April 5, 2011

Cascades Raptor Center Eugene, Oregon

Turkey Vulture

Great Horned Owl

Flower on the side of the trail

Tree farm for paper mills


Today, Sunday was not a travel day but a sight seeing and replenishment day. First we visited the Cascade Raptor Center in Eugene where they had more raptors on display than I have seen at any other location. I think they had almost every kind of owl except the common barn owl, which surprised us. They also had Bald and Golden Eagles, falcons of all kinds but the bird we liked the best was their American kestrel, Puck. This little guy was so friendly and talkative it was amazing, especially when little kids were around the outside of the cage.  He would fly right up to where they were standing, land and start talking and then as if inviting them into his home he would fly off to his box. Go inside and then turn around and look out as if to say why didn’t you follow me, I invited you in. 

The Raptor Center gave us up close and personal experiences with both a Great Horned Owl and a Turkey Vulture. Very educational, so much so, that we barely noticed how cold it was until we were ready to leave. Then it was rubbing our hands and touching our red noses to make sure they were still there. Hurry, get in the car so we can warn up.

We restocked at America’s Super Store… Wal-Mart. Then it was back to the motor home for some chores, like changing out the toilet seat for one that will not make a bang if you drop the lid in the middle of the night. While I was doing that, no not dropping the lid but replacing it, Donna removed some rubberized glue spots from the counter tops and tile floor where it had been deposited in the building process but never removed.  With the new super quiet toilet seat installed and the chores done, we could just kicked back and relax, which we did.

We saw several, of what appeared to be tree farms and sure enough that is what they turned out to be. It seems farmers here plant fast growing Poplar trees for the paper industry, but the current hot button for farmers seems to be the planting of hazel nut trees because of the demand and worldwide shortage of hazelnuts. Wow, learn something new every day and I don’t even like the taste of the things.

79 Responses to “”

  1. Liz Says:

    Great picture of our sweet Donna!

    North Carolina

  2. Lorraine and Paul Says:

    Hi well it sounds as if you are not following the coast or Oregon but dont forget there is a great “free” meal waiting for you if you do get to SEaside even on your way home…Just let me know when and if and they will be expecting you…..
    WE would be so happy to do it for you after all the great things and hours of happiness you gave us with the Owls..
    Sounds as if you are having a great time and it is one well deserved vacation…Enjoy!!!
    Lorraine and Paul

  3. VSue Says:

    Hazelnuts…YUM good to know there are trees being planted to help with the shortage. As for paper trees, the Poplar Tree is considered a nuisance tree in many areas since it really does grow fast and is invasive. Good to know being grown for paper.

    A visit to a raptor center, how wonderful would love to go one day myself. Thanks for the sharing. Enjoy the travels and as always:

    May the wind be calm upon the journey
    May other drivers be courteous along the road
    and may you have a truly wonderful journey without any more issues with the RV

  4. Kathie Utt Says:

    Happy trails folks – seems like you are taking full advantage of your time!! Enjoy!!

  5. Caboval Says:

    Oh! I love your adventures!!! Thanks for taking all of us along for the ride!!!! Keep the pictures coming as they are so beautiful! Ive never seen a vulture like that! Miss you tons!!! Oh Jills owls are getting ready to fledge as one has come out like Max did!!! Its wonderful!!! Love Valerie

  6. ChocoMare/Susan Says:

    I can relate to the banging toilet seat in the wee hours. You’re a good man, Mr. Royal.

    Love to Donna <3

  7. Elbee Says:

    Hi Donna and Carlos, Thanks for staying awhile in Oregon and sharing your interesting info on the blog. I certainly learned a lot from you and I live here! So hope all is OK with Molly and family too. They are my first love. Elbee, Portland

  8. Cindy Says:


    Never seen a tree farm . . .thanks for posting pic. As always, your photos are grand. Hugs to Donna. Oh and glad you got the toilet seat worked out.


  9. Bonnibell Says:

    Another great post card. Carlos, you take such awesome photos. Thank you, Bonnibell

  10. mandozee Says:

    Great pictures. stay well and enjoy your travels. Not sure if I ever had a Hazel nut? LOL, mandozee

  11. Joyce Hebert Says:

    thanks for the update…funny how the trees line up so nicely…like marching soldiers…eagels have one more egg to hatch…160,000 viewers…some from around the world…you did a great job for the birds…thanks again…happy cruising..

