Saturday, July 30, 2016

Cascade Lakes Relay - 07/30/16 - Bend, OR

Saturday – July 30, 2016
Cascade Lakes Relay
Bend, Oregon

We enjoyed a leisurely auto tour of the Cascades Lakes Scenic Byway today. While traveling on the Century Drive Highway leg of this trip we encountered the Cascades Lakes Relay event. There were 203 teams, comprised of Running and Walking teams, that competed in this relay from Diamond Lake to Bend. The stamina exhibited by these competitors traversing the steep elevations of the relay route was absolutely amazing.

The Cascades Lakes Scenic Byway is a National Scenic Byway in central Oregon. It runs for 66 miles in the rugged country of Deschutes and Klamath counties on the east side of the Cascade Range. It offers particularly good views of Mount Bachelor and provides access to many recreational facilities in central Oregon. The route is so named because it weaves past a number of small natural lakes along the Cascades, as well as several reservoirs on the upper Deschutes River.

The Century Drive Highway begins at an interchange with US-97 (the Bend Parkway) in Bend. It heads west along Colorado Avenue and Century Drive, which it follows to the entrance to the Mount Bachelor Ski Resort, where Century Drive Highway ends.

A turnoff on the Century Drive Highway leads to the Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort. With nearly 3,700 acres of lift-served terrain and a 3,365-foot vertical drop, it’s the largest ski area in Oregon, with deep dry snow that often last into June. In summer, hikers and sightseers can ride the chairlift to the Pine Marten Lodge at an elevation of 7,775 feet for views that stretch from Washington to California.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Downtown Tour - 07/29/16 - Bend, OR

Friday – July 29, 2016
Downtown Walking Tour
Bend, Oregon

We awake to another beautiful, sunny day, at our dispersed campsite, nestled deep within the Deschutes National Forest. The temperature will be in the middle 80’s with low humidity (Dew Point in the 20’s) making for a perfect day to do a walking tour of the downtown area.

As we crossed the Deschutes River, on our way to town, "tubers" were leisurely floating down the river. The more adventurous "tubers" were running the man-made rapids. Several years ago, the city of Bend developed the rapids so residents, young and old, could enjoy the experience of "riding the rapids." This is probably one of the most popular areas during the summer months.

Downtown Bend is just a "cool" place to visit. People are friendly, the town is clean and thriving with all kinds of boutique shops, general merchandise stores, café’s, breweries and street performers. One elderly cowboy had a lasso and was roping a man-made steer head mounted to a saddle. He was quite good. He never missed, while we were watching.

A young street performer had tired of playing his guitar and decided a nap was in order. Oh to be that young again! Well… upon further reflection, maybe not!

The above scenes are captured in the video below.

Bend, Oregon Facts
Incorporated: January 4, 1905
Elevation: 3,623 feet
Population: 76,639 (2010)
Annual precipitation: 11 inches – most of it during winter.

Bend is Central Oregon's largest city, and despite its modest size, is the de facto metropolis of the region, owing to the low population density of that area. Bend recorded a population of 76,693 at the time of the 2010 US Census, up from 52,029 at the 2000 census. The estimated population of the city as of 2013 is 81,236. Bend's metro population was estimated at 165,954 as of July 1, 2013.

The name Bend was derived from "Farewell Bend", the designation used by early pioneers to refer to the location along the Deschutes River where the town was eventually platted, one of the few fordable points along the river.

Bend is located on the eastern edge of the Cascade Range along the Deschutes River. Here the Ponderosa Pine forest transitions into the high desert, characterized by arid land, junipers, sagebrush, and bitter-brush. Originally a crossing point on the river, settlement began in the early 1900s. Bend was incorporated as a city in 1905. Economically, it started as a logging town but is now identified as a gateway for many outdoor sports.

Tourism is one of Bend's largest sectors. The Mount Bachelor ski resort brings in tourists from all over Oregon, Washington, and California. The nearby Cascade Lakes are also a large draw for tourists. Recreational activities include downhill and cross country skiing, hiking, biking, rafting, golfing, camping, fishing, picnicking, rock climbing, and general sightseeing. Men's Journal ranked Bend as one of The 10 Best Places to Live. Much of Bend's rapid growth in recent years is due to its attraction as a retirement destination.

Bend is home to the Deschutes Brewery, the 6th largest craft brewery in the nation and the largest of over a dozen microbreweries in the city. Each year the city hosts many events celebrating its brewing culture including: The Bend Oktoberfest, The Little Woody Barrel Aged Brew and Whiskey Fest, Bend Brewfest, and Central Oregon Beer Week. Beer aficionados can also visit many of the breweries along the Bend Ale Trail. Since 2004, Bend has also hosted one of the top indie film festivals in the nation: The Bend Film Festival.

Bend's climate is typical of the high desert with cool nights and sunny days, classified as semi-arid. Annual precipitation averages 11.2 inches, with an annual average snowfall of 23.8 inches. The winter season in Bend provides a mean temperature of 31.1 °F in December. Nighttime temperatures are not much lower than daytime highs during the winter.

