RIP Zoe 
My husband and I travel quite a bit. We're slightly nuts as we decided to bring our 4 cats with us on our cross country RV trip. Because the cats are confined to a small area, we try our best to get to National Forest where it is legal to park off the road for up to 14 days. There, we let them out during the middle of the day so they can run around and explore. They don't stray far and always come back for dinner. We have been to national forests all over the country and have never had a problem with hunters or people in general.

On September 22nd, we arrived in Happy Camp. We drove past it and up a National Forest road where we found a great place to park. The cats were having a blast. We stayed for a few nights. Unfortunately, on Saturday, we were sitting in the RV and heard a rattlesnake nearby. We ran outside to see two of our cats within a couple feet of it. We rescued the one, Zoe, who was not the focus of the snake's attention. Joe grabbed a bat to put between the snake and Lucy, the other cat. Both came out without being bitten, but we decided not to take anymore chances (Joe had seen a different rattler just 2 days before). We left that afternoon and headed back into Happy Camp. We had pizza at the Pizza House and were quite impressed with the small community. That night we stayed at the Elk River Campground. Again, we were impressed with the area.

The next day we wanted to try our luck out in the forest again. We headed back out and found another road to try. We eventually found an amazing spot. It was far enough off the main road (about 150 yards) that the cats shouldn't wander onto it, and we could have some privacy. We were paranoid about the rattlesnakes, so we spent a good hour walking around the area looking. We even found two scorpions, took the time to identify them and discovered they weren't poisonous before we ever dared to let the cats out. We finally did though and they ran around having fun exploring. We went outside every hour or two to check on them and they were always not too far from the RV.

At around 6:15 on September 26, Joe and I were in the RV when we heard a shot. Joe jumped up and ran to the door. He yelled "Stop! There are people here!" He then looked out the door to see Zoe, our two year old, long haired, black cat approximately 100 yards from the RV, running as fast as she could towards us. Joe quickly yelled "Stop! That's our cat!" There was another shot and Zoe tumbled. We both ran to her. The man that shot her was able to give no explanation when asked what he was shooting at. What did he think she was? Why would he shoot a cat? He had a handgun on his hip.

This man was in his 40's or 50's and he shot my baby. My young, beautiful Zoe, with a handgun. As I knelt next to her watching her die, all he could do was beg and apologize but offer no explanation as to what he was doing shooting at such a small animal that looked nothing like anything found in the wild. My husband asked him to back off and give us some space. A couple minutes later, he drove away in his tan pickup. We buried Zoe there and left, wanting to get away from the area we had thought was 'happy'.

We had more respect for people and hunters. We hoped people that carried guns actually made sure they identified what they were shooting at before pulling the trigger. We were apparently wrong. We were slightly concerned that we could possibly get shot since it was deer season. It never crossed our minds that someone would ever shoot a long haired, black cat.

Zoe was just starting to mature. She no longer scratched at the door. She commonly sat by me while I was working. She would come up to Joe and me and rub her head against us wanting attention. She had an adorable old lady meow. It sounded like she was losing her voice. She sounded like that since she was a kitten. She was Curly's best buddy. They gave each other baths all the time. She would often purr and knead my clothes before lying down to take a nap. She will be greatly missed.

-Miranda


Zoe.

Photo taken a few days earlier at the other site. She loved to roll around and get really dirty.

RIP Zoe


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Rattlesnake 
Joe and I were sitting inside working and he heard a rattlesnake nearby. We ran outside and found Zoe behind it about 3 or so feet, so I went to grab her and put her in the RV where Pickles and Curly already were. Lucy was sitting, staring straight at it, about 1-2 feet in front of it. Joe had the bat we have with, so he put it between Lucy and the snake. He got Lucy, so all the cats are inside now. We're really hoping Lucy wasn't bit. We checked for bites, but don't think we can find any. She's acting freaked out, but not like she's in pain. I guess we'll find out soon enough.
I really liked this spot.... I guess we'll be leaving soon though. Can't let the cats out now without worrying like crazy.

UPDATE: Lucy is fine. No one was bit, fortunately. We did leave the area though and are now staying at a campground/RV park for the night.
-Miranda

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Happy Camp 
We are loving the spot we found. The first evening we were here, a pickup drove down, so we were worried it would be a common occurrence. Fortunately, we haven't seen or heard anyone since then. The kitties are having tons of fun being able to play outside all day. Unfortunately, Zoe decided to bring a lizard in the RV, twice. That was annoying. Hopefully she doesn't repeat that today.
We've mostly just been working and trying to get stuff caught up. We're starting to run low on water, so we may head down into Happy Camp tomorrow or Monday to fill up and shower. What we do after that is up in the air though.

