Saturday, August 31, 2013

Our Return Visit to Crater Lake

We visited Crater Lake last year the first week of July.  However, even at that late time of the year, the road around the lake had not fully open, and we only got to see a the views from about 2/3rds of the lake.  Boy, we sure were glad we decided to come back….it brought back the great memories of last year, and we saw some views this year that were outstanding.  Last year we talked about how the lake was formed, and stuff like that…if you are interested in that, click here.
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We arrived at the South Entrance, and proceeded along the rim road to the east, which was snowed in last year.  We saw Vidae Falls, which is one of three waterfalls in Crater Lake National Park, and is the most photographed since it is right along Rim Drive.

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As you drive along the east rim you get some wonderful views of the valleys below, and the cliffs and mountains that make up the rim of Crater Lake.

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One thing about Crater Lake….the lake views are good, but the panoramic views surrounding the crater are good too.  Above looks out over the area to the Southeast of the Lake.

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Our first good view of the Lake is at the vista point for the Ghost Ship (upper left).  There are lots of trees here, which make good frames for the shots, but they don’t allow a full picture of the lake.  But there are so many other views which do provide full views, and trees see to add to the mystic of the lake.

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Further along the east rim and another vista point captures the last picture of the ghost ship (upper left) and the more of the lake to the right.  Remember, if you click on the pictures, any picture, it will open a larger view of the picture.

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This picture was taken at the Pumas Castle Overlook…the “Castel” can be seen to the far right, the shot below will help you identify it.

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Remember, I am just the story teller….I did not make up the story.  If they say it is a castle, then it is a castle.

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SKRUFFY!  What are you doing up there?  Actually, Skruffy is illustrating the high winds that are at Cloudcap Overlook, which is on the very eastern side of the lake.  They say the winds from the west are nearly constantly blowing, and at times, very hard.  This is also one of the highest overlooks of the lake along Rim Drive…and it makes for a bad hair day for any pup who has such a nice daddy to put then up on a ledge in a blowing wind with all that water out there…

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And if you are a Whitebark Pine, you have been put here by a higher force, and it causes you to grow deformed, stunted, and with the knowledge that you are one of only a few trees which can withstand this constant wind.

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And as we leave Cloudcap, the panoramic view of the Northeast is stunning.

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Above is what is left of Mt. Scott, which is the highest peak in Crater Lake National Park.  At nearly 9,000 feet, it was once dominated by Mt. Mazama which collapsed, allowing for the creation of the lake.  Scott was one of many of the volcanic cones that grew up along Mt. Mazama.  Now Mt. Scott is gradually giving in to the wind, rain, ice and snow, which cause rock slides and general erosion.  To the right is a fire lookout tower, which is at the highest point of the mountain, and can be reached by a long, hard 2 1/2 mile hike.  (again, thank goodness that GoGo Scooter could not reach that!)

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There are many an old tree which have given up their leaves, but still stand strong up around Crater Lake.  Marcia loves old trees, and one day soon I will have to make a webpage for her old dead trees, so watch for the Marcia’s Trees tab coming to our blog soon…err…one of these days somewhere down the road….

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Here is a good panoramic view of the lake from the North-Northeast side of the lake looking West-Southwest.

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Here are two shots which show two very different views of what is nearly the same shoreline in the distance.  This is how much things change just yards or a few tenths of a mile, as this is, along the rim road.  One constantly want to look out at the lake to see what it is doing right now…how are the clouds, the shadows, the effect of the sun on the water, the effect of the wind on the water….it is always constantly changing.

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Taken just south of the Northern Junction, this view shows Wizard Island.  They say that on “average” the lake does not have a loss of water from year to year.  Evaporation does take its toll during the summer months, but during the winter it all comes back again.  Last year in early July the land jetting to the right of the Island was not nearly as large as it is now this year.  I am sure that come next spring much of this land jetting out will be covered in water.

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Here is a view of….SKRUFFY!  What are you doing, I told you to stay in the car girl!!!  She always loves to get into the shots (although I don’t think she liked that last windy one….)

