Friday, October 24, 2014

Bottoming out....

First thing Thursday when I was sure the rain was gone for a while I went outside to try and figure out why the seal around the rear window was leaking.  Sometimes the cause, or source of leaks is just obvious, but often they are not, and it takes a lot of 'digging' to figure out where the leak is in relation to where the water ingresses.  In the case of the rear window the source, or cause was obvious, and I found it within seconds of climbing to the top of the small step stool.  Where the two ends of the gasket join together at the bottom of the window there was a gap.  I'm sure over 32 years that gasket has shrunk up a little, but whatever the reason is for the gap, there it was as plain as the nose on one's face.

My normal procedure is to clean the area where I think the leak is and then apply some marine grade clear caulk, but in this case everything is wet, and I am sure there is moisture remaining in the window track, so instead of applying caulk, I used 3M's 'green' masking tape which is water proof and will stay in place for months if necessary.  I will leave the tape in place and then when we get to Nevada where it is much dryer I'll pull it off and let everything dry out before applying the caulking.  Before applying the tape I wiped off the moisture and used paper towels to 'wick' out the moisture from the window track as best I could, then used TLE's hair dryer to dry the surface all the way around the window before applying the tape.  It will be raining several more times before we depart, so we'll monitor the area to see if the tape is doing its job.

Thursday we had the 'bottom shift' at the lighthouse so we arrived just after 12:30 to relieve Paul and Nina who had the 'top shift'.  In all we had 45 visitors at the Greeting Center, and 44 of them paid for, and took the tour to the top from 10 am to 3:15 pm, and even though there were not that many people it did not seem like it.  Instead of groups of 4, or 5 we had 'groups' of 1, or 2, which provided a nice flow during the afternoon, and very quickly the last few people were leaving the lighthouse, and we were closing down at 3:15.  We were home by 3:29........not too bad.

We watched TNF which pitted the Denver Broncos against the San Diego Chargers with the Broncos prevailing 35-21.  I know I have some friends who are avid Charger fans, and all I can say is "condolences" to y'all.  

The rain held off all afternoon, and into the early morning hours Friday, but as I write it has stopped for the time being.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Whooooosh!

The storyline for Wednesday was the wind, with the rain taking a close second.    We had sustained winds in the high 40's, and low 50's with gusts up to 68 mph, and we garnered around 4 inches of rain.  At times the combined wind and rain noise made it difficult to hear one's self think.  As an added point of interest this was the first day since we arrived that the lighthouse was not opened due to the high winds.  

Due the aforementioned weather conditions neither of us had a desire to be outside....it was a day for reading, and watching a few movies.  Back in September I bought a few used DVD's at a junk shop in Bandon, but had yet to watch any of them.  This seemed like the perfect day to do that.  The first one up was the 1980 'Roadie' (5 stars on a scale of 1-10 on IMDB....I would give it maybe a 3....and that would be stretching it)....starring 'Meatloaf' with guest appearances by Roy Orbison, Blondie, Alice Cooper and Hank Williams, Jr.  I thought it would be more like a documentary, but it was not.....I kept waiting for some good music, but in the end it was just plain awful.  I guess, in the end, I have to admit I bought it because of the picture on the DVD case.....:-)  The second up was the 1988 comedy 'A Fish Called Wanda' (7.6 stars on a scale of 1-10) starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, and John Cleese which was quite funny.  Next up was the 2003 comedy 'Bruce Almighty' (6.7 stars....I would give it closer to 8) starring Jim Carrey and Jennifer Aniston....another very funny movie.  For the day's finale we watched the 1979 comedy 'The In-Laws' (7.4 stars) starring Peter Faulk and Alan Arkin.....hilarious!  I know.....I know, but there are some days when watching 'mindless' movies is just the right ticket.

As is sometimes the case torrential, wind blown rain will find a way to infiltrate even the most water tight RV, and this storm was no exception.  We have learned over the years to check all the window areas periodically to see if water is getting in.....ironically, on this day, the water was getting in at a place I would have never suspected.....the rear window on the coach!  This is not a window that opens, but has a rubber gasket around it to make it water tight.  Somehow, I don't know how yet, enough water was ingressing around the seal necessitating the placement of old towels at the bottom of the window to mop it up.  Otherwise, over all we fared pretty well.

