Friday, August 24, 2012

Campsite Illustrations ....

During our latest camping excursion I managed to complete three campsite sketches with the aid of my portable art studio.   The first one was inspired by the Elder Berry bushes in our campsite at Hebo Lake.  Then little electric blue dragonflies began flitting all around and I thought "Why not include them too!".    With my campsite drawings I never really plan out anything, I just start drawing and see where my pen takes me ... here is the first illustration titled "Dragonflies Amid Elderberries" ...

The next two drawings were inspired by the Huckleberries and Salmon Berries we found while camped out at Kilchis River Campground ...

The first is titled "Dragonfly in Huckleberries"....

And the final drawing is titled "Dragonfly And Salmon Berries".....

It would seem that I have a "Dragonfly and Berry" theme going on with my latest illustrations!  Whatever ... they were loads of fun creating!

Happy Day!
Karen Anne aka

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kilchis River Campground, Tillamook County, Oregon

August 10th arrived and we headed over to Kilchis River Campground for our annual Family and Friends Camp Out!  But before doing that we stopped by Garibaldi and Jim picked up another dozen fresh oysters, that boy surely loves his campfire oysters!  A pit stop in Tillamook City for supplies and propane for Rocinante and we were off to our final destination!  This campground is located North of the City of Tillamook and is a family friendly site with showers, playground, horse shoes, grassy sites, and river access.  It has around 34 campsites, plus overflow sites when the demand for additional spots arises.

We were late in getting in our reservations at Kilchis River CG and about the only area available was a little overflow area just outside the Campground Proper.   The area had five tent spots in a circle and since everyone had tents, I figured it would work out just fine!  Well, about a month before the scheduled get together each of our three kids' families ended up with new camping rigs!  Our daughter and her hubby purchased a grand slip on camper for their pickup ... wow is that thing ever nice!  Tons of cupboard space and quite roomy.  Our eldest son and his wife picked up a super nice Tent Trailer and our youngest son and his wife got ahold of a 20' expanding trailer!

Well, I tell you I was really worried because the sites we had booked looked really small ... I was beginning to fret about whether we would have room for all these bigs rigs!   Not to worry however ... the area turned out to be quite large and each site was HUGE!  We ended up in our own little campground area with room to spare!  The main campground was packed in tighter than dill pickles in a jar and we were in the lap of luxury!  The only draw back?  We had to walk further to the restrooms and showers ... but that was well worth the spots we had!  And the kids had their own private access to the best swimming hole in the area!

Everyone showed up one after the other and we got our sites set up and spent the evening around the campfire visiting and enjoying each other's company.

Here is a photo of our site at Kilchis River ...
We were under a large spruce tree that provided plenty of shelter and shade.

In this photo we averted a small disaster waiting to happen ... a large loose branch hanging barely onto the tree was noticed right over where I had been sitting and my oldest son managed to lasso the bugger and pull it down.  Thank God for small blessings and handy sons!

This is another one of the sites, this one overlooks the river and one can even cast their fishing line over the edge.  None of the kids caught any keepers, but they had fun trying!

Our daughter's family tossed in some crawdad (aka crayfish) traps into the river and the next morning pulled out a nice catch!
These fellas were not too happy about their predicament, but everyone else was delighted!

This was a first time experience for many of the kids and they were quite curious ... you sure have to watch out for the pinchers on those little guys!

Luckily I had brought along a large pot and we cooked up the prize catch in a mix of sea salt and pickling spices.  Oh boy, were they ever tastey!  Here they are piled on a nice little serving pan just waiting to be devoured!

This photo gives you a good idea of the size .... not bad!

 On Saturday nite, we all settled in around the campfire after enjoying a huge pot of clam chowder I had made up and celebrated all the summer birthdays!  There are quite a few of them!  In fact Jim's sister, our daughter, and our 2nd granddaughter were all born on the same date - August 18th!  Three different generations of Brady girls born the 18th of August!  Wonder if that is a record of some kind?

The different groups of families and friends departed on Sunday or Monday, but before anyone left we did manage to get our annual "Clan Of The Clam" photo ...
I'm the 2nd from the right with the straw hat (next to Jim) holding Danny Boy...

Jim and I stayed on until the following Thursday before we headed back into town.  We usually do that after a big family shindig just to calm down, after all the excitement and mayhem, and get in a little relaxation.    Before everyone had left, Dilly Boy and I had gone and picked three cups of huckleberries from bushes next to our camp spot.....
he was so delighted with his harvest that he immediately had me make up a double batch of Huckleberry Aebleskivers (round Danish pancakes) to share with everyone.

Once everyone had gone, Dilly Boy and I set up our little art studio and he decided my next drawing should definitely feature huckleberries, so here he is posing with a small branch of huckleberries ... (he ate the huckleberries off the branch before posing ... silly guy!)
And so I began my 2nd camping illustration .... "Dragonfly In Huckleberries" ....

