May 30, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

Wild Irises
Depoe Bay, OR
May 2018

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here.

May 29, 2018

Olympic Peninsula Trip - Day Fifteen

Sunday, October 1, 2017
Hammond, OR to Depoe Bay, OR
Distance: 120 miles
Duration: 3 1/4 hours
Weather: 60 degrees and sunny

It rained through the night, but the sun was shining when we woke up. We decided to take a walk out to the beach to see the Wreck of the Peter Iredale. It was a pretty walk along the bike path and I made a mental note to bring our bikes on our next trip to this park.

Oregon grows really big banana slugs!

The remains of the shipwreck were pretty impressive and it was a beautiful morning to get some photos against the vivid blue sky. There were a lot of people out on the beach flying kites and enjoying the nice weather. 

I'll take the banana slugs over a cougar encounter any day! 

Really nice trail for biking or walking.


Great place to stop for lunch.

Pretty impressive retaining wall.

We headed home at 1:00 (check-out time) and made a lunch stop at the wayside on Neahkahnie Mountain. Stunning view of the ocean, which was a nice way to end a great trip!

May 26, 2018

Olympic Peninsula Trip - Day Fourteen

Saturday, September 30, 2017
Brinnon, WA to Hammond, OR
Distance: 175 miles
Campground: Fort Stevens State Park
Cost per Night: $38
Site #C25
Duration: 1 night
Departure Weather: 55 degrees and sunny

We left Dosewallips a little after 11:00. As we were preparing the trailer for departure, we met a nice family at the site next to ours (they had arrived the night before) and they gave us a few recommendations for some of their favorite Oregon state parks. It would have been nice to spend more time with them, but it was time to hit the road. We walked to the recycling area, enjoying our final minutes in the campground, both of us commenting on how much we enjoyed our stay, with hopes to return in the near future. The park was much more crowded than when we first arrived, so we now know it's a popular place on the weekends (and most likely during the summer). The elk had left, too. They probably don't like crowds, either.

We had an easy drive back to Oregon. It took a little over four hours (45-60 mph on a one-lane road for most of the drive) and was leisurely enough to enjoy the gorgeous fall colors as we drove through the little towns along Hwy. 101.

We arrived at Fort Stevens and after setting up camp, heading to the grocery store for dinner supplies. Rod built a nice fire and started grilling our hamburgers on the BBQ when it started to rain. It rained the first time we stayed in Fort Stevens, so I guess this is par for the course. At least our food was finished cooking and we had a nice dry trailer to keep us warm while we ate. Unfortunately, our fire went out.

The campground was pretty full, which wasn't surprising since it was the weekend. Our pull-thru sight was easy to get into, but it lacked the privacy that the back-in sites had. The sites felt closer together after being in Dosewallips, which has a lot more space between sites. And, with the rain, ours was pretty muddy. 

That's it for pictures for this day. It was too wet!

May 25, 2018

Looking Back - The Pull of the Moon

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.

The Pull of the Moon by Elizabeth Berg
1996 Random House
Finished on October 6, 1997
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

Dear Martin, I'm sorry the note I left you was so abrupt. I just wanted you to know I was safe...I won't be back for a while. I'm on a trip. I needed all of a sudden to go, without saying where, because I don't know where. I know this is not like me. I know that. But please believe me, I am safe and I am not crazy. I felt as though if I didn't do this I wouldn't be safe and I would be crazy...And can you believe this? I love you. - Nan.

Sometimes you have to leave your life behind for a while to see it and really live freshly again. In this luminous, exquisitely written novel, a woman follows the pull of the moon to find her way home. Sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, always honest, The Pull of the Moon is a novel about the journey of one woman - and about the issues of the heart that transforms the lives of all women.

My Original Notes (1997):

She did it again! I LOVE this book and author. I fell right into the cadence of this novel, not wanting to put it down, yet not wanting it to end. This is always the case with Berg's books. I know I'll reread all of her books someday. I enjoyed this one so much and would love for Rod to read it also. I'd love to hear his opinions on it. I loved the way Nan met strangers in strange, distant towns. As a result, I think she met herself.

My Current Thoughts:

I don't think I ever got around to reading this a second time, but it looks like it only took me two days to finish, so maybe I'll throw it in the RV for our next camping trip and give it another read. I can't imagine Rod wanting to read it, so I'm curious to see why I thought he might!

Berg wrote a collection of short stories (Ordinary Life), which includes a follow-up letter from Martin to Nan. I enjoyed the entire book, but was especially pleased to read the letter from Martin's point-of-view. 

A favorite passage:
Oh just wait. It takes a lot of time, that's all...You'll have come to a certain kind of appreciation that moves beyond all the definitions of love you've ever had. A certain richness happens only later in life. I guess it's a kind of mellowing.

May 24, 2018

News of the World

Update: Read this a second time (on audio this time) in February 2018. Very good, although I prefer the printed edition.

News of the World by Paulette Jiles
20106 William Morrow
Finished on October 18, 2017
Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent!)

Publisher's Blurb:

National Book Award Finalist—Fiction

In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.

In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.

Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act “civilized.” Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.

Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember—strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become—in the eyes of the law—a kidnapper himself.

I loved this book! I read it based on my mom's recommendation and once I finished, we both suggested it to my husband, as it's not only a love story (of sorts), but an adventurous western in the vein of Lonesome Dove and True Grit. It starts off a little slow, but once I got in a few chapters, I was hooked and couldn't put it down. I loved Johanna spunk's and Captain Kidd's fatherly tenderness toward her. The "wild west" aspects of the story brought to mind Nancy Turner's great novel, These Is My Words (another great novel!). 
Captain Kidd read carefully and precisely. His eyeglasses were round and rimmed in gold over his deep eyes. He always laid his small gold hunting watch to one side of the podium to time his reading. He had the appearance of wisdom and age and authority, which was why his readings were popular and the reason the dimes rang into the coffee can. When they read his handbills men abandoned the saloon, they slipped out of various unnamed establishments, they ran through the rain from their firelit homes, they left the cattle circled and bedded beside the flooding Red to come and hear the news of the distant world. 
This is the first book I've read by Paulette Jiles and I fell in love with her lyrical writing.  
...Long bright crawls of water slid across the livery stable floor and took up the light of the lantern like a luminous stain and the roof shook with the percussion of drops as big as nickles.

Final Thoughts: 

This one's a keeper and one to read again. I loved the humor Jiles infuses in her dialogue and while I found myself laughing out loud more than once, the last few pages brought more than one tear to my eye. However, without revealing the outcome, the conclusion is very satisfying. I highly recommend this little gem of a novel and wish I was still working at Barnes & Noble so I could recommend it to all my favorite customers. Oh, and yes. My husband loved it, too. Jiles is a great storyteller and I look forward to reading more from her backlist.

May 23, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

Nehalem, OR
May 2018

Starfish or sea star

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here.

May 22, 2018

Olympic Peninsula Trip - Day Thirteen

Friday, September 29, 2017
Brinnon, Washington
Dosewallips State Park

We woke up to clouds, followed by a gentle rain, so we had a nice relaxing morning with nothing on our agenda. Well, Rod had an editing job, but otherwise it was a pretty lazy day. I took three walks and spotted some eagles and a heron (more photos previously posted here).

View from our bedroom window.

View from the dinette. 

A few nice sites down by the river (all dry camping).

Such a peaceful morning.

My dad and stepmom's site, which was next to ours and had a very nice woodsy feel to it.

And for our last dinner in Dosewallips, Shrimp and Cheesy Grits. Delish!