About Maggie

Hi! My name is Maggie and I enjoy living in the beauty that is Oregon! I want to share all of it with you!

Brookings, Oregon Azalea Festival

Oregon loves her flowers and has many festivals celebrating them. This event is held every year over the Memorial Day weekend. This is the 78th year for the festival and events will span from Friday, May 26, through Monday, May 29. Some of the many happenings are live music, local artisan crafts, Family fun on the Boardwalk, brewing demo, triathlon, cardboard boat races, games and coastal beers and food. Whew! That’s a lot of fun to partake in.

The festivities start on Friday evening at 5:00 pm with “Rock The Chetco” activities which include music, food, beverage, fun and games for the entire community. Along with the Azalea Festival, the City of Brookings is sponsoring the evening.

From 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm the same evening is the Azalea Festival Chamber Mixer at the Port of Brookings-Harbor Visitor Center where the Pioneer Citizen, Grand Marshall of the Parade and the Azalea Court will be announced.

There are more events on Friday including a book sale and the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial Service. So many fun, interesting and meaningful things to take in!

On Saturday, May 27th, the 78th Annual Azalea Festival Parade will take place starting at 10:00 am. Local businesses and organizations combine to make this event happen.

Other activities continue throughout the day. If you are curious about the parade winners, you can attend the Azalea Park Program starting at 1:00. Rock The Chetco” continues throughout the day at the Port. The US Coast Guard will be present in the sky. There is a quilt show, art show and our favorite, the car show sponsored by the Curry County Cruisers. And much more.

Sunday, May 28th, is Airport Day from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the airport. You can learn about aviation, the airport and how you can become a pilot. The Brookings Flying Club sponsors plane rides for $20.00 per person through a reservation system. Cal-Or Life Flight provides helicopter rides for $50.00 per person.

The Brookings Flying Club sponsors this annual event to promote interest and involvement in aviation and to promote aviation safety. The club also offers scholarships for students seeking an education in the aviation field.
Again, “Rock The Chetco” continues along with a Pancake Breakfast, the Plant Sale and Flower Show and, our fav, the car show judging.

Monday, May 29th, there is another Pancake Breakfast from 8:00 am to 11:00 am sponsored by the Masonic Lodge and a Memorial Service at the Port Boardwalk.

Come visit us at www.umpquahaven.com and take in this fun weekend. It’s about a 3-hour drive from us to Brookings and what a beautiful drive it is! If you leave early, it’s an enjoyable day trip. Or just rest with us for a day or two before heading down the coast. What a great way to celebrate this holiday weekend and honor those who gave all.

Dancin’ On The Oregon Coast

This weekend, our friends in Coos Bay hold their monthly International Dance session. Sponsored by the South Coast Folk Society and taught by Stacy Rose, this fun evening will inspire you even if you just watch. Stacy teaches beginning dances from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm with request dancing from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

This is an activity for all ages (see our family dance in the 5th photo below). No partner is needed. Dress comfortably. Come dance with Stacy and the Coos Bay, Oregon folk dancers at:  93393 Greenacres Lane, Coos Bay, Oregon 97430, on Friday, May 26th, 2017. Admission is $4.00. Call Stacy for more information or directions to Greenacres Grange @ 541-808-1002    And enjoy our previous post below which includes our Coos Bay dance friends in the second photo.                  

Social dancing has existed since Homo sapiens could wiggle and possibly before as critters also do various kinds of what could be termed dancing. Every country of the world has celebrated harvests, weddings, feasts and gatherings of all kinds with dances specific to their country, region or village. Today those dances, some of them very ancient, are being preserved through active folk dance groups across the planet.

Most countries have folk dance groups specific to their country with original music and costuming. Some groups are professional and some are recreational but often with a performance aspect. Many folk dance groups are eclectic in their repertoire and do dances from many different countries. These groups are categorized as “International Dance” to distinguish them from any specific area. They learn, dance and often perform in costume dances such as Tzadik Katamar from Israel, Hora Mare Bucovineana from Romania, Hoy Memo from Turkey, Tai Tai from Greece and 12th Street Rag from the USA.