We watched the Giants vs. Royals World Series game in which the Royals bounced back from their 7-1 drubbing the night before to win over the Giants 7-1 evening up the series at 1-1.

Looks like we'll have more rain Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday......in fact, over the next 10 days there is a high probability of rain 6 of those days......looks like it's time to begin migrating southward, huh?  And here comes the rain again Friday morning just as I finish....where is that inflatable boat we haven't used for a while?

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The day between the storms.....

Since we had 3 days off in succession we decided, Tuesday, to drive south along the coast as far as Brookings.  We were off by 10:20 cruising south on HWY 101 along the awesome Oregon Coast.  The posted speed limit on HWY 101 is 55, which is the perfect cruising speed for enjoying the scenery.

We stopped for a few minutes at this turnout just south of Gold Beach to take some pictures of the ubiquitous 'sea stacks'.....the following picture is courtesy of The Lovely Elaine.


We arrived in Brookings just after Noon, and stopped at the local Fred Meyers Supermarket to use their bathroom, plus their parking lot is perfectly situated in the middle of town so we just left the car there and walked.  Neither of us had had  breakfast so our first order of business was to find a suitable place for lunch.  We both opened our Yelp apps on our phones and both came to the same conclusion almost immediately.....the 'Vista Pub' was .2 miles from Fred Meyers, and has a 4.5 star rating from Yelp based on 117 reviews.


Our server asked what kind of beer we liked, and we both said "dark"......she replied..."how about our 'Monstermash' draft beer from  Lompoc Brewing out of Bend, OR.....it is a 'smoked imperial chocolate stout'.......".......in unison we replied......"2 pints, please!".  We also ordered one bowl each of their beer cheese soup which comes with a strip of nicely done bacon floating in this creamy, luxurious elixir, and then split a 'Chicken Caesar Salad'.  In our books this place lives up to its 4.5 rating.

The 'beer cheese soup'

After lunch we walked around town checking out the local thrift shops which were mostly closed on this Tuesday, however, we spent a lot of time in a place called "The Market Place" and I found this cool sign I'm going to save for my friend Tom McCloud.

Looks like I'm getting ready to 'walk the plank'

We were back in the car driving back north around 2, and decided to stop at one of the numerous vista points to check out the natural bridges.



The walk down to the platform where you can easily see the two natural bridges is probably 200 yards at most, and it is well worth the stop.  Just as we were getting ready to walk back to the car I noticed an intrepid hiker had walked out on one of the bridges.......not me coach.  From a distance it looked like a person of the female variety.


 Our last stop was on the north end of Gold Beach near the Isaac Lee Patterson bridge finished and opened in 1932.......seriously, it does not look like it is 82 years old!  This is just one of many beautiful bridges on the Oregon Coast.


The drive south and north along the coast was wonderful, and was a great way to spend a day with my best friend.......

Thanks for stopping by!

Okay.....hold on tight!

Ahh yes......there they are......those famous Cape Blanco winds....


Weather Conditions for:

Cape Blanco Coast Guard Station, OR (K92S)
Elev: 187 ft; Latitude: 42.83333; Longitude: -124.56667



Current time:Wed, 22 Oct 7:22 am (PDT)
Most Recent Observation:Wed, 22 Oct 7:00 am PDT (PDT)
TimeWindWind
DirectionSpeed
(PDT)(mph)
22 Oct 7:00 am PDTSE45G55
22 Oct 6:45 am PDTSE47G60
22 Oct 6:30 am PDTSE44G56
22 Oct 6:15 am PDTSE49G55
22 Oct 5:45 am PDTSE45G54
22 Oct 5:30 am PDTSE47G54
22 Oct 5:15 am PDTSE44G52
22 Oct 5:00 am PDTSE41G47
22 Oct 4:45 am PDTSE44G52
22 Oct 4:30 am PDTSE45G52
22 Oct 4:15 am PDTSE46G61



During the night I felt the coach rocking and rolling periodically as a gust of wind would catch the front of the coach just so, and as I sit here typing the wind velocity seems to be increasing.......yep.....my kind of day!



