We found paradise at American Heritage Campground, WA.

We were originally going to be at American Heritage Campground for two nights but after driving up and feeling right at home, we extended our stay. Carla, Jim and Rita welcomed us with open arms. They moved things around on their reservation calendar and managed to find us a site where we can stay for as long as we want. 

As you look at the pictures, you will see why we didn’t want to leave…

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We ride our bikes daily and this is just one of the trails we go on.

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Our travel trailer is happy too because it’s spacious and wide here. We may have neighbors but they are far from us. It’s paradise here in the woods!

We found a monkey on a tree!

We found a monkey on a tree!

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Hanging out with the chickens, ducks and goats.

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This goat smells like Owen after a day of riding his bike.

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Part of the reason we are staying longer…. Owen can be a kid and ride all over. He makes friends and just look at how happy he is!

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Lounging around…

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For now, we’re here until September 9. There’s going to be a flea market and I’m considering joining in as a vendor. I have tons of paper quilling just stored away. More on that later…

Our address starting August 8. Last day to send mail: September 1, 2014

American Heritage Campground

9610 Kimmie St SW

Olympia WA 98512

Attn: Peute Family, Site #67

Useful Info: We will definitely be up here during winter- October 2014 through March 2015. Unsure if Oregon or Washington. Either way, it’s close to Portland Airport and Seattle-Tacoma airport. Hope we get some visitors!

What to say about Woodland, WA

While we were in Woodland, WA, we stayed at an RV park that made me feel like I lived in a shoe. Well, okay, who are we kidding— we do. But Woodland RV park was nothing like we’ve ever stayed at. And we can compare fairly because we’ve stayed at 9 Rv sites/campgrounds for the past two months. There were some bad-tolerable and then there’s this place. I’ll let you fill in the blank. It was (blank-blank). I should have done something when the 180 year old host-owner barked and asked me if I was sure I want to stay for 3 nights. He asked me twice! Being the nice person that we are, we honored our reservation. I won’t go into details (that’s what RV reviews websites are for) but I think these pictures will give you an idea.

The sites were narrow, we couldn't put up our awning and we couldn't breathe.

The sites were narrow, we couldn’t put up our awning and we couldn’t breathe.

There were rules all over the restroom and laundry facility. I like rules and we are avid followers but this was just too much!

There were rules all over the restroom and laundry facility. I like rules and we are avid followers but this was just too much!

The positive thing that came out of this experience:

1. We positively knew we weren’t going to settle here.
2. It was 30 mins away from Mount St. Helens Volcano and the boys got to go on a helicopter tour ride.
3. We learned to do more research when it comes to picking out RV parks/campgrounds.
4. It was 1 hour away from north Portland area and we went back there twice to explore. Which leads us to an important realization.

We liked the feel of this community called Beaverton, just 20 minutes from Portland.

We decided we’d like to find a furnished home in that area to see if we can survive winter. Richard wants to see what “a lot” of rain is like. I don’t mind the rain but he does… There are a lot of little towns surrounding Beaverton and it’s close to everything (my kind of town) but mostly, it was greener and bike friendly (Richard’s kind of town) and the library had a water fountain-park right outside it (Owen’s type of town). 

But no major decision has been made. We still have Washington to explore and so far… we are loving Olympia, Washington… . 

And how can you not like a state that has George Washington's profile on the highway signs?

And how can you not like a state that has George Washington’s profile on the highway signs?

See you later Oregon, hello Washington!

We haven’t been able to share any updates for one  reason:  we didn’t have a strong wifi signal. Loading pictures took two hours and as you can all imagine, it can be frustrating. And it’s not that we had nothing to share. We have a lot to blog about…

But before I start, I’d like to share some of the Oregon pictures that got left behind:

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Ashland, OR, our last night. After exploring in Ashland and Medord, we realized it’s not the city(ies) for us.

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Roseburg, OR. I’m always happy when Owen makes a friend. Here he is showing Shane how to make dragon origami.

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Move over Starbucks, the Dutch Bros Coffee rules the streets of Oregon here. We lost count after 28.

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Salem, OR. We walked around downtown where the capitol was located. I like anything to do with maps and directions and found this sign very fascinating (especially the upside down boy.)

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Downtown Salem, OR. This was my first time eating at a sushi place that serves you via conveyor belt. I was above the moon! Our entire lunch cost $20!!

 

Going cuckoo for sushi!

Going cuckoo for sushi!

Mount St. Helens, Washington

July 27, 2014

What a fun day it was! Our day started off slow with morning chores and finally got out of the city after lunch. Way too late to start the day, but Mount St. Helens was only 30 minutes away and we had nothing else planned the rest of the day.

Owen earned another badge at the visitor center by completing a Junior Geologist Booklet. There’s a great exhibit with detailed pictures and facts about the eruption that took place 1980. (Please stop by the tab entitled “Education on the go” to see pictures.) He learned a lot, but he learned more by going on this helicopter tour…

 

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I nearly threw up when Richard and Owen suggested we go on a helicopter. My fear of heights wouldn’t get us far. So it was decided that they’d have a father & son bonding hour. I had my happy hour on earth with my feet planted on the ground. More about that later…

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Owen’s reaction is priceless!!

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This is the pilot, Captain Soren who gave me a high five, thanking me for trusting him with my boys' lives.

This is the pilot, Captain Soren who gave me a high five, thanking me for trusting him with my boys’ lives.

 

 

This is where I was. Safe on earth.

This is where I was. Safe on earth.

