California Relaxin

While camping at Wilderness Lakes Thousand Trails in Menifee, California

Walking Update: Kevin and I have been walking 2-3 miles most days. This campground is almost 1 mile around the perimeter. One of the main things we look for in a campground is a walking area.

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Kevin and I were walking around the park one night on labor day weekend and we noticed a Rock n Roll band playing at the pool area. We stayed for a few songs. The usual preschoolers danced around in front of the band. The music was good. The night was pleasant. It was a good treat for us.

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Kevin joined the Elks at the end of April this year in Texas. I have spouse privileges. That means I have all the benefits but I can’t vote and attend a meeting. It’s a good deal for us. We have been having a nice time visiting different Elks lodges for RVing, Elks pins, meals, fundraisers, good conversation and some good camaraderie with other Elks.

Its been so hot in Southern California we haven’t been able to do much outside so Kevin and I headed over to the Lake Elsinore Elks Lodge #2591 for lunch. The lodge was burned down a few years ago. The new lodge is nice.

We were given a tour of the new lodge by a fellow Elks member. The new lodge has a good size dance floor, nice lounge, kitchen, rv hook ups and great club sandwiches. The rv hook ups are next to the lodge. They’re located on a black top with electric/water hook ups. There was plenty of room to camp the day we visited the lodge for lunch.

Our daughter came over after school for dinner, a game & a 2-mile walk. We had a salad & two slices of cantaloupe then walked around the park. Our daughter Katie and I joined weight watchers together so we will have many of these walks & weight watcher meals together.  We had an unexpected visitor on our walk. We saw a snake.


It looks like a Western Diamond Back. I could be wrong. If you know what kind of snake this is then leave a comment below. We had a nice visit even with the snake interrupting our family walk.

The Hemet Elks Lodge has a lunch a few times a week. The lodge is new looking. They have an outside area with places to sit under the shade. There is no RV parking at this lodge.

They gave us two Elks Lodge pins & a donut for free. The lodge members were getting ready for the weekly evening bingo night.  A few of the members took the time to chat with us. We had some good conversations with the members here.

Happy RVing!

California Elks Lodges

California Elks Lodge Pins

Traveling to Southern California

While staying at Keizer Elks Lodge in Oregon we saw the solar eclipse. We were in the totality for the eclipse. It was well worth the wait to see it. Kevin & I walked around looking at the sky for a moment without our solar glasses. If I was more of a word smith I could articulate the experience better. I can say that God sure made a beautiful sky.


While traveling to Southern California for the Fall/Winter we stopped at several Elks lodges.

Our first stop was Red Bluff Elks Lodge in California. We stayed one night there. The bartender made us feel welcome in their lodge. The RV area was too close to the freeway. We had too much freeway noise at night but the pull thru was a welcome sight after a long drive. We paid $15.00 a night here.


Our next stop was Placerville Elks Lodge in California. We paid $20.00 a night for 30 amps electric & water. Our site didn’t have direct tv satellite reception. The secretary/bartender is very friendly. She did a good job of making us feel welcomed.


Next, Atascadero Elks Lodge in California. They have a separate entrance for the RV camping area. The camping information is located in a kiosk at the campground. The RV camp area has 50amps, full hook ups, dirt/gravel site, good Verizon internet with our jetpack and good direct tv satellite reception in site 2. The Elks members invited us to sit with them at dinner on Thursday night at 6. We had a good conversation with a few members that night. We paid $25.00 a night. Hearst Castle is 45 minutes away. Good Lodge!


While camping at Atascadero Elks Lodge in California

Firestone Brewery Tour in Paso Robles


Kevin and I  learned about beer. The tour consisted of 4 people and our beer educator. We paid $10.00 each for a tour, 4 beer samples, a glass tasting souvenir, and a bottle opener. The beer 805 is made at this brewery. I took notes so I know what kinds of beer to order next time we go out to eat.

Templeton Farmers Market opens on Saturday at 9:00 am. I was surprised by the amount of veggie, fruit & meat vendors. The samples are plentiful here. We bought a ambrosia cantaloupe, basil, beef steak tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, spinach, zucchini, grapes, and blackberries. This picture below is our farmers market haul.

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Happy RVing!

California Farmers Markets

California Elks Lodges

California Elks Lodge Pins

Interesting Places in Oregon

Oregon State Mental Health Museum
One Flew Over the Cookoo’s Nest Film Location

Kevin and I are in Keizer Oregon until after the Solar Eclipse. We decided to find a tour in the area. I found the Oregon State Mental Health Museum tour. The museum is located next to the Oregon State Mental Hospital. The cost of the self-guided tour is $5.00. A volunteer who worked at the hospital walks around explaining things and answers questions. This photo is the museum entrance.


The reason we picked this tour is that the movie One Flew Over the Cookoo’s Nest was filmed here. The movie is played continually at the museum. Most of the original hospital has been demolished except for the front area and cupola used for the mental health museum.