Central Oregon summers are marked by their very large diurnal temperature ranges, with a July daily average of 64.5 °F, and an average diurnal temperature variation approaching 35 °F. Hard frosts are not unheard of during the summer months. Autumn usually brings warm, dry days and cooler nights, and Bend is known for its annual Indian summer.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

High Desert Museum - 07/28/16 - Bend, OR

Thursday – July 28, 2016
High Desert Museum
U.S. Highway 97
Bend, Oregon

We spent the day visiting the High Desert Museum.

High Desert Museum Facts:
Established: 1982
Location: Bend, Oregon
Type: Natural history
Visitors: 150,000 per year

The High Desert Museum sits on 135 acres of pine covered forest land in Central Oregon. South of Bend on U.S. Route 97, the museum includes various indoor and outdoor exhibits, wildlife in natural-like habitats, living history demonstrations, a library, a desertarium, and a cafe. Opened in 1982, it brings regional wildlife, culture, art and natural resources together to promote an understanding of natural and cultural heritage of North America's high desert country.

The museum was founded by Donald M. Kerr, a native of Portland, Oregon. Kerr had a passion for natural history that inspired a lifelong interest in environmental issues, especially the protection of native animals. In 1974, Kerr established the Western Natural History Institute, and the High Desert Museum was an outgrowth of the institute opening in 1982. The museum was originally called the Oregon High Desert Museum; however, the name was later changed to recognize the regional nature of the high desert environment it highlights.

The High Desert Museum has a 53,000-square-foot main building. Exhibits include a Forest Service fire truck, a stagecoach, and a number of Native American history displays. The Native American exhibit covers life on the land before the white man, and life on a reservation.

The museum's Hall of Exploration and Settlement has displays highlighting a hundred years of high desert history. Scenes include a trapper's camp, survey party's camp, pioneer wagon train, a mining claim, an early western boomtown, and a high desert buckaroo camp.

Outside the museum building a quarter-mile trail follows a forest stream lined with aspens and ponderosa pines. Along the way visitors can stop at a number of exhibits and animal habitats. The popular outdoor exhibits feature a river otter, a porcupine, sheep, gray fox, and birds of prey.

There is also a Native American encampment, a start-of-the-20th-century sawmill, logging equipment, homesteaders cabin, and a forestry pavilion. A visitor can actually walk through an early 1860s town complete with blacksmith shop, Chinese mercantile, and stagecoach stop.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Dispersed Camping - 07/26//16 - Bend, OR

Tuesday – July 26, 2016
Deschutes National Forest
Dispersed Camping – Forest Road 41
Bend, Oregon

We spent a restful night a the Sno-Park at mile marker 14 on the Century Drive Highway, along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway. During the night two other campers in Class B RV’s had joined us to spend the night.

We passed a Forest Ranger Station on our way to the Sno-Park yesterday. It was closed for the day. We returned today to get information and maps on dispersed camping within the Deschutes National Forest. The ranger provided us five maps and basic rules for dispersed camping. So off we go on Forest Road 41 in search of a campsite.

We find a temporary spot on the river side of Forest Road 41 to unhitch the trailer while we search for a suitable campsite. About 1.5 miles east of the Century Drive Highway on Forest Road 41 we find a rutted dirt road leading into the forest. We subsequently see log trucks hauling logs on this road from the interior of the forest. An adjacent road leads up a hill and forms a circular route back to the logging road. There are a few very nice campsites within this section, but unfortunately all of them are occupied. There are about 50 yards of forest separating the campsites. We return to the logging road and find four more campsites that are also occupied. We find another dirt road that splits off from the logging road. We follow this road for one mile and success! We find the perfect campsite. The campsite is quite large and isolated from other dispersed campsites in the area. Having secured this free campsite, we can now explore the Bend, Oregon area.

The Deschutes National Forest is located in central Oregon. It comprises 1.8 million acres along the east side of the Cascade Mountain Range. Within the boundaries of the Deschutes National Forest is the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, containing cinder cones, lava flows, and lava tubes. The Deschutes National Forest as a whole contains in excess of 250 known caves. The forest also contains five wilderness areas, six National Wild and Scenic Rivers, the Oregon Cascade Recreation Area, and the Metolius Conservation Area.

Recreational activities in Deschutes National Forest include boating, fishing, wildlife watching, and hiking, as well as mountain biking on an extensive system of trails. Hiking and skiing can be done on Mount Bachelor, a stratovolcano in the Cascade Range.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Snow Park – Forest Road 46 – Mile Marker 14
Departure Time: 9:30 A.M.
Arrived: Deschutes National Forest Ranger Station
Arrival Time: 9:50 A.M.

Campground Name: Dispersed Camping – Forest Road #41
Type: Deschutes National Forest
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: N 43.98896
Longitude: W 121.40256
Elevation: 3,969 Feet
Camping Fee: Free
Campsite: See GPS Coordinates
Campsite Hookups: None
Campground Amenities: None
Total Campsites: Several in area.

Cellular Service: Verizon – 4G-1 Bar
Internet Service: Verizon Jetpack – 5 Bars
Dish TV Satellite Service: Takes 25 minutes to download service - many trees blocking antenna

Total miles traveled today: 8
Route Traveled:
North on Century Drive Highway
East on Forest Road 41 to Dispersed Campsite

Monday, July 25, 2016

Deschutes NF - 07/26/16 - Bend, OR

Monday – July 25, 2016
Deschutes National Forest
Forest Road 46 – Century Drive Highway
Bend, Oregon


As we passed through Sisters, Oregon, on OR-20, we were surprised to find such a quaint town. The town features boutique shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Numerous visitors were touring the town as we passed through. We decided we would come back to visit on our next visit to Oregon.

