Saturday, May 30, 2009


Our site at the Dopps In July of 2007, when we were traveling the coast of Oregon, we answered an “ad” on the electronic bulletin board of our Boomer group: a Boomer couple with property near Portland and a big organic garden needed someone to “garden-sit” for three weeks in August while they took a trip. We were interested, responded, and met the Dopps.

We had a great time taking care of their garden and grounds, and have met up with them in our travels a few times since. You might remember Richard from prior blog posts about the small earthen ovens he has built in the desert near Quartzsite and Borrego Springs. His oven experiments were our inspiration to built a larger oven at Rosanna’s ranch in Sunizona, AZ.

The Dopps house is within an easy day’s drive of our volunteer job in Hood River, so we stopped in to visit with them for a few days on the way north. Something new since the last time we visited: an earthen oven!

Richard's Earthen Oven
Oven growing grass

Richard built a raised foundation to bring his oven up to a comfortable level relative to their deck, and fashioned his cob insulation layer to look like a beehive. The oven hasn’t been officially inaugurated yet, and I get a huge kick out of the hay GROWING out of the cob layer (click on the photo to enlarge it)! That isn’t something you would see in Arizona. :)

We are staying pretty close to home while we’re here. Richard directed us to a great walking/biking path a short drive away and, as you can see from the top photo, the Dopps property is so green and lovely that hanging around is an attractive idea. We had Boomer business to take care of, Odel spent an hour at a nearby driving range, I did some reading and napping…

We’ll be here until Monday morning, when we move to our host site in Hood River, “home” for June and July. Tomorrow? Nothing but relaxing.

Oh, by the way: I resized the setup of the side-by-side photos in this post. I hope this solves the previous problem of the right-hand photo being cut off on the right side.


  1. Why does the guy across the street have an airplane in his driveway? Must be a special kind of a place for a home. Like on the airport,LOL


  2. Nothing is cut off - good job.


  3. GREAT oven!!!!!!!!

  4. Rod, I forgot that the airplane is in the background of the oven photo!

    Yes, the Dopps live in an airpark. There is one long, paved road, with houses on both sides. That is the airplane access road to the grass airstrip that runs behind the houses on one side.

    Planes have the right-of-way on the paved road, and nothing is allowed to obstruct the edges of the road for 8-10 feet back from the asphalt (no fences, trees, posts, etc.).

    If you are in a car and find yourself sharing the taxiway with a plane, you need to pull into a driveway to get out of the way. When we arrive at the Dopps, we make sure no one appears to be landing, no one appears to be on the taxi way (the road), then make a quick turn down the road and into their driveway.

    We had a ride in that particular plane in the photo when we stayed at the Dopps in 2007. You can read about it in the archives: August 10, 2007 - High Flying Life.

    Yes, the Dopps house and neighborhood is a very cool place. I'm heading out right now to pick fresh mustard greens for to go in our "White Bean and Shrimp Stew", which Odel is going to cook in the solar oven. :)

  5. I went and read your 08/10/07 post and found it delightful! Nice pictures and nothing like a flight breakfast to start off a day. Perhaps you can have him do it again, as a reunion kind of thing. LOL


  6. I was always able to read the text on the site which would auto fit to my window width. Even when I closed my favourites list and maxed the window the pictures were still cut off and I had no scoll bar on the bottom to move over. The adjustment you made now allows to see more of the right side picture, only a very small portion (the boarder) is missing. Basically it's looking much better.