Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’

The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire.” — Pamela Hansford Johnson

Sunset Bay State Park — Oregon State Parks photo

A Moment Not to be Forgotten 

It was a misty, early morning at Sunset Bay Park where I was staying while attending the Oregon Shorebird Festival (See previous post) held nearby.

Sunset Bay State Park near Coos Bay in Oregon. — Wikimedia photo

The Oregon coast campground oozed beauty and peacefulness as I stepped out of my small RV for the morning walk with my canine companion. We strolled down to the beach, where not another soul was yet around. The quiet swishing of the waves against the sand poured calmness into my soul and made me glad to be alive – even though I hadn’t yet had my coffee.

As I walked along the water’s edge, I saw a flock of western sandpipers in the shallows ahead, marching slowly along and constantly dipping their tiny beaks in and out of the water in search of breakfast tidbits. I watched them through my binoculars, staying far enough behind them that they wouldn’t startle and fly off. Maggie was too interested in sniffing at the water’s edge to even notice. But then something, I’m not sure what, did disturb them. In what seemed like less than a second, as a unity of one, they soared into the air, circled for a moment, then flew farther down the beach, their feathers flashing silver when catching the morning sun.

As I stood there, I recalled  a quote by Cesare Pavese that I had written in my journal: “We do not remember days, we remember moments.”  My heart told me that this was a moment I did not want to forget.

Bean Pat: A strange bird story  https://apetcher.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/ This qualifies as my learning something new for the day. The post both made me laugh, and made me sad, first for the caged bird and then for the unethical humans. I know for a fact that there are more ethical people in the world than the other way around. But boy do the rotten ones leave a bad taste in the soul.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, tentatively titled Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

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“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” Don Williams 

Oregon’s Highway 395

My kind of journey is one in which I travel slowly and has many twists and turns and surprises around every curve in the road. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Sunshine Blogger Award

Just Words   kzackuslheureux. wordpress.com  awarded me a Sunshine Blogger Award. It’s always nice to think that I’ve brought sunshine into someone’s day, so thank you very much. I’m using my Bean’s Pat to pay back the honor on a daily basis.

Bean’s Pat: Write to Done http://tinyurl.com/89wxokt  One’s writing is something that can always be improved, and this is a great blog to help you do just that. It’s also a new way to look at your “quirky” family. 

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 “The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination. – Don Williams.


The yellow winding road warning sign was no joke. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

For two days now, I’ve been traveling south on Highway 395 in Oregon. It’s an awesome road, full of twisty turns, steep canyons, grazing cattle, grassy meadows and flowing water.

I began my journey in Pendleton, where cowboys and Indians still roam, and on the first day I made it to the beautiful Clyde Holliday Park just outside John Day, where quail and deer still play. The second day found me in Lakeview, south of Lake Albert and just north of the California border..

The town of John Day is named for the John Day River, which was named for a Virginian who accompanied the Astor Expedition that followed the footsteps made by the earlier Lewis and Clark Expedition. Clyde Holliday is a successful logging entrepreneur in the area.


The roadsides occasionally hinted of autumn ahead. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The first day on the road took me through Battle Mountain State Park, and gave me a history lesson about the Bannock War. The park is the site of the last major fight the Bannock Indians fought against the encroachment of white settlers.

The highway north of John Day, while steep and winding, was mostly broad and open. The canyon south of John Day was steeper and narrower and often lined with trees. Except for an occasional logging truck, I was usually the only vehicle on the road.

Forks of the John Day River followed me both days. As I drove yesterday I composed a poem in my head. I seldom write poetry, but when I do, I call it soul words, which is my way of excusing my murder of poetic forms.

I hope you will, too.

Time Well Spent

Take me up to the mountain top

Up where the eagle and red-tailed hawk soar

Let me look out on a panoramic vista

Of meadows filled with golden grasses,

And clumps of frosty sagebrush

And patches of yellow wild blossoms

And here and there a tinge of red

That speaks of summer’s end.

Let me delight watching conifer leaves twinkle in the wind

And be amazed at how the stalky evergreens

March their way in jumbled rows up rocky cliffs

Let me linger a bit here on the high reach

Breathing in the fresh sky-scrubbed air

Scented with pungent sage and pine needles

Then let me slowly travel down canyon

Accompanied by the tinkling laughter of water

As it joyfully bubbles over riverbed rocks

Heeding the unwavering  call of gravity

Thankfully my life has seen such days as this

Unfettered by the world’s chaotic-ness

And doubly thankful again this precious day

That I’ve added yet another few peaceful hours 

To my piggy bank of memories.

