OUR LIFE ON WHEELS - Jerry and Suzy LeRoy travel blog

Autumn brings the teasels out in full gold.

Fall color near the Office Bridge

The Office Bridge is the only one in Lane County painted red.

The Office Bridge, 180 feet long, the second longest in the county.

This shows the unique covered walkway built into the bridge.

A view of the Rogue River from one of the windows.

Triple truss and beam construction makes it extra strong.

The bridge is not really hiding in the blackberry vines, but it's...

Did we tell you we found blackberries?

Some weren't quite ripe enough

Suzy found a good picking spot.

Some berries were nearly hidden deep down in the vines.

This was the start of a great dinner dessert.

The old mill site offers some interesting photo opportunities.

Detail often is fascinating!

For some reason we like fir cones. Maybe it's a promise for...

Does anyone know why they are called rose "hips"?

The town of Weed celebrates its nearness to the mountain.

Weed also celebrates its native inheritance. This is in a supermarket parking...

Mount Shasta in her scanty fall attire

SERENDIPITY: We stopped at Eugene, OR, to replace a windshield that had taken a few too many rock hits on the caravan. When they told us they needed the motorhome for at least four hours, we found we had half a day to spend in the car. Eugene is the Lane County seat, and Lane County is the home of 20 covered bridges. To be efficient, we headed southeast on Highway 58 to get to the farthest bridge in that direction, the Office Bridge. There were others we would see on the way back.

The Office Bridge, built in 1944, is still open to traffic. This bridge has two features unique among the Lane County covered bridges: it is painted red, and it has a covered walkway along one side. Originally it spanned the Rogue River between a lumber mill and the mill office, hence its name. At 180 feet, it is the second longest covered bridge in the county. It was built with triple trusses and beams to support the heavy logging trucks of the day. Both the mill and the office are gone now, but the area is still interesting. We parked where the mill used to be and walked around, trying to find additional photo opportunities. What we found was blackberries, lots of blackberries! We brought home enough for dinner dessert (to be topped with vanilla yogurt).

After visiting the Office Bridge, we scouted out some interesting looking RV Parks that might be likely candidates for a month's stay in some future year. One in particular, at Dexter Lake, seemed at least reasonably affordable and appealing. Soon we realized there wouldn't be time to see any other bridges that day, and returned to Eugene.

Next stop was the Valley of the Rogue State Park near Grants Pass. This is where the TRIUMPH OF TECHNOLOGY comes in. We had been having a few problems with our Verizon cell phone when used for Internet access. It worked reasonably well most of the time, but a Verizon technical representative told us we'd get much better service with an "Air Card" that plugs directly into the computer. We spoke with a sales representative who assured us we'd get the equivalent of broadband speed in metropolitan areas, and good performance anywhere else that we can get digital service on the cell phone. In addition, we would still be able to use our phone while online. The Air Card worked great in Wilsonville, did wonderfully in Champoeg Park, was a winner in Eugene, but didn't connect at all at the Valley of the Rogue. When we called the Verizon tech, we were told that it wasn't working because we were out of the service area! Digital cell phone service didn't mean anything; we were out of the DATA service area. So, the higher level of technology actually gives a lower level of service.

I got nowhere talking with the tech, so I asked to talk to "Customer Care." But when Customer Care finally got on the line, they ended up dealing with Suzy, who is a world's champion in the role of agitated consumer. After a half hour with Customer Care and finally being assigned to the "Escalation Desk," Suzy achieved a nice level of satisfaction from Verizon. The Air Card still didn't work at the Valley of the Rogue, but Verizon has made it right for us.

Moving south, we met Mt. Shasta in her scanty early autumn attire, then turned inland on Highway 89 toward Susanville, Highway 395, Reno, and finally Minden, Nevada, where we will attend Granddaughter Renee's wedding. We'll have pictures for you in our next report from ... Our Life on Wheels.

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