Adventures, Food, hiking, History

Hike – Champoeg State Park (2)

On Friday, May 19, we had scheduled to hike at Champoeg State Park. We had been there a little while ago and I thought it would be a great place to do a hike with the ladies from church, because it is easy to walk, has convenient bathrooms, and has ice cream in the middle! The Women’s Ministries team had asked me to plan another hike after the one last October was a success. I scheduled this day’s hike to Champoeg to sort of scope it out and see the best route, and check out the historic Butteville Store to try its lunch and ice cream.

The week before we were going to Champoeg I found out that The Girl’s baby shower has been scheduled on the same day I was supposed to lead the hike with the church ladies. Since the baby is coming in July we couldn’t find another date for me to do the church hike, so the ladies are going without me on the original day. I printed out a map and gave them all the info.

We decided to hike at Champoeg anyway because we really wanted to try out the food at the historic Butteville Store, since it was closed the last time we were there. The store is the longest running retail establishment in Oregon! It is about a 3-mile hike from the visitor’s center parking to the store, on a paved bike path. There isn’t much elevation except as you’re coming back up from the store. Somehow we ended up doing about 7 miles, but an extra mile is always OK! We didn’t go to the visitor’s center this time, but check out my last post about Champoeg to see what the visitor’s center and the area have to offer!

Exterior of Butteville Store from last time we were there.

The bike path follows the river some of the way and we could get glimpses of it, although I didn’t get any photos this time as the trees have leafed out and obscure most of the views. It is rather a “green tunnel” of a hike, but nice and cool in the shade. The campground at about 1.5 miles has a nice restroom and a fun play area for kids that we tried out on our last trip. Kangaroo and her Hubs had camped there a couple of months back with their new travel trailer.

Bike path through the “green tunnel”.

Toward the beginning of the path we saw some deer in the distance.

There were a few flowers blooming, which is always nice to see. At the visitor’s center we saw some camas blooming. Here is the sign that tells about the history and use of camas. Doesn’t it make you want to plant some and prepare it as food?


Wild rose — I usually don’t see these blooming!

Thimbleberry blossom.


To get to the store, you follow the bike path to a short road and then follow a main road downhill to Butteville. Butteville is not too far from the fun little historic town of Aurora, which has many antique stores that we like to explore. We got to the store just before it opened, so we thought we’d relax on the deck until it was time. Unfortunately, the store lady was blowing leaves and blossoms off the deck so we had to wait a bit! We noticed the blossoms on the tree above the deck and asked the lady what kind of tree it was. She didn’t know, but reminded me of Google Lens, which is the neat app that identifies things when you take a photo of them. Google Lens found that the tree is a European Horse Chestnut, and we were happy to know that as we had never seen a horse chestnut tree before!

European Horse Chestnut tree.
Closeup of blossoms.

Even though the store wasn’t quite open, the store lady invited us to go in and take a look at the store. There we found a quaint room with tables and chairs, and nods to the history of the place all around. Butteville used to be a steamship stop on the river, and there was a big boat launch area. You can read more about the history on the Friends of Butteville website.

Interior of Butteville Store.

The J.J. Ryan store is the Buttevile Store today. The Saloon was knocked down during prohibition and a deck and lawn with picnic tables are now in its place.

The Ryan Family Library.

When the restaurant opened, we went to order our food. Sweet Pea and I ordered sandwiches and ice cream, while Kangaroo opted just for dessert. Here is the food menu. Since we were there on Friday, we could choose from a few sandwiches. Sweet Pea chose the Joe Wolf sandwich, and I chose the Josie Ryan. We were both impressed by the deliciousness of the sandwiches!

My “Josie Ryan” sandwich.

