Two Years on the Road – Notable RV Parks

Camping under tall pines at Boston Minuteman Campground, Massachusetts

Our nomad lifestyle traveling throughout the U.S. for over two years has meant staying at a number of different RV parks or campgrounds. We have spent time at approximately 105 of these, mostly for a week or two, some for several nights and even a few for a month or more. For me, the RV parks are mostly just a means to an end, a place to stay so we can explore nearby attractions and experience the U.S. Our reservations have always been kept and we have had good stays at almost all of them for which we have been grateful. Although they have varied of course depending on the state and region, most have not been particularly notable. In this post I thought I would focus on some that did stand out. These might not necessarily have been our favorite parks, but they were unique in some way.

A Park With a Swamp:

We loved our time in Louisiana where we stayed at Bayou Wilderness RV Resort for one month. This park was notable in that it had its own swamp. Now I love swamps and this one although small was attractive but unfortunately alligator 🐊 free. (In my opinion, a good swamp needs a few alligators 😊). Since we were there in late fall, the cypress trees had turned a rusty orange color and were dropping their needles.

We experienced two other notable things while staying at Bayou Wilderness. It was the only place where it snowed while there in December. Although the snow only fell lightly during a morning, it did stick for a day. The park owner told us that he had not seen snow there for many years, so a real novelty. The other thing is that this was our cheapest stay at only $480.00 for the entire month.

Most Interesting Park Geologically:

Blue Rocks Family Campground Office

We stayed at Blue Rocks Campground in Lenhartsville, Eastern Pennsylvania for four nights. Our main reason for staying in that area was to visit Hawk Mountain, a well known place for birders to come see hawks migrating. A very good friend of mine and her husband were the caretakers of this sanctuary in the 1930’s and I had always hoped to visit. This was not one of our favorite stays as we didn’t really like our spot, but the massive landslide of rock like a large river through the forest was an impressive sight. These boulder sized rocks stretched for a mile downhill through the Park.

A river of rock surrounded by forest

The Best Walking Path:

Walking path along the Mississippi River

We were delighted with our stay at Riverview RV park in Vidalia, Louisiana. It wasn’t necessarily because of the park itself, but because we were camping next to the mighty Mississippi River. There is something about this river that is so alluring that I can see why it has been written so much about and immortalized, plus it is the second largest river in the U.S. We loved watching all the barges and tow boats come and go and at night in our trailer, we could hear the hum of their engines passing in the night. There were plenty of places to view the river as a mile and a half long concrete path stretched from the park along the shore, passing under the bridge which crosses from Vidalia to the town of Natchez, Mississippi.

We saw some beautiful sunsets on the Mississippi River

The Tastiest Park:

Our site at Orange Grove RV Park

Place me in the middle of a grove with ripened oranges 🍊 and I am one happy camper! That is what we found at Orange Grove RV Park located outside of Bakersfield, California in a large citrus growing region. This expansive park is a favorite with us for a few reasons. Besides the oranges, it features long pull through spots that are easy to set up in. The camp sites were literally carved out of an orange grove with trees lining each site. In addition, there are orange trees or mini groves along the sides of the park. We also liked visiting the California Fruit Depot, located around the corner. This is a small shop that features samples of almost everything sold including dates, candies, nuts and dried fruit.

After a short shower we were treated to a beautiful rainbow
One of the groves laden with fruit

RVers are welcome to pick as many oranges as they wish, as long as they are picked when ripe. They even have picking tools to help campers get at the highest fruit. The last time I was there I felt almost gluttonous I picked so many, even though there were so many oranges they were falling off the trees. Since we were heading back to our campground in Northern California near where our son, daughter-in-law and grandkids live, they were happy to see us when we gave them a large bucket of oranges to squeeze for juice.

The Best RV Park Name:

We found the most welcoming park in Mobile, Alabama. Every visitor is acknowledged on a sign next to their site, even pets!

Mark and I have a hard time remembering the names of parks we have stayed in. Sometimes they just don’t stick in our minds, especially when we have been to so many places. One name I haven’t forgotten is “All About Relaxing,” a park located in Mobile, Alabama. The owners were former RVers who wanted to create a park with features they appreciated when they were on the road. As the name implies, they made a number of places to just hang out and relax – there was a pool, patio sitting areas, hammocks and a fire pit each night. Everything was clean, cheerful and nicely decorated. Unfortunately, it was freezing temperatures when we stayed in early January 2018 so hanging around outside was difficult and unusual for this time of year.

The Name Rang True:

Bay Breeze is a cute little park located on Mobile Bay near Gulf Shores, Alabama. It was one of the smallest parks we have ever stayed in. We were lucky to get a spot here for two weeks as it is usually filled with repeat visitors who come from the cold north to spend the winter on the warm Gulf of Mexico. In our case, one of the visitors had to leave for an emergency giving us this opportunity. I was thrilled to be staying just feet away from the water. We soon encountered those bay breezes the park mentions in their sign. In January 2018 the South was gripped with freezing temperatures and the wind howled across the Bay with such ferocity that I couldn’t stay outside even bundled up for more than about 10 minutes.

Mark walking on the park’s pier

Repeat visitors talked about how temperatures were usually in the 70’s and 80’s, not in the low 40’s during the day and below freezing at night. Mark put a number of his knitted hats in the office and chuckled the next morning as he saw most being worn and walked around. We were here for two weeks and the weather did improve. We really enjoyed the park, the ambience and the Gulf Shores area where there was much to see and do.

View of the deck and campsites from the pier

The Best Sunset:

Sunset Point RV Park, located on a very quiet bay in Maine came to be one of my all time favorite parks. It was a beautiful location and a short trail went along the shore with places to sit and watch the sunsets 🌅. We stayed for a week but the first several nights the sunset evaded us as clouds and fog drifted in. We did have a few nights of color though and it was as nice as we hoped. We also had a very pleasant campsite and we could order a freshly cooked lobster 🦞 from the owner which was served up to our door at the time we requested.

Most Unusual Neighbor:

Camping next to a small unfenced graveyard

There weren’t many RV parks to be found in the vicinity of Newport, Rhode Island and we were staying during the Labor Day weekend, so I was glad to find an available spot at Meadowlark RV Park in Middletown, a few miles north of Newport. I read online reviews that this was just camping in a field with no amenities, so we were not expecting much. What we weren’t expecting was a graveyard right next to our site. We parked the truck literally within inches of a marker. The graves were not even surrounded with a fence or wall for protection, just a sign noting their historical significance and penalties for vandalism.

