Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Arrogance of Language Illuminated and Dismantled by Stephen Fry...

... He could be a genius.

I stumbled across this with a great laugh. It is one of my many myriads of Hot buttons. :) He just says it with a far more educated eloquence.

I have on occasion been... uhhhh... criticized for my not so infrequent modification of the English language.

It has ALWAYS been my opinion that the ONLY use and purpose for language was to allow one person to communicate with another... as clearly and as accurately as possible. And by 'accurately' I Mean... holding as close to the colors and intentions and beliefs of the speaker/writer as possible; NOT the reader or listener.

While a writer is wasting his time if he puts the words down in a way that makes them indecipherable; the opposite is also true. If he speaks in the voice of the reader, his OWN voice is lost in the mire of political correctness. He must strike that balance to put his meaning across.

However, it is ALSO incumbent on the receiver to place themselves in the proper "Place" to "catch the ball" that the writer has thrown.

If, they repetitively miss the catch, the problem is largely theirs to correct. They need to take the steps to expand their base of knowledge and thereby expand their ability to communicate. The push to grow and expand language cannot only be vested in the hands of writers and speakers. The audience must also invest some effort into the mix. They must stretch their understanding to keep pace.

And just think, What better way is there to expand that base upon which you build your communication... than to Travel? Talking to different people along the way, who hail from widely separated places and cultures... and opposing philosophies?

As you make those journeys keep in mind; Since Words and Language are simply sounds employed to convey the thoughts of the speaker - or writer- and if those sounds or words are assembled in a manner and context that transmits the meaning of those thoughts with clarity and understanding... (assuming the receiver has done their part) than Language has been used correctly.

... and if the receiver has NOT done their part?... then the misuse of language has not been fully the responsibility of the speaker or writer.

Grammar, spelling and societal snob approval of speech and words be damned.

I read in the comments of the following audio essay; "If I be talkin' and you be understandin', then we be communicatin'." -Booker T. Washington ... 'nuff said?

Between Booker T and Stephen Fry... I feel pretty much set free to continue stretching and... uh ... improving the language.

The audio essay I found;

So... with that in mind... I'm back to re-reading the 60,000 words of my newest deliberate abuse of the English language as we know it ;) to prepare for carving out the remaining 1/3 or so yet to be written.

It's a tough job.. Sitting in the shade of the tall trees of Oregon's Jessie Honeyman State park reading my partial manuscript that I emailed to my Kindle. :)

Reading, Studying... and Sharpening my Word Whittler

Thursday, June 27, 2013

From Top Dollar Scenery in Free Camps and Rollin' Homes that Have Gone Debt Free...

... to another Gift Camp from the State of Oregon, it's been a good week.

We stayed in Bullards Beach for five full days... Most of which rained. :) Which was OK since it allowed me the excuse I needed to sit inside doing... Cover your Ears!... work!

I been doggin' it too long and really been buckling down to get the site rebuilds done. While doing that I've been studying and researching and signing up and getting approved by a variety of affiliate sponsors.

The idea being that as I get the rebuild a bit further along you'll start seeing the links for camping equipment, clothing to have you dressed to the nines out in the woods, and there's even an outfit where you can get your best travel shots or whatever photography you do printed into high quality canvas prints for display.

As always, it's my intention to keep those low key and out of your way so you can find the info you want... and those links will just be there for you if and when you want 'em. Of course the deal with affiliate sponsors is that when you do utilize that vendor, I get a small piece of the pie for sending them the customer.

That leaves me the responsibility of only presenting quality companies to serve your needs. I'm looking forward to working with 'em! and lining up a place where you can have some confidence you'll find a reliable company.

So... that's a little bit more coming to the sites over the next few weeks... assuming I don't fall off the wagon and go completely back to the lazy drifter I've been for a bit! :)

In between rain showers we were able to get out and around a few times and collect up some memories and views of the place.

