Callie has a New Tree to Climb

Callie has missed her beloved olive trees, but this morning she discovered an arbutus tree that is growing in front of David and JoAnne's house. It has a wood carving of an eagle with the word "ocean" carved on it. The bark of the arbutus is gold and reddish brown, and the underbelly has pinks and green with yellow ochre much like our eucalyptus in California. The bark curls up and peels off in shredded pieces and Callie took great delight in climbing and sharpening her claws on it this morning. When she rakes her claws into the bark, it spills away in sheets and smells much like cedar shavings. Callie would like one of these trees growing in her yard in Anza Borrego please!

Shore Acres at Coos Bay, OR

It is another typical coastal Oregon morning, cool with a heavy drizzle. Yesterday we visited Shore Acres, about a half-mile up the road from our campsite at Sunset Bay.

The first home at Shore Acres was designed as a summer retreat, which Louie Simpson had built as a Christmas present for his first wife, Cassie. Built on a rocky headland, the gamble-roofed house sat seventy-five feet about the waves below. It was built in 1906, but the gardens that grew and thrived to this day are what bring visitors from all over the world.

There is a beautiful Japanese garden with a lily pond and 2 stately crane statues standing knee deep in the reflective water. The rocks that border the pond were hauled up from the beach below by horses. That must have been really difficult for the horses. They are very rough, ragged rocks and are very heavy. The rose gardens are spectacular though and one particular rose called: hot chocolate was as breathtaking in color and form as well as having a deep, rich, rose scent. You can walk down to the beach along a paved pathway and can then ascend back up into a forest dense with Monterey Cypress and pines.

The shoreline is rugged with finely ground sand and seals, sea lions and elephant seals bask among the jagged rocks. The fog had rolled in densely as we explored, so you could barely see the marine animals, but you could sure hear them barking away in the mist.

Back in the gardens, I of course took many photographs of the flowers and the lighting was perfect for photography- bright diffused light with little shadow. The garden was designed in the English style by David Masterton and visitors of the neighboring households of the time, were given cuttings and plants to beautify their gardens too!

Today we are heading back over to have the RV windshield either replaced or repaired and when finished, we will possibly meander toward Newport.

Callie is doing very well and her health is on the mend. The three of us are enjoying our travels with Callie adventure and looking forward to many more to come. I have to admit that I was becoming very concerned with Callie's health after 4 months of coughing and am so relieved that she is feeling better…..

The Feel of Green

Callie lives in Anza Borrego Desert State Park and there is no grass except for the golf course for her to rest on. She had a lovely day of searching for bugs and hanging out in lush green grass for half the afternoon. I am trusting her more and more to stick close to the RV with her leash and harness on but not anchored to anything.

FYI- Callie is continuing to improve and has only had one small bout of coughing!!!

Black Crowned Sparrow

Callie and I are sitting outside on the picnic table and our neighbor, the little black crowned sparrow is absolutely outraged that Callie is visiting. He is sitting on top of the right side upper branch of a Sitka Spruce tree and is going to be hoarse at the end of the day if he keeps it up! When we walk, a murder of crows follow us and make sure to escort us out of the area. Callie trots along with pride regardless, and tries not to let the insults bother her. Every where we go, people run up to her and pet her and admire her for walking so well on the leash….

Big Lagoon

When we woke up this morning, we decided to head north up the coast to check out Clam Beach and Big Lagoon at the suggestion of our friend, Fred.

When we managed to drive back over the pot hole filled road to Highway 101 and the Avenue of the Giants, we were dismayed to discover all the damage that was done to the RV by taking it over the horrible road to Albee Creek. Our windshield has separated in the far right corner, the cabinets have come loose from their anchor in the kitchen and the drawers are opening up whenever we turn a corner. We are beginning to think we made a mistake by taking the RV over such a rough road. The hubcap was never found and now we have a few more problems to contend with. It was beautiful in Albee Creek, but putting so much stress on the RV was not worth it. Carrying your house around is a whole different story than driving an off road vehicle across crappy roads.

