Tuesday, Oct. 12. Last night we had dinner with cousins in Medford, Oregon. A lovely chicken stew with homemade noodles, which was a first for me. Today we went to his sister's house and we met Cindy. I find it interesting how differently people live. On this property of a few acres, Ted keeps his huge shop. He builds airplanes from scratch for people who can afford it. Some say they would never get inside a plane that Ted hadn't built. The owner has a problem and doesn't bend so well to get in and out, so Ted made doors that open upward, like a DeLorean car I saw once. And standing outside this building was Ted's 28 foot boat that he took up to Vancouver Island on a five week trip. It looked like a fishing boat with a cabin and very deep hull.
Medford is a gorgeous city, especially in the spring, even with all its growth. It looks all brand new, like there's been no recession at all.
Mountains and hills endlessly spread around chains of valleys with rivers and almost solid trees. I hadn't remembered just how beautiful Oregon is. The next day we took off on I-5 for about 120 miles then West on 42 to the coast and Coos Bay. We had called Darrel's brother earlier, who works as a campground host each October. All we had to do now was find him. So we looked for some bars on our cell phone. We passed through Roseburg which is a whole city lumber mill--probably two miles of pine 2 x 4s and plywood stacked four stories high. The little town is crouched around the lumber yard's perimeter. Traincars stand loaded with wood ready to be hauled to Iowa. Huge pines that make 12 Georgia Pines each. Gas is $3.48. Hiwy 42 is a log truck road but incredibly scenic Aspens and Cottonwood trees are just coming yellow. It's 61 degrees. Expresso kiosks are on every corner of the little towns. The largest buildings are fire departments. Pines are managed and mountainsides display stripped areas that have been deforested but looks like a green quilt with other stages of new growth remaining. The current fire danger, which this entire state monitors, is low. We felt lucky.
The closer we got to the Pacific ocean, the more lush and green the woods became. Abby is still sleeping from her trauma with Grace the English Bulldog at Cindy's house, who smurfed Abby first then launched herself on her rope swing, hanging by her teeth. Abby was mesmerized.