Monday, June 16, 2014

A Quick Trip to the Valley

Odometer- 39,923
TripMeter  322 mi

Monday June 16th, 2014

Joan and I had planned a trip to see our friends Jim and Sara McNeil at their home near Grants Pass, Oregon since last January.  Faithful blog readers will recall that Jim and Sara visited us in Ajo, AZ last winter and that we took a trip into Mexico together.  Jim and Sara have offered up their home and acreage for their son's wedding on the 28th of this month, and Joan and I wanted to help with the preparations.  We made reservations at the Joe Creek Waterfall RV Park in Hugo, OR and loaded up the motorhome for a weeks stay over in the Rogue Valley.  This excellent RV park is just a couple miles from Jim and Sara's place and made an perfect home base for us while we were helping out.

Job one, was to help errect the play station purchased at Costco, as a diversion for all the youngsters that would accompany the many out-of-town guests staying over for the wedding.
You can see there were several very large boxes of modular assemblies that needed to be sorted out and categorized so we could find what we needed without too much fuss.

Joan set about sorting and checking each piece while Jim and I leveled off the building pad and built a gravel base for the walls to sit on.

It only took us about 12 hours over a two day period to get it mostly finished.  I took a hiatus on Thursday to go to the funeral for Allison Henson Northcutt, the wife of Clark Northcutt, a former co-worker and friend.  Allison unexpectedly died at the tender age of 36- so sad.

We also tightened or replaced all the fasteners in the exterior decks and hand sanded them to a nice finish.  Jim purchased a whole buch of 50 grit sanding belts and in a day and a half we had all three decks looking superb.

We did so well at our chores that Joan and I got time off to play.  The Medford Cruise was on Saturday the 14th, and we had an invitation from our good fiends Doug and Kathy Mckee to ride in the back of their '68 classic Mustang.  

We drove to Medford (about 40 miles south on I-5) in time to see the last hour of the car show in Hawthorne park, and make plans to catch up with Doug and Kathy for the Cruise in downtown Medford. (a closed course of streets that winds through the old downtown area)

Quite a few townsfolk turn out to line the streets and watch the parade of old classics roll through downtown on a circular route.  The Cruise is limited to cars 1979 and older, and there were a lot of participants.

On Sunday we had a vist from Mark and Caroylin Salter.  They drove up to the Joe Creek RV park with some pizzas and we had a great time catching up on the news and eating pizza and drinking beer.

The skies were partly to mostly sunny, but there was a cool breeze blowing, so we mostly stayed indoors and enjoyed the shelter from the wind.

 Mark and I took a short hike down to the waterfalls that the park is named for.  The trail is difficult, some might say treacherous, but the pools and falls were worth the trek.  The waters are cool and clear, but not so inviting today with the cool breeze and the peek-a-boo sun.

Monday we packed up and headed back to Port Orford.  We want to take highway 199 south and west into northern California and then head back up the coast, just for a change of pace.  The weather today is sunny and cool again, and there is a fairly strong wind blowing out of the north.  The trip was pleasant and un-eventful.  We got our usual late start and stopped in the Illinois Valley at the Rough and Ready Sawmill parking lot for lunch at noon.  With a fuel stop in Brookings, OR, we got into Port Orford at 4 PM.

We set to the task of  uncoupling the car, parking the MH, and started unloading food and clothing, when we noticed something very strange in the garden box- red, ripe tomatoes.  Hmm.. there were a few grape sized green toms when we left, but nothing short of a miracle would have produced these beautiful plump red tomatoes.

This "miracle" turned out to be our next door neighbors, playing a very funny joke on us with some store-bought tomatoes.  We will have to make our garden's critter cage people proof too from now on!  Well, the jokes on them, because we had the tomatoes for dinner, and they were delicious!  Thanks Horst and Alice!

