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  • Writer's pictureRobert Gidley

Live from Cow Creek!

May 11, 2023 (Thu)

Frankie update

Here’s the latest update on Frankie’s stay at Cozy Cat:

“Frankie is doing fantastic! I apologize for the picture quality he’s been doing circles on my lap so I couldn’t get clear photos. He’s eating and using his litter well. Easily the snuggliest cat we have here right now so he’s getting super spoiled with love

Don’t tell the other kitties but he’s our favorite.”

(Frankie will do circles on your lap if you’re doing something you’re not supposed to be doing. The only thing you should be doing is scratching his head. If you are doing anything else—you get circles.)

Frankie cozying up to the staff to get extra food

11:00 am Spirit Mountain Casino, Grand Ronde, OR

When we checked into this place, they were very insistent that we had better be checked out at 11:00 am(!). If we were there at 11:01 am, they would charge us for an Entire Extra Day. Even though we were pretty much the only RV in the park (or maybe because we were the only RV and they had to make money someplace…).

If you’ve been following our Harvey Adventures for the last year, you’ll know that getting out on time is not our strong suit. We can barely make it out by noon on a good day. Come 11:00, though, we pulled up stakes, disconnected from the electricity and drove over to where the showers were—we were technically checked out, even if we had some showering up to do.

And they were nice showers—they were free (yay!) and hot and co-ed(!). But each shower stall had a locking door, so it wasn’t quite the bacchanalia you might be thinking of. Also—we had the place to ourselves because you could fit everybody in the RV Park into a shower room and only take up two stalls.

Still, we’re glad we missed Old Guys in Towels Happy Hour.

11:35 am Spirit Mountain Casino

Tribal Reservations are legally weird. They are “nations within nations”—they exist in the United States, but they are not part of whatever state they are in. For Robert, this is just like how he grew up: on military bases, which are also not subject to the local laws.

Aside from being able to purchase weapons grade fireworks, this also means that tribes don’t have to pay state taxes on gasoline. Some tribes have negotiated with their states and the taxes are collected. The Grand Ronde are not one of those tribes—so gas is $4.03 a gallon! Woo hoo! This is about 60 cents cheaper than prevailing local prices and at 10 to 15 gallons a fill, that adds right up!

2:00 pm Adair County Park, OR

We have discovered a perfectly lovely side effect of traveling when school is in session during the springtime: empty parks that are gorgeous! Completely by accident, we follow the signs to Adair County Park so we could pull over and have lunch.

We find ourselves with this entire section of the park to ourselves (well, a guy drove up and walked his dog and drove away, but that was it). We had a couple dozen picnic tables, two shelters, two baseball fields and a couple of playgrounds to ourselves.

The bees were buzzing, the breeze was blowing, the Albacore sandwiches were delicious, and it was about the prettiest place we could be.

Having lunch in our own private park

Afterwards, we got to drive down some back roads (which, honestly, if you’re not on I-5 in Oregon, you’re on a back road) and enjoy more fabulously gorgeous Oregon countryside.

Oregon countryside

5:00 pm Seven Feathers RV Resort, Canyonville, OR

Well, we have landed at a Casino run by a tribe where the U.S. Government kept every one of its treaty promises and treated the tribes well and made sure that they were respected and their culture honored.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Of course not! We would never do that.

This casino is run by the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians (who we’ll call the Cow Creek to save on electrons). In 1853, the U.S. Government jammed some tribes together (three different languages were spoken) and called them the Cow Creek, because “Hey, they’re all the same, right?”

But then, a couple of years later a war broke out, the tribal members fled to the hills, they were hunted down by the army and forcibly marched back to Grand Ronde (where we stayed yesterday—some 180 miles away!).

They couldn’t catch them all, however, and for 25 years, members of the Cow Creek tribe would raid white settlements for food so they wouldn’t starve.

Starting in 1910, the Cow Creek tribe began working through the System to regain the land stolen from them and a mere 70 years later, they won! (In the sense that the U.S. Government acknowledged that they were Native Americans and were welcome to buy back the land that they had lived on for some 10,000 years.)

5:05 pm Seven Feathers RV Resort

We check in and Holy Sweet Mother of Pearl! This is the prettiest RV park we’ve ever stayed in—not just this trip, but ever! It’s in a valley surrounded by wooded hills and the park is bursting with blooming red rhododendrons. There are trees everywhere. And it’s landscaped so you only see a handful of nearby RV’s. Wow!

Our fabulous spot at Seven Feathers

Our only gripe is that the hot tub and pool are way and the heck on the other side of the park—but that’s okay, because we’re taking the shuttle (which comes directly to our RV site) and head over to the casino for some live music!

Robert makes a new friend at the casino

7:00 pm Seven Feathers Casino

We have it on good authority (we know a guy who works at a casino) that most of the musical acts at casinos are “tribute bands” (musicians who play exclusively the music from a popular band—like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Clash). This is because us Baby Boomers tend to like music we already know.

Well, this duo (who never introduced themselves, so we’re calling them The Two Feathers) doesn’t care if you’ve ever heard their music. The Two Feathers are gonna play what they want to play!

The glamorous world of playing your own music in a casino bar!

What they want to play is mostly Chicago Blues and Blues. We can’t make out the words, but the musicians are very capable and do a lovely job. And it’s live music made by live musicians! In a bar! Where you can drink until you like the music! A couple of folks even get up to dance to one of the tunes.

We stay for a set and then stagger back to the shuttle, back to Harvey and fall asleep to the gentle sounds of rhododendrons blooming…


Thursday Travel

Gini & Robert

Harvey Staff

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Stephen E. Moore
Stephen E. Moore
May 13, 2023

Because you drove on roads paved by the State of Oregon, and followed signs erected by the State of Oregon, and stayed within your lane by observing the lines painted by the State of Oregon, and drove over bridges erected and maintained by the State of Oregon, I am assuming that your well-known sense of fair play prompted you to send a check for six or nine dollars to Tina Kotek, the Governor of Oregon, to make up for the gasoline tax you didn't pay on the reservation.

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