The Spirit of Halloweentown – St. Helens, Oregon

Where do adult rving nomads go for Halloween?

 

Halloweentown!

It’s been years since I watched this movie with my kids and I don’t really remember much about it, but we were in the area in October, so we went to take a look.

Time for Halloweentown!
If you’ve seen the movie, you should recognize the building – City Hall, St. Helens, OR
The Spirit of Halloweentown in St. Helens was voted that best Halloween celebration in Oregon.

Spirit of Halloweentown takes place every year for the month of October in St. Helens, Oregon. There isn’t much that is unique about the town in general – until you visit their old town. The  Historical District is charming, and would have been a lovely visit even if it wasn’t during the Halloweentown festivities.

The Historical District of St. Helens takes their Halloween celebration quite seriously!
“Scarecrows” line the streets…
The businesses in the historical district really go all out for this yearly celebration.
Milo and Rusty were pretty excited about Halloweentown, too!

There are tons of activities on the weekends in October, including meeting with some of the actors from the movie.  There are skits, concerts, photo-ops galore, people in costumes, kids all dressed up, haunted houses, food court…St. Helens has fully embraced their claim to fame by being the town that Halloweentown was filmed in.

A lot of the houses in the historical district play along too!
Need a ride?
This little girl loved this little fluffy puppy…
Just some skeleton critters climbing a tree…
Animal skeleton, human skull, with a rat in its mouth. Hello nightmares.
And the band played on…
Rusty and Milo trying to hail a cab…
“Why don’t we talk about how illegal it is to drive without eyeballs?” – Dylan Cromwell, Halloweentown
Michael Jackson made an appearance.
Jack was hanging out there, too.
Views of the crowd – and it was a slow day.
This lovely lady, Winnie, was doing a little Hocus Pocus right in front of City Hall!
Sarah and Mary hanging out behind their big sis…because she is slightly terrifying…
See? Just slightly…

The Spirit of Halloweentown was a very cool experience, and I highly recommend going, especially if you have kids that are fans of the movie! You can find more information on their Facebook page.

Fall In Love with Highway 22

Fall In Love with Highway 22

There are two state parks along highway 22 in Oregon, as well as a buttload of forest service parks – and the drive is breathtakingly beautiful in the fall.

Seriously…an buttload of forest service parks.

Silver Falls

Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park is located about 45 miles northeast of Salem. The park is enormous with beautiful hiking trails, including the Trail of Ten Falls. The most visited waterfall is the South Falls, which you can hike behind.

South Falls
South Falls….falling south
The trail leading behind the south falls, to the elephant graveyard… #alternativefacts

A lot of the main trails are off limits to pets, but there are over 35 miles of backcountry trails that you can take your furbabies on.

Rusty and Milo were upset that they were not permitted on some of the trails, so they peed on everything that they could.

There is plenty of interpretive displays along the main trails, with history on the area and the park.

There are a lot of bridges in the park.
Oh, just get over it.
Older bridge covered in moss.

There is also a beautiful lodge that has a cafe and WiFi.

Cafe and Lodge

We will be visiting Silver Falls State Park again as there was too much to see in one trip…and we were too lazy to hike the Trail of Ten Falls this time and I am disappointed with us.

Detroit Lake

Detroit Lake State Park is another 50 miles east of Silver Falls. The lake is huge and is a very popular place in the spring and summer. Plenty of lake for watersports and fishing.

Dawn over Detroit Lake brings with it The Mist.
While looking at the photos from Detroit Lake, I am starting to think that it should have been named Crystal Lake.
Um. Jason? Is that you under there?
The mist floating along the waters of Camp Crystal Lake.

The small town of Detroit is nearby and is the self-proclaimed “motor boat city.” The “motor boat city” has a few small markets, and a few small restaurants and bars. There is also a dog park, which is a small 6’ x 8’ area with a broken fence, but the dogs were happy taking a tinkle there.

Welcome to Detroit Motor Boat City
No. Just No.
Speaking of motorboats, I came across this happy tree.

