Four years and 17 days ago we drove away from Jim’s parent’s house in Salem, Oregon heading south. The plan was to spend a couple of years driving the PanAmerican Highway, working on my writing, and explore in-depth a new-to-us continent. As the sun sets on one decade it is clear that having such a plan rarely works out exactly as we expect. Today I write this from a campground in Coos Bay, Oregon somewhere we never thought we’d end up having not yet made it to South America. As the saying goes…the best-laid plans.
Aging. It is inevitable and challenging in any form. Many of you are aware that Aspen is on the decline. While she is still mostly smiling and enjoying her day’s life has most decidedly slowed down. Way down. Daily doses of Dasuquin with MSM and Rimadyl coupled with twice-monthly Adequan injections are keeping our baby girl as comfortable as possible.
Christmas looms near once again and one of the best parts of the season is the abundance of holiday light displays. We tend to have some sort of patio or decorative lighting up year-round because, well, we just like lights, but this time of year brings the festivities to an entirely new level.
Just south of us lies the adorable village of Bandon, Oregon. Founded in 1873 by Irishman George Bennet who named it after his hometown in Ireland, this little town of just over 3000 features about 10 square blocks of fun with restaurants, shops, a brewery and more.
One of the prime benefits of being back on the stunning coastline of Oregon is the abundance of fresh seafood. Over the last couple of winters in Baja we’ve been spoiled with fresh fish but of the warm-weather variety. Back here in often blustery Oregon we are once again indulging in such delicacies as fresh crab and oysters along with several types of clams, tuna, and Pacific salmon.
Dawn was just breaking in the sky as I stirred awake. Aspen and Jim continued to snore softly as I contemplated the beginning of a new day. This morning musing brought the realization that for the first time in over one year I felt totally and completely relaxed and at peace.
Camp life continues to roll along and we are shocked to realize it is already nearly mid-September. Along with hundreds of guests, we have been fortunate enough to have plenty of our own visitors in the form of family and dear friends. It’s no secret that in large part our decision to return to Oregon to work was the opportunity to be able to spend more time with our tribe and believe me, our hearts are full!
Life has taken on a comfortable routine. How long we’ll be happy with small-town beach life remains to be seen as we have notoriously itchy feet. But after nearly five years of almost non-stop motion, it’s fantastic to establish a routine. My favorite part~ how unexpected it all is. If you had told me 6-months ago that I’d be embracing life in a small coastal town back in Oregon I would have scoffed at the idea.
One of my favorite quotes from “Sweet Home Alabama” is when Reese Witherspoon’s character is told “You can have roots and wings”. This is a difficult concept for me. Those who follow our social media are well aware we followed the road back to Oregon and the questions have been many. In truth, we never planned on leaving Clio’s and the stunning Sierra Nevada’s early. We loved the managers and our co-workers and the chance to explore a new region. However, the truth is also that for two years we have been searching for a paying camp job in Oregon or SW Washington, something that is far harder than you might imagine.
Upon arrival here in Clio (pronounced Klio if you’re wondering) we were awestruck by the extraordinary beauty of this area, known as the Lost Sierra’s. Within 20 miles of the camp is a bevy of sights to be explored including mountain vistas and endless lakes. As the weather has once again turned to summer temperatures these last few weeks have found us taking full advantage.