Can you EVER have too many sunsets?

Can you EVER have too many sunsets?

Or too many lighthouse shots?

Or too many lighthouse shots?

We’re winding down to our very last week here at Cape Blanco. It’s almost impossible to believe. We’ve spent the last 3 months volunteering on the southern Oregon coast and it feels like we’ve grown roots. But such is the nomadic lure that I’m getting the pull to move again. This past weekend we saw our very first glimpse of winter weather with a day of slashing rain and 50 mph winds at the lighthouse (whoo wheeee!). It’s the beginning of the seasonal change. Winds are shifting, cool air is stirring and the mountains are pulling, pulling, pulling…yes, despite our original intentions to drive south via the CA coast this fall, we’ve once again been pulled to the other side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the ever-gorgeous Hwy 395.

The beauty of waves and rocks

The beauty of waves and rocks

Hwy 395 is one of the most scenic drives in the west and this is going to be our 3rd time doing it. We’ll hit some late weather (no doubt), but the draw of wide-open mountain hikes and spectacular changing aspens is far too strong to overcome any doubts. I LOVE this part of the country, all the more so in the quiet of colorful fall where no-one seems to go there. So, starting next Monday we’ll say our last hurrah to Oregon with a quick jaunt down to Brookings (this will be our first time there), followed by a stop at Grants Pass for some routine maintenance and then we speed over to 395. We plan to hang in the mountains until November where we’ll once again go for spa’ing & relaxing in Desert Hot Springs. If you happen to be on our route or have recommendations along the way, let us know…

Paul and Polly play

Paul and Polly play

But how to say properly goodbye to a place like this? Cape Blanco brings out the most poetic in me, and this year has been even better with our buddies Technomadia right next door. When I’m here I become part of the place…my heart beating in tune with the lonely cliffs and the comforting sweep of the lighthouse beam. I walk the forests, frolic on the beach and have no wish except to bask in nature’s glory and seek my inner thoughts. Didn’t I say poetry? The only real answer is to say “adieu” and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We signed up again to host next year, so we won’t really have to say goodbye.  Our bodies may be parted, but we’ll become one again before long. Sneaky, eh?

I’ve got a few more posts on the Oregon coast before we finally leave including a way to RV the entire coast on a budget (free or almost free!), an updated campground review and my thoughts on Brookings (once we get there, of course). I may (may) also be doing some blog changes if I can ever figure out how to make them work (more on that to come).

In the meantime, for those of you who missed our live-stream tour of the lighthouse this past week you can re-live the glory (and share a peek of Cape Blanco gorgeousness on video) in this link:

We even managed a quick Q&A at the end of the tour here:

Paul contemplates life, the universe and everything...

Paul contemplates life, the universe and everything…

P.S. Technomadia have a bunch of other excellent video links & chats for aspiring RVers both old and new on this same page. Check them out! Oh, and for some fabulous shots, take a look at their most recent post on Cape Blanco. Ain’t no fancy cameras or photoshop going on in these babies, I tell ya. It’s just nature’s beauty in the raw!

That’s about it folks. I have no doubt I’ll be tempted to take a few more pics before we leave here, plus I may even gush poetic again (I can make no promises against it), but if I don’t, for whatever reason, I will see you at the next stop :)

Sunset again, oh my!

Sunset again, oh my!

Reflections in the shadows

Reflections in the shadows

Reflections of sun

Reflections of sun

Chris & Cherie snuggle up for last light

Chris & Cherie snuggle up for last light

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the product links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. That said, I only ever recommend products or services I personally use and love! Wheelingit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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82 Responses to Fall Plans & The Call Of The Mountains…

  1. Else ireland says:

    May your trip be filled with WONDERS. Surely hope to meet up with you two, and of course Paulie, again. Safe travels. Ha en fin tur, Else and Kim.

  2. Ralph says:

    I developed a love for lighthouses when I spent time at a couple in California(courtesy of the U,S. Coast Guard). I’ve never seen a lighthouse that had an ugly view!
    Cape Blanco is the only Oregon lighthouse I haven’t visited…but your stunning photos(as usual)..have put it at the top of my list.
    Wish I could strap myself to the top of “the beast”…I’ve wanted to visit the eastern Sierra for years now. You lucky guys!!

