September 27, 2017

If Not Now, When?

"Oregon is an inspiration. Whether you come to it, or are born to it, you become entranced by the state's beauty, the opportunity she affords, and the independent spirit of her citizens."
Address to the 1973 State Legislator
The Road Warrior of Interstate 5
We made some grandiose plans for our trip to Oregon, catching up with some dear friends, taking a few "meditation" breaks along a few of those famous blue ribbon trout streams and by chance finding that perfect blue water Shangri-La.. Well holy shit...Oregon was in flames with no relief in the forecast. We felt for all the Oregonians as this abnormal diet of intense smoke was so unhealthy. Don't know how much of the state we will be able to explore, but connecting with our friends will not be detoured.
We began our time in Oregon with a stopover at Armitage Park in Eugene. Nestled on the shores of the McKenzie River, the park featured a very nice walking trail and a huge dog park for Sydney and Kiah to kick up their heels. The park was beautiful. We had a beautiful campsite to relax and do some grilling, but the air quality was bad at best. This park is centered in "Duck" country, so with some of their fan base residing here for the weekend, tailgate parties and Oregon Green was prevalent in almost every site. Good outcome as the Ducks creamed their opponent this game...everyone was festive and in a happy mood.

We next made a brief visit to our beloved friends Pat and Michael in McMinnville, Oregon. We spent a night of "moochdocking" in front of Pat's beautiful "green" home. And leave it to Pat to know which local eateries will offer the most scrumptious samplers to test my astute taste buds. Pura Vida Cocina and Babica Hen Cafe were perfect choices. Hard to grasp that it has been almost 10 years since we called this small town home during our exploratory trial of living full time in a motorhome...many of you may remember our beautiful Country Coach diesel pusher "Hannah". But time is but a river of passing events and for us the current is always sooner is a memorable moment is caught, than it is swept away and another has taken its place. Change nothing and nothing changes, so we listen to our inner voice and know when it is time to start something new, trusting the magic of new beginnings.
Curiosity forced us to check out a "dispensary" while in the state. As it is legal and no marijuana medical card is required, stores are everywhere. We stopped into a Chalice Farms store and were more than impressed with the quality of the store and the knowledgeable, forthcoming staff. Very first class with so many choices of medical grade cannabis. 
A decade ago we were part of the camphosting team here at Champoeg State Heritage Park And then one year later we were invited back for a return hosting gig. So seeing the entrance sign to this wonderful Oregon State Park was a welcoming sight as it brought back so many fond memories. Situated on the south bank of the scenic Willamette River, Champoeg is the site where Oregon's first provisional government was formed by a historical vote in 1843. 
This latest visit has brought us back to see dear friends, John and Christina, who are currently hosting here in "B" Loop. Champoeg is extremely fortunate to have recruited this superstar pair to their hosting team, as they are wonderful stewards to our natural wonderlands. 
Imkelina, Sydney and Kiah explored every part of the park during our brief stay. Champoeg is very pet friendly, featuring two dog training fields for pet owners to unleash their active and athletic companions. We did stroll down memory lane by walking down the River Trail to the historic Butteville Store. This lush and paved trail above the Willamette river is favored by campers and locals alike, as it offers miles and miles of scenic views.
We were told in advance that all sites at Champoeg are booked throughout the month of September. And it was the truth, for by late afternoon each day, all sites were occupied. But even with all this activity, the park did not compete with the craziness offered by our local Hearst San Simeon Campground during the summer. Call these Oregonian campers tame and docile...but we see their respect to fellow campers quite refreshing. We bid farewell once again to Champoeg and head west, hopefully to the smoke free Clatsop State Forest.

At Waypoint 45.2483ºN, -122.8942ºW