And the road goes on forever...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lanquid Days

We’re in the lull before the storm, although literally it has been very rainy here the past few days. It’s just a little too early to tear apart and pack up but we thankfully sold our large shed today; to a fellow RV neighbor who also has intentions to take over this site by October. Marc will build in a floor and either leave it here on this site or cart it over to her other space just across from us. Either way—a very easy fix for what we had thought would be a much more arduous process of selling it to a friend who lives in northern California which would have required several days of Marc’s time to deliver, a large fuel expense and even purchase of overload trip permits in two states due to its size. Something finally went right!

Despite the languid pace of the days, this month has passed quickly for us. Soon enough it will be the day for the memorial service for Marc’s dad, when the entire family is expected, and then we can begin in earnest our final passage from Coos Bay. I’m not sure there is anything too thrilling to blog about a major move but I’ll try and check in here to keep you all appraised of our whereabouts. Before departing permanently, I have plans to visit daughter Rachael in Washington at the end of March so maybe we’ll think of some interesting things to occupy ourselves.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Big Change

Driving back into the moist sea air from a quick trip over to Bend it occurs to me how much I will miss portions of living at the coast. Our time here is winding down. Despite our best attempts to sell our park model where she sits in this lovely RV park, it just doesn’t appear that will be her fate. We are starting to collect bids from transport companies for the long move to Yuma, AZ.

“Hunker down” is a term Marc is using frequently; and hunkering down on our lot in Yuma is what appears to be in our immediate future. The process of moving not only the park model and all its contents (which must be removed and moved separately) but a lot of our other possessions currently in storage in Bend is almost more than we want to consider. Just moving some of our rolling stock will likely involve four round trips of 2400 miles each. This could involve the better part of three months by the time things are torn down on this end and moved in and reset at the other end. Yuma will be the park model’s final resting place so Marc is contemplating placing it on a foundation and perhaps we will even add on to it, doubling its square footage in case it has to become our permanent home. We have a myriad of plans yet the feeling of not much time. Somewhere in all this, we still need to find jobs as quickly as we can.

I’ll apologize in advance if the blog gets a little too boring or mundane; soon to leave the mist covered forested slopes and pounding surf of the left coast for the barren desert beneath our favorite mountain in Yuma. One more giant step on the journey; and yet one more giant change in our lives—to desert dwellers. We look forward to the challenge and to making our lives different and better. It’s a good thing it never occurs to us that we may be getting too old for this stuff.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Sign of the Times

Recently while walking the Charleston docks we saw ample evidence of these tough economic times. Many of you may be aware that of all states, Oregon has suffered mightily through this recession with one of the most stubbornly high unemployment rates of all states. Whereas just a couple of years ago when we first placed the park model at Midway, this harbor was chuck full of boats, there are now gaping holes of empty slips. Those commercial and pleasure boats left tied to the dock seem to be quickly withering into sad disrepair. The ocean environment is a tough one; unforgiving in its march forward if one doesn’t keep up with maintenance and repairs.

Ask yourself if you’d like to be going to sea on some of these boats; the last of which actually has a hole in her side.

Of course, there are still those who live aboard and probably go nowhere; like this beagle’s owner and the more colorful inhabitants of the purple Delta Dawn which looks as though she hasn’t seen a wash down in years.

Some commercial boats still ply the waters, coming and going; other boaters have given up entirely and just want out.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Coastal Wild Life

Part of the glory of living at the coast is the abundance of wildlife. I thought it would be fun to show our readers some that I have managed to capture on camera as we went about our activities.

Let’s start with our Charleston dock walk the other day where we followed the barking voices to get up close with some sunning California sea lions. They were enjoying the sun as much as us!

The sea lions major haunt is the rock reef near Cape Arago named Simpsons Reef. It’s possible all year to view hundreds, if not thousands of them hauled out and resting, with their cacophonous barking carrying far out on the sea wind. The sea lions mix with the smaller harbor seals in the port waters, where we frequently see babies with their mothers.

I’m no bird expert and the one that is most numerous in the area and some would say a total nuisance is the seagull. They are frequent companions to our boat out on the water since they seem to learn quickly and know that every time a crab pot is pulled Marc will be tossing the old bait and re-baiting. As the tuna goes flying through the air they frequently catch it on the fly with spectacular aerial dogfights amongst themselves. One year I watched a nest perched atop a boat with two tiny babies which took over two months for their fluffy fuzz to mature into a downier feathering. At about three months, although they were nearly the size of their parent, they still had not flown and were dependent upon her for food. In the bird word I would call this a long childhood. As immature youngsters, they are a mottled brown, only turning their typical white and grey as mature adults.

The next most numerous birds we spot are the pelicans. There was a recent report that the young pelicans in Oregon are starving and no one seems to know why. They generally work an area of the water in groups, dive bombing for their food and then moving on to a new section. Seagulls frequently move in immediately and peck at their faces in an attempt to capture the fish that a pelican seems to rarely miss and thus many times we see the pelican with his beak low in the water, seeming to protect his catch. They are clumsy fliers with a friendly, comical expression.

Various breeds of egrets and storks quietly work the waters but are generally shy and don’t stick around for pictures. Once, I even happened to spot an American bald eagle circling the ocean with a group of seagulls although they didn’t take kindly to his presence. And of course, there are many species of sea ducks, cormorants and even a loon one winter.

For us, the most appreciated wildlife is that available under the sea. Tidal pools are always interesting to explore and at very low tides, various sea stars, anemones, mussels and barnacles are exposed on the rocks and pilings.

We have most familiarity of course, with the Dungeness crab and its lesser thought of cousin, the red rock crab. The rock crabs have extremely hard shells which splinter into tiny pieces upon cracking so they are vastly under-appreciated for their more buttery flavored meat than their famous cousin. They also have very aggressive attitudes and the way this specimen keeps his claws ready to grab anything that comes within reach is an oft seen pose.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Simple Picnic; a Turbulent Ocean

The overlook at Cape Arago beckoned tourists and appeared like a ruin atop the sea cliff on the coast of Scotland as they gazed out over the swelling rollers. Alas, we’re not in Scotland but just outside Coos Bay on this marvelously sunny day to enjoy a rare picnic at our favorite table. Since its wet from recent rains we move up the hill to a drier table in full sun and allow other strangers to take it over.

A walk is in order afterwards, where we wander apart; me taking photos and Marc talking on the phone to a friend. From there we drive to the docks at Charleston to continue taking more pictures and enjoying the bountiful sunshine, which we haven’t seen enough of this winter. The Beach masters have taken over one end of a dock and nosily announce their quarrelsome presence to all who approach. I will have more of their photos in another post. Today was just what the doctor ordered!