For dessert, we each had some ice cream, of course! Kangaroo got the “Cup of Dirt” ice cream in a bowl, I chose to have a scoop of “Luna’s Lavender” in a waffle cone, and Sweet Pea chose the “Hello Sunshine” sundae. Can you believe I didn’t get photos of anyone’s ice cream?😮

During and after our meal we had a conversation with an elderly couple who had three German Shepherd dogs. The man noticed Sweet Pea’s shirt that had a Guide Dogs for the Blind logo on it, and the couple said that their kids had raised guide dogs for 4H. They talked about their dogs’ history and where they had come from, a couple of them were guide dog “dropouts”, which are wonderful dogs who just can’t quite get the whole guide dog thing. Sweet Pea’s senior yellow lab, Angel, is an example of this kind of dog. She is a very good girl!

After our big lunch we were happy for the opportunity to walk the three miles back to the truck. The weather was very nice and it was a very fun day!

Just keep walking!


Adventures, hiking

Hike — Miller Woods Conservation Area

Last Friday we hiked again at the Miller Woods Conservation Area in McMinnville. The sun was out and it was so nice to finally feel warm outdoors again! We had hiked at Miller Woods on February 3rd and were hoping to go back and see some wildflowers. There weren’t as many as we’d hoped, but some lovelies were blooming.

Wild Iris

Trillium, I think.

Camas Lily


We started with the loop around the pond like we did last time. This time we actually saw a big froggie friend on his raft (in the rather blurry photo below).

We were sorry that we chased the geese away, but maybe it was just as well. I’m not sure how nicely-tempered they are.

Around the pond and throughout the woods are these wildlife cover boards. They have handles so you can lift them up to see if anyone is hiding underneath. Unfortunately once you do that, the little friends are disturbed and go find somewhere else to rest.

This guy was under one board.
Ready for his closeup.

And THESE guys are the reason I didn’t lift any of the boards…what if something jumps out at me? I stood back and watched. Photo by Kangaroo.

Some of the nesting boxes. I think it would be fun to have some on our property. That is, if someone else were to be responsible for cleaning and maintenance.

We followed the trail up and around the picnic area. The Miller Woods trail builders placed benches along the trails in very convenient places.

Convenient bench.

The trail.

After walking up and around, we walked down to the meadow looking for the woods trail. We found a service road and walked up that until we came to the red trail. Once you get into the woods the trails are pretty well marked at junctions, but from the meadow it was hard to find the trails. We looked at the map and decided to take the red trail to the yellow trail, and take the yellow trail back to the pond. In the end we took a shortcut down to the pond on a service road instead of doing the whole yellow loop.

On the way down on the shortcut road we did come upon these, which we hadn’t seen last time.

It was nice and cool walking in the woods. Kangaroo made sure to take a photo of this sign because she too was born in 1971! Sweet Pea had decided not to take too many photos and just to enjoy herself during the hike.

We made it to the “K.T.” Summit and rested there on a very nice large bench while we had a snack. I had something new to eat, pumpkin seed butter. It was with the peanut butter packets at the Natural Grocers so I decided to try it. It was pretty tasty, very mild and sweet. It does have sugar in it, but also lots of protein and fat for sustained energy. Win! During our rest time we were noticing bugs on the ground. Sweet Pea found a neon green spider, and I found this weird inchworm that looks like a stick.

The dark brown stick thing standing up from the bigger stick (lower half of the photo, towards the middle) is the inchworm. Kangaroo relocated him to a safer place off the trail.

This was on a tree at the summit.

Here are a few more photos from our hike.

Bird’s nest fungus.


There was a cougar in the area on 4/27. On the Miller Woods website it indicates that the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife captured and relocated the cougar. We were glad to know that.

The bush in the middle with the shiny leaves is poison oak. Leaves of three, leave them be!

This little plant with the red leaves is also poison oak! Beware!

Me, Sweet Pea and Kangaroo

Just keep walking!


Adventures, Animals, hiking

Hike — William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge

This will be another long post — there’s just so much to see at the Finley NWR! We were talking about the refuge awhile ago and I suggested we go last Friday. I decided to wear my big backpack with about 20 pounds in it for training purposes. The forecast was mainly for light rain with some wind, so we went prepared for that weather, but as soon as we got onto Highway 34 it started to snow!

