Letters From a Bus
September 2007: Home Base
1st entry for September/November
First
Previous
Next
Return to Letters From A Bus: Letter Archives

Revisiting Eugene and Exploring Ashland, OR

Ashland, OR, Day Four at Emigrant Lake RV Park, Site #4

Labor Day, Monday, September 3, 2007 — Three Months Plus

After three days of running around sightseeing with Joe and Marian in Portland, we were tired.  Dennis wanted to do some work around the bus and I wanted to work on my website.  So Monday, August 27th was a restful stay-at-home day.  We did go out to take the dogs for a walk on the levee by the river. 
This trail is below the levee next to the Columbia River. Old pier and boat. Houses are on the Washington side of the Columbia River.
Walking on the levee above the Portland Airport next to Marina Drive. Portland, OR 8/27/07 Visitors on our bus. Joe and Rich watch as Margot approaches to meet Toby.
Jana and Rich hadn’t seen our bus so they dropped by in the late afternoon together with Joe and Marian.  Then we went with Joe and Marian back to Stanford’s Restaurant for our farewell meal, a light dinner in the bar during happy hour.
Above: Rudi stands on Rich's leg. Marian leans into Toby while Margot investigates this new dog.
Right: Jana rewards her Miniature Aussie, Toby, with a treat. Portland, OR 8/27/07
Above: We went back to Stanford's for a light meal during happy hour in the bar.
Right: Later I caught the full moon over the motorhomes in Columbia RV Park. Portland, OR 8/27/07

Our drive from Portland to Eugene was just the right length and time — two and a half hours, counting a stop for fuel, and less than 100 miles.  We had a reservation lined up at an RV park so it was an easy drive and no hassle.  We pulled into Deerwood RV Park at noon and it turned out to be delightful.  Our site was a pre-assigned pull-thru and everything was easy.

Deerwood is located in south Eugene on Seavey Loop Rd. on the east side of I-5 just opposite 30th Ave.  All we had to do was drive a few exits up the freeway to get to the campus and the downtown.  Not only is Deerwood convenient but also the owners show great care and pride in their new RV Park.  The RVs are situated in a circle around a large central lawn. Each site has a patch of lawn and a flowerbed.  The place is absolutely beautiful.  We were told the central lawn is for the dogs but please don’t let them go in the flowerbeds.  As it is pristine clean, I was happy to do my part to keep it looking so nice.

With lawns, trees and flowerbeds, Deerwood RV Park deserves the title of a garden park. Eugene, OR 8/28/07

Our visit to Eugene was nostalgic for me.  I graduated from the University of Oregon so I spent about three years living in Eugene.  But that was from ’59 to ’63 — more than forty years ago.  I know Eugene very well, but yet I don’t know it at all.  I’ve been back once, for maybe an hour, in the eighties sometime.  So I’d seen some changes but I hadn’t had a chance to really look around.  This was an opportunity to really re-explore my old haunts.  Of course it brought back a flood of old memories — sorority sisters, boyfriends, dances, classrooms in some of the beautiful old buildings, big character professors, hours and hours spent in the library, and more hours spent talking and studying over countless cups of coffee or glasses of coke at the College Side Inn.  

I was happy at UO but not at the beginning.  My parents pulled me out of the University of Hawaii and made me come back to the mainland.  Hawaii and Oregon had a student exchange program so I heard about it and chose UO. After I got home I found out my dad had signed me up with Panhellenic and scheduled me to go through “rush.”  He wanted me to live in a sorority house.  I’d been living at a YWCA residence hall in Honolulu and I didn’t approve of fraternities.  I was starting my junior year and I felt too mature for such activities.  Very indignantly, I did as I was told and by the end of the week I was pledged to Zeta Tau Alpha.  The freshman in my pledge class had to spend a year in the dorms and moved into the house as sophomores.  But as a junior, I moved in immediately, together with my fellow junior pledge, Maureen Sims.

