Tuesday, October 16, 2012

On Monday, the 20th, it was finally time to leave the coast. We had a great time seeing Boomer friends, but, we had a job to get to and still had a couple of visits to make along the way.

Our next stop was at Jerry & Carol Miller's house in Grants Pass. We had enjoyed the cooler weather at the ocean, but, when we went inland it got hot again.
Our hosts, Carol & Jerry
We were able to park right alongside their house in back of their motorhome while we were there. They took us around their town to show us stuff, we even walked through a really neat antique store. There was so much stuff that I definitely would have bought, if we'd been going straight back to Yuma.

One of our days, we drove to Crater
Crater Lake Lodge
Lake, which was about an hour and a half from their house. We stopped along the way to see the Rogue
Inside the lobby looking towards the dining room
River several times, as well as some falls. Very scenic! When we got to Crater Lake, it was a beautiful day, if a bit cold and windy. We'd been up there before
Going out to overlook the lake
in 2003, after we'd worked a summer job in Madras, OR., and it was just as we'd remembered it. This time, we decided we'd have lunch in the lodge. I don't think I noticed
View from the hotel
the lodge last time we were up there, though.
Ron, me, Carol & Jerry 

Like our friends, Gretchen & Frank, Jerry & Carol LOVE to play
Falls on the Rogue River
cards, so that is what we did when we were not out sightseeing. We passed a pleasant week with them.
Looking down the Rogue River
They were busy getting ready to head south for the winter and we will see them later in the season, probably either Yuma or Quartzsite.

Our final visit was with my side of the family. My niece, Gina, and her kids live in Redding, CA. We would only be there for four days. Before we got the pumpkin job, we were planning on being there for a lot longer than that, but, I was still thankful we had some time with them anyway. We hadn't seen them since the last time we drove through there on our way to a summer job in Estacada, OR. That time, we only got to see them for part of a day and night. At least, this time, we got to stay longer and parked right in front of their house. A lot of the neighbors came by for tours through the bus.

We had lots of good times and we had a Twilight movie marathon of all four movies, as the new one comes out in mid November. Gina's boyfriend made several attempts going out hunting for deer in the nearby mountains, but, each time, he got skunked. Hopefully, by now, he has been successful.

Finally, it was time to head for our
Looking at our pumpkin lot from the parking lot
pumpkin lot in Walnut Creek, which is about 20 miles, maybe less, east of Oakland
A closer look
on the east side of the bay. We first worked for our boss, Kevin, in 2008 at a lot just a few blocks
As you walk into the lot
away from where we are right now. We did both pumpkins and trees. It was a
Our sales booth
very large lot and he'd had it 10 years or more,
Munchkins, our littlest pumpkins
so had a very loyal clientele. Unfortunately,
The decorative stuff
someone had bought the land and wanted to build condos on it. They finally accomplished that goal and he was out of a lot for about two
Some plain, some a little warty
years, before finally getting this one about three years ago. Fortunately, I think his
Cinderella pumpkins in the foreground
loyal customers are starting to come back again. He also has a tree lot at this location and asked us if we'd think
Blue hubbard squash
about staying for that. But, we politely declined, it's just too much. We're already here for a whole month, working 12 hour days/7 days a
White pumpkins
week. We'd rather be back in Yuma where it's a lot warmer than here in December!

We are on the grounds of the
Red Warty pumpkins
Shadelands Ranch Museum, on Ygnacio Valley Rd. Shadelands Ranch was established by Hiram Penniman, an early American settler of
Grey pumpkins
California in 1856 as one of the first and largest farms in California's Yganico Valley. Today it is managed by the Walnut Creek Historical Society and has been open
don't know the names of these, but, they look like they have barnacles on them
to the public since 1972 as an historical museum, the ranch house still furnished with much of the Pennimans' original
A closer look, very unusual
furniture. In the fall and spring, local third graders are invited to participate in the Living History Program 1906.
One Too Many, they look like bloodshot eyes
Classes spend the day at the museum and relive Walnut Creek History. Docents play characters who lived at the Shadeland's Fruit Ranch in 1906 and help students do chores, play games, tour the chocolate colored redwood house, visit the Japanese workers bunkhouse, see the water tower, examine the basement, collect herbs, and plant seeds in the slow food garden.