On the road to the refuge.

Kangaroo was very nervous about driving in snow since she hadn’t experienced it in her new truck, but she did great. Once we arrived at the refuge office, she had to take a photo of Georgio, her truck, in the snow!

We enjoyed browsing the nature store, until the store volunteer lady came in and told us they weren’t open yet. If you aren’t open, you should lock the door to keep us out, ha! There were oodles of neat things in there!

Finley NWR Nature Store

After we left the store, we headed over across the road to our first trail, the Woodpecker Loop trail. We came in at the back of the trail, you can drive up to the actual trailhead a little ways further on. There were plenty of paper maps and signs available for following the trails.

The Woodpecker Loop trail goes through many different kinds of natural areas, including an oak woodland, oak savanna, seasonal wetland, riparian area, and ash swale.

We think we may have seen one woodpecker in the oak savanna part of the trail. This loop trail had a few nice information signs and cards.

Kangaroo at the seasonal wetland.

We saw no frogs but I guess it isn’t quite time for them yet, I think they’re probably still hibernating or doing what amphibians do in the winter. We will have to come back later in the spring or in summer to see or hear them!

This natural area, the oak savanna, is now scarce. There was a photo on one informational sign that showed the area in the 1930s and in the 2000s, and how much the Douglas Fir trees have taken over. The property where I grew up and where Mom and Dad still live is an oak savanna. Here is a short video of the oak savanna area and the pavilion there, where we try to figure out where we saw the rare flowers last time we visited! (We did figure it out later, I think.) I believe they use the pavilion for educational purposes, but it would be a lovely place to stop and have a picnic lunch. On a clear day there is a very nice view of the mountains in the distance.

Kangaroo and I walk in the oak savanna.

Me with my big backpack.

After the oak savanna you descend into an oak woodland, and then move to the riparian area. The sign for the riparian area said there might be raccoons, but we saw no raccoons.

After the riparian area we came out to the Woodpecker Loop trailhead parking lot. We decided to go to the road and turn left toward the buildings we wanted to visit.

On the way up the road, we visited another oak savanna area. The sign says some of the oaks are over 200 years old, but none of them were as big as the ones at Mom and Dad’s!

This is the John Fiechter house, built in 1855. Iwas the first lumber house built in the area and is the oldest house like this still standing in the area. If you want to read some fascinating history about the Willamette Valley and Benton County, check out the 1985 National Register of Historic Places nomination form for the Fiechter house. Once you scroll through the very extensive description of the house, you get to the neat history part. I love pioneer history, don’t you?

John Fiechter house (1855) and auto garage added in the 1930s.

Here are some interior photos of the house (of course we had to peek in the windows!). All of the rooms we could see had these radiator heaters in them, and the heaters were on. The house does have electricity. The original idea back in 1985 was to use the house as a museum or for educational purposes, but that doesn’t seem to have happened.

Then we moved on to the Cabell Hunting Lodge.

Signs of Spring on the rosebush.

We were disappointed not to be able to hike the Cabell Marsh Trail, but the trail is closed from November 1 through March 31 so nobody will disturb the Canada geese that overwinter there.

Cabell Marsh overlook.

Kangaroo checks out the view.

Since we couldn’t hike the marsh trail, we went up the Cabell Lodge road to this barn…and I asked Kangaroo if she wanted to open the door to see if there were any owls in there… 😀 But the doors were nailed shut. Rats!

An old barn.

Then we went to the other side of the barn and there was this sign. Oops! Oh well, I guess we didn’t really molest, damage, or steal anything!

We made our way back down the road towards the refuge office and store, and what do you think we saw, in real life? ELK!!


The elk were very far away across a field, but it was so neat to see them! We had never seen elk in real life on a hike, only once on the way to a hike when we were in the car. We walked up the road a little way and there was an actual viewing area with a sign, but by that time the elk had gone into the woods.

