2022 on the Pacific Coast – Spring

Peg and I begin planning our summer journey in February. Honestly, some trip plans have been easier than others and despite creating a months long plan, I always leave room for the unexpected. Our planning regimen worked well for us until Covid came calling. For two years we have made our summer trips on the fly for the most part. Dodging heavily infected parts of the country while still enjoying the people and the country.There have been lots of challenges to overcome; however, like true RV’s we persevered and overcame.

This year, well, the rising cost of diesel thru a monkey wrench into our planning. Peg and I decided we would find a place and stay for the entire season, thus saving a ton of diesel. Planning began by evaluating places we had stayed previously that made good candidates for a season. Not one of the first lot could accommodate us for a full season. As I extended my search further, the distances began to defeat the concept of saving on diesel. Finally, I found Driftwood RV Park in Brookings, Oregon.

We have been to the Oregon Coast before, staying at Bandon by the Sea but had not been as far south as Brookings. Based on RV Campground Reviews we figured it was worth a try. It has turned out to be a great place. We are a couple of hundred yards from the beach, less to a top notch restaurant, and close by to all the Port of Brookings/Harbor facilities. The people have been wonderful. The weather has been a little dodgy but we expected that. It rained 12 of the first 14 days we were here and is definitely cooler than Apache Junction. Brookings is reputed to have the highest density per population of marijuana stores in Oregon. (we have found 6 so far). Peg and I are looking forward to enjoying the rest of the summer.

Our trip to Brookings included a stop in Palm Springs at the 29 Casino for a night then Half Moon Bay RV Park for a week. This is where Laura and Granddaughter Nikki are. An excellent visit that included a big trail trip through Half Moon Bay on the Pacific Ocean, several Guinness’s where Nikki works, a visit to the SF Fine Arts Center and the Presidio and a wild and crazy trip down Highway 1 through the Big Sur area. It was a great time and we are so thankful to Laura and Nikki for being wonderful hosts. Out of Half Moon we spent a couple of nights at the Pismo Beach KOA where the weather was rainy and cold, a harbinger of what was to come.

Our trip planning resulted in a different adventure than we would have had 3 years ago; however, the result has been nice. Linked below are pictures from the trip here plus from the area covering late April, May and early June. The Pacific Coast is gorgeous and the pictures begin with San Francisco Fine Arts and Presidio, images from the trail through Half Moon Bay and along the coast south to Big Sur. There are a few photos of the Pismo Beach KOA and then Brookings Harbor, Harris Beach State Park, Chetco Point, various vista points and oddities. At the end are a couple of images of my new spider friend and a view of the Elk at Elk Valley Casino.



Peg & Laura at The Presidio National Park

Click on the image then scroll to the left or right to see all the images.

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Afternoon at Loeb State Park

Peg and I took Scout up the Chetco River to Loeb State Park to let him swim. It’s an 8 mile drive up to Loeb from Brookings along the river. At the park you can drive onto the river across the rocks right up to waters edge. We let Scout out of the truck and he instantly made friends with a young dog and both were in the river chasing sticks and balls.

This was a beautiful afternoon and a lot of fun watching the folks enjoy the river and park. Enjoy the pics and movies.


Bring on the canoes!!!
Chetco River at Loeb State Park
Scout looking for more canoes
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Redwood Highway (US 199) to Cave Junction

This first week in August we took a trip along the Redwood Highway with a side excursion on the TJ Howell Botanical Drive along the Illinois River. Our route was south on US 101 to CA 197 east to US 199 along the Smith River to Selma, Oregon in the Illinois River Valley. I love this drive. The Redwoods growing along the highway as the road twists and turns through the huge tree trunks in the Jedediah Smith State Park are outstanding. The Smith River is close by and easily accessible.

The countryside transitions from the large mouth of the Smith River and coastal climate to the hot and dry inner mountain valleys where the Smith watershed ends and the Illinois River watershed begins. The day we were there the temperature swing was from 68 degrees along the coast to 98 degrees along the Illinois River. Vegetation transitions from lush Redwood forests to dry Pine forests. Of course this is fire season and care needs to be taken to avoid active fires and not start one yourself.