Looking back, I must thank my dad.  The house was beautiful and the girls were terrific.  We all had assigned rooms on the second floor, some with roommate, some not, but we all slept on the third floor in dorms.  We had a pretty dining room, good food and a lovely living room.  There were lots of social activities to keep our interest and study hall to ensure that we made good grades.  I didn’t like all the rules and regulations.  After my freedom in Honolulu, I hated having to be in at a certain hour in the evening.  It was all a new experience but it was good for me. 

I think ZTA is no longer on campus.  I went by our house on E. 15th Ave. and Alder St. — near Kincaid St. by the campus — and it was under renovation.  The windows are boarded up. I noticed that many of the fraternity and sorority houses are gone.  I expect their time is past. http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~greek/index.shtml  (Only eight sorority houses remain.) 

Left: The old Zeta Tau Alpha house on E. 15th St. The dining room was to the left and the living room to the right. Our own rooms were on the second floor. Mine was the one on the left, a corner room. We slept in bunk beds in two dorms on the third floor. Apparently ZTA is no longer on campus and the house is under reconstruction. A small garden behind the hedge was to the right of the house. (See photo right) Eugene, OR 8/29/07

Right: Some of my sorority sisters celebrating a sunny day in spring, probably a weekend, because some of us wear capris. I am in the center and sunshine has brought out my southern California rebelliousness. I wear burmudas. None of the Freshman pledges are in evidence, probably because they live in the dorm for their first year.

Left of me is my junior class pledge sister and big buddy, Maureen Sims, from Tacoma, WA. I am 5'9" and to my great delight Maureen was 5'11". She was beautiful, flamboyent, and funny. We hung out together quite a lot. Maureen was a brilliant girl who majored in biology and worked in the lab on a drisophila genetics (fruit fly) experiment. She went on to get a PhD at the U of Chicago and then went to work for Stanford Bing Professor of Population Studies, Paul Ehrlich, a leading authority on population biology and a pioneer in population control. Sadly, I've lost track of her since then.

Sitting far right is Bev Salts, also a junior. Bev is wearing what I typically wore on a school day: pleated wool skirt, blouse & cardigan sweater. From Atherton, CA, we had similar taste in clothes. Bev and I were both English Lit majors and we took most of our classes together. She became our ZTA President, as was Pat Vandel, sitting far left.
Eugene, OR May or June of 1960

As a student I was required to wear a skirt and stockings on campus.  There was a dress code.  We were to look like ladies.  I uttered many bitter words about “Big Daddy” running my life.  Now I see girls loping across campus not only in pants or shorts but also in black stockings and mini-skirts with multi-color hair, tattoos and various body parts pierced.  I laugh out loud when I see them; so much for the dress code of the sixties….

The Willamette and McKenzie Rivers run through Eugene.  Franklin Blvd and the Willamette River borders the campus on the north side — together with a little stream called the Millrace. Kincaid borders it on the west.  Probably once or twice a day I walked down Kincaid to 13th Ave where a big, old two-story, imitation Tudor sort of building, stood on the corner.  This was the College Side Inn, which featured narrow balconies with tiny dark wooden booths overlooking the main floor below.  I was an English Lit major so it was easy to spend hours in one of these booths, because much of my homework was reading novels or prose of some era.  From above I could keep an eye on the comings and goings of friends and take a break to visit with whoever might drop by my booth.  I can tell you that I heard Andy Williams version of "Moon River" hundreds of times while I sat “studying” in the Side.

I had several male friends, older, non-fraternity types who were history majors. This is where I was exposed to "intellectual" discussions such as: Better Red than Dead" or "Better Dead than Red." I was pragmatic. I leaned towards the former. These guys turned me into a political liberal. My rightwing parents were horrified.

The College Side Inn was torn down long ago and I miss seeing it on that corner. It was replaced by the UO Bookstore.