Here in Oregon, there are hot spots of International Dancing from Portland along the I-5 Corridor to Eugene, Creswell and Ashland. On the coast, we have some of the best International Dance going starting in Florence with the Oregon Coast International Dancers. Here they are dressed in village style Balkan colors of black, white and red in authentic, imitation costuming.


They occasionally “dance out” with other folk dance groups traveling to their location. One of the places they visit is Greenacres Grange a bit south and east of Coos Bay where they dance with the Coos Bay Folk Dancers under the direction of Stacy Rose. In this photo, the Port Orford Folk Dancers lead by Vickie Isaeff came for this dance evening also. CoosBay-PortOrford

Late December 2015, we had a New Year’s dance with dancers from Coos Bay, Eugene, Florence and Creswell. Our dance friend, Sally Jenkins, can be seen in the center in white blouse leading a dance. Sally is from Creswell’s Movable Feet dance group. Instructors from 3 different dance groups took turns leading and teaching dances. We tend to stay home on NYs Eve but this is a fun way to celebrate the coming New Year a bit early as you dance the night away. NYsDance-2015

The very talented Stacy Rose also plays flute and penny whistle and joins with various other musicians to accompany folk and contra dances. Here she is lending her talents to those of Sharon Rogers on accordion with Eva Moravcik’s very lovely voice singing in various languages during our NYs dance night. NYs2015-StacySharonGail

During the 2014 holiday season, we were asked to provide a participation folk dance program for the family of one of our dancers. It was a big success for the family and fun for OCID to join them. Folk dancing at celebrations in the villages is traditionally a family affair. Young ones learn from a very early age how to do the steps and dances as they follow their family adult dancers from behind the line. By the time they are teenagers they have become expert at the dancing. FamiliesDance

In March of 2015, we held another dance event in Florence with OCID and the Country Western Line Dancers under the direction of Pat Wheeler. They are the ones in the pretty blue/green tops. They learned many folk dances and OCID learned several CW line dances. The teaching was shared by instructors from 3 different dance groups. A good time was had by all.



Occasionally OCID will dance on the boardwalk in Old Town Florence. The music and dancing always bring residents and visitors to watch, ask questions and often they will join in the dancing and this fella did. Look at everyone smiling! It’s always a happy, fun time dancing with OCID! PeopleJoinIn-Boardwalk

Many other styles of dance live here on the Oregon Coast including Middle Eastern, Big Band, ballroom, Flamenco, ballet, jazz, tap and more. However, International Dance is easy, fun, great exercise and doesn’t require a partner. Come stay with us at Umpqua River Haven (www.umpquahaven.com) and take part in this multi-flavored dancing. Dance opportunity is just an hour away. Any of the groups would love to have you join them in the dance!


Rhody Days

It is once again time for Rhody Days in Florence, Oregon, on the coast!  Starting Friday, May 19 through Sunday, May 21, all the usual, fun activities will take place and maybe a few new ones, too. There will be hundreds, if not thousands, of visitors in town for a day or the weekend as this is a most popular coast event. Come join in the fun. Our post from 2015 below will let you in on many of the activities you can enjoy!

It’s Rhody Days weekend again!!!  A short 45-minute drive from Umpqua River Haven, Florence, OR is home to this festival every year mid-May.


The above photo was taken in our park, Umpqua River Haven. There are many varieties of “Rhodies” and Oregon has them all. Wild ones are usually pink and do grow wild along the coast road near Florence. But you will find them planted everywhere.

When we first came to Oregon and visited the coast, we didn’t know what those beautiful flowers were. But we soon discovered they were wild “Rhodies” on the coast road just south of Windy Bay.


At the Florence Events Center, many Florence gardeners display in the competition the Rhododendrons they have grown. The usual award categories are in evidence and it is major eye candy to visit during the festival competition.


Florence is a busy place during Rhody Days and Old Town on the Siuslaw River is host to a variety of visitors. Not to be missed are the Rhody Run Bikers. Bikers from all over the country arrive and park their Harley’s on the streets of Old Town. It’s quite a sight!


