10/08/05 to 10/14/05
We had already been suffering under 4 days of rain as we left Long Beach, WA in
search of sunnier weather.  The sunshine was to elude us like always, as we
winded our way down the drizzly Oregon coast to Florence.  The drive took a lot
longer than the three hours we expected, due both to the weather and the curvy
road which slowly made its way through quaint towns along the coast.  We thought
this would be a fun drive, with lots of sites to see, but the rain and fog prevented
our full enjoyment.  Finally, Saturday evening, 10-8, we arrived at the NACO park
and got settled in under the huge canopy of ceder trees.

We woke Sunday morning, 10-9, to more rain.  We were about to pack up and
leave the gloom when the sun came out.  So we headed into Old Town Florence.  
We looked in the stores, and hung out at the marina a while.

On Monday, 10-10, the sun still shone, so we took a walk down to the sand dunes.
These sand dunes must go on for miles, they are a state park, and provide
numerous trails for ATVs (which in Oregon they call OHVs--Off Highway Vehicles.)  
Of course, we had to stop and watch dune buggies and four wheelers and jeeps
take the dunes, while Richard dreamt about all the big boy toys he wanted.  
From the dunes we headed further, over a huge dune down to the beach.  Since we
hadn't seen sun in so long, I had forgotten to take my cap, so I had to fashion my
own out of prairie grass.  Prairie grass weaving is sure to come in handy in Texas.  
We sat mid-way up the dune, soaking up the long awaited sun.  
When we had loaded up in Long Beach, the worn out old back tire of the
motorcycle caught on a sharp edge on the ramp, and shredded off a large
portion of black rubber.  We decided that was enough encouragement to finally
get a new one, so on Tuesday, 10-11, we spent the majority of the afternoon
removing the back tire.

So, early on Wednesday, 10-12, we got up and headed to the closest big town,
Eugene, a mere 60 miles away.  However, those 60 miles again took longer
than expected as we drove through the twisted curving road through the
morning fog.  We went to a GM dealer to get an annoying rattle on the truck
fixed, although they still say they can find nothing wrong that we would be
getting such terrible gas mileage.  Then we headed to the wine-making store.  
Prices were higher than at the mom and pop store in Northwest Washington,
but we left with more jars and airlocks to keep our cranberry wine going.  Then
we got the tire changed, hit the Wal-Mart and headed back.

Our task for Thursday, 10-13, was to put the back tire back on the motorcycle.  
This was made more difficult by the rain.  We put the awning out to make the
task more achievable.  As it was, the sun barely shone through the forest we
were in, and the awning only added to the gloomy day.
Finally, Friday came, when we could finally "rack" the wine.  That's wine-maker
talk for putting it from the plastic bucket into the big glass jars.  We had assumed
we had about 9 gallons of wine, so we had purchased 5 gallon, 3 gallon, and 1
gallon jugs at the wine store the day before.  We do this siphoning from the
inside, to the outside of the RV for two reasons, the first being the necessity of
gravity, the second, the wine does not make a mess in the house.  However, the
wind was blowing so hard that the little pine needles that carpet the park (and the
house as no amount of foot-wiping will keep them from tracking in) kept coming
notoriously close to the openings of the jars.  We filled the 5 gallon jug, but did
not get the 3 totally full.  It is a wine-making no-no to leave the jars not completely
"topped up," and we were not about to drive all the way back to Eugene for
another 1 gallon jug, so I made the sensible suggestion to go to the grocery store
and buy apple cider, since it sometimes comes in 1 gallon glass jugs.  As we
headed out, we considered putting the awning back up, which we had left down
the day before.  The wind was blowing worse than it ever had and we were
worried it might damage the awning.  However, those damn pine needles were
covering the awning, and were stuck to it by the morning mist.  We hoped the
wind and temporary lack of rain would remove the needles before our return.  As
I assumed, we found that the jugs were cheaper filled than empty.  We also
bought a small jar in case we had more than 2 gallons.  We stopped at the
hardware store for supplies to fashion our own stoppers, and went home to finish
the wine-making.  (And drink apple cider!)  It started raining on our way home,
we swept off the awning, put it back up, and retreaded to the inside of the RV just
before a torrent of rain started.  At least the wine seems happy.  
So, we have 5
gallons of the
blackberry and
7.25 gallons of
cranberry wine.  
We had only
purchased 4
airlocks, so for
the small jar we
fashioned one of
our own our of an
old film case and
plastic tubing.  
Looks yummy
huh?  It won't be
ready for 3
months, and then
is supposed to
age a year, so
don't ask!
The three and a half days of sunshine that we found here in Florence seem to be
over, and we don't know how much longer we will stay under this constant drizzle.
 It has been dark as night under these trees and rain since about 3:00 this
afternoon.  

We keep seeing pumpkins in the stores now, and I have talked about getting one
to carve, but Richard is against it.  He is afraid I will try to make pumpkin wine.  
Now that we didn't use the 3 gallon jugs, and know how to make our own
airlocks, he probably should be afraid.  Wouldn't an orange colored wine look
nice next to the blackberry and cranberry?