Thursday, July 31, 2014

Komments by KADY! Issue #1

Ok, so this site is titled "Travels with Cardi" and it's about time that the Numero Uno Cardi gets to be one of the authors, right?.  I mean after all who is gonna tell the other RV dogs where they should go and what they will find when their big box takes them there.

So welcome to the premier issue of Komments by KADY!

July has been a very strange month for us dogs.  First, all of our good stuff moved out of the house and the rooms got emptier and emptier.  Then we started sleeping out back in our RV and getting walked on leash up to our yard each day.

And then it got even worse STRANGE DOGS were in our yard and we couldn't get in the house through the dog door anymore.  And even badder they were BIG dogs!

But it was hot there so Dad drove us somewhere else that was cooler and greener.

And they put up cages and treated us like dogs that night.  And then our brother Hiro and sister Delta and grandma Feebee came and they got put in cages across the street from us.  And then we ate and then we went for a walk and then we slept and then we moved again.

I thought it was a very nice place Carl Washburne State Park.  Except for the cages.  But there wasn't any phone or internet and Mom got all grouchy about it.

Then we went to another park and it was nice but they still put us in cages and Dora got to go play on the beach with Hiro and Delta and Grandma Feebee but mom said I was a PITA and Huxley didn't place nice with Hiro and Alice was too old to walk a mile.

I didn't think that this was a very good park for dogs just because it was such a bad walk to the beach that Mom only went one time so I didn't get to go.  This was South Beach State Park.  But Mom and Dad say that we have to go back there every year.

Then we went to another place.  We've been there two weekends. Portland-Woodburn RV Park.

This is a pretty good park for dogs.  There are lots of other dogs there but not too many children on bicycles and bad stuff like that.  There is a good place for walking dogs and the management is friendly and doesn't say that four dogs is too many.

This is me and Dora taking mom for a walk.  Dora thought they were calling her a "pet" but I told her that it's ok it's mom who's our pet.

Now I don't know about our poop being so unhealthy.  I mean, Grandma Al doesn't get sick when she eats it or anything.

There's dad with Hux and Al and you can see what a big dog area it is.  The only thing that would be better is if some of it was fenced so that we could run free.

 And see that sign?

We aren't allowed down by the creek where it's shady and would be the best place to walk.  But that's ok.  It was a good place to stop and we can go there again.  Mom and Dad don't make us stay in cages there, we just live in the RV.

Then we went to Champoeg State Park and stayed in A24 and there were lots of dogs and lots of kids and it was noisy and Mom said that we were bad noisy dogs sometimes.  Mom and Dad went off to work and left us in crates for two days so we weren't noisy then.  My sister Molly came to see us and that was nice.  And we went and played with Hiro and Delta and Grandma Feebee at their house.

Then we went to Silver Fox RV Park up in the mountains.  They didn't care that there were four of us either but they charged Dad an extra $2 per day for each of us dogs which didn't make him too happy as they didn't tell him that first.  We stayed up on top where it was very quiet and we didn't bark or anything except when the neighbors wanted to pet us.  The neighbors there liked dogs.

There is a dirt road that you can see on the left side of Mom's picture that goes back up on the hill and that's a really good place for dogs to walk.

This park is near Estacada Oregon where mom and dad like Fearless Brewing. Mom brought home a growler (can you believe they call it that and they like it? I didn't hear it growl or bark though) of Porter and it was the best thing I ever snuck up on the dashboard to share.

Then we went to another state park where it was cool Fort Stevens State Park.  And there were so many bicycles and children we didn't know what to do.  And there was this big pitbull right at the end of our walk and it was on like 30 feet of rope and it charged us and barkedandbarkedandbarked.  Mom said that me and Dora needed better power steering to deal with bad dogs so they went to Petco and bought another pinch collar! as she already had one and now me and Dora have to wear them to walk when there are too many other dogs.  This week we are being good though and don't need them.