I found graves to be quite old in New England and it was no exception here. The gravestone above notes the deceased as Edward Tewes who died in 1776. Could Edward have died while fighting in the Revolutionary War? I did some research but had no success finding information about him. We had a great stay in Middletown and I loved visiting Newport, one of my favorite cities of our travels!

Most Isolated RV Park:

This RV park is out in the middle of nowhere

I decided to book a stay at Rusty’s RV Ranch in Rodeo, New Mexico because it was close to Portal, Arizona, a birding hotspot near the Chiricahua Mountains. I also thought it would be near Chiricahua National Monument, a park I had always wanted to visit but this turned out to not be accurate. But all the great birding did keep us busy. People come here for something else besides the birds – the dark sky. This is reputed to be one of the darkest skies in the country and a favorite location for sky gazers and astronomers. The park is surrounded by wide open spaces with no towns of any population for many miles. Rodeo is so small that it doesn’t have a regular grocery store or a place to get gas. We were told rather nonchalantly that the nearest gas was 14 miles away in the town of Animas, New Mexico which is also a little place although not as sleepy as Rodeo.

While the stargazers didn’t appreciate it, we really enjoyed watching a full moon rise in Rodeo, New Mexico

Thanks for checking in and stay tuned for my next post on more notable RV parks.

Rambling Around Beverly and Hollywood Hills

Standing near the “Pink Palace”

While visiting Matt and Emma a year ago in Southern California, Matt and I took off to explore a few swanky hotels in Beverly Hills. Our first stop was at the Beverly Hills Hotel also known as the “pink palace.” This was my second time to visit here, the first several years ago in early December. Of course, it was not to stay there as room prices vary from about $800 to $1100 per night. After all, I am just a simple RVer living in a small travel trailer 😀 . My rent is often less than that for a month. But the hotel is gracious and doesn’t mind visitors who just want to come in and soak up some atmosphere for awhile.

Matt walking on the red carpet up to the hotel’s entrance

The Beverly Hills Hotel has been around for awhile, even before the city of Beverly Hills existed. It opened in 1912, created with the idea of a place for people to stay while looking to buy property in the area. It became popular with Hollywood celebrities and other famous types and has hosted world leaders. Many movies have also been made here.

I was thrilled to find fresh blossoms on a stairway

During my first visit, the hotel was wonderfully decorated for Christmas, but this time in January, I found other decorations to delight me. My favorite was the flowers that covered the banister from the first floor down to a conference room, bouquets of roses and other freshly cut blooms.

There are several places to eat at the hotel and we decided to try the Cabana Cafe which is located outdoors in a patio setting next to the pool. The legendary pool opened in 1938 as the “Sand and Pool Club” with real sand to make it feel like a true beach club. Eleven cabanas line the private poolside. Matt eyed the cabanas longingly and said he would be interested in having one if he stayed at the hotel. But, of course they come with a hefty extra price tag as well. No photos are allowed down in the pool area or at the cafe, so I only took one as we descended the stairs.

The ambience came at a price so we shared a more “affordable” pastry basket that cost about $25.00. When chocolate chip cookies cost $12.00 a piece, you can imagine what the breakfasts and lunches were like. The setting was beautiful with the hotel’s color scheme of pink contrasted with dark green and white stripes in the decor and furniture. We enjoyed basking in elegance for awhile.

Matt relaxing at one of the Beverly Hills Hotel outdoor seating areas

After exploring around the hotel we left to find another hotel to hang out in. We had thought about stopping at the Beverly Hills Wilshire, but driving down Doheny Drive we saw signs next to the Four Seasons Hotel advertising the 2019 Golden Globe Awards and decided to quickly pull in. We had the car valet parked and as we got out cameras were clicking, since celebrity types were coming and going for the upcoming awards show the next day and you never know who might be arriving. Plus, Matt has been told he looks a little like the actor Matt Damon 😊 .

The grand Four Seasons Hotel
Matt striking a pose next to Marilyn Monroe
Golden Globe display inside the hotel lobby

We saw they were offering a buffet in the garden but when we tried to go out to see if we could join in, for some strange reason we were not allowed 😃 . Turns out it was for a private party so we headed to the bar area. Matt thought we would get a drink and see if we could spot any celebrities. He soon made a sighting and asked if I recognized him. Sadly, I did not recognize Randy Jackson, a television personality who was a former judge on the hit show, “American Idol,” a show I had never watched. He sat at a nearby table talking to several people. I realized ahead of time that I make a poor celebrity spotter since I haven’t watched many of the “newer” TV shows and although I do go to the movies 🎥 occasionally, I rarely keep up with film stars.

While Matt was checking out celebrity sightings, I was distracted by the beautiful fresh flower bouquets placed throughout the hotel lobby.

Matt saw someone working there that he knew and he offered to take us on a tour of the hotel, but alas we had already asked the concierge desk to get the car, so we had to pass on a tour.

Exploring the Hollywood Hills

Another day we took off to explore the Hollywood Hills. Matt who is an adept driver negotiated well the twisty turns and steep ascents as we weaved our way around, taking in the fancy homes and gorgeous views from high up. I know I could not drive that well in this area, but Matt is used to it and he was a great tour guide.

At one point we drove past a residence and Matt asked if I had seen the gorilla out front. I had missed it, so he did a quick U-turn and went back. Yes, a stone gorilla with piercing, red eyes aglow standing guard out front was a first for me.

Home once owned by my grandfather

Matt had been doing some genealogy research and found the home my grandfather once owned in Nichols Canyon many years ago. This was an interesting stop for me as I had never seen the house before. My mother spent her growing up years in the Hollywood Hills, although I don’t think in this home.

Griffith Observatory

After tackling the hills of Hollywood, we moved on to the Griffith Observatory, one of the most popular places to visit in the Los Angeles area. We parked below the building and got some exercise walking up the hill on the canyon road for a mile to the top. From there the views were magnificent and the building lovely as well. Lots of folks were there as it was getting near to sunset. In the photos below, we checked out the Los Angeles skyline.

From the Observatory is a great view of the famous Hollywood sign seen at left corner of photo

Although a lot of people come for the views, there are quite a few exhibits inside related to astronomy. There is also a planetarium offering shows and telescopes to check out at night.

Matt ponders an exhibit on the sun

It is a must to be here at dark when the views become even more magical with thousands of lights from downtown Los Angeles.