We saw some elk footprints — here is a photo of Kangaroo’s foot next to the elk prints.

Once we got back to the refuge office and store, we crossed the road again and instead of taking the Woodpecker Loop, we took the Mill Hill Loop. This sign has a nice map of the area.

The Mill Hill Loop was very muddy from all the recent rain and snow, and we walked slowly to avoid slipping in the mud!

The trail.

There were quite a few of these boardwalks over really wet parts.

Here is a nice pond, but we didn’t see any otters or beavers, more’s the pity!

We went back into the nature store before we left but didn’t make any purchases. I’m surprised I was able to resist all the fun things!

We saw a total of FIVE rainbows this trip!!

Rainbow from the refuge.
Rainbow from the car on our way to Monmouth for lunch.

When we were done with our hike we went to Monmouth as usual and had DQ for lunch. The young man taking our order had a pointy stud in each nostril with a chain across to connect them. I said it looked like it hurt. “Does it hurt?” I asked. He assured me it didn’t. I told him I was glad and went to get my drink.

Just keep walking!



Hike – Lewisburg Saddle to Dimple Hill

On President’s Day I texted Kangaroo early in the morning to see if she wanted to hike since she had the day off from work. I thought we could go somewhere in the town of Corvallis, Oregon, it’s not too far away and there are lots of nice places to hike in the McDonald-Dunn Research Forest.

On the way to the hike we looked to our left and noticed what looked like a group of birds having a meeting. We realized at once that there were two bald eagles just sitting in the field next to the highway!! We both noticed at the same time and weren’t sure if the eagles were real or not, but then one moved its head and we both gasped in amazement. They were sitting there with a couple of crows. I don’t know if they were waiting for gophers to come out or what, but it sure was fun to see them! Since we were driving past I couldn’t get a photo of them. Rats!

The hike from the Lewisburg Saddle trailhead to Dimple Hill and back is around 6 miles. I’m not sure what the elevation is but it is a good workout, I wish I had the hills in my backyard to hike every day! The day was overcast but the sun did peek through occasionally, although it stayed in the upper 40s and lower 50s F. For the hike we just went up on old logging roads, but there are a few trails here and there along the sides. There is quite a network of trails all over the forest.

The old road.

A strange stairway to nowhere in particular.

View from the trail/road. I think this is the town of Corvallis.

At the top of Dimple Hill there is a nice view of the Coast Range of mountains, although their pinnacles were obscured by clouds when we got to the viewpoint. There is a bench there and we sat and had a snack. A large hiking group came up and stopped to have their snacks also.

View of mountains from the top of Dimple Hill.

Marnie setting up her phone to get a photo of us.

There are a few trails named after Dan.

Another view of Corvallis.

The OSU Research Forest — McDonald-Dunn Forest

The Forest’s namesakes.

We stopped for lunch at (where else?) Dairy Queen in Monmouth on our way home, and got home before 2:00!

Just keep walking!


Adventures, hiking, History

Hike – Yaquina Bay Area

On Friday we decided to go to the Yaquina Bay area in Newport, Oregon to do a beach walk hike. We parked at the South Jetty and started off on the beach with the Yaquina Bay Bridge behind us.

Yaquina Bay Bridge

Yaquina Bay between the two jetties.

Which way?
South Beach with South Jetty at right.

Last time we were at South Beach we walked out onto the jetty, but this time we just walked south on the beach. Kangaroo had seen a warning about sneaker waves, so we were careful not to let the water get us as the tide came in. We walked along looking for rocks and things, and guess what? I found this large agate! It’s even big enough for me to see in the sand, haha! (Usually Kangaroo finds all the treasures, I seldom wear my glasses on the beach.) There is a crack in the agate where some little plain rocks are stuck. I tried to get them out with a skewer, but I think I will have to use a toothpick.

Agate in the sun.

Kangaroo found some nifty fossils. This is my favorite.

