Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area Wetland Enhancement near Reedsport, Oregon

Deer Creek Elk Viewing Area (click on image to enlarge). (Julianne G. Crane)
Jimmy and I are lucky enough to spend many months each year in Oregon State.  Our very favorite "comfort station" is the "Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area, on State Highway 38, just a couple miles east of Reedsport, Ore., on Coast Hwy 101.
RVer Jimmy Smith photographs elk herd (Julianne G. Crane)

Not only are there free toilet facilities and room to walk around, the "Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area is the year-round residence for a herd of about 100 Roosevelt elk. A mild winter climate and abundant food allow the Roosevelt elk to remain at the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area all year."

Completed in 1992, "the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area Wetland Enhancement project involved the installation of levees to create five district basins and the construction of four ponds to increase open water areas."

The best times to view and photograph wildlife are early mornings and just before dusk. That said, on our recent visit, it was early afternoon and there were plenty of elk roaming around grazing. (Click on photo above right.)

Birds are constant companions of elk. (Julianne G. Crane)
The elk are just one of the attractions here. The number and assortment of birds is also outstanding. Some of the birds even have lunch while hitchhiking on the elk.

This wetland project was a joint effort the Coos Bay District Bureau of Land Management, Ducks Unlimited, Pacific Coast Joint Venture, and their sub-group Oregon Coast Wetlands Joint Venture. It is managed by BLM.

The free viewing area is open year-round. There are restrooms and it is handicap accessible. The available parking is spacious enough for any size rig.

Bull elk. (Julianne G. Crane)

Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area
48819 Hwy 38
Reedsport, OR 97467
Phone:(541) 756-0100

Directions: From Reedsport and Highway 101: Travel about three miles east on Hwy. 38 to the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area signs.

To read more articles by Julianne G. Crane about the RV lifestyle go to

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Harmony Inn in Pennsylvania is said to provide a haunting historic experience

Harmony Inn, Harmony, Pa. (Julianne G. Crane)

RVer Jimmy Smith of Oregon (center) having lunch. (Julianne G. Crane)
Located in rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, the historic Harmony Inn entices visitors with 30-some craft brews and tales of "a little girl in a white dress roaming the upstairs."
Originally built in 1856 as an Italianate-style mansion for a prominent banker and mill operator,  the present-day Harmony Inn had operated as a hotel and saloon since the late 1800s. Owners in 1985 turned "the rough and tumble of the saloon" into "one of the first craft beer bars" in Butler County.

Numerous craft beers and ciders. (Julianne G. Crane)
Current proprietors, Bob and Jodi McCafferty of Slippery Rock, bought the establishment in 2013 and took a year to renovate the three-story structure.

In addition to a staggering selection of craft beers and ciders, the popular restaurant and saloon features a mouth-watering German-inspired lunch and dinner menu.

Haunting of Harmony Inn
Upstairs haunting area of the Harmony Inn, (Julianne G. Crane)
An article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the Inn is believed to be "one of the most haunted places in Western Pennsylvania. Along with the strange noises, flickering lights and unexplained electrical impulses, visitors have felt gusts of cold air blow past them, seen objects move by themselves or fly off shelves and heard their names being called out from empty rooms."

Staircase (Julianne G. Crane)
The website reassures: "Although employees and customers are often frightened by the unexplained images, everyone reports that their encounters have always been friendly."

National Landmark District
Harmony Borough sits about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh where early Native American trails crossed. It is written that in 1753, a young George Washington and wilderness guide Christopher Gist camped on the north bank of Connoquenessing Creek near a Delaware Indian village (site of Harmony). Washington's mission sparked the French and Indian War. "Nearby, the war’s first shot was fired at Washington by a 'French Indian'."

In 1804, the Harmony Society of German Lutheran Separatists settled in the area seeking religious freedom. They quickly became 19th century America’s most successful communal group. This quaint settlement of brick and log buildings retains the old world architectural character of an German village and includes more than 50 structures in the National Landmark District.

Historic Harmony (Julianne G. Crane)
If you go:
The Harmony Inn
230 Mercer St
Harmony, PA 16037
(724) 452-5124

Monday - Thursday 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Friday - Saturday 11 a.m. - Midnight
Sunday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
*Kitchen closes one hour before bar

- Text and photos: Julianne G. Crane
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