Upon our arrival in Bend we visited the Tumalo State Park. The purpose of our visit was to check out the campground. As we expected, the campground was full (typical during summer season – Oregon State Parks are very popular). Some of the campsites have full hookups (electric, water and sewer). Of interest, this state park campground does not have a dump station. Those campers that do not have a campsite with full hookups, and need to dump their tanks, must do so at a fee-based dump station facility in the Bend area or for free at the La Pine State Park in La Pine, Oregon. We were not impressed with the campsites at Tumalo State Park. The campsites were too close together for our preference.

We continued on our way through the town of Bend on our way to National Forest Highway 46. This route will take us to the Lava Rocks Campground, a national forest campground, located within the Deschutes National Forest. The campground is about 30 miles south of Bend. We had planned to set up our home base here while exploring Bend and the surrounding area. At mile marker 14, we spotted a Sno-Park. Perfect! Free Camping! We will spend the night here.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Sisters, Oregon
Departure Time: 11:30 A.M.
Arrived: Sno-Park - Bend, Oregon
Arrival Time: 5:45 P.M.

Campground Name: Sno-Park
Type: Overnight Camping
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: N 43.98471
Longitude: W 121.40256
Elevation: 5,500 Feet
Camping Fee: Free
Campsite: large Parking Lot
Campsite Hookups: None
Campground Amenities: Vault Toilets
Total Campsites: Several

Cellular Service: Verizon – 4G-2 Bars
Internet Service: Verizon Jetpack – 5 Bars
Dish TV Satellite Service: Excellent Service

Total miles traveled today: 136
Route Traveled:
East on OR-242
East on US-20
South on US-97
West on Colorado Ave. (follow signs to Mt. Bachelor)
South on Century Drive
South on Forest Road 46 (Century Drive Highway) to MM-14

Friday, July 22, 2016

Belknap Crater Volcano - Sisters, OR - 07/22/16

Friday – July 22, 2016
Belknap Crater Volcano
Sisters, Oregon

We spent a restful night at the Paradise Campground in McKenzie Bridge, Oregon. We headed east on Oregon Route 126 toward Bend, Oregon. Sharon suggested we explore the scenic McKenzie Highway on Oregon Route 242.

This highway is noted as one of the most picturesque scenic byways Oregon offers. There are warning signs posted at the east and west entrances to this route that prohibits vehicles over 35 feet in length. A turn-around area is provided for oversize vehicles. We are 34 feet overall… so off we go!

The McKenzie Highway travels through Lane, Linn, and Deschutes counties, beginning at the junction with OR 126 near McKenzie Bridge and ending at the junction with US Highway 20 and OR 126 at the city of Sisters. The highway is part of the McKenzie Pass - Santiam Pass National Scenic Byway.

The McKenzie Highway route was originally built with private funds in the 1870's as a wagon toll road. The section between the towns of Blue River in Lane County and Sisters in Deschutes County became a Forest Road in 1919. The road was relocated and widened in 1920, graded and surfaced between 1920 and 1924, and became a Oregon State Highway in 1925.

The McKenzie Pass Highway became a seasonal scenic highway in 1962. The narrow, twisting roadway and high elevation (5,325 feet) made the highway too difficult to maintain and keep clear during the winter months. Since this time, ODOT closes the highway each fall and reopens it in early summer after the snow melts. During the summer, about 300 cars a day travel the highway.​

The western section of McKensie Highway contains a series of 15-25 mph sharp curves as the elevation increases from 1,600 feet to over 5,000 feet. The scenery along this route is filled with flourishing green forests lining both sides of the route. As we continue our travel eastward we enter a section of highway that is engulfed on both sides by towering, black lava fields, probably 10 to 15 feet high. The lava fields extend off into the distance as far as the eye can see. We have arrived at the Belknap Crater Volcano.

Belknap Crater Volcano is a small Holocene shield volcano with a capping cinder cone. It is located in the Cascade Range near central Oregon’s McKenzie Pass. It is a typical example of one type of volcanism responsible for construction of the High Cascade volcanic arc. The Belknap complex comprises many lava flows. The lava flows cover about 40 square miles. The main Belknap shield has a diameter of approximately five miles.

Eruptions from this area took place from about 3,000 to 1,500 years ago as a few different phases. The first eruptions produced tephra that spread over a broad area to the northeast and southeast as basaltic lava flows traveled eastward for 6 miles from a growing shield. About 2,900 years ago, a second phase produced a smaller shield known as Little Belknap. The third phase produced the remaining bulk of the volcanic complex, which erupted basaltic andesite lavas from the central vent, Belknap Crater, about 1,500 years ago, and from a vent just over one mile to the south, South Belknap cone, about 1,700 years ago. The final eruptions from the base of Belknap Crater sent lava 9 miles west into the McKenzie River valley.