We walked aways down the beach. The sun was out and it felt quite warm, and the wind was at our back so we hardly noticed it. I started to get too hot in my beanie and fleece, because I had expected temps in the 40s F and a 10-15 mile per hour wind!

Kangaroo looking for treasures.

Plover, I think.

A big driftwood log with a fancy rock in it.

Me taking a photo of the fancy log rock.

Once we turned around and started back there was a nice breeze to cool us off a little. We went off at the South Beach day use area instead of walking the beach all the way back to the truck. There was a convenient restroom there, and outside of it in the sidewalk we found this survey marker. A strange place for one, we thought!

We decided to walk along the Old South Jetty Trail and see where that took us, so we headed north-ish on that trail.

Old South Jetty Trail
Old South Jetty Trail
Witch’s Butter fungus

The Old South Jetty Trail led up to a paved trail, which we followed all the way back to the parking lot at the South Jetty itself. Once we got back to the truck we decided to go over to the north side of the bay and see the lighthouse. We drove back over the bridge and to the Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site in front of the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.

Cpt. Cook called it Cape Foulweather. You can’t see the “Foul” part on the sign.

At the recreation site there are some things of interest, including this compass with signs marking various points on the coast and an informative sign listing the Lighthouses of the Oregon Coast.

Compass with points of interest.

Yaquina Bay Bridge from the observation deck.

The beach access at the parking area was closed, so we walked up the road toward the north beach access. The lighthouse sits up high on a hill, of course, and the parking lot is high up overlooking the bay.

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, in use from 1871-1874. It is privately owned now and sometimes used as a navigation aid. Unfortunately it isn’t open to the public at this time. There was nothing to tell us what the structure next to it is.

We found this survey marker in the sidewalk near this Fisherman’s Memorial Sanctuary pavilion. I had no idea so many people had been lost at sea in the area.

Inside the Fishermen’s Memorial Sanctuary.

Next we went down the long path and stairs to the beach. The Oregon Coast Trail goes this way. When we got to this beach on this side I was glad I had my fleece and beanie on, it was chilly and the wind was blowing!

Kangaroo brings along some of her dad’s ashes and a yoga-ing Bigfoot to photograph wherever we go.

We saw a lovely full rainbow, it was sunny and cloudy at the same time and sprinkled on us as we were going back to the truck.

Kangaroo on the beach.

North Jetty with South Jetty in the background.

View down the north jetty.

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse and lookout tower.

After we finished at the beach, we had our traditional lunch at the Dairy Queen in Toledo, a small town just east of Newport. For some reason Newport doesn’t have a Dairy Queen, but Toledo does. We ate our $7 lunches of chicken strips, fries, root beer, and caramel sundaes while we watched some people get out of their fancy cars to come in the restaurant. The people were not as fancy as their cars were, ha!

On the way home Kangaroo asked if I wanted to stop at the Beazell Memorial Forest to do a quick loop hike, but I felt like I was done hiking for the day. I am sort of regretting that now, it is a pretty hike and it wouldn’t have been too bad to get some more miles in. All in all my Garmin watch showed 6.6 miles for the day.

Just keep walking!


Adventures, Animals, Antiquing, hiking

Hike – Miller Woods Conservation Area – Part 2

Here is part 2 of our hike to the Miller Woods Conservation Area near McMinnville, Oregon. Don’t forget to read Part 1 first!

After exploring the pond and field areas, we continued on to the forested areas. The trail was sticky mud in many places and I was glad I had on my waterproof boots!

Kangaroo getting a selfie of us while I get a photo of her, haha!

On the way to see a stream, we found this small plant with a protective fence around it — can you see the plant?

Very spindly shrub.

The plant had this label. Neither of us had heard of a Western Wahoo. Sounds like it should get to be rather a large shrub.

There were these nice benches scattered along the trail, and I thought those people knew how to build a trail right! Oh, how we wished for benches when we were hiking the PCT!