I graduated in December of 1961 with a BA in English Literature. I think I went through the ceremony the following June of 1962. I'm standing with my mother and my dad gave me the vanda orchid lei.
In my graduation gown, I posed by the Pioneer Woman, shown left. Above I sit on a bench in a niche behind the Pioneer Woman remembering my graduation photo taken 45 years ago. UO Campus, Eugene, OR 8/29/07

As a graduate I returned to UO and did a fifth year to obtain a “Life Diploma” or secondary teaching certificate.  I student taught sophomore English at South Eugene High School.  I lived off-campus opposite the high school on 19th Ave near High St.  I had a roommate and we had a second floor apartment.  That was the year of the Columbus Day Storm of 1962, “a contender for the title of most powerful extratropical cyclone recorded in the U.S. in the 20th century.”  Winds in Eugene reached gusts of 85 mph.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbus_Day_Storm

My roommate and I were told to evacuate.  The corner of our roof was lifting up.  You could see sky in the living room corner when it banged up and down.  I was dating Stan Parry, my future husband.  We didn’t have a car.  We both rode Schwinn bikes.  I had a Siamese cat.  Stan rented a room with a family some dozen blocks away.  Gallantly, he came to my rescue on his bike.  From my second floor window, I saw him riding south on High about a block away from my building.  I remember he was standing up peddling but he wasn't moving as he tried to bike against the wind.  Huge sheets from the gravel and tar roof of the high school were blowing down the road towards him.  He took shelter behind our building and came to get me.  We loaded my cat in a basket and walked some ten blocks to the campus where we took shelter in the Student Union. On the way we tried to walk on the windward side of every tall tree we passed.

I lived in an apartment across from South Eugene HS. Eugene, OR 8/29/07
Views of the Student Union or Erb Memorial Union. Stan and I walked over to the SU during the Columbus Day storm and took shelter here. This is the food court. UO, Eugene, OR 8/29/07
Visiting the food court reminded me of an occasion when my mother came to visit me — possibly in the spring of 1960. I showed Mom around campus and we sat at a table in the SU. A man came up to us and asked if we'd like to go upstairs to hear his brother speak. I think this would have been during the primary campaign. It was Robert Kennedy. My mother pulled herself up stiffly and froze him out. She treated him to her best, haughty, upstate New York style. "No thank you!" she said vehemently. I knew John Kennedy was on campus and I was dying to go see him. But I couldn't. Where could I stash my mother? It would be impolite to desert her and she was a staunch Republican. I didn't get to see JFK.

Our apartment survived the storm and we were able to return later that night.  The next day Stan and I biked around the campus.  It was a dreadful sight.  In those days, the University of Oregon had many open spaces, quads of lawns and huge, tall trees.  That day they came down like pick-up sticks.  Trees were down or leaning against each other in dreadful, awesome piles.  The campus lost many, many beautiful trees.  It never seemed the same to me after that.  Later when I returned in the eighties, I saw that many of the open spaces had been filled in with new buildings. 

When Dennis and I began our walk around campus I was afraid that I would feel sad and disappointed at the ugliness of many changes.  I was so glad to find that my fears were misplaced.  The campus is still very, very beautiful.  There are new buildings but they are beautifully done and many of the old ones remain.  There are still many open quads and now, 45 years later, the tall trees seem as plentiful and magnificent as they were when I arrived in the fall of 1959.  I really enjoyed our walk and I was proud to rediscover the beauty of my alma mater. You can see the campus as it is today through the UO website tour. http://tour.uoregon.edu/

This is the door that I generally used at Knight Library. I loved this building and I loved to hide out in a study carrel on one of the upper floors near the stacks. In off hours I looked at many wonderful books that were outside of my major. The library has been expanded since my time — in '66 and '92. UO, Eugene, OR 8/29/07 This is what you see when you step out of the library door and look northwards towards 13th Ave. The building at the far end of the quad is new to me. I believe it is the law school. UO, Eugene, OR 8/29/07 If you walk down the quad towards 13th and look to your right you will see this beautiful old building. It is the Museum of Art. UO, Eugene, OR 8/29/07
Walk east on 13th Ave and then cross it going north to meet the Pioneer Man. Beyond, in this lovely old section of campus are some very old buildings. I think this one is Villard. Once again there are tall, old trees. UO, Eugene, OR 8/29/07
Above is Friendly Hall, home to the English Dept. It is the building where I spent most of my time in literature classes. I don't recall that it was this big and wide. Clearly it is under construction. I wonder if it has an addition as well as being renovated. Left: Next door, north of Friendly Hall is Allen Hall, the School of Journalism and Communication. I had several classes in this building also. UO, Eugene, OR 8/29/07
Crossing 13th again and walking south towards EMU (Erb Memorial Union or the Student Union) is another lovely old area of campus where the Pioneer Mother is located. I am glad the campus is still so beautiful. UO, Eugene, OR 8/29/07