The McKinney and Yeti fires were the two big fire burning to the south in California. When looking at some of the images from the Howell Drive notice the smoke in the distance. Up along 8$ Mountain the images show the pine forest damage that has occurred in previous fires. This region suffered a catastrophic fire in 2002 then large areas were burned again in 2017 and 2018 this has resulted in a sparse forest regrowth with young trees having blackened trunks. It is hard to imagine what this area looked like prior to 2002. One indication of the severity is that just this month the Forest Service was able to reopen the trail from Medford to Gold Beach after 20 years of clearing and reconstruction work.

The images below are from US 199 looking down on the Smith River, then of the Illinois River and views from 8$ Mountain. This was an interesting trip and we had an enjoyable dayAs a side note, there is legislation likely to make it through the Senate to this year that would enlarge the Smith River National Recreation Area to include all the river down to the Pacific.

The first link is to this trip and I added a link at the bottom to our visit a few years ago to the Oregon Caves NM at Cave Junction. Enjoy and as always I appreciate comments and honor requests at harshy@mac.com

Best regards,




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Scout and Steve – Epic Walkabout

Friday July 15, 2022 Scout and I decide to take the camera for a long walk. Generally, we walk to Sport Haven Beach then along Boat Basin 2 through the fish processing plant onto the Boardwalk past Boat Basin 1 and around Zola’s. On this beautiful day we headed up to US 101 across the bridge where we stopped at the Botanical Gardens. This is a well done display of the area’s natural plants and Scout found it a great place to sniff all the different plants.

Up the road to town we took several pictures to capture the look and feel of the downtown area; although, this walk only covered the first third of downtown along 101. From downtown we walked on out to Chetco Point. The views here are spectacular. This is the 3rd time visiting this park and like the previous visits the wind was very strong and cold. As you walk down the path that goes to the rocky outcroppings the land on either side of the path becomes cliffs and the wind is strong enough to blow you over. Once out on the tops facing the Pacific Ocean and Pelican Bay the views are well worth the effort. At the lowest point on the asphalt path is a gravel trail to the beach which leads to great views of the ocean.

Back up into town we stopped by the Curry County Democrats office. A nice lady and her German Shepard greeted us with water for Scout and a good hour of political discussion for me. I misplaced her name and ask for forgiveness. It was good for my soul to touch base with my political roots. From there we wandered back over the bridge and down to Zola’s. Zola’s has a dog area where Scout and I sat down for beer and water. Peg joined us for a late lunch and a couple of more beers and live music capping off a 6 mile walkabout with an elevation gain of approximately 260 feet at a moderate pace.

That is the story that goes with the pictures below. As always enjoy and if there are images you would like prints or other photo displays, please drop me an email with your contact information at harshy@mac.com.

Best regards,



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Oregon Redwoods Trail

A beautiful day in Brookings with lots of sunshine with highs in the upper 70’s and lower 80’s. Included are images from Driftwood RV Park where we are staying. Then from up into the mountains in the Siskiyou National Forest along the Winchuck River. In our explorations of the area around Brookings we have found that the Front Range is a real obstacle. Todays trip was typical.

The Oregon Redwoods road heads east of US101 as a good two lane asphalt road traveling through farms in the valley then making its way up into the mountains past gated homes and ranches until a sign is says “End of County Maintenance”.

This is one of my favorite signs (Peg always grabs the hand hold by the windshield and tenses up, cursing under her breath causing Scout and I to chuckle. Of course, Scout is on the look out for bears and mountain lions as this is their natural home. We have been on several of these roads now including a jaw dropping, nerve wracking, one lane cliff hugger of a path hundreds of feet above the Rogue River to Agness, Oregon. You may note there are no pictures from that road trip. No place to stop the road was so narrow if you opened the door and stepped out you would step down 300 feet. So the pattern is known to us, two lane asphalt to one lane asphalt, to one lane gravel, to one lane dirt, to hoping there is an easy turn around.