Our next stop after the Observatory was the Glendale Americana at Brand which still had wonderful decorations from the holidays that were fun to see. This is a popular shopping, eating and entertainment complex. Among other things was a huge Christmas tree and delightful water fountain show. I read that they even have snow falling and carolers in the evenings before Christmas. My favorite was the trolley zipping down the street also decked out for the holidays. The very large chandelier at the entrance was also quite cool.

I hope you enjoyed some of our Los Angeles area exploring! Next time I thought I would do a little different post – notable RV parks during our two plus years exploring. Stay tuned!

Exploring Venice Beach Promenade and Canals

Mark and Matt strolling the promenade

Venice is a great place to hang out in the L.A. area and that is what we did one day a year ago while visiting our son and daughter-in-law. Although I am a California native and grew up in Southern California, I had never visited Venice. So I was looking forward to exploring this popular beachside town. We started out with the 2-1/2 mile ocean front pedestrian walk, a fun place where people shop, eat, skate board, bike and Segway. Vendors sell crafts in booths and artists showcase their creations along the sidewalk. The sound of live music adds much to the atmosphere.

A little piano music along the Venice promenade
An artist making name plates shaped like surfboards. We got two for our grandsons

The shop I thought the most interesting was “Titan,” which mainly sells two kinds of things – hats and large transformer models. It was fun to take photos next to several of the metal “monsters.” They were pretty creepy looking!

Transformers at Titan
Trying on hats at the Titan store

In 1905, Mr. Abbott Kinney, developed this area calling it “Venice of America.” It became a resort beach town with a pier and carnival attractions. He also developed the Venice Canals which are a short walk from the beach. By the time the depression hit, the amusement industry wasn’t doing well. Then oil was discovered and the beach was transformed into a drilling field. Pretty soon it wasn’t the lovely beach town any more but polluted with oil waste and called the “Slum of the Sea.” Drilling continued in earnest through 1932 but then dropped off. By the 1990’s the beach oilfield was finally depleted and the derricks torn down. Once again Venice became a tourist Mecca.

Matt debates getting a hat

Venice is also known as a home for bodybuilders and has been called
“Muscle Beach.” One area along the promenade is still set up with workout machines and weights. It was here that Arnold Schwarzenegger (actor, famous body builder, former California governor) came in the late 1960’s after immigrating to America. I watched a video that Arnold did from several years ago talking about his days in Venice. Although he and other body builders liked working out at nearby Gold’s Gym, they often came to Muscle Beach because it was a great place to get a tan to look good for competitions. He reported that they would work out on the machines and then run over to the ocean and jump in the waves to cool off. Although the body building area didn’t look as big or dramatic as I imagined, it was still interesting to see this historic sight. Mark loves him from his old athletic days when he was a budding weight lifter himself and used to read some of Arnold’s books. Plus, I am a bit of an Arnold and Terminator movies fan.

Muscle Beach Gym where the public can get a day, month or year pass to work out

It was like stepping back in time to see the beautiful Venice Canals, a picturesque area. It was also much more peaceful than the promenade and beach area. People have charming homes along the canals and this is one area of L.A. that I think would be neat to live, especially since I love being near water. I would keep a kayak or canoe docked near my cottage and take to the water from time to time.

Today there are six main canals, four that run east to west and two north to south. When Mr. Kinney first developed them they were modeled after Venice, Italy. Gondolas piloted by gondoliers traveled the waterways with more canals than remain today. At first people called this “Kinney’s Folly” as they didn’t think he could make much from the beach marshland. But he succeeded in selling plots of land for homes and drawing many visitors. By the 1920’s when cars had become popular, the canals were seen as outdated and filled in for paved roads.

Venice Canal Association best dressed home contest

Thankfully, in 1993 the canals were restored with walk ways and bridges renovated, a six million dollar project.

One of the lovely canal bridges decked out with flags of the world

I have always been intrigued by the little libraries that have become popular in recent years and are located in front of homes or businesses. If I lived here I would also have a little library like we found on a floating dock. People could easily paddle their craft up and check out a book.

Matt checks out a little library along one of the canals
Hoping for world peace, health and prosperity? Leave a wish on this bridge

As we walked back from the canals we came upon this delightful residence. The owner had decorated her shrubbery and palm trees with hand knitted “socks.” We visited a little admiring her handiwork.

There are plenty of intriguing eateries in the Venice and Santa Monica area. We finished off our exploring with dinner at the adorable and tasty little Caribbean cafe called “Cha Cha Chicken.”

Thanks for coming along with us as we explored Venice. Stay tuned for another post exploring the Beverly Hills and Hollywood area.

Looking Back – Fun Stay at Hollywood RV Park

Matt and Emma at Hollywood RV Park
Emma and our grand pup Harry

Towards the end of the year in 2018, I called Hollywood RV Park to see about making reservations to stay there a week or so in early January 2019. When I reached one of the office staff, she thought for a bit and said she wasn’t sure they would have a space since it was just after the holidays. As we spoke I mentioned that our son Matt and daughter-in-law Emma were staying at this park. She immediately said, “Why didn’t you tell me in the first place! We love Matt and Emma” and started to list all the reasons why. So, it ended up they were able to find us a site after all.

Hanging out with Matt and Emma

Hollywood RV Park is located in the city of Van Nuys and close to Hollywood, Burbank, Beverly Hills and downtown Los Angeles. When we came, Matt and Emma had been staying there for several months while working as travel nurses in the ER of an area hospital. They really enjoyed this park, the atmosphere, owners and close proximity to lots of interesting attractions. They enjoy the L.A. area, so this was a great fit. We were also looking forward to staying for a short while in the place they were calling home. I know I am writing about this long after the fact, but in early 2019 I was bogged down trying to catch up on blog posts from our travels in the latter part of 2018. But now I am glad I delayed writing about our stay there. It is fun reminiscing about the park, our sightseeing and especially going through all the photos.

Lots of murals to discover at the Park!

Hollywood RV Park caters to people working in the movie industry, travel nurses, hospital patients and overnighters coming to visit the L.A. area. RV parks are few and far between in this part of California, something we have discovered during our travels. In populated places parks are often located on the outskirts, so finding one so close to all the action is rare. Movies and TV shows have been filmed at the park and shelves in the office hold awards (won by park residents), including an Oscar (the real thing) for the music to Star Wars. A number of people live here permanently including a few that were in the movie industry and one original occupant from 1976.