Dennis and I also had fun exploring the downtown.  I remembered a main street that I think that would have been Jefferson.  There was Hamburger Heaven.  There was a May Co. sort of department store where I found the typical de rigueur campus raincoat.  Today Eugene is a very attractive little city.  It is loaded with little cafes and coffee shops and some excellent restaurants.  It is bustling and fun.  I loved it and I would have been happy to have more time for exploration.

Our method of exploring took the form of tracking down one of my former sorority sisters.  I wanted to find Penny Gentry, a pledge sister who was a freshman when I was a junior.  She was sharp and funny and pretty.  I remembered her with awe because I took a philosophy class with her.  When we studied for an exam together I discovered that she had a perfect grasp of every concept — concepts that only floated loosely in and out of my head.  Penny was very smart.  She came from Los Altos, CA where I eventually settled.  She remained in Eugene and I knew that she was the proprietor of Copper Penny Antiques on 5th Ave.  We set out to find her.

The address turned up a different business entirely.  Copper Penny Antiques was gone.  I went into Ronny’s Audio Vision to ask if they knew where it was.  I talked to the proprietor, Ronny Goldfarb, and his son and they were delightful.  Originally from New Orleans, they had just staged a fundraiser “because people are still in need down there.”  You give money and get an item back donated by an area business.  Ronny made some calls and found Penny for me.  We donated $25 cash and got a gift receipt for dinner at the Oregon Electric Co. 

If I hadn’t found Penny, I would still have felt that our outing was a success after talking to these two guys.  But we did find Penny.  We drove to the very large Oregon Antique Mall located at 1215 Willamette St. and there she was.  She is still slim and she still has those bright blue eyes and she still has that very sharp mind.  I was so pleased to find her.  We visited in between her duties with customers and vendors.  I discovered that she student taught at Eugene High the year after I did.  They hired her and she stayed in Eugene to teach History.  I wasn’t surprised to hear that she had pursued a PhD in Anthropology.  She got bogged down in statistics and they didn’t let her pursue her area of interest so eventually she dropped out.  Typical academia. She wanted to learn in the field and they wanted bookwork. Too bad.  What an asset she would have been to some university.  She remarried and went into the antique business with her husband.

Penny Dolan stands by a case of antique china in her store, Oregon Antique Mall and then Penny and I pose together. We were Zeta Tau Alpha pledge sisters in the fall of 1959 — but she's younger, a freshman when I was a junior. Eugene, OR 8/28/07

In Eugene we also got to visit with my first cousin, Janet Wroncy Hale.  Janet is the daughter of my mother’s brother, Don Wroncy.  We were the western branch of the Wroncy families.  My mother’s sister and another brother remained with their families in New Jersey on the east coast.  Janet and her sister, Joan, and brother, Don, grew up on the beach in La Jolla (near San Diego).  My sister and I grew up on the beach in Redondo Beach (near LA).  We were about a three hour drive apart so we got to see each other regularly and knew each other fairly well as kids. 

Janet is four years younger than me and she also attended the University of Oregon, but after I had already graduated and left to teach in California.  She graduated with a major in biology, met and married her husband, Gary, and settled permanently in Oregon.  They have a son, Forest, and live on an eight-acre farm in the coastal wilds of Oregon near the small town of Horton.  In fact they own the original Horton homestead. 