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This is one or our favorite vantage points from last year….looking to the East Northeast, with Wizard Island to our left.  We had lunch here last year a few times, there are Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrels all over the place, and the trees are known to house the Clark's Nutcracker (missed a shot of that) and many Steller's Jay.

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As our day was coming to close at Crater Lake, sitting in our favorite spot, we noticed something we both thought was very odd.  Many of the people at this overlook were spending a lot of time taking pictures of these little squirrels instead of the lake.

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Ya, I got, not counting this picture above, two squirrel shots, and about 8 bird shots….out of like 150 shots taken during the day.  We saw this one German family drive up, all adults but you could tell they were family, and they spent 90% of their time taking pictures of squirrels during the 30 minutes they were at this overlook.  In the shot above I see four cameras….three aimed at squirrels, one in the arms of a father holding  a child.  Frankly, I just don’t get it….All I do know is that we enjoyed our revisit to Crater Lake, and chances are, it won’t be our last visit.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Crater Lake, Glad We Made It Back

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Due to the slow connection, not going to say too much right now other than the view just kept getting better and better and better.  Here we are in the Southeast area of the lake, a portion we did not get to last year.  Tomorrow I will post more pictures.

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On our way back from the lake we stopped to see and meet Mary-Pat who writes the Butterflies and Heart Songs blog.  I met her online while we were staying at the Loomis RV Park…she lives in Roseville which is between Loomis and my Sister’s house in Citrus Heights.  Anyway, she had found this wonderful Butterfly Heart that she wanted to make a logo out of, and so I made this banner for her.  She is still tweaking her blog design and might use a second banner I made which is similar to this one. Anyway, she is traveling with her dog Lacy and two cats in her new to her 25 foot Fleetwood motorhome pulling her new to her smart car.  It was nice to finally meet her, and I am sure our paths will cross again in the future.

We head for Citrus Heights again tomorrow with expected arrival time of Saturday late morning or early afternoon.  We have had one heck of a fun 9 days and who knows, we might just find something exciting to report about on our way home. Smile

PS: did you notice our banner picture has changed from a generic ocean view to a view of our motorhome along the ocean? 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Dreaded 1X


 Here we are at the Stewart State Park Campground between Medford and Crater Lake, no neighbors for 3 sights on either side of us, behind us, and only 2 just in front and to our left….under beautiful trees, lots of green grass, no TV (that’s ok) and, well, Internet reception is 1X with 4 bars.  1X is Verizon’s second generation cellular.  It is good for, well, phone calls and text messages which have no pictures attached. 


Tomorrow we are headed up on a day trip to Crater Lake, and if all the stars line up, we will have a visit with Mary-Pat who writes the Butterflies and Heart Songs blog.  We will probably not get to post pictures of Crater Lake until we are on our way home Friday.  Now it is time to take a nap and “hope” this posts while I am napping….it will probably take that long.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Coos Bay, Oregon


Yes, plans were to stay at the Bullards Beach State Park in Bandon, Oregon, but we decided to drive on to Coos Bay and stay at the Mill Casino and Hotel like we did last year.  They have an RV park here, but they also have a nice, big parking lot full of RV'ers who just want to stop for a night or two.  



I wanted to stay here to test our our inverter and batteries to see if we could handle National Forest Campgrounds along Diamond Lake near Crater Lake.  I had mentioned before that when we bought this motorhome we knew the inverter gif trips while on generator or shore power.  The inverter provides power to two outlets, both behind the TV.  I reset the gif, turned on the inverter, and we had TV and computer power.  However, 90 minutes later when I checked the battery strength, it was down to one.  I had to start the engine of the RV just to have enough power to start the generator, which I tested earlier in our trip.  I guess we will have to replace the house batteries after all before we attempt to do any boondocking type of camping.  Looks like a visit to Sams Club is in order when we get back to the Sacramento area.  As for the next two days, we plan to stay at the Stewart State Park Campground, which has 30 amp service, and then start heading home on Friday, with the arrival target date of Saturday.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cape Blanco and More of Port Orford

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Today, around noon, we decided to go to Cape Blanco to see the lighthouse there.  Last year we saw many of the Oregon Coast Lighthouses, but not this one. 