*The grass covered Dune at Bullards Beach*

I was pretty impressed with the paint and the dun below.They stood quiet facing into the wind while the A-Rab above dinked around all goosey in the breeze. I have to admit, the sand was pretty stinging, but those two below showed how a good mount should do it. ;)

I always wanted to ride on the beach... There's just no room beside the Raider to carry a saddle on the truck... and I'm pretty sure loading a horse in the fiver is a non-starter!

Even if the wind is blowin'... come back over the dunes off the beach and you're quickly sheltered by the trees and shrubs that fill the park and add plenty to the feel and privacy of the place. Even though there might be gobs of people close by, I didn't get that claustrophobic sensation I often get in such camps.

*View of the Draw Bridge from Bullards Beach*

We made the short run up to Coos Bay from camp for a moh-mentous OH-Kay-shun last Tuesday. The rig that was supposed to have got cleared by the sale of the house three years back, and didn't but you already know that story... finally got cleared according to the original 12 year plan. We made the final payment!

As hard as we've used it, the last year has been a horse race to see which would come first, the end of the debt or the end of the rig. She's road weary sure and certain. But now, as of Tuesday, our home on the highway is free and clear. Hopefully she'll hold up for a few more miles of at least repairable wandering! HooYa!

Coos Bay is an interesting place. If you only see the bit that lays along Hwy 101 you'd take it to be a worn, kinda shabby place. That would be a mistaken first impression. You have to turn west and climb the ridge away from the highway, and a whole other personality is gonna open up to you. Don't trust first impressions.

One thing I'm really taken with in Oregon is the attention they give to Vets. Ever'where you look there's plaques and memorials. It makes an old soldier feel kinda good, and grateful.

We're cheapin' out as much as we can this month in our continuing effort to catch back up after last months fun in Lincoln. ;) so when the Free Five day limit on our New Oregon Special Access pass for Vets rang the bell... we bumped a few miles north to just below Florence.

We're now settled in another state park to finish out this months allotment of ten free days at Jessie M. Honeyman state park.

Now... me being an inveterate boondocker and all... hmmm... that sounds a lot like a spineless cheapskate if you think about it! :) anyway... whichever I am... it's a bit of a surprise how nice these state parks are in Oregon. I expect the fact that I'm getting them as a gift to Disabled Vets has a hell of a lot to do with my change of heart!

But I'll tell you... being able to walk over to the shower house that's hidden in the trees just behind our camp... and stand under a hot shower till my silky soft lil' kiester is wrinkled like a prune from all that hot water is pure luxury... to a fella accustomed to bein' stingy with water and waste tank space!

Combine that with the scenery 'round about and like I was concerned the other day... these camps could be my ruination!

*Bridge at Coos Bay*

They don't build bridges the way they used to. It's a shame. The bridge at Coos Bay is a thing of beauty

Who decided that they should stop building bridges and public works that are beautiful anyway? I mean, If we're going to spend billions rebuilding the failing infrastructure of the country... why don't we follow some of the lessons of the past and QUIT with the nasty, ugly slabs of concrete?

Send the bridge architects on a trip to Oregon and Washington... and remind them how something utilitarian can still be a work of art that makes you smile and remember when you cross it...

Can you remember the last bridge you crossed? Did IT make you think; Wow, that is awesome! ???

We're running into one lil' burp in the road... the 4th of July... Since planning and reservations and such are not something I function well around ... We've got no place locked down to take us through the fourth.

Our "Cheap" stay here runs out the morning of the first. We could stay on I guess, but then the price jumps to $25 bucks a day or so... which for us is a budget buster... that is... if we had a budget left to BE busted. :)

This year the 4th comes earlier in the week... and there's NO reservations to be had at this late date... Soooo... what we're shootin' to do is be ready to roll, bright and early on the 1st... and try to scoot into a non-reservable site, just another bump north, to hog until the holiday passes!

Part of this biker cowboy master minded plan is to leave a six pack sitting out on the steps the next few nights... tucked into the back of one of those live traps, with one bottle popped open allowing its sweet scent to waft back into the forest... with any luck I'll catch that lil' Murphy pest and leave that merry mutant chained to the flagpole when we leave! Ha!

But then... like I said... me and plans...

