September 30th, 2018

Adventure, Just things, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

It has been very busy this weekend. I moved to a new place. Yes, I moved. Again.

I am now living in a bigger house. I spent Friday night, yesterday, and a few hours this morning moving and cleaning the old house. I got it all done with some kick-back time afterwards but I still need to put some things away. It was an easy move – the house next door.

It is over twice the size of the tiny house I just moved out of.  The yard is huge and really nice with a raised garden bed, apple, plum and cherry trees. I have a fireplace/wood stove and plenty of room to stretch my arms. There’s a nice patio with Adirondack chair and double Adirondack chair. The front porch is big enough to just hang out on if I want shade.

So yeah…I am rather excited to be in a much bigger place for many reasons. I have great neighbors in a nice little neighborhood. I have fruit trees and can plant a garden in a raised bed. Since I just bought a blender those apples will get put to good use – I just might try my hand at making some pies. I’ll probably have to just get the apples and freeze them for now. I have a lot of stuff to put away before I cook like that.

Next year I can plant some tomatoes, beans, and peas in the raised bed. On a whim I planted a couple of tomato cores into a ceramic pot a couple of weeks ago and they are actually growing. I have room to bring it inside so I am curious to see how it will do in a southern window. I still have a strawberry plant that’s alive but I am not hopeful on that one.

I don’t plan on moving again for a while. This new place is a nice size and even has enough room to bring all my stuff from the storage unit and save a few $$. I got a few things out of there yesterday but still have some things to get. I want to get what I already have organized before I bring more in.

I am tired so I am off to bed. See you next time.

 

 

September 23rd, 2018

Adventure, Just things, Outdoors, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

This was my last night camping so I decided to have a campfire. Oh what the heck. I have not had a fire mesmerize me in a while and it was nice. Staring at a fire is one of those magical things. I can get totally lost in thought watching a campfire. I contemplated many things in between those blanks staring at that fire tonight as one is prone to do with a fire.

Having the trailer sure makes it easy to go and see places and do things much the way I did when I would tent camp. I still travel with few frills, stay in primitive campgrounds…simple, inexpensive and very enjoyable travel with no plans. I spend the money to go more often and buy very few souvenirs when I am out. I am not cheap…I just don’t buy stuff like that and I never really have.

Last night I decided to just head on home and it ended up being a good thing. I had a lot of things to take care of – washing the salty film off of the truck and trailer, laundry, some cooking, and working on some other things around the house. I wanted to avoid traffic but heading up 101 into Oregon I got caught in the weekly US101 Boat and RV Show – a parade of slow-moving rubberneckers who refuse to pull over to let people by. I actually ended up biting the bullet and came back through Portland. I ended up being able to avoid most of the traffic going through McMinnville. It was still faster but the traffic was not as bad this time.

This has been a nice adventure and it was badly-needed. I could really tell last week that I was ready to hit the road and realized Monday that I really needed to get away more than I thought. By the end of the work day I couldn’t get home fast enough to wrap things up to go. I have been able to relax and see some new places. I finally got to see Crater Lake – something I have wanted to see since I was a kid.

See you next time!

September 22nd, 2018

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, pictures, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

My next destination ended up being Lassen Volcanic National Park. I drove until I found a USFS campground called Hat Creek that was close to Lassen and decided to stop. It was only $16 so I am sure it was cheaper than the ones in Lassen. Besides, I had water (hot and cold), heat, and food so I had what I needed to get by.

It was a restless night’s sleep for some reason. I have been having trouble sleeping lately and this nonsense needs to stop. However I got up raring to go, had a quick breakfast and some tea, and went to check out the volcano.

I got to Lassen and it is a beautiful and expansive park I definitely want to come back to this one and spend a few days exploring. Like Mount St.Helens, it is a large, imposing behemoth of a mountain.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

My truck and trailer at Lassen Volcanic NP

I was only there for a short time because it is a bit farther south than I had originally planned to go so it was a special trip to get there. I thought since I was in the area I would check it out. I do need to turn the corner and start heading towards home.

