December 23, 2007

Farewell...Champoeg

The month of December opened up with one of Oregon's worst storms in the last twelve years. After being battered by a category 2 hurricane with winds up to 129 mph, major flooding, hundreds of trees toppled, road closures and week long power outages, it is no wonder that the majority of the northern Oregon Coast was declared a State of Emergency. Our friends Dick & Melinda had a ringside seat during this spectacular weather show, watching in awe as nature flexed its magnificent muscles of raw power. Although trees fell all around their rig, they sustained no damage and departed safely…carrying with them an unforgettable experience.
We managed to fare much better…almost boring compared to the coast. Hannah did stand up to 60 mph gusts and 2 days of continuous rain. And the Willamette River had at least 10 more feet of bank before cresting. We did stay warm, dry and very snug…but this definitely was a vivid reminder of what a winter in this Valley can offer.




Our rookie year Park Hosting at Champoeg State Heritage Park is now a memory. No longer will we occupy “B1”, greet the faithful Champoegnites and provide our daily TLC“ to its cabins. Oh …how we fell in love with this beautiful park and the serenity it offered. How can we forget the dazzling fall colors that the forest canopies provided , those peaceful, mindless walks on the river trail and the daily serenade from all the joyous song birds? We had a wonderful experience here and will always be stewards of this park. We hope to be invited back some day in the future.
We will also miss the camaraderie and friendship of a special band of happy souls...the camp hosts…who year after year dedicate their lives to volunteer in parks nationwide. We hope our membership in this unique “club” will do it honor. So here is a sincere thank you to our mentors and friends…John & Joan, Jim & Virginia, Dick & Melinda, Kent, Nancy, Patrick & Cheryl, Mel & Bonnie and John & Nancy. Until we meet again, may the roads you travel be safe, your adventures bring joy and those “potlucks” fill you up.

November 22, 2007

Faith, Hope and Charity


We currently know and often meet individuals who see hope, faith and charity as elusive beliefs or forces…abruptly created by despair, sadness and turmoil. Is the desire for hope, the power of faith or the offering of charity exclusively available to only those individuals that are surrounded by joy, happiness and abundance? Does one reach out to “a higher power” only when one experiences fear, doubt, trials or tribulations? We choose to believe that hope for our world…a world without war, hate, hunger, homelessness and pollution should begin from within, demonstrated in our own life, breathed every moment and then shared with our brothers and sisters. We choose to believe that faith must only be a validation of what already is, what will be and what we deserve. We choose to believe that charity is but a word…for with the giving of one’s self, one’s love and one’s commitment without judgment or ego…our beliefs, our actions and our words…can and will naturally provide abundance to all.


Although November was a "typical" month for us here in Champoeg State Heritage Park...teaching, park hosting and “field testing” rain gear, we did decide to go on a short getaway to provide us a respite from these daily routines. The eastern Cascade Mountain Range and the high desert plateaus of central Oregon have always drawn us to explore…so east we journeyed…for the power, beauty and peace the mountains and rivers bring us.


As we made passage through the Santiam Pass atop ice covered roads, we had our first glimpse of Oregon’s winter wonderland. We marveled at the brilliant displays of frozen “ice trees” and the vistas of snow covered peaks. As we drove down to the gateway to the Cascades, Sisters, Oregon, we came to realize, that although completely prepared with cold weather gear, these winter conditions reminded us that we were in very unfamiliar territory. People drove through town with studded tires. Temperatures during the day were well below freezing and a bone chilling 11 degrees at night. Although outside conditions were somewhat extreme for us (wanna-be Oregonians), weather did not prevent us from having a very relaxing and enjoyable weekend. The Three Sisters, South, Middle and North peaks (also nicknamed the title of this post), give Sisters its name and identity. Rising out of its literal back yard are mountain peaks towering to more than 10,000 feet, creating an incredible skyline over this small western town.

During this trip, we not only managed to explore Sisters and many of it’s unique shopping boutiques, but also Camp Sherman on the Metolius River, Downtown Bend, the beautiful High Desert Museum, the Tumalo State Park on the Deschutes River and Black Butte Ranch. We also were able to have dinner at historic Bronco Billy's Ranch Grill and Saloon. The building built in 1912, was a hotel, drug store, an antique store and now a restaurant, is one of the most photographed in Central Oregon…food was good too!