Janet is a woman of action.  She loves to garden.  She grew crops and sold organic produce to a co-op to help put her self through school.  She’s a hard worker.  Today she is still farming although she keeps the produce for her family.  They don’t run a commercial farm.  The boys couldn’t get away but Janet came into town to meet us at our bus.  It was wonderful to see her after so many years.  We keep up by email but she hasn’t come through the bay area and we haven’t come through Oregon in many years.

As we had our gift certificate we all went downtown for dinner at the Oregon Electric Co.  This turned out to be a delightful restaurant constructed from old train cars.  It is situated at the train depot.  Dinner was delicious.

Above: Janet and I visit on the bus. Look at all the curly hair. My son has the same kind of hair. Janet's used to be totally blonde. Below: Janet and Dennis ponder over too many delicious choices. We went to dinner at an unusual restaurant made up of train cars and we sat in a room between two cars. The food was excellent. Oregon Electric Co., Eugene, OR 8/29/07
On Thursday we drove from Eugene to Ashland, another easy two hour transition south from the Willamette River National Forest to the Rogue River National Forest.  We are settled about six miles outside of Ashland at Emigrant Lake RV Park.  The RV park is carved into an upper and lower loop on a hill above the lake.  We lucked out and backed into a site with two fairly mature trees that provide much needed shade and an excellent view of the lake and it’s launch ramp. 

The RV park is fairly new and most of the trees are small so larger trees are an asset.  Other than that there is no landscaping and it is hard to understand why they didn’t put in a sprinkling system and some grass while they were at it.  Walking the dogs is an invitation to an hour of grooming to remove the millions of immature thistles that grow on those pretty little green plants with the yellow flowers. In a month they will have very large thistles.  We look down on the tent campers in the older part of the park across the lake and they have the luxury of tall shade trees and green grass.

Driving south on I-5 from Eugene towards Ashland, OR 8/30/07 Our gray bus in site #4 is nearly invisible, just left of center on the lower loop. Below us is the empty spillway. The lake is so low it is off to the right. Emigrant Lake RV Park, Ashland, OR 8/30/07
Dennis sits at our concrete picnic table and looks at our view of the lake. Emigrant Lake RV Park Site #4, Ashland, OR 8/30/07 View from our windshield of RVs on the upper loop of Emigrant Lake RV Park. A storm is brewing. Ashland, OR 8/30/07

Settled in by 2:00 pm on our sun-baked hill with a temperature of 87º we watched the wind rise and dark clouds stream in until we were hit by a thunderstorm about 3:30 pm.  It was a sudden and forceful thunderstorm.  I saw lightening hit the hill above us and we all lost power for a while. About 4:30 we thought it was over so we decided to go into town to find a grocery store.  No such luck.  We were hit by hail as we drove and I couldn’t believe the size of those little icy pellets.  We had to detour around a flooded intersection but we finally found a Safeway and ran inside to shop.  We had the dogs with us in the car because the rain and wind were so noisy that we figured they’d freak out if we left them alone in the bus.  Armed with comfort food and staples we returned to the bus with a temperature that had dropped to 67º by 5:00 pm.  Pretty amazing.

Our immediate decision was whether to continue on to Clearlake on Friday.  We’d made plans with my girlfriend, Karen Magnuson, to be at Clearlake for Labor Day.  However, we didn’t have reservations at any RV park there and we were worried about the approaching holiday weekend in terms of traffic and a place to stay.  The distance is 300 miles and that is possible but we prefer to make shorter jumps.  I was starting a head cold and didn’t feel up to making a big push.  So finally, we decided to stay put where we were safely ensconced out of traffic for the long weekend. 

On Friday I actually slept late and woke knowing that I didn’t feel well.  I still don’t know if I have a cold or allergies but now I suspect the latter.  I cough and sneeze and have a sinus headache but on Sunday we drove to a higher elevation amid evergreens to see Howard Prairie Lake and I began to feel better.  Here by Emigrant Lake we are in oak and meadow land and there is a lot of dry, yellow grassland.  I’m allergic to grass and a nearby farmer just harvested his hay, so that may be the problem.  So Friday was a day of rest and we sat outside in the shade watching the lake and the activity of backing a trailer down the ramp to launch or retrieve a boat.  It’s a very long ramp because the lake is very, very low.  On Friday we even rallied and used the campground fire pit to light coals and BBQ some steaks.  Wow.  I think this is only the second time we've cooked over a campfire in more than three months.