Exploring the McKenzie Highway was a wonderful experience. With the evening fast approaching it was time to find a place to stay for a few nights. The state park campgrounds throughout Oregon are some of the finest in the Northwest Region of the United States, and not surprising, campsites are booked in advance for the summer season. Fortunately, we are now traveling through the Willamette National Forest on the McKenzie Highway. This national forest has several campgrounds and dispersed camping areas. Seven miles west of Sisters, Oregon we pulled into the oversize vehicle turn-around-area. Within this area, there was a dirt road, going up a hill, and then leading off into the interior of the forest. While Sharon waited in our vehicle, I hiked into the forest and discovered a dispersed camping site.

As I pulled our trailer into the campsite, Sharon found it to her liking and we set up our campsite. This is perfect! Free camping! We are totally isolated from civilization. We are looking forward to the solitude for a few days.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: McKenzie Bridge, Oregon
Departure Time: 11:50 A.M.
Arrived: Sisters, Oregon
Arrival Time: 3:30 P.M.

Campground Name: Dispersed Camping
Type: Willamette National Forest
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: N 44.30965
Longitude: W 121.70728
Elevation: 4,245 Feet
Camping Fee: Free
Campsite: Primitive
Campsite Hookups: None
Campground Amenities: None
Total Campsites: 2 or 3 dispersed campsites

Cellular Service: Verizon – 4G-2 Bars
Internet Service: Verizon Jetpack – 5 Bars
Dish TV Satellite Service: No Service (too many trees blocking antenna)

Total miles traveled today: 30
Route Traveled:
East on OR-126
East on OR-242 to Dispersed Campsite

Thursday, July 21, 2016

McKenzie Bridge, OR - 07/21/16

Thursday – July 21, 2016
Paradise Campground
McKenzie Bridge, Oregon


We spent Wednesday continuing our travel north on US-101 exploring the rugged Oregon coastline. This is our second day of dealing with the morning fog that obscures the beaches and rock formations along the coast. The fog finally burns off around noon.

We reach Eugene, Oregon and head inland on OR-126. Our trusty Allstays Camp and RV app directs us to the Paradise Campground, a National Forest campground, near McKenzie, Oregon.

McKenzie Bridge is an unincorporated community in Lane County, Oregon, on the McKenzie River and within Willamette National Forest. It is located along Oregon Route 126, about 53 miles east of Eugene, between Rainbow and Belknap Springs.

McKenzie Bridge was the home of the National Register of Historic Places listed Log Cabin Inn until March 29, 2006, when it was destroyed by fire.

The McKenzie River Ranger Station, originally the site of the 1934 Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Belknap, is located in McKenzie Bridge.

This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 degrees F, according to the Köppen Climate Classification system.

We will spend one night here.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Coos Bay, Oregon
Departure Time: 11:10 A.M.
Arrived: McKenzie Bridge, OR
Arrival Time: 5:00 P.M.

Campground Name: Paradise
Type: National Forest
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: N 44.18500
Longitude: W 122.09200
Elevation: 1,600 Feet
Camping Fee: $22.00 (50% discount with Senior Pass)
Campsite: 20
Campsite Hookups: None
Campground Amenities: Flush Toilets, Trash Dumpster, Dump Station
Total Campsites: 63

Cellular Service: Verizon – No service
Internet Service: Verizon Jetpack – No Service
Dish TV Satellite Service: No Service (too many trees blocking antenna)

Total miles traveled today: 184
Route Traveled:
North on US-101
East on OR-126 to Paradise Campground

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Coos Bay, OR - 07/20/16

Wednesday – July 20, 2016
Bastendorff Beach County Park
Coos Bay, Oregon


We spent Tuesday exploring Redwood National Park near Crescent City, California. We set off to explore the Oregon coastline from the California state line up to Eugene, Oregon. The morning started off quite foggy and burned off by about noon. Does this morning coastal fog ever end?

We will spend one night at the Bastendorf Beach County Park campground. This is a very crowded campground. However, a short walk within the park provides a wonderful view of the Pacific Ocean.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Crescent City, California
Departure Time: 11:50 A.M.
Arrived: Bastendorff Beach County Park
Arrival Time: 4:45 P.M.

Campground Name: Bastendorff Beach County Park
Type: County
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: N 43.34123
Longitude: W 124.34990
Elevation: 76 Feet
Camping Fee: $26.14
Campsite: 32
Campsite Hookups: Electric, Water
Campground Amenities: Flush Toilets, Free Hot Showers, Trash Dumpster, Dump Station
Total Campsites: 99

Cellular Service: Verizon – 4G-3 Bars
Internet Service: Verizon Jetpack – 5 Bars
Dish TV Satellite Service: No Service (too many trees blocking antenna)

Total miles traveled today: 143
Route Traveled:
North on US-101
Left on Beaver Hill Road
Right on Seven Devils Road
Left on Walker Lane
Left on Cape Arago Highway
Right on Bastendorf Beach Road

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Redwood NP - 07/19/16 - Orick, CA

Tuesday – July 19, 2016
Redwood National Park
Orick, California


We were planning to tour the Oregon Pacific Coastline on Monday, but we delayed those plans to visit the Redwoods National Park in Orick, California. Our homebase for this visit is Shoreline RV Park in Crescent City, California. The park is located on the west side of US-101, alongside the coast of the Pacific Ocean and about 36 miles north of Redwoods National Park.