As we close out November in the fields of Champoeg, we begin our last month of park hosting in Oregon. We also bid a goodbye to our fellow hosts and friends, Dick & Melinda. We wish them safe travels, new adventures and more opportunities to pass on their “lifestuff” to those that have the good fortune to cross their path. Their wisdom and talent is featured at stonyhill.com

November 3, 2007

Trick or Treat


October…the month of spectacular fall colors...and of course.... trick or treats. The month began with a wonderful visit from Eric & Brenda. And then we were provided with a special trick... early one afternoon, our friend Mateo from San Simeon State Park surprisingly showed up at Champoeg. We knew he was traveling the Pacific Northwest visiting friends and had hoped he would have some time to connect with us. Seeing his camper parked behind our coach brought more joy to our day. It was a very special visit and we thoroughly enjoyed his company, the sharing of his Guatamala adventure and photos he took and then of course... a conversation about our beloved Central Coast which was our "dessert" to close the evening.

We bid farewell to October with a very timely and nourishing visit from the Nicolais of Cloverdale. Along with their visit, they also brought some very special treats... the bright, sunny and warm weather of Sonoma County, a "few" choice pounds of delicious tri-tips for the grill and some tasty samples of locally grown "grape juice". Just what the doctor ordered...mom and dad!


With an offering of fantastic weather we all escaped to the outdoors to share and explore some of our local landscapes and sights. With the folks being drawn to nurseries and gardens...and then some more nurseries and gardens, how could we have ignored the hilltop views of Red Ridge Farms Nursery or beautiful landscaped grounds at the Oregon Gardens? Well we didn't.
The hilltop vistas from Red Ridge Farms in Dundee definitely showcase the beautiful fall colors of this part of the state. Set in a very tranquil and peaceful setting, you could browse through the boutique, share a picnic basket and a bottle of local wine or just relax and be.

The Oregon Gardens welcomed us with 20 specialty gardens and features. We strolled through waterfalls, quiet ponds, fountains, a unique display of conifers, a 400-year old Signature Oak, a garden just for children, beautiful vistas and some pretty cool art.

Although it is a hidden gem in the dense coastal forests of southwest Oregon, we are in close proximity to the largest state park in Oregon, Silver Falls State Natural Area. The park gives one many reasons to stop...but since the Nicolais never miss any opportunity for adventure... what a perfect way to stretch our legs, walk behind, through and around breathtaking South Falls...all the while savoring the crisp clean air, autumn colors and taking a "few" choice photos of the park.

The beautiful Evergreen Air Museum proved to be quite unique and showcased an excellent collection of military and civilian aircraft...with the centerpiece being Howard Hughes' magnificent Spruce Goose. You could easily spend an entire afternoon marveling at all the exhibits and historical data.

But just as November sunrises begin, they also set...and we sadly had to bid a farewell to mom and dad...but they take with them a vivid memory of the beauty of the Willamette Valley. What a comfort it was to see them both.

October 3, 2007

Hellooo...Champoeg


After a seemingly long stay… one month and eight days, at Olde Stone Village in McMinnville… our home on wheels has changed locale. We have arrived at Champoeg State Heritage Park...and what a wonderful breath of fresh air! The tree lined roads and brilliant fall colors are akin to beacons of the season welcoming all visitors to "our" park. Every hue and then some, of green, yellow & red radiate as sunlight filters through the branches. Quite a beautiful sight!
And with a bike trail and walking path along the Willamette River, coupled with abundant wildlife throughout the park…a nourishing environment now embraces the BlaNics.


The transition to our new park began on a wonderful note…a long overdue visit with Eric and Brenda. Just back from an Alaska cruise, they took a few extra days to drive down from Seattle for a two day visit. We managed to share stories, catch up, check in on families, reminisce…and thoroughly enjoy each other’s company. We look forward to our return to Hawaii to spend more needed time with “brodah” & sister.


Over the years we have come to realize that sharing our passion for the outdoors has been truly enjoyable and rewarding. Volunteering as state Park Hosts fulfills those desires of offering our joy, experience and wisdom to new, as well as seasoned campers. One of our many goals as hosts is to highlight an array of reasons to the next generation of youth for why they should continue on the same path of their elders toward preserving, providing and perpetuating our parks, natural resources and outdoor recreation for their future families.
As Park Hosts in Champoeg, we will be the eyes, ears and voice of A Loop Campground. Greet, answer questions, sell firewood & ice, some light grounds maintenance and yurt cleaning will be our primary responsibilities…definitely more fun times then work time…but what a beautiful place to punch a timeclock.
We plan on moving to B Loop Campground November 1st and will host until there until December 31st. The only change to our routine will be the replacement of cabin cleaning instead of yurts. This loop offers wide open vistas versus the lush canopy of ash and oak we now have...but also quite beautiful views.