A lovely bench.

We reached this summit…

But this was the view…

In one area some trees had signs. We admitted we would have a difficult time telling the conifers apart without the labels!

Grand Fir

Douglas Fir

Another tree full of nesting boxes

This little guy was on the trail, quite aways up from the stream. We wondered how long it took him to climb all that way, and Kangaroo suggested he might be on a thru-hike 😃

Newt friend. (Photo by Kangaroo – she always gets the best wildlife photos)

This is actually a data collection site for snow. Considering that we seldom have snow here, I thought it was a strange location for it.

After the hike we planed to go to the little town of Lafayette, a few miles away, and go to the antique mall there. We didn’t find anything at the antique mall we couldn’t live without, but there were some interesting items. One was a giant buffalo head that was positioned next to the entry door (I believe they were asking $2700 for it!). Because of the moisture in the air, the poor buffalo smelled like wet dog, ugh! There was also a wonderful secretary desk with supports that automatically came out when you opened the door of the desk. So neat! I didn’t get photos of either of those, unfortunately!

Before we went in to the antique mall we walked a couple of blocks down to get some lunch. We went into the little “Cafeyette” and noticed a sign that said they were serving soup, but no other signs of food except pastries and coffee. I asked the lady what they had for lunch and she said they had sandwiches, ham and turkey. She suggested that olives on the sandwich would be delicious, so I chose to have everything except onions on my sandwich, and Kangaroo chose everything as well and did add onions. As they were making the sandwiches, the lady asked if we would like jalapenos, but we both declined. I got an Italian soda to drink and Kangaroo got a berry smoothie, and we sat down to wait for our sandwiches.

BIG yummy sandwich

The lady brought our sandwiches, and they were BIG and very yummy! While we were eating we noticed a man come in and look around. He asked us if there was a menu, and I replied, no, but there are sandwiches. He went up and put his order in and left the building, and when he came back he had an armful of yardsticks. I was about to comment on his yardstick haul when he said that he was going to be using them for projects, and that the man he got them from had only wanted 50 cents each for them so he bought them all. I said they were nice yardsticks too, and he asked us if WE wanted yardsticks, and we said sure, we’d love one, and he gave us each one. It’s a very nice, strong yardstick from the Power and Telephone Supply Company.

A very nice yardstick.

On the way home we came through Dayton towards West Salem, and I suggested we take the Wheatland Ferry since it would give us a straight shot home instead of going around through West Salem. The Boy works in the McMinnville area and takes the ferry home to Keizer most days. I hadn’t ridden the Wheatland Ferry since The Boy’s first ferry ride when he was a tiny baby! It was a nice adventure to end our day 😊

On the ferry

Leaving the ferry

We enjoyed our hike and decided that we will go back to visit Miller Woods in the spring sometime when the birds and other critters will be out.

Just keep walking!


Adventures, hiking

Hike – Miller Woods Conservation Area – Part 1

Yesterday we hiked at the Miller Woods Conservation Area near McMinnville, Oregon. Kangaroo had discovered it on Google Maps and we hadn’t been there, so we wanted to check it out. The conservation area was donated to the Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District in 2004 by Frieda Miller, who along with her husband had settled the 130 acres in 1967. They wanted the property to be used for nature education. Rain was forecast, and it was indeed raining when we got there. I got a lot of photos so this will be a bit of a long post!

The first thing we noticed when we drove in was this display of different kinds of nesting boxes for birds, bats, and bees. The one at the bottom middle of the photo above is a bat box. There is a small space between the front and back of the box, and the bats go up in there and nest. The photo below is the bee block for mason bees, which are great pollinators.

When we got to the trailhead, there was a group of elementary and middle school aged kids waiting to go on a nature hike. There were probably 13-15 kiddos and just a couple of adults to wrangle them. I thought they needed more adults, but we didn’t volunteer, ha.

We checked the maps and decided to go down to the pond on the Discovery Loop. It was about 0.3 of a mile and went around the pond.