At Fort Stevens it rained and rained and rained but it was ok for dogs because Mom sat in the RV and worked one day with us beside her.  And then another day we went for a long ride in the jeep and we liked that too.  We don't like it so much when we have to stay home.

Then guess what?!  We got to go see our brother Rip at his house in Washington!  I hadn't seen Rip since we were toddlers and Dora had never met him at all.

There was lovely grass there and I rolled and rolled but not as much as Dora did as she showed Rip her Dora-bowling game.  I hope that Rip's dad got video of it.

Grandma Al wanted to share wine with Rip's dad but he thought she just wanted pets. He doesn't know Grandma Al very well.  She is a greedy dog.

Here's us with our handsome brother Rip.  I don't know why he didn't know to smile at the camera like we do.  Look how cute we are!

And we runned and we sniffed and it was fun.

And then we went home and we were very tired.

Now we are back at Champoeg but we are in a different place which is much better.  Mom and Dad say that we will stay in the B loop from now on because there is "50 amps" whatever that is for the air conditioners and there aren't so many dogs with spaces too close.

And we have room to set up our real dog yard instead of making the pens into two little cages.  We like it this way better.

 There's lots of room to walk too with not too many baddogs.

And we can all be together in our dog yard and we like it that way.  

Yesterday Mom and Dad went for a ride without us again because it was "too hot for dogs to stay in the jeep" and when they came back Mom smelled really interesting and she said that she saw our sister Summer and our brother/cousin Brewer and I don't know why she smelled like that if all she did was "saw" them.

And that was all we did for the whole month of July.  I wonder where the big box will take us in August?


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cape Disappointment - Not

We revisited the Astoria area last week for the first time in seven years.  The last time we were here was after the trip to Seattle when we sent Alice to visit Hunter. How does the time pass so quickly?

Monday was a driving day so we did little other than set up camp at Fort Stevens. For the first day we basked in quietness after the zoo that was Champoeg.  

But as luck would have it, more families with children and bicycles and dogs and children and bicycles moved in, so it didn't stay so quiet.  

Both Monday and Tuesday were unusually warm and sunny.

Visiting previous favorite spots: the harbor at Hammond.  Where we noted an empty RV area.  No hookups, $28 per night, but no children on bicycles.  In fact, it was deserted.  Things to remember: there is another RV park in Hammond as well.

Watching a container ship pass.

The seagulls are unconcerned with people.  Unless there is food envolved, that is. 

We capped off the afternoon with a visit to Fort George Brewery in Astoria.  How can you go wrong with a brewery who has a backboard showing dogs on the beach?  We took home a nifty stainless steel growler of Next Adventure Black IPA.  I am still scratching my head about an "India Pale Ale" that's black.  But it is pretty darn good, anyway.

The food was good.  The beer was good.  The service was abysmal.  Note to server: you will get twice as much tip if you come back to the table and ask the patrons if they would like another.  Not waiting 40 minutes before you take their food order would also be beneficial to your bottom line.

Wednesday it rained.

And rained and rained and rained until the campground roads were flooded.  Mandy and Jamie will remember trips like that.

I took advantage of the weather to mostly finish up a new website I was working on for Dan Stouffer.

It was a good time to look at desert watercolors.

Thursday, after a payroll and a little work time, we wended our way through the throngs of children on bicycles (who do not look before darting right in front of, or in some cases almost into you) and headed over the bridge into Washington.

From the beach and the jetty at Cape Disappointment 

View toward the North Head Lighthouse.  There were a few people fishing from the rocks, but the beach was deserted. 

Strings of brown pelicans moved up and down the beach with a magical  synchronicity.

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse.

After, we drove up to visit the North Head Light.

Views down of the beach and jetty we had just left.

Tom enjoying the view. 

The light was dedicated in 1898.

Cove just north of the light.

The residences of the lightkeeper and assistants are now vacation rentals operated by the State Parks.