August 22, 2007

Re-Discovering Country Coach

As happened in the past, a trip to Country Coach headquarters in Junction City, Oregon, the home of the "Worlds Finest Motorcoach", again reinforced our decision to exclusively seek and own a CC motor home. Completing another tour of the factory (our initial tour was six years ago), it was again validated to us that Country Coach offers the finest and safest chassis in the industry today, provides only state of the art design and construction (hand built one at a time), demands the highest quality of craftsmanship while using only the best hardwoods, counter tops and flooring and reasearches and utilizes only the finest materials and premier appliances...but above all else...and without any hesitation toward cost...ensures that they are second to none in providing unequaled customer service to all of their owners.
Our visit included only some minor servicing (after hearing other owners discuss their problems...ours was indeed minor) and warranty work. But even a legendary Country Coach motor home can have the consequences of being built one coach at a time by human hands. We immediately realized our coach was the oldest and the least monetary investment of the owners lined up on the lot. Next to us was a 2002, 1.3 million dollar, Prevost Bus Conversion that had water leak issues and had ruined the red silk wallpaper, then there was a 2007, 800k, Affinity with an electrical meltdown (not good for an all electric coach) or on the other side of us, a new 470k Allure (same as our Hannah) with slide out failure. Although each one of these owners was unhappy that their coach required servicing...each one of the owners agreed... "Country Coach takes care of us and will make it right".
We visited the number one Country Coach dealership in the U.S. for a free lunch and to look (drool) at the 36' 2008 Inspires and 37' Allures...flat out gorgeous! Upon our return to the manufacturer, we shared our interest toward a new purchase with the technicians assigned to our coach. Service writer and technicians responded the same...WHY? But WHY? WHY would you? They proceeded to provide us the facts about our mature, but wonderful coach;
"The 2002 line of Country Coach was one of the best years of coach production (2000-2002) for the company. For 3 straight years that traditional style, the floor plans and the best proven components were used...and the company only produced 400 total coaches each year....and that is combined....all models. Since 2003, the body styles, components, electronics (which our now out of this world) and slide out operation has changed each year...resulting in limited "seasoning" of each new model to totally get all the kinks out. Plus, you now have Country Coach producing almost 900 coaches per year (still the lowest of the large high line production companies...i.e Monaco produces 9,000), so production schedules, personnel and quality control are now being strained to meet this high demand. Look at it this way, your coach was "slow roasted" using a tried and true family recipe, until completed to perfection".
Did that dialogue make us beam even more about our Allure. And with that perfect report card, we gave our coach a hug, saddled up to mosey up to McMinnville for some green pasture, blue skies, a soothing spray wash, followed by a deserving hand massage of wax.

August 12, 2007

The Middle Fork of the Willamette River

Our final vacation stop finds us parked with another spectacular view, a duplicate to the view we had days prior to our crossing into Oregon...a beautiful river, rushing whitewater. greetings from Ospreys overhead and Hannah parked only yards from the rocky shores.

Casey's Riverside RV Park in Westfir is located right on the banks of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River. The largest membership rv club in the nation, Good Sam, rates this park in their top 10. Although not the same size river in volume or width that flows through the Willamette Valley, this upper section of the Willamette mirrors the look of most renowned blue ribbon trout streams in the West, fast, deep and blue.

The historical Office Covered Bridge in Wesfir is the longest covered bridge in the state, as well as our starting point for a beautiful country drive...

A drive on Highway 19, the Aufderheide Scenic Byway, proved to us that it's reputation as one of the prettiest roads in Oregon, is not just a tourist marketing ad by the state and if anything, very underrated. This road is one of the nations first Fifty National Scenic Byways. The spectacular scenery goes on for 58 miles, an up close and personal view of rivers and lush ancient forests...and the fact is... we actually whispered..."lets keep this a secret"...now we are already sounding Oregonian. The road meanders along the North Fork of the Willamette River on the West side and the Roaring River on the East side...and we won't discount the 30 or so creeks we crossed. And even though it is such a beautiful, peaceful and renowned byway, it is truly remote...no gas stations, no homes, no stores, no cellular, no people...we only saw a handful of cars (4) in a 31 mile stretch...all during summer vacation time!