Your Traveling Friends

Jeff and Joan

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Portable Saw mill

Odometer- resting in peace
Trip Meter 24 miles

Sunday June 1st 2014

The Port Orford Rotary Club, of which I am a newly minted member, will have a fund raising food booth at the upcoming Cape Blanco Music Festival here in August.  The Music Festival is sponsored by BiMart Corporation and it is the first ever for the coast.
Our Rotary club has formed alliances with the Brookings, Gold Beach and Bandon Rotary Clubs, and we are all going to co-operate in building and running the food booth.

As far as the building of the food booth, we happen to have access to a WoodMizer portable sawmill and some low cost logs that we can cut into lumber.

Members of all three Rotary groups were on hand to handle the logs and the sawn planks as they came off the mill

We started out staking the planks in the grassy meadow, and by day's end we had about 4 times as much as you see in the photo above.
I have always wanted to learn how (and how well) these portable mills work.  I've got to say, I came away impressed with it's speed and accuracy.

Job one, is to get the logs loaded onto the log deck, and this is helped by having a backhoe/loader at your disposal..  without the loader, we would have had to roll the logs up a long inclined ramp.

 The log is deposited onto the mill.
and then wrasseled into place, and secured with a mechanical cam.

Then we cut away the bark and rounded edges of the logs, until we had a four sided "cant" to slice the fresh lumber off of.

Once the log had been squared, the 1" x 12" boards came, one after another.  We wanted to cut enough to put siding on 3 food booths, one for us and two to sell to other vendors.

Here is a rendering of what the final product will look like.

Just havin' more fun!

Your Traveling Friends

Joan and Jeff

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Hiking Blacklock Point

Odometer- rusting-'er resting 
Trip  Meter 8 miles

June 8th, 2014- Port Orford, OR

Today, Mark Lankford is taking me to the hiking trails north of Port Orford in Floras Lake State Park.

The trail we are taking this morning is the one to Blacklock Point, a headland on the Pacific coast just north of Cape Blanco.  Cape Blanco is the western-most point in Oregon and almost the western-most point in the continental US just behind Cape Alava, Washington by about .13 minutes of longitude or about 800 feet.

The flowers were all in mid-bloom this morning.  We saw Rhododendron...
Iris and Indian Paintbrush
Clover and daisies

Did I mention beautiful yellow and blue iris??

The trail was inland and paralleling the ocean beach on our way north.  At first the trail looked wide enough to have been a road at one time, then the "road" petered out and the trail become very narrow.  In the picture above, the trail is only about a foot wide and surrounded for hundreds of feet by dense salal.

After hiking a couple of miles north we were able to turn west on a trail over to the top of the bluffs overlooking the ocean.

 From here, we had a clear view up the coast as far as the eye can see- Bandon, OR is off in the hazy distance

At times the shore trail was completely canopied by shore pines that knit together above our heads.

And at other times the trail looked almost over-grown-

We headed south along the coast and came to a look-out where we could see Blacklock Point.
This area came into prominence back in 1886 when John Blacklock established the Blacklock Sandstone Mining Company here.  During it's two years of operation here, enough sandstone had been shipped to build 18 public buildings in San Francisco, including the Hall of Justice, Union Ferry Building, Mutual Savings Bank, and the Hamilton Alexander Hotel- all of which withstood the 1906 earthquake and fires.

A commercial pier was established as well as railroad tracks for flat cars which hauled massive 10 ton blocks of granite carved from the sandstone bluffs, out to waiting ships.  Almost no sign of the enterprise exists today- we saw only one 25 foot section of rails that were wedged between two large boulders out on the rocky point, but we could not get down to them safely, to investigate further.

We took a "shortcut" on the way back and came out on the NW end of the runway at the Cape Blanco Airport.  This airport was constructed in 1944-5 by the Bureau of Public Roads and leased to the Navy.  It has a single runway that is 5,100 feet long and was the only airstrip long enough and sturdy enough between Seattle's Boeing Field and San Francisco that could be used in emergencies by the pilots ferrying bombers from Boeing to San Francisco during the war. Today all of the infrastructure built by the Navy is gone leaving just the runway and a lone taxiway. The strip is still used by general aviation pilots, but there are no flight services here.

Your Traveling Friends

Jeff and Joan