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Same Beach, Different Sand


We're moving on from Cape Blanco a month early

DSC00208We’re experience junkies, we love the thrill of a new adventure.

This is the reason we rarely try to repeat experiences, as great as they may be – there’s always new things to check out too.

Our time at Cape Blanco Lighthouse last year was simply magical. It was the perfect fit in our lives for what we needed after an emotionally tough year. It gave us a chance to connect with nature, concentrate on volunteering, connect with each other, reflect on life in general and connect with dear friends.

We had no other big work projects up at the time. We were able to actually relax for a bit, and left centered and refreshed.

We made a commitment to return this year, and so did our co-hosts and friends Nina & Paul. And then our friends Clarke & Elaine signed on too, making it a full on community.

We’ve had returning to this location as our pin for the year, our destination. With the vision it would be the same relaxing reset for us.

The location we returned to is the same. The lighthouse still shines its beacon of light. The seals still bark, and whales still enchant. The hiking trails still meander through green forests with amazing ocean views. Visitors still smile as we tell them tales of the lighthouse and history.

IMG_7480But we have changed. We may be physically at the same location and surroundings, but our experience here is not the same.

Like the beaches at our doorstep, the sand is always different – it moves daily with the wind and waves forming new patterns.

The driftwood relocates with each new storm that blows onshore.

We were actually more exhausted pulling into Cape Blanco this year than last. We’ve had a year of back to back intense work projects and have hardly worked less than 60 hours a week all year long. We also had just completed a cross country repositioning, something that wears us out more and more each time.

This year instead of our 17 hours a week of volunteering being enjoyable time that breaks up a lot of otherwise free time, we’re struggling to add in those 17 hours to an already overfull work load. We’re launching the book, the new resource center, consulting to clients and preparing app updates. And that’s not even counting the extra projects, like testing solar panels.

We pretty quickly realized that instead of this being the same relaxing experience as last year, we’d constantly be riding on a edge of pure exhaustion & stress trying to keep up, which just isn’t healthy.

We need to reduce our workload, not increase it.

So, we’re doing what we must do… and unfortunately cutting the volunteer hours is the easiest adjustment to make.  We’ve made arrangements to leave at the end of this month.* September has been great – we love it out here, being with our friends and the volunteer position.

A month has been plentiful this time around, and we simply can’t keep this pace up – we need October to catch up on a back log of projects, and focus on getting balance back in our lives.


IMG_7481Where will we head? We’re not sure yet. We’re keeping our options open  – there’s so much more beauty in Oregon that we’ve only heard about, and October is a great month up here before the weather turns.

Maybe we’ll explore more of the coast? Crater Lake? Back to Eugene, Bend or Portland? The eastern Sierras? We’re open to ideas if you have them!

We know we’ll find some amazing places to explore while we focus on regaining balance in our lives by completing projects on our plate. We’re excited and looking forward to the adventures ahead!


* If you have the open time, and are in the area – there may be an opening for another volunteer at Cape Blanco for October.  Contact Greg at greg.ryder@state.or.us if interested.

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37 Comments - Still Plenty of Room for Yours!

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  1. Hope you have a relaxing October. You guys deserve it after all your hard work. I think the coastal trip sounds heavenly. We didn’t get a chance to visit the Oregon coast this time through, After Bend we went to Hood River which was beautiful,but may be getting cold already. We also spent a week at Crater Lake, but warning, we had zero, I mean nada, zilch, nuttin” cell coverage for AT&T or Verizon the whole time we were there. No amount of boosting could get us there. We resorted to watching some pretty crappy campground DVD’s let me tell you!!!!

    Happy travels, and stay incognito for a while!!!!

    Kate & Iain
    The Scenic Route

  2. Brookings or is the most temperate climate in the us its my favorite place to be , check it out y’all might like it there .

  3. We have camped at all the state parks on oregon coast. Also, if you like oysters, check out Winchester bay. We camped there mid week at a discount last October and the local pan fried oysters out of this world.

    Up north our favorite is Nehalem Bay State Park. Millenicom Verizon works well there. Oysters delicious too.

  4. Boy do I hear you! In July we finished up 10 months at the Oregon Dunes as volunteers. The first 9 months were a dream that we didn’t want to see end, and then we hit a wall. All the energy we had put into a special project there had just drained us and we aren’t as resilient as once we were. You have to do what’s right for you, and you’ve done it. Good luck with the new direction; it will come to you, and you to it. 🙂


  5. You’ve got lots of great recommendations from all the other posters, but I’ll throw in my 2 cents anyway –

    First – it sounds like you want/need to find a place where you can stay in one spot for a period of time in order to catch up / relax / re-charge. Also low cost or free would be nice as well, so I understand why you were so looking forward to Cape Blanco. But of course there they require that 17 hrs/week of your time. hmm . ..

