Sweet Home Oregon

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’ —Sylvia Plath

Camping at Sweet Home Elks Lodge #1972

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The rv camping is surrounded by trees. It smells like we’re in a forest. Our fellow Elks members recommended a nice place for a walk & two good restaurants. The Point Restaurant has nice decor, a good view, and good service. The prices are high but the food is good. The Skyline Inn has a home-like decor. The food is okay. The service is good and the coffee is hot.

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We had a choice of a couple trails we chose the one with the least uphill battle. The Royal Terrace Falls trails has birds, greenery, and nice refreshing waterfall. Sometimes, like walking in a city so I can explore the unique places in town but a walk in nature is refreshing. The Royal Terrace Falls is a place to enjoy nature.

The Sweet Home Elks Lodge has a great view of the area from the balcony outside of the lodge. The members are incredibly friendly. We visited with Wendy the lodge secretary/volunteer bartender and a few members for a few hours. The campsites are unlevel for our Class A 33ft motor home but our neighbor has a small travel trailer and he was level. We had DirecTV satellite and good wi-fi with our Verizon jetpack. We didn’t stay here long but I appreciated the friendliness of the members at Sweet Home Elks Lodge in Oregon to traveling RVer’s.

Happy RVing!

Next, camping in the Salem/Keizer area to do some exploring before the solar eclipse.

Oregon Local Food

Oregon Campgrounds

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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

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

Ticks, Copper Pans and Walking

While camping at Cherokee Landing Thousand Trails in Tennessee

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Tick Removal:  Kevin saw a tick on our Yorkie Joey. The tick buried its head into Joey’s neck. Kevin and I took turns holding the dog and gently removing the tick from his neck. Our Yorkie was glad to have the tick removed. It was gross. We bought tick medicine for him afterward, I wish we had bought it sooner. I was told the campground was sprayed for ticks. I found two ticks during our stay. I don’t want to think about how many more ticks would be in the area if thousand trails staff hadn’t sprayed.

New Pans: Kevin and I are trying the new copper pans from Walmart. He bought a flat pan for cooking grilled cheese sandwiches, eggs, bacon and using on his bbq outside.  I bought a 9.5-inch pan for cooking veggies and heating chicken for fajitas. The copper pans are working out so far, only time will tell how sturdy they are.

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Plenty of open camping sites here but not many big rig sites

Walking: Kevin and I entered the Goal Day 2017 for Fitbit. Our Fitbit goal is 10,000 steps or 4 miles today. I’ve changed my Fitbit strategy. We saw two American Robins on our walk this morning. Kevin and I both reached our Daily Fitbit Goal today.

Happy RVing!

Next, Camping at Natchez Thousand Trails in Tennessee.

 Bird Spotting

  • American Robin
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Blue-grey Gnatcatcher  (new life lister)
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker (new life lister)

Red River National Wildlife Refuge

While camping at the Shreveport Elks Lodge #122

We visited the Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Shreveport, Louisiana. Kevin and I saw several exhibits at the visitor center. The Alligator Gar was interesting. It lives in the Red River. It has a long snout with sharp-looking teeth. These fish rarely attack humans.

 

A friendly staff member told us how she uses a compound bow to fish for the Alligator Gar in the Red River. She fishes from a boat and is able to see the fish in the water. She also stamped our blue goose national wildlife refuge book.

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On our morning walk at the refuge, we spotted a turtle, Northern Cardinals, Northern Mockingbirds, Pink Primrose wildflowers, Indian Blanket wildflowers and a new bird life lister called a Spotted Sandpiper.

Happy RVing!

Next, we moved to Vicksburg, Missouri to explore the Vicksburg National Military Park.

Visting Livingston Texas

While camping at Lake Conroe Thousand Trails in Texas.

Kevin and I visited Livingston, Texas its about 1 hour from Lake Conroe Thousand Trails. We saw the Escapee RV Club Headquarters. The staff let us see our mail box and gave us a tour of the mail processing area.

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We also filled out paperwork for a library card at the Livingston Library. We can check out ebooks from the library while we travel.

Exercise: I’m still loving my Fitbit. My goal is 10,000 steps most days.

Happy RVing!

Colorado River Thousand Trails in Texas

While camping at Colorado River Thousand Trails in Columbus, Texas

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Campground: The campground is well maintained. The sites are spacious. The campers are friendly. The verizon & satellite reception is good in D section. We attended a potluck and concert at the activity center. The band played classic rock/folk music/Irish music. The band members passed out a booklet with the lyrics of the songs so we got to sing along with the band. I had a great time.

Wildflowers: I spotted several types of wildflowers here. I’ve been having a good time identifying all of them. I started taking pictures of them for a binder. Texas Blue bonnets, Cedar Sage, Wine Cup, White Prickly Poppy, Texas Indian Paintbrush, Texas Lantana, Pink Evening Primrose, Wind Flower, Bull Nettle, Coreopsis

Hiking: Kevin and I drove over to the Attwater Prairie Chicken Wildlife Refuge. We didn’t see any Prairie Chickens but we spotted several others birds and wildflowers here. Also, we hiked around the Monument Hill & Brewery State Historic Site.

Exercise: We walked 2-3 miles a day here. Also, we did a historic volksmarch 5k around Columbus, Texas. We saw several historic houses, the river, the courthouse, water tower and some local shops in town on the volksmarch.

Birding: Killdeer, Crested Caracara, Savannah Sparrow, Northern Harrier, Vesper Sparrow, Greater Yellowlegs, Black Vulture, Eastern Phoebe

Happy RVing!

Wildflower List

Bird Life List

Favorite Cafes

Volksmarching

Traveling to Lake Conroe Thousand Trails