We found the only WiFi in the town at The Cedars Restaurant and Lounge. We ate buffalo chips, and lounged so much in the lounge that we were still lounging the next day until about noon.

I will admit to overlounging, but I am still sure that this is NOT what I had for dinner.

What I have discovered over the past week and a half is that fall along Highway 22 is quite brief, as this would have been the drive just a few days later.

Mother Nature!! Just stop it! We aren’t even a month into fall.

Next Blog: Portland, Oregon

Gracie Land Dog Park – A Review by Milo

Okay everyone, Milo here! I need to make this quick while our peoples are napping. Our peoples said it was okay to write dog blogs, but only when they were with us. They’re napping right now, but I couldn’t wait to tell you about this little park just for dogs!

I’m about to bite Rusty’s face…
Oh. Well. I will let him get me, and I will bite his face next time.

Okay, so you know, the place we come from, I mean before we started traveling everywheres, well that place doesn’t like dogs so much. I mean there are lots of dogs and lots of peoples who like dogs, but they have no place for dogs to hang out. No dog park. It is sad.

Here it comes…ninja dog…Rusty won’t even see it coming.
Ha! I bit Rusty’s face!

So, okay, people who like dogs didn’t like that (and neither did us dogs either). So, this dog named Gracie (she’s even on TV!) got her peoples to build her one! Okay, so her peoples have a business that gets humans to come and buy cars for us dogs to ride in, and Gracie got them to build their own little place for dogs… and any dog can come play and it is called Gracie Land! Rusty and I love going there. There aren’t very many dogs, but that is okay… maybe they just don’t know about the place yet.

I haven’t sniffed Gracie’s butt yet, but I think she’s kind of cute.
Grey grass is the best! You can find Gracie Land behind Coos Bay Toyota, at 2001 North Bayshore Drive Coos Bay, OR 97420.

Oh! So maybe they’ll know now because I’m telling you all about it! It is not very big, but it is big enough, and there is a table for me to lay on while my peoples sit at the bench! There’s a big bucket I can dunk my whole face in for water, and they just reseeded the grass so it’s all grey and fluffy!

Okay, for the humans, I heard our peoples talking about something called “Ko-fee”… they have it everyday, and there is a little shop inside the building where the nice new cars are (which would be nice to ride in) that you can get yourself a Ko-fee.

Okay, for my first Dog Park Review – I wish there was more toys and more dogs – I thought about giving it two paws – but it is super cool that those peoples, who didn’t need to do this, did it just for us anyway. Okay, because they did, I am going to give it 3 out of 4 paws!

My mom person just woke up from her nap and said to tell you all that they are back on the road and will be posting all regular (like poop?) soon!!

Complaints from RVers About Other RVers

Complaints from RVers About Other RVers

We are members of quite a few RVing groups on Facebook, and they are a great source of information, and they have a lot of experienced RVers to answer your questions. The groups are 90% useful and 10% grumpy farts. There’s always a handful that have to throw poo like they skipped a step in the evolutionary process…

So, I’m going to talk about the complaints I have seen the most from RVers about other RVers. You can use the information to avoid pissing people off – or to make it a lot worse if you don’t care how bunchy their panties get.

Kids Having Fun
Seriously, this is a complaint that I have seen more than once. What we full-timers need to remember is that this is our life. We get to stay at these parks, travel, and relax or explore whenever and however we like. The weekenders or vacationers are trying to make the best of the limited time they have before they have to go back to work. Have some patience! Take a good listen to a kids’ laughter – it could be contagious!

Gee, Mr. Wilson. Unknot your drawers.

Unleashed Dogs
First, we are dog owners. We have two full-sized dogs that you can learn all about them here. Second, your dogs should ALWAYS be on leash when outside. That is the rule 99% of the time, so follow it. If your dog is amazingly well-behaved then congratulations, and they shouldn’t mind being on a leash because they are so amazingly well-behaved. Also, it makes my dogs jealous that yours are off leash and mine are all dressed up with them. Stop making my dogs jealous. Just follow the rules.

