Arches National Park Utah

The Adventure Begins
We are new snowbirds, very new, as this is our first time to say good-by to our home and not return for 5 months. In the past the longest we have been gone is around 32 days and that was in Canada. Setting off when the fall leaves are at their prime, saying good-by to our friends and neighbors was a very heartwarming for me. We tried to remember everything we thought we needed-ha, I’m sure we way over packed!! We winterized our house and yard, set the alarm, closed our eyes and drove away. We have a full agenda planned with memories and explorations to be made. Follow us as we head out to the daily unknown with the first Thompson Snow Bird Adventure.
Day 1 – Driving, Driving, Driving, left home with a snow storm and 28 degrees – burr, drove until 3pm when we arrived at the elks lodge in Caldwell, Idaho, $15.00 for overnight, included water and electric.
Day 2 – Caldwell Idaho to Mona, Utah, drove most of the day, decided to fill up with fuel and stay overnight at a truck stop-Free.
Note: This was our very first truck stop experience, actually not bad.
Day 3 – Up at 5 am – yikes, where is a Starbucks. We realized (our navigator GPS – Phoebe) took us a little past our turn off, we turned around and headed back to Spanish Fork (20 mile detour) oops. Then it was on to Moab, that’s when the landscape started to get amazing. Around every corner was a new surprise, beautiful this time of year with the landscape slowly changing into its fall colors and massive red rock canyons. This is when it gets difficult to drive, so much beauty to look you need to pull off often. We arrived in Moab at around 10 am heading to Goose Island, hoping and praying there was a site available. We lucked out, as this is a BLM first come first serve facility (no reservations) and luckily, as we arrived, someone pulled out-yay-we got a spot. This is pure dry camping, no water, sewer or electric. They do have very nice vault toilets, garbage, very nice picnic tables and fire pits. Sometimes it pays to be a senior as the fee for us was $7.50 a night, thank You America the Beautiful Pass.
Here we are settled in our camping spot Litterly on the Colorado River, looking up at Arches National Park. There are no words to describe the majestic beauty and serenity of the Moab area.
Day 4 – Off to explore Arches national Park, the entrance fee is $25.00 a vehicle, with an America the Beautiful Pass it is free. Leave super early as its crowded and limited parking. Touring this park, you need good hiking boots, 2 quarts of water each and a sun hat, walking sticks help on some of the dicer trails and Shade is limited. Even though this is the end of the tourist season, you need patience, as it is crowded and snowbirds move slowly.
NOTE: Summer daytime temperatures can reach 110 degrees, heat and dehydration can be fatal – advised 1 gallon of water per person per day.
We stopped at every turn out and vista view area working our way to Landscape Arch a 1.6-mile moderate walk located at the Devils Garden trailhead. A hidden gem just off the roadway was Sand Dune Arch (0.3mi) an easy sandy walk and great for kids as it is a huge natural sandbox with narrow partition rocks to climb through and at the end a hidden arch. Of all of the National parks we have visited in our lifetime, I have to say Arches is the most spectacular. Every corner you hike around is another wow!
Day 5 – Boy are we out of shape! Today we visit Balanced Rock (0.3mi) beautiful paved trail, wheelchair accessible. Double Arch (0.5 mi) Easy trail through some loose sand, spectacular arch. Delicate Arch (3mi) round trip – Difficult trail with elevation gains, no shade, at the end open slickrock with close exposure to heights-not for faint of heart, but worth it.
Day 6 – We are going to stay around camp today, catch up on laundry-walk the beautiful bike trail that leads to Downtown Moab that just happens to be 200 feet from our campsite. Does it sound like we are resting today, ha not us as we have 6 Geocaches calling our name along the new bike trail!!!

Don’t forget your America the Beautiful Pass
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Cheers From Just Around the Bend♥♥♥♥

Next Adventure we are off to Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point

 

Fort Stevens State Park – Oregon

Fort Stevens State Park in the fall is another 10 experience. The weather has been perfect with 72 degree days and 60 degree nights. Wind, none-that’s unheard of at the beach-right. Even though the park is literally packed with snow-birds, you would never know it. You practically have the most pristine paved trails to yourself and once you are back in  camp, it’s quiet and so relaxing. The campsites are situated so you have ample privacy, lots of trees and vegetation separating you from your neighbor. All sites have fire pits, tables, water and electric. Two larger loops have full hookups. Restrooms are clean, pretty modern with token paid showers. Full hookup for us was $32,00 a night, well worth it.

Our first day we were so excited to explore the many bikes trails, we actually got up early, packed snacks, water and off we biked hoping to end up at the beach. We geocached along the way and found many, ending up at the beach and exploring  a wrecked cargo ship named The Peter Iredale . Well what’s left of it.

