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!

Oregon’s Jewel: Crater Lake

gii-was is the Klamath Tribe’s name for Crater Lake. It means “a sacred place.” This unique place was so sacred to the Klamaths that they managed to keep it hidden from white explorers until 1853.

Formed 7,700 years ago by the explosion of Mt. Mazama, the Klamaths have many stories about how it was created. One is the legend of the ancient Makalak from whom they are descended. Two chiefs, Llao and Skell came to battle over Llao’s love for Skell’s daughter. She refused Llao’s offer to live below the mountain with him and he became enraged. Llao climbed up from inside the mountain to the top and started hurling fire at Skell’s people in an effort to destroy them. To defend his people, Skell climbed atop Mt. Shasta. The two chiefs then proceeded to throw red hot rocks as big as hills at each other. They made the earth shake causing great landslides of fire. The people retreated in great fear to Klamath Lake.

Two holy men offered to jump into the fire on top of Llao’s mountain and Skell was awed by their bravery. Skell drove Llao back into the mountain. The next morning the mountain was gone. Just a great hole was left. The hole became gii-was, the modern day Crater Lake, when the skies wept great tears into the hole.

Mount Mazama is a Quaternary Volcano. When it erupted 7,700 years ago, it spewed tephra into Canada, California, Nevada and Wyoming. The mountain lost so much interior material that it could no longer support the peak. The peak collapsed into itself creating a caldera. Over time there were smaller eruptions which sealed the floor of the caldera creating a cylinder cone that is now called Wizard Island. It took between 700 and 1,500 years for rain and snow melt to fill the lake. The current balance of water coming in and evaporating out causes the water level to fluctuate less than 3 feet year to year.

The water-filled caldera is very young as geologic time goes. It is believed that natives actually saw the explosion and a sandal was found underneath the ash resulting from the eruption.

The buildings in the park are historic. Some were built by the Civilian Conversation Corps (the CCC) as were trails, campgrounds and they also did landscaping. Other buildings belonging to the National Parks Service are considered “rustic style” or “NPS rustic.” These uniformly built structures consist of large boulder masonry, steep roofs, stained timbers, dormer windows and rough-sawn or vertical board-and-batten siding. Made from natural materials, these buildings blend in with nature so as not to detract from the surrounding beauty.

There were 702,060 visitors to Crater Lake in 2016. The number rises every year. There is much beauty here but also lots to do. There are a campground and lodge. Reserve early as they are very popular. There are drives, view points and hiking trails. Historic Rim Village is the main tourist attraction and all of its’ buildings are in the “NPS rustic” style. The lodge is here as well as a day-use picnic area. Many of the historic buildings are utilized by the NPS as exhibition halls and program presentation facilities. There is a gift shop, pizza station (listed on the National Register of Historic Places) and Comfort Station No. 68 (now an electrical transformer vault).

And there is the lake. The scenery here is breathtaking and serene. You will spend long periods just watching the lake and landscape. Umpqua River Haven is about a 3-hour drive from Crater Lake. If you can’t get a night’s stay at the Crater Lake Lodge, you can stay with us. Heading out early in the morning for a day trip is doable. And we would love to see you at

Total Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipses occur between 2 and 5 times per year. Only 2 can be total solar eclipses but they are rare in any specific place because they exist along a very narrow path on the surface of the earth that is traced by the Moon’s shadow.

A total solar eclipse occurs from earth’s vantage point when the moon passes between the sun and the earth with the moon fully blocking the sun. This also can only happen during a new moon when all three line up perfectly. Partial eclipses can occur also where the sun is partially seen and are more common.

Looking directly at a solar eclipse can damage the eye or even cause blindness. So precautions need to be taken when observing one. There are a variety of ways to do this but the best method is special, solar eclipse glasses. If you are going to observe the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017, in Oregon, be sure to purchase the appropriate eye-ware for viewing!

This will be the first total solar eclipse visible in the State of Oregon in 100 years. It will be another 100 years before another one can be seen here again.

It’s going to be quite the event and many people will travel long distances to see it. Our friends in Wyoming are setting up temporary camping sites for people to come view the eclipse out on the prairie at the Divide Ranch.

Here at Umpqua River Haven, we have some very open space to observe the stars, moon and even the Northern Lights in. You can join us on this date for the total solar eclipse. We’ll be watching from the center of the park.

Or you could head to the ocean to watch…..

Wooden Boat Show

We’re going back to Toledo, Oregon this weekend. Toledo is just south and east of Lincoln City about 32 miles. This weekend is the 13th Annual Port of Toledo Wooden Boat Show that celebrates the historic traditions of wooden boats.

Starting August 19 through August 21, wooden boats from all over the northwest will be displayed. From kayaks and canoes to fishing boats and pleasure craft, there will be many beautiful wooden boats to see.

There are events for the entire family. Some of the featured events are: Family Boat Building, Youth Boat Building, Poker Paddle, Kids Toy Boat Building, Georgia Pacific Container Boat Contest and more.


In addition to the boats and contests, there will be food booths, vendor booths and live music all weekend long. Of interest will be the many informational and historical exhibits.

This year the event is honoring retired Coast Guard Master Chief, Thomas McAdams who has been highly decorated. In the small boat community, McAdams is considered a legend. He is also highly regarded in the Pacific Northwest commercial fishing community. The Newport Coast Guard will be in attendance with their 52 foot, steel-hulled motor lifeboat, the Victory, in honor of Chief McAdams. The Newport Coast Guard provided the following picture of The Victory.

Also on exhibit will be Glen Cathers’ US Coast Guard 36 foot Motor Life Boat that was built in 1934. This is the boat his father, Chief Boatswain Mate, John L. Cathers, served on in the 1930s and 1940s. Glen now owns it and has had it restored.

