Because We Can - Fulltime RV'ing

Journal Archive 9/01 - 9/10 2006

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Sept 1

Another morning of people watching. I want to work on the web page. I do work on the web page, a little. I do watch people out the window. I do watch a lot. Sounds like the RV'ers version of the old Dick and Jane learning to read books, lol. But what the hey, isn't that what makes the world so great, everybody is different. For some reason the sites that are in my line of sight from my window seem to be the least utilized of all the sites in the park. I can see both the main road and then beyond to the entrance of the Marina RV Park, which is directly across the street. I couldn't ask for a better window on the world. Of course in a couple of days when we move up to the Lighthouse it will be exactly the opposite. We don't know which spot we will be getting, but whichever one it is, the view will be the diametric opposite of the one I have now. Now it is lots of traffic and no ocean. Then, it will be lots of ocean and no traffic. Having seemingly fiddled away the first few hours of the morning, I was eagerly anticipating the bursting on the scene of she who makes my life a joy. Of course I might also have been anticipating breakfast. Those containers of blackberries were getting old just setting in the refrigerator. Suddenly, there she was and the first words out of her mouth weren't a mumbled good morning, they were, "Guess what's for breakfast this morning?" Seems like I wasn't the only person with blackberries on my mind. Cabinets clattered open, pots rattled, the stove igniter snapped and soon the smell of oatmeal was in the air. This was just what I needed to put me into the right frame of mind to write. Before long the words, "It's ready," broke through the stream of words I was generating. Walking over to the counter I looked in the pot and saw a shockingly small amount of oatmeal. I looked at her bowl for the first time. A mountain climber would feel proud if he could reach the top of the monstrosity that towered above that bowl. Obviously weigh gain was not her concern this morning, lol. I spent far longer than usual scraping every last little bit of oatmeal from the pot. It looked like there wasn't going to be much for breakfast. Picking a small bowl that held a few blackberries, I innocently asked, "Did you wash them?" The answer was brief and to the point, "No." This woman was obviously far more concerned about eating that miniature Mount Kilimanjaro she was holding than my needs at the moment. The berries were dead ripe and any excessive handling would crush them. I did what anybody would do when faced with a situation like this. I used my fingers to put as many berries as I thought prudent on top of that measly little lump of oatmeal and started eating. As you can guess, no bugs crawled out of those unwashed berries and I didn't keel over from a strange disease as the first bite exploded in a marvelous mixture of flavor and texture in my mouth. What a way to start the day.

This is the breakfast of champions

I ended up spending more time on the website than anything else during the day. Every time I get behind, I vow to never do it again. That always proves to be the case until I do it again the next time. Oh well, I ain't perfect, lol. One thing we did want to do, was visit the local farmers market. We had noticed a sign on one of the shops we had visited the other day. The market was held on Friday and Saturday, and since today was Friday, Linda was chomping at the bit to drive over to Reedsport and get some produce. We had a little trouble finding the place. It was more my fault than anything else. You know, one of those guy things about not needing a map, smile. I did find the street with no problem, it was just that we were on the wrong end of it. When we finally got to the correct address I drove right by it. Somehow or other two tiny stands do not constitute a farmers market in our way of thinking, but then who am I to judge life in this town. Maybe there used to be only one stand. While the variety and quantity of produce was limited to what was currently in season, the quality looked to be outstanding. A fact, the incredibly delicious cucumber we had for dinner proved.

But the quality is fanastic

Proving that there is more to life than just shopping for food, Linda got out the blackberries and yogurt for a little snack when we returned to the coach. Now normally something like this is prepared by filling the dish with yogurt and putting a few blackberries on top. That is not the way Linda concocts something like this. Take the dish, fill half way with blackberries, add yogurt to cover and top with more blackberries. That's is how she does it. I don't even bother to add any Stevia for sweetness, though Linda does. No wonder she's so sweet, smile.

The Bubba Linda Blackberry Company

A little after eating exercise is a good aid for the digestion process, or at least so they say, meaning we took a walk. The big RV park across the street literally had RV's pouring into it in a near constant stream, so we thought we'd go check it out. Being that sometimes we have been known to stumble upon things, it came as no surprise that shortly we were talking to a couple who were sitting at their table busily picking crab meat from a pile of cooked crab. Turned they had been full time RV'ers for 5 years but had bought a house a year ago so were now only taking short trips of one to two months at a time.This was their annual trip to Winchester Bay to stock up on crab, spending up to four hours a day picking and cleaning. They can get a hundred or more pounds of crab this way. They even have a small freezer they bring along just to store the meat. They said the catching is the easy part. Just put out your traps and wait a while. You'll either catch a few or a lot, though usually it's just a few. Then again, a few mean less time cleaning, but also less crab meat to eat. They pointed out that everybody has their own method of catching, boiling or steaming, cleaning and eating crab, so you can't go wrong. From the questions Linda asked and the look on her face, I know there is going to be crab pots and the resultant crab in our near future.