This is an important point to remember if you are ever out here. The roads that go east into the Front Range eventually end, dead end, peter out, maybe stop at the edge of a cliff, etc. There is always the need to turn around. It must be that the folks who built the roads found the country to be so stunningly beautiful that it just made sense that you would want to see it all over again from the opposite direction. The forests here are a thing of wonder.

Today we took the road up to Ludlum House and campground over a gravel road that was pitted with potholes and overgrown with vegetation. The Ludlum House can be rented from the NFS and looked very interesting from a distance as it was gated off. We turned around in what can only be described as a primitive campground with no campers in bear country. Down the mountain to the Redwood Trail road south towards California we found the Oregon Redwoods Trailhead and stopped for a while to take in some of the forest.

This is the northern most location of Redwood habitat. The forest is mixed here with the Redwoods being younger and smaller than those just a few miles south. There weren’t a great many photo opportunities; however, I did find one place where a trail led down to the Winchuck. A very pretty place with the only sounds being the river going over rapids. It was a good trip.

Thanks for reading and enjoy.



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Big Spring in Palm Book State Park

Kitch-iti-kipi, as the Big Spring is named, is a great little state park located a mile or so from Gerometta’s. Peg and I put off going until lesser crowds would expected and Thursday turned out to be the perfect day.

Crystal clear 40 degree water 45 feet deep. The big fish are lake trout and I don’t know the dog’s name; however, he is as cute as can be. The Spring is down a short trail to the raft pier. The raft has limited space so the wait can be hours we have been told. Thursday we got right on for the slow trip to the other side of the spring and back. The water could be seen bubbling up in several spots and the fish were fascinating.

https://www.flickr.com/gp/sjharshman/2G4URR Enjoy the photos!

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Still Catching Up

Leaving Half Moon Bay and heading East found us in Fernley, NV at the Desert Rose Campground. It is a very nice campground that I recommend to anyone traveling through. Out in the desert with new clean laundry and bathrooms, asphalt pull through sites with nice shade trees, and excellent wifi. This is where Scout’s incision started leaking out from under his bandage. It was a mess and we were lucky that Laura had gifted us with a doggy first aid kit before we left California as we used all the gauze wraps and pads to begin to soak up the fluid running out of his incision. Peg and I were pretty panic stricken until we realized that the hole in the bottom of the wound was likely in place to drain any infection or fluids.

Our journey continued across Nevada to Wendover on the border of Utah. It was a windy day with sustained 20 to 30 mph cross winds for the entire 366 miles. The Wendover KOA was a fairly typical Journey and the overnight stay was uneventful. Out of Wendover through Salt Lake City and north to Rigby, ID. Another tough day fighting the wind and a virtual white out. The Winnebago is handling all this as well as possible. I am glad that we had the springs and shocks updated because it sure makes a difference. Rigby is a nice town and we took in some well deserved relaxation before moving on east. Scout’s incision was almost dried up by now; however, we continued to worry.

The drive to Dick’s RV in Great Falls, Montana was calm and pretty. On east to Glasgow, Montana we picked up US 2 which is my preferred route across the far north. Much less traffic and fairly good road, a lot of it is interstate grade. In Glasgow we stayed at the Cottonwood Inn and Casino. Scout had been doing well in his healing; however, the stitches at the top of his incision came unwound. This occurred where the original abscess hole was and even though it was about time for the dissolving stitches to begin to disappear a large hole opened up. We had another night of hunting down gauze and tape to try to keep the rest of the incision closed.

Monday morning rather than leaving as planned, Scout and I found ourselves at Valley Veterinary Clinic just before 8am. The folks there were wonderful. Scout got two new stitches, a laser treatment and more antibiotics. We were back on the road by 10 am and prom ptly ran into about 10 miles of construction with nothing but gravel mud and one lane road. Gracie and L’il Red got a real good coating of Montana clay. The trip going on to Rough Rider Campground in Minot, North Dakota for 3 nights was uneventful. This is a great place to rest and relax. Lots of big trees and grassy areas.