The native range of the Coast Redwood tree is from the northern California coast north to the southern Oregon Coast. The tree is closely related to the giant sequoia of central California. Redwoods are the tallest trees on Earth. The tallest tree in the park, Hyperion, stands at 379 feet tall.

Coast Redwood Facts:
Height: To nearly 380 feet
Age: To 2,000 years
Bark: To 12 inches thick
Base: To 22 feet diameter
Reproduce: By seed or sprout
Seed Size: Like a tomato seed
Cone Size: Like a large olive

In 1800 redwood forests probably covered two million acres. Seeming endless at first, the trees soon succumbed to a determined logging industry. The State of California preserved some key groves in the 1920’s. Congress created Redwood National Park in 1968 to protect the world’s tallest trees.

In 1994 the National Park Service and the California Department of Parks and Recreation administratively combined Redwood National Park with the three abutting Redwood State Parks for the purpose of cooperative forest management and stabilization of forests and watersheds as a single unit. Collectively, they protect nearly 40,000 acres of ancient forest, almost half of all that remain.

Redwood-like trees grew over much of the Northern Hemisphere in the Age of the Dinosaurs. Later climate change reduced redwood habitat to a narrow, fog-bound coastal corridor. Coast redwoods reproduce by seed and by stump and basal sprouting. Seeds slightly larger than a pinhead are released from mature cones that ripen in August and September. If a redwood is felled or badly burned, a ring of new trees often sprouts from burls around the trunk’s base. These so-called "family groups" are common. Saplings use the parent tree’s root system. Redwoods have no taproot; their roots penetrate only 10 to 13 feet deep but spread out 60 to 80 feet.

From sea level to 3,200 feet in elevation in the Coast Range, a mild, moist climate assures the National Park and State Parks an abundant diversity of wildlife, including Roosevelt elk and black bears. Prairies form natural islands of grasslands, where elk are frequently seen grazing.

Hiking on the trails through these enchanted forests of towering redwood trees is a truly mystical experience.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Crescent City, CA - 07/18/16

Monday – July 18, 2016
Shoreline RV Park
Crescent City, California


We spent a restful night at the Walmart in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Since we were in southern Oregon we decided to visit Redwood National Park located in the northwest region of California near Crescent City. So off we go!

Our Allstays Camp and RV app, for our Android smartphone, directed us to the Shoreline RV Park, a county park, located right on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Crescent City. This will be our home base while we explore Redwood National Park.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Klamath Falls, Oregon
Departure Time: 7:40 A.M.
Arrived: Crescent City, California
Arrival Time: 12:35 P.M.

Campground: Shoreline RV Park
Type: County
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: N 41.75303
Longitude: W 124.19093
Elevation: 7 Feet
Camping Fee: $30.62
Campsite: 51
Campsite Hookups: Full – Electric, Water, Sewer
Campground Amenities: Flush Toilets, Hot Showers, Trash Dumpster, Free WiFi, Laundry Room
Total Campsites: 94

Cellular Service: Verizon – 4G-3 Bars
Internet Service: Verizon Jetpack – 5 Bars
Dish TV Satellite Service: Excellent Service

Total miles traveled today: 215
Route Traveled:
West on OR-140
South on OR-199
South on US-101 to Shoreline RV Park

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Klamath Falls, OR - 07/17/16

Sunday – July 17, 2016
Walmart Store #1772
Klamath Falls, Oregon

We spent a delightful six days exploring Crater Lake National Park. It is time to replenish our food supplies and prescription medications. We will spend the night at the Walmart in Klamath Falls before continuing on with our next adventure.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Crater Lake National Park
Departure Time: 11:50 A.M.
Arrived: Klamath Falls, OR
Arrival Time: 1:20 P.M.

Campground: Walmart
Type: Commercial
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: N 42.19388
Longitude: W 121.75820
Elevation: 4,083 Feet
Camping Fee: Free
Campsite: By Garden Center

Cellular Service: Verizon – 4G-4 Bars
Internet Service: Verizon Jetpack – 5 Bars
Dish TV Satellite Service: Excellent Service

Total miles traveled today: 53
Route Traveled:
South on OR-62
South on US-97
South on US-97/US-39
West on Washburn Way to Walmart

Friday, July 15, 2016

Diamond Lake - 07/15/16 - Crater Lake NP

Friday - July 15, 2016
Diamond Lake
Crater Lake National Park
Klamath Falls, Oregon

Diamond Lake is a natural body of water in the southern part of Oregon. It lies near the junction of Oregon Route 138 and Oregon Route 230 in the Umpqua National Forest. It is located between Mount Bailey to the west and Mount Thielsen to the east; it is just north of Crater Lake National Park.

The outlet of the lake is at its north end. From there, water flows via Lake Creek into the North Umpqua River and ultimately to the Pacific Ocean.

Diamond Lake
Length: 3.5 miles
Width: 1.5 miles
Surface Area: 3,040 acres
Average Depth: 24 feet
Maximum Depth: 52.5 feet
Surface Elevation: 5,183 feet

Fishing, swimming, horseback riding, and hunting are popular at Diamond Lake in summer and fall. Winter sports include snowmobiling, Nordic and Alpine skiing, inner tubing and sled dog racing.

