Brookings and the Chetco River

Mileage today: 21 miles, Total: 2098 miles

Slept in a bit today…. we deserved it after our longish drive yesterday! The coastal weather had a mist coming in off the sea so we took a local tip and drove about 10 miles up the Chetco River (flows out in Brookings) to the Alfred Loeb State Park.

As soon as we left the main road, we were in the total boonies, with the river running along on our right hand side. The state park has camping in it, nice looking pitches set in woodland running down to the river. And the local tip was right, within about a mile of the coast, the sky was blue and remained sunny all day…..

You have direct river access in the state park. There is a river cobble and shingle “beach” and you can just drive onto it and park up right next to the river. Now, I must confess we made two crucial mistakes when we left our cottage this morning. Mistake number 1 was we forgot to take a couple of camping chairs but more important was Mistake Number 2 which was that we forgot our water shoes……

Our punishment was that we had to hobble over the pebbles into the river and keep going on them until we got to swimming depth on the other side….. ouchie! Luckily there was no one to see our hobbling wobbling progress. But the water was heavenly clear and warm. Warmer than the sea, so it was worth the pain of getting in (and out). We had the beach to ourselves for some hours. A few more cars turned up after lunch but there was lots of space.

It was very peaceful. We spotted either an eagle or an osprey on its nest up in the trees and watched him or her keeping guard. Later on there were about 4 of them circling over the trees on the opposite bank. We had a couple of swims. Stayed in quite a long time. It was lovely. In between we put the boot hood up and sat on the edge of that sunbathing and just enjoying the sound of the river and the birds calling. Had a picnic. A good memory to keep.

We packed up about 230 and came back to Brookings and got a bit of shopping in Fred Meyer. Fred Meyer seems to be a local alternative to Walmart. It stocks the same huge range of goods, from tvs to camping stuff, to a full supermarket and pharmacy. We didn’t need much.

Also put in about $15 worth of petrol. Petrol prices vary quite considerably from town to town, by more than a dollar a gallon. It’s quite expensive here – $5.39 and we can see when we get to Medford tomorrow it will be back down around $4.59 again. And talk about Murphys Law. For the past 3 weeks Bob has been wanting to put air in and out of the tyres. They are really oddly balanced at the moment with about 10 psi between a couple of the tyres. The thing is every air machine we’ve pulled up to doesnt have a gauge on it, so no wonder, you are expected to use the display in the car but thats not very exact – or have your own gauge. We are heading into the boonies very much for the next couple of weeks so we wanted to be sure the tyres were at the right pressure. So , Bob bought a gauge in Fred Meyer – $13. Of course when we pulled up at the air machine in the petrol station there…… they had one attached!!!!! Never mind. I’m sure it will come in handy.

Came back to our lovely cottage. We are so impressed with it. We got a very good rate on and of course booked in advance. Well worth doing.

Sat out and read and I went on with the washing. It is taking ages. Mainly – and I don’t want to sound ungrateful here because it is amazing to have a machine to ourselves – because it’s one of those washer/driers. Readers! Never get one of these! I can’t remember when I first encountered one but it only took one go to know they were worse than useless and this one is the same….. The wash bit is ok, although it takes – and I kid you not – 2 hours to wash the load. But then the drying……. AHHHHHHHH!!!!! It never works well because it is working by condensing the water vapour out, and it’s really slow and everythng comes out damp. You need to have a properly vented tumble drier. If you’ve ever tried a condensing washer/drier, you know I am right. Frankly clothes would dry quicker on a line. And of course while the “drying” is supposedly happening, you can’t get another load on in the machine. It is taking 3.5 hours per load and then they are still dampish….. Rant rant rant…. Our house builder tried to persuade me to have one in the kitchen when we moved in to our current home and I flatly refused and insisted on seperate machines. We had quite a row. He tried to tell me it was more eco friendly. I told him he had clearly never done the household clothes washing in his life and I wasn’t prepared to discuss it further. Harrumph! LOL.