It’s really not that hard to follow the rules…

People Walking Through Your Campsite
Okay, I gotta go with the grumpy farts on this one. If it’s isn’t your campsite, stay out of it.

I feel a little violated just reading the sign.

Generators
“They have their generator on all night long.” “It’s so loud.” “The fumes come in my window.” Okay okay, okay. I get it. You are probably out RVing because you like the outdoors; because nature sounds and smells better than a city every time. But we all travel differently. We don’t own a generator, but have some great portable solar panels. BUT we do not use much power. No TV, no microwave, etc. We’ve gotten annoyed by a generator a time or two, but having a camping neighbor come tell us about his heart monitor that needs charged often (he is on the heart transplant list) reminded us that we don’t know what other people got going on in their lives, so we probably shouldn’t gripe about any of them…well, maybe a few of them. 

You can gripe about these guys.

LINKS on RVing Etiquette (I do not necessarily agree with all of these, or any of them, but thought I would share other opinions too, even though mine is really the only one that matters.

10 Commandments of RV Etiquette  

Campground Etiquette

RV Etiquette

The Painted Hills and Boondocking on the John Day River

Painted Hills and Boondocking on the John Day River

Our world is amazing, but in case you don’t believe me then go ahead and visit the John Day Fossil Beds Painted Hills Unit.

Each layer represents climate change or volcanic action in history.
The colors shift with shadows and cloud coverage.

To see the history of the world laid out before your eyes makes you feel so young and small – even if you are an old fart!

This path give you a close encounter with some very colorful mounds – I think there is a dirty joke in there somewhere, but I will leave it alone.
The dark red is representing a much wetter, almost tropical, climate.

The painted hills and mounds are rich in clay and were formed over 35 million years ago by different volcanic eruptions and changing climate patterns.

The red clay.

While visiting the hills we stayed at a small BLM campground nearby. No charge for up to 14 days stay is the perfect price as far as I’m concerned.

Dusk on the John Day River
Perfect for a slow float.
View near our camping spot.
Views of the John Day River
There is a lot of raft and canoe traffic during the summer.

The dispersed camping is right on the John Day River. The location is perfect for fishing, swimming, or just floating the river. We spent about 20 hours a day swimming with our Rusty and Milo.

Milo is part shark.
Duuun dun duuun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun BOM BOM dun dun dun dun dun dun….
Rusty is more of a guppy.

There is plenty of scenery and wildlife at the dispersed camping area.

John Day duck.
Hawk.
Bald Eagle.
Freedom.
M-O-O-N.
Man-made scenery, but a couple of old guys with their old cars came to visit, too.

LL “Stub” Stewart State Park, Forest Grove, OR

We headed inland after leaving our exciting ghost hunting experience at Fort Stevens State Park. We drove over Highway 26 toward Forest Grove, OR. There was a three-vehicle accident along the way, and instead of just sitting on the road to wait for the wreckage to clear, we pulled into Camp 18. Camp 18 is a restaurant and logging museum in Elsie, OR.  There are lots of shaded picnic tables, a small creek flows beside it, and there is a ton of logging artifacts and history. It was a great little unexpected stop!

Train Car at Camp 18
This super big cool thing.
Camp 18 water wheel
Water wheel
World’s biggest fishing weight?
Camp 18 viewed from the creek
All aboard!
These are deer made from wire frames to grow plants inside – the plants are all dead and it made them super creepy.

Due to some appointments we needed to be near Portland, OR for a few days.  We had reserved a spot at LL ‘Stub’ Stewart State Park (we don’t normally reserve spots, as we are a more of fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of RVers). The park is really nice with lots of tall trees, miles of hiking trails, and wildflowers. There were high temperatures while we were there, so the first few days were spent hiding in the shade, but we did get to explore a little bit. 

Picnic Table Centerpiece

There is a fenced off-leash area for the dogs to run, which is always a plus for us!

Rusty enjoying leash freedom!!
Yay! Shade! Shade is good!
Mr. Rusty enjoying the day!
Milo found a tasty tree-bone!
Yum!
Tastiest tree-bone ever!