Returning to the coach, Linda noticed the people across from us were once again boiling their catch. Out she went and using the pretense of reading a book to cover her spy activities, watched the what and how of the boiling process. Obviously she wants to get it right the first time. Then she got a bonus treat. The lady in the site out the front window was starting a fire. It turned out to be a Linda type of fire and we watched her move further and fuGot To Get You Into My Liferther away as the flames went higher.

And It Burns, Burns, Burns
The Ring Of Fire
The Ring Of Fire

I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Fire
I Went Down, Down, Down
And The Flames Went Higher

Maybe it is a woman thing, lol

Sorry, I couldn't help myself, smile. It's just that there are these connections rattling around in my head and once in a while they just demand to be turned loose. We had the wine back chicken, well it wasn't beer and it wasn't on its butt, for a third time for dinner, along with sweet potato salad and baked beans. There were also the cucumber slices I had mentioned before. I thought it was neat that when I remarked that this was some of the best cucumber I had eaten in months, Linda said she knew it would be good when she touched it at the market. Of course this begged the question, how did you know it would that good. The comment, "I just know," wasn't the answer I was looking for, but if she can duplicate it the next time, I'll be a believer.

To work off the meal we walked up to the lighthouse. The parking lot was full as the sun set over the ocean and the red and white lights from the lighthouse played on the trees. It was easy to see why we were told last year that if we didn't do anything else in the area, we had to watch a sunset from the lighthouse viewing area. Now, a year later, we knew why. Returning to the coach, the evening passed as we watched a little TV. Being a scientist by training, I find I like the show, NUMB3RS, though Linda is less than impressed. One good thing happened to both of us. We ate the last of the rhubarb pie. This was good because we got to eat the pie, plus it means a blackberry pie will be baked tomorrow. That's what I call the best of both worlds, the eating world and the going to be eating world. May your day have been as wondrous as ours.

Sept 2

We thought we would try something different this morning for brakfast, but unforunately we faile miserably. Those berries were just to darn delicious on top of our oatmeal blend, so once again, that started our day.


Next the super snoop set up shop in the front of the coach. Those people across from us who have been catching and cooking crab almost everyday were at it again. This time Linda was determined to learn their secrets, after all we will be moving up to the lighthouse tomorrow and consequently she will no longer be able to learn the secrets of the crab. Notice the binoculars being held by the female secret agent partially obscured by the shadow in the photo below.


Maybe there was a subliminal message that she recieved when watching the crab being cooked, because it wasn't long before the sound of pots rattling resounded through the coach. Soon something special began to take shape, a blackberry pie. Talk about "the" dessert, it doesn't get any better than this.The crust is as simple, yet healthy as can be. Whole wheat flour, olive oil and milk. The filling is right behind, blackberries, Splenda anda little whole wheat flour to thicken it. What do you think?


Now it was getting close to the time to take a drive up to the lighthouse and check in. We arrived at the exact right time. The O'Brien's, Jim and Shirley, the couple we had met last year, are the volunteers on duty. We introduced ourselves and while I took a tour with Jim, Linda observed how Shirley handled the counter activities. Then Jim and Shirley switched duties and we heard the tour from a completely diferent perspective. Jim was more or less, "just the facts, ma'am," person while Shirley was a "human interst story" person. Made for an interesting contrast in both style and content.


Jim said they would be pulling out early tomorrow morning and would knock on our door to let us know they had vacated their site so we could move in and start setting up. Lust to give you an idea of what we were moving out of, here is a phoyo of the tent section of the campground.


We went to bed with thoughts of the new phase of life we would be entering into tomorrow.

Sept 3

We knew there was a change in location coming up shortly when we heard the early morning knock on our door. Just to remember the life of the last few days here is our site and Windy Cove "B" campground.


While this was the view out the front early last evening.


After the knock, we ate a quick breakfast of shredded wheat and blackberries, our normal get on the road breakfast, packed up and drove the one mile to where we would be staying for the next two months. There was a change in elevation of about 100 feet and a change in view of about 180 degrees, lol.