Anyhoo... if you're comin' to the Pacific North West... find a way to take your time. Get out of your rig and walk on the beach... stroll through the tall timber... and be glad that you were able to be here.

Mountain High ~ Low on the Coast

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Go here... go there... This one or that one? but what about the other... Oh look! A Butterfly!

Scattered, dis-focused and debilitated by the indecision of a prosperous imagination.

I have tripped and fell face first into the dreaded sewer of too many options and new bright Shiny bits. My mouth and ears and eyes are full of the sand of things that could be... if only... I Could Freaking CHOOSE! ;)

Possibilities... arrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh.

You know the deal... saddle a guy with too many choices and options and possibilities and the consequence is... NO CHOICES get made... and nothing gets done, cuz you get stuck in that tangled web of this that or the other.

Oooooffff... time to take a deep breath... suck it up... Cowboy Up and CHOOSE! and find a way to stop the niggling voices in the hollow recesses of an over active imagination, squalling that I chose wrong, from overpowering the ringing in my ears!

*Looking out of Old Town Bandon Oregon*

So... with the voices echoing in the dark void...and... before the rains returned last night we made a long mid day visit into town to peruse... that's a word you'll find few broke down biker cowboy wandering drifters using... the wares of the Bandon Farmers Market.

Tasted a few samples, Heidi added a sponge drying ceramic doo dad from a local potter... to add to the clutter around the sink and covering up the last of the open flat surface; thereby preventing dust from settling on that last bit of unused counter top...

... and got a tip from the potter to visit a local chocolate shop... a Spot known as "Coastal Mist".

Yeah... the "voices" in my head distracted and confused me such that though we declined to buy lunch at the farmers market for five bucks... 'cause we need to be more frugal...

... The $8 dropped at at a chocolate shop made supreme sense...

What can I say? It's a morality issue. Passing by chocolate is like slapping Nuns or spilling Beer!

It's a despicable thing to contemplate.

If you stop and think about it... it actually is a lot more frugal to eat chocolate... especially REAL chocolate...

... than fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts.

The calories of that gooey goodness are gonna last a LOT longer than that dang lettuce and walnuts!

And... I am weary of a world of reason, sense, duty, and the burdens of being sensible... Which would you rather have carved on your tombstone? "He was a reliable bloke that worked hard every day" ... or ... "He was a wild and wooly son-of-gun that lived his entire life with a glint in his eye, his hair on fire and his heart thumping like a Drum." ???

If you're one of those that has refused to do some dodgy or distasteful Thing of drudgery ...

...until "Pigs Fly"... here's a heads up...

You might just want to stay clear of Bandon...

We spent quite a lil' while walking around the old town area... which seems to be mostly a parking area for Harleys...

Every pub, tavern and eatery had its compliment sitting at the curb... I didn't see any "Metrics Forbidden" signs at the city limits... but from the ratio of Harleys to "Others" I was wondering if I'd just missed it! ;)

A couple of things pretty hard to miss are the "statues" built entirely of Sea Trash...

Proof the old saying is true I guess; "One man's trash is another man's treasure."

*A Barbie Hunting Car?*
Well, on this rainy day, between strolls between squalls, I better get back to Cowboyin' Up to sortin' through the conflagration of confusions to Make a Choice or two... or all you'll see in the future is a picture of a bald head with crossed eyes, a wild grimace... and smoke curling out of his ears...

Duckin' and Choosin'

Saturday, June 22, 2013

State Parks Can Put a Guy In Danger of Ruination...

I lied... Just north of Coos Bay... turned out to be a ways south of Coos Bay. We worked hard all morning to finish loading up and hit the Sixes River Road just before 11 in the a.m.

Yeah... we really leave early when we're pushin' hard. Especially when we need to make most of forty miles or so! ;)

So... somewhere along in there I realized, it's Friday on the early edge of the heavy season, and we're Moving Camp? Why do things sensible and move mid week? Where's the adventure in that?

So, I'm rollin' down the road draggin' 36 bikes, a furniture truck and 95 cars of various makes behind my rolling road block...

