The Haunted House

What was the scariest house in your neighborhood? One similar to the one from “Psycho?” Maybe the one from “To Kill A Mockingbird.” “The Shining,” “Hocus Pocus,” “Poltergeist,” “Frankenstein,” “Beetlejuice,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas?” There are plenty to chose from.

Ours was one in the neighborhood in the middle of the block. It was a good-sized house, dingy white in color (it needed paint) with an untended yard surrounded by a dirty and in-need-of-repair white picket fence. Yes, someone did live in it. An old guy who occasionally could be seen on the front porch. He was pretty scary to young children.

Every once in awhile kids would dare one kid to go into the yard, up onto the porch and ring the bell and run. Sometimes a kid would take the dare and often as the children were running away, the old guy would open the door, step out onto the porch and yell at them. Most of the time kids would just run past the house as fast as they could due to the rumor that a kid that once lingered outside looking toward the house got pulled inside the house—woosh, just like that. It was our hometown haunted house with ghost stories all its own.

Then there is the Haunted House at the Carnival…….Haunted Houses have always held a fascination for children. Their imagination is fed by spooky-looking places. It holds true for adults, too, though many would never admit it. At this time of year on the Oregon Coast, a true Haunted House happens. From October 20th through October 31st, the Chetco Pelican Players will create their 11th annual Haunted House in an old, abandoned warehouse in Brookings-Harbor. Now known as “Chops Mart,” the Haunted House is located in the Brookings-Harbor Shopping Center at 97900 Shopping Center Ave in Harbor.

The “Hicksville Horror Show” opens on Thursday, October 23 at 7:00 pm. Travel the overgrown trails of the back roads of Hicksville and be ‘entertained to death’ by the frightening creatures you will encounter. Ghouls, Goblins, Ghosts and more reside here and randomly appear before anyone who is brave enough to travel these paths.

Queen Witch Claire Willard reins over the dark, hidden horrors of Hicksville staring a host of beasties, creeps and carnage carnies. The survivors of this demented tour of fright will be rewarded with yummy Trick or Treats and huge helpings of Queen Claire’s wicked “Creepy Crawly Chili,” in her ghoulie backwoods “Beastro.”

There is an entry fee of $10 per victim. This event is NOT recommended for children under the age of 10 – it’s that scary! The “Hicksville Horror Show” is open Thursdays, Oct. 23 and 30 and Sunday, Oct. 26 from 7 to 10 pm; Friday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Oct 25 and Nov 1 from 7 to 11 pm; and on Halloween, Oct 31 from 7 pm to midnight.

Don’t miss this spooky, fun event on the Oregon Coast. Brookings-Harbor is a very pleasant drive from Stay with us and come home to the peace and serenity of our small park!


Oktoberfest In Florence

Saturday, October 14th brings yet another Oktoberfest celebration on the Oregon Coast. This time in Florence.

Held at the Florence Events Center, this harvest festival offers all-day entertainment in the way of Sam’s Polka Gems, Tirolean Dancers, Alpine Echoes Band and more. Don’t miss the Wiener Dog Races. Experience traditional cuisine of German and Bavarian food and desserts. And beir—-lots of beir!

In addition to all this fun, there will be vendor booths, contests and fun activities in a festive, European atmosphere. There is a charge at the door of $8.00 or you can pay $7.00 in advance.

And don’t forget the beir—-lots of beir!

A favorite Oktoberfest dance is the Doudbleska Polka. It is actually a dance from Czechoslovakia but often danced at German Oktoberfest celebrations in the US. There are 2 videos. I couldn’t pass up the first one knowing that the ethnicity of most of the dancers is definitely not German. One of the fun things about International Dance is that everyone can and does do it! The second video is offered to show what a fun social dance this is. Whooping and hollering is the norm and don’t forget your la la las.

And the whoop and holler one:

Polka bands are a specific style of music with a lot of Ump Pa Pa kind of rhythm. This is the music that the dancers follow. Polka band musicians usually dress in traditional German lederhosen and drindls. Most of the music is made with accordions, often accompanied by drums.

