Sunday, August 30, 2009

4th State: Oregon (Aug 30, 2009)

Early in July 2009 I was wrapping things up in Monterey, CA and waiting on a dual receiver for my trailer hitch, which would allow me to have the bike mounted between the van and the trailer. I saw one in a parking lot at Subway’s and asked the guy about it. He said they cost about $20 and I could order one online. So, I’d been waiting for the receiver to come. (later I decided that set up didn’t work for me and I gave it away.)

The friend I had been staying with in Monterey, CA lives about four blocks from the Aquarium and I began setting things out on the corner… and stuff was just disappearing, sometimes before I could walk back to the house. Good, I’m glad someone wants my stuff. Left Monterey the middle of July. Then as posted in my last blog, I visit Tahoe again for dental work, paddled NV while there and finally got on the road middle of August.

Since I had paddled CA many times now (Monterey Bay (many), Morro Bay (3), Spooners Cove (1), Elkhorn Slough (4), Tahoe West Shore (1)- was maiden voyage for my new kayak), then paddled AZ, it is confusing on which state is 3rd. But by August 22, I was heading north once again. As mentioned in my last blog, I stayed at Beale Air Force Base FamCamp.

While there I mended clothes, made bug net for my bunk, kayaked Gold Lake, organized the van... slept, rested, watched t.v., made soup, and got 40 mosquito bites.

I was waiting for medications to arrive in the mail and finally left Beale AFB northward to Astoria, OR. It was very hot, so found some shade and waited for the cooler night air to drive. I feared the heat would cause another tire blowout. Oregon... here I come. (Was going to kayak Clear Lake, CA but I was already too far north so will do it next time I’m in CA.) I wrestled with the Laptop being up front with me… and didn’t have it secured and it feel off and bent my air card. A friend suggested I save myself some heartache and buy a short USB extension cable-plug the dongle into that and then plug the extension into the laptop. That’s what I did, and luckily, though bent, it still works.

On August 27, 2009 I stopped for gas in Yreka, CA. A neat looking gypsy wagon pulled in and I just had to go take a picture. Grabbed the camera... then ran over to it and met Suzanne Verdal. She gave me her email address so I could send her the photos I took, but did not tell me – she was THE Suzanne in the song “Suzanne” “she fed me tea and oranges.” I had never heard the song by Lenard Cohen. Never heard of Cohen.. So cool to meet her and I hope to ran into her again. Vandweller friend, Katie (twoknives), says it was her mom's favorite song.
She probably thought I knew who she was… but I didn’t have a clue, other than it looked like a lady living out of a vehicle… a vandweller.
August 29 - had a good night's sleep without skeeters and the next day, I hiked over the biggest sand dune I have ever seen, beachcombed for a hour or so... jogged along the beach (yes I can run now), hiked back over the dune and didn’t even break a sweat. A few years ago, I would not have thought such a thing was possible. Then I drove north along Rt 101.
Drove out on the South Jetty Road (well worth the trip) and watched the Harbor Seals inside the jetty. At night I was I'm riding my bike around the campground, just to stretch my legs.
August 31, 2009 - I kayaked Siltcoos Lake, OR. I paddled out into the lake and saw an island. That's when I decided I needed some kind of goal for each paddle... so I kayaked all around the island. Way kewl! It was really wonderful to be on a rather pristine shoreline, though there were houses on the island, all with boat docks and solar. But I never saw any people and most of the houses are for sale.
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Roland and Petra Wittren of Tillamook, OR where the campground host there.  Next year when I returned… they were not there.  Best wishes Roland and Petra wherever you are.
Research of the lake indicates that the lake may be dead. I talked to all the fishermen I saw and they all said they weren’t catching anything. Most have been fishing the lake for 50 years… and said it had never been this bad. I noticed the water where I put in at the campground, looked soapy.

In Florence OR I found this wonderful little Laundromat, which had a shower in it. The place was the cleanest it could be. The owner had worked for the Park Service for years and knew the value and importance of offering showers. Even free towels to us. Boy, did it feel good.
On September 1st, I planned to stop in Portland, OR to have dinner with a friend (Vandweller Dr. Suzanne). We had a great visit and I feel I’ve found another friend for life. Yah. We were going to try for a paddle just west of Portland, but weather didn’t cooperate. Next morning, I headed back to coast... and up Rt. 101. (to be continued)

Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles? Maybe. Still healing from shoulder and trying to decide.