Forklift getting our trailer into place

Checking in was a little different than other places we have stayed. Since the lanes and sites are a bit narrow, RVers do not back themselves in but are moved in by a fork lift equipped with a trailer hitch, eliminating the need for a tow vehicle. A number of times in the past few years Mark and I have had to struggle to back in to tight fits …… well, I say Mark and I but it is Mark who is doing the backing in as I admit I could never do it. So, it was nice to be able to get in so easily! Although the sites are a little narrow, once in we didn’t feel cramped.

The Park is decorated with cute signs as each lane has a name – ours was Hollywood Blvd. There is also a lot of original art work on backboards at the sites and a large painted mural at the end of each lane. This is a fun setting to walk around and look at what has been created.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road
One of the cute decorated areas
Matt getting swallowed up!
I was so happy to find a Lucille Ball mural – one of my favorite actresses

The park has a neat club house where you can relax and watch TV as well as see live performances on their stage. More art work can be found on the walls as well as books and information on the history of Hollywood.

Hanging out at the clubhouse

Each site had a little something nice to offer. Our spot had a Meyer lemon tree that was loaded with lemons. I am always excited to have any fresh picked fruit and I got busy making lemonade and slicing lemons into water.

Entering the park you must pass this guard on his police motorcycle. Looks like he isn’t getting enough of that California sunshine!

Stay tuned for more fun exploring near Hollywood RV park when we visit the beachside community of Venice in my next post.

Touring Bob’s Red Mill and Harry & David

Production facility where the tour is held

If you love whole grains, you would really enjoy visiting Bob’s Red Mill located in Milwaukie, Oregon near Portland. Perhaps you have seen this product line where you shop as they are sold all over the U.S. and even around the world in supermarket chains and specialty grocery stores. We occasionally buy Bob’s Red Mill products and I had been curious about visiting here for several years. Bob’s provides a factory tour to see their production facility and at a separate location nearby there is a restaurant, bakery and store. We started out with the tour which is held at 10:00, Monday through Friday and takes about 90 minutes.

One of Bob’s main interests – piano playing

While waiting for the tour to begin we heard a piano being played in the next room. Turns out that Bob, the Company’s founder loves to play, frequently delighting guests with his songs. He couldn’t stay long though because as he came out of the room and I shook his hand he reported that he was, “off to a meeting.” At the age of 90, it appeared that Bob was still not retired!

As our tour began, we sat in a room surrounded with Red Mill products, information and advertisements. Our guide gave us a history of the company and how grains are processed. In 1978, Bob and his wife Charlee moved to the Portland area to retire and having an interest in milling, opened a business in an old mill building. They began stone grinding grains into flours and cereals and blending whole grain mixes. Over the years the company grew and they moved into a larger facility in 2007. They now have 410 employees working three shifts. On February 15, 2010, Bob celebrated his 81st birthday and announced to his employees that Bob’s Red Mill was now an employee owned company. An Employee Stock Ownership Plan was created that provided an orderly transition of ownership to the same employees that helped it grow.

Sitting on old millstones yet to be restored. Bob’s Red Mill still uses century old stones incorporated into a modern frame

During our tour we were able to look into windows and watch grains like corn and wheat being milled and packaged. They don’t allow photos though of the production floor. Everything looked very clean and orderly. We learned that employees start out as “temporaries” and if they do well can be kept on. Workers wear different colored uniforms depending on their job duties. After seeing the production we went to a room where we could pick out a few samples to take with us as well as visit the tiny gift shop for souvenirs.

Bob’s Red Mill Restaurant, Bakery and Store

After our tour we drove to the restaurant for lunch and a little shopping in their beautiful, modern building. We ordered food at a counter downstairs and ate at a seating area looking out over the store and bakery on the first floor.

Restaurant counter and bakery area

The menu is pretty good and true to their whole grain concept. They offer whole grain hot and cold cereals as well as oatmeal for breakfast and grain bowls, salads and vegan sandwiches for lunch. But they also offer egg breakfasts and sandwiches with meat. Different varieties of bread are baked onsite and sold in the store.

Even the company founder waits in line to order lunch

While we were eating upstairs, I looked down at one point and saw Bob standing in line waiting to order at the counter. It struck me as funny that the founder of the company would wait in line rather than just go in the back area and have someone rustle him up a sandwich or grain bowl. Kudos to Bob for being just a “regular guy.”😀

A spurtle is a 15th century Scottish porridge tool made in different sizes from wood. They sell them in the store so I couldn’t resist getting one, but I haven’t used it yet 😊
The company grinds and blends over two dozen different hot breakfast cereals.

The store sells every product that they make and I found it rather astonishing how many products are for sale here. There were shelves of different kinds of cereals, flours and nut meals, some of which I had not heard of before like kamut, garbanzo fava, amaranth, teff, cassava and coconut. There were baking mixes, grains, seeds, berries, beans and rices. Besides all the packaged items they also have a bulk area where you can buy a little or a lot to try out. I bought a little teff flour, an ancient grain from Ethiopia. I was tempted to buy a lot of their products, but alas we have limited space in our trailer. I did get some steel cut oats which we often eat for breakfast, an 8-grain hot cereal mix and a kamut hot cereal. Kamut is an ancient wheat grain with probable origins in the Fertile Crescent. I haven’t tried the kamut cereal yet but the 8-grain was delicious! I also got a bag of Scottish oats so I could make oat cakes. Below is a photo of them using the recipe I got at Bob’s Red Mill.

Oat Cakes – not handsome to look at, but rather tasty and nutritious

Located in the Southern Oregon town of Medford is the headquarters of Harry & David, who produce and ship all kinds of gourmet gift baskets full of sweet and savory treats. During other past trips to Oregon, we had stopped at the Harry & David store, but had never done the factory tour. During this trip we made a point to go and it turned out to be the right time of year as the company was busy getting lots of goodies packaged for the holiday season.

The main store

Our tour was to start at the the main store where we would board a large van to be driven to the production facility a mile or so away. But since we got there early we checked out all the goodies and samples the store offered. I was most interested in the “Moose Munch” which is an addicting popcorn coated with different kinds of chocolate, caramel and nuts. There were samples of each kind they sold, yum!

