Saturday, September 25, 2010

9/25/10 Saturday night in Winchester Bay is a quiet place. This is pleasant because it means the wind isn't blowing. Tonight was the RoVing Rods prime rib dinner at the Eagles Club in Reedsport. The meal was good and there was going to be live music afterwards. But in between there was an auction of a bunch of baked goods in order to raise money for the local scholarship fund. Very few of our RR members stayed around for it, and eventually we left too. Our Boomer friend and computer guru, Padraic brought his wife, Willie, and below is their picture. They have been staying at an RV park in Coos Bay, so they did not stay here with the RR's this week. Padraic has been driving over to crab with us and he also fixed my infected computer, which I greatly appreciated.

The last update I did was when we were getting ready to host Elaine's long-time friend Elaine Lewter. The unfortunate thing was that we had some of our worst weather during her visit. Luckily, she didn't have any great expectations and during the early part of the week, we continued to catch and process crab and have some social times with friends here. Towards the weekend, we pulled our crab traps in so we could do some day trips to show her some other parts of the Oregon coast. On Saturday, Carole, Elaine and I took her to Shore Acres State Park which has an enclosed viewing area overlooking the shoreline, where we wanted to have an indoor picnic since it was a rainy day. This is a picture of us with Elaine in the enclosure:

The view overlooking the shore line was impressive because of the unique rock formations:

Here there are also some beautiful gardens. Once the grand estate of pioneer timber baron Louis Simpson, Shore Acres features lushly planted gardens with plants and flowers from all over the world. Something is in bloom almost every day of the year. There are a few buildings left over from the estate nestled among the varied bedding plants

a greenhouse with some exotic plants,

and an Oriental pond with some metal sculptures and water plants:

We also drove to some of the other state parks and viewpoints further south but we couldn't see nearly as much as when we had done this with Lee & Susie because of the rainy weather.
The next day we caught a break in the weather so we drove Elaine to Bandon, a little town south on the coast near the Coquille River. There are lots of attractions nearby such as a wild animal game park, golf courses, a lighthouse, but we just wanted to have lunch and wander around the Old Town. First we walked along the waterfront, which has been very well done and is such a pleasant place to stroll. Here we are in front of some of the wooden carvings there:

Eventually we had lunch at La Fiesta, a Mexican restaurant right along the waterfront and had a delicious and filling lunch for only $5 each. Afterwards we visited the Cranberry candy shop where we ate lots of samples and Elaine bought some gifts to take back to Michigan. There are lots of interesting little gift shops so we visited a few, and then took Elaine around the point to the cliff overlooking the beach where there were lots of rock formations in the water:

While Elaine was here, Dick and Carole were very good about having us all over for dinner and making her feel welcome:

The day we drove her back to Portland, we stopped to take some pictures at the Elk viewing area which is just outside Reedsport, on highway 38. There were lots of Elk lying around on the grass of the federally protected area, so she was able to get some good shots.

Once Elaine left, we started crabbing again and I was fortunate enough to catch another crab with a tag for the Crab Bounty Contest - this time #7. Here is a picture of me with the crab (look for the little green tag hanging from his leg):

Padraic also started to come over for crabbing and here is a picture of us together:

Now that the RoVing Rod event is in full swing, we have been having happy hours, a crab potluck, and other gatherings. The members have been catching and sharing LOTS of crab! The weather was rainy on the day of the crab potluck so we rented the community center and held it inside, a very smart move. The food was delicious and there was even entertainment because Dick played the piano:

He is an excellent pianist and everyone enjoyed his playing, with some people even singing along or dancing. We sat at a table with all of the Boomer friends, and here is the picture, which includes Jenny and Dan Shepherd, Padraic, Dick & Carole, and us:

I will end this posting with this picture which was taken the other day when we had once of the nicest days we have ever had here:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