One block from Toledo’s Historic Main Street is the Depot Slough where the Wooden Boat Show will be held. An extra day is being added to the event, Monday, for observation of the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse. The Port’s Waterfront Park is right in the path for totality of the Eclipse. Don’t forget your authentic Eclipse glasses!

There is much to see and do here and something for everyone. Come join in the fun. Toledo is 95 miles from and a beautiful Oregon Coast Drive. Stay with us while you attend the Wooden Boat Show and you’ll have your own comfy RV home to come back to at night.

Charleston Seafood Beer and Wine Festival

Charleston, Oregon on the Coast is one of our favorite, fun places to go. Charleston has a fishing fleet from which you can purchase fresh whatever-is-in-season right off the boat. The boat docks are also a very popular place to go crabbing and we have been there many times with our crab pots. We stop at the Old General Store or one of the others for our fish head bait and off to the docks we will go to catch some great Dungeness Crab for supper. After 3 or so hours pulling in the crab pot, we’ll gather up our crabs and gear and head to one of the places that will cook and crack them for us—an arduous task that they make look easy. Here is our previous blog post about crabbing in Charleston and some of the other places we like to visit here.

Along with all that fun, this weekend there is a 3-day festival celebration of seafood, beer and wine! August 11, 12, and 13 will host the 28th annual Charleston Seafood Beer & Wine Festival at the Charleston Marina.

There will be over 50 vendors selling food, Craft Beer, Regional Wines, crafts, shirts, trinkets and much more.

The Best of the Northwest will be available all weekend in the way of locally and regionally made wine and beer. Oregon is ‘wine country’ with many vineyards and wineries. They produce great wines and you’ll have a chance to sample some this weekend, here in Charleston!

This fun weekend is sponsored by the Charleston Volunteer Firefighter’s Association, Oregon International Port of Coos Bay and K-DOCK Radio.

K-DOCK’s CLAM JAM brings live music all weekend by several groups. Our favorite group, The Clamdiggers, will be performing on Saturday at 11 a.m.

The Firefighters will have a Fire Truck Super Slide for the kids. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will have a fully stocked trout pond for the kids to fish in with the ODFW Good Guys. All the gear they need will be available.

While you are in Charleston, watch for Charlie the Tuna. Really, you can’t miss him. He was adopted by Charleston some years ago and a wood statue in his honor was erected. In 2008, the statue was destroyed by vandals. A funeral was held in the visitor’s center. The Wild Women of Charleston and The Tuna Guys provided music and mourners shared stories about Charlie. The remains were burned and buried at the center. A new statue of Charlie replaced the old one. Stop and take a selfie with Charlie when you see him.

Don’t miss this fun weekend and do stop in and say ‘Hello’ or stay with us at We’re just an easy hour’s drive away from Charleston.

Wyoming Summer

One of our family members lives in the Wyoming high country where the winters are often filled with bitter cold—50 below sometimes—and 10 to 18 feet of snow. Hard to get around in those circumstances without the aide of those who plow the roads all winter long. A tip of the hat to them!

However, the summers in these Wyoming mountains are gorgeous, short though they may be. Our family member has shared some recent photos with us and given us permission to share them with you.

On a recent drive along the highway, a waterfall was spotted. Wyoming is considered an arid state. Coming across a waterfall is a real treat.

This time of year the wildflowers are profuse. They don’t last long but you don’t have to go far to see them. The Wyoming State Flower is Indian Paintbrush and if you look closely at this photo, you will see some. Castilleja linariifolia (that’s why it’s called Indian Paintbrush) is red. Again, these are alongside the highway.

Wildlife abounds in Wyoming. It is not unusual to see antelope and deer most anywhere you go. However, few see what follows here outside of Yellowstone National Park. Yes, it is a real Grizzly Bear very close to the highway. The photo was taken from inside the vehicle. While the tourists are often, um, clueless about the wild animals, we are not. Safety first!

After having been home a day or 2, a trip to the local dump was necessary. During a brief stop along the way, this fella was spotted grazing close by. If you don’t know what it is, come to the Wyoming High Country to see and learn. We often travel from in the summer months to visit beautiful Wyoming.

Festival of Art – Brookings-Harbor

Pelican Bay Arts Association of Brookings-Harbor is having another spectacular art festival on Saturday, August 5 and Sunday, August 6 at Stout Park just east of Chetco Avenue on Oak Street.

There is no charge to attend this fun, family event and the artwork is awesome. Stroll along the weaving pathways to view juried original art, fine craftsmanship and plein air artists. There are also fun things for the kids to participate in, music by local musicians, food and a wine and micro-brew court.

Check out Brookings while you are there, also. Brookings was founded by John E. Brookings, the president of the Brookings Lumber and Box Company in 1908 and is a destination for retirees. The climate is very mild year around. Walk on the beaches, meander through the boat docks and see all that Brookings has to offer. Brookings is the southern-most town on the Oregon Coast just a very few miles from the Northern California Border and Redwood country. You will see some redwoods in Southern Oregon, also.

Bring your decorative hats to this festival. Or decorate one after you arrive. There will be a “Hat Extravaganza” – a parade of hats! The best hat will win an Award Certificate. Meet at the bandstand at 2 pm dressed in your festive hat for the parade.

There are a lot of fun things happening this weekend in Brookings. We are just 150 miles from Brookings. If you are early risers, it would not be a stretch to head to the festival early morning and come back to to spend the night. We’ve gone there for breakfast a time or two and then took a leisurely pace up the coast road coming back. Or at least stop in on your way and say hello! Safe travels!