Gold Beach, Oregon

We did not plan well this summer and didn’t line up a park for July 4th in advance, so in May, we realized we could be boondocking on the beach if we didn’t figure something out. (Which sounds fun, but we need shore power and neither me nor the cats like fireworks.) We also heard the Crescent City area LOVES its fireworks, and we didn’t want to find out how much. We got lucky and found the last spot at Oceanside RV Park in Gold Beach, OR for a nearly-two-week stay that included July 4. It wasn’t the cheapest place we’ve stayed, but it had full hookups and it was right on the beach, and it was available. It was really nice having a short drive to a new place we’ve never been, and the cats appreciated that, too. There were tons of birds for the cats to watch, and …

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New favorite phone app for exploring nature!

We’ve been loving the Seek app for identifying plants when we’re out exploring. The app uses your camera and image recognition technology to identify plants, animals, and fungi. It’s a fun addition to stopping and smelling the flowers. It “gameifies” being outside, by giving badges for discoveries and offering optional challenges. They’re cute features but the coolest part really is the identification of plants, animals, and fungi. Seek doesn’t store or transmit location data, and you don’t even need to create an account to use the app (but you can if you want to). The app is totally free from iNaturalist, which a collaboration between the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society. It’s available for iOS and Android, and it does require internet in order to access the iNaturalist database and use the app. We haven’t had luck using it for bugs or animals yet (except humans …

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Jen got a bike! (Updated May 2021)

You may not believe this, but I’ve never really ridden a bike before. I had one when I was quite young, but didn’t get to ride it much before outgrowing it. Plus growing up with severe asthma meant I didn’t get to do a lot outside. David has been biking for a long time. When we moved to the Bay Area and realized driving every day is a nightmare, he got an e-bike to commute, and loved it. I never tried it out, because I’m much shorter than he is, with much lousier balance (due to a spinal cord injury). But it always looked fun! Since I didn’t really have anywhere to commute to, I stuck with my wheelchair (with a Freewheel, which I plan to post about here someday), though it’s a manual chair propelled by my own two hands. My speed was limited to how much energy I …

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