The Mckenzie River...WOW! This river is beautiful, perfect in every way and crystal clear...no joke...the river is so clear, every single rock on the river bottom could be seen...magnificent.

Zigzagging its way from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) boasts the greatest elevation changes of any of America's National Scenic Trails, allowing it to pass through six out of seven of North America's ecozones including high and low desert, old-growth forest and artic-alpine country. Indeed, the PCT is a trail of diversity and extremes. From scorching desert valleys in Southern California to rain forests in the Pacific Northwest, the PCT offers hikers a unique, varied and challenging experience. The Oregon section of the PCT is not only the shortest, 441 miles, but the easiest to hike. Strong long-distance hikers will cover 30 miles or more per day!

Well, a portion of this legendary trail is located here in the Willamette National Forest, so we decided to add some extra adventure and discovery to our day by going on a short 3 mile (6 miles round trip) day hike to three pristine mountain lakes known as the Rosary Lakes via the PCT.
This was an easy wilderness trail to navigate, well groomed and shaded by a thick canopy of trees. With a steady climb through a
formidable stand of old-growth Douglas fir, the trail gained 600 feet in the last 2.2 miles to a ridge overlooking heart-shaped Lower Rosary Lake. Pulpit Rock towers above, reflecting in the lake’s clear water. Arrived just in time for lunch.

Nestled in an old growth forest is Waldo Lake. This lake is Oregon's second-largest natural body of water and dwells in a basis scooped out by ancient glaciers. The lake is famed as one of the purest lakes left in the world...pure and clean enough to qualify as distilled water. The astonishing visibility enables one to see down 100 feet to the bottom.

Salt Creek Falls is a gem of complete magnificence. Regarded as the second highest falls in Oregon, a perfectly placed observation platform offered us a prime view of its spectacular drop to the bottom of the canyon.


The early morning on the river is calm and quiet, with nothing but the sounds of nature and the ratcheting of my reel breaking the serene silence. The air is thin and crisp, with the faint smell of fir and river moss. The beautiful mountain canyon embraces me with its canopy of trees. It’s cold, yet the skies are so blue, the sun so bright. My fingers are already numb. The river is clear and pure, the water so frigid. The pools are deep blue and mysterious. Although the river moves fast, the clarity gives off an illusion of it having a lazy, peaceful pace. You see the trout, facing upstream, so wary, so confident, and so beautiful. It’s time! A hatch of mayflies is on, and I am ready to match the hatch. Casting upstream over rifts and pools, I wait for the first strike. I imagine, I dream, and then believe that this is all that is required to experience a moment of life, that this is truly Being.

But on the other hand...depending on the day, place and weather.... this is truly Being...

We now must bid so long to the Willamette National Forest, a natural wonderland, with so many wonders to see, visit and experience...a return stay will surely be necessary. So on this, just our 2nd rainy day in Oregon, we are off to Junction City for Hannah's "day spa" appointment at Country Coach. From there we return to our long term stay at Olde Stone Village in McMinnville for the start of the school year and "normal" everyday living.....

August 3, 2007

The County of Yamhill

We have ARRIVED! After a year of planning, completing some major downsizing and then the aggressive lifestyle change...yet another dream has become a reality with our arrival to McMinnville, Oregon. We will be here at Olde Stone Village RV Park, which is very close to the downtown area, for only a week to initiate some relocation business toward becoming official Oregonians. From here we have plans to continue our exploration of the Willamette Valley, before returning to McMinnville and settle in for the start of the school year.
Our entrance into town would not be complete without a visit to the historic downtown district...and a toast to our moment, with a McMenamins Hammerhead Ale in hand, on the legendary rooftop bar of the Oregon Hotel. Here one has a 360 degree view of historic downtown McMinnville, the surrounding vineyards and the lush tree covered hills.
Every morning McMinnville has greeted us with few threatening clouds, but as we awakened, so did the day. Sunshine matched our joy and enthusiasm to explore and then warmed our soul for a day of exploring our new surroundings. A country ride brought us to the doorstep of a beautiful 50-acre working estate named Youngberg Hill Vineyards and Inn...and our first "tasting" in this wine region, a 2003 Pinot Noir...in the land where this varietal is Queen. Each summer, wineries from every corner of the world gather in McMinnville for the International Pinot Noir Celebration. Our very "tasty" fruit juice was an excellent sample....
The Yamhill Valley is home to small town hospitality, picture perfect farms, wild berries lining country roads, friendly front yard fruit stands, tail waggin' dogs and more than a third of Oregon's vineyards ...so much rural charm...the land beckons you to stay, as it dares you to relax while offering you more and more nourishment... and then teases you with illusions of this being home...so much more to explore, see and taste.