Lots of lovely packaged gift ensembles

The Harry and David Company started when a man named Samuel Rosenberg bought some pear orchards and began marketing them in 1910. In 1914, his sons Harry and David took over and in 1934 began a mail order business. The company still produces special pears called “Royal Riviera” and during our bus ride to the production building, our driver took us by the orchards to see them. From pears the Company eventually moved on to other sweet treats.

This is how it began for the Harry & David Company

We covered a lot of ground on our walking tour as the main building is huge. This is probably the largest food factory type building we have been in. We walked above the factory floor and watched hundreds of people filling and completing gift baskets and boxes. It was quite a sight. Including seasonal employees, approximately 8,000 people are working here.

Closeup of workers putting together gift boxes of specialty foods
View of just one area of the gift packaging
Pears being readied for packaging – on the right pears travel down a conveyor and on the left are gift boxes

Although the gift box/basket area was interesting, the best part was going to the baking building. The delicious smell was incredible! From windows above, we watched moose munch popcorn being made in big mixers. Large chunks of butter were combined with hot bubbling syrup to make a luscious caramel sauce. Popcorn was then mixed in and dumped onto a conveyor belt where it made its way to be packaged. I could have stayed in the moose munch area for a long time taking in those smells and watching the process!

Moose Munch being dumped out of the mixing vat
Moose Munch making its way along the conveyor

The Company makes an incredible array of candies, cookies, cakes, cheesecakes, pies and fruit cakes. During our tour, we watched them make cinnamon rolls – spreading out the dough, putting the cinnamon sugar on and rolling it back up before putting the rolls in paper cups.

Making cinnamon rolls

At the end we got a little box of delicious shortbread cookies filled with raspberry jam, a nice ending to a sweet day and fun tour of Harry & David.

Thanks for checking in and hope you enjoyed a look at our factory tours. Stay tuned for my next post on our Hollywood visit from one year ago.

Trail of Ten Falls at Silver Falls State Park

I never forgot my first visit to Silver Falls State Park about 13 years ago. It’s not easy to forget a place where you can see ten waterfalls on one trail. Four of the waterfalls you walk behind, experiencing up close the power of water. Not only are the waterfalls impressive, but the canyon you hike through is a wonder as well with a thick temperate rainforest of huge Douglas Fir, Western Hemlock and Maple trees covered in moss with a trail bordered by ferns and shrubbery.

This was a wet hike! Not only the trail itself but all the greenery was dripping from the rainforest conditions
The trail follows Silver Creek through a dense rainforest

Silver Falls is Oregon’s largest state park and has been touted as the “Crown Jewel” of the Oregon state park system. It is located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains about a 45 minute drive from the capital city of Salem.

At the beginning of my hike I was greeted by a group of Gray Jays

During our recent trip to Oregon, I took to this trail one day in early November. I wasn’t sure what to expect about water flow since it was in the middle of fall and I hoped the waterfalls still had a good amount of water in them. I was also not sure about hiking the whole Ten Falls trail as it is long and rather rigorous. So far in our RV travels I hadn’t hiked almost nine miles on one trail and I would be doing this by myself as Mark not being a hiker would not be joining me. There are opportunities to see some of the falls by cobbling together shorter trails or driving to a few different starting points, but I really wanted to do the whole trail again and see all the falls.

South Falls drops 177 feet and is the second highest waterfall in the park

Although long, the trail is so beautiful and easy to follow that it didn’t seem that hard and the time passed quickly. I met nice people along the way too, so it wasn’t a lonely hike. Although the falls were not running at capacity as they would have been earlier in the year, they still had a good amount of rushing water. It seems to see really good falls at most parks requires climbing stairs and this park is no exception. I had to hike into a canyon and out of it, with some up and down along the trail as well.

At one time there was a town located above the canyon and near South Falls, the most well known of the falls and the starting point of my hike. Silver Falls City was formed in 1888 primarily as a logging community. A local entrepreneur sold admission to the falls area and there were even some attractions including pushing cars over the falls and a daredevil stunt involving riding over South Falls in a canoe. One of the biggest advocates for creating a park here was a photographer who began a campaign with photos in 1900. But the National Park Service rejected the area for park status because there were so many unattractive stumps after years of logging. When the Great Depression hit, the timber industry was over. In 1933 the state park was formed and in 1935, the Civilian Conservation Corps was employed to develop park facilities including trails, bridges and retaining walls. The South Falls Lodge was completed in the late 1930’s and remains open today.

South Falls
South Falls was the first waterfall on my hike that I could walk behind due to the amphitheater setting

I mentioned in my opening paragraph that you can walk behind four of the waterfalls. Behind the North Falls drop is the most impressive opening – a huge cave like overhang. It is definitely a place to sit a spell and just admire looking out at the falling water.

Huge recessed cave behind North Falls
Looking out from the back of North Falls
North Falls drops 136 feet and is the 3rd highest waterfall in the park

One of my favorite falls here is Lower South Falls. Although not as tall as South or North Falls, it drops 93 feet in a wide beautiful sheet. The trail goes behind as well, although the recess is narrow.

Lower South Falls
Walking behind Lower South Falls
Lower South Falls side view

The tallest waterfall in the park is Double Falls which drops 184 feet and is located next to a short spur off the main trail. There was not much water in it, so it fell in a thin stream. In the photo below, you can barely see the top tier of the falls to the right of the main drop.

Middle North Falls at 106 feet is the Park’s fourth waterfall you can walk behind on a narrow trail.

Middle North Falls

A couple of the waterfalls are quite small and not very dramatic, but still worth a stop as I came by. Drake Falls was the only one I did not photograph as it was the least visible of the falls and could only be viewed from a small deck.

Lower North Falls

I finished up my adventure by taking a spur trail to see impressive Upper North Falls. It had a large wide pool in front of the 65 foot drop and there were many slippery rocks to walk on to get closer. I walked part of the way but decided not to go right next to the pool. I’d rather not take the risk of falling and hurting myself so I can be sure and walk to more beautiful places like this in the future!

Upper North Falls

Although I had planned to see ten waterfalls on my trek I actually only saw nine. Unfortunately, the spur trail to see Winter Falls was closed when I visited. The chance to see nine waterfalls in a gorgeous rainforest was one of my best days exploring during our RV travels! If you ever find yourself in the north central part of Oregon make your way to Silver Falls State Park. It is a winner!

Our welcoming committee

I thought I would close with a photo from our campsite in Southern Oregon. We had just arrived when this flock of ducks waddled by to say hello! Stay tuned for one more post about our Oregon travels. Next up – fun food factory tours.