As I'm driving I was cogitatin' that the BLM camp we'd just pulled out of was filling fast... to the point that the people there to 'get away from it all' were already arguin' loudly with the rangers about their loose dogs and double the vehicle/people limit per camp...

hmmmm... maybe we oughta not pass a possible spot early in the day on the lead in to a weekend...

Sooooo... we passed on early lunch burgers at the general store in Langois; which are storied to be worth your first born... and kept moving with the pressure building to find a camp before all the refugees from Salem, Eugene and Portland slide into the last spot and win the RV Musical Camps game.

We rolled past the Farmers Market in Bandon and hung a hard left into Bullards Beach State Park. If we can beat the last spot parkers... we can ride back to the Farmers Market in the morning.

So... that Free Park Pass for (service connected) Disabled Vets only gets you the "spot" right?

The gate keeper gal is going through her list and saying; "These two have full hook ups but this'un here is only water and electric. Go pick one and let me know."

To which the stingy, grump of a biker cowboy busted up Vet asks; "Well, I got the card 'cause it really helps out my pathetic budget. All we need is a dry camp, how much extra do I have to pay for the hookups?"

"Nada! It's all the same price for you guys. FREE!"

Now, how am I supposed to turn down that deal? :) So...we go pick the best looking of the available sites; one that gave us a bit more separation and some high bushes to give my shy self a bit more sense of privacy... and then went back to tell 'em which one...

"You took the one without the sewer hook up? The others didn't work for you?"

Ha! What can I say... I can't even manage to pick the FHU when they're available to me FREE! :) I never even noticed the missing sewer connection.

But, this State Park thing could ruin me! FHU's, Paved roads in and out for the Raider... The town is just 'bout a mile or two up the road to recharge the brew rack... coffee huts with better joe than I make... and beaches to walk on right by the camp...

 A boondocker that goes and gets himself used to this easy livin' could really mess up his ideas on his proper place in the Universe and trigger one of those conflagrations that you see on the covers of the grocery store scandal sheets; When parallel universes collide ! 

The sea gulls were flying an orbit around us... Coasting along into the wind up the dune... then they'd cut back over us and the sea... to circle around to make another pass... Apparently they've got it real tough too.

Looked like feathered wind surfers just playin' in the breeze.

We walked along in the afternoon watchin' the kids sail their kites, the birds sailing, the surf rolling... and all for the price... of simply bein' here.

Once again... folks say they can't live this life... or just about any they might choose, because they're too poor; and I say baloney. We're in the freakin' hole deep after last month's breakdown. The store income is down... book sales are down... website income is down...

So what!  I can be poor back in that other grinding life... or I can be poor here!

I'm as Rich as a Serf Robbin' King!

All ya need is a dream and the guts to have confidence in your own resilience ~ and THAT ~ is a Choice.

Livin' High and Living Free!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Oregon Tips the Scales in Favor of Disabled Vets

We've been dawdling along in northern California and southern Oregon even slower than what's become usual for us from a shortage of diesel... and... 'cause we were waiting to see if our new Card would show up...

...and it finally got approved and caught up with us.

I know several states have programs to benefit Military Vets in their park systems. But all I've found until now have been strictly for Vets that are residents of that state.

Oregon has done the others one better.

They created a program that gives Disabled Vets ten free days a month in their State Park System. The one better is that this gift is for ALL Disabled Vets, of any state, not just their own residents.


The only stipulations are the disability must be service connected and the stays are available a max of 5 days at a time.

You can stay longer than the five days but then you pay full rate. If you move to another park you can take the remainder of the ten days.

I'd heard about it some time ago and just didn't pursue it. Foolish Me! After being reminded recently by a reader, I sent in my paperwork and the Card came today.

Thank You Oregon! Your generosity is sweetly appreciated.

Though our long term preference remains boondocking back in the woods or out in open country... in the thick and steep terrain of the Pacific Coast, those State parks are a gift for us, for sure and for certain.

We love to camp right on the coast, but there's only a couple of National Forest Camps and at $24 bucks a day and more, those other available camps are too pricey for us to allow a leisurely trip down the coast. We've had to move fast to get back to the places our budget would allow.