Diamond Lake Resort on the east side of the lake offers lodging, restaurants, stores, boat rentals, horse rentals, and other services.

The Joseph H. Stewart State Recreation Area is the closest state park to Diamond Lake.

The Forest Service operates four campgrounds near Diamond Lake:
Diamond Lake Campground - 240 campsites along the east side of the lake.
Broken Arrow Campground - 148 sites at the lake's south end.
Thielsen View Campground - 58 sites along the west shore, and 5 sites along the the South Shore.
Campground features include picnic tables, restrooms, showers, and garbage bins; some have hookups for recreational vehicles.

Anglers often fish by boat near Silent Creek on the south and in deep water on the north. There are five boat ramps around the lake, all of which have paved access. The speed limit on the lake is 10 miles per hour. The lake is generally open for fishing from late April through late October. Bank fishing is also productive at points along the lake trails.

Trails connect Diamond Lake to the summits of Mount Bailey and Mount Thielsen. One of the lake trails is a paved bike path 11 miles  long.

The South Shore Picnic Area has a playground, volleyball court, horseshoe pits, and a swimming beach, in addition to picnic accommodations.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Plaikni Falls - 07/14/16 - Crater Lake NP

Thursday - July 14, 2016
Plaikni Falls Trail
Crater Lake National Park
Klamath Falls, Oregon

This route winds through old-growth fir and hemlock forest, past a series of rugged bluffs, to the Plaikni Falls.

Plaikni, a Klamath Indian word meaning "from the high country," reflects the origin of the falls high on the slopes of the volcano.

The high country receives an average yearly snowfall of 44 feet. Melting snow percolates through the loose volcanic soil, hits an impermeable layer, and surfaces as a spring.

One spring forms the origin of Sand Creek, which cascades down as Plaikni Falls. In this lush environment, mosses and wildflowers thrive.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Pumice Castle - 07/13/16 - Crater Lake NP

Wednesday - July 13, 2016
Castle in the Crater
Crater Lake National Park
Klamath Falls, Oregon

Pumice Castle, shaped like the battlements of a castle, when pumice and other lavas welded together at high temperatures. These air-filled deposits were buried and compacted by later lava flows and exposed when Mount Mazama collapsed. A hardened base has kept Pumice Castle intact as softer materials have eroded away.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Crater Lake NP - 07/12/16 - Oregon

Tuessday – July 12, 2016
Crater Lake National Park
Klamath Falls, Oregon

Our first view of Crater Lake left us speechless and awestruck! Words cannot adequately describe the scenic wonder of this spiritual area that is central to the cultural traditions of local American Indian tribes.

Crater Lake National Park Facts:
Park established in 1902
Size: 183,224 acres
Lake Depth: 1,943 feet
Lake Width: 4.5 to 6 miles
Annual Snowfall: 44 feet

Crater Lake National Park protects the deepest lake in the United States. Crater Lake has no streams flowing into or out of it. All water that enters the lake is eventually lost from evaporation or subsurface seepage. The lake is re-filled entirely from direct precipitation in the form of snow and rain. The lake is considered to be the cleanest large body of water in the world. The water is exceptional for its clarity and intense blue color.

The lake resides inside a caldera and is 1,949 feet deep at its deepest point, which makes it the deepest lake in the United States, the second deepest in North America and the ninth deepest in the world. The impressive average depth of this volcanic lake is due to the nearly symmetrical 4,000-foot deep caldera formed 7,700 years ago during the violent climactic eruptions and subsequent collapse of Mount Mazama, a 12,000-foot-tall volcano. The eruption may have been the largest in North America in the past 640,000 years. The caldera rim ranges in elevation from 7,000 to 8,000 feet. The elevation of the lake surface itself is 6,178 feet.

About 400,000 years ago, Mount Mazama began its existence in much the same way as the other mountains of the Cascade Range, as overlapping shield volcanoes. Over time, alternating layers of lava flows and pyroclastic flows built Mazama's overlapping cones until it reached about 12,000 feet in height. Around 5700 BC, Mazama collapsed into itself during a tremendous volcanic eruption, losing 2,500 to 3,500 feet in height. The eruption formed a large caldera that, depending on the prevailing climate, was filled in about 740 years, forming a beautiful lake known today as Crater Lake. The Mazama eruption produced more than 150 times as much ash as the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.

Volcanic activity in this area is fed by subduction off the coast of Oregon as the Juan de Fuca Plate slips below the North American Plate. Heat and compression generated by this movement has created a mountain chain topped by a series of volcanoes, which together are called the Cascade Range.

Mammals that are residents of this national park are Canadian lynxes, bobcats, beavers, chipmunks, pikas, foxes, cougars, squirrels, porcupines, black bears, brown bears, coyotes, timber wolves, badgers, deer, elk, muskrats, and martens. Birds that commonly fly through this park including raptors are American dippers, Peregrine falcons, ravens, Clark's nutcrackers, gray jays, bald eagles, hummingbirds and spotted owls while Canada geese float on its lake.

