Monday, June 10, 2013


Odometer  35456 miles
Trip meter  261 miles from Salem to Port Orford, OR
Trip meter  185 miles from Port Orford to Medford, OR

Thursday June 6th

Frustrated with our lack of progress finding a home we both liked and could afford for a homebase in Port Orford, we decided to take a break and travel to Medford to re-connect with all of our friends there.  The trip takes about 5 hours for us, stopping to take pictures and to eat lunch along the way.

 We chose the beach route down highway 101 from Port Orford through Gold Beach, and Brookings, past the California state line.
We didn't dally very long  at Myers Beach, or in Brookings, but they are a couple of our favorite places along the way.

After crossing over into California we drove only a few miles before turning east onto State Route 197 North Bank Road.  197 follows the Smith River upstream to where it joins the Redwood Highway (US 199) at Hiouchi, California and the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.  I could not say accurately how many times Joan and I have driven this road to and from,the coast but it is surely more than 100 by now.  In all those times I have never tired of the awesome scenery- I could easily drive it 100 more times and be perfectly happy.

I was so sure I already had photos of the magnificent redwoods, I didn't take any on this trip through- only to find out- if I have any, I can't find them- Grrr.  I promise to take and post some photos of these stately giants on our next trip- probably less than 2 weeks from now.

We did stop along the Smith River canyon as we headed up US 199.  The water tumbles through the rocky canyon with almost no agricultural land along the way, the water is one of the clearest streams I have ever seen.  The water has no algae in it at all.

The Smith looks so inviting, you just want to jump in- but beware it is as COLD as ice until late summer.  We'll pass on the swim for now.

This morning Joan had called around to find an RV park with a reasonable rate for a month long stay in the Medford area.  We couldn't find a phone number for one of the parks in Gold Hill that we like, so we exited the freeway and pulled in, only to find out that the last monthly space had been rented earlier in the week.  Our plan B was to check into the  Lakewood RV Park in White City.  This Park is about $150 a month more expensive, but comes with more amenities (like 50 amp power) and being closer to Medford, will probably save us in commuting expenses also.  The monthly rates here range from a low of $300 to over $800, depending on proximity to Medford and whether it is on the Rogue River or not.

All in all the Lakewood Park is very nice and although it is not near the river it is only about 7 miles out of downtown Medford.

Friday June 7th

We drove out to Adroit Construction's main office in Ashland where Jeff used to work, and walked the halls of the building generally disrupting work wherever we went.  My former co-workers are all treasured friends and we had such a great time relating the events of the last 7 months on the road, and catching up with the local and personal news from each.  Pat Hawes and Travis Christian have been faithful readers of our blogs, and were well versed in our travels.  Both have been very supportive in my efforts to detail our adventures in pictures and words.  Bob Mayers, one of the owners of Adroit, also took time to greet us and shared connections between his explorations and ours. Bob insisted on storing one of our cars in an enclosed shop building- at no charge-while we were traveling, greatly reducing my anxiety as I was making last minute arrangements to leave last fall.  Wonderful people- all!

My successor as Safety Director, Josh Johnson, took Joan and me to lunch at a local cafe and we shared the trials and tribulations of the safety profession.  Watching Josh as he juggled the stresses of time and responsibility-reminded me of how wondrful it felt to shift that weight to him last fall.
 I love retirement!

We retrieved our stored auto and Joan took off in one direction to do some shopping, while I drove over to my good friend Doug McKee's project at the campus of Southern Oregon University.  Doug is one of two Superintendents building out an addition to the campus that will house and feed 700 additional students this Fall. This has been a flash-track job that had to be completed in 18 months.  Not only did they do it- they are going to finish early!

I got a personal tour of the nearly finished dorms and the dining hall by Steve Lawrence- Adroit's other owner!  I felt like a VIP!  First Bob, now Steve, takes time out of his busy day to show off the nearly finished project.

I finally found Doug after chasing all over the project site to find him, he was back in his office as I said goodbye to Steve.  Doug and I have shared a lot over the 20 years we've known each other.  Joan and I will be seeing a lot more of him and his wife, Kathy, in the next few days and weeks.

Saturday June 8th

Here's Joan after a fruitless day of  looking at properties in and around the area.
We made a list of 15 properties we wanted to check on, and spent most of Saturday driving to each and checking them out.

We took the Suzuki X-90 with the T-tops off and drove our "convertible" until noon. (see the car in photo #3 above)  We stopped at the Rogue River Cottage Restaurant in Rogue River for a very pleasant lunch at their shaded outdoor tables.  I had a half a turkey sandwich with a bowl of clam chowder, and Joan had green salad and a half a grilled cheese sandwich- both excellent!  After lunch the temps were such that we re-installed the T-tops and turned on the air conditioning, before starting out for the 2nd half of our list.

One of the properties we considered for a while is this single-wide mobile home on 2 acres on Table Rock Road.  The house is situated between Upper and Lower Table Rocks (large flat-topped mesas north of town)
Although the house is nothing and would have to be scrapped, the property has a 24 gallon a minute well, electrical power, and a septic system already in place.

Check out the vistas.  This view of Lower Table Rock is from the side yard.

Down side is that it sits on the corner of two main roads, and we'd need to build a house or buy a manufactured home, and build a shop/ garage.  After running the numbers, and really considering the locale, we decided we'd skip this one.

Regrouping Saturday evening back at our rolling home, we both admitted that we had not found anything that excites us like the properties in Port Orford.

Sunday June 9th

We spent Sunday sight seeing, window shopping and visiting friends.  We visited Jeff's aunt Elizabeth and uncle Pat Patterson who own a cottage at the Rogue Valley Manor retirement community in Medford.   The Manor as it is known to the locals, has been a frequent work site for Jeff and other Adroit Construction employees over the years, so we knew our way around the grounds quite well.  Both Pat and "Bets" are doing very well at 95 and 94 years old, and we had a wonderful time telling travel stories and talking about the old days!

Jeff first met his aunt and uncle and cousins when they drove west from their home in Massachusetts to visit the Smiths where we were living in Warland, Montana, back in the 50's, so we have long shared history.  Pat and Bets are also readers of our blog and haven't missed an issue yet- thanks!

Tomorrow we want to resurrect another of our stored automobiles- this one is the 1958 BMW Isetta that is currently stored at Mark and Carolyn's house in an enclosed trailer.  We thought we had it sold last summer, but that deal fell through and we were out of time to put it back on the market.

We will get it out and scrub it up, with the idea of showing it at the Medford Cruise- our huge local car show and shine, this coming weekend.  We'd like to sell it locally to cut down on the hassels of shipping and such.

Your Traveling Friends

Joan and Jeff

1 comment: