Sunday, May 27, 2012

Week 5 - Hard Work and Fine Dining

Week 5 was a real mixed bag; couple of days with light rain, one day when we got soaked and felt like drowned rats and a couple of days with temps in the low 60's and plenty of sunshine. About once a week Joan and I have occasion to travel into Estacada about 10 miles north on 224. Each time we return home we are amazed at the view. About 3 miles outside of town we top a hill that begins a 2-3 mile 7% grade down into the valley along the Clackamas River and our RV.

As we top the hill the entire valley comes into view; and it seems  each time the view changes. Some days at dusk the skies are dark shades of blue and mountains are dark shapes on the horizon. Other days the sun hasn't risen high enough to have cleared off the hundreds of wisps of clouds rising out of the trees as far as the eye can see. And on the clear days thousands of shades of green can be seen; changing daily as new leaves appear on the trees and the grasses grow in the fields and along the roadways.

Last Sunday we took a long drive across country to see if we could get a better view of the eclipse (northern Oregon got a partial view while southern Oregon got the full affect of the Ring of Fire). We traveled through Mt Angel, Silverton and took the long way around Silver Falls to Salem before heading back home.

Silver Falls is not just a waterfall; rather it is an area encompassing 10 different falls. There is an 8.7 mile trail for hikers that takes in all 10 falls; however it is considered a medium to strenuous hike and that wasn't really in our plans for this weekend. At North Falls the trail allows hikers to walk behind the waterfall for a unique perspective.

The scenery on the way home was fantastic. Pictures don't do it justice. Around every corner was an ever changing view; entire fields of yellow, dark red and/or white blossoms. We were really never sure what we would see next.

The skies were overcast and I think that allowed us a better view of the eclipse throughout the afternoon. We were able to look directly at the sun (through the clouds) and actually see the dark shadow of the moon covering about 2/3's of its surface at one point. On the way home we were feeling a little hungry and started looking for somewhere to eat. We passed through a small town and failed to see anything appealing. Realizing that this was the last place to find anything for another 30-45 miles we pulled into a gas station and ask a young woman filling up her minivan if there were any places we might try for supper. She named a pizza joint and Chinese restaurant we had already by-passed, but then caveat-ed her recommendations by stating "actually the bowling alley has really good food."

With that we were off in search of the bowling alley. The bowling alley had it all, including some really good milkshakes. Fine Dining? I don't think so. But it worked in a jam.

After we ate we kept our heads on straight and decided to head home before we were tempted to do something drastic. At my age I can't afford to lose any more brain cells.

The workweek started out with our attending a 2-day camphost orientation called Mini-Grizz. Then it was back to tree clearing and campsite preparations. One evening we ran into town for a quick bite to eat to a place called Old Mill Saloon. You have to watch out for these Oregonians, they are a tough breed. Check out the door hardware

All the hard work the last few weeks paid off and we opened all of the campgrounds along the Clackamas River on schedule in time for the holiday weekend. Now the adventure begins for the 30-odd CG's still unopened on the Mt Hood side. It appears we've got the OK to begin felling hazard trees in 9 more CGs, so I suspect Joan and I will be headed to the east side next week.

Happy Holiday everyone. Stayed tuned. More to come.


  1. Looks like you guys continue to work hard but have the payoff of gorgeous scenery. Too funny about the restaurant at the bowling alley.

  2. I am amazed at all that you do.

    So happy you made it to Silver Falls State Park. You still have so much exploring to do.

    If you get a chance to go to the coast, I highly recommend Cannon Beach. (Be sure to go to the Cannon Beach Bakery AND Waves of Grain Bakery [good cookies] and have lunch or dinner at Wayfarer Restaurant.)

    You may want to take two or three days and go to Seaside and Astoria (make a point to go to the top of the Astoria Column) as well. So much to see, so little time.


  3. The best food can often be found at the most unlikely places. Interesting door hardware.

  4. Because you work so hard all the time...

    Today I received the Napping Blogger Award and passed it on to you and your blog! See my blog at for more details.

    Bob and I enjoy keeping up with your travels. Are you enjoying workamping?

    Susan & Bob

  5. If you like the area, you might want to check out Bonneville Lock and Dam for another workamping opportunity. We were Natural Resource volunteers there in '09, did lots of outdoor work, trail maintenance, whatever the rangers needed help with. The people were great and we really enjoyed our time there. Your job looks like something we would like to do but sounds like too many hours!