View of the lake from our RV site. Rudi would like to go explore. Emigrant Lake, Ashland, OR 8/31/07
We watch trucks back trailers down the ramp to launch their boats. Emigrant Lake, Ashland, OR 8/31/07
Left: The spillway is dry. Right: At least three dozen geese walk up from the lake to graze on the thistle meadow.
Elsa talks to Becky Pieper who says she's having lunch at Dinahs and expects Elsa to walk in any minute. "Gee, I wish!" Dennis BBQs dinner. The dog's are very interested. Emigrant Lake, Ashland, OR 8/31/07
View of the lake from a site further down the loop. Emigrant Lake, Ashland, OR 8/31/07 View of the lake from the picnic area opposite the RV park. Emigrant Lake, Ashland, OR 8/31/07
The Plaza — corner of Siskiyou & Ashland. Ashland, OR 9/1/07 We walk the dogs in the picnic area. Emigrant Lake, Ashland, OR 8/31/07
On Monday we made an effort to go into Ashland.  I’ve driven through before but never stopped to see the town.  The festival is still going on and there are many plays to be seen.  But I don’t feel up to more than a few hours of activity.  We sat on the balcony of Greenleaf for lunch and then walked up the main street, Siskiyou Blvd. to look at the shops.  The town is crowded and we had to park far above town at the top of beautiful Lithia Park.  We enjoyed walking on the paths of this lovely park as much as the town itself.  Ashland is a beautiful and charming town with much to offer.  We will have to plan to come back to take advantage of the plays and concerts.  Right now, I’m just not up to making the effort.
This is the Plaza at the foot of Lithia Park and the park extends a long ways up the hill. Ashland, OR 9/1/07 We parked here at the top of Lithia Park on Winburn Way. I spotted the ornate stairs and we came back to look at them after lunch. Ashland, OR 9/1/07
Paths run through Lithia Park leading down to the town. Here we come across a duck pond. Ashland, OR 9/1/07
Ashland Creek runs through Lithia Park and then along Water St. by the Plaza. We had lunch at Greenleaf on N. Main on the Plaza overlooking Ashland Creek. Ashland, OR 9/1/07
We saw kids playing this mysterious game in the park by the fountain (below). Is it some medieval or Shakespearian game? Ashland, OR 9/1/07
The steps we saw when we parked led up to a pretty fountain originally sculpted in Florence, Italy in 1916. Butler and Perozzi gave it to the city in 1916. Ashland, OR 9/1/07
Sunday we drove up to Howard Prairie Lake Resort where we stopped to have breakfast.  It’s about thirty minutes from Ashland at an elevation of almost 5000 feet.  We took Hwy 66 to Hyatt-Prairie Rd., which led us past Hyatt Lake and then down to the larger Prairie Lake, which is about six miles long and one mile wide.  All three lakes, Emigrant, Hyatt and Prairie are reservoirs.  The 60,000 acre feet of water from Prairie ultimately makes its way down to Emigrant before being diverted into the irrigation system that feeds most of the southern Rogue Valley.  Prairie Lake has campgrounds with 250 sites. It is also one of the largest inland marinas in the Northwest.  We looked at the RV sites and decided that we would not want to bring the bus into these sites because they are tight and dark — located under evergreen trees.  The place is attractive for young families, boaters and sportsman but it isn’t what we require.
We walked the dogs here at Hyatt Lake. Ashland, OR 9/2/07 We had breakfast here at Howard Prairie Lake by the marina. Ashland, OR 9/2/07

Breakfast at the lodge was adequate but we had to grab our food and run from the patio to the indoor dining room.  I can share my meal with several wasps but when they build up to six or more and get excited over my sausage, I take the prudent course and evacuate.  We brought the dogs with us and gave them a short walk.  We made a loop by driving back down to Emigrant Lake on Dead Indian Memorial Road.  I guess I don’t need to ask what happened there.