There are a variety of events and activities including the parade, street vendor fair, 5K run, carnival and more. You can meet Queen Rhododendra and King of the Coast. Our personal favorite event is the Classic Car Show. Yummy cars from all over are parked in the big parking lot on Highway 101 in the center of town. Our friend, Myron Aho, started the Rhody Days Car Show and it has grown big over the years. Bring your Classic Car and join in the fun!


Come stay with us at Umpqua River Haven away from the crowds (hard to get a room on the coast at this time anyway) and enjoy Rhody Days in Florence the weekend of May 19 – 21! If you miss this particular weekend, come anyway. The Rhodys are still in bloom and the coast is beautiful!



Norton, Ohio is the location for the annual Beltane Festival. This is an official Scottish festival with hammer throwing, log tossing, pipe and drum band, Highland Dancers, fiddlers, singers and more. And food…..there is always great food at any festival and this one was no exception. 

This particular festival is sponsored by the Scottish American Society to benefit Pegasus Farm. Pegasus Farm is a charitable entity that works with disabled children to give them a country/farm experience especially with farm animals. They do great work!

The athletics—all that tossing and throwing—went on all day, often with loud hollerings from the participants all dressed in kilts.

Did I tell you about the food? The hot dog stand had a variety of them with or without chili and other condiments, Coney style and others and brats. The lobster place had fish sandwiches, clam strips and yummy lobster bisque. There was ice cream and more. One table in the picnic area had authentic Irish soda bread and other ethnic baked goodies. And brownies—chocolate!

There was exquisite jewelry and other hand-crafted items and more.

Fiddlers, dancers and singers. My main interest this Saturday, May 14, was in the Moorhens from Berlin Heights, Ohio. I’m a member but not performing for this particular event as I’m not quite back up to Parr. Working on the practicing thing for the next, July event. However, the Moorhens did perform today.” Da Slockit Light” is one of my favorites and they played it beautifully!

They were on the official stage at 11:00 am and then they did 2 sets in the picnic area. Fans evolved to take in all 3 performances following us from place to place and even offering free food! And coffee….we eventually needed coffee!

A bit about the pipe and drum band. They were excellent. I’ve heard many pipe and drum bands and this one can hold it’s own with any of them. They could be heard throughout the day here and there. I’m told they do compete. And so they should!

Please enjoy the photos taken today during this very Scottish, bits of Irish and one very gorgeous car festival in this Ohio springtime.

The Moorhens

There was a lot of Scottish step dancing, Highland Flinging and sword dancing

There were kilts everywhere.

Some kilt wearers were dressed to the, um, hilt. This gent was the MC with a deep, radio-style announcing voice. And beer.

Meet the Moorhens: Top row: Bonnie, fiddle and mountain dulcimer, Linda, fiddle,                                                        mandolin and bodhran, Keith, lead guitar and sound                                                        2nd row: Ginny, fiddle, Owen, bass guitar and                                                                                   recorder

Warming up the pipes!

The Moorhens had a great time playing much of the day at this year’s Beltane Festival. They are paid but donate their earnings to the Pegasus Farm. The Moorhens are a Traditional, Celtic and Old Time music group and play all over Northern Ohio. They are available for your event. Call Linda: 419-588-2497 if you would like them to play for your happening! And, join us all next year for the annual Highland Games at the Beltane Festival!

Winter Adventures Along The Oregon Coast

There are many events and activities happening this coming first weekend in March on the Oregon Coast. Family events, kid events, birding events and more. We are going to highlight two that we would enjoy and highly recommend to you.


The first event we want to attend is the Downtown Coos Bay Wine Walk. Starting at the Coos Bay Visitor Center, 50 Central Ave., from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, several downtown businesses are offering wine tasting while you shop. You can pick up a map and wine glasses at the center for a $10.00 donation that benefits various non-profit organizations each month. Friday, March 3 is the date for a flavorful walk in scenic downtown Coos Bay. There are restaurants in the area for you to enjoy dinner following your walk. You can call for more information:  541-269-0215 or 541-844-9494


The next event is at one of our favorite places, Charleston on the Coast, on Saturday, March 4. The South Slough Reserve holds a birding event the first Saturday of each month. SSR provides an interpreter who leads you into the Reserve to find the wild feathered birds that dwell within. You can call for times and more information:  541-888-5558, South Slough Reserve, 61907 Seven Devils Rd. at Charleston. There is a $1.00 donation per birder. The Oregon Coast is famous for a large variety of water fowl and you will discover many. The Reserve is a beautiful place providing natural habitat for birds and more.

