Cleveland Rocks – 12

Cleveland is a city of professional sports. Professional ice hockey, baseball, basketball and football all live here! Our Lolly the Trolley tour carried us past the various arenas and stadiums where the teams play.

Cleveland is also a city of champions. Starting the winning year of 2016 were the Cleveland Monsters pro ice hockey team who won the coveted Calder Cup championship. They beat the Hershey Bears in game 4 with an exciting 1 – 0 overtime to a sell-out crowd. The Monsters play at the Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland. Believeland!


Known as “The Q”, the Quicken Loans Arena is also home to the Cleveland Cavaliers who came back from a 3 – 1 deficit to defeat the Golden State Warriors in this year’s NBA Finals Game, making them the first team in NBA history to do so. It would be difficult to talk about the Cavaliers without mentioning LeBron James. The Cavaliers and LeBron are true heroes to the City of Cleveland with this championship. The Cavs, as they are affectionately called, held a parade for their fans downtown a few days following the championship game. 1.3 million (yes, that’s million) people toasted the Cavs as they slowly progressed along the 1.3-mile parade route. It took 4 hours to reach Mall B for the rally there. All 1.3 million people wanted to say “Hello” to the team. Believeland!

Almost as we speak, the Cleveland Indians have defeated the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Championship Series games to go on to the World Series which starts October 25 in Cleveland. Indians fans are beside themselves with joy. There’s a lot of shouting and jumping up and down going on in living rooms. Some people I know are traveling via auto, listening to the game and having trouble sitting still in the car. The Indians are homed at Progressive Field in downtown Cleveland within sight of “The Q” arena. The World Series starts Tuesday, October 25, at Progressive Field. Looks like they’ll be playing the Cubs. Believeland!


There are a variety of additional sports that happen in Cleveland from city leagues to high school La Cross, but these are the main, professional sports.

Opps……Clevelanders and Ohioans are faithful Browns fans. The Browns, in case you haven’t heard, are Cleveland’s professional football team. No one can remember when they last won a game, but…. they play, Ohio watches. At least for awhile. It can be disappointing causing a lot of naps on couches and in recliners. Not a lot of jumping up and down. But, hope springs eternal that one of these days the Browns will come through and so their fans tune in. The Browns are housed at the Lakefront First Energy Stadium.


We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Buckeyes are at home in the state capital, Columbus, at one of the largest educational institutions in the country, Ohio State University. Named after the famous nut, the Bucks are anything but as they are 6 – 1 for the season so far. Brutus Buckeye couldn’t be happier!

If you love sports, Cleveland Rocks at it and is the place to be. And, even if you don’t love sports, it is catching here. You will become a fan of all of them!

Mushroom Hunting in Oregon’s Beautiful Forests

Oregon’s forests of mostly Douglas Fir, provide peaceful, soulful hiking experiences. Deep in the forest, on the trails, it is quiet, green and breathtakingly beautiful.

Not everyone is in it for the spiritual experience. Oregon’s forests are famous for their wild mushroom populations. Innumerable varieties of mushrooms grow here in a rainbow of colors. Once I saw a pink one, an orange one, a  red one and even a blue one hiking on the Siltcoos Lake Trail just south of Florence.

There is a mushroom ‘season’ when the fungi are ripe for picking. Mushroom pickers are in it for the income it can provide. You will find pickups parked in various locations in town and out, with signs stating “Mushroom Buyer.” I was hiking the Lake Marie trail one time when suddenly 4 fellas came walking out of the forest, no trail there, right in front of me onto the trail. I was a bit taken aback until I realized they were hunting mushrooms.

In order to hunt profitable mushrooms, one must be educated in all varieties that you can find here. Some are very poisonous and you don’t want to be trying to sell killer mushrooms.

Boletes come in all sorts of different “flavors,” if you will. Some are poisonous, some are edible but taste awful, and some are edible and very tasty. You do have to know your mushrooms.