We have many things and places here to keep us occupied...for a week or for months. With a location in between Portland & Salem, imagine the possibilities...just outings to Portland alone could fill every "rainy" weekend for the rest of our year! Eateries, museums, bookstores, downtown boutiques and those awesome parks...

August 1, 2007

Mallard Creek

On the last day of July we once again ventured away from the Pacific Ocean (our home shore for the past decade) and headed inland to fertile valleys, healthy forests, dozens of rivers and a multitude of lakes..all will be our new playgrounds. We drove east on meandering highways through Corvalis and towns with names like Lebanon, Waterloo and Sweet Home... Here tucked amid rolling hils and scattered pine forests, bordered by a beautiful river and dotted with small ponds being fed by small mountain streams sits the Mallard Creek Golf Course and RV Resort...a par 72, 18 hole championship golf course. Now it just added a Country Coach Allure, a beautiful Dutch Babe with fantasies of golfings greatest and a patient dream maker...we have arrived at Camelot.

One of the beautiful lakes perched in the foothills nearby is Foster Resorvoir. Featuring a key hatchery for the Santiam River, we were able to see huge Rainbow & Cutthroat Trout, Steelhead, Salmon and White Sturgeon...hence we have chalked up this river for a return fly fishing visit.
Since the golf course offers a full service pro shop and driving range, we were able to fine tune lost skills (or no skills) from a previous lifetime. Although we pre-warned fellow golfers on the range that they were in the "splash zone"...the tragectory of our balls were most often above our knees, sailing relatively straight and surprising long...very surprising. Will this be another hobby for the BlaNics to partake in? We plan to do some research and check out the investment.

Since crossing into the Oregon on July 18th, we have used the word "WOW" a minimum of once per day. All of our destinations have been wonderful...a smorgasbord of sights, color and flavor. And this resort was no exception. The area, nourished by the Santiam River, gets a few WOWs.

We now look forward to visiting our new "headquarters" for the coming school year...McMinnville and Olde Stone Village RV Resort.

July 29, 2007

Yaquina Bay


"Travel Day"...is far more than starting the ignition and driving off to the next destination. To be road ready, Hannah is dusted and wiped free of any dirt...a clean coach equals a happy driver...all coach fluids and tire pressure are checked, holding tanks are emptied and hoses cleaned and packed, cable and electric service disconnected. Next the interior. Imagine putting your home on 6 tires, driving roads with stop and go traffic, winding curves and up to speeds of 65 mph. What would you have to do to prevent precious cargo from breaking? No different here. All items are removed from counters and packed snugly in our cabinets. Plants are placed in a box to prevent toppling over. All "air space" in our refrigerator is organized with food, cans, storage containers, etc. to prevent toppling over. All drawers, cabinets and pocket doors are locked shut. Slide outs are retracted and turned off. Now then, just maybe...yes maybe...we have not overlooked anything and our coach is ready to move out.

Outdoor Resorts Pacific Shores in Newport, Oregon…self acclaimed as “The coast’s finest exclusive Motorcoach Resort” does offer stunning ocean views, pool , spa and sauna, manicured pads and very “orderly and quiet” surroundings…but falls a little short of being the best of the rest (minimum $50.00 per night and still a fee for wireless). Our perspective on this trip is that this resort is “black & white”…not the “tapestry” of colors we so much enjoy to experience while on the road. Part of the joy of being in a motorhome, is the opportunity to not only experience scenic wonders, but also to meet a rainbow of unique fellow travelers. Here we found little contact with our neighbors (we tried), who seemed to prefer to hold court in their high line coaches or sitting alone in monogrammed lawn chairs…this felt like a pre-planned community without much personality...during this visit.

But we do have some very nice takeaways from Newport. The wide, white sand strands are gorgeous and uncrowded…you are truly a lone “castaway” as you walk the shoreline. Standing alone and bold on the point of Yaquina Bay is the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse in Oregon.

A tour around the Otter Crest Loop brought us to Cape Foulweather, a 500-foot high point named by Captain James Cook in a blustery March day in 1778. Backward leaning shore pines give witness to the 100 mph winds that still materialize along this shoreline. We could easily entertain ourselves for a week, but we now must head our nose east over the coastal range toward the Willamette Valley…next stop the…the RV Resort at Mallard Creek Golf Course in Lebanon.