  12. Lisa A. Burns Says:

    So interesting Carlos and Donna!
    Thank you so much for sharing,…I so enjoy
    the photos and hearing about your trip!
    Have fun and be safe!!!

  13. Donna Simonson Says:

    Carlos and Donna,
    Love the pictures of your fine feathered friends and the story of the friendly Kestril. I’m almost certain the word got out from a “scout” that the Royal RV was pullin’ into town! Every feathered friend wants to be photographed by Carlos Royal! I did get a tinge of sadness looking at those beautiful Poplar trees soon to be paper.This month is Go Green and Earth Day awareness. Your picture speaks volumes . . . What a beautiful photograph. I can see that as a print hanging in many of your MOD friends home . . . :) I love seeing the travel pictures while your traveling. It puts us all along side of you and Donna and all the good people, plants and animals you see along the way. I keep thinking of Lucy and Desi on their trailer trip and let’s not forget Mickey and Minnie Mouse on their vacation trailer trip when we get updates from you and Donna. It’s just like you’ve always said, “Gee wasn’t that fun and I was a part of it!” Safe journey our good friends,
    Love, hugs and prayers owlways,
    “OwlLuver”, Murrieta, CA

    • Elbee Says:

      So very well said Donna. You put into words just what I wish I had! Thankyou for that! Elbee, Portland

      • Donna Simonson Says:

        You’re so sweet. Being here with the Royal family, you and all the MODS is a continuous saga that we all share and add to the joy, just as you have today. By the way, I have friends in Portland. Beautiful, beautiful! I thank you for your kind words. Hugs from OwlLuver!

  14. Betty Barnett Says:

    Love the tree farm photo!!! Enjoy your trip and have safe travels! Thank you for the travel guide!

  15. Ann Says:

    Thank you for sharing these awesome pictures. I am so glad that you and Ms. Donna are having a great and relaxing vacation. Stay safe and Blessed in your travels.

  16. Tresbien Says:

    Excited to read that you had a close encounter with a kestrel at the Raptor Center. Sounds like a fantastic experience to see so many owls and eagles up close. You inspired me to look for a local center, and I found one not far away of which I was unaware.

    Wishing you peaceful days, quiet nights, and joyful adventures!



  17. Michaele C. Says:

    Absolutely beautiful photos, great info. about
    your travels and adventures. Like several people
    have said already, “you should write a book.”
    Happy Trails once again

  18. Tina Says:

    Awww that turkey vulture is so ugly, he’s cute! Love his eyes! Glad you’re having a great trip – thanks for the beautiful photos!!

  19. Mary Beth/St. Louis Says:

    Well, of course there’s a worldwide shortage of hazelnuts! It’s one of the primary ingredients in Nutella which was mentioned almost every night on Molly’s site. Most of us had never heard of it before then.

    Happy Trails to you and Donna.

    Mary Beth, St. Louis

  20. Janice aka dg1018 Says:

    Sounds like trip is progressing nicely. As always, love the pictures…feel like I am on the trip with you.
    Hummmmm Hazelnuts….isn’t that what out famous Nutella is made from. Sure don’t want a shortage of that. lol
    Onward to your next adventure (hope you don’t have to replace anything else).

    A MOD missing your live chats

  21. Janie Branison Says:

    The hazel nut shortage was caused by the constant talk about Nutella in Molly’s chat room. They can’t produce enough now. ;-)
    Keep the gorgeous pictures coming. I enjoy them so much!

  22. Jo-Ann Says:

    Great photos… enjoyed your journal…Now if you can train your/our Kestrel to invite us in, I’m sure we will all go in!
    I’m sure Donna appreciates your changing of the seat!!!
    Thanks for the update…. xoxoxoxoxo

  23. joym13 Says:

    Sounds like a wonderful vacation – thanks again for “taking” us with you ;)

  24. Love viewing your photos! Hazelnut=Nutella…I am sure you have read a lot about that stuff on the chat room. In fact I just bought some to try because my grocery store stopped carrying Skippy Peanut Butter!!!

    No Barn Owl? Well, perhaps that is good…the barn owl is flying free – as a bird.

    Safe travels

  25. Linda Scroggin Says:

    Awesome pictures a usual, thanks so much for taking us along on your vacation, looking forward to your next blog, be safe and have a awesome time.