Morels come in a variety of different kinds, including false morels. They have a nutty flavor and also taste like steak. Mostly they are edible except for the false kind. You just have to know your mushrooms.

Matsutke mushrooms are known for their sweet and spicy scent. They are small, white, round ‘shrooms’ that can be difficult to find as they hide in the dirt.

Oregon’s favorite, most prized and most expensive variety of mushroom is the Chanterelles that also grow wild in the forests. Chanterelles are orange, shaped like a trumpet and often have wavy edges. The Jack-O-Lantern mushroom resembles the Chanterelle but is poisonous. Know your mushrooms.

This weekend in Yachats is the Yachats (Ya-hots) Village Mushroom Festival. Oregon’s wild forest mushrooms are featured all week as cuisine in restaurants and at culinary markets. You can have fun times learning all about mushrooms and their role in the ecology of the forests. You can learn how to grow your own culinary mushrooms at home. Expert mushroom educators take part every year in this festival providing exhibits, giving talks, conducting workshops, and taking you on guided walks.

There are also wine and beer tasting and live entertainment. Head to Yachats for a fun-filled weekend all about mushrooms. Don’t forget to stop in at Umpqua River Haven on your way and say “Hi” to us.


It’s a Chanterelle!

Cleveland Rocks – 11

We have arrived at Cleveland’s Lake Front on our Lolly the Trolley tour. Cleveland is situated on the South Shore of Lake Erie. At one time Lake Erie was too polluted to swim in safely. It has been cleaned up, the water is blue and clear and it is very safe for swimming now.

There is much to see and do along Cleveland’s Shoreline and we will visit some of the high spots. He is a mural that actually depicts the ocean, but, I thought the yellow machinery was interesting against the blue of the whales.


Cleveland’s skyline becomes visible again as the trolley parallels the highway.


And once again my personal fav Cleveland building comes into view.

There are a variety of tributes along the shoreline and the first one we come to is a Navy Blue Angel and an Army Thunderbird. Both were dedicated at Aviation Heritage Plaza in 1997 at the Cleveland Air Show in honor of the Burke Lakefront Airport’s 50th anniversary. Only the Blue Angel was caught by the camera. They fly every year at the air show here over Labor Day.


The next tribute is the USS Cod. It is a retired World War II SS-224 submarine and the only one that has been kept intact. You can tour it and climb the vertical ladders through the hatches just like the sailors did during the war.
The USS Cod is a National Historic Site.

There are many places to tour along Cleveland’s Lakefront, the most famous being the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It is a fascinating place. I’ve been 3 times, once with 3 different generations. All 3 generations found many things of interest to enjoy. I would go again as, along with permanent displays, there are ever-changing ones. You see something different or something you missed every trip. This is the back of the building. I like this photo because of the soaring gull.

And here’s the front of the building.


Lake Erie is a busy, commercial waterway. It can be reached from the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence Seaway. Lake Erie is famous for its freighters. From fields and mines, the boats haul raw materials such as iron ore, grain, coal, salt and limestone to the industrial areas around the lake. Termed “boats,” these huge vessels are actually classified as ships. Because of ice in winter, the freighters do not generally run year around. They dock in places like the Huron River for maintenance while the crew spends this time ashore.

The NASA Glenn Visitor Center along Cleveland’s waterfront is housed within the Great Lakes Science Center. A child of NASA’s Glenn Research Center, the displays reflect research conducted at the center on designs, development and testing of innovative technology for aeronautics and space flight. The research center was founded in 1941. The name was changed in 1999 to honor pioneer astronaut John Glenn who is an Ohio native and was also a US Senator. Mr. Glenn is now 95 years young. You can take the tour at this fascinating visitor’s facility. You can also tour the science center. It’s a great place for kids and adults alike!