    • libertatemamo says:

      I agree…haven’t ever been to a lighthouse with an ugly view. We’ve also become rather big lighthouse fans after our volunteering. Many more on our radar to visit now.
      We DO have lots of space on the roof, but might be a wee bit chilly up there for the mountain drive :)
      Nina

  3. Hanna says:

    Hi there, Nina. Maybe You will stay for the next 40 years :-)
    Exiting post!
    All the best,
    Hanna

  4. Kris Sullivan says:

    You asked for recommendations on 395 (which we love in the Fall, too).
    Definitely Oh Ridge CG in June Lakes. Beautiful views and a strong cell, too. Mammoth is great but the NF campgrounds are probably closed. South Lake out of Bishop and Rock Creek have amazing color. Enjoy!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Thanks! We stayed at Oh Ridge! last year and LOVED it. In Bishop we stayed at the the BLM campground (Horton Creek $5/night -> what a find!). Haven’t tried South Lake there so may look it up.
      Nina

  5. jil mohr says:

    sorry we are going to miss you on the “mountain” road :(

    love the photos….

  6. nan says:

    The Aspen in Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone are beautiful! Enjoy your return to warmth.

  7. Sue says:

    Sigh….. wonderful 395 ending in Desert Hot Springs! I wish I could do it all over again. Thanks to you both for “infecting” us with the love of the eastern Sierras. We’ll be happily following along and dreaming of making that drive ourselves in the not too distant future.

    Enjoy,
    Sue

    • libertatemamo says:

      I so wish you were here too. Who am I going to have Happy Hour with at Sam’s Spa while you’re on the east coast? Ahhh, the trauma of it all…
      Nina

  8. mnwool says:

    After all your post this area is now on our list of must see places. Thanks for such great reviews.

  9. Tamara Reddy says:

    Love the 395, and a part of our hearts permanently resides in Mammoth Lakes, where I’ve been going for almost 40 years now. It frequently gets overlooked in the shadow of Yosemite, which suits us just fine.

    We’ll be in the Coachella Valley for much of January, and will be following your Desert Hot Springs time with interest accordingly. We stayed at the Sands RV Resort in Desert Springs last spring, and enjoyed the park’s lovely swimming pool area immensely.:-)

    • libertatemamo says:

      While in Desert Hot Springs we usually stay at Sam’s Family Spa. Quirky little park, but it’s got some great hot pools, good monthly rates & lots of space to walk the dog right outside the gates. We discovered it our 1st year and have been coming back ever since.
      Nina

  10. Duncan Benney says:

    I’m one of your many fans! Be SURE to make a side trip to Benton Hot Springs in far eastern Mono County on your way down 395. We just got back from a (too) short exploratory trip there, wonderful!! Space # 8 is very private, with a great soaking tub. The drive on 120 east from 395 is also worth the trip, incredible.

    Thanks so much for your blogging efforts. We have learned so much useful information, boondocking, solar stuff, generally hugely informative.

    Duncan and Rachelle Benney

    • libertatemamo says:

      Sure happy you enjoy the blog and find the posts useful!
      I will look-up those springs. We’re planning to try and hit a few on our way South this year.
      Nina

  11. Brookings is one of our favorite places in Oregon. Safe travels.

  12. This month has been beyond incredible…. this place, this growing friendship. Wow. We just told Greg to sign us up for next year too.

