Exploring Willamette Valley Oregon

Exploring Willamette Valley Oregon

While camping at Springfield Elks Lodge in Oregon

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Springfield Elks Lodge RV Parking: The RV area is on blacktop with a slight slope. We had electric and water. We felt comfortable camping here while we enjoyed the Elks lodge and did some sightseeing in the area.

Happy Hour: Kevin and I attended the special Tuesday Happy Hour event in the Elk’s lounge. The special happy hour is on Tuesday with music, potluck food, and friendly Elks members. The members invited us to join them at their table. We had a good conversation with several members. Also, we were given several good restaurant recommendations. We also met Miss Oregon’s proud dad at happy hour. His daughter earned a scholarship from the lodge. 🙂

Fitbit Walking: We did some walking near the local mall. We also found a trail by the University of Oregon Football Stadium. We couldn’t see any walking area by the rv elks camping site.

Used Book Store Hunting: We scored a few new to us field guides at the local used books store on mammals, wildflowers, shorebirds, and weather.

Corvallis: The next day, Kevin and I went to the Corvallis farmers market & had lunch at the local Corvallis Elks lodge. The farmers market was a good size market. I saw free range chicken eggs, seafood, meat, fruit and several good veggie vendors. The Corvallis Elks were incredibly friendly. We had lunch and talked with a fellow Elks members. The solar eclipse is a big topic of conversation in Oregon. I see solar eclipse glasses for sale in several local stores.

Covered Bridges: I called Cottage Grove Elks Lodge to see if we could have lunch at the lodge but they were closed so I took some pics of their lodge. We did get to see the covered bridges in the area. I loved seeing these covered bridges. Its exciting to see a piece of history that has been saved.

Happy RVing!

Oregon Food

Oregon Camping

Elks Lodge Pins

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RV Camping in Florence Oregon

RV Camping in Florence Oregon

While camping at Florence Elks Lodge in Oregon. This campground is located in downtown Florence.

Fitbit Walking: We’ve been walking downtown to the boardwalk from the Elks lodge in the mornings. I put on my thin jacket, floppy hat, my audio book ear phones, and carry my walking stick. We try to get 10,000 steps a day. A few times on our morning walks we stopped at Old Town Coffee Shop on the boardwalk for a drip coffee and everything bagel. What kind of exercise do you do?

Farmers Market: On weekends the farmers market on the boardwalk has a good amount of artisan vendors and one veggie vendor. The vendors like to talk about the products they sell so we learn how to cook new things, where the products were made and most importantly what its called. Also, Its a good place to walk outside. Whenever we visit a new place I look up where the local farmers market is located.

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Boardwalk Farmers Market

Amazon Prime: I ordered a few things from amazon.com prime so we’re staying in Florence until my items are delivered. We drove to Springfield & Eugene Oregon to see the Elks lodges. They both had a few campsites available but Eugene is closed for cleaning next week so we won’t be camping in Eugene.

 

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Beach area by lighthouse

Lighthouse Yearly Fix: Also, we drove to the Heceta Head Lighthouse for our yearly lighthouse fix. The walk up the hill to the lighthouse is nice. The keeper’s house was closed because a wedding was taking place on the grounds. We saw the keeper’s house last year. The lighthouse volunteer talked to us about the migrating whales. We saw a few ocean loving birds by the lighthouse.

 

 

Restaurants: We’ve been to a few restaurants in Florence. The best clam chowder I’ve found in Florence so far has been at the Bridgewater Ocean Fish House on the boardwalk. Its creamy with just the right amount of clams.

Happy Travels!

Campgrounds in Oregon

Oregon Farmers Markets

Oregon Local Restaurants, Cafes & Coffee Shops 

Lighthouses in Oregon  

The Cobra Lily

While camping at Florence Elks RV Park in Oregon

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Kevin and I went on a short walk from the Elks RV Park to the Darlingtonia State Natural Site. I read on one of Jodee Gravel’s posts that this meat-eating plant was here. This plant traps & digests insects similar to a Venus fly trap. It has several names but I like the name Cobra-lily because it looks cobra-like. It even looks like it has a forked tongue.

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What were my expectations of this plant? I thought it would be like a little venus fly trap. Instead, the plants were bigger and growing in large numbers in one spot.

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It was a little creepy walking on the boardwalk above the plants thinking they eat meat.

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We survived a walk along these carnivorous plants in Oregon.

Happy RVing!

Oregon Campgrounds

Oregon Food

Oregon Lighthouses

Carnivorous Plant Facts

Florence Elks Lodge RV Park

Florence Elks Lodge RV Park

While camping at Florence Elks Lodge RV Park in Oregon

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The camping is $25.00 a night at the RV Park. The campground is a few miles outside of town in a quiet area off Mercer Lake Rd. There is also camping at the Elks Lodge in town with electric/water but some sites are unlevel. The RV Park campsites have 50 amp, water, picnic table, gravel with greenery on each side of the campsite. Our campsite #9 has good free wifi reception & direct tv satellite reception. The campground hosts are friendly. The registration process was quick. The campground host even called in our Friday night dinner reservation at the lodge for us. Update: We had a great Friday night meal at the lodge.

Kevin and I are doing a Fitbit challenge with our girls. The Fitbit app counts our steps so we can do the walking challenge with them even though the girls are in Southern California and we are in Southern Oregon. In order to keep up with them, we decided to go on a walk.

