Last Rally Day and Site Seeing in Coos Bay, OR

6/23/12 Saturday at Coos Bay, OR (Mill Casino for FMCA Rally)

This is the last day of our rally and I realize I haven’t explained what happens at these rallies. They are a gathering of RVers, usually with a common interest. For this rally, everyone (except guests) is a member of Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA). Many here are also members of local FMCA chapters (we belong to the Panhandle Gems), so they often will hang out together at meal times. They also volunteer to help with certain duties at the rally (and are given a free dinner in thanks), like our Panhandle Gems serving coffee and doughnuts in the mornings. Rallies offer lots of classes (seminars) on RV maintenance, the RV lifestyle, crafts, even fitness (like yoga or Zumba). There are vendors as well as RVs (new and used) for sale. We have games we can play for prizes too. The FMCA rallies include great meals, more than others I think.

So, once again, we are up early to serve the coffee and doughnuts. This morning they’ve moved our tables of coffee/doughnuts to the center of the dining tent-away from the water flooding in on the sides. It’s been fun, getting to know the regulars and their idiosyncrasies.

There weren’t any classes we were interested in this morning and we got in contact with Winegard, having missed their call at 8:30 a.m., so they came to install our new satellite dish receiver at 10 a.m. Woo hoo! It is a lower profile than the King Dome and is so easy to operate: just push a button to power on and it raises the dish and looks for the satellites, then connects. We found out the old TV we have has lost its tuning capabilities, so we’re really glad we decided to get a new one. About 8 months ago we’d scheduled a stop at a cabinet maker to create new cabinets for our new TV on Monday.  Sunday will be our day to get our rig filled and emptied after boondocking for 5 days.

Cape Arago Lighthouse

After lunch, since the sun had been coming out in spurts, we decided with Jim and Kathy to check out the beautiful sites Coos Bay has to offer. First stop: Cranberry Candies. Yum. They have free samples all through the store. They really were good! Next stop: Cape Arago Lighthouse. We couldn’t drive up to the lighthouse because it’s on an island, but did get some good views from a wayside stop. There is a foot bridge to the lighthouse, but you have to cross private property to get to it. Then to Shore Acres State Park and Botanical Gardens. There, we paid for an annual Oregon State Park Pass, figuring we’d be likely to visit more State Parks while hanging out in the Northwest. You know I can’t resist flower pictures.

Another flower photo:


Photo of Jim and Kathy at the Botanical Gardens

Jim and Kathy at Botanical Gardens

Jim took this picture:

Trish and John at Botanical Gardens

Japanese Garden at Shore Acres State Park

Shore Acres St Pk Botanical Gardens

Sea Lions at Simpson Reef

Black Guillemots at Simpson Reef (breeding adults)

Final stop: Simpson Reef. Wow, all kinds of critters hang out here: California seals, Sea Lions and lots of birds. I got some cool pictures.

Partial view of Simpson Reefs

Salmon in wire mesh

We rushed back to Mill Casino to get back in time to see the salmon cooking demonstration. Basically by running to the demo area, we managed to catch the end of the explanation of how the Cowquell (pronounced Ko Kwell) Indians cooked their salmon.

Cooking pit for salmon:

Cooking pit for salmon

Salmon cooking OVER the pit-soon to be our dinner

There were the cedar planked salmon cooking over the coals that would be served to us at dinner tonight. The demonstration was about wrapping the salmon (in foil now-probably in some leaves in the early days, but we missed that part) in wire, then placing it in a pit of hot coals. We got there when they had just taken out the salmon out of the pit and giving a special prayer of thanks. Then they shared it!

Sharing pit cooked salmon

Then to dinner. The best ever: chicken (John’s choice) or salmon (Trish’s choice), salad, Indian fry bread, huckleberry jam, huckleberry butter and cake for desert. It was so tasty and there was so much, we could barely walk out of there. Great job, Mill Casino and FMCA!

We put away items, cleaned off the water from our slides, brought them in and scouted out what path we could take to get out from the rows of rigs. All in preparation for our early departure Sunday. I’m too bushed to post onto our blog. As I’m getting ready for bed, I step into very wet carpet in our bedroom. “Oh no”, I said, too tired to get excited, but oh so disappointed. We’d just paid $2,000 in May to have this bedroom dismantled and recarpeted because of a leak. I got what rags we had left to sop up the water, then I found where it was dripping. Getting the creative part of my mind into gear, I molded a piece of aluminum to gather the drops through the night and set up the fan to dry the area.


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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One Response to Last Rally Day and Site Seeing in Coos Bay, OR

  1. Judy says:

    I love all your pictures, but especially (here) the one of the two of you.

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