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Non-Venomous Shabbat

Hornbrook, California:  The route back to Portland has run into all sorts of snags. Our usual overnight camping spots in Canyonville and Eugene are full. No room at the inn. We neglected to notice we were entering a three-day holiday weekend. (How many times have your read this statement on this website? We really must buy a calendar.) Before hitting the interstate north this morning, I phoned Seven Feathers RV Park in Canyonville, Oregon. The massive campground said they were full. We knew we could dry-camp in their parking lot, so left Corning with a lot of water in our tanks, ready for a night of "roughing it". As we neared the Oregon border, the weather turned nasty, so we called the Blue Heron RV Park and made a right turn just before entering Oregon - escaping just in time to miss the nasty weather.

Maybe my favorite photo of our bus ever

This park is off the beaten path. Seven miles off I-5 on a narrow, bumpy road. When you arrive, you are rewarded with a campsite with no cell service and spotty wifi... but this is your view:

The beautiful and roaring Klamath River! 

We have stayed here several times before (November 28th & 29th of 2011, and last fallwith Kathy, Woody, Mary and Steve on our way to a football game). This place has a few great dogs protecting the property and even a few roaming horses.

It really doesn't get better than this. Just lovely. Around six o'clock the sun came out and we enjoyed a fun evening getting to know our neighbors Leslie and Kirk (and their dog, Stella) from Ventura.

There is a lot of wildlife along the river, including a visiting flock of seagulls. The ocean birds were far inland today, dining on tasty critters of some-sort along the river shore. Dave decided to further investigate, so he walked towards the river...

Only to find a three-foot hazard creeping around.

As quickly as this Gopher Snake (probably juvenile as it was barely three feet long, and an adult is usually plus-four feet long) slithered out of a hole, s/he crawled into another hole ten feet later. The snakes (Pituophis catenifer) are non-venomous. The Gopher Snake is a smart reptile. They look like a rattle snake and they know they look like a rattle snake, so they have learned to shake their tail (no rattles!) and mimic a ready-to-strike rattle snake in order to scare away predators or simply to look more bad-ass. Gopher snakes eat (guess what?) gophers, rats, mice, voles and squirrels, and - if they can get close enough to them - frogs in ponds/lakes/rivers. Gopher snakes are a very important part of the ecosystem and are not an endangered species. Let's keep it that way.

After that exciting wildlife experience, it was cocktail time. It had been months since we had experience weather cold enough to warrant a Manhattan.

What a beautiful setting!

Dinner was a hodge-podge ending in some version of Tortilla Soup. Shredded chicken from a Cardenas bird. Stock made from boiling said bird bones with aromatics + cilantro, frozen until needed tonight. I sauteed onion, garlic, green pepper, jalapeno pepper and added a little salsa, spices, sliced olives, frozen corn kernels, fresh lime juice to the thawed stock and shredded chicken. Garnished with fresh cilantro, crushed tortilla strips and served with an avocado salad - yummy!

Mucho Mucho Leftovers.

After dinner, more wildlife viewing with the neighbors.

Many ducklings

Ducks and a huge heron

As we finish our evening, we are unsure of our path tomorrow. All our usual stops are filled with three-day-weekend travelers. Check back tomorrow to see what happens. I know I will.

Until my next update, I remain, your avian correspondent.

RV PARK: Blue Heron RV Park - Great campground, but a bit in the middle of nowhere. Beautiful property, right on the Klamath River. Quiet and peaceful. Popular during the fishing season. River front sites with full hookups. 50 amp. Bathhouse. Laundry. On-site restaurant/store/bar. No cell service. Spotty wifi. We paid $53.

This photo is from October 2014