    And wow.. more gorgeous shots, especially love the snuggly one :)

  13. Lee and Shelia says:

    We did our 6 weeks in Europe and are ready for some RV’ing this fall. We are in the Central Valley of Calif and hope to do some traveling on 395 perhaps we will meet up. Missed you both up in Oregon 2yrs ago (when Paul had his back problems) but have been a faithful follower ever since. Our friends Debbie and Ralph were camp hosting at light houses in Oregon also this summer, not sure if you crossed paths or not. We have HIGH hopes of doing at least 1 month of hosting next summer. We will have to see how the tide turns for us this winter… Love your blog and photos…
    Lee and Shelia

  14. Pam Remick says:

    So enjoy your blog and all about Cape Blanco — but your talk about Hwy 395 has so piqued our interest…..and we wonder if we can travel it with our 45′ motorhome, towing our Mini, or do you see any difficulties with that? We will be coming from Alberta, heading south, this seems like a gorgeous way to do that. We are from northern NH, actually, and about to go full-time….heading west! Pam and Ken

    • libertatemamo says:

      No problems at all. 395 is a wonderful road and will easily handle your size. The only thing you need to watch for is weather. Snow can be abundant up by Mammoth Lakes depending on the time of year. Most of Oct/Nov is fine as long as you watch the forecast. There is really only one significant pass so you can always wait to cross it. Once you get past Mammoth Lakes the elevation drops and you are fine. In fall any storms will usually pass in a few days.
      Nina

  15. MarciaGB says:

    SO magnificent! Can’t wait for what lies ahead. Blessings on your journey.

  16. Amanda says:

    Sorry your time in Oregon is coming to an end…but so happy that you have decided to skip over the CA coast in favor of the east side once again! We’re on our way there ourselves in a week or two, hoping our first CA stop will be Eagle Lake. From there I have planned a loose itinerary down 395 based on your wonderful reviews. Hopefully we’ll cross paths somewhere along the way. :)

    • libertatemamo says:

      Whoo hooo! Let’s definitely try and meet up. We should be around June Lake/Mammoth Lakes by 2nd week of Oct and will then play it by ear. There is one NFS campground we love (Oh Ridge!) plus there are a few free boondocking spots in the area. Haven’t quite decided which way we’ll go yet.
      Nina

  17. Donna K says:

    Such beautiful photos. I hope you enjoy Brookings as much as we did. Don’t miss Arch Rock and Chetco Point Park. And can I go with you down 395, please? If there is anyplace that calls me and won’t let me go, it is the eastern Sierras and especially Bishop. If you haven’t been to the Laws Railroad Museum just north of Bishop, it is well worth the visit. Good luck and safe travels.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Cheers for the tips in Brookings. Any favorite eateries?
      And thanks also for the reminder on the museum in Bishop. We spent quite a bit of time there last year, but missed the museum.
      Nina

  18. Nina,
    Before you get too far south on Hwy. 395, I would strongly recommend a detour west to Sorensen’s Resort in Hope Valley. It’s actually in an Aspen grove. We’ve stayed there numerous times, including a wedding anniversary. It’s a very special occasion kind of place. It’s worth a day trip just for the Aspen and the dining room.
    Paul
    http://www.sorensensresort.com

    • libertatemamo says:

      Looks like a sweet spot! We may not make it over there this time around since we’ve only got a few weeks in the mountains, but I’ll keep it on our “list” for the future.
      Nina

  19. I agree, you can never have too many sunsets nor too many lighthouse shots.
    Looking forward to your 395 scenic autumn shots, at least through you we can feel like we are back home.
    Twin Lakes at Bridgeport is a good stop, in case you have not stopped there before.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Bridgeport looks like an interesting spot. Looking at the national forest site I see 4 NFS sites in the area. Which one did you stay at? We’d rather not stay at a private campground, if we can avoid it.
      Nina

  20. Assume you’re laying over at Harris Beach SP in Brookings. It’s right on the water, and walking distance to town. Have never stayed there, but drove by many times while working. Humbug also looks inviting south of Port Orford.
    Jedediah Smith Redwoods is also one of our favorite redwood parks. Lots of fantastic hiking there.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yup, we’re staying at Harris Beach SP. Very much looking forward to it!

      I looked into Jedadiah Smith but seems we are slightly too big (our size is iffy), plus they don’t allow dogs on any of the hiking trails (a total deal breaker for us). We may just do a day trip down to see the lighthouse and drive through the redwoods.

      Nina

  21. Karen says:

    Loved hearing you talk on the video! I expected a Scandanavian accent, but you sound like you are from New Jersey!