Clam Beach was an absolute dive and it didn't take long for us to decide to head further north up the coast. We took a chance with Big Lagoon and got the last site available and it is a beautiful location. We walked along the spit in the afternoon and have a private spot #15 in the interior side. The beach front camp sites are more for tent camping.

Callie had another fine walk with birds chasing us down as we went along our merry way. 2 ravens cawed and watched our every move and some kind of tiny wren clicked and chirped and announced to all within hearing distance that their was a cat below walking among the trees.

We may try and stay through the weekend because it gets more stressful trying to find a campground over the weekend, and then again we may not.

Albee Creek Campground

Albee Creek Campground
(Or loosing hubcaps right and left)

After I had finished writing this morning, we got the brainy idea of checking in at the visitor's center to see if there might be a slim chance of staying at Albee Campground. It is the smallest of the three redwood campgrounds and everyone says it is the most beautiful with bears that scale the apple trees in broad daylight. Helen, whom we had met yesterday when we checked in at Burlington did us a big favor and called Regina, who worked at Albee, and she said that there might be a chance at noon. We decided to go for it and packed up quickly and headed over.

The signs posted on the narrow road to Albee Creek suggest that you not attempt to drive a motorhome or trailer, but we of course ignored the sign and instead paid close attention to all the pot holes in the road. They were everywhere, and they were deep and they were big. We went slow enough and Michael did a good job of avoiding the worst of them and we were able to get to Albee Creek Campground at 11:10, and in one piece. Regina said that it appeared that the guests in #29 had left, but she couldn't sell us the site until noon time. She asked us to park over in a meadow across the way and at noon to come back and she would let us know for certain.

While hanging out in the meadow, I decided to take Callie for a walk to hunt grasshoppers and when I looked back at the RV, what should I see but that another wheel liner ( or hub cap to me) was missing on the front left tire this time. Now we are missing the one on the back right and on the front left. I suppose it is proof that we are driving over treacherous terrain, but it does make the RV look less classy and more dirty. The beautiful chrome hub caps are gone and what is left is a blackened , filthy wheel.

We were able to check in, so after we parked the RV, we decided to get on our bikes and we biked the entire 5 miles one way all the way back to the 101 in hopes of finding it. We biked past a correctional crew working roadside and they thought they had seen a hub cap and 7 men that were hauling a log with chains along the roadside said they saw one too! They thought they had seen a hub cap on the left side of the road, and so we were heartened to continue the search. The hub cap the log hauling men had seen was for a car, and the correctional crew when we biked past them again on the return trip, said they had placed the hub cap all the back at the bridge along the 101. Maybe when we leave tomorrow we can check to see if it is our hub cap. We were too tired to turn around and go back the other way, so we continued biking back to Albee Campground.

On the bike ride back to Albee Creek, we visited the Rockefeller Forest which holds one of the largest concentrations of mature redwoods that are over 350 ft tall. It has more than 7 times the biomass- ( living or dead organic material) of any forest of similar size including a rainforest, in the world. They were incredibly majestic and one particular tree that had fallen over, was so long, it stretched out over the river bed and on up into the forest on the other side! It is pretty difficult to capture the grandeur in a photograph, but I did try to do a short video of one vertical tree and panned bottom to top to show how tall it was.

Tonight we have leftovers and all three of us are tired and happy. The stellar jays are numerous and noisy and the shadow and light that patterns the forest floor is beautiful. Callie is snuggled up on the top loft sleeping, and Michael is taking a nap on the sofa. Who could ask for anything more- other than 2 new hub caps!