We got down to the pond and saw a few interesting things, but no riparian wildlife. We assumed all the frogs and other pond-dwellers were hibernating.

Interesting tree with large branches growing on the ground.

The pond.
Cattails. They look a bit scruffy this time of year!

Some nesting boxes.

Turkeytail fungus on a log.

These wildlife cover boards with handles were scattered around the area.

Ohhhh…what will we find?

Nobody there!

We (I should say Kangaroo) lifted up the wildlife cover boards we found around the pond and didn’t find any creatures hiding. I was uncomfortable thinking about what we might find (snakes!) but no snakes were found. Along the trail there were more cover boards, and under the last one we did find this guy!


Nifty gate for no reason – there is no fence on either side of it so it would be easily circumvented.

View from the floating dock.

Across from the pond there is a large field that is being restored as a native prairie. They have even resorted to hand-pulling to remove blackberries and daisies and other plants that are invasive.

Field with a line of nesting boxes on poles.

Prairie field

See Part 2 for the rest of the hike!

Adventures, hiking


This last weekend we set out to hike at Ecola State Park. We wanted to hike the trail to Indian Beach, since the last time we were at Ecola the trail was closed.

On our way to the coast we happened to see this rainbow and I got a quick photo of it. See it there right in the middle of the pic? It was a little brighter in person.

We got to the park and used the convenient restroom. Then we made our way to Chapman Point to look at the ocean and the wind.

It was very breezy and we spent some time at the point taking some video footage.

We walked to another side of the park and saw the Tillamook Lighthouse.

The Tillamook Lighthouse, or “Terrible Tilly”

After a little bit of exploring, we headed over to the Indian Beach trail.

Some film info about the area.

Start of the Indian Beach trail.

We started down the Indian Beach trail and crossed a little bridge, then almost immediately came upon a “logstacle”.

Now, I didn’t get a photo of the top of the larger log here, but it was perched precariously in the top of a standing tree and looked like it might let go at any second. Nevertheless, we crawled through these two logs and kept on. When we came to a much larger log across the trail, and noticed a few trees really blowing in the wind, we decided to forget the forest trails and head to Cannon Beach where there were no trees to fall on us.

We first stopped at a little park in town next to the beach. It had some neat historical info signs about Lewis and Clark, but the tide was in so far that we couldn’t actually make it to the beach.

Lewis & Clark whale story

Tide was way in.

We drove around to downtown Cannon Beach and parked in the public parking lot. We made our way to the beach and walked for aways south into the wind. The sand was blowing steadily toward us but thankfully wasn’t getting in our eyes. I imagine some of the dogs playing on the beach wished they had goggles, though!

Those white lines are lines of sand blowing in our direction.

Foam on the beach – the foam was also blowing across the sand.

Haystack Rock

The sun was trying to break through – way in the distance you can see the lighthouse.


After walking for awhile and coming to a river that ran onto the beach, and not really wanting to find a place to cross, we decided to get lunch downtown. I was interested in going to this restaurant but there was a long wait time, and then I looked at the menu and it seemed very expensive. Kangaroo had spotted a fish-n-chips place down the street so we went there.

Oros’ Fireside Restaurant
These signs were on many of the historic buildings in town.

We went to Tom’s Fish and Chips and had…fish and chips. It was pretty good and very reasonably priced.

Delicious lunch

After we ate lunch I wanted to go to the famous bakery next door and see if they had some haystack bread for Mom. They did, but the loaves were so big and I didn’t know if it would stay good during the couple of days that would pass before I went out to Mom and Dad’s, so I didn’t get any bread. I got a couple of pastries for The Hubs and a cookie and then we walked back to Kangaroo’s truck and drove home. For not having “hiked” very much, I sure was tired when we got back!

Just keep walking!