We spent the remainder of the day getting set up and pretty much just puttering around the coach. We did take time out to meet Ray and Virginia whom we would be working with and also to take a tour to hear a third viewpoint. There was a celebratory moment when it was time for lunch. Turkey rollups and bean chips with a side of cottage cheese (non fat of course) topped with fresh blackberries.


The day passed quickly and as it came time to end the day, we walked up to the lighthouse. Look at what we will be sharing our lives with the next to weeks. To know the link with the past. To experience the connection of being human. The joy of life. The spirit of individuality. The adventure goes on and on.



Sept 4

T-day minus one or put another way t-day This is not boboglyphics, it's easily deciphered. T-day is short for Tour Day, the day we first give tours. On the other hand, t-day is short for training day, the day we learn how to give tours.That is what I do for a good part of the day, I bird dog Ray on his tours. Repetition is memorization, is the way to imprint the knowledge needed. That is what I do. As the day goes by I learn more and more of the stories of the lighthouse.

How the children of a keeper broke the stairs, how a keeper drowned during a rescue attempt. Why the pines were planted on the dunes, the reason why the Umpqua was the third busiest pot on the west coast in the early 1850's. The stories that bring the lighthouse to life, the stuff of history and myth, that is what I learned today.


The oyster beds, the whale highway, the ventilator ball, the clockwork. So many things tumbling around in my brain, so eager to strike out on my own tomorrow. While I had been busy learning the ins and outs of the tour business, Linda was learning the inside part of the museum business. By the end of the day we both felt confident we could handle anything that came our way on the morrow.

Sept 5

T-day dawned foggy. Not ones to shy away from a challenge, we were unlocking the side door to the museum at 9:45, fifteen minutes before the time to open. We were there by ourselves, Gaylyn was leaving us to our own devices. We went through the check list in the museum, turning on lights and putting out signs, then i was off to the lighthouse to do the same. I took a few moments to walk to the top and gaze upon the light. It was at that moment that I realized what a special place this is.

Back down at the museum, the fog had obviously influenced the crowd. There wasn't one. Slowly people began coming in the door and Linda was the epitome of vivaciousness in greeting them. Making them feel welcome and at ease. Working to intersest people in a tour, it was nearly 11 before the first one left. There were six and a child who were going to hear a first time guide do his thing. Gaylyn had asked if she could tag along to be ready to help if I had any problems and also to make sure I was on the right track with my presentation. The whole thing was painless and the further we got into the tour, the more I got into the mode. Those that know me, know I can flip a switch so to speak, and raelly get into this type of thing. By the time we entered the lighthouse bothe the switch and circuit braeker had tripped so to speak and I was in my element. Later walking back I realized this was something I was born to do. A quote from one of my favorite movies, "I love this job..", Kelsey Grammer, Down Periscope, 1996, sums up how I felt and Linda was feeling the same way. This was something we could both enjoy.

First tour

Linda was sweet and took a picture of those people who had the good or bad fortune, dwpending on your view, of being on my very first tour. It was unbelievable how fast the day went, with one tour following right after another. Lunch was wolfed down between trips to the lighthouse and by the time it was time to quite, I was getting hoarse. I will resist making up something about a ho(a)rse of a different colo, lol. Later, as we ate we talked excitedly about what a great experience it had been. Our earlier volunteer stint had been a lot of fun, but it had also been a lot of work, hard work. This was fun, it was challenging and it was unique.

Sept 6

< p>Today was not so nice a day. The small craft advisory flag was flying from the Coast Guard watch tower down on the river and it was almost downright cold. Where is that beautiful fall weather we have usually enjoyed on our September Oregon coast vacations, lol. Then again, we are going to be here for several months, so what if some of the days are less than ideal.


Being old hands at this museum and tour business, we walked over to the museum about ten minutes early to have everything ready for our first visitors. Between the cold windy weather and the week after Labor Day, we once again had a sparse crowd. Just to set things straight, never once it did it occur to me that Linda and I were the cause of the light level of visitation. To the contrary, once people learned just how good we were, we would have lots of visitors. There are perceptions and then there are realities. The realities of the day were enough people came by to keep us steadily busy, but not enough to rush us. If we could have asked for a couple of "easy" days to break-in on, we would have been swamped, but as it was the days were "just right."

There was more to the day, however, than just watching the museum and giving tours. We also trained a new couple. Talk about the the blind leading the blind is just that, talk. It was a case of two smart, intelligent people training two other smart intelligent people and we immediately took a liking to Steve and Shirley.It's going to be fun around here over the next couple of months. Evening brought a glorious sunset, one that begged a picture.