This update is being written while Elaine drives us in the car to the Portland airport. Her lifelong friend, Elaine Lewter, is flying in from Michigan for a week with us and we are picking her up in about an hour. Hopefully, she will get in on some more of the fun social times and great crabbing that we have been experiencing since we arrived at Winchester Bay.
Yes, the crabbing is still good and even though we took three days off over the weekend, we were amazed yesterday when we totaled up what we had caught so far – 199!!! It was a very good thing that we had between 8 and 10 friends nearby to help with some of the work and also help eat this many crabs! Here is a picture of some of the catch right after we cooked them:
The friends have also been preparing a joint dinner for everyone every night, which has helped us a lot. Plus the food has been delicious and the company outstanding. Here is a picture of Mike & Marilyn with the dinner they cooked for everyone:
Carole & Dick have been really great about having everyone into their RV because it has been mostly too windy or cool at dinner time to eat outside. Here is a picture of them on the one day it was sunny enough to be outside:
And here is part of the group eating in their RV:
Kit and Nancy Carter arrived also, and spent about 5 days with us, and everyone was delighted to have them. Kit jumped right in and learned everything he could about crabbing and processing them, and was a huge help. Here is a picture of Kit, Mike & Lee sitting outside picking crab:
Nancy, of course, was a big help with the other chores. And they taught us a new way to prepare oysters, one that even I liked a lot. They took the oysters in the shells and spread them out on the BBQ (on a piece of foil because the sea water drippings will wreck your BBQ otherwise) and heated them enough that the shells started to open. Then Kit pried off the top shell and as they continued to cook Nancy spooned garlic and butter on them. When they were nearly done, she grated Parmesan cheese on the top. Try this at home because these were awesome! Here is a picture of them cooking:
And here is a picture of them together:
And here is a picture of the people who were coordinating everything and teaching everyone how to do the crabbing experience in style:
Jack and Karen Vincent, RoVing Rod members we already knew, arrived early and are parked near us. They joined us for Happy Hour on the sunny day we could sit outside:
Lee & Susie got a new car and here they are, showing it off:
Saturday they took us for a nice drive in it to lots of the inlets and state parks south of Charleston and we had a delightful day. It was sunny and we saw lots of great scenery as well as some sea lions, seals, and even a couple of whales which had come in very near the shore. Here are a few pictures from our day:

Yesterday we started crabbing again and although we didn't get our pots out until nearly 11 AM, by evening we had caught 24. And the exciting part is that one of them had tag #26 on it. Every year they have a month long contest and if you get a numbered tag on a crab, you get entered into a drawing for $1000, plus various other prizes. The drawing is on Oct. 1.
The bad thing that happened is that my new computer is infected with something. I am typing this on our new netbook which we bought for our upcoming trip to India. Hopefully, Padraic, the computer genius of the RoVing Rods and Boomers will be arriving soon to help me out.
Mike and Marilyn will be leaving Thursday, Lee & Susie on Friday. Come the weekend, Mary & Rich Baumann will arrive and probably some other friends. This flux is all part of the RV lifestyle, and we love it.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

9/3/10 One thing about doing a blog, sometimes life is so routine and boring that you have nothing to write about, and other times you are so busy that you don’t have time to update your blog!! The past week or so we have been too busy to update this, and we apologize. But now - Hugs from Winchester Bay! Yes, we have arrived at the coast and although today started out with the water calm and the sun out, (see picture below) now the fog is rolling in and the wind is coming up. That is one thing about the weather here – it changes rapidly! Yesterday when we arrived it was sunny and warm and we had a delightful afternoon and calm evening – somewhat of a rarity here.

We arrived here yesterday, along with Carole & Dick Schneider, shortly after noon and were delighted to find several friends here from the RoVing Rods: Chuck & Betty Goehring with their daughter Pam and her partner, Charlie, and also Ted Sudtell. Mike and Marilyn Harrison were also parked out on the point. Elaine and I quickly purchased crabbing licenses, got some tuna carcasses for bait, Elaine assembled 3 of our crab traps, and we threw them in off the dock by about 5 PM. Chuck & Charlie had been getting lots of crabs so Chuck brought over some cooked crabs which Mike & Marilyn, Dick & Carole, Elaine and I all enjoyed at Happy Hour. Chuck agreed to move our traps from the crabbing dock across the channel for us, and when Mike and I went down to the dock to get them, we already had caught 2 keeper size males! In a few minutes Chuck will take me over to the traps to check them again and see if we got anything overnight. Later today Mike is going to help me set up our inflatable boat so we can get over there to deal with our own traps without bothering Chuck.
Before coming here we stayed for 2 nights at the Sutherlin SKP park with Dick and Carole parked right beside us. Other RoVing Rods friends, Pam & Sid Bowen, have a lot there and we enjoyed Happy Hour on Tuesday with them, and also met their two new little doggies.