A Year of Exploring Comes to a Close

In Northern California, jumping in fallen leaves even happens toward the end of November!

As 2019 comes to a close, I reflect back on our holiday season here in Northern California. We are fortunate to stay in a nice RV park while taking a break from our roaming and exploring around the United States to spend time with family and friends. Some RV parks have a time limit, so being able to land several months in one place is a real blessing. It seemed once we got here a few things started to fall apart. Our reliable and hard working Ford truck developed several alarming “symptoms” including a worn wheel bearing that turned out to be a potential safety issue. Luckily, it didn’t happen while we were traveling on the winding coastal roads of Oregon or another far flung area. We were able to take the truck to a repair shop we trusted in Modesto and after several days our truck was back to normal. Another major issue was Mark’s teeth which became problematic a few days after arriving. After several visits to two dentists, it became apparent that much more dental work remains to be done. We are glad this is happening while planning to be in one location for awhile. Suffice it to say, that it looks like we will be staying in our spot even longer than intended to get all the dental work completed. But now, on to some fun activities we have enjoyed the past few months.

Luke judges the decorated cupcakes to pick out a winner

The two big events in November were our grandson Luke’s 9th birthday which was a lively bash with friends making pizzas and decorating cupcakes and Thanksgiving. For the holiday, we got together with family at our niece Elaine and husband Philip’s house. Philip smoked two turkeys for the event and they were the best I have ever eaten. I told Mark on the way there that turkey (although good) is usually my least favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal as the sides are so good, but this time the turkey was as good as the sides. Our holiday meals are usually served with a large dish of teasing and I think this time we laughed more than usual until our stomachs ached 😆 😂. An ever expanding coconut cream pie was one culprit.

From left to right, three lovely ladies at Thanksgiving – Niece Elaine, daughter Shannon and sister Barbara. They had no idea ahead of time that they would be color coordinated!

I am usually asked to provide a cheese board and this year I decided to make a little competition out of it. While staying near Medford, Oregon I found out about the Rogue River Creamery, known for making blue cheese. This year one of their cheeses won a world championship in Italy out of more than 3,800 entries from 42 countries. This was the first win for an American cheese company. I put this cheese out as well as others and asked family members to guess which one was the champion.

During November it was a lot of fun getting to see our grandsons play with their basketball teams as the season came to a close. This was our first opportunity to see them play this sport. They love the game and often practice out front of their home. I have even tried to play a few pickup games with them and am glad they put up with my lack of agility!

Grandson Luke
Will Levi make the hoped for basket?

Our grandsons both participated in their holiday church musical, titled, “The Little Drummer Dude.” It was quite a production with kids from the ages of 5 to 15 participating. There was singing, choreographed dancing and they both had speaking parts. We were proud grandparents! Luke played one of the wise men and Levi was in the chorus. I found myself humming songs for some days after the show.

Luke on far right in blue/purple robe
Levi is bottom center with brown striped sweater
Family picture after the performance

In December, both boys had their piano recitals featuring holiday music played at a local retirement home. Levi has only been taking lessons a few months, so his teacher played a duet with him. Luke has been playing about four years and has made excellent progress. It was another proud grandparent moment listening to them perform.

Luke playing “Little Drummer Boy”
Levi takes a bow after playing “Silent Night”

As can be imagined, it is hard to have a Christmas tree in a 21 foot travel trailer. But it was even more fun to help decorate the tree at our grandsons’ house. During travels, their family has collected ornaments from a number of places and it was fun to once again see what they had found.

Gingerbread house decorating (and eating?)

Celebrating the holidays together is often about scheduling and since Shannon and Jonathan were going to Texas at Christmas time to be with his family, we celebrated early. Because our son and daughter-in-law are nurses living in Southern California, their schedules are also challenging, but we managed to all get together one evening and had a great time catching up while enjoying food and gifts. Our grandsons love creating things and enjoyed making something for each person that included puzzles, stories and/or games for us to try.

Shannon with a homemade activity page from the boys
Mark and Levi hamming it up
Matt and Emma – Emma models her eye mask and travel pillow – perfect gift for the world travelers who are headed for a trip to the Middle East in January.

Christmas was spent in Chico with my parents who I am happy to report continue to be hale and hearty! It was a peaceful few days enjoying their company. Thanks to Trader Joe’s for the best ham ever! Mark and I have been happily creating several meals from the remains this past week. And it wouldn’t be a holiday in Chico without homemade berry cobbler, yum!

Christmas Day in Chico with my folks

When you live near the Pacific Flyway you have to go out and see waterfowl each winter. The day after Christmas we headed to Llano Seco Preserve, only about 20 minutes from my parents’ home. They were a bit disappointed there were no snow geese when we arrived, as they had seen hundreds of them there several weeks before. But we encountered the most Northern Pintail ducks I have ever seen on a birding trip. There were hundreds of those, one of the most beautiful species of ducks in my opinion. We also saw an eagle as it flew around landing at different places while scaring other waterfowl. It was a bit of a mystery to us and others visiting that day. We didn’t know if it was a golden eagle or an immature bald eagle with its dark coloring and lack of white head. Birding is like that, you often leave puzzled but glad you came out to be with the birds!

My parents checking out the many ducks

Although we won’t be doing much sightseeing in the next few months, I have plenty more posts to write and catch up on. I have two more related to our Oregon trip and then want to do some posts from travels of the last year or two. I didn’t write about these places due to time issues.

Wishing everyone a very happy and healthy 2020 and a thank you for following along with us on our journey! We have really appreciated your interest in our travels and kind comments!

Good Times and Sunsets in Cannon Beach, Oregon

Entrance to Cannon Beach RV Resort

For those of you following and perhaps tiring of Oregon beach posts and photos, you are in luck as this is the last one! I loved my sunset walks on Cannon Beach and wanted to share some of my photos. This was our last stay and grand finale on the Oregon Coast. We camped at a pleasant and well located RV park and enjoyed perfect sunny fall weather. Cannon Beach is a nice little resort town with interesting shops in gray shingled buildings. One Saturday I headed downtown and found too many people enjoying a fine autumn day. This was the only day on the Coast that I actually spent looking at shops. I have to admit I am not much of a shopper but Cannon Beach is known as a great place to browse and has been compared to the coastal town of Carmel, California, so I didn’t want to pass it up. I decided to not take any pictures of my town exploring, but I have plenty of the beautiful beach area where people were having a blast strolling, flying kites, playing in the surf and admiring Haystack Rock. There was even some sand sculpting going on.

