03-31-2022 Marching Forward

March is a month when everything is changing. Some days feel like winter, and other days are like spring. Sometimes winter and spring can happen on the same day. The remarkable differences between February and March, however, are the flowers. Mid-month primroses are in full bloom, and the daffodils begin to appear and are in full color by the end of the month.

Mo’s birthday is the first of the month, and she usually decides on some kind of travel destination to celebrate. We had only returned a few days earlier from our trip to California, so this time a local celebration was her choice. We went to see “Dog”, a charming and entertaining movie.

Dinner at the Taprock Grill ended the day perfectly. Even with the rain, the view of the river and the Caveman Bridge was delightful.

The rain made days indoors a priority, with puzzles and quilting filling my time. I tried a new technique called “Quilt as you Go” for the first time and enjoyed making cute little mugrugs. I gave a few to friends and family and kept one for my bedside table, and it was an excellent way to use up fabric scraps in my stash.

I spent a considerable amount of time working on our trip plans for this coming August. We are doing a tour of New York City with Adventure Caravans. Traveling cross-country to New York requires more planning than ever with the complexity of reservation requirements. RV Trip Wizard is an app that I use since “Streets and Trips” is no longer available. I am getting used to it, and the annual cost isn’t bad, but remember the old days when we could own software on our computers instead of online??

Prepping for our New York trip with a New York puzzle

While I am fiddling indoors, Mo usually finds something to do in her shop, where a small heater keeps things comfortable. Her big project was cleaning up a beautiful solid oak drop leaf table that she plans to sell. It is another lovely piece of furniture that we couldn’t fit into Sunset House.

In addition to flowers, mid-March is when the grass grows in earnest. Mo had to mow the pasture twice, and I cut the small front lawns a couple of times, much earlier than in years past.

Daughter Melody drove south from Eugene to spend a day with me. Even though we talk and text often, it is a treat to see her in person and get a real Melody hug. Plus is gave her an excuse to take a little trip in her new car. We spent girl time at the Red Lily Vineyard on the Applegate Wine Trail.

The wine is superb, and the Tapas Board a real treat. Even with the sun shining, the March breezes kept us indoors. Those March breezes kicked up quite a storm and blew down power lines across our route back home. I later discovered that it was several hours before the road opened, so our choice to take the long way home through Jacksonville and Medford was good.

Mo and I filled up a few days with a Costco run to Medford, doctor visits, and family visits. After two years of Covid restrictions, I finally got my Coconut Shrimp appetizer fix at Red Lobster in Medford. Even with the virus waning, there is still a shortage of wait staff in most restaurants, and more than half of the restaurant was closed to customers.

Week four brought friends and a camping trip to Brookings, which I wrote about in the previous post. We returned from this trip just in time for a planned outing with Daughter Deborah.  It was spring break and she had a week away from work to do something special. 

She wanted to go wine tasting on the Applegate.  Once again we went to Red Lily for excellent wine and the Tapas Board.  ( This is getting to be a habit!).  The day was beautiful, with sunshine and blue skies. It was still not quite warn enough to sit outside but the tasting room is comfortable and lovely. 

Continuing along the wine trail toward Jacksonville, we visited a winery called “Dancin”.  The grounds were gorgeous, and by the time we arrived, the tasting area was quite crowded.  We were informed that we could have a table for just 45 minutes before the next reservation arrived.  We didn’t need any longer because the wine didn’t appeal to us.  Possibly our choice to taste the pinot noir was a mistake, and someday we may go back and try their more prestigious whites. 

We continued along Old Stage Road in Central Point toward home as we attempted to find the Hummingbird Estate.  This last minute choice made our day perfect.  We loved the wine, the view was gorgeous overlooking the Rogue Valley, and the daughter of the owner of the vineyard was delightful. 

She told us stories about their purchase of the vineyard, their winemaking, their young vines, their family, and the history of the house, built in 1926.  Deborah loved the idea of supporting such a lovely local vineyard, bought several bottles of wine and joined their wine club! 

We still managed one more camping trip in March.

The Rogue River winds through our valley on its meandering journey from Crater Lake to the Pacific Ocean. We are lucky to have several beautiful county parks within a short distance from home. A neighbor who lives down the street from us often talks about camping at Griffin Park. I checked for sites to no avail and then discovered that with a bit of effort, reservations are canceled, and suddenly, a site was available. We snagged site 3, facing the Rogue River, for 3 lovely days at the end of the month.

With only 16 miles to travel and not much to do in the park’s vicinity, we decided to go without the Tracker. I wasn’t sure we could fill three entire days without exploring somewhere, but it was a perfect choice. We settled into our site on the first cloudy day, knowing the sun would be out in full by the following day. 