Ha! We was wrong!

Now that we've found the reasonable priced camps inland in California, a few BLM camps here in Oregon, and Now the gift of Ten Days of State Park use a month, our Coastal trips can slow down, stretch out and get Sweeter!   Utilizing the Oregon State Parks that are now more easily available to us, thanks to the generosity of Oregon, along with the USFS camps we know of... combined with the inland BLM camps we're discovering... The cost of a coastal migration for this wandering biker cowboy is no longer prohibitive. Suh-wheet!

While we were keeping our fingers crossed that the card would be approved and show up we took a lil' stroll up to the top of the hill where they'd built a Coast Guard Lifeboat Station back in 1934. It's just out the north end of Port Orford.

But the directions didn't make sense to me... Seemed to me that a Coast Guard setup is gonna need boats for a life boat station. ;)

Does that make you scratch your head too? A lifeboat station... on TOP of a hill? Sounds like typical bureaucratic thinkin' don't it? Actually it makes sense once you find out the particulars.

This part of the coast had wrecked more than its share of boats I guess.

So, they built a 30 some foot tower on top of that hill and manned it 24/7 to watch for distress flares out at sea ...  :) Their boat house from where they'd mount their rescue operations was in a small cove at the bottom. The boat house burnt down a long time ago, and the tower was taken down when they closed the station in 1970.

The only thing left are the buildings that housed their barracks, which is now a museum for what they did. We got there just as the museum was shutting down for the day... so poor me only got to stroll along the trails through the forest on top of the hill.

*Agate Beach*

The state is trying to change the name of the beach from what its been called... to something the indians named it... but... since I can't spell that :) I'll just call it Agate Beach like ever'body else does.

We've spent several hours there, hunting agates and have captured a nice lil' collection. I say lil' 'cause though plenty of Agates the size of goose eggs have come off that beach... we've only found 'em the size of humming bird eggs... from small humming birds... with calcium deficiencies. ;) 

Pretty nice view from up there. There's a rock off the northern end of the cape where a good bunch of seals were sunning in the... ahem... sun.

I tried to take their portrait... but from my vantage point they just looked like a lot of hairy sausages layin' about in the sun.

We're making another bump north in the morning. Hoping to find use of our new card at one of Oregon's camps just north of Coos Bay. Seeing as our timing for running out of days here in Port Orford is bumping into the weekend and that weekend is in late June... our fingers are tightly crossed that we'll find a nice spot to pull in for another few days without severe difficulty.

The real problem is that we've found long camps are tougher to break than short camps... Gravity has a way of spreading junk out when it has more time to work on it than short or overnight camps. Camp goods flow outward like thick mud.

After 14 days in a camp... it takes twice as long to pack up and go! ;)

Packing and Stuffing

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Ride to Bandon by the Sea... and More Work to Do...

No rest for the wicked eh?

Which pretty much means, what with me being me... I'm in for a lot of weariness in the upcoming months. :)

So... when I do get back to a spot with sufficient signal to dive back into that website rebuild I started a bit ago... I've found that google has upgraded its mapping system to allow me to put really precise maps on the site...really easily, with a lot of information built in.

Sooooo... As I rebuild the "Our Campsite" section on the main site, rather than the directions I've been having to line out, there's a button already built in that a person will be able to click and input your current location and get directions right to the marker I place from where ever you're currently sitting.

an example is the camp we're currently in... click on the marker and you can see some of the info I'll be able to provide... and... click on the "directions" link at the bottom of the lil' window that pops up... you can input your location to get directions from there... or a point closer to the camp...

Also... rather than the way I've broke the list down now, dividing the states into arbitrary quarters, I'll build fresh maps for each state we travel through. That way, at the top of the page will be the state map with ALL the camps marked out for that state.

I'll even be able to post on there the Overnight Stop locations we find, like the Walmarts, Casinos and simple widespots in the road... all a with just a simple and quick edit  of an existing map! Suh-Wheet!

All a person will have to do is pull up the state map and see where the markers are in relation to where they're at.