The stories are plentiful at the museum. One story is on accident (was is), rat poison was grabbed in the storage room instead of flour and many people died that day. Many women were put into the mental hospital for ridiculous reasons like reading a novel, religious enthusiasm, bad company, infertility etc.



The museum has displays of the many “therapies” of the day. They had this strange therapy called Tunnel Therapy. I don’t know if this was sanctioned by the staff but the patients could head on down to the underground tunnels for some “love therapy” with each other on the cement floor. Very Strange!

They also have a memorial area for the 3,000 patients that died here & no family claimed their bodies. No one knew about these cremated bodies until a few years ago. There are 1500 patients unaccountable for. Where are those bodies?



We never saw Nurse Ratched at the museum or Jack Nicholson. I was really hoping to see one of them. The museum was worth our time. Its not every day you get to see where Jack Nicholson hung out.

Willamette Pie Company in Silverton Oregon

Kevin and I headed over to the local pie company. This pie company has been around since 1986. The Company has several buildings on the property.


There’s a small cafe that sells muffins, pies, coffee, ice cream, smoothies, turnovers etc. We split a pie slice of Marionberry Crunch Pie with ice cream. The combination of crunchy pie crust, marionberries, and vanilla ice cream was exquisite. Kevin and I are lucky to be on a Fitbit Challenge this week to walk off the slice of pie & ice cream we split. The company sells jams, Amish popcorn, seasonings, soap, bbq sauce and more at the store. I saw an area for kids to ride small bikes outside next to a hot dog stand.



The Town of Independence 

Kevin and I stopped at the Independence Elks Lodge to pick up an Elks lodge pin for our collections. The Independence Elks Lodge pin is really nice. It has a covered wagon on it. The Secretary told us of several places to have brunch and entertained us with things going on in the area.  Then, we walked over to the Second Chance used books store. We’re hoping to pick up some field guides for our nature identification hobby. The store didn’t have any field guides we could use but we had a good time looking at all the used books.



The Pink House Cafe has been in the area since the 1800’s. The two-story house is converted into a cafe. The locals have no problem telling their ghost story experiences they had while in the house.  I liked the ghost stories the waitress told us because she genuinely believes in such things. She experienced feelings of a little girl playing with her hair while she slept in the upstairs rooms.

Happy RVing!

Next, the Solar Eclipse.

Camping in Keizer Oregon

While camping at the Keizer Elks Lodge#2472 in Oregon

The RV park has gravel sites. We have 50amps, full hookups, directv reception, quiet campers, a place to walk the dog, good wifi reception with our Verizon jetpack and good At&t phone reception.

The dinners at the lodge have been good. On Friday night, the cook makes one of the best clam chowders I’ve tasted in Oregon. The cook uses herbs that give it a unique flavoring, the consistency is thick and creamy with just the right amount of clams.

We can walk to the local park from the Elks lodge in the mornings. Its about a 3-mile walk round trip. This works well for us. A good walking route is one of the things we look for in an RV Park but the wildfire smoke from Canada has made walking difficult this week.

We drove to Salem Oregon and saw the State Capital. I was able to get an Oregon state capital stamp at the capital. I also found a used Pacific State Wildflower field guide at the Escape Fiction book store in Salem. My wildflower photo binder is growing. I’ve organized it by color & state. It keeps me busy & feeling productive.

On Saturday we drove to the Salem Saturday Farmers Market. The market had about 75 vendors. There’s a good amount of veggies & fruit vendors here. Kevin and I bought bells peppers, green onions, cantaloupe, walla walla onions, sunflower & pea microgreens, a bigfoot sticker and a few artsy stuff.

I saw soap vendors, bread vendors, veggie vendors, berry vendors, a microgreen vendor, alcohol vendors, cat adoption vendors, a wood toy vendor, plant vendors, vendors selling lunch food and an information vendor at the farmers market.

On Tuesday we drove to the Salem Elks Lodge for the Tuesday Taco Meal. The Salem RV park at Salem Elks Lodge is full. The rver’s have no stay limit. The campsites are gravel and tight looking. I like Keizer Elks RV Park better but the Taco Salad is good at the Salem Lodge.

I set up several day trips to collect Elks lodge pins & explore the area. We drove to the Silverton Elks Lodge and picked up a lodge pin from them. They gave us a friendly welcome. I saw a dump station but they don’t have any hook ups here for RVer’s.

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Mt Angel Sausage Co.

Kevin and I had lunch at the Mt Angel Sausage Co in Mount Angel. This restaurant is on the Food Network Channel. The inside of the restaurant is small but there is a good amount of outside seating. The restaurant has European decor. I saw several musical instrument, a vintage sausage stuffer, a variety of rope sausage, link sausage and German beers. The food was good & the service was excellent. The Marionberry pie with vanilla ice cream was incredibly flavorful.

We came home with two sausage link packages one Italian sausage for spaghetti and one breakfast sausage package.

Happy Retirement RVing!