We pushed on to the KOA in Bemidji, Minnesota. This is a laid back campground on sand for the most part with a big dog park. I had found the Trek store in Bemidji online a few days earlier and made an appointment to have the Allant finished up, reset and made safe for the road. Northern Cycle in downtown is a great place. Alex and the crew there are excellent professional bicycle mechanics and fixed me up in two days under the quote price. Love these guys and if you are ever in the area check them out.

As things would be, Scout started to vomit. Basically, he would eat a little then several hours later he would throw up. My first thought was that all the antibiotics he was on was making him sick. Even though the original course of drugs was just about done there was still a few days to go on his Glasgow prescription (poor guy was taking 18 pills a day) so I bough him some canned food that was good for sensitive stomachs and determined to soldier on as everything else was good with him. With Gracie and L’il Red cleaned up, the Trek back to normal and Scout soldiering on we moved on to Klint Stafford Memorial Park in downtown Iron River, MI.

This City run park is a great place. Walking distance to the 2nd best pizza in all of Michigan, the Subway, McDonalds and the bars downtown. The park sits on the Apple Blossom Trail next to the Iron River. From here we took in Bond Falls and other sites and generally had a good time. Scout though continued to vomit then quit eating altogether, necessitating another 8am visit to the vet. Apple Blossom Pet Clinic is downtown and took Scout in right away. His vitals were good; however, his abdominal x-ray showed an area of concern in his small intestine. Barium and multiple x-rays were the recommended course of treatment so Scout got to spend the day. Thankfully nothing was found and it was thought that all the meds he had been on probably upset his system. Pills to stop the vomiting and Omeprazole (my personal favorite) got him started on the path to recovery.

This brings us to where we sit today, Gerometta’s Resort Manistique, Michigan. Frankly, we have just become squatters here. I know that I was looking for a place to sit and regenerate mind and body. We were fairly exhausted mentally from the travails of this journey and were very lucky to have found this oasis. The Gerometta’s are great hosts and have a very good campground and resort on Indian Lake next the State Park about 11 miles from Manistique. Peg and I have a large flat grass campsite with picnic table, fire ring, large amounts of fire wood delivered for $5, pool and wild life. Scout loves Indian Lake. We have taken in Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Whitefish Point Lighthouse and Museum, Fayette Historical State Park and Mackinaw and Manistique. We are staying here through Labor Day.

The link below is to an album that has all images taken in the UP. It is a big album and some of you might find looking through my Flickr images and albums is easier, this is the bottom link. There are over 36000 images in this account all of them are public except the ones that aren’t. If you find one you like please fave it. If you see something you want prints of, a book, etc., please contact me at harshy@mac.com and I will try to accommodate you.

As always enjoy!




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It’s Been Awhile

Blame it on Covid. Why not? Frankly, the journal/diary program never was a strong suit. Daily, even weekly, writing has been a struggle despite good intentions. And this has been a Covid 18 months. Yes excuses all of it so let us pick up with June 2021.

This summer started out the same as last summer with the wait on medical clearance to travel for me, Peg or Scout. For Peg and I it was the lingering after effects of our January Covid hospitalization and recovery. We are both doing well now; although, I have lingering mental and physical issues that are abating slowly. Scout has had a hard Spring and Summer. His right knee failed and had to be rebuilt. This resulted in the usual 8 week healing process and final surgical clearance. Scout’s medical journey continued on through the end of July with an abscess, broken stitches and stomach illness. Even he seems to be good now (I know there are 3 Vets scattered across the West and upper Midwest who are doing well!!).

Our trip began with a journey to Half Moon Bay, CA. Half Moon RV Park and Campground is where we stayed while visiting my daughter Laura, Nathan and grand daughter Nikki. Escaping the 110 degree heat was a bonus as on the Pacific Coast the temps were from the low 50’s to the upper 60’s. I took Scout on the trail out to the Half Moon Bay Beach so he could swim in his “Specific” ocean again. As you can see, he had a good time.