Don’t forget that is just 36 miles from Florence on the coast. An easy and beautiful drive along the Umpqua River and the Coast Road. Bring your RV and stay with us at Umpqua River Haven where you’ll have your own home amid the soothing Oregon Fir trees to come back to after a fun day celebrating Oktoberfest!


Pacific City Octoberfest

The first Oktoberfest occurred in 1810 in celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen in Bavaria. This celebration was held 5 days after the marriage with a large feast in front of one of the gates into Munich. There were horse races for many years and in 1811 an agricultural fair was added (Farmer’s Market). In 1818 beer pubs were added along with performers.

The festival drew crowds of tourists who learned about Bavaria and its people. By 1887, traditional dress in the way of lederhosen (leather shorts for men) and dirndls (a bit like pinafores for women) became the norm. Traditional dance was done in costume and included Schuhplattler Dance (traditional men’s slap-dancing) and couple polkas.

Today, Oktoberfests are held in September due to the milder weather. In Munich, the fest lasts for 16 days starting on a Saturday in September and ending on the first Sunday in October. Oktoberfest is always great fun and there’s always beer. Lots of beer.

In the US there are many Octoberfest celebrations and the Oregon Coast is no exception. This weekend on Saturday, October 7, is the Pacific City Octoberfest.

From 11 am to 8 pm, the Kiawanda Community Center will host its 2nd annual Oktoberfest. This event is a non-profit fund raiser to benefit 3 worthy community entities. This is the day Pacific City celebrates the community’s Germanic and Swiss heritage and the fall season. Arts and crafts, traditional folk dancing, fine wines, traditional German food and live music and beer—lots of beer—will be some of the activities to partake of. This is a family day and many events are geared toward youth. There will also be adult games with prizes awarded during this fun-filled day.

Dust off your dirndls and lederhosen and join in the fun. There is a cash prize for the best, authentic German costume. And beer—lots of beer! is a 135 mile drive up the beautiful Oregon coast from Pacific City. Stop in and visit us on your way or stay with us. Leave Umpqua River Haven about 8 am to head to Pacific City and return before midnight to your own bed in the serene charm of our Oregon forest setting. We might just tag along with you!

Another Exciting Kite Festival

It’s kite flying time again on the Oregon Coast. Saturday, September 30, and Sunday, October 1 from 10 am to 4 pm, a delightful variety of kites will be flying from D-River Wayside State Park in the heart of Lincoln City. Features of the festival will be experts showing off their kite-flying skills, kids free kite making and the running of the bols (see below). You will see the most unique kites ever seen anywhere. Here we are re-posting a previous kite festival blog post about one of Lincoln City’s semi-annual kite festivals. Come see what’s new in kites this fall!


The Oregon Coast is the perfect place to fly your kite. The breezes flow most of the time and the beaches are long and wide. There are kite stores, kite clubs, kite flying lessons and kite festivals. Lincoln City on the north coast holds one indoor kite festival every March. Rockaway Beach has its beach festival in May and Lincoln City just had their summer kite festival on the beach in June. Brookings on the south coast holds one in July. The only places whales can fly!

The kite festival we will visit today is coming to Lincoln City in October, depending on the weather, on the beach in the center of town. Lincoln City has a large, unique public beach right in the middle of town so you don’t have to go far to find this oneOctopussesComingToGetYouAnd, oh, the kites! Big ones, little ones, funny ones, pretty ones, strange ones and very unique ones.


Even monster ones!


And then there is the running of the Bols! Teams of three pull the Bols across the sand racing to be first to the goal line.


The Bols come in a variety of colors and geometric patterns. Music plays and the crowds cheer!


 And the kite flying never stops.


Sometimes multiple kites managed by a lone flyer are in the air.


And unusual patterns take place overhead.


And what about kiteboarding out in the Pacific Ocean??!!!


It’s hard to know what to look at and for first!


 Sometimes a kite is just a kite!


Treat yourself this fall. Come stay with us at Umpqua River Haven ( and spend a day on the beach in Lincoln City enjoying the kite festival!


Harvest Festival

Fall Harvest Festivals abound all over the country this time of year. However, Oregon is currently doing a happy dance in the rain and ready to really celebrate fall and the harvest season. The fire season has been devastating this year but the recent rains have brought hope. The rains are helping the firefighters to begin to contain the fires. It’s not over yet but some of the burden is lifted with cooler temps and actual rain!