  26. Lela Anderson Says:

    I just love being part of your awesome adventure. Your pictures are gorgeous…just like postcards. Can’t wait for your next stop.

  27. PegRod Says:

    Beautiful, just beautiful. I never knew that a vulture could look so regal!

    Our beloved barn owls love their freedom, so it is just as well that they did not have barn owls at the Cascade Raptor Center in Eugene. Also might mean that none have been injured.

    It just so happens that the Cascades Raptor Center founder. Louise Shimmel, is in the news!

    Carlos and Donna, many thanks for sharing the moments of your adventures with your us.

    • NatureLuver Says:

      How do you do it? You are a wealth of information. You must be a researcher by trade?
      Appreciate the article, it was very interesting.
      Liz G., League City, TX

  28. Helen Starkey Says:

    Your tour sounds wonderful, so far. Speaking of Hazelnuts, we have a couple bushes, they are very prolific, but the squirrels beat us to them, they like the nuts while still green. But now we have a new dog and he loves to chase squirrels, and unlike our elderly Chihuahua, who died in October, he sees them well and will wait at the bottom of trees daring them to come down. stay well and drive safe.

  29. Rebecca Cole (beckpuppy) Says:

    Carlos, you are the sweetest man ever. Donna is so lucky. I know you appreciate her, and I know she does the same. Thank you for the updates. I look forward to hearing about your travels. I love that you make us all still feel connected. Have fun you two, I know you will!!

  30. Hi Carlos and Donna,
    Thank you for the update and the pictures.
    My son moved to Portland not too long ago and I am hoping to get out there in the near future. Reading about your visit to Oregon and seeing the beautiful pictures will give me some great ideas on what sites to see on the way to Portland. Never knew it was so beautiful and that there was more than just rain to see.
    Happy and safe travels to you both!
    Sending love from Colorado,

  31. sac Says:

    Donna’s so beautiful, and thanks for all the info, it’s so nice to know you’re fine. It’s nice to check my e-mail and to see MOLLY BOX, how wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God keep U in his CARE!!!! Till next time!

  32. Carlynne Allbee Says:

    I have always loved Hazelnut flavored coffee or creamer. Then I kept hearing about Nutella (Hazelnut spread with cocoa in it, sold with the other peanut butter type spreads) on the Molly Box. I imagine that of the 12 million contacts with Molly, I am not the only that has now bought some to give it try – and found out how scrumptous it is….which is why there is a world wide shortage of hazelnuts. LOL
    Carlynne aka littleguys in Lakeside, CA

  33. francie bowers Says:

    Wow Carlos, what a great day for you and Donna, especially the Raptor Center…sounds like you are having a great time, good for you!! Thanks also for the updates, we sure do appreciate them…keep on trucking! or RVing I guess!

  34. nycdragonfly Says:

    Wow! I feel like I’m on the trip with you guys, great stuff. Keep it coming!

  35. pelicangirl Says:

    Love the photos and narrative, especially since I am not a facebook user, this is grand. Continue to enjoy your trip so we will as well!

  36. Sherrie Says:

    Carlos & Donna,

    Great pics, thank you so much for including us in your adventures to us. Sure do miss you guys.

    Enjoy and can’t wait for the next stop.


  37. Virgene Colby-auntie_vee Says:

    Thank you Carlos and Donna for another educational travel experience.


  38. Theresa Atkins Says:

    Outstanding photos. It’s bringing back memories of the our family RV trip on the 101 up to Victoria, B.C. many many years ago.
    Looking forward to your next posting.

  39. Memedee251 Says:

    Fabulous photographs, Carlos, especially the one of Donna! Loved the kestral story. Thank you for remembering us on your travels.

  40. Sarah Says:

    Carlos: Thanks for keeping us updated. I live in Salem in an RV park and I was kind of hoping I’d see you and Donna when I was out walking my dogs.

    Reading your blog, I realized I’ve never been to that raptor center so close to me. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Drive safely and try to stay warm and dry in Oregon and Washington.

  41. Dave Eberhardt Says:

    Surely the Raptor Center knew who you were! Will they be getting a representative of the “Bird of the Year” soon?

    Stay dry and warm, have a great trip and come back safe to us. All the MODs are clinging to a variety of sites to stay together, and all are wondering how Molly’s latest little ones are doing!

    –Dave (Inchworm505)

  42. FloridaSkye Says:

    Carlos and Donna, thank you for the photos and the marvelous travelogue. I’m so glad you are having fun and learning at the same time. Safe travels!