  Our pumpkin patch is to the side of the house and right along the busy street. The bus and car are parked by the parking lot, but, off the pavement, under a giant oak tree.It must be acorn shedding time, because all hours of the day or night, we are getting zinged by dropping acorns. There are also big black blobs on this particular tree, at first we thought they were walnuts, but,
Our scarecrows ready to be put up in the lot
Kevin said it was an oak tree, so we don't know what they are but, they make a horrendous noise when they drop on the rig and car. We haven't gotten dinged on the head yet, but, I figure it's just a matter of time....

Ron is marking off the days until we head south once more. The weather isn't too bad yet, mild days and cool nights. No rain in the foreseeable future, even though it's been very dry
Pumpkins ready to be heads for the scarecrows
here this summer. We have a petting zoo which consists of 2 baby pigs, 3 baby Nigerian Dwarf goats, 6 baby bunnies and 5 chicks. We also have pumpkin painting for the kids and free popcorn
Our goats, Levi & Iris
for everyone.

We're waiting for our gate to be fixed, because there's a big gap at the bottom so we have to have a cage & the trash
can in front of it so the pigs don't get out. Well, a few days after we got here, someone didn't put the cage back and next thing we know, one of the pigs is walking right out of the gate. I am sooo glad she didn't head for the front gate, as it opens out right onto the busy street. Instead she headed right around
They look so innocent when they are sleeping...notice the rabbits in the background
the enclosure, thinking, I guess, she could get right back in with the other one. Ha, ha, wish she could have, but, instead started making a beeline to the cornstalks which were laying in a pile
Beautiful peach/dusty rose color
next to the animal yard. Ron grabbed her back legs and she immediately started squealing and pooping all over his hands. I walked around and grabbed her by the middle and carried her back to the yard, her squealing at high pitch the whole way back. Whew!!!! I hope that doesn't happen anytime soon again, how about never!!!

We will have a young woman manning
Some more unusual decorative gourds
the petting zoo on busy weekends, though, just so that sort of thing doesn't happen again. I just hope the goats don't get out, although, we have their owner's phone number handy!

It is now the 16th of Oct, we've been here for two weeks, goodness, where does the time go? It has rained exactly once and at that, not very much, just enough to spot the pumpkins with dirt. It has gotten warmer again and after this summer, I am more than ready for cool fall weather. Hopefully, that will happen next week according to the weather forecast.

The last two weekends we sold lots of pumpkins and the animals were just as tired as we were at the end of the day. Now we are gearing up for the final two weekends of the month. We will be getting another load of pumpkins in on Thursday to meet everyone's needs for different sizes.

On weekdays, pre-school groups come visit us, picking pumpkins to paint and visiting the petting zoo. The baby bunnies are a big hit, as well as the goats and baby chicks. The pigs, not so much, normally they have so much dirt on them, no one wants to touch them, ha, ha! I usually tell the kids about how pumpkins grow, but, when you are talking to 2-3 year olds, that mainly goes over their heads, I have a little more participation from the 4-5 year olds, plus letting them look at a real pumpkin vine which is growing amidst our patch all by itself. I'm wondering where it's getting its water, as we don't water it, but, it's looking nice and healthy.

In my witchy woman garb

Each day, the animals make us laugh with the different things they do. When we feed them, we try and make it so the pigs won't eat the goat food, keeping them away from the dish is hard, even when we are holding it. Of course, they have their own food to eat, but, they like the goat food better. The pigs rule the yard, whenever they come near the goats, the goats scatter, usually standing on the bales of straw to get away. I'm sure that has something to do with the stink of them!! Baby pigs are okay, but, if we didn't have them in the yard, it wouldn't ever stink and there would be a minimum of flies!

Our pigs and goats LOVE popcorn!!! The other night, two kids were outside the pen eating popcorn. The pigs promptly ran over and jumped up on the fence because they could smell it. They started running around and squealing because they thought they should get fed this popcorn! We finally told the boys that they could feed a few kernels to the pigs.