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Cape Blanco is the most western point of the State of Oregon, and is the bottom left lighthouse on the map.  Land was purchased in 1867 for the lighthouse, which was constructed over the next three years, being lit for the first time on December 20, 1870.  The Lighthouse is on federal land, controlled by the BLM, while the land leading up to it is a State Park, including a camping area where RVers often serve as docents at the lighthouse and in exchange receive a free campsite and hook-up at Cape Blanco State Park.  Two of the RVers we follow, Chris and Cherie, have a blog called Technomadia, and they start their volunteer shift at the park in September.  It would have been nice to meet them, but they are up in the Portland area headed down this way over the next few days.

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It is a real pretty lighthouse, as are most lighthouses.  The west coast lighthouses are not as tall as some of the ones I have seen on the east coast because most are located on higher ground already when they are along the west coast.  As you can see from above, this lighthouse is working, but it is one of the few lighthouses which allows visitors to ascend the spiral staircase to the lantern room, for a view of the surrounding coastline.

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In the picture to the right you can see two or three people up in the lantern room.

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This is the view of the coastline to the north of the lighthouse.  I tried to take a picture to the south, but the wind was blowing so hard to the north at the viewpoint, that I could barely get out of the car when I took the picture at the beginning of this posting.  I did not even dare turn the camera into that wind, because I know it would turn out real fuzzy because the wind was really that strong.

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After Cape Blanco, we went back to Port Orford and ate lunch near where I took the pictures yesterday.  We stayed in the car, of course, because even here in the port the wind was blowing, and it was a blistering 62 degrees outside.  (can you feel the sweat dripping off my forehead?)  After lunch we traveled just a few miles south on highway 101 to a turn out to get these two pictures of Port Orford from the other side of the bay than yesterday’s pictures were taken.  Below is a close up showing the port on the left, and some of the homes and buildings which line the coast line.

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Tomorrow we plan to drive to Bullards Beach State Park which is the southern most part of our trip last year when we stayed in Coos Bay and did a day trip down to Bullard.  We plan to stay for a night, then head inland on Wednesday.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Port Orford, Oregon

After church we packed up and hit the road at 1:00 sharp, just as I figured.  I sure appreciated Salmon Harbor RV Resort (park) for allowing us to stay that late so that we could attend church.  There was around 50-60 people at Calvary Chapel of the Redwoods today, not the smallest congregation we had ever worshiped with, and dwarfed by some where there are hundreds attending.  We sure enjoyed meeting everyone and wished we had more time to get to know them better…but that is how this RV life is sometimes…you meet, greet, and say goodbye fairly quickly.

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We stopped for lunch just north of Pistol River at one of the only paved turnouts in this area.  After a quick can of Vegetarian Chili (Dennison), we were back on the road within 30 minutes.

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About 10 miles North of Gold River, which is the furthest north we traveled yesterday, we pulled over for quick pics of the coast line.  Not nearly as much fog as yesterday because some rain pulled through over night.

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We arrive at Port Orford RV Village by 3:15.  Now I have heard of RV Parks, and RV Resorts…now there are RV Villages.

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But this is the first place I have been to which have gravel pads for not only the motorhome, but a separate pad for your car….now that is nice.

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And they have lots of green grass, our own little tree, and potted plants to boot.  There are many people here who live here all the time, and from what I have seen, each one is well taken care of, the park is quiet, and the staff are super nice.

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Since the sun was out much of the day, and out here at the RV park, I thought I might be able to get a sunrise shot later this evening.  Marcia needed a nap, so I drove down to the ocean to see what it looked like.  The fog was just rolling in….no sunrise shot, and I took the opportunity to take this picture (above) of Port Orford’s port and entrance to their small bay.

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Above is “Battle Rock”, a few blocks to the left from the previous shot.  This is the site where the Qua-to-mah Native Americans fought Capt. William Tichenor and his men in 1851, and also where the 190 foot steam schooner Cottoneva ran aground on Feb. 10m, 1937 due to winds estimated at 75 miles per hour.

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My final shot (above) was the shore line just to the left of Battle Rock.  Although I did not get a sunset shot, I am glad that I went when I did because here in Oregon….you never know if this view will be available tomorrow.

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