  43. Eileen "Teatime" Says:

    This is like receiving a post card from friends that are on vacation………..but much better.
    Photographs are beautiful and love your sense of humor. Continue to have a great vacation, and keep the email post cards coming.

  44. Shirley Charlton Says:

    Love getting your updates of your travels! Shirley

  45. Joan from Colorado Says:

    I am so enjoying traveling with you and Donna.. looking forward always to see that there is an
    e-mail from Molly’s Box.. Hurry up, let’s see what Carlos has to tell us today.. regards, Joan

    • Joan from Colorado Says:

      You are a very thoughtful guy.. I hate banging toilet seats. especially in a strange location..

  46. SueinMaine Says:

    How about that!! You are still entertaining and educating us..even on the “trail”! Thanks so much for the photos and stories. Just great. Enjoy this well-deserved trip! xoxoxo Sue

  47. Katy Says:

    You should call your travel book “The Royal Travelogue” subtitle “Carlos and Donna Hit the Road, minus the Owls”
    Love hearing your adventures!

  48. Maxine Says:

    Hello Carlos and Donna.

    I enjoy the photos and the updates in your travels. I have been watching on a website Iris & Rusty, great horned owls, in Houston, MN. They are fun to watch.

    Have fun traveling and seeing all the beautiful sites.


  49. Maxine Says:

    Hello Carlos and Donna.

    I enjoy the photos and reading the updates on your travels. I have been watching on a website, Rusty & Iris, great horned owls, in Houston, MN. They are fun to watch.


  50. Laura Hollingsworth Says:

    Love traveling with you on vacation. Thanks for the updates :) Love to you and Donna

  51. DOC Says:

    get photos

  52. Pat Proctor Says:

    I think I’ll see you on some PPS station titled “Traveling along with Carlos and Donna” Have a great time,love reading your updates

  53. Ellen516 Says:

    Beautiful photos as always Carlos. And you don’t need to go to Oregon to see barn owls! You have the most famous barn owls in your backyard. Stay safe and healthy on your trip. Love reading your blog.

  54. Vee Miller (VeeTX) Says:

    I would love to visit that raptor center – and thanks to you, it’s almost like being there – well, almost. Cute pic of our Donna :)

    What kind of nuts are in Nutella?????? One guess!!!! Hazel Nuts – yes. We owl-loving people have made the store shelves at Walmart devoid of Nutella. Look how much we have influenced the buying/eating habits of America. All because of you guys and Molly and McGee!!!!

    Thanks again for your travelogue! I feel certain that all of us are so happy to see you having a great time. Had to laugh at the toilet seat story.

    Happy Trails to you . . . Until we meet again!

    Vee Miller (VeeTX)

  55. Yvonne VanArsdale Says:

    Hi Donna & Carlos, thanks SO MUCH for sharing your travels; miss Molly & McGee but happy you are getting your much deserved vacation. Awesome pictures; learning new things with you…thanks!! The tree farm is great…had no idea trees planted just for paper. Are trees planted in other states?
    Did you make sure a barn owl will be added to Raptor Center or is there a special reason why none are there? Loved the kestrel story. Enjoy your travels,be safe….Love to you & Donna; two, too very special people!!!! Yvonne Kentucky I have a great nephew,great niece, their 2 sons near Seattle….wave for me if near there. :)

  56. OwlLuvr Says:

    Hi Carlos & Donna, thanks for the vacation updates, we all enjoy them. If you get to Portland, check out the Audubon Raptor Cam site where in downtown Portland there is a pair of Red Tail Hawks sitting on 4 eggs on a nest on a fire escape right in the city. Enjoy your trip, the photos have been beautiful!

  57. NatureLuver Says:

    Hello Donna & Carlos,
    I too LOVE your pictures. Looking good Donna!
    I’ve been to Seattle once but never to Oregon so the tour pics are really appreciated. Can’t believe the close up of the vulture, never knew they had so much color in their face. GHO is beautiful. Did you get a picture of Puck? Would have been neat to have video of him to put on utube. Maybe he is already there?? Carlos have you been using your iPad? How do you like it?
    Have a safe trip and have FUN!!!!
    God Bless
    Liz G., League City, TX

  58. Camperfamily (Kim) Says:

    Carlos, I think we can all appreciate a ‘quite’ seat in the middle of the night! Especially with kids! Works like a charm!
    What a beautiful place you went to! I’ll add it to our ‘must do’ list!

