Archives for September 2014

Friday, Sept. 19, 2014 – Shopping

Surprisingly, the cell phone signal here is pretty poor, considering we're just a little ways off a major highway, so I went into town to get a little computer work done, and to pick up a few things at the local market in Colquin. Finally tracked down a ranger to pay them for our stay through Monday, at $19 a night for so little facilities, it's a bit high, but my intent is to visit Crater Lake, and this was the nearest conveniently located horse camp, so there you go. After I got back from town, Hubby and I drove down to the logging museum just around the corner, and spent some time wandering through the yard, looking at all the old equipment and the pioneer village, comprised of a variety of small cabins which had originally been in logging camps and homestead areas and moved to this spot. Very interesting history, and some huge cross-cuts from some of the early growth trees. According to them, early loggers consumed 8000 calories a day just to keep up with the hard work they had to do. It was fascinating to learn of the clever advances in technology that made that hard job easier, and also the decline of the industry because of labor and environmental conflicts. Such a shame, too, I hate having so many things made out of pressboard and plastic, when wood would be so much more attractive. Anyway, it was a delightful journey through history, not to mention a lovely walk on a beautiful afternoon.

Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014 – Travel to Collier Memorial SP

After a couple of uneventful and restful days, we prepared for our trek southward, as once again packed up and headed out of camp, this time to a horse camp just 70 miles away, in the Collier Memorial State Park, behind the Logging Museum. The horse camp turned out to be parking lot with four log corrals and a picnic table, but it did have a spigot with running, potable water, yeah!! We hooked up and filled our tanks, then ran a hose to one of our portable water barrels, which I put on a picnic table so that gravity would work better, and filled that up, too. We had some challenges with the satellite dish again, as there were a lot of tall trees surrounding us, but Hubby finally managed it again, after a struggle. We parked along a barb wire fence, so the back yard view isn't very interesting, but there's room for the ramp for Marina to come up and down okay. She seems to be doing significantly better since we started her on Cosequin chews a few months ago. She still struggles, of course, but she does seem to be getting around better than before. Later, a couple of ranger types came out to look at a tree that had fallen down nearby, partly over the road, and did a little clean up. One was the State Park Ranger, a new guy that also happened to be a horse guy, and he was happy to see someone using the "camp." We got the impression it was a rarity, especially when a couple of the kids riding bikes in the neighborhood stared at us like we had just landed from Mars. Anyway, we settled down for the night, happy to be a little bit further south!

Monday, Sept. 15, 2014 – Second Ride Day at Whitefish

Decided to take another ride, this time to the north, hoping to get to a nice view of Diamond Peak, but not holding my breath as it's a bit farther than I think Hubby is ready for, as his foot is healing but still causing him a lot of pain. After the first quarter mile, the trail started climbing, through one of the ugliest forests we've ever seen. Literally, it seemed that there were more dead trees down than live trees standing, which gave it a really depressing look. The trail most mostly dirt, so we probably didn't need boots, and it started climbing fairly soon. Not a hard grade, but a steady climb through this ugly forest, until we reached pretty much the top, where it leveled off, about 3 miles in, with more dust, dust, and dust. We had hoped once we reached the ridge the woods would get prettier, but they didn't, so rather than continue on this depressing and excruciatingly dusty trail, we decided to turn around so as to not overdo it. Got back to camp, put the horses away, visited with some of our neighbors for a while before finishing of the day in our usual way.

Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 – Football and Laundry

Like so many others, we spent the day watching football, doing laundry, and enjoying our day of rest.

Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014 – Ride Day from Whitefish

Had a lazy morning before finally saddling and booting up the horses. I had spoken to a neighbor, Pat (and her husband Mike) about the state of the trails, and she said she was glad she put her boots on, although it was 90 % dirt and 10% rock, so we decided to do the same. That, of course, meant that I had to do some trimming on the horses' front feet, which took up some time. Eventually, we got on the trail, just before 1:00, and headed down the south trail, called Oldenburg, in the direction Bingham lake, which was reportedly about 4 miles out. Most of the loops here are fairly long, between 12-18 miles, and with Hubby still recovering, we're a long way from doing anything longer than 6-8 miles, so we figured out and back to the lake would be fine. The first half mile or so was quite pleasant, through some old growth pines, across a bridge, with a bit of a grade up hill for awhile, but eventually we came to an area that had many dead and downed trees, with no underbrush, so it looked pretty bare between the trees for the most part. The trail constantly climbed, though not with a very noticeable grade, and it was very dusty. Every step became a cloud, and there was no breeze, so whoever was in back got smothered. Naturally we forgot our kerchiefs, so we took turns riding "point" and "drag." The trail seemed to go on forever, and it turned out to be nearly 5 miles before we finally arrived at Bingham lake. The trail down to the lake was very narrow, so much so that we had to dismount to get the horses through the path between two trees, then we hung out on the beach a while, letting the horses drink and eat some nice grass, while Hubby put his foot up on a log for awhile, as it was aching him from the long ride. After about 20 minutes or so, we were joined by another couple who also came from the horse camp, and who were ponying a pack horse they said they were training for "elk season." We left shortly thereafter, with them a bit behind us, so we did some trotting and even cantering to get ahead. The dust wasn't quite so bad as a breeze had come up, plus when you're moving faster, it can't catch up : -)

Friday, Sept. 12, 2014 – Search for Satellite

With his typical never-say-die attitude, after breakfast, Hubby went back out to try to solve the satellite problem. Eventually, he determined that the only possible chance we had was to set the dish up on the roof of the RV, so up I went, dragging the parts and tools necessary, and after awhile, we finally managed to get a decent enough signal to make him happy. With all the new season and series premieres in the next few weeks, he’s decided it’s pretty important to make sure we can get a signal, so, yeah, we managed it. The rest of the day we did some housekeeping and laundry and resting before settling down for the evening.

Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014 – Travel Day to Whitefish Horse Camp in Deschutes National Forest

Got out early this morning, as I wanted to get to Whitefish fairly early in the day, but, of course, the best laid plans... Our first stop was at the Salem Post Office, where supposedly I had a contract waiting for me at the General Delivery there, but no one could find it, even though it had been sent a week ago. One clerk there was kind enough to take my phone number and call me if they get it, and I gave her the address of the next post office to where we would be going, Crescent, OR. That killed an hour. Since that was just up the road from a Walmart, we decided to get our shopping done now rather than later, that killed almost another hour. Then we stopped at Camping World north of Eugene to dump and ask about parts, that was another 30 minutes gone. One final stop at a 76 station, where my credit card stopped working after it's second run-through (because of the station's system, not my CC), and then it wouldn't take my bank debit card for some unknown reason, and despite phone calls to both, it was all centered on the station's system, not my cards. We ended up having to pay cash for the final tank of generator gas (thank goodness it was only 5 gallons), before we hit the road, having wasted almost another hour, swearing I'd never stop at a 76 station again (which I hadn't done for decades anyway, but this clinched it, again). So by the time we finally got to Whitefish, it was after 3:00, almost two hours behind my estimated schedule. We found our spot, which was large enough, but not exactly level, so we had to put some boards under the back truck tires to get some semblance of being level. Hubby wasn't able to get the satellite dish set up because of the trees, so he was a less than happy camper, he gets pretty frustrated when he can't figure these things out. We also spent a lot of time transferring water, because the spigots here are the kind with a spring handle and no threads, so we had to get out the bungies, the sump pump, and the rain barrels, and spent another hour plus to fill those up, as well as the RV, so that we would be good with water for at least 4-5 days (unless I do laundry, which I'll probably wait until later in the week to do). In any event, we were finally ready to settle down, had a cocktail and watched some things we had previously recorded, with the horses all settled into a couple of pipe corrals side by side.

Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 – Rest Day

With Hubby’s foot still hurting, we decided to take the day off and recoup some more, just spent a little time in the afternoon preparing for our trip tomorrow.

Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014 – Ride Day at Willamette Mission State Park, Oregon

Well, evidently the morning ranger didn't get the memo from the evening ranger, at least as far as the knowledge that it was our desire to sleep late this morning, because he came knocking at the door just after 8:00, so I had to get up and take care of business with him. Too late to go back to bed, so we got up, had a leisurely breakfast, then saddled the horses for their one and only ride here. Rachel was already out riding by the time we got up, and back by the time we headed out, so we said our good-byes before hitting the trail. Good news, the trails are mostly dirt with only a few rocky spots, so boots weren't necessary, and the trail was very easy. Too easy, actually, for our taste, as it was entirely flat, and a good percentage of the trail, maybe half, was in or around open fields, with one even circling around a hazelnut orchard. The rest did get a bit more interesting, weaving in and out of trees of various ages in the wooded areas. Stopped at a couple of places where the blackberries were just bursting too ripe to ignore, and we even managed to get a few canters in, though Hubby is feeling a little low on confidence, after his fall and broken bones in July, and the pain of his new injury in his foot, but he managed it okay. He felt compelled to hang onto the horn (not surprisingly), but off course that threw off his balance, so he wasn't as happy about it as he would have liked, but we all enjoyed the ride nevertheless, about 6.66 miles in just over two hours. Spent some time in the afternoon working on logistics for the next couple of weeks, made a reservation for the weekend at Whitefish Horse Camp about 150 miles southeast of here, then settled in for the evening.

Monday, Sept. 8, 2014 – Travel Day to Willamette Mission State Park, Oregon

Got up just after 8:00 and on the road by 10:00, going downhill very slowly on the twisty steep gravel grade to insure no untoward occurrences, and headed south, finding an Indian Truck Stop where diesel was only 3.84, compared to 4.19 at the Pilot!! Thanks Gas Buddy!! Stopped for lunch and shopping at a Walmart with a Subway, then got stuck in lots of traffic in Portland (where the drivers really make me mad!) If you leave ANY space for a safe stopping distance, some idiot jumps in front of you. After several incidents like that, I had enough, and the next little white Kia that dared to do that got my front bumper as close to his back bumper as I could get. He looked a little worried, but by that time I didn't care, the red Ford in front of HIM was my safety margin, and his little pipsqueak of a car would barely slow me down between me and the Ford, so there! Eventually we cleared the accident that was the cause of all the fuss, and finally arrived at Willamette Mission after 4:30. By the time we found the horse camp (poor signage) it was just after 5:00, so when I called reservations to see if the site we wanted was available for the time we wanted it, they, of course, had left (it was 5:01, after all). So we took a chance on Site 5, and before long a female ranger came by to get money from us, but in the end, decided to wait until tomorrow, so we could find out how long the site was available. Unfortunately, when Hubby was getting the horses out of the trailer, Apollo stepped squarely on his foot, and Hubby went down in agony. Just as he was recovering from his other broken bones, now his foot! Not sure if it was actually broken, but it is definitely going to be heavily bruised, and will hurt him for some time, darn it! Finally got the horses settled in to a couple of nice log corrals, introduced ourselves to our only neighbor, a girl in here 20's named Rachel, who ended up coming over and hanging out with us most of the evening, very interested in hearing about our adventures. I emailed her some Google Earth information about the horse camps in the three-state region, and we chatted until after 10:00. Watched a one-hour recording, then off to bed with us!