We explored Crater Lake via the Rim Drive. This is a 33-mile road that encircles Crater Lake. It is one of America’s most scenic byways, with spectacular views in all directions. Our "Must-See" stops included:

Discovery Point
It was near this spot, on the back of a mule in 1853, that gold prospector John Hillman became the first European-American to stumble across what he called "Deep Blue Lake."

Watchman Overlook
This overlook offers an unmatched view of Wizard Island, a cinder cone that erupted out of Crater Lake 7,300 years ago.

Cloudclap Overlook
This site sits at the end of a 1-mile spur road, the highest paved road in Oregon. Whitebark pines cling for survival here, dwarfed and contorted by the harsh winds.

Pumice Castle Overlook
This is one of the park’s most colorful features: a layer of orange pumice rock that has been eroded into the shape of a medieval castle.

Phantom Ship Overlook
Nestled against the shore, Crater Lakes "other island" resembles a small sailboat, although it is as tall as a 16-story building. It’s made of erosion-resistant lava, 400,000 years old – the oldest exposed rock within the caldera.

Pinnacles Overlook
Colorful spires, 100 feet tall, are being eroded from the canyon wall. The Pinnacles are "fossil fumaroles" where volcanic gases once rose up through a layer of volcanic ash, cementing the ash into solid rock.

Vidae Falls
A spring-fed creek tumbles over a glacier-carved cliff and drops 100 feet over a series of ledges. In summer, wildflowers flourish in the cascade’s spray.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Crater Lake NP - 07/11/16 - Oregon

Monday – July 11, 2016
Crater Lake National Park
Annie Creek Snow Park
Klamath Falls, Oregon

We’ve had a wonderful time exploring California, now our travels take us to Oregon. We have been looking forward to visiting Crater Lake National Park. This will be our first stop in Oregon.

We arrived at the Mazama Campground, located within Crater Lake National Park, shortly after noon. The campground was full so we put "Plan B" into effect: we set up camp at the Annie Creek Sno-Park.

The Sno-Park is located 10 miles south of the Annie Spring Entrance Station to Crater Lake National Park. Camping at the Sno-Park is free. Free is Good! Potable water and a dump station are available in Mazama Village.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Tionesta, California
Departure Time: 9:30 A.M.
Arrived: Crater Lake National Park
Arrival Time: 12:25 P.M.

Campground: Annie Creek Sno-Park
Type: National Forest
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: N 42.76097
Longitude: W 122.05947
Elevation: 4,400 Feet
Camping Fee: Free
Campsite Hookups: None
Campground Amenities: Vault Toilets

Cellular Service: Verizon – None
Internet Service: Verizon Jetpack – No Service
Dish TV Satellite Service: Excellent Service

Total miles traveled today: 128
Route Traveled:
East on National Forest Road 97
North on CA-139
North on OR-39
West on OR-140
North on US-97
North on OR-62 to Crater Lake NP

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Hawks Nest CG-Lava Beds NM - 07/09/16 - Tulelake, CA

Saturday – July 9, 2016
Lava Beds National Monument
Hawks Nest Campground
Tionesta, California


A cold front is forecast to hit the northern California region this weekend, daytime temperatures will be into the low 60’s and into the high 30’s during the night. We elected to move to the Hawks Nest RV and Cabins Campground, a private campground. This campground will allow us to pamper ourselves with full utilities hookups. Sharon was quite pleased with this move!

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Indian Well Campground
Departure Time: 9:45 A.M.
Arrived: Hawks Nest Campground
Arrival Time: 10:20 A.M.

Campground: Hawks Nest
Type: Commercial
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: N 41.64860
Longitude: W 121.28629
Elevation: 4,250 Feet
Camping Fee: $25.00 with Good Sam Discount
Campsite: North side of road
Campsite Hookups: Full – Electric, Water, Sewer
Campground Amenities: Flush Toilets, Hot Showers, Trash Dumpster, Free WiFi, Laundry Room
Total Campsites: 20

Cellular Service: Verizon – 4G-3 Bars
Internet Service: Verizon Jetpack – 5 Bars
Dish TV Satellite Service: Excellent Service

Total miles traveled today: 15
Route Traveled:
South on National Forest Road 10
East on National Forest Road 97
East on County Road 97A


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Caves-Lava Beds NM - 07/07/16 - Tulelake, CA

Thursday – July 7, 2016
Lava Beds National Monument
Cave Exploring
Tulelake, California


Eruptions occurring 30,000-40,000 years ago formed over 700 tube caves found in the park. Lava tubes form when streams of hot, flowing lava start to cool. The center of the stream stays hot and continues to flow as the outside begins to cool and harden. The hot lava drains out, leaving a pipe-like cave. Multiple eruptions can stack caves on top of one another, creating multilevel caves. When a lava tube ceiling collapses, it opens access to the cave.

Lava Beds National Monument does not attract a large number of visitors each year, which translates into very little congestion while exploring the caves and lava rock formations throughout the monument.

We spent today exploring some of the caves on Cave Loop Road. Well… actually I explored some caves, Sharon had no desire to go into a cave. I must admit it was a bit unnerving to be all alone in totally black darkness as I walked further into the caves. I did have a small flashlight that I used to see where I could walk on the uneven, rock-strewn, floor of the caves. Quite often I would turn the flashlight off for a while, to experience the complete darkness and total silence. I took pictures with the flash on my Nikon 510 camera. The pictures clearly show the pipe-like features of these caves. Just imagine being in these areas in total darkness!