  59. Donna and Carlos,
    I just opened the blog before heading off to bed.What a grand surprise to see your Donna. This is a great picture. Oh my, I so enjoyed the dialogue about the toilet seat. So funny.You are a good man Carlos for apparently putting the seat down.
    Will you send pics.of the beloved Kestrel?
    Stay safe. I hope you have sundhine and rainbows all aong your journey.
    Have other campers recognized you both? It would be so great to “run into you both…”hehe
    Keep sending your journies,it is so appreciated.
    Celebrate life,
    Eileen Curran

  60. Sally L Dausch Says:

    the need for more hazelnuts can be explained as yet another reaction from the owl box chatters, it is the sales of Nutella have gone through the roof, lol………………have a great trip :)

  61. Sherry Kelly Says:

    Beautiful photos! Especially loved the one of Donna. Thanks for taking us along on your trip. You guys are great!!!

  62. Holly Sue Says:

    Dear Carlos and Donna,
    I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying the journal of your experiences as you travel, and the wonderful pictures, especially Donna’s! The Raptor Center sounds terrific and so worth a visit. I hope all your repairs go smoothly and you have a peaceful stay at the little hotel. Sometimes it’s the unexpected change of plans that lead to delightful discoveries! Thank you so much for keeping in touch!
    Love to you both! Holly Sue

  63. Jan Halstead Says:

    Loved the Puck story and how he related to the children. That must have thrilled some of them if they were paying attention. I would love to see the Raptor Center if I was ever in that area. Thanks for taking us along. Bet Donna is glad she doesn’t have to fix breakfast for all of us before starting out every morning. She wouldn’t have enough Nutella for our toast, and tea or coffee. We are really enjoying this trip and the pictures. We have Turkey Vultures here in Indiana that fly over head daily looking for dead animals to eat along the roads and in fields. They are quite common here. Jan in Indiana

  64. Carlos what wonderful photographs…You are so talented. The Turkey Vulture pic is just spectacular as I’ve never seen such a geat close up of them….Thank you for everything you have shared with us…Namaste

  65. BJ Says:

    Thanks so much for this post….love the photos…and your descriptive words of the birds, trees, etc. I hope to one day go traveling BUT if it never happens, I am glad to have been able to shared in your travels. Take good care and continue to play and enjoy your days. BJ

  66. Marilyn Says:

    Your pics are fantastic! Keep sharing. Have a safe, fun trip!

  67. kit Says:

    Maybe the Molly chat had a hand in the hazelnut shortage with all the talk of Nutella! Love your photos. We have lots of papermills in the south but had no idea about the poplar farms. Thanks for the updates!

  68. flukestail Says:

    Look up “ugly” in Webster’s and you will see a picture of a turkey vulture. Ugh. We have them here in Indianapolis. They travel in pairs and will sit on the edge of the lake I live on…about
    50′ from my deck. Humped over and just waiting.
    Perhaps if their faces were in the shape of a heart like Molly, they’d make me smile. But they aren’t, and they give me the creeps. So I politely ask them to move on to their next stop.

  69. donna Says:

    Thanks for sharing and the beautiful pictures Carlos. Donna looks very happy in the picture, happy that you’re both having a great time! Enjoy!!!

  70. Betty Denton Says:

    Really enjoy your blogs and your photos and can’t wait to see the great shots you will take in Canada. Such a great place to enjoy the scenery and the wildlife and with your expertise with the camera will surely keep us all tantalized! I spent a week in Eugene last summer visiting relatives but missed out on the Raptor Center. Will surely put this on my list for this next visit. Enjoy your trip and safe travels.
    MOD Hugs!

  71. Ione Mack Says:

    Hey Carlos and Donna, I watched last year with Ashley and the other one I can’/t remember the name but I’m a senior!!! so I have an excuse!!! ha anyway I really enjoyed watching them and I appreciate what you did cause I know it was alot of work we didn’t know about. I love your pics, you take such great ones. I took one of Ashley and put it on a mouse pad for my sister for Cmas and the one of Carrie I put on a plate on my car. I also want you to know I have REALLY enjoyed going on vacation with you both. I’ve enjoyed it too. God Bless you both and stay safe and keep the info comeing. THANKS AGAIN Miss Ione Mack

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