Oregon Elks Lodges

Oregon Farmers Market

Sweet Home Oregon

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’ —Sylvia Plath

Camping at Sweet Home Elks Lodge #1972

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The rv camping is surrounded by trees. It smells like we’re in a forest. Our fellow Elks members recommended a nice place for a walk & two good restaurants. The Point Restaurant has nice decor, a good view, and good service. The prices are high but the food is good. The Skyline Inn has a home-like decor. The food is okay. The service is good and the coffee is hot.


We had a choice of a couple trails we chose the one with the least uphill battle. The Royal Terrace Falls trails has birds, greenery, and nice refreshing waterfall. Sometimes, like walking in a city so I can explore the unique places in town but a walk in nature is refreshing. The Royal Terrace Falls is a place to enjoy nature.

The Sweet Home Elks Lodge has a great view of the area from the balcony outside of the lodge. The members are incredibly friendly. We visited with Wendy the lodge secretary/volunteer bartender and a few members for a few hours. The campsites are unlevel for our Class A 33ft motor home but our neighbor has a small travel trailer and he was level. We had DirecTV satellite and good wi-fi with our Verizon jetpack. We didn’t stay here long but I appreciated the friendliness of the members at Sweet Home Elks Lodge in Oregon to traveling RVer’s.

Happy RVing!

Next, camping in the Salem/Keizer area to do some exploring before the solar eclipse.

Oregon Local Food

Oregon Campgrounds

Exploring Willamette Valley Oregon

Exploring Willamette Valley Oregon

While camping at Springfield Elks Lodge in Oregon


Springfield Elks Lodge RV Parking: The RV area is on blacktop with a slight slope. We had electric and water. We felt comfortable camping here while we enjoyed the Elks lodge and did some sightseeing in the area.

Happy Hour: Kevin and I attended the special Tuesday Happy Hour event in the Elk’s lounge. The special happy hour is on Tuesday with music, potluck food, and friendly Elks members. The members invited us to join them at their table. We had a good conversation with several members. Also, we were given several good restaurant recommendations. We also met Miss Oregon’s proud dad at happy hour. His daughter earned a scholarship from the lodge. 🙂

Fitbit Walking: We did some walking near the local mall. We also found a trail by the University of Oregon Football Stadium. We couldn’t see any walking area by the rv elks camping site.

Used Book Store Hunting: We scored a few new to us field guides at the local used books store on mammals, wildflowers, shorebirds, and weather.

Corvallis: The next day, Kevin and I went to the Corvallis farmers market & had lunch at the local Corvallis Elks lodge. The farmers market was a good size market. I saw free range chicken eggs, seafood, meat, fruit and several good veggie vendors. The Corvallis Elks were incredibly friendly. We had lunch and talked with a fellow Elks members. The solar eclipse is a big topic of conversation in Oregon. I see solar eclipse glasses for sale in several local stores.

Covered Bridges: I called Cottage Grove Elks Lodge to see if we could have lunch at the lodge but they were closed so I took some pics of their lodge. We did get to see the covered bridges in the area. I loved seeing these covered bridges. Its exciting to see a piece of history that has been saved.

Happy RVing!

Oregon Food

Oregon Camping

Elks Lodge Pins

RV Camping in Florence Oregon

RV Camping in Florence Oregon

While camping at Florence Elks Lodge in Oregon. This campground is located in downtown Florence.

Fitbit Walking: We’ve been walking downtown to the boardwalk from the Elks lodge in the mornings. I put on my thin jacket, floppy hat, my audio book ear phones, and carry my walking stick. We try to get 10,000 steps a day. A few times on our morning walks we stopped at Old Town Coffee Shop on the boardwalk for a drip coffee and everything bagel. What kind of exercise do you do?

Farmers Market: On weekends the farmers market on the boardwalk has a good amount of artisan vendors and one veggie vendor. The vendors like to talk about the products they sell so we learn how to cook new things, where the products were made and most importantly what its called. Also, Its a good place to walk outside. Whenever we visit a new place I look up where the local farmers market is located.


Boardwalk Farmers Market

Amazon Prime: I ordered a few things from prime so we’re staying in Florence until my items are delivered. We drove to Springfield & Eugene Oregon to see the Elks lodges. They both had a few campsites available but Eugene is closed for cleaning next week so we won’t be camping in Eugene.



Beach area by lighthouse

Lighthouse Yearly Fix: Also, we drove to the Heceta Head Lighthouse for our yearly lighthouse fix. The walk up the hill to the lighthouse is nice. The keeper’s house was closed because a wedding was taking place on the grounds. We saw the keeper’s house last year. The lighthouse volunteer talked to us about the migrating whales. We saw a few ocean loving birds by the lighthouse.



Restaurants: We’ve been to a few restaurants in Florence. The best clam chowder I’ve found in Florence so far has been at the Bridgewater Ocean Fish House on the boardwalk. Its creamy with just the right amount of clams.

Happy Travels!

Campgrounds in Oregon

Oregon Farmers Markets

Oregon Local Restaurants, Cafes & Coffee Shops 

Lighthouses in Oregon