As you can imagine, we had quite the adventure and I, for one, am ready to load up Rocinante and head out again!

Happy day to all!
Karen Anne

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

BarView Jetty Campground, Tillamook County, Oregon

For the nites of 8/8 and 8/9 we decided to venture over to Barview Jetty Campground, its shown as being in Rockaway Beach, Oregon.   We have visited there in years gone by but have never camped there, so this seemed as good a time as any to try out its facilities

It is overseen by Tillamook County, here you’ll find about 293 campsites sitting on the edge of Tillamook Bay, overlooking both the bay and the ocean. Most of the full amenities pack this little gem in the rough, including restrooms, showers, RV hookups and much more. There are 219 tent sites and 69 RV sites.

We didn't like the RV sites, they were packed in like sardines in a tin.  Straight rows of trailers and motorhomes side by side.   No sense of privacy or even any attention to charm were given to this area.  You'd have more space in an RV show than was offered here. 

Now the tent sites were great!  Spacious and semi-secluded from one site to another, each site seemed to hold its own particular charm.  We were given Site #7 in Section T ... this campground is like a maze!  You need a map in order NOT to lose your campsite!  But we did have a nice site and enjoyed our two nights there.  Danny Boy wasn't too happy here ... too much dirt and large gravely roadways; not a lot of nice green grass on which to walk.

Here we have rolled in our spot and pulled out our chairs in readiness for a nice little campfire.   Jim had stopped by and picked up some fresh oysters for himself and some fresh prawns for me.  I stir fried my peeled, seasoned, butterflied prawns in butter in my cast iron fry pan while Jim was more adventurous and roasted his oysters on the fire pit grill ... he is really good at campfire oysters!

There are a lot of unusual trees here with unique branches and roots; I was really intrigued by them....I could just imagine little fairies and gnomes coming out at night to play mischief with the campers!

I was particularly intrigued with this tree ... looks like a hand reaching down from the heavens grabbing a clump of earth ...

During our visit in Barview, DannyBoy and I wandered over the beach, a short walk from the site we were in.  The following are some of the beautiful photos I captured just before dusk ...

I would have wandered down the beach but as soon as we hit the loose dry sand Danny Boy was jumping up wanting me to carry him!  I think the sand was too hot and loose and he panics when he starts to sink in .... I've noticed if I carry him through all the dry sand, he does well on the damp and packed sand.  I didn't feel like carrying him at that time so we just went back to our campsite.

On the 10th of August, we again pulled up stakes and headed over to Kilchis River Campground to meet up with our kids, grandkids, family, and friends for our annual family camping trip....

Will share our time there with all of you tomorrow!

Happy Day!
Karen Anne

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hebo Lake Campground, Tillamook County, Oregon

After 2 nights at Whalen Island, we packed Rocinante up and headed over to Mt. Hebo to find a campsite at Hebo Lake Campground.  This is an older campground with a lot of character, sheltered by large Douglas fir, Western Hemlock and Red Alder trees.  There are also plenty of Elderberry, Salmon Berry, and Huckleberries!

Hebo Lake is the campground's centerpiece.  The lake attracts a variety of birds making the campground good for birdwatching.  There are platforms around the lake for fishing, which are wheel chair accessible and friendly.  This man-made Lake was created in the 1930's by the Civil Conservation Corpe (hmmm, my Dad was in the CCC's, wonder if he worked on this project?) and is currently maintained by the US Forest Service who stock the lake with cutthroat trout.

There are no reservations at Hebo Lake, sites are on a first come basis.  You also have to bring along your own fresh water and fire wood.  The sites (around 15?) are furnished with beautiful wood picnic tables and nice sized camp fire rings.  The beauty of this campground is truly mesmerizing.

We arrived at Hebo Lake on August 3rd and ended up spending 5 nights here.  Here is Rocinante claiming her site #0.  Just across the road was a gorgeous view of the Lake.

 Here you see Don Quixote atop his sturdy and dependable stead, Rocinante.   There is a little story here ... the Christmas before I retired, our brother-in-law gave us a wood carving of "Don Quixote".  Shortly after I retired, we began searching for a used Class B Motor Home and came across this 1987 Ford "Get-Away" van which seemed to be meant just for us.  While talking with the previous owner, I asked if he had named her ... indeed he had!  He had named her "Rocinante" after Don Quixote's trusted, slow, sturdy and dependable stead that always got him to his destinations.  We loved the name and as soon as we got home with "Rocinante" we reunited Don Quixote with Rocinante.  They have not been apart since that day!

Here is Danny Boy exploring the camp ground with us, he liked Lake Hebo ... paved roadway and soft green grass everywhere!  No sand or waves chasing you!

Next to our campsite was this beautiful expanse of green grass,  it was a great area for Danny Boy to run around and check out all the foliage.  It was also loaded with (what appeared to be) loads of mole holes!  Had to be careful where you walked or you might turn an ankle....