Sculpting a sand ship on Cannon Beach
Gargoyle

Haystack Rock is one of the most well known landmarks in Oregon. It looms large at 235 feet and is a popular tourist attraction. Although not as big as the Haystack Rock we saw during our stay in Pacific City, it seems larger because it is closer to the shore and accessible at low tide. With all the smaller rocks around its base it is a great place for tide pooling. Several bird species nest here during the spring and summer including Tufted Puffins.

Surprise, the town of Cannon Beach really did get its name from a cannon! In 1846, the U.S. Navy schooner Shark wrecked while crossing the Columbia River Bar. (I talked in my previous post about how treacherous crossing the Bar is and here is an example). Cannons from the ship were let loose and one was discovered a few miles south of the town when it washed ashore on a beach. Later a few other cannons were also found. In 1922, the city officially adopted the new name “Cannon Beach.”

Tillamook Head Lighthouse is known as Terrible Tilly and is not accessible to the public but can be seen from Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach RV park featured a perk we haven’t had at any other camping spot. The town only has two gas pumps and they are located at this park. I was surprised because with all the tourist traffic I would think there would be at least one gas station. But I was glad about the pumps being available right near us so we wouldn’t have to drive to Seaside, the next town north. Perhaps the best thing about getting gas in Oregon is that they still pump it for you! I have to admit I enjoy being lazy and not getting out of the truck.

The only two gas pumps in Cannon Beach

If you need a shovel, paint supplies, boxes of nails and perhaps could use a good meal or beverage, “Screw and Brew,” also known as Cannon Beach Hardware is the place to come. The hardware store/restaurant boasts being Oregon’s first hardware store to serve beer, wine and food. During our travels, we like to try out unusual places and this restaurant sounded the most unique in Cannon Beach.

We came for an early dinner and sat at a table with compartments of hardware against one wall and sporting goods and toys against the other. The store is rather small, but it has two floors and manages to carry some hardware basics such as home improvement and gardening tools, plumbing and electrical parts. I really enjoyed my BBQ pulled pork sandwich and Mark had a meatloaf sandwich. This is actually the second hardware store we have eaten at during our RV travels. The first was in Tucumcari, New Mexico in April when we were passing through and decided to try a place called Watson’s BBQ, also known as a hardware/ranch supply store. That place was even quirkier and had tasty food served by a very friendly owner.

Eating with hardware

I thought I would close this post with some more sunset beach photos. Wishing you all a happy holiday season!

Exploring Astoria, Oregon

The Astoria-Megler Bridge reaching across the Columbia River from Astoria, Oregon to Washington State

After a bit of a break from writing, I am back with more on our Oregon travels earlier in the Fall. We are currently enjoying being back in Northern California and near our former home base. Staying at an RV Park in this area gives us a chance to be near family and friends for awhile. I have several more posts I want to do on Oregon so bear with me. For those that have been following, I have written quite a bit about this wonderful state. For traveling, Oregon is one of the best and in years past, we have done a variety of trips around the state. This is our first time though in an RV taking our time, a luxury we never had when we were working! Come along with us as we explore some of what Oregon’s most northern coastal city has to offer.

Columbia River Maritime Museum

Our first objective when hitting Astoria was a visit to the Columbia River Maritime Museum. Astoria sits alongside the mighty Columbia River and this museum showcases life on the River. We found the exhibits to be really interesting and the museum just the right size – not too big or small for an enjoyable visit. We are fond of anything maritime and this is well done. After first watching a great 3D film of unusual deep water sea creatures, we headed outside to tour the Columbia Lightship.

This was the last lightship on the Pacific Coast to guide vessels across the Columbia River Bar, which is also known as the “Graveyard of the Pacific.” The Bar was a treacherous area with bad winter weather that kept the lightship crew on board for weeks at a time when no supplies could be delivered. Duty on the ship was full of lots of boredom with gale force storms. Nowadays a navigational buoy does the lighting and the ship remains on display at the museum. I had never heard of a lightship and found touring the inside and outside interesting. It isn’t very big and I was amazed at how much is stored onboard including thousands of gallons of fuel, water and over 12 tons of food.

On board the Columbia Lightship

One of the biggest surprises for Mark and I visiting the museum was learning about the Columbia Bar which is noted to be one of the more dangerous river crossings in the world. Where the Columbia River enters the Pacific, waves, wind and current create hazardous conditions and the area is littered with shipwrecks. Since 1792, approximately 2,000 vessels including over 200 large ships have sunk with more than 700 people losing their lives to the sea. Bar pilots now guide ships across the Bar, often boarding by helicopter. Besides photos and drawings, the museum had several videos showing the difficulties faced by mariners attempting this crossing.

Historical drawing of ships navigating the Columbia Bar

The museum has a collection of coast guard boats used on the river and the 36-foot boat in photo below was the standard rescue boat in use for 80 years on the Oregon Coast. Decommissioned in 1988, only one lifeboat (1961) was lost during those 80 years.

One of the more interesting boats on display actually arrived from Japan. After the 2011 tsunami, it floated on the ocean for two years, traveling 5,000 miles and washing ashore at nearby Cape Disappointment in Washington. The owner of the boat did not want it returned, so it was donated to the museum. This was the second Japanese tsunami “survivor” I had seen during our recent Oregon travels. The first was the boat dock exhibited in Newport.

Waves, currents and boat trips can’t help but conjure thoughts of seasickness and the museum has an exhibit called, “Why Don’t I Feel Well?” The best cure: “Don’t go to sea!” Sensory wrist bands help some, over the counter meds can combat the nausea although they have side effects or eating ginger which has no side effects. I don’t get seasick but have taken candied ginger root on a few whaling trips as a precaution. On one trip in Monterey Bay, California I passed some out to several sick passengers. And what does Mark do to prevent seasickness? He heeds the first recommendation!

I really enjoyed the historic map room! There were many maps from the 1600’s and 1700’s. It was fascinating to see drawings of the world as early explorers and map makers once envisioned it. For example, the map below shows California as an Island.

Historic map from 1656 showing California (far left) as an island

This map shows the Arctic Circle which early explorers believed was navigable by a water route to the pole. Back in those days, a water route was not possible, but today with global warming and the subsequent melting of the polar cap, the dream of those early explorers can now be realized.