Sept 7

What a great day, the sun was out and so were the people, plus we only had to work a half day. Our schedule calls for us to work this morning, then tomorrow afternoon, before being off for four days. Had we not split today and tomorrow with Steve and Sirley, we would have had six consequetive days off. However you look at it, it ain't bad.


We are starting to get that special breed of person known as the "lighthouse nut." Those people who plan their vacations around lighthouses. They really enjoy the human interest stories that pertain to our light, plus they ask such good questions taht I can't always answer but I find the answer later and thus increase my knowledge. The real key is to use that knowledge and already i am starting to mix up the information I tell during the tours. If I don't use it I will lose it. Also if I just say the same thing over and over, then I risk getting bored and if I get bored, then it may turn out that my tours will be boring to our visitors. Variety, the spice of life in more ways than one. Almost before we knew it the day was over. Only three tours and it was time to quit and have some relaxation time. Note the tour guide relaxing in the photo below, smile.


Of course while I relaxed, the other half of our dynamic duo was keeping an eye out for the local wildlife. The fact that it consisted of the museums three cats did not matter. Linda was bound and determined to learn all she could about those three felines. Look at the viginettes below if you don't believe me.


Cat Cat 2 Cat 3

Sept 8

Our last day of work for a few days. By now we are definitely into the swing of things. It is really neat to watch how Linda greets the visitors as they walk in the door.I think the the very best part is how she catches them directly in the eye just as she tells them about the fact we accept donations, then shifts her gaze to the donation jar as she pats it, smile

This was one of the few days that we haven't taken any photo's so I'll keep it short and just let you know we were quite busy today with a full day of lighthouse things. Not to be the martyrs, but tomorrow will also be a full lighthouse day even though it is our day off.

Sept 9

We are off work, if you can call the fun things we get to do telling the visitors about the lighthouse, work. It is not the greatest weather this morning, but that doesn't matter because this is a day to educate ourselves about lighthouses. Here we are, giving tours of lighthouses and on first day off we want to spend it learning about lighthouses. No we are not masochists, we are excited and enthused about what we do, lol. No sooner were the dishes dried and put away after our breakfast of srambled eggs, than we were heading north on Hwy 101 towards Newport and our first stop. Our plan was to vist the closest three lighthouses to the north of us, Heceta Head, Yaquina Bay and Yaquina Head, with the latter being the first stop since it was the furthest north.

We weren't sure what we were going to find when we arrived at Yaquina head because this is what the view out the front of the coach looked like when we left.


Arriving at the Yaquina Head lighthouse we found a light fog out on the head, it had been clear until we got close to the lighthouse. I found a pretty young model to pose for a picture in front of the lighthouse.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

We had arrived just before a tour was ready to leave, so didn't have to wait for long. We may have close in parking and easy access to our light, but do they ever have views from Yaquina Head.

Sea view

Sept 10

Sunday morning fround us at the Reedsport Church of God. Their service featured a blend of contemporary praise music and traditional hymn in a casual setting. Since we seek out services that are of the casual contemporary style, we thought we'd give it a try. Were we ever pleasantly surprised. You know how you get that certain feeling when things are just right? Well, we both had that feeling this morning. Life, you never know what's there if you never look.

Later we spent time over at the crab pier and Marina. There was just something about the water today that drew us in. A think the photo's convey a little of what it was like. Looking towards the mouth of the Umpqua, maybe it could be called blue on blue.


With the warm weather, the crab pier was the place to be. Lots of crabbers, but no crabs, though I think most people really didn't mind given the wonderful weather.


Eventually we ended up over at the Marina where the cell phone signal is stronger and had fun talking to our kids and describing the view from here. What do you call it? A picture postcard view?


Later we had a special treat for dinner. When we were at the Safeway several days ago, we bought a package of two tri-tips which had been reduced for quick sale. The business where I used to work had a barbecue for our customers the first of every month. On the menu was always tri-tip. We fired off an email to find out what the secret marinade to make that delicious tasting meat really was. Back came the answer, take the tri-tips back to Safeway and get a pre-marinated tri-tip from Costco, lol. Of course there were also detailed instructions if we really were going to be do-it-yourselfer's in this tri-tip thing. When all was said and done, the meat exceeded or fondest expectations. Thanks, Jana, for the great tips on tri-tip.


That was one great tasting meal. Grilled Tri-tip, fresh Romano beans, quartered fresh tomatoes and faux mashed potatoes, South Beach style.