The next tribute along the lakefront is the Cleveland Fire Fighters Memorial. This beautiful fiberglass statue is of two firefighters dousing a large blaze. The statue was created by sculptor Louis Jimenez and was dedicated in 2007. The Cleveland Fire Fighters Memorial Fund was established in 1993 with the purpose of building this memorial to honor the 77 Cleveland Fire Fighters who gave their lives in the line of duty. Their names are engraved on the base of the statue. The memorial sculpture is showing signs of structural flaws and donations to this memorial fund are being accepted in order to repair the damage. Learn more on the website:


The Cleveland Clinic Omnimax Theater, now called the Cleveland Clinic Dome Theater, is housed at the Science Center also. It was recently completely remodeled to become the first laser-illuminated giant dome theater. From their website: “The documentary films we show immerse you in breathtaking new perspectives on our world and our future. We are especially proud of the strong impact our documentary films have in inspiring an interest in science and technology related careers.”


Cleveland’s Historic Lighthouse has about the most complicated history I’ve ever come across. It was built here, there and just about everywhere at one time or another. Wooden structures, iron structures, brick structures, there were many. The Cleveland Harbor Pierhead Lighthouse was lit on March 25, 1911, and still stands today. Located on the eastern end of the extended western breakwater, it is now named Cleveland Harbor Main Entrance Lighthouse. The lighthouse has been electrified and automated but still helps guide ships and boats to safety inside the break walls protecting the harbor and mouth of the Cuyahoga River. Cuyahoga is the Mohawk word for “crooked,” and, true to its name, the Cuyahoga twists and turns all the way to Lake Erie. In December of 2010 the lighthouse made national and international news when the freezing temperatures combined with the wind-induced waves caused the entire structure to become encrusted with a thick layer of ice.


Watch for more Cleveland Rocks in the future!

A Walk On The Beach

My very first walk on the Oregon Coast beaches was at Bandon. Up over a bit of Dune and you can walk for miles. The Oregon Coastline belongs to the people of Oregon. Anyone can get onto the vast expanses of beach that sometimes travel farther than the eye can see. I love to walk the beaches except when the wind blows. When that happens, you are crunching sand with your teeth, trying to clear it out of your eyes and using a lot of kleenex. I’ve done it because I was just determined to, but only twice. Here I am on my first, non-windy Oregon Coast beach walk. It was December.


I love this photo. It really shows the vastness of the ocean and beaches here. And, it shows how small we are in comparison.

Oregon’s beaches are famous for some popular collectibles that wash up and get buried in the sand. You can find them by spotting rope laying on the sand. For many years, Japanese fishermen used glass floats to float their fishing nets. The glass balls, in various sizes and colors, would often become detached from the nets and drift out to sea eventually reaching the shores of the Pacific Northwest. They are still arriving and not all of them have been found.

This weekend is a special time to walk the beaches at Lincoln City on the Coast. There is a lot to do at Lincoln City, but every year in time for Halloween is the start of something very special. Lincoln City’s Finders Keepers event starts every year in mid-October. Local artists create 3,000 handcrafted glass floats that are hidden by Float Faeres on a 7 mile stretch of beach from Road’s End to Siletz Bay for you to find. The event goes through Memorial Day but it starts now. It is a great time to head to Lincoln City for a leisurely walk on the beach. You might just find one of these beautiful treasures. You can check out the Finders Keepers website for full details:

Don’t forget to come back to see us here on Umpqua River Haven’s blog site, and, that you can stay with us in your RV for a peaceful night’s sleep after your day’s adventures on the coast.


Cleveland Rocks – 10

Continuing our adventures on Euclid Ave., we come to the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Botanical Gardens which are across the street from each other at University Circle in the Wade Park District. Both have good parking facilities.

CMA is one of the wealthiest and most visited in the country. Admission is free to view over 45,000 works of art from all over the globe. CMA is renowned for its collection of Egyptian and Asian art. Just to the right as you enter the ground floor is an area with ever-changing, featured displays of various kinds of artwork.

There is much to discover in this wonderful, two-story art museum both inside and out. It is well worth the trip. Wear comfortable shoes!


We also have visited the Cleveland Botanical Gardens where you can get a sandwich-deli lunch and be surrounded by the beauty of the gardens.