Tuesday Dick was the designated driver while Carole, Elaine and I did some wine tasting in the Upqua Valley. There are quite a few small wine making operations here and they make some surprisingly good wines. Although they all seem to have an emphasis on pinot noir, and we usually enjoy reds more than whites, at this batch of wineries we liked the whites better, especially pinot gris. They have a “passport” and if you get yours stamped at 5 wineries, you are entered into a drawing for lots of wine from all of the wineries. So, of course, we had to visit 5 wineries in one afternoon, which was about 2 too many! Also, we all believe in supporting these small boutique wine makers so we not only tasted a lot, we bought a lot. By the time we got back to Sutherlin and met Pam & Sid for Happy Hour, we all switched to water….
9/4/10 Ran out of time yesterday to finish this. When we went to check our traps in the late morning yesterday, we had 4 BIG keepers, and in the late afternoon, 4 more less large ones, so once again we had hot crab for Happy Hour with the 4 friends. We also bought some fresh tuna from one of the commercial boats so we had seared fillets for dinner with some of Carole’s delicious nicoise sauce. And Elaine canned the rest of it. Mike helped me set up our inflatable boat but when Chuck came over to help me get the motor started, we were not successful. He knows a lot about engines like this but he says ours is too new and has too many electronic components for him to fix it. We will try to get a guy in Reedsport to look at it later today. This morning we put the traps out on the crabbing dock and several hours later had caught 4 more big males. So things are looking good for crabbing this year.
Before coming here, as you know from my previous post, we were working on our rental in Woodland. The kitchen cabinets looked bad so we cleaned them, primed them and painted them with white semi-gloss. I would have taken a picture in order to show you the marvelous transformation, but somehow we lost our camera, which I thought I had loaded into the car. There was a lot of stuff in there for the rental work, and also our inflatable boat and motor. So when my niece Kathy, and her daughter Camille, visited us at our RV for dinner one night, I could only take their picture with our cell phone camera.

On our way here we stopped at Costco in Roseburg and bought a new digital camera which was my birthday present. Then, yesterday, when we unloaded the boat and motor, there was the “lost” camera! Now I have to decide if I am going to keep the new camera. It has a lot better zoom on it – 12x which is really great for a small camera. But I don’t like the fact that it has a specialized battery. When we take our camera on foreign trips, it is much easier to get AA batteries (which our old camera uses) if we can’t get our batteries recharged.
For my birthday, which was last Sunday, I asked my daughter, Laura to meet me for lunch at a restaurant in Roseville. She lives in Sparks, NV so she had about a 2 hour drive and I drove up from Sacramento. I hadn’t seen her for almost 2 years because of all our travels and it was a wonderful reunion. Here is a picture of us at the restaurant,

and also a picture of Laura by herself.
After lunch and a nice walk in the park, Laura went with me back to our RV and she had a nice reunion with Elaine too.
Laura has recently divorced her husband, so her daughter Michaela (15) was spending the weekend with Scott, otherwise we would have been able to see her too.
The reason we were able to leave Woodland and head up here to Oregon a few days before our tenant turnover at the rental was because we were done with the cabinet painting and we convinced our new tenant to take over the other chores. She seems like a responsible person and since she would be the one having to live with any inadequacies left by the old tenant, she didn’t mind taking over. It will be interesting to see the place the next time we are there.
Lee and Susie Blattner have just arrived and managed to get the parking spot right next to us. We haven’t seen them for a while either, so this was another happy reunion. Isn’t this RV life great because of all the friends we can hook up with in various places??!!