December 5

Following is the story of the nights of the 2-3-4th because once I hooked up with Alex we were just busybusy waaay too busy to mess around with pictures!

December 2, Champoeg Oregon State Park to Wilsonville, Oregon:

After spending my first trailer-night at Champoeg, I drove up to meet Alex who, knowing everything about making things go, had generously, kindly, devotedly, offered to drive down with me and help me get comfortable with some of the ins and outs of trailer-ness.

The plan was to stay the night with Alex's friends Terry and Tammie in Wilsonville. They welcomed me warmly and we had a great evening.
Terry and Tammie live about forty-five minutes outside Portland in an area of rolling hills and five acre horse properties. They have many big toys that gave Alex a bad case of the lusts. Mostly he really Really wanted this tractor.
Terry and Alex are old buddies from the good old days and they both had a great time reminiscing about other old friends and experiences from back when they were young.

Terry, playing us his latest blues composition which was knee slapping fun:

E Loeb Blues by Terry Veal, 2003
Basic 12 bar blues, basic 12 bar repeats

My Baby done left me; You know she left me pretty hard

Came home last Thursday; Found all of my clothes in the yard :: After work on Wednesday; I went looking for a bar

I forgot on Tuesday; She told me, Boy, you’ve gone too far :: I was Drinking Martinis; And I let Wednesday slip away

I wandered in on Thursday; I thought it would be OK :: Oh lordy, lordy; My buddy's couch is pretty hard

I get the blues so bad; Thinking ‘bout my clothes in that yard.
One of their horses who came in to say hi. Because maybe oats might be forthcoming?
December 3, Wilsonville to Redwood National and State Parks:

A gas station stop, of which there were so very many, on the road to Redwood National and State Parks on the California coast just below the Oregon border.
Catching the sunset at Crescent City. We had a lovely dinner here, did a quick email check, and made some calls since there was no reception in the park.
December 3, Redwood National and State Parks to San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area:

Just lovin' these kinds of mornings, wrapped in the crisp and sweetlly fragrant aura of The Woods.
Except it was actually really cold. I set up the tripod in the finger-Freezing cold for this amusing-don'cha-think self-portrait. It's cold and it's all about the layers. There was not another camper in sight - I did however get dressed before we went out for a walk.
Alex, more used to being the photo-taker and not the photo-takee, but he was game and never complained about Anything.

You'll want to look at this site! Click HERE. This is a magnificent National Park that includes many California State sponsored sites and together they make up the Redwood National and State Parks.

This is the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.
The park overall is a huge area (50 miles of coast and more inland) including old growth redwoods, rivers, beaches, bluffs, prairie, it goes on and on with individually named parks, campsites and visitor's centers in the different ecological areas.

I will definitely Need to go back!
Down by the river.

Fisherfolk. And who could resist such reflections?
On the coast.
December 4, San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area to Home:

You can click HERE if you want to have a look at what else is available.

We arrived late and left early and it was perfect, near I-5 at Los Banos, for those times when you've just got to stop. And they have hook-ups too!

We got back to Santa Monica in the rain. Alex got the trailer wedged in there behind my garage in one pass, Carol came to take Alex home and life is good and all is right with the universe.
December 2

Tomorrow I'll tell about this place where I spent my first night in the trailer - Champoeg (pronounced Sham-Poo-ee) Oregon State Park!

OKOK so here it is the 4th and I've not yet caught up due to... a story for Tomorrow when I get Home!!
I have GOT to get a macro lens. That's all there is to it. Say I, hopefully.
More. (Park details to follow.)
December 1

Of course, waking up this morning I just Had To Have that trailer. So I went back, made the deal, and then one of the guys loaned me his car so I could do some sightseeing while they did the work on my hitch.

This time of year in this area of Oregon there are two colors, like nature's duotone, grey and green.
I've been criss-crossing the Willamette River for a day now and wishing there were more 'scenic view' turn-outs. It is very beautiful and also you can feel how important the river is in the industrial development of all the surrounding communities.
The garage guys. Unfortunately I didn't get a shot of the sales guys. Having recently gone through the drama of buying the car I can only say that salesmen are salesmen the world around. The garage guys speak for themselves.
Above the garage where the garage guys work.
My first night out. And it is absolutely here-kitty-kitty-PURRRfect. Cozy and spacious. Bright! Vintage and up-to-date. Charming! Practical! OhBoyOhBoy knockout fab-u-loso.
November 30

Grant's Pass to Aurora.

Here in Aurora, Oregon, I became face to face with the object of this trip - a 1964 camping trailer. I left the dealer without it, in a mental twist, and will almost certainly go back and get it.

If I use it for two trips and sell it for half of what I pay it will be about the cost of renting for two trips. I keep saying this for good reason, because it is true.

The thing is cute as pie, no generator, a little ratty, but if it was a Bigfoot 1500 it would cost eight times as much, and you can buy a portable generator and replace a whole lot of carpet for all that dough.
The real thing...
At 7am it still isn't fully light and at 5pm it is completely dark. But! it is not until 9am that the temperature breaks 40 and by 3pm, back to 40!
And off and on raining. Gorgeous, but challenging!
November 29

Elk Grove to Grant's Pass, Oregon.

This place, Annie's Country Kitchen, a few hours outside Sacramento, was an admitedly risky place to stop, but I was feeling like I needed some risk after the chain store maddness of Elk Grove.

It turned out lucky for me (except for the unfortunate muzak soft-core Jesus rock they played for background music). The split pea soup was just like I make it, with chunky peas and plenty of stringy ham. The potato salad was just like I make it, with skins and a good hit of crunchy bits, easy on the mayo. And the patty melt had so many grilled onions I had to eat it with a fork!
Castle Crags State Park. There were dozens of georgous camp sites here, all unoccupied I guess because Winter has made itself know.
The Castle Crags 'glacier-planed granite spires' from Vista Point.

Included in the park are riverfront sites, fishing, waterfalls, mineral springs, and miles of hiking trails. In some places, through the treetops, you can glimpse Mount Shasta.
Oh baby, oh baby, Mount Shasta in the setting sun.
November 28

LA to Elk Grove, outside Sacramento.

It's the Sunday of the busiest travel weekend of the year. There are wind advisories and dust storms through the entire San Joaquin Valley. It took 8 hours to do a 5 hour trip. But I didn't care. No problem. I'm Retired!

Elk Grove is a suburb of Sacramento and an excellent study of why we need to appreciate and protect our parkland. What I saw of Elk Grove was a miles square complex of low slung faux mission chain store upon chain store complex of shopping malls and parking lots. I contributed. I stood in line for 20 minutes to buy food from Panda Express.

(included in this story: Alex Lopez, Carol Lopez, Terry Veal, Tammie Veal)
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