One of the things the pigs love is if you scratch them on the side of their bellies. They will lie right down and go to sleep, they just love to have their bellies rubbed. This is true for all ages of pigs, I know, because I used to raise a pig and I would go into his pen and start scratching his side. Down he would go, he loved it.

When the kids are in the pen, we try and encourage the parents to go in with them, that way they can keep an eye on their own kids behavior, at least, that's the idea. Some parents, sorry to say, don't keep an eye on their kids whether
One of our gooseneck gourds painted by a customer
they are in or out of the pen and the kids just run rampant and it's up to us to discipline them, which I really don't feel is our responsibility, but, you can't have the kids running indiscriminately over the tops of the pumpkins and risk them kicking off the stems, or throwing the smaller pumpkins around or grabbing the wagons and running around the pumpkin lot.

I guess there must have been a few
The other side
incidents at our other lot in Saratoga this past weekend where the manager actually had to throw out a few people and that just shouldn't happen. But, sometimes, when it's for the good of the rest of the people that are in the patch minding their own business, you have to do it. The welfare of the animals is paramount and I will have no child tormenting any of our animals.

The weekdays are the longest for us, because just a handful of people come onto the lot. Ron usually tells me to go back to the rig, and do whatever, so these last couple of days, I've updated the blog to our present time. I'm sure he would also like me to cook some pumpkin pie while I'm at it. I did pick out a pumpkin to cut up and cook the pulp. The problem is that we have limited electric where we are, so that means I can't use the microwave, we just don't have the power for it. It would be so easy to cut up the pumpkin and pop it in the microwave for about 15 minutes or so to soften the pulp, then put it in the food processor. As it is, I will either bake it or cook it on the stove top.

I was looking back at our experience in 2008 and noticed that I really didn't post any pics of the specialty pumpkins, so this time, you get to see what kind we are selling. Almost everything on the lot is edible, it is some kind of pumpkin or squash. The only things that are not are the gooseneck gourds and some smaller decorative pumpkins and squash. The last time around, I baked several kinds of pumpkins into pies and they tasted pretty much all the same except the textures were different. This time I might make one of the white and one of the funny looking barnacle ones. But, it better cool down or I'm not baking anything!

I will be adding more pictures as the pigs have grown since we got here 2 1/2 weeks ago and so have the chicks and we now have a third goat, Hazel, who is a year old. I also have to get a picture of Ron in his Halloween outfit, as well as a couple of our scarecrows and horses....stay tuned...

Monday, October 15, 2012

This is a continuation of our travels down the Oregon coast. It's from about a month ago.

After leaving Seaside after just a few

Nice stonework roadbed on Hwy 101
days, we packed up and moved down to Pacific City. After setting up, we decided to drive around and see the
Great view of the coastline looking south
place. It was another sunny day and warm. There is really not much to see here beside the beach, no

Our Pacific City campsite with a view out to the ocean
shops to look in, some restaurants and that's about it. Lots of mansion like houses on the
A map of Pacific City
hillsides, so looks like a

ritzy area. We were driving down the road and I saw horseback riding with

running on the beach if you'd like and the hourly rate? $45!!!!! Holy cow! I remember when I paid $10 an hour, what happened??? When we were kids, we'd go to the stables, rent the horses and go out on our own on the trails. These
At the beach in Pacific City
days it seems we have to be monitored and go with a lot of people at once, not sure why, maybe too many lawsuits of people getting hurt? That's why they have waivers to sign, you are riding at your own risk...

We did do some driving on the beach, though. I am being surprised at every turn about Oregon and Washington.
Apparently, there are some places on their coast you can actually drive on the beach! So, we went out on the sand, drove around, got kinda close to the waves and took pictures with the Jeep and the waves.

While we were still in Pacific City, we got a phone call from some Boomer friends who used to be fulltimers, but, they have since bought a house in Florence to be near their daughter and granddaughters who live in Eugene.