    • libertatemamo says:

      LOL…yeah everyone always wonders at my odd East Coast accent. I honestly can’t explain where it came from. I guess the Queen’s English (which i spoke perfectly in the UK) combined with West Coast US, Miami hubby and who knows what other heritage led to this :)
      Nina

      • Nina,
        Had to check out your accent on the videos based on Karen’s comment. Have to agree, you sound New Jersey to me!
        Totally enjoyed the lighthouse tour video. Who was that cheapskate who didn’t want to shell out $2.00 for the tour? :)
        Since you both mentioned cats in the Q&A, my wife has been very curious about how you all provide for your cats “bathroom needs”. We love cats and would like to take them with us. We are between felines right now due to two passing last year from old age and sickness.
        Paul

        • libertatemamo says:

          We keep their litter in the shower. It’s a bit of a pain, but really the easiest (laziest?) place for it. I’ve met other RVers who’ve done more elaborate set-ups. e.g. building a “hidden” litterbox in one of their cupboards, or buying a litterbox that looks like a table & using it next to one of their chairs. Most people just end up with it in the shower though. We keep a cover on the drain to make sure none of the litter gets into the tanks.

          Nina

      • Adding to the litter box question… We keep Kiki’s box under the steering wheel in front of the driver’s seat when we’re parked. And then we cover it with a privacy curtain for her.

  22. Glad you will all be back on the Oregon coast next summer! Mike and I are planning to head in that direction next summer. Hope we get an opportunity to meet y’all! -Linda

    • libertatemamo says:

      Oh cool! I know you guys have been wanting to come out west for a while. Sounds like next summer is the year for it!
      Nina

  23. suziecue55 says:

    I so enjoy your blog!!! Especially your pictures, the one Reflection in Shadows is Spectacular! Keep up the great info and pics!

  24. jerry B says:

    Last year we spent a few weeks in Yellowstone and came back home thru Yosemite (able to get one night without a reservation), then down 395, spending some time at Mono Lake and Bridgeport. We wondered why we traveled 1000 miles when the best scenery anywhere is right on 395 in our own state.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Hey, I’m with you on that one. We keep getting drawn back to the 395 for the same reason…spectacular scenery and lots of hiking without most of the crowds. What more could you want?
      Nina

  25. geogypsy2u says:

    Many times not easy to say goodbye to a temporary ‘home’ even when the wanderlust calls. But nice to know you can return. I struggle walking away from the canyon. Have only done parts of 395 so look forward to seeing more.
    If you like caves, Oregon Caves NM out of Cave Junction offers tours. (Between Redwoods and Grants Pass.) Used to work there.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Oh yes…I remember you commenting before about your time working at Oregon Caves NM. We may not have the chance to stop this time around since we’re speeding our way to the mountains, but I will definitely look them up!
      Nina

  26. Rob says:

    Can’t have too many lighthouse or sunset pictures.

  27. Sherry Fields says:

    Just a note to let you know that my class of student’s with disabilities still enjoy reading your news! Reading your blog is a way to allow my kids to experience a REAL LIFE Social Studies curriculum! Maybe one day ya’ll travel back toward the Bluegrass State of Kentucky and we’ll cross paths.

    • libertatemamo says:

      I so love that you are still all following along. Do give your students a special “hi” from all of us here at “the beast”. We do hope to get back to KY sometime. We really enjoyed our time there (albeit brief) 3 years ago.
      Nina

  28. Rosemary says:

    In answer to your questions above, no and no. You cannot have too many of these beautiful pictures. Your stay at Cape Blanco has inspired me to want to take a long slow drive/RV stay along the Oregon coast. It is just so spectacular. And I love lighthouses, too. Mournful, lonely, their beacon does not tell me to stay away from the shore but instead pulls me in to see more of it.

    Looking forward to your next adventures.

