About Us

Chris and Dennis are traveling around the country seeing the sights and occasionally volunteering at select locations. We avoid the interstate as much as we can and tend to stop for squirrels and shiny objects.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Spring Break in Sunset Bay


It has been a busy couple of weeks! First off, thanks so much for the helpful suggestions about our microwave oven. Unfortunately, it was beyond repairing so a replacement was procured from WSports and two days later we had a brand new unit. Yes, I did manage to get my Mac & Cheese and I'm back in my comfort zone of cooking with buttons.

20160327_080528 (2)Around the middle of last week our coordinator, Stephanie, let us know she would be taking off for a couple of weeks of vacation. No worries, we were all stocked up in firewood there were no changes to the operation of the park and if we had any problems we could address them with which ever ranger was on duty at the time. As she turned to go she said “Oh, and by the way, the next two weekends before Easter Sunday are spring break so you can expect a few more people than usual.” Gulp!

Every horror story imaginable went through our heads and we couldn't escape the imagery of hordes of college kids descending on the park with little or no inhibitions, an over abundance of alcohol and of course no supervision whatsoever. Fortunately, reality brought us the opposite. Families from all over the northwest rolled into our little park via everything from bicycles to full sized motorhomes and 5ers. Sure, we had the small groups of students looking to let off a bit of steam but the atmosphere was less bacchanalia and more extended recess.

For two weeks our park is full. Not just more people than hosts full, but the serious not a site, yurt, or tent space available type full. Every couple of hours or so we would make the rounds to sell firewood and chat up the campers. And the campers were out in numbers and busy. Ignoring the rain and hail our day use area's two volleyball courts were in use for as long as there was light out and when the tide was right you couldn't swing a surf board without hitting someone. It was funny though, despite the mass of humanity trying to cram in as much fun as possible, there remained a sense of friendly orderliness to the chaos.

Sure, you had to look both ways when crossing the little streets – mostly for fear of being struck by a kid on a bicycle or an errant frisbee but the only loud voices we heard were kid's laughter and an occasional call to dinner. As the evenings progressed campfires provided intimate conversation rings which seemingly constrained the voices to within the light of the fires. By 10 o'clock you would be hard pressed to guess there was a park much less there were hundreds of people camping here.

That's not to say we didn't have our moments though. Chris and I got to see what turned out to be the shortest impromptu surf skimming, boogie board tournament on record when the contestants misjudged the speed of the retreating waves and attempted to skim on what turned out to be merely damp sand. Did you know the odds are 3 to 1 that a boogie boarder will fall face first if the sand is even partially muddy? I think this is along the lines as the dropped buttered toast theory.

So we survived our first spring break as hosts. We sold bundles and bundles of firewood, restocked the information kiosk at least daily, ran the batteries down in the cart and most importantly,had a great time enjoying our camper's enjoyment.

Our replacements have arrived so this Easter weekend will find us on the road. We plan on continuing our side-tracked journey wandering north toward our next hosting gig at Lincoln Rock State Park in Wenatchee, WA.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Learning from Surprises

20160313_163337I was asked the other day why it had been so long between blog posts and I must admit I have been putting off posting for a while because well, let's face it there is only so much you can write about or, heaven forbid take pictures of, cleaning fire rings and picking up trash. And while the ocean is an ever changing vista of crashing waves and rolling seas, there are only so many seagull butts to see before it all becomes a blur (in the case of the seagull butts, that could be a good thing).
Today I'm posting because it has been an awesome week. First, I learned how to find and dig for gapers (clams) and have found that the fresh clam meat cooked over a smokey fire is pretty darn good. Not sure it makes up for standing ankle deep in mud braving the rain and hail but when you toss in a warming beverage upon returning it does get MUCH better.
Second, I learned coincidence is a funny thing. We were taking a break in our hosting duties when there was a knock on the door. The camper wanted to change his site since his reserved one required a boating permit to get into. While looking up his name on our guest sheet he was explaining that he was a retired Coastie and had his fill of puddles and such. I put two and two together (without having to take my shoes off to help count) and finally recognized his name as a fellow shipmate from 37 years ago. We had been together on the CGC Citrus for about six months back in 1979/80 right here in Coos Bay. We chatted off and on the entire weekend catching up – not just on ourselves but our fellow shipmates as well. Fare winds and following seas Wayne.
The third thing I learned was I could have really demonstrated what I posted about last time regarding community when once again on answering a knock on the door, I found myself face to face with a fellow blogger and RV'er – Gordon from Gordon's Grumblings. You see, we had been corresponding via blog comments for about a yearand had mentioned about meeting up. Time and weather usually threw a wrench into the works but just yesterday the stars aligned, the goat was sacrificed and I got to meet the beagle handler himself. We swapped notes on how to keep a drone out of trees and he filled me in on the latest models coming out. More importantly we were able to put faces and voices to the words we've read. See you down the road Gordon!
Lastly, the fourth thing I learned was that stuff breaks at usually the most inopportune times. Our microwave/convection oven, having survived numerous brown-outs, power outages, and of course the ever present rattle and roll of being in a motorhome, died an ignoble death. It happened to be right in the middle of me cooking up Mac and Cheese. Upon its demise there arose a great wailing and gnashing of teeth. There could have even been tears but the wife was able to convince me we could actually cook on the stove top. How strange, you really can cook without pressing buttons.
Life is full of surprises; good and bad. The bad just take a bit longer to turn around. Sometimes after a great wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Thursday, March 3, 2016




Two weeks ago we departed Lake Hills Texas with no real set destination in mind other than it needed to be west and perhaps north. 2400 miles later we've paused in our travels at Sunset Bay, the same park we were hosting at back in November. The reason for our return and yes, the “theme” of this blog entry is the same – the RV community.



This wonderful community we have become members in can best be described as like small town America was and while we don't have a main street per se, each campground, park, boondock turnout or any other place that can accomodate 2 or more RV's can quickly become like the old center-of-town bandstand where folks check in with people they know, meet new folks to the neighborhood and swap stories of the places they've been and the things they've seen. It surprises those not familiar with the community that despite the vast differences we have, one commonality will bring us together; some with bonds that are just as close as family.

DSC_0311This commanality is a love for the rigs we own and the places we've been. It is the freedom of being able to pick up and leave when we want to where we want. It is the routing of the trip and the anticipation of renewing friendships. It is the desire to explore and see with one's own eyes the things others have described and to describe those places others might yet discover.

It never ceases to amaze; the formation of such friendships founded on a simple “Where are you headed?” or “Where have you been?” usually followed by “What route?”. Of course these two questions can and very often do inspire a group discussion lasting several hours.

We all know it will end all too soon with each of us going our separate ways yet the difference in the goodbyes is that a promise to email is kept and we do keep the others in our thoughts.


Which leads me back to the beginning. We had been meandering westbound for some time when word had gone round there were Oregon state parks needing hosts. We learned about it from a couple we had met at Lake Hills who emailed us. Since we were in Sacremento California anyway (we stopped to enjoy the miles of orchard blossoms), we decided to head north and see if Sunset Bay was one of the parks in need and indeed it was. Stephanie was manning the booth when we pulled in and her grin on our arrival lit up the day.

We are home. Yes, it may be temporary but for this month we are with “old” friends, making new friends and yes, comparing notes on where we've been and where we're headed.