Happy Holidays to all of you. I am sitting on our couch using our home’s wifi to type this story. It feels luxurious to be unhurried, home with our Ollie cat, have warm indoor bathrooms and an oven to bake in. We are grateful to Emily Moore, her mum Kristen Kogler and Emily’s boyfriend Lucas for their great care of our home, our cat Ollie, and our aging plecostomus Lazarus.
We arrived home Dec. 15 after traveling for 13 weeks on the road. The last leg of this journey took us from Harris Beach State Park near Brookings, along the Oregon coast, to Corvallis OR.
We met our mechanic/tire pro daughter Gilli and her friend Thomas to celebrate the holidays and had a delicious meal at the Dizzy Hen in Philomath. Puff pastry Kouign-Amann filled with spiced apples made Bill’s bakery A-list. I enjoyed a pork ragout and polenta one day, and a carrot ginger soup the next. Being with Gilli fills our heart. I wish I lived closer to our children.
We camped for two nights at Benton Oaks RV Park and Event Center, where the Pastega Family, Benton County Fairgrounds, and the Greater Corvallis Rotary sponsor a family drive-through holiday light show. Moving wooden figures depicting Disney, Star Wars, Dr. Seuss and Harry Potter characters are accompanied by lights and traditional holiday music. The price of admission is donation of canned goods. The old-timey tradition has been held at the fairgrounds since 1981. One of our favorite things about camping here, besides the close location to our daughter’s family, are the songs of the Acorn Woodpeckers during the day and the hooting of Great Horned Owls at night.
Dec. 14 we breakfasted once again at the Dizzy Hen with Gilli, then left for the Oregon coast to visit our friends and former neighbors, Bert and Beth Guenther. They used to live across the street from our Langley home, and we exchanged cat care. I miss them, and their cat McCoy, and we were glad to spend time together at their new home. Our exit was delayed, though, because a herd of elk decided to visit on the road leaving Bert and Beth’s rural subdivision.
Nearby we camped at the posh Astoria/Warrenton Seaside KOA Resort. I say posh, because the camp’s log cabin restrooms and showers nearby our campsite C-353 featured heat and were clean. Throughout our campgrounds in state parks in California, the bathrooms were unheated and often needed maintenance. It was not unusual to pay $35 to $50 a night to camp there. Prices are at $50 a night at the Oregon Coast KOA, on the more pricey side, and worth it. It was character building in CA when the temperatures dropped into the 30’s and low 40’s, which we experienced from Calabasas to Humboldt Redwoods State Park in Weott. This KOA campground features a rec room, swimming pool and hot tub, and has a feeling of fun. We could hear the sound of the Pacific Ocean nearby. Best of all, a family of lady elks and their teenagers grazed near the barbecue a few campsites from us.
The next morning we left early and drove home on a mostly sunny day. We walked in the door to see our 15-year-old Ollie napping on his warming pillow. We are experiencing a feeling of transition–with memories of the road, along with being back on Morning Glory Lane. A neighbor’s holiday party Sunday, and a swim with my mermaid gals Dec. 18, brought me back to what I love about living here on an island in a neighborhood with a community of people I feel at home with. Happy Holidays!