A Stop First at Medicine Shoppe

Nothing but the best for Callie… we had the antibiotic compounded with a chicken flavored suspension so that she would be able to handle taking her medicine with a little less trauma. The steroid is applied as a cream to the inside of the ear and the antibiotic is flavored with a chicken broth. It isn't perfect, but she managed to swallow it without gagging too much. 14 days of being on an antibiotic and 30 days with the steroid. I sure hope that this does the trick. We at least know what we are up against…. chronic bronchitis is exactly what Michael has to deal with, so it is familiar and it should be able to be controlled at this point.

We pulled out of Los Osos and The Medicine Shoppe at 12:30 and arrived at the Santa Rosa Fairgrounds at 7…. we made a quick dinner of leftover fish from the fish market in Morro Bay, rice and a salad and I am ready for bed. Callie got her own serving of fresh, raw salmon and she loved it. She is tucked into bed already and I will be joining her shortly. Michael did all of the driving, but I was the navigator and for some reason, I am really tired. Tomorrow we are going to try and get to the redwoods. It will be about a 5.5 hour drive.

Paradise Found

Today started out with a heavy drizzle and dense marine layer. Later in the afternoon, the sun peaked out and dazzled the waves with dapppled light that sparkled and glittered when the waves made contact with the shoreline. Michael and I did a 3 hour bike ride and once again we sat at our spot north of Morro Strand Beach. There are a series of benches dedicated to loved ones that have passed on, where you can sit and watch the pelicans go by~ 24 at a time. It was also warm enough for people to sun bathe on the sandy shore. Yesterday it was too cold!

Callie spent a quiet day in the RV but asked to go on a short walk so that she could find a place to sharpen her claws. She seems tired and weak but delighted to be out in the sunshine, so I let her hang out on our personal picnic table to  soak in the heat!

Biking in Morro Bay is a blast. It is a little difficult navigating the cars when you are biking in town, but once you get to the rock and head north, there is a lovely off road trail that meanders through and around Morro Bay High School. After the high school, you pass neighborhoods that border the protected sand dunes. It is really quite extraordinary and because of the mild climate, so much fun! 

Another Day in Morro Bay

Yesterday, Michael and I went on our bike ride to Morro Bay Strand Beach and watched horse back riders galloping along the shoreline, and otter mother’s nursing their young in the bay. The marine layer is thick and the weather cool and comfortable for outside activities in the middle of the day. Biking in the middle of the day is not possible in Anza Borrego Desert State Beach during the summer months. We had the most spectacular super bloom this spring, so I really have no complaints, but it is close to impossible to live in Borrego Springs during the summer. For that reason, we are on the road in our fabulous Fleetwood- Icon 24ft RV and doing our TravelswithCallie~ road trip. We plan on staying in Morro Bay until Tuesday and then head north again after that.

Sadly, Callie is still coughing periodically, and we are taking her back to see Dr Duane Stephens on Monday for a second opinion. He was the vet we saw on April 24th when Callie’s cough wasn’t getting any better with Dr LaPorte in Julian. Dr Stephens also diagnosed it as an upper respiratory infection and gave her a shot of antibiotic that was suppose to last 2 weeks. It did the trick, but her cough returned~ it returns several days after she finishes the antibiotic. It will be interesting to see what he has to say. Poor little Callie….in spite of coughing though,  she is enjoying her RV road adventure and would much prefer being here than in Borrego Springs with the swamp cooler blasting. Her lungs appear sensitive to abrupt changes in temperature, so cuddling up in her bed in the loft of the RV is a treat for her too!

Last night Michael and I went to visit my sister Elizabeth and her husband Eric in order to give them a painting of a black oyster catcher that I had painted about 3 years ago. I had it hanging in my beach condo but it doesn’t go with my desert living decor. She made a lovely dinner for us with homemade baked oatmeal cookies for dessert, and we laughed and drank wine, and had such a good time in their company. They have a beautiful house in Los Osos that overlooks Morro Bay, so the black oyster catcher will have a good home.

Today we are going to explore the wine country inland of Morro Bay…. Yay!