I’m sitting under the umbrella making friends with the safety officer. He is from Juneau, Alaska and was giving me must-do and see during our trip to Anchorage next week. He told me about this funny story during his July 4th.  The entire block have front yard barbecues and fireworks go off in the sky and you can barely see it because the sun doesn’t go down. Still, the residents ooh and ahh at the fireworks even if it’s faint in the Alaska skies…

I also met a woman who happens to be Captain Soren, (the pilot)’s girlfriend. They are from Portland, Oregon. When I expressed that we’re interested in spending winter in the area, she gave me a lot of pointers. She told me what to expect in weather, job opportunities, apartment rental-locations, etc. I basically interviewed her.

Later on, we were talking about how nice it is to hire a maid to do our house chores. I told her I used to have a housekeeper and often felt guilty; but boy, did it feel good to come home to a clean house! I don’t know how we ended up talking about that out of the blue… It was great to have met her.  She kept me company while she waited for her boyfriend to be done for the day. It was nice to have met a friend…

 

45th Parallel

Just passed by. I didn’t know they existed. Well yes but not really…. Thinking of all the kids I know. This discovery is dedicated to all the young ones. Never stop learning.

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Enchanted Forest Theme Park, Turner Oregon

Enchanted Forest Theme Park

About the creator
Roger Tofte, born in 1930 in Chipawa Falls, Wisconsin, moved to Astoria, Oregon when he was 5 years old. In his Junior year in high school, he moved to Silverton, Oregon where he graduated from Silverton High School. Roger then spent time in the Navy during the Korean War. After the war, he married Mavis Bjorke in 1954 and had a little jewelry store for about a year in Camas, Washington. Making no money in the jewelry business and with the birth of his first child, Roger took a steady job with the Oregon State Highway Department as a draftsman and artist.

More park history at the Enchanted Forest website:

 

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Deepwood Estate, Salem Oregon

Info taken from http://www.salemhistory.net/places/deepwood_estate.htm

Researched and written by Paul Porter and Susan Gibby

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July 24, 2014

This elegant and unique Queen Anne style house was built in 1894 for druggist and land speculator Dr. Luke A. Port. It was one of the designs which helped launch the brilliant career of architect William C. Knighton who later served as Oregon’s first State Architect. He also designed many other public and private northwest showcases, including the Oregon Supreme Court Building (1914) during his nearly 50-year career.

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The five-acre estate was originally part of the circa 1889, 220-acre Yew Park subdivision. Although Historic Deepwood Estate is now a part of Bush’s Pasture Park, it was never owned by the Bush family.

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The interior of the house features warm golden oak woodwork and original Povey Brothers stained glass windows. The formal, English style gardens were among the first commissions by landscape architects Lord and Schryver. Near the parking lot is the City of Salem’s largest public greenhouse.

Another element of the Deepwood Estate is, as it is known today, the Rita Steiner Fry Nature Trail. The trail winds through native trees, plants and wildflowers along Pringle Creek. The Deepwood Estate and Gardens were individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

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Deepwood is the most significant example of landscape architects Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver’s Northwest work. It is their only garden design that is open to the public. There are three other superb examples of their designs in the area, but they are associated with private residences.

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Deepwood Estate acquired its name from the popular children’s book of the day named The Hollow Tree and Deepwoods Book by Albert Bigelow Paine. It is available at the Salem Public Library.

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Powell’s City of Books, Downtown Portland, OR

 

 

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Nine color coded rooms house over 3,500 different sections, offering something for every interest, including an incredible selection of out-of-print and hard-to-find titles.

Nine color coded rooms house over 3,500 different sections, offering something for every interest, including an incredible selection of out-of-print and hard-to-find titles.

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Powell’s City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books.

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I roamed around Powell’s Bookstore admiring the 5×5 cards on the shelves. They were informative, eye-catching and humorous. I took pictures of my favorite ones to share with you.

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Shelly, a shelf-talker maker. While walking around, I met an employee behind a desk. She was illustrating something on a 5×5 card. I introduced myself and we got to talking.

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I learned about the art technique she was using with water color pencils. She gave me a few useful techniques using her fingers (or brush). It was just what I needed! I was so inspired! She let me take a picture of her and her current work.

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I learned that all the employees made shelf-talkers. Some write out recommendations, some create book summaries while others illustrate to catch readers attention.

Downtown Portland

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It was strange driving beside the trolley.

It was strange driving beside the trolley.

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This is 4-story Target located downtown.

This is 4-story Target located downtown.

Finding parking was a challenge.

Finding parking was a challenge.

We took so long finding one, the meter-charge became free by the time we pulled into a space.

We took so long finding one, the meter-charge became free by the time we pulled into a space.

Owen immediately saw trees on the roof of the buildings.

Owen immediately saw trees on the roof of the buildings.

Newport and Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

 

The drive from Salem, OR to Newport, OR was 2 hours long. But the views were worth the wait.

The drive from Salem, OR to Newport, OR was 2 hours long. But the views were worth the wait.

 

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Newport Bay front in the mid 1910.

Newport Bay front in the mid 1910.

 

 

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We found parking and an Italian lunch restaurant just outside the busy shopping area.

We found parking and an Italian lunch restaurant just outside the busy shopping area.

This is what I had: homemade pasta and pesto with mushroom and shrimp.

This is what I had: homemade pasta and pesto with mushroom and shrimp.

 

 

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

A piece of Oregon history sits atop a bluff at the mouth of the Yaquina River. It is the Historic Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, built in 1871 and decommissioned in 1874. It was officially restored as a privately maintained aid to navigation on December 7, 1996.

It is believed to be the oldest structure in Newport. It is also the only existing Oregon lighthouse with the living quarters attached, and the only historic wooden Oregon lighthouse still standing. The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

 

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