Having blogged about the Merry-Go-Round Museum in Sandusky, Ohio, we found a Merry-Go-Round Museum near the CMA. It is reputed to be haunted.


Outside we found this fountain and pond area on our way to the Cultural Gardens.


While there are walkways winding through the Cultural Gardens, ours was a riding tour along this beautiful route. Each section was dedicated to a different country/culture of the world too numerous to name. This is a pretty and unique, almost natural area within this large city. Here are a few photos of some of the individual gardens.






At the end of this very green roadway, it opens up to Lake Erie. We will continue our Lolly the Trolley tour along the shores of Lake Erie next time. There is much to see so don’t forget to come back and join in again.


Spooky October Things on the Oregon Coast

Ghost, goblins, pumpkins, black cats, witches and more are no strangers to the Oregon Coast during the month of October. Spooky or not, it’s all right here for singles, couples, mom & dad and kids!

The Mahaffy Ranch, right here in Coos Bay, offers U-Pick Pumpkin Patch where you can grab your buddy or your kids and head over to pick out your own pumpkins. There are also various activities to participate in during this Harvest Season time.

You can participate in “Pumpkin’ Chunkin’” by building your own contraption for chunkin those pumpkins!

The Elkhorn BBQ is running for the next 3 weekends so don’t miss out on this delicious event!

You can schedule photo sessions during the next 4 weekends. What a great way to preserve the fun you’ll be having!

There is the corn maze, the corn cannon, hayrides and more! Don’t miss out on all the fun @

If you are a fan of home-grown goodies, you won’t want to miss the Farmer’s Market in downtown Coos Bay! Vendors offer fresh veggies and fruits, locally fresh-caught seafood, homemade jams and candies, arts and crafts, photography and more. The market is on Central Ave. West of the Visitor’s Center and open from 10 am to 2 pm.

Coos Bay offers two safe Trick or Treat venues where parents know their kids will receive safe treats. The downtown businesses participate with Treats for Tricksters. They hand out treats from 3 pm to 6 pm on October 31st—look for the giant orange pumpkin poster in windows of participating businesses. You can also pick up a list of locations at the Coos Bay Fire Department at 450 Elrod Ave.

The Pony Village Mall also offers a Safe Halloween for the kids on October 31st from 5 pm to 8 pm. Lots of treats, free Cotton Candy and a Free Cake Walk. There will also be a costume parade. There are lots of opportunities for everyone to have a Safe Halloween time!

The most Spooktacular event of all will be “The Addams Family Musical” presented by the On Broadway Thespians from October 14th – 30th at the Liberty Theater.

Everybody’s favorite family will be confronting the one horrific thing they’ve managed to avoid for generations. Call 541-756-4336 for more information. But, don’t miss out on this fun, spooky event!


Watch for more Oregon Coast Halloween Adventures to come! And remember, you can stay with us at in your own RV. You won’t have far to travel to visit any Oregon Coast Adventure and can return to your own home for a great night’s sleep!

Cleveland Rocks – 9

There is much to see and do on Euclid Ave. and we will begin with Cleveland’s Theater District. Built in the early 1920’s, Playhouse Square is the largest performing arts center in the U.S. outside of New York City.



The first two theaters were the Ohio and the State theaters. Both were built in the Italianate-style. They share a lobby.


Across Euclid Ave. is the Hanna Theater built about the same time, and, it is part of the Hanna building complex. It was named for Cleveland Senator, Mark Hanna. Next door, the Allen Theater was being built in the Bulkely Building in the Pompeian-style. This theater was purchased by Lowe’s shortly after it was built.

 The Palace Theater, now the Connor Palace Theater, was the last to be constructed in 1922. It is in the Keith Building that was the tallest building in Cleveland at that time. The Palace opened with the largest electric sign in the world blazing its announcement. Known as “The Showplace of the World” and “the swankiest theater in the country,” The Palace was built by Edward F. Albee with his over $2 million investment. The Palace was the regional flagship of the Keith-Albee chain of vaudeville theaters heading such vaudeville stars as mimic Elsis Janis and Eduardo Cansino who was Rita Hayworth’s father.

