portland in search of the famed “Portlandia” statue, and were glad we missed what appears to be a crazed lunch rush. (Bonus: Happy hour is from 3-6, with good deals on food and brews.)

McMenamins Kennedy School: On our dreariest day in Portland we headed to Northeast Portland for a matinee at the Kennedy School, a historic 1915 elementary school recycled into a boutique hotel replete with movie theatre, brewery, multiple small bars, soaking pool, and restaurant. We enjoyed a showing of Star Trek while relaxing on comfy sofas in the former auditorium, followed by a brew in the honors bar. It’s a colorful venue with a quirky Portland ambiance. Loved it.

Famers’ Market: Rain or shine, we never miss a visit to the Portland Farmers’ Market at Portland State University. On a drizzly day we perused the lush offerings and loaded up on organic vegetables, excellent locally crafted chocolate, pastured eggs, local goat cheese, and wild caught salmon. It’s a great place to catch some local music, grab a tasty meal from local purveyors, and soak in more of the vibe that makes Portland so welcoming, even in the rain.

 

About the RV Park:

Pheasant Ridge RV Park is about 15 miles from downtown Portland, and it’s an easy drive into the city on I-5 as long as you avoid the morning and afternoon rush hours. The park is immaculate and tightly run; sites have concrete pads, grassy lawns, and attractive landscaping. Full hookups, nice laundry and bathhouse, good Verizon coverage.

The Portland Japanese Garden

Wonderful Bamboo Art Exhibit In The Garden

Bamboo Arch Overlooking Portland

Bamboo Fountain And Autumn Leaves

Peggy And Eric At Jackson Bottom Preserve

Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge

On The Trails At Graham Oaks Nature Park

Local Pork Tacos At The Farmers Market

A New Variety Of Radicchio At The Market

Exploring The Northwest District

Colorful Neighborhood Homes

Lunch At Ken's Artisan Bakery

Organic French Inspired Local Bakery

Dragonfly Cafe In NW Portland

Late Afternoon Tea At The Dragonfly

Rainy Day Matinee At The Kennedy School

Boiler Room Turned Bar

Reward In The Honors Bar

Gourmet Pizza At Dove Vivi

Pine Street Market

Delicious Tapas Lunch At Pine Street Market

Walking The Waterfront Loop

Picturesque Morrison Bridge

Too Bad We Forgot Our Red Dresses

Colorful Portland Characters

Downtown Portland

Portlandia

Pheasant Ridge RV Park

The Portland Japanese Garden
Wonderful Bamboo Art Exhibit In The Garden
Bamboo Arch Overlooking Portland
Bamboo Fountain And Autumn Leaves
Peggy And Eric At Jackson Bottom Preserve
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge
On The Trails At Graham Oaks Nature Park
Local Pork Tacos At The Farmers Market
A New Variety Of Radicchio At The Market
Exploring The Northwest District
Colorful Neighborhood Homes
Lunch At Ken's Artisan Bakery
Organic French Inspired Local Bakery
Dragonfly Cafe In NW Portland
Late Afternoon Tea At The Dragonfly
Rainy Day Matinee At The Kennedy School
Boiler Room Turned Bar
Reward In The Honors Bar
Gourmet Pizza At Dove Vivi
Pine Street Market
Delicious Tapas Lunch At Pine Street Market
Walking The Waterfront Loop
Picturesque Morrison Bridge
Too Bad We Forgot Our Red Dresses
Colorful Portland Characters
Downtown Portland
Portlandia
Pheasant Ridge RV Park
The Portland Japanese Garden thumbnail
Wonderful Bamboo Art Exhibit In The Garden thumbnail
Bamboo Arch Overlooking Portland thumbnail
Bamboo Fountain And Autumn Leaves thumbnail
Peggy And Eric At Jackson Bottom Preserve thumbnail
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge thumbnail
On The Trails At Graham Oaks Nature Park thumbnail
Local Pork Tacos At The Farmers Market thumbnail
A New Variety Of Radicchio At The Market thumbnail
Exploring The Northwest District thumbnail
Colorful Neighborhood Homes thumbnail
Lunch At Ken's Artisan Bakery thumbnail
Organic French Inspired Local Bakery thumbnail
Dragonfly Cafe In NW Portland thumbnail
Late Afternoon Tea At The Dragonfly thumbnail
Rainy Day Matinee At The Kennedy School thumbnail
Boiler Room Turned Bar thumbnail
Reward In The Honors Bar thumbnail
Gourmet Pizza At Dove Vivi thumbnail
Pine Street Market thumbnail
Delicious Tapas Lunch At Pine Street Market thumbnail
Walking The Waterfront Loop thumbnail
Picturesque Morrison Bridge thumbnail
Too Bad We Forgot Our Red Dresses thumbnail
Colorful Portland Characters thumbnail
Downtown Portland thumbnail
Portlandia thumbnail
Pheasant Ridge RV Park thumbnail