  29. LuAnn says:

    We will be with you in spirit as you travel the 395 and relive some wonderful memories of our time with the two of you in the Sierras. Be safe and enjoy the ride! :)

  30. Gayle says:

    We are staying at Horton Creek for probably a couple weeks. Been slowly making our way from Mono Lake to Lone Pine the past two months, our first time on 395. All I can say is WOW! Check out our blog for hikes, We really liked the Bennettville Mine to Sculler Lake trail off Tioga Pass Rd, and McGee Creek trail near Crowley Lake if you haven’t been. Also fun was exploring the Black Fissures at Mono Lake. So many options for wonderful hikes!
    Email if you would like coordinates for some boondocking sites near Mono Lake and Mammoth. Not sure if we will still be in the area when you are, but if so hope we can meet!

  31. Hi Nina and Paul, Fabulous photos. Thanks so much for sharing your lighthouse and Oregon coast experiences. Bob and I are back at the MH in Durango after driving the San Juan Skyway. I hope you two can experience this mountain beauty someday if you haven’t already. Have fun in the Sierras.

    • libertatemamo says:

      We were lucky enough to spend a summer around that area in CO a few years back. We drove the Million Dollar Highway, saw Mesa Verde and camped around the Lizard Head Wilderness on the other side of the mountains. Just gorgeous!
      Nina

  32. Cathie Dunn says:

    Hi guys! Love your posts and pictures! The West is so special and following you makes it even more fun! We are setting sail in our sailboat in a few weeks from St. Augustine to the Bahamas. When we get back this summer an RV may be in our future! Thanks for sharing!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Ooooo…congrats on your upcoming sail! Sounds like it will be a fine adventure! Paul has always dreamed of sailing, but sadly I have the most horrible sensitivity to movement (sea, car etc.). Not in the cards for us, unfortunately.
      Nina

  33. Sure do understand that call of the mountains alright. It’s getting louder & clearer by the day right now…………

    • libertatemamo says:

      I know it’s pulling you too…only a month before you leave!! I will look forward to following your own adventure south to AZ on your blog.
      Nina

  34. Michael says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more with regard to 395 and the Sierra’s. A few years ago we came down that way from Yosemite to Death Valley. My all time favorite spot is Lone Pine. With Mt. Whitney and the Alabama’s, couldn’t ask for much more.
    Are you two still headed for So Cal this winter? Regardless, have a safe trip…

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yup, we’re still headed for SW this winter. Will only spend a short time in San Diego and then expect to spend the rest of winter in the desert.
      Nina

  35. Lacombe, Serge says:

    In your last post, you asked: «Can you EVER have too many sunsets?» I answer, NO of course. But I only wish to have as many sunrise…
    Sergio

    PS: On occasion, my English is not perfect… Pardon me.

  36. Pam Remick says:

    Did you recently mention a lovely campground near San Diego? Am trying to remember who it was….we cannot remember the name of the campground!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Santee Lakes is a lovely, green campground around 20 miles from downtown. If you’re looking for nature and space, that’s where I’d go. It’s got lakes, trails etc.

      If, on the other hand, you want to be downtown and near the beach then I’d recommend Mission Bay RV Resort. The park itself is not much to write home about (It’s really just a big asphalt parking lot), but it’s in a *great* location. The park takes Passport America for 50 % off Mon through Thurs.

      Nina

  37. Brett & Paul says:

    Nina & Paul – So much for our plans of seeing you before you head south. We had the rig prepped to head south this weekend, but once we saw the weather forecast decided to stay put. We will try and catch you in CA at some point….Brett & Paul.

    • libertatemamo says:

      LOL!!! The very week-end you decide to come the big storm does too. Oh well. No worries. We’ll be back again next year and may catch you down south over the winter.
      Nina

  38. RiverCat says:

    Hey guys…congratulations! You’re my Feature Blog of the Month on http://www.journeylinks.blogspot.com !

  39. Pam Remick says:

    Nina — Thank you! Santee looks just exactly what would suit us! What a lovely campground. Mission Bay is obviously well kept and in a good location for San Diego….but Santee would be better for us and certainly for our 110 lb. Golden Retriever/Great Pyrenees! We also like all the ideas present at making Santee work…..what an amazing plan that was!
    Pam

  40. Kris Sullivan says:

    Hi again, I read above that someone mentioned Twin Lakes out of Bridgeport…it is extremely beautiful in the Fall…we stayed at the lake with no commerce and it was quiet and remote.

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