The nearby town of Forest Grove has the world’s tallest barber pole, so we had to go check that out!

World’s Tallest Barber Pole
72′ Tall Barber Pole
Rusty and Milo were impressed!
I didn’t realize that the barber pole was in Lincoln Park – but I find bliss in ignorance.

After our time at LL “Stub” Stewart, we headed over I-84 to check out the Colombia River Gorge – up next!

A Dog Blog by Rusty!

Oh! Hi!

My name is Rusty.

I’m pretty handsome, but I try not to brag.
Hey! Who put this picture here? I look ridiculous.

I took over my mom’s computer today and I’m going to write a blog like she does! Milo is here collaborating with me, but he doesn’t know how to type.

He doesn’t even LOOK like he could type. Yep. That’s my idgit little brother.

We just want all you other travelers out there that if you don’t already have a dog in your RV – you need to go get one! We LOVE to travel!

We have a sweet set up in the back of this truck!

We get to smell everything.

I smelled the thing first, but Milo likes to jump in front like a punk kid.
Milo says “I smelled the thing first, but Rusty always likes to act like he’s the boss and run ahead.” BUT Milo is an idgit and I don’t listen to him. – Rusty.

We get to pee on everything

Look at how majestic I am!

It is so much fun and you would have so much fun too if you added a dog to your family!

This is the best! We love hitting the road for new smells and pee places!!

All you have to do is go visit a Dog Jail and find a new family member. Don’t worry!!! Dog Jail doesn’t actually keep bad dogs – they’re all good dogs just waiting for people to love! You can also check out all the good dogs at www.petfinder.com!

Thanks for reading and make sure to share pictures of your dogs with us – and we’ll make sure to wag our tails at you when we see you on the road!

I can type. I just wanted him to do all the work! – Milo.
Also – I can’t wait to sniff your dogs’ butt! – Milo
I’m just leaving this here to embarrass Rusty. – Milo.

 

 

 

 

 

Redwoods and Trees of Mystery

Majestic.

Awe inspiring.  

Magnificent.

Grand.

Splendid.

BIG.

Just some descriptive words that come to mind in the California Redwoods.

That’s some big wood…
…that’s what she said.

We just visited the northern parts of the Redwoods, near Jedediah Smith National and State Parks. We spent a few days exploring the forests, rivers, and parks.

Howland Hill Road. An excellent motor tour through the giant trees.
How many trees can you plant in an empty forest? One. After that, it’s not empty anymore.
It takes a long time to say anything in Old Redwoodish -and we never say anything unless it is worth taking a long time to say.

Our favorite part of the visit was Trees of Mystery. Trees of Mystery allows you to bring your four-legged friends in with you! So, Rusty and Milo got to go play tourists with us and even got to ride a gondola up the SkyTrail.  Trees of Mystery is gorgeous and worth the ticket price!

Paul Bunyan and Babe are at the entrance to welcome you to Trees of Mystery.
Rusty and Milo were VERY excited about Trees of Mystery!
This guy makes me think about how I feel after too much to eat and not enough nap.

 

The Elephant Tree
Nature’s Underpass
Nom. Nom. Nom.

 

What are we doing next? We already peed on every tree here!

 

SkyTrail Gondola

 

Um. Someone is taking the ground away. We should get out. – Milo.
Rusty enjoyed the view!

 

Redding, CA

Redding, CA

According the itinerary that I loosely created for our trek back to Oregon, we were going to stop at Whiskeytown Lake, near Redding, CA, and stay for a week. Mr. Write on the Road spent some of his young wild years growing up (….although, he’s still working on that part) there, and had a friend from way back that he wanted to hang out with.

As it sometimes goes with RV Living, things didn’t work out that way. We arrived at Whiskeytown, which is run by the National Parks Service, to discover that most of the campgrounds were closed – and if the campground was open, then the road to the campground was closed. There wasn’t a heads up on their website about the closures, so I was irritated to say the least. 