Mo managed to pack enough wood in a tote for three campfires, one for each night, and the little WeberQ BBQ fit in the aisle of the MoHo for the short trip. When we talked about taking the car, my first thought was how we would manage to haul the BBQ and the firewood!

The second day was a gorgeous, warm, sunny day, and in the morning, I went for a nice hike/walk along the river. The park is surrounded by BLM land on three sides. Even though houses are nearby, the BLM land provides a bit of a barrier between civilization and open space.

The river was gorgeous. Mo and I walked the path again the next day, checking out how far upstream we could paddle our kayaks before encountering rapids.

I walked around the park road to photograph the gorgeous shooting stars Dodecatheon pulchellum in full bloom. In all my days of wildflower viewing, I have never seen such a huge patch of these flowers in full bloom. I tromped into the grass for closeups in my open-toed sandals.

I realized that I was treading through short stems of newly sprouting poison oak a few minutes later. I am horribly allergic to the stuff and went immediately into panic mode. I know about TechNu but haven’t carried it with me since my days working in the California foothills. I walked quickly back to the MoHo, thinking about how to get the oils off my skin. I thought about all those birds and the oil spills. What do the volunteers use to clean the birds? DAWN! I scrubbed my shoes and skin with Dawn and packed my pants into a plastic bag. Success! I didn’t get a single blister on my feet or legs.

We invited our friends Maryruth and Gerald to drive out from Grants Pass to join us for an afternoon of dominoes and a BBQ rib early supper. I came prepared with marshmallows, and Maryruth provided the chocolate for the after-supper treat. I purchased the top brand of marshmallows and was shocked to discover that they are about half the size they used to be. If they sell them by the ounce, what is the purpose of making them so small? They were about halfway between a mini marshmallow and a regular marshmallow. I thought about getting the colossal campfire marshmallows. Still, it was impossible to get them into your mouth the last time I tried that! Such a silly thing, yet it made fitting the mallow on the stick very hard and even harder to get the little bit of chocolate into the tiny mallow!   Such a silly thing.

We decided to take another route back home. I got excited when I realized that our trip would take us past the Rogue Creamery. The main store is located in Central Point, but the dairy is tucked away along Lower River Road, a few miles from Grants Pass. I bought some of the world-famous bleu cheese and enjoyed a grilled cheese sandwich made with sharp cheddar, a bit of bleu, and honey on sourdough bread. Yum! What a great way to end the month of March.

Author: kyotesue

Soil scientist/mapper working for 35 years in the wild lands of the West. I am now retired, enjoying my freedom to travel, to hike without a shovel and a pack, to knit and quilt and play, to play with photography and write stories about all of it.

3 thoughts on “03-31-2022 Marching Forward”

  1. Oh, I just love that you’re taking me to some of my favorite places and introducing me to new ones, like Hummingbird Estate! We also love Rogue Creamery and the Applegate Valley vineyards. Your spring flowers at home are gorgeous…our azaleas are just now finishing up here in north Florida so spring is on the way out. 😦 It’s always a delight to see shooting stars. One of the largest displays I’ve ever seen was in the Enchanted Forest. It’s not too far from you, and I don’t remember any poison ivy there. (Check our blog if you are interested, I put directions to the hike on there.) You were so smart to use Dawn to get the oils off of your skin! I’ll have to remember that.


    1. I was in Ocala one year during azalea season. Oh my!! Such amazing color. Some of the azaleas are as big as trees. We have never been to the Enchanted Forest, even though we pass by often on our way north. The poison oak seems to be most prolific in this southern part of Oregon, but friends in Corvallis, and up the Umpqua River, and near Eugene say it is everywhere off the trails. One of the best parts of the east side of Oregon, no poison oak!! It doesn’t like high elevations and cold winters, but you trade that for mosquitoes. LOL I will no go check out your blog for the Enchanted Forest. Mo’s neices go there with their kids and have talked about it, as has most everyone in Oregon! LOL Enjoy your time in Florida before you head outta there to escape the heat and humidity. I miss Florida, and was there only once in late June. The heat and humidity was actually a treat for me. I sat on a porch drinking tea and taking it in, but I also had the ability to escape inside an air conditioned house. Still remember taking three showers a day and wearing all cotton and no underclothes!! I would hate to have to work a real job in that kind of climate but it is fun to experience now and then.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sue, I love your story about giving in to the heat and humidity of Florida…you know how to enjoy the South! I hope you will come back to visit now that we have a place here.


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