    As you know you are in a great area of the country, at a great time of year, to visit anywhere around you. Hard to go wrong. Some of my thoughts:

    Crater Lake – Beautiful place to go. Quite different and unique and definitely some place to visit for a few days if you have not yet been. But – – don’t see it as a place worth staying at for more than a couple of days. There are some nice hikes around the lake, but it’s all about the lake, and there is not much else in the area.

    Northern California – Redwoods National Park / Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. One of our favorite places to visit. Wonderful hikes throughout incredible forests. You can also go down to the ocean, hike through Fern Canyon, etc.. Just north of Trinidad and Eureka, so there are some towns worth visiting. Also good spot for bike riding, both on the roads through the forests or off-road down to the ocean and along the ocean path. I have seen a number of RV parks in the area, but not sure about costs or desirability. But this area is just south of where you are now.

    Columbia River Gorge – Beautiful area full of scenery, waterfalls and great hikes. You can spend some time in this area due it’s length. Also not far from Mt. Hood.

    Mt. Rainier National Park – May be a bit farther north than you want to travel right now, but another place with incredible scenery and great hikes.

    Western Oregon – As you know the entire coast is wonderful. We have also spent some time a bit inland in the mountains which are also great. Have spent time in the Detroit Lake area south of Portland – beautiful old-growth forests there.

    So these are few thoughts based on my travels. The good news is that you should not have to go very far to find lots of beautiful areas where you can crash. The trick is to find those low cost/no cost spots to plant yourselves for a bit to get that R&R it sounds like you are craving. I too am a big believer in serendipity, so see where that takes you.

    Good luck and cannot wait to read about you next adventures.

  6. I totally agree with Jodee. You can always post new technical information without divulging your location. You can always tell us about your next destination AFTER you have left it. Don’t let stress sneak up on you and work it’s nasty magic. Treat this like a ‘blogger vacation’! 🙂


  7. We’re obviously super sad to see you go, but also super happy we got to spend this month with you. I know we’ll be crossing paths again soon. You ain’t seen the back of us yet 🙂


  8. The fires in the Sierras has created a bunch of smoke…any wind from the south will carry it up to the north, let alone the fires around Redding/Shasta. Crater Lake “might” be ok, but I think I would stay along the coast as much as possible. Lots of State Parks in Oregon and lots and lots of NF parks. Smart move to cut back, but I am sure it is hard to leave your friends. Good luck to you. –Dave (GoingRvWay.com)

  9. I / We Enjoy your travels from this side and glad to add one more confirmation to our full-time planning , flexibility !
    Having lived in Oregon , specifically the Portland area our entire lives there are many great options available in October (can be of the best months of the year) and none are wrong! I would second spending more time in Portland an interesting city which might provide the opportunity to get some eclectic city life , food carts scenery etc and time to finish any projects you have going. Good luck and enjoy whatever decision you make!

    • Flexibility is definitely a great factor to plan in.. we really should have just planned a month here, and if we were meant to be here longer trust it would have worked out to extend. Even us veterans get it wrong sometimes 🙂

      We definitely want to get some more time in Portland… who knows if it’ll be this time around or not. Such a great city.

  10. Hi Guys –

    Thought I’d make a recommendation of a spot that I found this Summer on the coast. Just north of Yachats (5 miles). Yachats turned out to be my favorite town on the coast this summer. Great folks and very laid back small town vibe. The Drift Inn was a do not miss! As a bonus, you are close to Waldport, (5 miles), Newport etc. if you need major shopping. I stayed at Tillicum federal park. It was right on the water. The water view I had was indescribable! Cheaper than the state parks – although if you want something a little more “groomed” with showers, Beach Side State Park is right up the road a mile or so. It was very small and laid back. Very nice hosts. Incredible beach that goes for miles…. A lot of the spots are first come, first serve, and those ones do not have power or water. The ones that are reservable do have power and water, but no waste disposal. There was a sani dump in Waldport though that was cheap and easy to access. No matter where you end up – have a great trip!