There will be a harvest celebration this weekend, Saturday, September 23, in the Heart of the Myrtlewoods at Myrtle Point, Oregon. The Point celebrates with an old-fashioned Harvest Festival showcasing locally grown produce and food products, arts and crafts and more.

Held on the fourth Saturday of September in downtown Myrtle Point and sponsored by the Myrtle Point Chamber of Commerce, this annual festival brings in thousands of visitors that partake of everything the festival has to offer including all of the above-mentioned and more.

Remember our recent Show & Shine event blog post and the fact that Oregon has a lot of car shows and cruises? Well, this Harvest Festival is no different and sports a Show & Shine event of its own. Amazingly restored classic and older vehicles will cruise the main drags of Myrtle Point at dusk.

Hundreds of classic cars participate each year in the Show & Shine event. There will be plenty of eye-candy to view. Entry fees are $20.00 for the day and there will be awards.

(Mom actually liked her best because she bought her this after the ’57 left the garage! Red interior with a black convertible top! So kewl!)

With 50s and 60s music playing in the background, the cruise event is broadcast live by the local radio station through speakers set up on many of the street corners. Participation is limited to the first 125 entries. From 5 pm to 7 pm is the cruise. Participants must be registered for a $5.00 fee. Vehicles 1997 and older only. Awards will be given for this event also.

Dad let her drive this!

Some of the additional events that will be going are the Library Foundation Book Sale, the Firemen’s Steak Feed, a 50s dress contest, old-time fiddlers, a tractor show, farmer’s market and live music and dancing and more.

Don’t miss this kid-friendly, but very adult, day. Come stay with us at We are just a little over an easy hour’s drive from Myrtle Point. Return home to your own bed at our place after a fun-filled, Harvest Festival day!

Cruz the Coos

Summer weather on the Oregon Coast provides many opportunities for a wide variety of things to see and do. You can peruse our blog site and find them all. One of the mainstays on the coast, though, is the variety of car cruises and shows that take place. If you search our blog site, you will find several. This coming weekend is one that will celebrate its 31st year.

This weekend is the annual Bay Area Fun Festival sponsored by the Coos Bay-North Bend Rotary Club. The club sponsors this annual event to raise funds for scholarships and other community endeavors. There are two car events associated with the festival.

The annual Show ‘n Shine is held at the Mill Casino. Early registration is on Friday night at the entrance to the casino hotel. There is also a dance on Friday night in the Salmon Room of the casino. Registration also takes place on Saturday morning.

Show ‘n Shine takes place on Saturday at the casino’s south parking lot near the hotel. A plethora of vintage cars and trucks (pre-1979) will be on display. It is virtual eye-candy for those of us who love old vehicles. The owners will be on hand to visit with and there will be awards, raffles and more. Plus all the great food at the casino restaurants.

One of the longest-running and oldest car cruises on the Oregon Coast is Saturday night from 6 pm to 8 pm in downtown Coos Bay. Limited to 500 vehicles, the cruise will run through the streets of downtown and be watched by thousands of spectators along the way. You can register for the Cruz only starting at 5:00 pm at 2nd and Elrod which is also where the Cruz will be staged from.

We are big vintage and classic car fans having grown up in a family that loved their autos. We try to make as many car shows and cruises as our schedules permit. We suspect you will enjoy this weekend’s events as much as we will. And, remember it’s a family time, too. If you have family, be prepared for a fun, family weekend. It’s only a 45-mile drive to Coos Bay from Come stay with us and nestle in your own bed at night in our serene, peaceful and beautiful Oregon forest setting!

We want to leave you with some awesome eye-candy but decided not to overwhelm with a bunch of car photos. Way back when one of our family members owned the vehicle you will see below in the exact colors you will see. A 1956 Chevy BelAir 4 door. The tweed interior matched the colors of the exterior. We loved that car.