On the beach
They are the friends we stayed with when I was recuperating from my broken ankles. Anyway, she was inquiring as to when we might be down there and we told her we were trying to change our reservations to come in earlier at South Jetty. So, we made arrangements to meet the morning of the 19th to go kayaking, yippee!! I was hoping we could get together with them and do this and I've been watching the weather down there and it looks like it's going to be perfect for doing just that!

Meanwhile, I was on the computer trying
to change our reservations around, but, not having much success at it. So, I finally had to call member services and got it all taken care of. We are leaving here tomorrow and spending three days in Newport, I know there will be more things to do around there, then, down to Florence. We plan on meeting up with the Bornkamps who are down at Winchester Bay catching crabs. I want to see how it's done and see the crabs in person. From what I've seen on FB, the crabs look huge!

We have decided that we probably won't come back here, as there is just not that much to do, unless you like sunbathing a lot. We only stayed the two days and then were on our way down to Newport. The campground is about 5 miles south of town and the internet is very iffy, we couldn't even get out, so didn't even bother.
Our campsite at Newport Thousand Trails
When we got to the campground, we walked down to the clubhouse to see what was going on and they were having tacos, so we decided to join in. We ended up doing some games as well, something we hadn't planned on participating. When it was all done, I was doing something and Ron

walked into the internet room and found Sam & Alice Penney on their computers. We had seen a truck out front with a Boomer sticker on the back window and it said "Penny" on their car pass and I figured it would probably be them. I hadn't seen them in awhile, so was looking for them in the clubhouse. I'm glad we finally found them, so talked with them a bit. They had already been there a week and were up there doing their laundry before pulling out the next morning, so we didn't really get to see them all that much.

On our way down here, as we were passing through Lincoln City, we passed a place where there were all these wind things, I'm not sure what they are called, but, they reminded me of the ones I saw in the movie, "Twister", where the grandmother had them on her front lawn. Of course, these weren't on such a grand scale, but, still, it was great seeing them all. I told Ron that even though it was half an hour back up the road, I wanted to go see them the next day. So, the next day, we drove back up there. It was part of an art gallery and of course, they were all for sale. Ron asked and the guy said they ranged in price from $300 to the very simple into the thousands of dollars. After looking and taking pictures of them, we went into the art gallery itself and saw some really cool and unique items. One of them was a kaleidoscope made of cut glass pieces in different colors, in a kind of oil. Once you stopped twisting the end, it still moved and changed, which was really cool. They weren't that expensive and I should have bought one, but, I didn't.....they had lots of other neat things in there, as well.

After leaving there, we stopped and
looked at all the interesting sites along the coast and could see the fog rolling in, the farther south we went. At one point, we saw some whales in the distance. Of course, we didn't actually see the whales, as they were too far off shore, but, we could see them exhaling as they came to the surface. About the time we came to Depoe Bay, the fog was coming in thick and fast. We ate at a restaurant there and again, had the crab sandwich, this time served on
The fog is rolling in....

sourdough bread instead of a croissant. It was good, but, not as good as the one we had in Seaside.

The next day, we decided to stay in camp. While Ron watched a movie, I took a walk along the beach, which was just a little ways from the campground, across the highway. The day was hazy, but, still okay. I have found that if you are looking for whales, watching them from the level of the beach is not a
Being a lighthouse keeper was a lonely existence
good place to see anything, unless you are watching dolphins swim in the surf. It wasn't until I got back to the path and was up a little ways that I saw some more whales in the distance. The problem was, the fog was starting to come in again, so they were right at the edge of it. But, I did
Beach across from campground

see a couple and they were being followed by tour boats, because I could see a reflection of something winking back at me, most likely a camera flash or something. I followed them for a little while before the fog swallowed them up. When we come back this way, I would like to stay at Newport longer than just a couple of days.

