Onward to Washington State

We left the Portland Area and headed north into Washington. We stayed first in Gig Harbor about an hour outside of Seattle. We avoided the major city in favor of quieter adventures. We drove around the area and found the most amazing Ymca camp. I would have loved to spend a few weeks of my youth there. After a few days we moved on to Port Angeles and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The strait is the water border between the US and Victoria, BC, Canada.

Victoria Island, BC
We drove along the coast to get out to Cape Flattery, the farthest NW point in the continental US. This is part of the 1/2 mile hike through the forest to get to the Cape.
First Views from the trail of the Pacific Ocean.
Toward the end of the trail, they refer to this area as sea caves as the waves continue to work deeper into the rock here.
Directly in front of the cape is Tatoosh Island. If I had my telephoto lens, you would be able to see the lighthouse on it more clearly.
Same island without any magnification. The weather has been ideal for getting to where we would like to go.
More views of the Pacific Ocean as we make our way down the coast toward Oregon again.

We are making our way down the coast. Staying a few nights in Lincoln City near Devil’s Lake, and then will head down to North Bend just north of Coo’s Bay to spend 5 nights. There are Dunes there to play on and explore the area over the Thanksgiving Holiday. We are thankful for your support of our adventures and wish everyone the warmth of family and friends, as well as a safe and grateful holiday!

Mt. Shasta, Crater Lake and a few other places

We’ve been out of decent internet service for a bit. According to Verizon Unlimited, after you use 25 GB it slows to a snails pace and is no fun to use whatsoever. Lots of big volcanic rocks out west, most of them pretty stunning. I will show you some of the more famous and a few not so famous but still good views nonetheless.

At 14,000+ ft in elevation we first saw Mt. Shasta from about 85 miles away rolling down Hwy 89 toward I-5. This photo is much closer, from the park road leading up to trails all around.
I am finding that the road leading up to your destination can be just as beautiful as the destination. Not a huge fan of looking backwards, but sometimes it’s good to remind you how enjoyable it was on the way there, and how far you’ve come.
Many of the trees in this area have a light green moss, or lichen that grows on the branches and trunks. The nerd in me will have to look it up sometime and figure out which type of plant it is…
From our campground in Weed, CA. It was the perfect time of day as the sun was still up and the moon rising.
Just thought I’d look up one of the big pines and see what I could see.
From Weed, Ca we moved on to Prospect, Oregon. The first day we took a little side trip onto some Fire Service roads up 6 miles or so where people with Jeeps and other 4 wheel drive vehicles go. We met a small caravan of folks coming back down the mtn. This is one piece of an out cropping they call Rabbit Ears.
Both Ears
From as high up as we could drive. Our little Honda has been a trooper! The two tracks got too steep and a precarious from here and we’ve got too far to go to tear up the car.
Once we hit the main road back to our campsite, we followed a sign to this area of the Rogue River, a gorge formed by collapsed volcanic tubes.
Crater Lake, The water is so deep and blue. We have had the best weather we could ask for at this time of year.
Our views of the lake this time of year are very limited. They only keep a small section of the roads around the lake open. They close November first and re-open in June or July dependent on weather.
There is a tour boat that will take you to that island, in the summer.
The cloud above almost looked fake.
One of the few times my husband has ever looked small, at least since I’ve known him.
On the way back we stopped at the natural bridge on the Rogue River.
I took a video, but this platform doesn’t like them. The water flows through and sometimes over the collapsed volcanic tube. The bridge is 250 feet long the water source is melted from atop crater lake.
From Prospect, OR we spent the night near Eugene, OR and moved on near Portland to spend a few days and visit this beauty. Mt. Hood. This is taken near one of the ski slope areas.
As you can see they are getting ready with all the equipment . They have only had one snow so far this season and are eagerly awaiting the full season to start. I hope to be long gone by the time the snow flies.
Looking back on the road, we were above some clouds and were glad that we would be able to see Mt. Hood above them. Later I will show you a better picture of Mt. Jefferson. In this photo it almost blends in but if you look just left of the trees on the middle right hand side of the photo you will see a peak with some snow on it.
The poles on the road, give you an indication of how high the snow gets during any one winter.
The lodge is open to the public and has several rooms to stay as well as restaurants, bars, and lounges. We had lunch in the Cascade dining room. It was a more elegant meal than we anticipated, but we were only going to be there once!
One of the sitting areas where folks can gather around this massive fireplace.
quite a door and latch.
Even the stairways are huge, and ornate. The newel posts had animals carved on top of them.
I found the weather and this view a little more appealing than Mt. Hood. As promised this is Mt. Jefferson.