– Pat Bean

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The pond at the end of the nature trail at Clyde Holliday State Park in Oregon. -- Photo by Pat Bean

 “When was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing – just sitting and looking at the sea, or watching the wind blowing the tree limbs, or waves rippling on a pond … “ – Ralph Marston

Travels With Maggie

One of the blogs I follow is “Life in the Bogs,” in which the author, Robin, frequently includes daily pictures of one particular pond. Every shot – influenced by the day’s sun or mist, shadows or light, and of course the seasons – is different.

Cattails add their special texture to the scene. -- Photo by Pat Bean

When I read her blog, I feel as if I’m also walking the trail that takes her to the pond and the neighboring “bog.” If you’re a nature lover, like me, I suggest you check it out at http://bogsofohio.wordpress.com

Meanwhile, I thought I would share the pond I discovered this afternoon at Clyde Holliday State Park on the John Day River in Oregon. I hadn’t planned to stop here, but the park looked too inviting to pass up.

After getting settled in, Maggie and I went to explore its nature trail, which ended at the pond. We surprised some California quail – a mom and dad and at least half a dozen half-grown chicks – on the way out, and two mule deer on the way back.

It was a beautiful hike, about a mile in length, that we both enjoyed.

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Travels With Maggie

I am in Milton-Freewater, Oregon, where I have an extremely busy day ahead of me in preparation for getting on the road tomorrow. So I’m simply going to share my very favorite poem in the whole universe with you.  Have a great day!

My earth-bound legs can only dream of soaring free in a sky like this that one day overlooked Canyonlands National Park. -- Photo by Pat Bean

High Flight

“Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth

And Danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth

of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence, Hov’ring there,

I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air …

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue

I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.

Where never lark, or even eagle flew —

And while with silent lifting mind I have trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

— John Gillespie Magee Jr.

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The frog and the snail, one of the more elegant of the carved wooden frogs that are scattered around Milton-Freewater. -- Photo by Pat Bean

“We think too small, like the frog at the bottom of the well. He thinks the sky is only as big as the top of the well. If he surfaced, he would have an entirely different view.” Mao Tse-Tung

Travels With Maggie

“So how does a town get a moniker like Milton-Freewater,” I asked my friend, Sherry, who was graciously showing me about this Northern Oregon town that has about 6,500 residents.

“Well, it began,” she said – and now I paraphrase – when the goody-two-shoes in town wanted Milton, which was established in the late 1860s, to become a dry town..

Being a Texan, she didn’t have to explain “dry.” The Lone Star State is checker-boarded with wet and dry towns. We’re talking booze here, not water.


This fine old frog with the cats once stood in front of a hardware store that was also an animal shelter. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Sherry continued: The party-goers didn’t like that and so they moved out and created their own town just next door to the north. They originally named it Walla Walla, but they changed it to Freewater when town officials decided to offer free water as a means of attracting more residents.

And so the two cities, the best of rivals, existed for many years.

In the early 1950s, however, the costly economics of infrastructure to maintain two cities was recognized. The vote to join the towns was a hot one, and the issue passed by a margin of only 50 votes. And the two ends of town continue to maintain separate images, Sherry related. .

She said the locals have long had another name for their beloved city – Muddy Frogwater.

There’s even an an annual week-long festival called Muddy Frogwater Days, which celebrated its 31st anniversary just last month. One of the activities, Sherry said, was a frog race.

And this lovely frog, which stands in front of Curves, is proudly showing off all the weight she lost. -- Photo by Pat Bean

“Like in Mark Twain’s “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calavaras County?”


My traveling canine companion, Maggie and I are sorry we missed it

“How dreary—to be—Somebody!
How public—like a frog—
To tell one’s name—the livelong June—
To an admiring Bog!”

— Emily Dickinson  

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“Morning is when the wick is lit. A flame ignited, the day delighted with heat and light, we start the fight for something more than before.” Jeb Dickerson 

One of the two northern flickers that visited me just as the sun was coming up this morning. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

My morning began at 5 a.m. with a phone call when I was still deep asleep, By the time I stumbled out of bed and figured out where my phone was – in the cab beneath my RV’s upper bunk – it had stopped ringing.