Adventures, hiking

Hike — Silver Falls Backcountry

I’m a little late in posting about our hike last Thursday. Kangaroo planned a hike to the backcountry of Silver Falls State Park, so we set out early in the morning. We parked at the South Falls parking lot and noticed that these were being installed:

Electric vehicle chargers

Now, I didn’t get a photo of the rest of the parking lot, but it is quite large. We thought two chargers (with what looks like a two-car capacity on each one) didn’t seem like enough and that people will certainly be fighting over them! The park is quite a ways out from any town and people do come from far away, and it’s understandable that they might need to charge their electric car. I prefer my gasoline-powered vehicle and its 25-gallon gas tank that allows me to drive for quite awhile without filling up again.

We had been having quite a bit of rain and it did rain on us during this hike. The trail often looked like this (below) so we had to find ways around the puddles. I was wearing my waterproof hiking boots but Kangaroo was wearing her trail runners, so she understandably didn’t want to get into the water! We found ways around the puddles so our feet didn’t get too soggy, although Kangaroo did hit some deep mud with a couple of steps.

We walked through the main part of the park and across the highway to a campground, which was closed. Then we walked to the RV campground, which thankfully was open and had a nice clean restroom. When we hike we usually get coffee in town before we head out, and sometimes…well…it goes right through! We went through the RV campground to the nature trail and went into the backcountry from there. In the front country of the park there are many beautiful waterfalls, but in the backcountry there are some creeks but no waterfalls to speak of. Kangaroo had mapped our route on various trails, but we did check the maps at each intersection. The only problem with those maps is there aren’t any designations of “You are here” so you have to figure it out yourself, but the trails are marked well so you know which trail you’re on and which one is intersecting it.

We saw a few interesting mushrooms and fungi:

Here are some more photos:

Nice, dry trail

An interesting tree

Kangaroo gets the shot.

A little vignette near the conference center. It would be cute for a summer wedding!

It was a nice hike and a good workout in places, and we went about 8 miles. Kangaroo and I will hike rain or shine (or snow) so it didn’t bother us and we enjoyed ourselves as usual. Afterwards we went to the Dairy Queen and had our $7 lunches. After driving through the town of Silverton I thought we should pop back there sometime and go to the antique stores and little shops again, as I noticed a new vintage store. There are also some nice-looking restaurants that I wouldn’t mind trying out.

I came down with a cold the day of our hike and haven’t been feeling up to snuff except that I got miraculously better on Saturday and Sunday with just a little cough and sniffle. On Saturday I was preparing for our Christmas dinner we were having the next day on New Year’s Day, and of course Sunday was New Year’s Day when we had our dinner and gift-opening at Mom and Dad’s. I will do another blog post about that.

Just keep walking!


Adventures, hiking, Holidays, Keizer

Miracle of Lights

Last Friday Kangaroo, her daughter, and I did our “hike” through the Gubser neighborhood here in our town, where they put on a Christmas light show every year. Many of the houses are decorated with lights and a Christmas theme. Most people drive the route, but we walked and ended up going about 3.5 miles. Kangaroo got us light-up Christmas necklaces to wear so we would be seen while walking on the dark sidewalks. Here we are under an arch made of lights.

The Arch.

Many of the homeowners had decorated with inflatables, and we noticed that quite a few of the snowmen had fallen over. There were a couple of other characters that had lost some oomph, but we definitely noticed a trend of snowpeople not functioning properly, as opposed to, say, penguins or Santa Clauses.

Zoomed-in photo of snowman down.

We walked the whole route except for a couple of side streets, and saw many neat light displays, some with music and even video. (Photos by Kangaroo.) Towards the end a group from The People’s Church gave us candy canes and a card announcing their youth Christmas play. None of us went to the play that weekend, but it sounded interesting.

Sweet doggie and pups.

Here they fashioned a large gnome out of a shrub. Clever!

Then we saw this 🤣🤣

“What the heck, why change the decorations?”

“We wish you a Merry…um…”

I hope you’re having a very happy holiday season!!

Just keep walking!