Probably time to inflate the Sea Eagle.....we may have to kayak out of here.......:-)

Stay tuned for my regular blog entry about our Tuesday adventures......

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Do you know what you've got?

A friend whom I have known since 7th, or 8th grade announced on Facebook yesterday that her husband of 35 years had passed.  I really don't like to think about TLE not being in my life, where she has been since I was 18 years old......that's like 47 years!!  For me there are so many positives to being 65 years old.....the list is endless, but one of the few negatives is that people who have been in your life for decades are suddenly, sometimes without warning, no longer there.  The past 33 months Elaine and I have been together pretty much 24/7 with very few exceptions.  When we were still in our workaday lives, both working full time, and were apart almost as much as we were together I still could not imagine my life without her, so you can only imagine how I feel now after spending 24/7 with her these last 33 months.  When we were courting so many years ago we talked about spending the rest of our lives together.....growing old together.  It all seemed so romantic, but also a little abstract at the time.......now we are theoretically in the 'end game' of those dreams.  Once in a while when I lie awake in the early morning hours I have to admit to myself that my time with my best friend, my lover, the mother of our 5 children......is finite.  I wonder if when that time comes will I handle it with the same grace and dignity that my friend has shown.....I hope so.....I pray so.

I say all that to say this.......please, please, please cherish every moment with your spouse, partner, family, friends...........starting right now, right this minute.  Don't let bad feelings linger......don't argue about stupid stuff.  Behave as if there is no tomorrow, because, really, you do not know.  None of us knows if there will be a 'tomorrow'......there is only 'now'.....


........'now' I cannot imagine walking along a deserted storm ravaged beach without TLE walking ahead of me looking for a sea shell, or a piece of interesting driftwood......'now' I cannot imagine reaching out in the middle of the night and not being able to touch her......'now' I cannot imagine not hearing her infectious laugh, or seeing her amazing smile every single day.


As we walked south along the beach Monday afternoon we could see the results of the storm the night before.  There were a number of new, large logs that had washed up on the beach overnight, and numerous, enormous piles of 'bull kelp' everywhere.......those waves must have been something else the night before!  As we walked we had to keep alert watching for possible 'sneeker' waves........exceptionally large waves that seemingly come out of no where, and catch you by surprise if you are not paying attention, and can be deadly.


Before our beach walk I took care of my semi weekly ritual of dumping the black tank, then I removed and repaired the mini blinds over the kitchen sink replacing the the draw strings which had begun to fray.  Sometime during all of that I also wiped down the VW.

After our beach walk we both spent time reading.......it's funny......we can spend 3 hours sitting in the salon reading, rarely ever speaking a word to each other, but we each know that the other is thinking about them.....we each know that the other wonders what they can do to right 'now' make the other's life better.  It's just that simple.......

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 20, 2014

My kind of day.....

Back in November of 1978 we were in the middle of our first extended RV road trip when we pulled into an RV park just outside of Coos Bay, OR right on the Pacific Ocean.  It was drizzling and the wind was blowing as we parked in our assigned site.  There was something about that stormy night on the ocean that captured my imagination.  At the time we had only two children, Chris who was 6 years old, and Meredith who was a little over 5 weeks old.  Once the kids were settled down TLE and I took a walk along that storm tossed beach in a slight drizzle......we both loved it!  We still have a piece of driftwood at our 'sticks and bricks' home from that night.  Years later in 2007 we revisited that same RV park, and the magic was still there.....once again it was in November, and once again the weather was the same.

We've had a few stormy days here at Cape Blanco over the past 6 weeks, but there was something about this day that reminded me a little of that November day back in 1978.  As we drove over to the gate at 9:45 our VW was being buffeted about by the blustery winds.  


There was a lot of moisture in the air from the crashing waves down below the bluffs that was pelting the drivers side of the car as we waited for 10 am to arrive so we could open the gate and begin another day as lighthouse hosts at Cape Blanco.


As I climbed those final 11 stairs into the 'lantern room' I could see moisture on the windows, and a quite foreboding sky to the southwest.  Funny, I could have sworn that the weather guessers predicted mostly clear skies this day......I'm glad they were wrong.