Second Day was exploring bunkers, watching ships come in and out of the mouth of the Columbia River and more biking. This particular bike exploration brought us to a new trail which led to a very pregnant very large elk just grazing in a marsh right next to the trail. Wow are they big! The last day of our time here we are going to spend at the beach and yes probably get there by bicycles. What a fun, relaxing and memorable time this has been.

 

 

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What To Do Here:

First thing we did was get our bikes unloaded and hit the many miles of beautiful trails.

Find the beach – yes we rode our bikes directly to the beach- You can drive there also.

Tour the many bunkers

Geocache – So many very creative caches to be found, most you can find on your bikes or by walking, we found many!!!

Start a fire in your fire pit  and relax

Explore The City Of Astoria and be sure to ride the train

Visit The  Peter Iredale a wrecked cargo ship

See you next time from Just Around The Bend♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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Historic Sumpter – Oregon

Sumpter Oregon population in 2010 was 204 people. It is named after Fort Sumter by its Founders and known as the gold rush ghost town of Southern Oregon. Once sported seven hotels, 16 saloons, 3 newspapers, two churches a Opera House in addition to two Banks and a famous red light district.

Three times a year Sumpter has a very famous flea market, Memorial weekend 4th of July and Labor Day weekend. With over a thousand people with umpteen million things to sell, trade and barter for.

Stretched for miles across the Sumpter Valley and following Cracker Creek in the Powder River are mounds and mounds of rock and debris, remnants of the dredges that once operated in this Valley.

A fun historic town to explore and don’t forget the famous flea market, see you there sometime!!!

Oh and I might have left a Bend Rock behind, painted by my daughter Sarah.
Until Next Time from Just Around The Bend♥♥♥♥

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Xeriscaping OUR YARD PART TWO

 

Day 8, 9 and 10:  The roots of the trees are winning, Jeff is having a difficult time removing the sod with 2 to 6 inch maple tree  roots buried beneath the sod.  Averaging 3 strips a day , it’s not going well.

Day 11:   8:30 am July 3rd- pressure is building on the time frame to accomplish the xeriscape before the Texans arrive on the 11th. Jeff is just getting started and on his 3rd row with 22′ to go and tree roots getting bigger and more plentiful as he nears the Mother tree. New Neighbors stop by to chat and say it looks well when a Ford PU pulls near the curb with a Dodge PU right behind. Jeff realizes that it is Steve from La Pine who has been taking the sod. He ask the neighbor to look out for the sod loaders have arrived. Arrived they did. Two trucks and 6 people with tools. Jeff says hes sorry but probably only has enough sod for 1 load. Steve informs him that they are not here to just load the sod but to help remove it till it is done and loaded. Jeff not believing his ears. Two hours thirty minutes later as the dust settles and drinks of water and tea with snacks it is done! Jeff can’t thank Steve and his crew enough. This puts him 3 days ahead of schedule.

CREW – Steve, Dave, J.J. and his sons Dominic, Simeon and Aidan

Now the fun begins, with the sod removed we need to prepare, move and modify the existing sprinkler system. So glad Jeff is a retired plumber, so  off we go to Home Depot for sprinkler supplies, ground cloth  etc.

Our total cost for this project so far is remaining zero, but just wait until we return from Home Depot, it could get ugly.

Ground Prep $0.0

Sod Removal $0.0

Home Depot $500.00

pea gravel, metal stakes, fabric pegs, fabric cloth 2 rolls, Plants –  6 mondo grass, 1 hibiscus,, 6 black mondo grass, woolly thymus, pathway lawn edging, irrigation risers, micro tubing, pvc bushings, pvc pipe, 8 drain valves and more gravel for Jeff’s custom pathway.

Ace Hardware – $ 59.48 Pea gravel and 1/4″ drippers

Abel Supply – $ 444.50  Rocks 10 yards

Deschutes Recycling – $21.00 Soil

Harbor Freight – $50.00 Garden Pick, Hose Connectors electricians screwdriver – etc

It’s been a major project doing it ourselves, but in the long run we have saved a lot of money and Jeff has lost or sweated off a lot of weight, in another week he says he will have a 6 pack (we will see). LOL. Our neighbor 2 doors down had professional landscapers Xeriscape her yard for over  $4000.00. In the long run we hope to save a lot on our water bill and enjoy not feeding, weeding, mowing and grass clippings to go somewhere.

So 5 yards of rock to go and the pleasure and enjoyment of our Xeriscaping. More water to our rivers and lakes which is my playground. Updates to be coming upon completion. Family is here and time to play and enjoy the grandkids and the big ones too.

Cheers From JUST AROUND THE BEND

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