Saturday, August 29, 2015

Cat's Revenge

When we got back from our trip I went on Monday to pick the cat up from boarding. The last time we boarded her I had them brush her out and it turned out really nice and fluffy and smooth. So I told them to do it again.

Tuesday morning I got up and Ollie wanted out so I let her out. She came back about an hour later and this is what she looked like.

I think maybe she was getting back at me for having her boarded for so long. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Back In The Saddle

While visiting the kids down south last week Carli managed to borrow a friend's horse. She rode the friend's horse and I rode Taz. We went out to the Panorama Vista Preserve. It's been about 5 years since I've ridden out there and there are some big changes. Several hundred trees have been planted and the trails are all marked with sign posts. There are several benches here and there for the weary pedestrian visitors. In a few more years when the trees get bigger it will be really wonderful.

Carli snapped this picture of me.

As we continued down the trail we came across this King snake sunning himself in the road. He took off when he saw us coming closer. Remember, King snakes are good. They eat bad rattlesnakes!

I enlarged the photo for a bit of a better look.

We were probably in the saddle about an hour and a half. When I got back to the stable I almost fell down when I dismounted. Remember I haven't ridden in at least two years! 

Surprisingly I wasn't as sore as I thought I'd be in the following days.

But it was totally worth it.  

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

North Umpqua Trail, Other Side Of Panther

Last week we took a trip to visit the kids in California. When we got back I realized I forgot to blog about our last little walk. So here it is.

We went to the other side of the Panther Segment of the North Umpqua Trail. The last time we went north and this time we went south.

We took Clyde with us and kept him on the long line. Here he's enjoying a small stream.

This section goes a little closer to the river. That's the bridge we crossed to get to the trailhead from the North Umpqua Highway.

If you look closely near the top of the tree line you can see a hawk circling about.

This was an interesting section of the trail. It looks like someone has taken the time to piece the rocks together to make a stone sidewalk.

Otherwise it's just your average trail.

At one point it looked like there was a clearing on the uphill side. The terrain wasn't real steep there so we took a detour. It was a clearing. In fact it was a large picnic area with a ball field.

Later on we found out this is the Steamboat Ball Field and Pavillion Group Site, available by reservation only.

A prior visitor got a little artistic with this twig deer at the edge of the field.

We poked around there a bit. Since we'd gone about .8 miles and I wasn't feeling 100% we then headed back.

Just a little hazard on the trail.

Just a couple days later we took off for our mini vacation to see the kids.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Long Way Home

First, a quick explanation. 

In May we found a house with property we both liked and put an offer in. After their first counter, where they only offered $900 less (yes, only $900) we made another offer for $5000 less than their list price and I'm sure their realtor basically twisted their arm and they accepted.

We went through all the inspections and made a few adjustments in our requests. We weren't asking for the moon but they said no to everything but what was required by law (CO2 detector and a flap that goes on the septic tank to prevent back flow). We asked for a one year home warranty, mid range price, and they said no! We were getting a little frustrated with them at this point. Then our realtor got with their realtor and they agreed to split the cost between the two of them (it was $435). 

Then we were just waiting for the appraisal for the bank loan. It came in at $10,000 less than our agreed upon sale price. Good for us, right? Not really. We sent an addendum for them to adjust the sale price to the appraised price. They said no.

That meant if we wanted the sale to continue we would have to come up with the extra $10,000 in cash. It wasn't that we didn't have it, but we wanted to use that cash and a little more to build a garage and put in a mare motel (despite the name it really is just an open covered pipe "barn").

They never offered to split the difference, never offered to get a new appraisal or split the cost for it ($600). Never offered any suggestions to help the sale go through. After their flat out refusal to work with us we decided to walk away. I mean, seriously!

So now we are out $1600 from all the inspections and we are back to looking. 

I found a house that looked interesting but it was in Myrtle Point, about an hour and a half away, near the coast. What the heck, we decided to do a drive by and maybe have lunch.

On the way we passed by the Sandy Creek Covered Bridge. We had to stop for some photos.