  11. Here’s vote for Gold Beach and the Rogue River. There are a few great RV parks just up the river from 101, mostly on the North side. Our favorite is Four Seasons. See if you can get one of the spots overlooking the river. If you want to boondocks, there are several places right on the gravel bar of the river, usually on the South side. At least one is official (Lobster Creek Forest Service Campground).

    We sort of boondocked in Brookings recently too. There is an RV park out on the jetty. Nothing special, just a gravel lot with hookups. But, the location is great. For us, the trick was to just stay in the “overflow” area. No hookups, but less crowded, you can get right on the edge of the jetty along the entrance to the harbor, watch the boats go back and forth and lots of wildlife.

  12. The entire Oregon coast is wonderful, maybe just a slow drive down the coast for all of October with a 2-4 night stopover at each of the state parks on the Coast is in order!! And of course, just over the OR border are the magnificent Redwoods where you can lose yourself for a few hours/days, etc.
    BTW, from a trip a few years back, some of those OR State parks have very limited connectivity so you would have a justifiable reason for unplugging and better yet, no one would know where you are!

  13. If you decide to head to Crater Lake spend some time at little Susan Creek Campground to recharge your personal batteries. You might not get much solar there 🙂 But we found it to be a lovely little campground along the North Umpqua River.

  14. I now want to visit Cape Blanco – lived near Bend, Oregon for the past year and a half (getting a teenager through high school) and have got to experience a few summer spots (Haystack Reservoir, Smith Rock, Crooked River, etc.) – is a beautiful state.

    Hope you guys get a little R&R soon as just reading about your work schedule makes me a bit sleepy, and this RV life is suppose to be less of that not more! At least I thought… but I am new and learning 🙂

    Great site, want to check out your ebook. Best, Molly

    • Cape Blanco is definitely worth a visit… such a lovely area!

      We’ve definitely been working way too much this year, especially considering we intended to be on ‘sabbatical’ this past year. But launching new stuff takes time, and it’s worth it. But definitely time to put up boundaries and keep our sanity 🙂

  15. We often find ourselves repeating the phrase “you can never go back.” We used to say the opposite when we first started this journey, “we can always go home if this doesn’t work out,” but that perspective has definitely been adjusted after 1.5 years on the road. As you said, the places stay the same, but we as human beings, constantly change and evolve. Experiences that happen in the moment cannot be recreated, but instead propell and encourage us to find new adventures and inspiration in places we did not expect. If we were seeking comfort, our home wouldn’t have wheels! On another note, We really enjoyed Ashland, OR and the Smith River Rec area. Ashland is a charming little town with a great city park, awesome theatre, and yummy food. The Smith River is just stunning. The crystal clear turquoise water will blow you away and the forest campgrounds are incredibly peaceful. Enjoy your last week at the lighthouse!

    • Thank Alayne… as much as we know this to be true, sometimes we need the reminder that you just can’t really go back.

      Thanks for the recommendation for the Ashland area too!

  16. If you’ve never spent much time in the Portland area, I highly recommend it (that’s where we live – for now – still planning on becoming full-timers in 2015). You can skip the Voodoo doughnuts. 🙂 I also recommend you check out Ashland, Oregon. It’s a really sweet community with a gorgeous park at it’s center. I lived there for sixteen years before moving to Portland. So many choices – and that’s a beautiful thing. Cheers!

    • We did stop in Portland last year for a bit.. definitely do need to get some more time there, as we feel we only started to scratch the surface. We shall see, it’s on the list for sure.

      Thanks for recommendation for Ashland too!

  17. I’m sure it was a tuff choice, but congrats on recognizing your need to take care of yourselves and each other first. Running oneself (and each other) into exhaustion is never good.
    Take care, good luck, and get a couple days worth of self indulgent R&R for yourselves. Best regards!

  18. Self-care must be the first priority 🙂 I would head to Brookings and Harris Beach campground, maybe Gold Beach to the park by the Rogue River. And then I wouldn’t tell anyone for a couple weeks. Hang the DND sign on the door, order veggie pizza delivered, hunker down and reset your scales.

  19. Oct. in Bend or Crater Lake? You might have good weather then, but i would fully expect to see frost and maybe snow. We have family in La Pine that we try to see in August if at all possible. Even then we have seen frost and a few years ago they had a touch of snow on the 29th of August, just a few days after we had left. 🙂

  20. I am sure this decision was not an easy one but a healthy one…I have always been a believer that one must take care of ones self first in order to help others or just exist….and who else would know better what is needed to do that…I wish you safe travels and loads of good cheer…and look forward reading about your future experiences and projects….

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