After crawling back into bed and snuggling back beneath the covers because it was quite a chilly morning here in Pendleton, Oregon, where I’m parked in the farmyard of a friend’s mother, I hit the redial button.

It was my daughter-in-law, Cindi, in Texas who rang to tell me the books I had ordered from Amazon had arrived. They included Susan Albert’s “Bleeding Heart,” the next in the China Bayles’ books I’m reading and one that hadn’t been available on Kindle.

A much better look at a northern flicker, this one a male. -- Photo by Joanne Kamo

I said, perhaps a bit snippy: “It’s o-dark-hundred here. I’m in the Pacific time zone and two hours earlier than where you are.”

“Oh,” she responded. But then of course we chatted for a while. I couldn’t be too angry because she’s my traveling guardian angel and has handled all my mail for the past seven years. .

After we hung up, I tried to go back to sleep, but unlike my dog, Maggie, who never even lifted her head at the phone call, sleep had vanished for the day. So I got up, fixed coffee and sat down in front of my computer, alternating between answering e-mails and watching the day arrive out my window.

I was rewarded with a pair of northern flickers messing around a tree near my RV. I tried to get a picture, but it was dark and my photo turned out poorly. I thought you might want to see it anyway, but I added a photo taken by Joanne Kamo  http://www.pbase.com/jitams to give you a better look.

Meanwhile, I did enjoy watching the pair of large woodpeckers – that’s the family to which northern flickers belong. They stayed around for quite a while poking around the tree, and sticking their heads into a couple of holes it contained. If Cindi hadn’t called I would have missed them all together.

Life’s like that. It throws you a curve ball, then apologizes with a slow pitch you can’t miss.

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         “I believe that if you think about disaster, you will get it. Brood about death and you hasten your demise. Think positively and masterfully with confidence and faith, and life becomes more secure, more fraught with action, richer in achievement and experience.” — Eddie Rickenbacker

Gypsy Lee -- my RV's named after my mother's maiden and my middle name and my itchy feet -- is once again ready for the road. She's pictured here resting for the journey at lake Walcott State Park. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

 I was just outside of Baker City, Oregon, when disaster struck. The left rear tire on my RV exploded, strewing rubber all along the highway. Thankfully, I managed to get the vehicle safely to the side of the road. In six years, and 110,000 miles of travel, this was my first roadside emergency – well if I don’t include getting stuck in the mud in my daughter’s Dallas backyard.

I immediately called my Good Sam emergency road provider, telling them first that I was safe, then where I was and that the only spare I had was for my front tires, which are a different size from the rear ones. I knew I could be in trouble because my RV sits atop a Volkswagen Eurovan chassis and its tires are not common. The voice on the phone, however, assured me that he would get me help and to hang tight while he made some calls.

 Twenty minutes later, he called back, saying he had located a tire for my vehicle, but that it would be a couple of hours before it could be picked up and delivered to me. At this point, I thanked my guardian angel for both the tire, and that I was stuck on the side of the road in Oregon, where the temperature was only 72, instead of my native Texas, where it was in the high 90s with humidity just about as high.

 Knowing help was on the way, I opened my RV windows to take advantage of a gentle breeze and settled in with a good book for the duration. Thirty minutes later, however, an emergency roadside service guy turned up with my tire

Maggie hopped onto our bed and snoozed the disaster away. -- Photo by Pat Bean

 – or so we both thought. Turns out he discovered he had the wrong tire after he had jacked up my RV. He left to go get the right tire, but 20 minutes later he returned red-faced to retrieve his jack. Seems he not only had the wrong tire, he had the wrong customer. His guy, now angry at the delay, was still waiting up the road.

It was another hour and a half before my service provider showed up with the tire for my RV. It was only a 4-ply passenger tire, however, that I would need to quickly replace. That took two weeks and a lot of searching. Rusty, the manager at an auto repair shop in Ogden, Utah, where I get my RV serviced when I’m in town, finally located a pair of 10-ply tires in San Jose, California, that would work. He had them shipped to Ogden, where a friend of mine picked them up and brought them to me at Walcott State Park in Idaho, where I’m currently a volunteer campground host.

 I had the tires mounted at a tire store in nearby Rupert – and am looking forward to getting back on the road again next week. Hopefully my journey will be trouble free – but if it’s not, the journey will still be worth any problem the road throws at me. Life’s too short to worry about what might happen.

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