Then, below the map for each state I can still post my "review" of the site, probably a photo, local attributes and its pros and cons...

It's gonna take me a bit, 'cause there's a LOT of work to do! All wrapped in amongst the total rebuild as well as the increasing pressure to make some income in a declining advertising situtation... the beans is gettin' thin! I could actually lose some weight! :)

Now... On to Bandon, Oregon.

Hwy 101 north from Sixes is two lane that winds mostly through "canyon" of trees that lays a ways inland from the coast itself. There's no view but of the trees and occasionally across an open pasture to the low mountains on the east... and passes the concealed driveways of hidden houses and farms disappearing into the thick timber.

The weather though sunny was cool, and bit with a chill that had me regretting the decision to leave my fleece in the rig when we left camp.

Bandon sits on the coast just a sliver over twenty miles north of our camp on Edson Creek. Coos Bay is another thirty miles and a bit further north.

The two ports date back to the late 1800's and in the 1990's they built what they call a "small boat basin" in Bandon.

To me that boat basin looks just like a modest Marina. ;)

Look over in the corner there, behind the Prowler Charter boat and the Coast guard Boat and you'll see the red walls of the Wheelhouse restaurant. That's where we backed the Raider into the curb in front of it, found a seat by the windows to enjoy a nice lunner and kicked back.

*Wheelhouse Restaurant*

Hot Clam Chowder, with an excellent salad and a cup of hot black coffee with a view of the marina... As we sat down to eat, the fishermen off of the charter boat that I photographed later unloaded its catch of the day.

A fine motorcycle on the PCH riding to Good Clam Chowder, watching fresh sea food hit the beach on a sunny day... a nice meal.

If you're a lover of seafood, especially Crabs and Chowder this seems a pretty good place to find it... I'm no gourmet... but it slid down my gullet with a good taste. ;)

For the wanderer hunting the bounty of the sea there's a selection of nice looking lil' spots all over town.

Between these few spots and the sea is a boardwalk area through the marina area...

Set about on the boardwalk are several large wooden sculptures. They look to me to have been carved from native timber and executed with a fine hand.

For those with a personal affinity for Mermaids or sea turtles there's a particularly nice piece just as you come onto the boardwalk...

We'd ridden all the way up to Coos Bay before stopping in Bandon on the way home.

Looking in Coos Bay, fact is we didn't see a thing that tickled our fancy for a place to eat. There's a Casino up there with thick pack of RV's parked in its lot... but I was hopin' for a place with a lil more "local culture" than a typical casino has to offer. ;)

Heidi had seen and liked the look of this lil' town as we rolled through and suggested we come back here for the break.

It's a nice relaxed looking little burg that has some shops and a nice feel to it.

I especially like a place that has made the effort that shows in the small touches.

When the trash cans and the ash trays are dressed up to add to the personality of a place and frame the flower boxes, it says a bit to me about the people of a place.

 Out at the mouth of the port area sits the Light house that the locals memorialized in their street lights when they juiced the place up in recent years.

In this Pacific Northwest country... things seem to be willing to grow anywhere. We've seen ferns growing from the moss on tree trunks, thirty feet off the ground...

... and here in Bandon the flowers find purchase in the bald rocks of the breakwater the boardwalk  rises over on short stilts.

Have you ever been to the coast? Tsunami signs adorn posts in every low spot I suppose from San Diego to Canada. We thought it funny as hell years ago when we first saw the signs around marinas and along the roads up in Washington... little did we know...

If you live in a land where the sea might jump up and smack you I expect you have to do it with a little bit of humor. We wondered aloud in our first trips up here what you were supposed to do if one even showed up... that of course being before the tsunamis of the past few years...

While the sign posts give the direction... they don't say anything else.

If you look in the windows above the flower box and trash can you'll see the directions given to the folks of Bandon... so... I guess if you live on the coast you live with one eye on the sea! :) and your running shoes handy!

With a belly full of Clam Chowder and hot coffee the ride through the sunny early evening was warmer than the out-ride.

I slept well... knowing we're high enough above the waves to stay dry through the night! :)

Going North Along the Coast