We drove into Portland today. I didn’t take any photos. I realized that I am definitely not a true city girl. Some beautiful old churches along side new style architecture, the hustle and bustle of traffic with packed parking lots. There are more homeless tent sites here than I expected. We saw many in Las Vegas as well, but these looked a little more permanent along the side of the highway leading into the city as well as on some of the city streets. I can’t put the words together to describe how seeing them made me feel, other than sad. I understand we all make choices, and some poor choices lead us to places we never imagined for ourselves. I’m sure some would choose differently if they felt they had a choice and some aren’t even aware what choices exist. I don’t know what the answers are, or the how or whys some have ended up where they are. Another reminder to count your blessings and be kind to one another.

Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe

We stayed in Mammoth lakes, CA and had the chance to visit friends there. It was a 2 hour ride into Yosemite from there but a lovely ride across Tioga Pass and into the park. The roads have been very kind to us and the journey itself is so beautiful, there just aren’t enough superlatives to describe it all. I found Yosemite less striking than Bryce Canyon or Arches National Park; but still I am extremely grateful the land has been set aside for all to see. We didn’t see any bears, but there are signs everywhere reminding you that you are in active bear country and need to be smart with your food, and any ‘pretty’ smelling items. I was borderline paranoid, which Jeff enjoyed thoroughly.

Half dome from the road at least an hour before entering the park.
The trees are as spectacular as the granite rock formations.
Most of the waterfalls are dry in the park this time of year. Was very happy to catch this one.
I apologize for not knowing exactly where we are in the park or the names of the rock formations, on this day, I just took pictures.
I normally feel short, so I’m used to it, but check out the picnic table bottom left.
actual car door opened by a bear, again Jeff enjoying the opportunity to tease me.
El Capitan
There were several climbers on the mountain. I have a few close ups next.
on the road back from the park
One of the most beautiful lakes I’ve seen. And being from the Great Lake State, I think that says something.
Emerald bay, looking out to the East side of the lake
We have had fantastic weather and wished we could have just stayed on this dock with a cold beverage. Cheers to all of you who are following along. We are now headed even farther north and west hoping to be in Oregon in a few days.

Since leaving Las Vegas

We had to head south, we wanted to head into California and into Death Valley, but Mother Nature had other plans, Santa Anna Winds running 30-40 mph with gusts as high as 70 mph. Winds of that speed don’t mix well with our RV. We were also concerned about winds carrying sparks into other areas we had no idea where and wanted no part in trying to outrun disaster.

We headed to Lake Havasu City, AZ spent a night there and then headed into California via Newberry Springs, CA. near Barstow. I saw more trains moving than I had in my entire life. Every 30 minutes or so, one would go west and then another east. Barstow is a huge train hub apparently, who knew? There is also a huge USMC logistics base there. They must dispatch most of their equipment from that location, I sure saw enough to make anyone say oooorah! From there we headed up 395 to Lone Pine, CA , a gorgeous place with plenty to see. The following pictures are from 2 days of exploring the area, Whitney Portal road, Horseshoe meadow road, and movie road.

some roads seem to head nowhere…
wait for the closeup
nice spot for your cabin eh?
when you get out into some of the mountain roads, a photo like this helps hansel and gretel get back to their campground.
Horseshoe meadow road was lined by these high desert flowers and were covered with insects, some bees .
This was once Owens Lake. The Owens River flows now into the LA Aqueduct. Water rights were purchased in approx. 1919 up river just north of Independence. CA. By 1933 the lake was dry. The story of this lake was the inspiration for the Movie, China Town.
They have started to let some water back into the lake as part of a reclamation project which has been considered a success, insects and birds have returned to the area. Time will tell what else may happen.
The road back to our campground view. It is a huge valley on the less populated side of things here in CA.
A side road off of Whitney Portal road is this sand road with many offshoots with many different looks. Being 2 or so hours outside of LA it was a perfect spot for filming. The following pictures are all from that area and we had a blast imagining ourselves in the wild west.
Happy Trails to you, until I post again…coming up Yosemite and Lake Tahoe!