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Good Times In Sisters, Oregon

Good Times In Sisters, Oregon

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017 in Gallery, Music, Oregon | 18 comments

The weekend after Labor Day, the little town of Sisters in Eastern Oregon flings open its doors to host the Sisters Folk Festival. It’s a three-day extravaganza of Americana roots music—folk, blues, bluegrass, and music that can’t be easily defined. This festival is so good that we’ve been two years in a row.

We won’t be going this year—and I’m already feeling a bit sad about that. One of the gifts and challenges of fulltime travel—well, of life in general—is that there are so many choices. Unfortunately, at least in my somewhat limited understanding of physics, we can only be in one place at a time.

This year, we’ve made plans to visit Glacier National Park in September. We’re thrilled about finally getting to Glacier (we tried several years ago but were shut out during the government shut-down). Still, I regret that we’ll be missing the amazing Sisters Folk Festival.

The sweet little Western-themed town of Sisters rolls out the red carpet for festival attendees. Although there are several nice campgrounds in Sisters (including our favorite, the city campground, where you can bike to all of the venues) you’re welcome to set up your rig anywhere in town during the festival. The music is fabulous, the venues are unique (open air stages, wine bars, coffee shops, big tents with hundreds of chairs, little tents with grassy lawns) and the vibe is the perfect combination of festive and mellow.

What makes it even more fun for us is meeting up with friends from our hometown of Ashland, a mere three hours away. We swung by the festival on our way home from our summer on Lopez Island and met up with friends we hadn’t seen in a year. As an extra bonus, we also finally managed to meet up with fellow fulltime travelers Lisa and Hans (Metamorphosis Road), who were staying nearby in Bend, and shared a delightful afternoon of hiking and lunch.

Should you be interested in the Sisters Folk Festival, I wrote in detail about it last year, including lots of insider tips for attending the festival (you can read about it here). We’ll be back!