Speaking of Dungeness……

This post is reprinted through the gracious permission of the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve at Charleston, Oregon. It was posted on their Facebook page awhile back. Also contributing were the Oregon Dept of Fish and Wildlife and the Dungeness Crab commission. Check them out at the bottom of the article. Thanks, South Slough Estuary!

Field Note Friday, Did you Know……..

That the Dungeness crab was named after a small fishing village on the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Washington state?
That Dungeness crabs have been harvested commercially along the Pacific Coast since the late 1880’s?

Dungeness crab (Cancer magister) are crustaceans, with an exoskeleton or shell. They have eight walking legs and two claws. Their lifecycle begins when a sexually-mature male crab mates with a newly-molted, soft-shelled female crab in the late spring/early summer months. The eggs are fertilized when they are fully developed and ready to hatch in the late fall/early winter. A female crab can carry up to 2.5 million eggs in the protected area under her abdomen

Life Stages of Cancer Crabs

Planktonic Zoea larva, Late Stage Megalops, Recently Settled Juvenile Crab in Algae Bed,
Recently Settled Megalopae & Early Juveniles, Adult Cancer productus

How a Crab Molts…
When the crab is ready to molt, it swells with water and splits, the SUTURE LINE on its back. The new shell forms under the old one. Once this happens, the crab is ready to molt.
After breaking open the suture line, the crab backs out its shell. After the crab molts,
the new cuticle (or shell) is very soft. The newly molted crab takes up water to fill the new soft shell and get larger. The new shell takes 2-4 days to harden.

The Dungeness Crab: Cancer Magister
Carapace width can reach up to ~22cm
They live up to ~10 years!

Crabs are sexually mature and active breeders after their second year and grow to the legal harvest size (6 ¼” across the shell back) in roughly four years. By not harvesting sexually mature but undersized male crabs so that they can breed with female crabs (which are never harvested), the reproductive capacity of the population is protected. Dungeness crab can live in excess of 8 years and reach a size of 9-plus inches.

To learn more go to:

Crabbing is a year around adventure on the Oregon Coast and great eating! It’s so much fun to catch your own!


Re-Visiting Windy Bay

We’re going to re-visit this post from April, 2015, about Winchester Bay. It is one of our favorite places but mostly we wanted to visit a family crabbing expedition. It’s always fun to catch your own Dungeness and they are yummy. Crabbing is a year around activity on the Oregon Coast. Be sure to partake when you visit here!

There is much activity in Winchester Bay with a wide variety of things to do and see. The bay is home to the US Coast Guard that has a base facility here and housing up by the lighthouse. Search and Rescue is much of what they do.


There is no mistaking these…..


 Windy Bay has a good sized and very active commercial fishing fleet.  Our friend, Mark, helped repair the Ossian you see on the left which was originally from Russia. The fresh caught tuna can’t be beat and you’ll find it for sale at Sportsman’s Cannery and Smokehouse. Ask for Michael and tell her the folks at Umpqua River Haven sent you!


Hiking in the bay is more fun exercise than the gym when you can hike among the pleasure craft and sailboats that are moored in the harbor.


Watching the ducks is a plus along with the varied personalities of the resident seagulls. Do you know why the pier posts are pointed and painted white???

 Copy of MVC-028S

Crabbing for Oregon’s famous Dungeness red crab is popular in the bay. There is a long public pier popular for bait jiggin’, fishing and crabbing.


We like the public docks for all of that and have spent fun family times mostly crabbing there.

Pullin’ in the catch.


Inspecting what’s there.


Gloved hands don’t get pinched!


Making certain it is the right size and gender and not a throwback!  When you turn them upside down they go to sleep so there’s no danger of being pinched!


One of the nice things about these docks is that they are often deserted except for you when you are there. And it is easier to see the resident visitor who cruises the waters trying to steal your bait.