Obviously not in use as a means to crossing the creek anymore, but it has been fixed into a picnic park area. It's too bad some people are total pigs and feel the need to vandalize nice things with graffiti. 

This is what it looks like from the road.

The house was different. It was kind of a compound of similar looking structures. While the land was not bad the whole thing had a few strikes against it to us. Number one was that it was in a flood zone, and also it was on a spring for water. I know other people do just fine with that but to us it's a total unknown so we just aren't sure about it. 

Time to go on and head for the beach and lunch. We thought the road continued around in a big loop and hooked back in to the main highway. Well, it didn't. 

We decided at that point to continue on and see where it led us.

It followed the Coquille River and I just had to stop and take a picture of this little falls.

These were giant boulders in the river.

We passed a sign that said Roseburg was 36 miles away. I was getting confused and I was sure it meant a different Roseburg. This is a gravel road. For 36 miles! Well we carried on.

Then we found this beautiful falls. We looked later for the name and it doesn't have a name. This is just either the upper or lower falls on the Coquille River.


Another view.

The whole road was in a steep canyon with sheer walls on either side.

The walls were covered with ferns. These had a lot of dust from the road on them.

Thick with ferns!

We finally got to the paved road again and then we knew where we were. We had gone from Sitkum Lane in Myrtle Point to Coos Bay Wagon Road in Roseburg. At one point I was convinced we were going to pop out in Portland!!

We passed a new logging operation. They had shut down for the day maybe 30 minutes before we got there. (They have to stop at 1pm.)

The loggers were all standing around talking near a trailer that's just out of this picture on the left. They gave us a hard look when we stopped and I stuck my camera out the window. 

After all that we ended up having lunch (linner at that point!) back at home.

The funny thing was on some of our little drives around the area we would go down Coos Bay Wagon Road until it turned into the gravel road, then we would turn around and head back. Now we know where it goes. And for a gravel road it really isn't bad at all. In fact it is quite a pretty drive.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Steamboat Creek Drive

We took a drive up the Steamboat Creek area. We thought we'd see if there were some falls we could photograph and have a picnic lunch. Well, the road was closed about 15 miles up allegedly to replace a culvert. The sign said it was closed until August 15. Seems like a long time to me to replace a culvert. 

Anyway we turned around and went back a ways to where we saw a picnic table on the other side of the creek. We found the bridge and a narrow trail that led to the table. The road was rough and windy.

If you look carefully you can see our truck parked back in there.

The creek wasn't exactly rip-roaring.

Since we weren't exactly positive about blue-green algae we couldn't let Clyde play in the water.

It was very pretty though. There were a lot of big flat areas where the creek flowed through.

After lunch we decided to take a little side road. We ended up going way up a mountain where we found this road.

It led to a big water tower. I think it is a tower where helicopters come to fill up with water when they are fighting fires. I can't be sure but I think it was full of water. The walls were rather cool to the touch.

The view from the top (by the water tower).

On the way back down we passed the trailhead for McKinley Rock. 

This is the trail leading from the sign. One day we will take the walk. It's reportedly only about 1.25 miles.

This is the view of McKinley Rock from a break in the road a little ways from the water tower. It's a 300 foot shear rock where climbers go. It has permanent thingies in the rock where climbers put their ropes to keep from falling to their deaths. Here is a link to the Forest Service web site.  

When we came down from the water tower and trailhead we got back to the little intersection we turned up onto we had a decision to make. Go back down the way we came (left) or continue on the original road (right) and see where it took us. We chose right.

I don't think a lot of people go up this way. The road was kind of overgrown.

But it was a good thing somebody was there before us at one time. I'm sure this tree fell across the road and it was slightly pushed to the side. 

Just enough to go around. You can see where the original road is and where the "new" trail goes around.

Just when we were wondering if we made a terrible mistake by going right instead of left a lovely deer jumped out in front of us on the road. (Look in the middle and you can see her. Click on the picture to enlarge.)

She led the way for about a mile.

And just when I was feeling sorry for her she disappeared around the corner. At that point the road was not a shear cliff on both sides!

Didn't really accomplish anything on this particular drive but at least we got out of the house for a bit.