About the 2nd day, Dilly Boy helped me set up my portable art studio.  This is a roll up table that I just love!  The three tiered case holds colored pencils in the top drawer, ink pens in the 2nd drawer, and graphite pencils in the bottom drawer.  Because of the constantly changing light, it was very difficult to work with the colored pencils so most of my work was done primarily in ink.  Next time out I'm going to replace the colored pencils with my watercolors and see if they work out better.

As usual, Dilly Boy was there by my side to hand out advice and suggestions ... he was especially concerned that I used the correct ink pens. 

Surrounding our campsite were several bushes of Elder Berries and little electric blue dragonflies kept flying around ... they both became the subjects of my first camping illustration ...

I had brought along a art pad for pens, size 5.5"x8.5", and began drawing with no particular rhyme or reason ... just putting pen to paper and seeing where it would end up!  This turned out to be a good starting point.  After I have finished posting the photos of the various campgrounds ... I'll have one featuring the 3 pieces I completed during our camping adventures.

Here is a portion of one of the beautiful camping tables in the area; wish I would have taken a photo that showed the entire table.  This fire pit was the only one in the area that was made of a ring of stones ... it was really pretty!  The majority were large, deep metal rings with a pivotal cooking rack attached.

In this photo you can make out one of the wooden platform that jut out over the lake for fishing.

Another view of the lake ....

In this picture you can just see the pavalion with a gorgeous rock fire place inside that is in the center of one of the day use areas.

This is a cute yet cozy site ... everything was so lush and green ... we really had a hard time moving onto the next campground.

Here is a map of the campground that I was able to pull off of the Hebo Lake website.

The next destination?  Bar View Jetty Campground!

Happy day all!
Karen Anne

Monday, August 20, 2012

Whalen Island Camp Ground in Tillamook County, Oregon

On August 1st we set off on a camping adventure with "Rocinante" (our mini motor home), Danny Boy (our min pin) and Dilly Boy (an adorable Munchkin doll created by the very talented Maddy Rose of Santa and the Mrs).   The first two nights we spent in Whalen Island Campground ...

Located just 4.5 miles north of Pacific City on the 3 Capes Scenic Loop.  Whalen Island is an 8-acre overnight campground and is surrounded on three sides by the Sand Lake Estuary and abuts an Oregon State Park Natural Area of 200 acre. Shore birds and Bald Eagles are common sights.  Park facilities consist of 34 campsites (no hookups), but does have dump station, rest rooms, fishing, crabbing, clamming, boat launch, swimming and hiking.

Over the course of the next several days I will be posting photos we took at each of the four campgrounds we visited.  Here are some photos from our stay at Whalen Island.

These are photos of "Rocinante" safely nestled into our campsite.  We've set up the kitchen area on the picnic table and are ready to sit around the campfire and enjoy the evening.

This is Dilly Boy, he is welcoming you to our site ... he really likes our camping sunflowers!

Here, Dilly Boy is showing off his favorite of my camping cookware ... our Mickey Mouse water pot, we use it to boil water for our drip coffee maker (a real necessity in the early morning!).

Now you may think this is an ordinary roasting pan ... but it is much more!  This is our dishwater pan!  We put in 2 gallons of water, heat it on the stove, add dish soap and voila! hot water for washing the dishes!  The lid helps keep the water warm and the bugs, leafs and pine needles out ...  we have a 5 gallon water dispenser which we use to rinse the dishes.

Here is Dilly Boy reminding me that I promised to make up ham and waffles for breakfast.  He is really a big fan of boysenberry syrup!

Here is Danny Boy, he is not a big fan of camping ... he is truly a city dog!  Here he is asking "Just how long do I have to endure this torture?".  He doesn't like water, detests fluffy sand, and gets downright upset when the bugs show up!  He does enjoy riding in the car on my lap and looking out the window ... or maybe its because everytime we get into the motor home he thinks we are finally going home?

The following are some random photos I took of the area ....
Where you see the large pieces of driftwood is the entrance to the beach.

This is another view looking at the ocean inlet.

This area has a few campsites for bicyclists and hikers.  They have great views of the ocean inlet's incoming and outgoing tides.  When the tides are low it is relatively easy to find a meal of cockles hiding in the sandy bed.  You walk out into the water with your feet bare and whenever you walk over something that feels like a round rock, you reach down and pick it up and it is usually a cockle!  They are really great in clam chowder or make a super tasty clam fritter.
Here is a view of some of the local trees and foliage.
The campground has sites that are in treed areas and others in open areas, the open area sites provide an open grassy area that is great for playing games like volley ball, badmitton, bocci ball, or for jumping into the water with a floatation device.

 This is an aerial view of the campground that I was able to find on the internet.

Tomorrow I will be sharing photos taken during our time at Hebo Lake Camp Ground on Mt. Hebo in Tillamook County, Oregon.

Happy Day!
Karen Anne