Okay….it’s a sea lion!

There is a dry dock and boat repair facility in the bay also, Reedsport Machine and Fabrication. A second facility is located in Reedsport. Be sure and tell them you learned about them from URH!


It is not called Salmon Harbor for nothing! Salmon are plentiful in the bay during salmon fishing season from early May through early September. Salmon can be seen under the surface, on fishing lines, flipping out of the water and pretty much everywhere in the bay at the right times of year. It’s great sport, great eating and fun to just watch! Check locally for licensing, regulations and restrictions. More about salmon fishing in future posts.


Don’t forget all the great places to eat in the bay and the gift and antique shops we’ve talked about before! Be sure and tell them we sent you!


We’re not certain where this was taken other that it was in the bay.


Such a variety of visitors to Windy Bay.  At the end of the day when the sun sets out over the ocean, the view is peaceful, calm and relaxing and spectacular. There will be more sunsets in future posts.


The Road to Freedom

This is literally the road to Freedom, Wyoming….er…Idaho…er…..roadtofreedoma

Freedom, Wyoming lies on the Wyoming/Idaho border and exists in both states. Mormon pioneers established residency here in 1879 to escape prosecution for polygamy. If the Idaho police approached them for arrest, they simply walked across the street into Wyoming and vice versa. It is the oldest settlement in Star Valley and was named for the freedom it gave these religious settlers.


At one time this was a thriving community. Having a billiard hall, gas station, general store and more, it was for awhile the largest settlement in Star Valley.

Those buildings are still there but most are not in use. The baseball park, post office and original church built in 1889 are still in use. Freedom is home to a gun factory, Freedom Arms, that makes the 454 Casull handgun.

Freedom is located in God’s Country, one of the most beautiful places on earth. It is 56 miles from Soda Springs, Idaho and 51 miles from Jackson, Wyoming and is literally in the middle of nowhere. But…the scenery is spectacular and photos do not do it justice. The view from Freedom:


I travel through Freedom at least once a year on my cross-country trek. About my favorite part of the trip is driving through the Caribou National Forest. This is the road from Freedom into the Caribou.


Winter travel here isn’t recommended due to the high snow levels. But, in the summer if you are this way, take the time to travel through Freedom into the Caribou. You’ll be glad you did. (Photos compliments of a family member)


Joe Trio – Heavenly Music


Cameron Wilson, violin, Allan Stiles, piano, Charles Inkman, cello

Following an introduction by Seacoast Entertainment Association’s concert producers, Pat McArdel and Steve Dennis, three gentlemen dressed in concert black took to the stage at the Florence Events Center on Saturday, January 21. Cameron Wilson, violinist, Charles Inkman, cellist, and Allen Stiles, pianist, began what was to be a unique, eclectic and very humorous evening of music.

The fun began with the familiar “Sweet Georgia Brown,” written by Casey Pinkard. The arrangement by Wilson was, indeed, sweet with rhythm variations that must be precise and together because otherwise a real train wreck could ensue. There was no train wreck. As one audience member noted, they were in perfect sync with each other. The audience loved it but that could be said about each and every piece played.

The Joe Trio was formed in 1989 by Inkman and Wilson with Stiles being a more recent addition. However, they have all known each other since their music education/training days at the University of British Columbia in Canada. All are classically trained and play in other groups/symphonies and teach. Wilson’s background is a bit different in that he grew up fiddling with his father playing by ear. They are all very encouraging of young people who want to become musicians and Wilson’s six year old son now plays his dad’s original violin.

The name Joe Trio was inspired by the Peanuts Snoopy character, Joe Cool. It is a salute to the average “Joe.” Although, there is nothing average about these excellent musicians who continue learning new music venues, the latest of which is jazz. They are working toward play-by-ear improvisation.

The trio performed so much great music that it is impossible to describe it all. From Brian Wilson’s Beach Boys hits to Joseph Haydn’s after dinner selection from one of his many quartet trios. Neither is easy to play. The Haydn Quartets are intricate and difficult. Wilson’s music is smoother but no less complex. And beautiful. Whoever thought Beach Boy’s music could be beautiful?