July 24, 2007

Winchester Bay

On Tuesday, we thoroughly enjoyed our drive on a country road as it followed the Umpqua River west to the sea. No steep climbs or descents, only a handful of menacing logging trucks and tight curves...but mostly just pure, scenic beauty. Here in the Lower Umpqua Region, on its last rush to the sea, the river widens and moves lazily, slipping quietly by densely forested hillsides, rich bottomlands, through tide flats, salt marshes and vast sand dunes...then into the Pacific at Winchester Bay.

This spectacular bay, surrounded by pine forests, welcomed us with clear skies and beautiful sunshine. Temperatures here were almost 20 degrees cooler than Canyonville...aided by the strong sea winds. The Winchester Bay RV Resort is located on the upper end of the harbor in the photo below.
Known as the "crab capital" of Oregon, Winchester Bay provides prime breeding waters for delicious Dungeness crab, which can be caught right off the rocks. After parking Hannah, we rode our bikes to Salmon Harbor to purchase a 2lb fresh crab for our evening dinner (its sweet meat was delicious). The harbor, which is adjacent to our resort, is also one of the largest recreational facilities on the Oregon Coast, offering fishing trips, water tours and mooring slips.

Our surroundings are beautiful!! The photo above is taken right in front of our coach... a glimpse of Salmon Harbor, while behind us the Pacific greets the Umpqua river. In the hills above the bay sits the Umpqua lighthouse and just a short distance, north or south, are dunes, lakes, trails and ....

The Dean Creek Elk Viewing area is the year round residence for a herd of about 100 majestic Roosevelt Elk...Oregon's largest land animal. Believing that all living things had a spirit, the Indians of the coast range had a great respect for the elk. This bond between elk and humans has existed for thousands of years. This mosaic of mountains, meadows, marshes and creeks is also the home to Black Tail deer, beaver and Canadian geese.

The Umpqua Discovery Center is a unique interpretive center that offers it's visitors an opportunity to "Hike the Pathways to Discovery"...an indoor trail that features beautiful hand painted murals illustrating the different habitats, animals and plants of the Lower Umpqua Region. Next, you can visit "Tidewater Country" and glimpse how the Native Americans and early settlers impacted the cultural history and shaped this area.


The largest expanse of pure sand in North America extends over 40 miles of shoreline in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. A four mile hike on the John Dellenback Trail, led us to these wonderful rolling hills of sand.


The grains of sand in the Oregon Dunes have traveled 55 million years to get here, starting with the building of the Coast and Cascade Mountain Ranges. Following the mountain's formation - glaciers, rivers, wind and rainfall began to grind these peaks down to tiny grains of rock and carry them to the ocean. There currents push the sands back onshore, where the wind sculpts them into dunes.
As we walked up and down 147' high dunes, we looked back at our isolated tracks...in minutes...blowing sand fills footprints, in hours...flat afternoon sand gives way to intricate evening patterns, in days...huge dunes move many feet in one storm and in months...summer soft, rolling dunes become winter's hard angular scuptures.



Perched on a scenic bluff high above the Pacific Ocean is Shore Acres State Park. It all began as a luxurious private estate for pioneer lumberman & shipbuilder Louis J. Simpson. His summer home featured a three-story mansion and five acres of formal gardens. Fire destroyed the mansion and the depression caused the grounds to fall into disrepair. Purchased by the state of Oregon in 1942, the formal gardens were beautifully restored and now features year round displays of floral and scenic beauty.

Mail Delivery!! When you are on the road fulltime you need to have your mail forwarded to you via General Delivery to the local US Post Office. In Winchester Bay, the post office is located in the General Store and our mail arrived just as arranged.
After picking up the mail we went to visit the Umpqua Lighthouse, one of nine historic lighthouses that light the way down the Oregon Coast. Perched on a hillside high above the mouth of the river in Winchester Bay, the Umpqua River Lighthouse signals it's location to mariners as far as 21 miles out to sea.

The rhythm of a harbor...the sounds lull you into a quietness…a fog horn in the distance, sound of outboard motors, as fishing boats make their daily pilgrimage to and from the ocean, the splash of a crab pot landing in the water, clanging of ship's line against the mast, gulls squaking, ospreys calling.

This "neighborhood" is quite unique for it's soothing personality overcomes you. No matter where people come from , what they do for a living or what they thought they would do when they got here...the coastal life tranquilizes one into timeless pace. Our days and nights just melt into each other, with no defined boundaries other than a sunrise or a sunset...