We ended up driving 20 miles north of Redding to Bailey Cove Campground, which is a small campground right on Shasta Lake. It is beautiful! Lots of birds to watch, the beautiful Shasta Lake in the background, and tall, tall trees. After 3 months at Joshua Tree, I needed the fresh smell of trees and grass.

This particular feathered friend was waiting for the dogs to look away so he could pull some ninja-bird tricks and steal their food.
Our little corner of Shasta Lake during sunset.
Beautiful colors along the lake.

Because of the cost of the camp site and the distance to Redding and back to our campground, we opted for only staying two nights at Bailey Cove. The cost per night is $20 – we have an access pass to decrease the fee by 50%, but $10 a night is still too much for this frugal couple.

We spent the first day in Redding. We managed to get together with the Mr.’s long-time buddy, and it was a great time! Social media can be a real blessing when it comes to this kind of life as you are able to find long-lost friends and reconnect as you travel. If you find yourself in the Redding/Anderson area and in need of some pampering, go visit De Ja’ Vu – A Fluxx Concept Salon . Mr.’s buddy owns and operates the salon, so go check it out and leave looking fabulous!

We spent the rest of the day wandering around Redding as the Hubs showed me his old stomping grounds, including stories of a young man’s insanity. It was – interesting. 🙂

The second day was a calm, peaceful morning at the campground. Coffee, trees, and birds. The dogs took a quick swim in Shasta Lake before we got back on the road.

On the lookout for the ninja-birds.
No, sir. This is my stick. You go find your own.

Now we are off to Valley of the Rogue State Park in Oregon- and to meet our granddaughter!

 

5 Tips for Traveling with your Significant Other

There are a lot of similarities between living in a sticks n’ bricks and living in an RV full time. Meals are pretty much the same. Sleeping is the pretty much the same. Walking the dogs is the same. You know what is different? You are spending 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with your partner while living in a Costco sized tin can.

If you don’t like your significant other, then this is probably not the life for you. For the most part Mr. Write on the Road and I like each other…almost all the time. And when we don’t, we take a walk, play with the dogs, or read a book and pretend the other one doesn’t exist until we do like each other again…actually, that is probably sound advice no matter how or where you live.

We have discussed and came up with 5 important tips for traveling together and decided to share our wisdom (*cough bullshit cough*) with you.

  1. Don’t run out of things to do. Whatever your hobbies are – keep them. I am an avid reader, and if I run out of books I get cranky. If he runs out of laptop battery power, he gets cranky. We have our individual things to occupy ourselves like reading, writing, walking, rock climbing, photography, etc. If you get restless go do something together that you don’t get to do every day – go to the movies, go visit a local museum, get dressed up and have a date night. Just do something to cure your restlessness so you don’t get cranky with each other.
Him: Honey, what you thinking about doing today? Me: PMSing Him:…Oh…Well. I think I am going to take the dogs for a long walk.
  1. While not letting yourselves get too restless is a great idea, it’s an even better idea to remember to take your time. This is your life now; no more rushing, no more time limits, no more alarm clocks. Take a deep breath, and take your time.

  1. Arguments are going to happen – silly little fights over whose turn it is to do the dishes and whatnot. The only difference in living in an RV and arguing and living in a sticks n’ bricks and arguing is the fact that your neighbors can hear you better. RV’s aren’t insulated well, and your campground neighbors can hear how petty and silly you are when you fight. So at least do your best to entertain them.

  1. Never stop saying I love you. You’re going to be spending almost all of your time together, but don’t get so stuck in your RVing routine that you start taking advantage of each other. This is your travel partner, your best friend, and lover – treat them as such.

  1. When things get stressful (traffic, noisy neighbors, bears chasing you, etc) don’t start playing the blame game. You’re in this together, stick together and you can through anything – well, I’m not sure about the bear scenario….
You talkin’ about me?

Bonus Tip: Try not to eat gassy foods. This is my recommendation, not his. Mostly I am hoping he will read this and adjust his farting habits.

Poor, poor Milo.