Mostly the ’56 is here to show the colors. The real car we want you to see belonged to our Grampa. It was a 1952 Chevrolet Fleetline 4-door and colored similarly to the ’56. A soft yellow-green with a slightly darker moss green bottom. The ’56 was described as “puke green and yellow.” They don’t make ‘em like these anymore and they sure don’t paint them like these anymore.

Never Forget

This post from a year ago warrants a repeat.

As I watch, read and listen to tributes today, I wonder what I can do in tribute that would be enough. And, I think just remembering what happened and the people it happened to—some of them very very brave—and those who served following the tragedies, is what we all can do. Remember them in whatever way you do.  But, do remember them. We need to never forget because some day someone will say it never happened.

Celebrating Salmon

The Pacific Northwest loves salmon. Since the early history, salmon have been a staple in the diets of all here for thousands of years. Salmon were more than just sustenance for the early tribes. They were part of their cultures, intertribal interactions, fishing technologies and their religious spirituality. Salmon have been an important part of the economies of the PNW from the time of the ancient native trade routes to modern commercial fishing.

Natives of the Pacific Northwest still revere salmon as part of their cultural and spiritual identity. In areas of the reservations, salmon is still part of religious services in some longhouses and churches. Many tribal members prefer to make their living fishing for salmon. The return of the salmon aides the passing on of traditional values from generation to generation. Natives still celebrate the annual salmon return that assures the renewal and continuation of all human and other life. As the salmon go, so does all of nature.

There are other, annual salmon celebrations that you will now discover coming this weekend, September 9th – 10th. For all salmon lovers, this weekend is a great time to join in the 18th Annual Coos Basin Salmon Derby. This event allows anglers of all ages to participate. There is a $25.00 entry fee for adults and kids under 12 are free. All proceeds go towards fish enhancement and education projects in Coos, Tenmile and Eel Lake Basins. The event is sponsored by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and they will assist in the event. For the schedule and tickets, call ODFW 541-888-5515.

The second salmon celebration event is the 14th Annual Mill-Luck Salmon Celebration at the Mill Casino, North Bend, on the water. This is an opportunity for everyone to learn about Native American culture, art, food and music. There are free daily performances by Native musicians. If you haven’t heard Native American flute playing you are in for a real treat. There will be a marketplace with traditional Native foods and wares. There will be a bay-front canoe exhibit and you can participate in canoe races and traditional games. There will be activities for children. Partake of a variety of cultural demonstrations and educational exhibits.

The highlight of the Mill-Luck Salmon Celebration weekend is the salmon bake dinner with fresh salmon prepared in the traditional Coquille Tribe open-pit method. It’s worth the trip just for this delicious weekend conclusion.

Umpqua River Haven ( is less than an hour’s drive from these celebrations. Stop in to see us or stay a spell this weekend while you are taking in the uniqueness of this Pacific Northwest Native American Celebration! Click on the youtube video below to hear the beautiful Native American flute!

Ft. Umpqua Days Weekend

Ft. Umpqua is located at Elkton, Oregon, which is just 20 miles east of Umpqua River Haven. Rich in history, the Umpqua River Valley holds tales of old. Over this Labor Day Weekend, those tales will be celebrated at the fort.

Tipi tales…..

There is much to do with re-enactments, mountain men, the bass tournament, a pancake breakfast served by the Lions Club, a parade, demonstrations, and activities for the whole family and a lot more.

There will be spinning…..

Ft. Umpqua was built in 1832 as a trading post by the Hudson’s Bay Company for their fur trade operations. This replica is on the grounds of the Elkton Community Education Center which also houses a butterfly pavilion. Stop in at the fort and look around—-see if you can find the piece of the fort with our name, Umpqua River Haven, on it!


Also, check out the butterfly pavilion. It is a happy place to be where butterflies of all sorts sit on your shoulder if you are quiet, still and gentle. You can adopt a Monarch or Painted Lady butterfly before they head south for the winter. Kids love it here!

Check out the entertainment, Contra Swings! Our friend, Jennifer from Coos Bay, will be fiddling away.

Bring your RV this Labor Day weekend and stay with us at Umpqua River Haven ( Take in all that this purely Oregon Weekend has to offer. It’s a two-day history, fun and fish weekend not to be missed!

Dancing fun!