Scout at Half Moon Bay Beach Pacific Ocean Coast

We took a trip down Highway 1 stopping at Pidgin Point Lighthouse on the way to the boardwalk at Santa Cruz. It was super and a great time. Nice to see laid back California living at its best. While there Ethan helped find a couple of bike stores there where I was able to get the rest of the parts needed to rebuild my Trek Allant 7+. Another story for another time; however this is why I needed parts.

We had a wonderful time. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the wonderful English Pub at the campground. Great food and atmosphere. Laura, Ethan and Nikki were excellent hosts and made for a great experience.

Our fun got caught up short with the emergence of Scout’s left hind leg abscess. It was apparent by the evening of July 6 that he needed veterinarian attention. We found Lenity Vets in San Mateo and spent most of the evening there in the parking lot waiting to see what was to be done. Honestly, I thought it would be a flush and clean with meds to go. The emergency vet said she could see his TPLO plate through the abscess and that he needed to see the surgeon in the morning. He remained for the night on intravenous antibiotics, etc. The surgeon was firm that the plate had to come out so we said to go ahead. This laid the groundwork for our traveling Vet experience with Scout. And bonus, we now have a very expensive metal paper weight.

Scout Left Hind Leg Post Surgery.

Enjoy the attached images.


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Sitting Bull Falls New Mexico

Saturday Laura, Peg, Scout and I took the trip out into the Chihuahuan Desert to Sitting Bull Falls. This is a great spot with good parking, restroom facilities and picnic pavillions. There were very nice park hosts on site to collect the $5 fee and share advice and guidance. After a short paved walk we arrived at the falls, which at this time of year are diminished some. Deep pools have been formed at the base that hold crystal clear water.

Scout saw the people in the water and was off to enjoy a splash or two for himself. Scout always has such a wonderful time. You can see him swimming with an unknown friend while cooling in the spring fed waters. He and I had to take a small trail to another part of the falls because, he saw a trail. Scout loves trails and thinks all of them were made for him.

It was a wonderful day out and all had a good time. Laura was a wonderful host and played Mom to us old farts, spoiling us with hot breakfasts and well cooked evening meals. Laura took us to a couple of wonderful local cafe’s with great food. It was a wonderful visit with Laura. Lots of old times and catching up in general. I hope we can do this again soon.

As always, enjoy the images.



Sitting Bull Falls

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Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Peg and I are currently visiting our daughter, Laura in Carlsbad. It is nice to be out of the smoke and in warmer weather. Thursday, Laura took the day off and we went to Carlsbad Caverns. This is a wonderful place and the Park Service is doing a great job keeping the cavern open during the pandemic.

We got there early to be sure we got tickets to tour the cave. We were on the 9:15 group of about 20 people. A park ranger grouped everyone together and gave a briefing on what to expect, what not to do and to encourage everyone to have a good time. Frankly, I was surprised at how steep the trail down was and that it kept going down. Down close to 800 feet. There were seemingly unending switchbacks spotted with the occasional sitting area. Once we were out of the entrance area we were in a very low light area where people used their phones or small flashlights to see the path.

It is approximately 1.5 miles to the bottom of the trail which ends at the entrance to the Big Room. There is a nice facility here with food, tables and much needed restrooms. The Big Room trail takes off from here and runs for another 1.2 miles of mostly level path through this large cavern. This is an amazing place. Gladly after walking down 800 feet there is an elevator that whisked us up to the visitor center.

Now that I have seen this impressive cave, I am putting Wind Cave on my list of must see places. We have been to the visitor center there but never taken the elevator down to tour the cave. Now I am thinking it is a must do in the future. What other caves should be on my list?

Enjoy the images. There are 250 or so in this album. This was an extremely low light experience and the Nikon D780 without flash did a great job. I think there is only one blurry image. Hope you get the sense of the cavern and what it looks like.

Best regards,




Carlsbad Caverns National Park

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