Map of the Northwest passage

An exhibit of Japanese flags from World War II made for a heartfelt memorial. Japanese soldiers carried these flags with them and they were lovingly inscribed with good luck messages from family and friends. American soldiers kept them as souvenirs, but later their relatives wanted to return them to the soldiers’ families in Japan. The Obon Society in Astoria has been able to do just that. A short film showcased the return of one flag and it brought tears to my eyes.

Astoria has a solid history of fishing enterprises which are explained at the museum. The city once called itself the “Salmon Canning Capital of the World.” Mark and I found another intriguing exhibit about the harvesting of shark liver. Since liver is high in Vitamin A, it was given to World War II pilots to improve their night vision. It sold for $18.00 a pound which was a lot of money back in the 1940’s. In 1943, 270,000 pounds of liver was collected at a value of 5 million dollars!

Mark and I usually go our separate ways at some point during museum visits, since I spend more time looking than he does. When we met up later he asked if I had seen the infrared room. In this room people can see themselves as rescuers would using infrared vision technology. Usually I am pretty careful not to miss exhibits, but somehow I missed it. Mark took this ghostly looking photo of himself.

After our museum visit we headed for lunch at Curry and CoCo, a restaurant serving an interesting combo of ethnic foods, Thai and Cuban. During our visit we learned that Cuban entrees were being served at dinner time, but we love Thai food which was the main reason we came. The restaurant was gaily decorated inside with painted street scenes from Havana and colorful furnishings.

Inside Curry & CoCo Thai Restaurant

The food was so delicious and it had been awhile since we had eaten Thai food. We had a yellow curry special called Kao Soj and a Pad Thai.

After a stop at Josephson’s Smoked Fish House to pick up some smoked salmon to go (I have become quite fond of this fish during our Oregon travels 😊), we headed to our next destination, a national historic park. As I have mentioned several times in blog posts, we try to catch as many national park sites as we can during our travels. Fort Clatsop was a pretty important place historically as this was the farthest point of the Lewis and Clark expedition (Corps of Discovery) after completing their journey of finding a water route to the Pacific Ocean. After arriving in December 1805, they erected a small fort where they stayed for the winter, leaving in March 1806 to return east.

Sacajawea was an important member of the Lewis and Clark expedition

Fort Clatsop is located in a a beautiful area of old growth forest. The Visitor Center was nice although the film the rangers raved about was dated and silly. The original fort is long gone, but a replica was built on the site in the 1950’s. I think Mark spent a grand total of about three minutes looking inside the rooms of the fort before telling me he was heading back towards the truck. Before leaving he used his usual phrase of, “But take your time.” In those three minutes I was able to get a few photos of him looking around. It is true there isn’t much to see here, but I think Lewis and Clark deserved more than three minutes attention 🙃. From the Fort I did walk a short trail to see the expedition’s landing spot on the Lewis and Clark River.

Fort Clatsop
Interior of the Fort

This is the second national park site this year where we spent less than an hour visiting. The first was at the River Raisin National Battlefield Park in Southeastern Michigan. I would have to say the River Raisin remains the least interesting national park site we have ever visited. It was so boring that I didn’t take one photo and I always take multiple photos every where we go. Fort Clatsop was more interesting, but not much time needed to take it all in.

Thanks for taking the time to read and stay tuned for more Oregon posts!

Caves, Waterfalls, Stagecoach Road and More

Hug Point State Park

Our last campsite on the Oregon Coast was in the lovely town of Cannon Beach. Cannon Beach has a popular beach and large haystack, but there are also great state parks with beaches not far from the town. One day I headed south on Highway 101 to check out two of them. The first promised caves and a waterfall which I was excited to see.

Stagecoach Road at Hug Point

Hug Point State Park has a cute sounding name but did not get its name as a romantic spot for hugs and kisses. Before Highway 101 was built, early pioneers had to travel on the beaches and at the point, a stagecoach road was carved into the rock where travelers “hugged” the cliff to get safely around. At low tide this “road” with its grooves can still be walked on to another beach. I didn’t want to walk around the point though because the waves were fairly close to the rocks and signs warned of getting stranded if the tide came up and covered the road way.

Beach view from Stagecoach Road

The waterfall at Hug Point State Park is small and did not have a lot of water when I visited, but it is always a delight to see a waterfall dropping to a beach and this was my first one on the Oregon Coast.

Caves can be found here, some that would be better for little ones as they were so narrow. One cave was fairly roomy and at the back had a large tree trunk that had been carried by the surf and pushed into a hole in the cave coming to rest against the wall. It was dark inside so I had to take the photo below with my camera’s flash. Although the surf was not close to the cave when I visited, inside it sounded loud and booming. I went out a few times to make sure the water wasn’t creeping up and I didn’t get caught by a sleeper wave.

Cave with tree trunk
Looking out from the cave’s entrance
Another cave with colorful rock at the entrance

The beach at Hug Point State Park has a number of cliffs with interesting and colorful rock formations like in the photo below.

After exploring Hug Point I headed several miles south to Oswald West State Park. Walking one half mile through the woods on a maintained trail brought me to Short Sand Beach. The walk felt like a stroll through a magical forest with trunks and roots of trees shaped into interesting formations. This would be a great place to take kids with so much to climb under over and through.

A magical forest

Oswald West is well loved by hikers, beachgoers and and surfers. I was surprised to see so many surfers walking by with their boards as well as plenty enjoying the surf.

Short Sand Beach
Surfer at Oswald West State Park

Oswald also has a waterfall dropping into the ocean. This one is thinner and taller than at Hug Point and if the tide had been a little lower, I could have walked to the base.

I walked on a trail above the beach and through a forest to capture the view below.

View of Short Sand Beach

I decided to continue on the trail and came upon many large tree roots. Walking over roots is a common occurrence on trails along the Oregon Coast due to so many old growth forests. One reviewer for this park commented that she fell and broke her wrist after tripping over roots. When she went to Urgent Care, the doctor told her she was the second patient that week with a broken wrist from hiking here.

it is hard to enjoy the forest scenery when you have to watch your feet all the time. I was fine with the roots for awhile, but when I kept encountering really muddy areas I eventually turned back and explored some shorter, less “rooty” trails.

On my walk I passed two different streams making their way to the beach. The stream in photo above was full of water and one of my favorite spots in the park. I spent some time here sitting on this mossy fallen log and enjoying the rushing water.

I loved both Hug Point and Oswald West State Parks. They were full of many interesting things to explore and simply gorgeous.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!