We didn't have our first 3 visitors of the day until after 11 am, and I think we finished with a total of a dozen by the time our morning shift ended at 12:30 pm.....all in all a perfect morning.  I spent a lot of time just watching the angry sea pounding the sea stacks, and the wind driven mist from the crashing waves floating up and over the cliffs.

At 12:30 we hopped in the VW and headed in to Langlois to the Langlois Market to feast upon their 'world famous' hot dogs for lunch, and then do some shopping.......yes, I know, you want to know about the hot dogs......yep, they are very, very good......and his little market is a gem!  It is a hangout for the locals who come for the hot dogs, a little shopping, and to share the news of the community.  Of course, this little market also boasts that they have 200 unique craft beers, and they deliver on that score, too.

This being Sunday also meant it was a day for more NFL games.......and I spent the rest of the afternoon after our lunching/shopping excursion watching.....I watched the Kansas City Chiefs win a nail biter over the San Diego Chargers, and Peyton Manning set a new record for career touchdowns by a quarterback when he threw his 509th touchdown in the first half eclipsing Bret Favre's record of 508.....he ended evening with 510 total touchdowns, and the Broncos won over the San Francisco 49ers handily......42-17......however, I get slightly ahead of myself......


After the end of the Chargers/Chiefs game TLE and decided to take a walk on 'south beach', and what a great walk it was......


We walked down the steep paved road to the sand, and then walked north towards the lighthouse........



Chris, Cherie, Paul and Nina have all told us at one time, or another that there is a faint trail back to the top of the bluffs right near the large vertical 'sea stack'......it took us a little time, but we did find the trail, and worked our way up to to the top....


The walk along the beach was invigorating albeit chilly......we arrived back at the coach just at 5:30, and in time to watch the Bronco/49er game.

Another splendiforous day living on the Oregon coast........thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cool....WOW......Amazing!

Picture courtesy Wikimedia Commons

If I had a nickle for every time I have heard those words spoken by those visiting the 'lantern room' here at the Cape Blanco Lighthouse in the last 6 weeks I would be one rich guy!  I was thinking back to the first time I climbed those last 11 steps on the ladder into the 'lantern room' and I'm pretty sure at least one of those exclamatory words, if not all three, escaped my lips when I first laid eyes on that 78 year old 'girl' known formally as the Second Order Fresnel lens.

Picture courtesy Anni Jones Photography

When we first committed to spend two months here as volunteers I wondered if the 'job' would become passe after a few weeks, but quite the opposite has occurred.  With many jobs that is often the case, but after 6 weeks I still look forward to taking my position in the 'lantern room', and hearing those words spoken by new visitors.

Sometimes on clear, sunny days like Saturday when I stand in the 'lantern room' looking out towards Cape Blanco Reef I try to imagine a stormy night when the howling wind drowns out the spoken word, and wind driven rain is lashing the 'lantern room' windows trying to get at the light that warns mariners of impending doom if they dare come too close.  It is hard for me to comprehend spending two nights out of every three on the 'watch level' as James Langlois did for 42 years.....especially those long winter nights in late December when the inky darkness enveloped the Cape for a majority of the 24 hours each day.  I wonder what he did to pass the time.....I wonder if he ever wished he were somewhere else, doing something else.  When you think about it, how many days in your life have you been awake to watch the sun come up in the eastern sky?  These guys spent two thirds of their life for decades waiting for that first glimpse of daylight, wondering if before the sun chased away the dark they would witness a ship flounder on the reef.  I wonder what is was like to spend decades of your life living in a virtual wind tunnel day after day.....where days without wind were the exception.....I wonder......would I have stuck with it for 42 years?

I have this feeling that they enjoyed looking upon the Fresnel lens each evening.....gently and lovingly wiping the soot from her prisms each day so she would be at her best each evening when the dark banished the light from the sky once again.......so her light could be focused, and pushed far enough off shore to keep ships passing in the night safe from the hungry clutches of the reef.

There is something about the wind swept terrain, the roaring seas, the rock stacks in the ocean, the ever present wind, the long, large views, the Fresnel lens that lights up for 1.8 seconds at a time, and seemingly disappears for 18.2 seconds minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day.  It captures your imagination, and claims a piece of you forever.  You know you will return again next Fall, because this place is now, and forever, a part of you.

Thank you for stopping by!