Oh, I updated the current location, but I got lazy. :) I didn't put many points along the coast. Sorry. :)
-Miranda

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Redwoods! 
We left Brookings and headed towards California and the redwoods. Our plan ended up being, go through the redwoods and take highway 96 back over to I5 to get back up to Ashland, OR where we're meeting up with Joe's cousin. We headed towards Jedidiah State Park and ended up seeing a county park in the redwoods where camping was $10! It had internet too. We got some work done and enjoyed the redwoods around us. The kitties even went out for a walk on their harnesses. We have 2 so we take two different trips with them. They've been doing really well on them.

We left the next morning and headed for the campground in Jedidiah. The camping cost $35!!!! We did not remember it costing that much before. We found out from a different campground ranger later, that up until about two years ago, it was $20.

Anyway, we headed towards the Stout Grove. We went to that same grove 3 years ago from a different, longer direction. That time we hitchhiked up to it. This time we parked at one trailhead where a ranger happened to pass us in a car and mentioned that he didn't think the RV would fit down the road... We took the bikes down to the grove since we figured it couldn't be far. Joe wanted to take a different hike after the Stout Grove hike. Unfortunately, the bridge was out. We took our shoes off and walked across the stream. The hike was absolutely gorgeous. It was about 3 miles long and ended at the road. From there we walked part way down the road back to the parking lot where our bikes were. We got a ride from a pickup for about half the ride.

After the bike ride, we decided the RV could fit through without a problem. We drove through without incident and made it to Crescent City. From there, we headed to Del Norte State Park. It was pricey, but we stayed in the campground there and went for a nice, short, but steep hike. The next day we kept going through the redwood parks and got to our Bald Hills Rd we were going to take to 96. It was steep! We stopped for a short, mile walk around Lady Bird Johnson Grove. After that we worked our way up the hill more until we got to the road that goes down to the Tall Trees Grove. That grove contains the tallest tree in the world. Unfortunately, you need a permit to drive down the 6.5 mile road. It was foggy and a bit chilly, but we decided to bike down it, then do the 3.6 mile hike (800ft elevation change), then bike back up. The hike was gorgeous. The bike turned into 13 mile bike ride 1300 feet of up and down in elevation. We were pretty tired after that.

We continued up the road where the road quality disintegrated! The fog also got so bad we could barely see a thing. There was a trail head, so we parked there for the night. The next morning, we headed out right away. We eventually came out above the clouds to a gorgeous day. Our hope was to find a place in the national forest between 101 and I5. It was looking pretty bleak for a while (no internet at all) but once we got to Happy Camp, CA we finally got internet!!! We went up into the forest nearby and have found an awesome spot. Hopefully we'll stay here for a few days.
-Miranda


Pretty redwoods.

A monitor we saw sitting in the middle of a bridge during our hike off the Stout Grove. So crazy! Joe carried it out. It was super heavy since it was filled with rocks and mud. We gave it to a park ranger.

Pretty foggy redwoods.

Joe and I in front of a redwood in the Tall Trees Grove. This isn't the tallest tree, but we did see it!

Along the crazy long road. Right after we got out of the fog. This was a prescribed burn area.

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Rain.... 
We woke up the next morning to rain. Joe went down to check out the possibility of surfing, but it looked pretty bad. We decided to just head out. We had to stop in Bandon to pick up some deworming medication for the cats. (Curly had tapeworms.) From there we ended up stopping at Cape Blanco. It was so foggy, we couldn't see a thing. The sites were $20 for hookups, so we decided to stay.
That night we did the pills for the cats. I'll tell you one thing, I'm never giving Lucy another pill. She was freaking out so much that her mouth started foaming. Pickles took the trick of putting it in cheese. All the other cats had to go the hard way.
It poured all night. The next morning we hooked up to the electricity and got the battery fully charged before leaving. We ended up spending the afternoon in a grocery store parking lot to get some work done. There was a decent pizza place in town that had a really good salad bar. We had dinner there before heading out again. Still in the pouring rain. We ended up finding a road in the forest that was gated. We parked near there for the night.
Let's just say we've done a lot of movie watching... Right now we're at a Fred Meyers in Brookings. The rain seems to have stopped but it's super wet and foggy out there. It's supposed to clear up tomorrow. Hopefully that holds true.
-Miranda

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