The next day, we left to head for Florence. We had a nice drive, but, some of the grades going up and down the mountains between Newport & Florence were almost a bit much for the old girl. We finally arrived safely to our campsite at the Thousand Trails about a mile outside of town.
Our campsite in Florence
We called our friends, Frank & Mary, and then went over to their house to see them and go for a short hike behind their house into the dunes. Their house backs up to a forest of trees and they even have a cute little creek running through it. They've built up the rocks so that they have a little waterfall flowing through and it sounds quite restful. Ron got introduced to Frank's flock of chickens and we both got to meet their new puppy. You know, I had all this commentary written out before I lost half of it and I used to know the name of the puppy, but, now the name escapes me. She is a boxer mix and very cute. She loves to chase balls and sometimes brings them back. She loved our walk, because she got to explore off leash on most of the trail. On our way home, we picked a bunch of blackberries, some blueberries and a raspberry, that Mary is going to make a cobbler out of tomorrow night. We made plans to meet the next morning for our kayak ride.

The weather dawned like it was going to rain, but, we braved the elements and

Heading out....
went anyway. We went to a nearby lake, planning to spend a couple of hours on the lake. It's been five years since we last kayaked, with them,
Remains of an old ship
as a matter of fact. Within just a short time of paddling, Ron was already realizing he was out of shape. I did okay, but, we both agreed that if we'd gone on the last trip we made with them from one of the lakes in the area to the sea, we would not have made it back....funny how five years can make such a difference at our ages. It doesn't seem possible that we were in better shape back then, compared to now and back then, we hadn't paddled in ages...
Sharon looking at the scenery

We had arrived right in the middle of her work schedule, so although Mary had her days free, she still had to work nights, but, that was better than if she'd had to work days.

Lots of stairs to climb from the boat dock
The final day that they were going to be in town, we went beachcombing to a beach we hadn't been

to before, just up the coast. We saw lots and lots of driftwood, but, little else of treasures.
Frank, Mary & their new puppy, Trudy
I envy them living on the coast, because when their big storms
Interesting patterns in the river running into the ocean
come in, they have the opportunity to go out and see what treasures have been brought in by the sea. All around their house, they have little baskets of small glass
Ron and I walking in the fog
floats from Japan, small glass medicine bottles from Japan or Russia, agates, shells, etc. We did bring home a piece

of driftwood which we each signed and
Driftwood log jam

hung on their netting on the side of the house.

On Friday, they left to go camping with their kids at Silver Falls State Park,

Visiting Gordon & Laura in Winchester Bay
which is east of Salem, so we were on our own once again. So, we contacted fellow Boomers, Laura and Gordon, who were in
Catching crabs
Winchester Bay catching crabs. We found it was only 20 miles south of us, but, first, we drove down to Coos Bay, because Ron had always heard
Look at all those crabs!
about it and wanted to see what it looked like. Well, we came, we saw and we were not too impressed, just a
I think this one may be a bit too little...
town, but, not a cute little beach town, because it was on a back bay. So, we just drove through,
turned around and headed back to Winchester Bay.

Had a great day learning all about how to catch crabs in a trap, clean
Look out for those claws!
them, cut them up and then, later cook them. We walked around the area, can't
even hardly call it a town, there's a gas station/mini mart, and a small grocery store/bakery/mail room/gift
Cleaning and cutting up
Someone cleaning their salmon
store.They also drove us around the bay area, they had two traps
Laura & Gordon Bornkamp, me & Ron
out in the bay which one of their friends was checking the nets and one off the
Salmon fisherman in the bay
dock. There's a lighthouse run by the Coast Guard and we saw
Checking crab traps
some oyster beds out in the bay. Lots of people in the channel out to the ocean, some were fishing for salmon and
Throwing back a female
others for crabs. We had a late lunch of fresh crab, YUM!!! Then, joined everyone for happy hour. Laura gave us some more crab to take home with us, and the very next night, we had them for dinner!!! I told Ron, I
Oyster beds in distance
Standing on docks looking up into "old" town of Florence
want to come back here and catch my own crab so we can have fresh crab
Looking out towards sand dunes
whenever we want.

Saturday, we stayed home and caught up on laundry and other things, but, Sunday, went off to "old town" Florence and walked around the shops. We found a farmers market and I bought some "sungold" cherry tomatoes, they have a nice sweet taste
Unique window decor
to them and also some squash. We took lots of pictures and even met a mother and her two daughters who had crab traps right off the dock in the bay. They were doing pretty good, considering most of their catch were females, which they had to throw back, but, still, they had a goodly amount of males.

Under the bridge

Another view