Next Up: Enjoying Portland, Even In The Rain

Sisters Music Festival And More

Downtown Sisters Oregon

All The Town's A Stage

Biking In Town With Leslie, Steve And Maple

Art Guitars Mark The Venues

Wonderful Outdoor Stages

It's A Relaxed Event

Molly Tuttle Band

The Good Time Travelers

Creative Instruments For Sale

Brunch And Music

Kyle And Cynthia Enjoying The Music

Our Favorite Evening Venue

Ordering Drinks At The Retro RV Bar

Session Americana

Late Night Music Party

Young Musicians At The Festival

On The Tam McArthur Trail

Steve, Larissa, Leslie And Maple

Wonderful Views From The Top

Hiking In Bend With Lisa And Hans

Creekside Campground In Sisters

Nice Sites In The Pines

Sisters Music Festival And More
Downtown Sisters Oregon
All The Town's A Stage
Biking In Town With Leslie, Steve And Maple
Art Guitars Mark The Venues
Wonderful Outdoor Stages
It's A Relaxed Event
Molly Tuttle Band
The Good Time Travelers
Creative Instruments For Sale
Brunch And Music
Kyle And Cynthia Enjoying The Music
Our Favorite Evening Venue
Ordering Drinks At The Retro RV Bar
Session Americana
Late Night Music Party
Young Musicians At The Festival
On The Tam McArthur Trail
Steve, Larissa, Leslie And Maple
Wonderful Views From The Top
Hiking In Bend With Lisa And Hans
Creekside Campground In Sisters
Nice Sites In The Pines
Sisters Music Festival And More thumbnail
Downtown Sisters Oregon thumbnail
All The Town's A Stage thumbnail
Biking In Town With Leslie, Steve And Maple thumbnail
Art Guitars Mark The Venues thumbnail
Wonderful Outdoor Stages thumbnail
It's A Relaxed Event thumbnail
Molly Tuttle Band thumbnail
The Good Time Travelers thumbnail
Creative Instruments For Sale thumbnail
Brunch And Music thumbnail
Kyle And Cynthia Enjoying The Music thumbnail
Our Favorite Evening Venue thumbnail
Ordering Drinks At The Retro RV Bar thumbnail
Session Americana thumbnail
Late Night Music Party thumbnail
Young Musicians At The Festival thumbnail
On The Tam McArthur Trail thumbnail
Steve, Larissa, Leslie And Maple thumbnail
Wonderful Views From The Top thumbnail
Hiking In Bend With Lisa And Hans thumbnail
Creekside Campground In Sisters thumbnail
Nice Sites In The Pines thumbnail

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The Long, Long Winter

The Long, Long Winter

Posted by on Mar 5, 2017 in Gallery, Musings, Oregon, Travel | 42 comments

It’s been a long time since we’ve spent winter in a wintery locale. For many years—even before taking to the road full time—we’ve spent a good part of winter in warmer, sunnier climes—southern California, southern Arizona, the Gulf Coast of Texas, Florida.

We would never have deliberately planned to spend winter in our trailer in Ashland. And this has been an unusually cold, wet, and snowy winter for southern Oregon. As I write this, it’s snowing yet again.

Fortunately, our little Arctic Fox lives up to the promise of being a four-season RV, and we’re cozy and warm. (Obviously, our propane heater is getting a good workout, and we wear fleece and slippers indoors.)

Our lives have been very different the past several months. Instead of the thrill of almost constant new adventures, we’ve basically been confined to our hometown backyard. But it hasn’t felt like a hardship. Drawing a smaller circle around our lives has been exactly what we needed during this time of healing.

Despite the fact that we’d rather be wearing flip-flops instead of snow boots, we’re finding plenty to enjoy. We’re keeping ourselves occupied with daily long walks, time with friends, music gatherings, creative endeavors, and home improvement projects. This winter has turned out to be a rich and satisfying time.

Still, I felt a small thrill of joy when I saw the bright little faces of the crocus poking up through the snow yesterday. Spring really is just around the corner. 

Crocus In The Snow

Our Home In The Snow

Our View Of The Pond

Prayer Flags In A Snowstorm

The Geese Don't Seem To Mind

Canada Geese And Ring Necked Ducks

Oak Titmouse In The Cattails

Glad It's Not Like This All The Time

View Across The Hills

Raucous Acorn Woodpecker

Beautiful Lewis's Woodpecker

Waiting For Spring

Crocus In The Snow
Our Home In The Snow
Our View Of The Pond
Prayer Flags In A Snowstorm
The Geese Don't Seem To Mind
Canada Geese And Ring Necked Ducks
Oak Titmouse In The Cattails
Glad It's Not Like This All The Time
View Across The Hills
Raucous Acorn Woodpecker
Beautiful Lewis's Woodpecker
Waiting For Spring
Crocus In The Snow thumbnail
Our Home In The Snow thumbnail
Our View Of The Pond thumbnail
Prayer Flags In A Snowstorm thumbnail
The Geese Don't Seem To Mind thumbnail
Canada Geese And Ring Necked Ducks thumbnail
Oak Titmouse In The Cattails thumbnail
Glad It's Not Like This All The Time thumbnail
View Across The Hills thumbnail
Raucous Acorn Woodpecker thumbnail
Beautiful Lewis's Woodpecker thumbnail
Waiting For Spring thumbnail

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