Friday, February 26, 2021


 September 5, 2020

After our two safari experiences, we decided it was time for some trees, so we headed into the Umpqua National Forest, which is located on the west slopes of the Cascade Mountains and covers almost a million acres.  

It only made sense to start out with some Umpqua ice cream, especially when chocolate peanut butter was an option.

The road into the park snaked alongside the 111-mile-long turquoise-colored Umpqua River, which originates in the Cascade Mountains and makes its serpentine path in a northwest direction to the Pacific Ocean.

We had been in the car for a good part of the day, and I was ready for some exercise. This looked like a good place for a little walk.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021


 September 5, 2020

Just 70 miles from Bandon and its West Coast Safari Park, down a long, winding two-lane road, we discovered, quite by accident, the Wildlife Safari in Winston. How these two animal parks can exist in such out-of-the-way places and so relatively close to each other is a mystery to me. 

We were on our way to our hotel in Sutherlin but had taken a wrong turn somewhere and ended up going through Winston, where we noticed the signs for the Wildlife Safari. Curious, we turned in at the sign and drove up the road for a bit.

It was just before dusk, a good time to see wildlife. We slowed down when a doe ran across the road in front of our car, and it was a good thing we did, because not far behind was her sweet little fawn.

A little further up the road we came across a flock of wild turkeys.

We thought these two sightings boded well for the park, which was already closed, but we determined to come back the following morning when it opened.

Thursday, February 18, 2021


Friday, September 4, 2020

We drove past the West Coast Game Park Safari in Bandon, Oregon, on our way to our hotel. We were still in the "wandering mode," so I suggested that we wander through the game park. It isn't a big place--just 75 species on exhibit in a park covering 21 acres. It has been open since 1968 and gets about 60,000 visitors a year.

The small gift shop that doubled as a ticket office had some intriguing t-shirts and decor.

It took us about an hour to walk through the park. We saw a few kangaroos.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021


 September 4, 2020

We had been so swept off our feet by the Oregon beaches that we decided to spend a few more hours at Lone Ranch Beach before going north. 

A quote from the author D. H. Lawrence perfectly describes our morning meanderings: "That's the place to get to--nowhere. One wants to wander away from the world's somewheres into our own nowhere."  

There is something about having the sounds of human life wiped out by the sounds of waves and gulls.  We had plenty of time to just wander up and down the beach with no real agenda except to see what was around us.

To start, I'm not sure I've ever seen a concentration of mussels quite this dense.

I love the patterns in sand made by living things--seaweed for the first photo, but what do you think made the pattern in the second photo? Maybe a snail? Perhaps a twisted strand of seaweed? 

There were patterns everywhere I looked. This looks like a shattered windshield--a very muddy one.

Monday, February 8, 2021


 September 3, 2020

Six-and-a-half months into COVID, we found ourselves desperate for another trip. We settled on a relatively short round-trip flight to Medford, Oregon, a city of about 83,000 people located 27 miles north of the California border and about 230 miles south of Salem, Oregon's capital city. Bob planned out a basically circular route with a few detours. Almost all of it was in less populated areas, far from the COVID epicenters during that time.  

We flew out of the Palm Springs Airport, a first for us even though it is only 40 miles from our home. It is a very small but very nice little airport with a definite Palm Springs personality, including a tribute to Sonny Bono, who was mayor there from 1988-1992 and then a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for California's 44th District from 1995 until his death in a skiing accident in 1998.

As you can see, there weren't many people in the airport.

We took every precaution we could think of to protect ourselves from COVID, this being our first flight since the March 2020 outbreak. Once we got to our seats, we added face shields to our gear.

We had a short stop in San Francisco, and then landed in Medford, Oregon, at 12:27 PM, where we picked up a car and headed for the coast. From Medford, we started on a more or less clockwise circle of driving that dipped into Northern California at Crescent City, from which point we headed north up the coast.

Somewhere near the Oregon border (I am pretty sure it was the Oregon side), I saw Sasquatch out in the middle of a field. I made Bob pull over so I could take a picture. I mean, how often do you get to take a picture of Sasquatch, much less one of him wearing a COVID face mask and standing in a field of . . .  
Sasquatch in a marijuana field
MARIJUANA? Yes indeed, I do believe those are healthy, thriving, marijuana plants. No wonder Sasquatch is guarding the field.