It’s Monday and Where in the Heck am I…. Blogging Plans for 2020

Actually, I am in Bandon, Oregon, one of my favorite towns on the Oregon Coast. I would like you to meet Natasha, the sea trash turtle. The Washed Ashore Organization is dedicated to cleaning up our oceans and creates whimsical creatures out of trash its volunteers clean up along the shoreline.

I dropped Peggy at the airport in Medford on Friday. She’s off to spend a couple of weeks in Virginia on grandkid duty while their parents make a quick escape to Mexico. “Please come Mom,” Tasha had requested while Clay had sent her first-class tickets. Hard to ignore that appeal. I was invited as well, but having just spent Christmas and New Year’s back east, I opted for a solo trip in Quivera the RV over to the Oregon Coast with plans for making my way south to Redwood National Park in Northern California. 

That’s what I am up to now as I put this post together. I decided what better time to write about our coming travel/blogging plans for the year than when I am out traveling. I’ve just spent the past three days in the small coastal town of Bandon, which has some of the most impressive rock formations on the Oregon Coast. They make up several of the photos for today’s blog. 

Travel-wise, we have a full year planned. 2020 started with our trip home on Amtrak from Washington DC, which I’ve already blogged about. This is trip number two. (Although it’s sans-Peggy, I’m counting it.) In late March, we are taking off for a 16-day cruise focusing on the Panama Canal. Peggy lived down there in 70’s for a while in her life before Curt. It is where Tasha was born. She has been wanting to get back there for a very long time. When I mentioned the possibility of the cruise, she jumped on it. Peggy’s sister Jane and her husband Jim are going along. In addition to Panama, we’ll be making stops in Costa Rica, Columbia, Nicaragua and Mexico. 

We plan to kick off our backpacking season with a 40-mile trip down the Rogue River trail. It is beautiful in spring and makes an ideal beginning of the season hike. Peggy turns 70 this year and wants to make sure she celebrates properly. She also wants to explore more of the Pacific Crest trail through Oregon this summer as well. I’ll plan a 70-mile trip to go along with her years and my 77. We also have a 7-day kayak trip planned. 

The biggie in celebrating her 70th, however, is a 7-day Rhine River Cruise from Amsterdam to Bern. We’ve invited our children and grandchildren along and, needless to say, they are excited. We will be in the middle of our trip when Peggy has her birthday on July 5th. Afterward, we will pop over to France to spend several days with Peg’s brother John and his wife, Frances. 

We have tentative plans to return to Burning Man this fall. That, of course, depends on our ability to get tickets in the BM lottery, never a sure thing. Throw in the fact that we will be in the middle of the Panama Canal with iffy internet connections when the lottery takes place, I am not optimistic. 

Peggy is off on another cruise in September, this time with her sister Jane from San Francisco up to Victoria, BC, a girls’ trip. I’ll take advantage of it to drive Quivera south down through Santa Cruz, Monterrey, Carmel and Big Sur. I love that area and have been escaping down there since the 60s and 70s, when I used to camp out along the road in my VW van. It’s as close as I ever got to being a hippie.

Quivera and I are staying at the Bandon Wayside Motel plus RV Campground in Bandon. It’s a small but charming, beautifully kept up property that dates back to 1949. If you look to the left, you will see a small sign featuring a 60s-type VW Van.
A close up. Made me feel right at home. I was never a surfer, but I sure identified with the peace concept! Still do, as hard as it is in this era of nation-states rattling nuclear weapons.
A photo of the motel.
And this is Nicole, the co-owner of motel and RV campground along with her partner David. She’s an absolute bundle of energy and friendliness. If it weren’t for the all of the hard work she puts into the place, I’d be a little bit suspicious that she has some modern-day hippie in her. She told me “David and I decided to marry the motel instead of each other.”

October will be time to jump in Quivera and do another month-long exploration of the Southwest. This time we want to include Death Valley NP, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Zion NP, Bryce NP, Capitol Reef NP, Canyonlands NP, and Arches NP. (This may be news to Peggy, grin.) After that we will be traveling east to spend the holidays with our kids. We are contemplating using Amtrak again, following different routes. Does that sound like enough for the year? Do you think I will have adequate material to blog about? Heck, I still have lots from last year? I never seem to catch up. Do you? And then there is the book I am writing…

I’ll conclude with a note of parental pride, if I may. Our son Tony just received the Coast Guard’s second highest award for coordinating the massive rescue effort the Coast Guard undertook in the Bahamas during Hurricane Dorian. The storm was a devastating category five hurricane with record-setting winds of up 175 mph. He and his fellow Coast Guard helicopter pilots spent 5-days more or less without sleep on the ground and up in the very dangerous air. The Commander of the Coast Guard and the Secretary of Homeland Security awarded Tony with the medal. 

As I mentioned, Bandon has some very impressive rocks or sea stacks. It was low tide and I did a long beach walk. The day was beautifully clear but cold! The ocean was showing off with some very impressive waves.
I was hiking toward the mid afternoon sun, which can be challenging for photos. So I decided to go with it rather than fight it. From here, it looked like the two rocks might be holding a conversation.
Up closer, the rocks revealed colorful turquoise water left behind by the receding tide and rippled by the cold breeze.
Speaking of backlit, the sun absolutely robbed this photo of all color. That’s driftwood on the beach, left behind by recent storms. I quickly named the piece on the left Bugs Bunny to give the strange scene a sense of familiarity. The gate-like structure on the left suggests a portal into some mysterious realm. Or maybe I was already there. Did you just see the driftwood moving?
Turning around toward the end of my hike, the sun was more cooperative. I may have found Big Foot. Check out the toes!
Another perspective of the Big Foot.
I liked the way this driftwood seem to flow into the sea stack.
I didn’t capture this two inch deep, two foot wide stream flowing into the ocean quite the way I wanted to, but still I found it interesting.
If you hang out with me much on this blog, you know I have a thing for dead trees, and that includes driftwood. The beach at Bandon was full of it.
This fellow, looking out to sea was also licking his lips. I know, I know; it’s a stretch. BTW, does the orange hairdo seem a bit familiar.
Now here is a hunk of wood. Many of the pieces of driftwood on the beach were old stumps left behind by logging operations and eventually washed out to sea.
Here’s another one with its logging history on display for the world to see, or at least for anyone walking the beach in Bandon.
When you are surrounded by scenic vistas, it’s hard to look down sometimes. Still beauty is everywhere, including in this small rock. And check out the patters in the sand.
And here’s another.
I thought his rock was the most interesting, given the sun, shadows, and hole.
And one should never ignore the blown spume. I watched a little girl gleefully chase a large piece across the sand. She caught it and grabbed it. Of course in crushed into nothing. “Grandpa!” she yelled.
I’ll close today with a few photos I took while wandering around Bandon’s Old Town. I loved this magnificent octopus.
It had one of those faces that only its mother could love.
I found this beautiful octopus mural nearby.
This seahorse sculpture with its stern face also caught my attention.
I’ll close the post the way I started with a photo of one of Washed Ashore’s marvelous creations made out of beach trash. Meet Henry. I wouldn’t suggest sticking your hand in his mouth. Henry seems like he has an attitude.

NEXT POST: It will be time for my Wednesday Photograph Essay. This time it will be mainly flowers I photographed along the American River Parkway in Sacramento, California.