The Playhouse Square theater district thrived for 40 years but went into decline following World War II due to the coming of TV and suburbanization. In the 1960’s, some of the theaters were plagued with fire and vandalization and by 1969 all but the Hanna was closed. From that time to the present, various organizations were formed to preserve, restore and renovate the theaters with great success. Cleveland’s own revitalization was instrumental in making the “Dazzle District” popular again. All manner of performing arts can be seen here every night of the week.

Traveling on east on Euclid Ave. is Cleveland State University.


 CSU, a public university, was established in 1964 upon acquiring the buildings and property, and, students of private Fenn College. CSU also took over the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1969. CSU is an excellent educational institution that well-serves Cleveland and surrounding area students. Not long ago one of our family members attended workshops and seminars at CSU and found it an easily accessible and pleasant place to be. Some of the CSU buildings are historic.



Moving easterly on Euclid Ave. is where the industrial moguls built their homes shortly before the turn of the century. They filled this part of Cleveland with elaborate mansions having vast and beautiful gardens, and, beautiful elm-lined streets giving this area the name “Showplace of America.” It was compared with the Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris due to the concentration of wealth.


The most famous resident was John D. Rockefeller, who established Standard Oil Company. Other famous residents were Amasa Stone, Marcus Hanna for whom the Hanna Theater was named, and Samuel Mather. All of these people had ornate mansions along this stretch of Euclid Ave.


 The wealthy also built their own churches here to attend. They didn’t have far to go on Sundays!


The earliest investor in this area of Cleveland was Rufus Dunham. He acquired 140 acres here and opened a farm and tavern to meet the needs of the stagecoaches passing through. Euclid Ave. was once part of the Buffalo Stage Road. There was a stagecoach stop on this lot. You can just see two metal horses on the right in this photo.


This building is now the Dunham Tavern Museum across the street from the stagecoach stop.


With all its wealth, this area eventually deteriorated as the millionaires moved eastward. Driven by commercial development and higher taxes, the wealthy moved on to “the Heights” consisting of today’s Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights. Some residents turned their homes into rooming houses contributing to the deterioration of what was once the “Showplace of America.”


And there is newer development here like WEWS local channel 5.


On East is the Cleveland Clinic. There are many buildings that comprise the clinic and much space. The CC is famous for all kinds of medical treatments and medical innovation through study trials. It has facilities elsewhere but this is the main campus. We were intrigued by the original, first CC building you see here. A very historic building that is still in use.


There is more to see on Euclid Ave., but we will continue with that another time. For now, enjoy the part of the ride written here!

Picture Of The Day

The Oregon Coast Mountain Range, rich in iron, is commonly known as the Coast Range. It stretches 200 miles North and South along the Oregon Coast. The mountains reach 30 to 60 miles inland going East, sometimes allowing for open, flat areas like Reedsport at the mouth of the Umpqua River. Access back and forth across these mountains is provided by Oregon’s several rivers with state highways running next to them.

Umpqua River Haven sits in the Umpqua River Valley along Highway 38. The park backs up against the mountains on the North side. The river creates a break in the mountains, but at this point, they continue on the South side of the Umpqua also. The pine forests fill the mountainsides making for some beautiful scenery. In fact, we think the Umpqua River Valley is very close to being the most beautiful river valley going anywhere.

The mountains themselves have many roads that sometimes lead nowhere due to being timber roads, but occasionally do go somewhere. One of our favorite adventures is driving North off of 38 at the Scottsburg Fire Station and traversing over the mountain to the Vincent Creek Recreation Site and the Smith River Valley. The Smith River is smaller and the valley narrower, but the beauty is no less. The falls are fascinating and the fishing is great! The trip getting there is pure joy!