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

The Caves of Cave Loop Road

Golden Dome

Hopkins Chocolate



Hercules Leg




Indian Well

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Indian Wells CG-Lava Beds NM - 07/06/16 - Tulelake, CA

Wednesday – July 6, 2016
Lava Beds National Monument
Tulelake, California


We were not thrilled with the campsite we had selected on Tuesday at the Indian Well Campground, located within the Lava Beds National Monument. This morning we selected another campsite that offered more privacy. We have decided to extend our stay here through Sunday, so this new campsite will be our home base while we explore the rich history of this enchanting area.

Lava Beds National Monument was established in 1925 to protect the volcanic land, the numerous caves, and the history of its early human occupation by the Modoc Indians. Within this northern region of California, 500,000 years ago, the Earth opened, cracking and sputtering. It released liquid rock and rivers of fire across the landscape. Intermittent eruptions over thousands of years layered the land, leaving intricate caves, cones, craters, and black, jagged blankets of lava.

The Modoc called this the land of "burnt-out fires." Tule Lake and Lava Beds were then, and are today, the center of their world. The Modoc life and culture was perfectly tuned to this environment and the richness of the resources it provided. They lived in semi-permanent winter villages along Lost River and Tule Lake. Each year as winter turned to spring, they began a seasonal round of fishing, hunting, and gathering. Ragged and rough, the terrain of the lava flows could be dangerous, but to the Modoc it was a sacred landscape. It provided bounty in the hunt and challenged those seeking power and knowledge through vision quests.

The Modoc and their ancestors lived in this rugged land for over 10,000 years. Following the rhythms of nature, they moved freely across the land until they were forcibly removed. The blazing of the Applegate Trail through the heart of the Modoc territory was the beginning of the end for the traditional Modoc way of life. Increasing numbers of white settlers claimed ancestral Modoc land, conflicts escalated, and both sides resorted to violent attacks. By the 1860’s settlers demanded area tribes be moved to the Kalmath Reservation in Oregon. The Modoc reluctantly signed a treaty, but consistently requested a reservation in their homeland. Poo conditions and disagreements with other tribes on the reservation convinced some Modoc to return home. Broken promises, bitter resentments, and distrust made negotiations impossible.

The Modoc War began on November 29, 1872, when troops from Fort Kalmath tried to force the resisting Modoc back to the reservation. They fled to the natural fortress of the lava beds, to what today is called "Captain Jacks Stronghold." In April 1873 peace talks began. A Modoc woman married to a white settler served as an interpreter between the Modoc and the Army. Kientpoos (Captain Jack) wanted his people to be allowed to stay in their homeland. He also wanted peace. Modoc society ruled by consensus. Remembering the 1852 slaughter of 30 members of their tribe, a majority voted to eliminate the peace commissioners. On April 11, 1873, peace commissioners General Edward Canby and Reverend Eleazar Thomas were killed (the only general to have been killed in an Indian war). General William Sherman soon called for the "utter extermination" of the Modoc.

For six months 1,000 troops and volunteers fought to capture fewer than 60 Modoc warriors and their families. Those who resisted were exiled to the Quapaw Agency in Oklahoma. Kientpoos surrendered on June 1, 1873 and was later hanged with three others.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Lava Beds NM - 07/05/16 - Tulelake, CA

Tuesday – July 5, 2016
Lava Beds National Monument
Indian Well Campground
Tulelake, California


On this segment of our West Coast adventure our destination is Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. Since the distance from Truckee, California to Crater Lake is about 360 miles, we plan to do a one-night layover at the Indian Well Campground in the Lava Beds National Monument near Tulelake, California. As we entered the Lava Beds National Monument, we were intrigued by the surrounding landscape filled with pitch black lava rocks.

After we got settled into our campsite, at the Indian Wells campground, we checked the weather forecast for Crater Lake National Park. The forecast for the coming weekend showed rain with daytime temperatures in the middle 50’s to low 60’s and nighttime temperatures in the high 30’s. We decide we will stay at the Lava Beds National Monument through Sunday, where we will enjoy warmer temperatures in the middle 70’s and sunny days.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Truckee, California
Departure Time: 9:25 A.M.
Arrived: Tionesta, California
Arrival Time: 3:55 P.M.

Campground: Indian Well
Type: National Park
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: N 41.71776
Longitude: W 121.50539
Elevation: 4,657 Feet
Camping Fee: $10.00 (50% discount with Senior Pass)
Campsite: B21
Campsite Hookups: None
Campground Amenities: Flush Toilets, Water Spigots, Trash Dumpsters
Total Campsites: 40

Cellular Service: Verizon – 4G-3 Bars
Internet Service: Verizon Jetpack – 5 Bars
Dish TV Satellite Service: Excellent Service

Total miles traveled today: 252
Route Traveled:
North on CA-267
North on CA-89
North on CA-49
East on CA-70
North on US-395
North on CA-139
West on National Forest Road 97
North on National Forest Road 10 to Campground.