An audience test began the second half. Several 1970’s television show theme songs were played in the style of…..The audience was tasked to guess the right show and the right classical composer’s style. The audience received a passing grade and lots of mint pattys. It was all done with great humor.

Cellist Inkman has a varied career in music with symphony participation, teaching, recording for movies and television and playing in Broadway musicals. It appears, though, when watching him play with the trio that he thoroughly enjoys every minute. His face beams as he plays with superior precision drawing out elegant tones from his instrument, a feat not so easy to accomplish.

The piano in a trio is the main accompanying instrument. Stiles did his job more than well. If the strings do not have that superior piano anchor, it is also potential for a train wreck. There were no blips or mistakes. Stiles shone when needed and was the background music when required. A piano can easily drown out two string instruments but that never happened. His crescendos and decrescendos were right on.

Wilson is a fiddler gone classical rogue. His skill is obvious, as is his enjoyment in playing the music. One audience member noted that these three musicians clearly enjoy each other and playing together. Wilson’s joy was written all over his face. This was a very demanding program for the violin and Wilson never faltered or showed signs of fatigue. Harmonic technique on the violin can be ear-splitting. Often during the evening, Wilson displayed the perfection of his harmonic technique as it lay softly on the ear.

The second half of the evening began with Felix Mendelssohn’s “Trio in C minor Op. 66” which takes 30 minutes to perform. It seemed like less. The only thing that can be said about this performance is “flawlessly divine.”

One highlight of the second half was their exquisite rendition of “Da Slockit Light” written by Tom Anderson and arranged by Wilson. The Moorhens of Berlin Heights, Ohio, would have loved hearing/watching this. It is one of their favorites. It is heavenly:


The California Redwoods

High up at the top of the trees on a hiking trail with no companions except the birds, the most awesome feeling surrounds you. The ground is soft, the air is quiet, though occasionally you can hear the song of a bird. This is where peace lives. It seems as though you are at the top of the world.

You are not at the top of the world, but you are near the tops of some very tall California Redwoods in the Prairie Creek Redwoods National and State Park. Located remotely in Northern California not far from the Oregon border, this “home of giants” is just off of the Coast Highway 101 a ways. The road cuts off of 101 between Trinidad and Orick and travels toward the ocean. It is about 42 miles north of Arcata but expect travel time to be longer than usual. This is a beautiful, scenic drive with winding roads that follow the ocean shoreline. Slow down and enjoy the scenery.

The upper trail eventually winds down to the Prairie Creek Trail at highway level. For those that don’t want to do a lot of climbing or are in a hurry, this trail is a good choice. You can hike a short distance or a longer one on mostly level ground.

The visitor’s center is a very helpful place to start your journey. You can tour the informative display room and visit with a ranger. They have maps of the trails well worth the price if you are going to hike. There are trails that will take you to the ocean as well as the hikes mentioned. Do stop in at the center before you venture out.

There is also a campground but check to see if you need a reservation. It’s a very popular place.

There are sights to see on the Prairie Creek Trail like Big Tree on the Big Tree Loop Trail that is part of the Prairie Creek Trail as it wanders back and forth across the road. There are trees that are open at the bottom and are similar to a cave. During the Great Depression, whole families lived inside these tree caves.

Oxalis abounds in the forest here along with forest ferns. The small flower of the Oxalis can be several different colors with white and pink being the most prevalent.


 Seasonally there are Trillium and other wildflowers. Look for colorful mushrooms.

The fallen trees are full of life with plants and tiny critters. Larger critters often shelter in the hollowed out ones.

The creek is visible most of the trek on the ocean side of the highway.

There is a lot more to the Redwoods both north and south of Prairie Creek and we have enjoyed the Avenue of the Giants several times. There are 3 drive through trees. Sadly, one caved and fell during the massive California rain storms early in January. This one is actually owned by an individual and there is a small fee to visit it. We weren’t able to drive through this one at the time but you can now. It’s worth the fee. This is the only one created by nature.


Leaving Prairie Creek going north is a spectacular drive through this unique state and national forest. It’s slow go for me so I can enjoy the beauty, peace and serenity of the tall trees. You will never regret a visit here.