Emigrant Lake has been entertaining for one who doesn’t feel well and sits around a lot.  Our situation gives us an excellent view of all the RVs parked on the hill above us.  We are in Site #4 and immediately in front of us is site #5, a very desirable pull-thru.  We pulled into it when we first arrived.  It took us about ten minutes to figure out the park reservation system and the OPEN or OCCUPIED signs.  We saw that we could stay in #5 on the 30th but it was reserved from the 31st through the 3rd.  So we backed into #4, which had no reservation sign and no OCCUPIED sign. 

After that we got two days of cheap entertainment.  Every newcomer pulled into that site.  You could hear them thinking, "The gods are with me. Somehow this nice big site hasn't been taken and I've scored the perfect location." There must have been a dozen big trailers that pulled in and then pulled out.  Some figured it out sooner and some later.  Some actually hooked up and then had to unhook.  Finally a large trailer stayed overnight on Thursday (30th) — but he did not leave by noon on Friday (31st).  We watched as the camp hosts asked them to leave.  Later the hosts told us that the trailer squatters said they’d paid for the weekend and wanted a refund.  They made a fuss.  Of course the money goes into envelopes and is collected by the rangers and of course the campers knew it was reserved.  They were working on the "possession is nine tenths of the law" theory — but it didn’t work and they had to leave.  We awaited the arrival of the legally reserved RV with some anticipation.  They pulled in late on the 31st — a fashionably late entrance. They were everything we could have hoped for.  They are a big toy hauler (trailer) pulled by a huge Peterbilt truck.  It is overkill but showy.  There are lots of teens, friends with trucks, boats and bikes and equipment of all kinds.  This is serious stuff. There is room behind the truck cab for people to sleep.

CHEAP ENTERTAINMENT: We pulled into site #5, saw the 8/31-9/2 reserve and backed up into site #4 where I stood to take this photo of the empty site. This trailer pulled in on 8/30 but paid for the entire weekend and stayed illegally late on 8/31. They've flipped the post sign to OCCUPIED but they've ignored the pink reserve slips. (Our bus is in the background.)

Below, the big toy trailer pulled in late on 8/31. (The white box in front of the trailer is part of the Peterbilt hauler. It blends in with the white trailer in the distance in front of it.) This group needed all the pull-thru space for trucks, boats, friends and many teens. They knew what they were doing. Emigrant Lake RV Park, Ashland, OR 9/2/07

This place is actually surprisingly quiet.  People go to sleep early and get up early to launch their boats and go fishing.  There are no noisy, drunken parties.  Well there was the couple that woke me Friday morning about 3:00 am.  They were down on the launch ramp with his truck running and headlights shining into the water.  It was a loud domestic squabble.  Apparently she walked out of the camp and down to the boat launch and he followed in the truck where they yelled a lot and he demanded that she get in the truck.  She didn’t and he finally gave up and drove back to camp.  She walked back.  That’s the only disturbance we’ve had, so I don’t call that too bad.

We had almost four full days here so it gave us a chance to catch up on housework and just hang out. Dennis polished the entire bus from top to bottom. The dogs got to sit outside and be with us. The Labor Day holiday campers got to enjoy their boats and the lake. I coughed and sneezed. Is it allergies or a cold?

The lake is very low — about 50 feet, so the launch ramp is very long and you have to back all the way down to launch your boat or pick it up. The ranger said it was overflowing the spillway last April 1st and he says that Prairie Lake will start releasing water down to Emigrant Lake immediately after Labor Day. I would have liked to see it fill up. I imagine it will be much prettier when it is full.

Emigrant Lake, Ashland, OR 9/2/07

On Tuesday we will be back in California! We will stay overnight near Redding or Red Bluff or maybe aim for the Corning RV Park. On Wednesday we will be in Clearlake to see Karen who owns a home up on the hill in Kelseyville.

Elsa Walton, Emigrant Lake RV Park, Ashland, OR, Labor Day, Monday, September 3, 2007