If you are interested in taking this drive, be sure to visit with us at Umpqua River Haven first. It takes an experienced driver on this winding dirt road and you don’t want to start out unprepared. We can give you some pointers!

Following are some pictures of the day taken on a recent trek over the Coast Range to the Smith River Valley. Enjoy the beauty of Oregon. (Thanks to Chuck and Cody for the great photos!)







Cleveland Rocks – 8

Christmas! As of today’s date, it is 90 days until Christmas rolls around again. Oh, my, that does seem soon. However, in Ohio City, there is an area where it is Christmas every day. You can go tour most any time and learn about the house from the 80s movie, “A Christmas Story.”


“A Christmas Story” was based on the humorous short stories of author and raconteur, Jean Shepherd. This is a warm, fuzzy holiday story about Ralphie Parker, his family and the bully that is always chasing after him. Ralphie tries to dodge the bully and survive winter adventures while attempting to make it to Christmas with his glasses in one piece and a positive attitude unbroken.

Located at 3159 W. 11th St in Ohio City, Cleveland, is the actual house the movie was filmed in. It is now a museum. There is also an actual museum across the street with clothing, posters, memorabilia and more from the movie. In addition, there is a separate gift shop where the tours start. And there is a garage with a period fire truck and a replica of the family car from the movie. This unique museum complex is open year around, 7 days a week except for major holidays like, well, Christmas.

 Here’s the firetruck!


 This is the same kind/year of car but not the exact car that was used in the movie.


We are going to visit the house and museum via a few photos to entice you to make your own visit to this fun, Cleveland place.

This is the living room fireplace where there is always a decorated and lighted Christmas tree.


The famous leg lamp and Ralphie’s dream Christmas gift—the rifle! This photo is actually from the gift shop window. However, there is a lamp in the living room window of the house. You will see leg lamps of all sizes wherever you go.


Upstairs we find the boy’s bedroom with the sailboat wallpaper.


At the top of the stairs is the upstairs telephone. There are no televisions in the house as this is set in 1940 before television!


Ralphie’s backyard where many of his winter adventures took place.


Directly across the street from the house is the museum. When you walk in, you will find the movie poster mounted on the wall. It is another item you can purchase.


These are toys that the boys played with in the movie. Not quite like an iPhone or iPad!


Here are Ralphie and his brother.


There are Christmas trees everywhere. This one in the museum had a string of leg lamp lights on it. You can buy a string in the gift shop!


I will leave it for you to discover why these are in the museum.


If you are not familiar with this movie, it should be out during the holiday season on TV. Or, you can probably find it in your local library. There is much more to discover in the house, museum and gift shop. We have just given you a small sample here. We leave you, not with another shot of the Terminal Tower nice as that always is, but with a lighted leg lamp which you can make your own. Perhaps a Christmas gift!


Stand Up For The Bay

Coos Bay on the Oregon Coast, that is. This coming Saturday, September 24, is a celebration of National Estuaries Day with an event hosted by the Coos Bay Surfriders and South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.

The 6th Annual Stand Up For The Bay starts at 9:00 AM downtown at the public docks/boardwalk. Participants can join the paddle group or a clean-up group. Paddlers will stand up paddle, canoe or kayak along a prescribed route. The route is moderate in length taking 1 – 2 hours. Accompanying the paddle group will be two lifeguards and a boat. Paddlers are required to wear life jackets.

The clean-up group will walk along the same route on either side of the boardwalk picking up litter/trash along the shoreline. This group will be provided with gloves, buckets, and bags.

Following the participatory events, there will be a Luau on the Boardwalk (good weather) or the Broadway Theater (not so good weather).

Those wishing to join in can pre-register here: or at Waxer’s Surfshop for $10.00. Kids under 12 participate free! Same day registration is $12.00. All participants receive a meal ticket, a beer ticket and entry into the paddle joust. Any proceeds will go to Surfrider’s many programs that benefit our waterways.

Even if you just want to watch, come join in this exciting day on Coos Bay!