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We walked around Mercer Lake. I spotted a few wildflowers. Kevin spotted some birds. The walk is near the road but it’s a pleasant walk.

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Columbine Lily

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Narrowleaf Plantain

After our walk around Mercer Lake, we decided to go into town for fresh drip coffee and split a everything bagel at the Old Town Coffee Shop on the boardwalk in Florence. Also, outside the coffee shop is a small geocache. One of my favorites shops is the Kitchen Klutter. We bought some toaster tongs, mushroom slicer, slippers and a new spaghetti noodle strainer.

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Happy RVing!

Next, walking near a meat eating plant on the Oregon coast.

Local Food in Oregon 

Oregon Campgrounds

Wildflowers

Seaside Oregon

While camping at Seaside Thousand Trails in Oregon

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Seaside Thousand Trails is one of my favorite thousand trails in Oregon. Its has clear open areas so we have good satellite reception. Our Verizon wifi works good here. We found a campsite with full hook ups by the indoor pool & spa. We can walk to the beach & movie theater from the campground.

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Local Restaurants: The local breakfast place we found is Pig’s n Pancakes. It serves a variety of breakfast meals. The coffee is hot and the waitresses are friendly. We have tried the Dooger’s Seafood & Grill for Clam Chowder. I was happy with the flavoring of the clam chowder here but it wasn’t the best clam chowder I’ve tasted.

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Seaside on Saturday: Saturday was busy in Seaside. The beach was filled with excited kids & hopeful parents for the beach soccer series in Seaside. The muscle cars lined the streets in downtown Seaside during the muscle car & chrome show. The local Seaside elks had a fundraiser for a fallen police officer. Saturday in Seaside was filled with things to do.

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Nature Identification: I’ve spotted several wildflowers to identify. Also, we found a new bird for our life list. While on our morning walk we spotted a Caspian Tern. His orange beak and black-capped head stood out among the seagulls on the beach.

Happy RVing!

Bird Life List

Wildflower List

Local Cafes

Traveling in Oregon

Traveling in Oregon

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
-Anais Nin

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I spotted a Bindweed wildflower in Huntington Oregon at the Catfish RV Park on our walk.

Camping at the St Helen Elks Lodge #1999- Kevin and I had a great meal, good conversation and a friendly welcome at this elks lodge.  There are a few low branches on the city road leading into the lodge. There is camping with electric/water on a grass campsite. It cost $15.00 a night. The view of the Columbia River at the lodge bar & dining room is beautiful. While relaxing in the lodge we saw a barge going down the river. The dining & bar is non-smoking. This is a great lodge. I would return here.

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I spotted the Red Clover or Cow Grass next to our camping site at the St Helens Elks Lodge camping area.

On our walks, I discovered several wildflowers in the St Helens Oregon area.

Oxeye Daisy

White Campion

Hairy Cat’s Ear or False Dandelion

Happy RVing!

Wildflower Spotting List

Natchez Wilderness Preserve

While camping at Natchez Wilderness Preserve in Hohenwald, Tennessee

Natchez Wilderness Preserve is a thousand trails campground. Kevin and I are elite members of thousand trails. We found a campsite by the lake for an extra fee of $10.00 a night. The campsite has lakeside access, fire pit, full hookups, gravel campsite and a good view. The staff BBQed a pig for memorial day and had a raffle. We didn’t win anything but we had a good conversation with fellow campers.

At the red barn, a band played for a few hours. I liked the music until a thunderstorm interrupted the band playing. We were already in the RV nice and cozy when the storm started. The thunderstorm took out two trees in the park. We sat in front of the RV watching the thunderstorm. It was magnificent. The next day the sun came up. We enjoyed the lake swimming and relaxing outside our RV identifying birds.

Kevin and explored the Meriwether Lewis Burial site. This is Lewis from the Lewis & Clark Exhibition. Lewis was on his way to Washington to explain his finances when he was found shot twice. There is some controversy on how he was shot. Did he commit suicide? or was he murdered?

We also walked the Natchez Trail for a bit. I felt very much in awe of the people who walked this trail and the history behind it all. I couldn’t find the National Historic Site stamp here but the site was worth the stop.

Yoder’s Homestead Market: This is an Amish/Mennonite store. I admire their commitment to something they believe in. The sandwiches and pastries were supposed to be excellent. We weren’t disappointed. The ladies that worked the store were dressed like an Amish/Mennonite person. One of them warmed up a cinnamon pecan twist for us. It was nutty with the perfect amount of drizzled frosting. We had the ham & cheese special for lunch it was excellent. The bread was exceptional. It tasted soft and fresh. The Amish/Mennonites know how to make food.

Happy Walking- Kevin and I took time off the Fitbit Challenges. I was getting too competitive. Its about balance. I like to balance my walking, healthy eating alternatives, and portions. Its not about winning. Its about keeping healthy. I’m back on track now. Bring on the Fitbit Challenges 🙂

Next, camping near Nashville, Tennessee. Change of plans – heading South to Red Bay Service Center

Happy RVing!

Birds Spotted

  • Barn Swallow
  • Tree Swallow (new bird to life list)
  • Rough-winged Swallow (new bird to life list)
  • Black Vulture
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • American Robin