Tom captured a phone-shot of this sign at the small museum.

We're now back in the Willamette Valley for another week for more visiting-with-clients time plus a few extracurricular activities.  I find that I am really enjoying the area.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Champoeg and a Work Week

It's not all fun and games.  Sometimes we still have to work to pay park rent buy dog food.   We were able to steal some time and play hooky on Monday.

We spent the week at Champoeg State Park on the Willamette River.  On Monday Catherine came out and we visited an active archaeological site at the park: the oldest known settler's cabin in the area.  For those in the greater Portland area who might be interested: tours of the site are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 10 a.m.  Wear walking shoes and take water.

In the 1840's and 50's Champoeg was a bustling settlement, rivaling Oregon City and Salem in size.  It was the site of Oregon's first provisional government.

The depression that you see above was man-made.  A shop stood to the right and bags of goods and produce were slid down to boats waiting on the river below.

In 1861 the town was destroyed by what must have been an incredible volume of water in a catastrophic flood.  The bottom sign on this cottonwood shows the level of a more recent flood in 1996, while the upper one shows the level in 1861.

The archaeological site is seen above in the distance from what would have been approximately the middle of town, between the French and the American halves.

You can read more about the site at 

The brick hearth probably dates from 1833, when John Ball was the owner of the cabin.  He is listed as the eighth farmer in Oregon, and the first American to farm in the Pacific Northwest.

Partially excavated well. 

You can see bricks that were part of the front wall angling across the dig.  Most of the artifacts that have been found have been just outside of what would have been the front door.  Broken and used items were thrown into the fireplace then discarded with the ashes off the front porch.

The artifacts are cleaned and cataloged on site by students from OSU.

A few of the more complete things that have been found reside in the visitor center, including a rusted-together pile of nails.  The shoulder of the green bottle was recently recovered and is at the site on the table.  It will be added soon.

Screens are used to filter out smaller particles.

The area of the valley which includes Champoeg is known as French Prairie.  The park service has been working on restoring the natural prairie to the area.

Many of the original streets of Champoeg are now mowed swaths of grass that you can meander through.  They are complete with street signs with the original mix of French and American names.


The now peaceful Willamette River.

Monday afternoon Vicki and Molly came to visit.  I didn't take any pictures (!) but it was so great to see our sweet girl again.  I miss her terrible (especially when Kady and Dora are bad) but I can tell how much she and Vicki love each other so that makes it ok.

Most of the remainder of the week was spent working.  We are just finishing a large inventory bar-coding project for one of our fastest-growning clients: Golden Protective Services in Ohio.  We were onsite at the parent company's offices in Salem on Wednesday and Thursday for final training (Tom) and tweaking (me).  I have finished up the (fingers crossed) final changes this weekend.

And on Tuesday I also joined in administrative duties of The Cardigan Archives (  We took over hosting it last July at a time when I was unfortunately in no shape to help.  But now I have time to hone my php and SQL database skills to take some of the load off of Rob.

And there was also some website work during the week.  The days are just packed.

Since Friday we've been at The Silver Fox RV Park outside of Estacada.  It's a three-tiered park which is busy lower down but we are on the top level of about 11 sites of which most are full-time residents.

It's peaceful up here, though now I can hear a few children on the playground the next level down.   This morning it was cool and even rained which kept them inside.

Memorable food and drink this week:

Wanker's Corner in Wilsonville.  Yeah, I know what it sounds like.  But in fact it's pretty good burgers and beer.

And today we enjoyed excellent beer, food, and company with Jamie and Catherine and Catherine's parents George and Julie at Fearless Brewing in Estacada.  We had left our two Fearless growlers (empty) back in Gold Hill so we had to purchase a new one to bring home filled with their porter.

As I type this post Kady is on the dashboard busily trying to convince me that Fearless porter is one of the necessities of life for Cardigans.

"Good to the last drop!"