I debated the next leg of the trip and ended up heading toward the coast. I did not really want to go up the interstate again and sure would like to avoid Portland if at all possible. And I will make it possible.

I ended up driving some two-lane roads CA 44 and CA 299) that were beautiful drives through small towns with $4/gallon gas and sprawling forests. On the west side of Redding I drove through an area that turned out to be the location of the massive Carr Fire from a few months back. The devastation was incredible. Everything was burnt – cars, trucks, houses, equipment…it was unbelievable to see destruction of such magnitude. Seeing it on the news, internet, or newspapers does not really show it.

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Near Whiskytown NRA

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Near Whiskytown NRA

I opted to go to Arcata instead of Eureka to save a little time. I have now been on all of US101 from Arcata, CA north. I was a little concerned when I got to Arcata, though. The wind was howling off of the Pacific and I was concerned about the trailer getting blown over. Once you are committed to go this way there are not a lot of options without a lot of backtracking so I stayed the course and it all worked out fine.

Along the way north on US101 I drove through the southern part of Redwoods National Park. I had gone to the part of the park near Crescent City last year so this was new territory for me and is my fifth National Park on this adventure, and fourth in just the last two days.

It may sound a little rushed to you, but I have seen what I wanted to see and will go back to see things in greater depth in the future. The concentration camp was really only something to see once, but the rest I want to explore more. I just don’t have time to spend two to three days in each place on this current adventure.

I have stopped for the night in Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park just outside of Crescent City, CA. It is well off the highway and is very nice. There are massive redwood stumps bigger than my trailer in the spot behind me. It is $35 a night but there is a hot shower, water to fill up your tank, and it is a beautiful, quiet place. Still a bit spendy, though I bet the private campgrounds are $75-100 or more.

I told you the stumps are big

One drawback about my site is that it is right by the bathroom…as in the path runs right next to my trailer. As in a foot from it. Luckily it has not been a parade, but I bet it will be in the morning (so will the dump station). I will probably try to get out early in the morning to beat the Sunday rush and get at least halfway home or more. Then I can make the final push on home Monday morning unless I make it all in one day. I DO have another day, though…

I’m looking at the maps to figure out my next move. I have Monday off so it is a 6-day weekend for me. I don’t do what I used to do back in the day – drive and get in late the night before I gotta go back to work (or even drive an all-nighter straight TO work!). I’ll hopefully get in mid-day Monday to have time to take care of mail and anything else that has popped up while I have been away.

See you tomorrow!

 

September 21st, 2018

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, pictures, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

Slept like a rock last night and ready for the day after a nice, long hot shower. Time to head out of the KOA.

 “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it” – George Santayana

My first destination was not very far so I got a leisurely start to Tulelake, CA. I’m headed to see WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument Tule Lake Unit. This is the second one of these I have been to (the other was Hart Mountain in WY).  They are not only quite sobering, but embarrassing and shameful.  There are two parts to this historic site but I only visited one of them this time – Camp Tule Lake. I drove past Segregation Camp on my way out of town and will come back another time to see that.

I began my visit by stopping at the fairgrounds office, which has a small visitor center (for the camp) in it along with a museum containing local history about the camp, battles with native peoples and farming. Outside they have one of the housing buildings and a guard tower on display. That’s a pretty somber thing to see.

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Guard tower from Tule Lake concentration camp

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Exterior of concentration camp barracks relocated to museum grounds

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This space was for a family of four

While looking at the buildings I met a guy working on the fairgrounds on the other side of the fence. He was telling me that they are expecting over 500 immigrant farmworkers to come in to dig up all the strawberry plants in the fields around the area so they house them in buildings on the fairgrounds. They ship them off and transplant them elsewhere to grow the fruit. The season is too short here to keep them going and I guess it gets bad in winter and kills the plants so they transplant them.

He was telling me that there are not enough people to hire locals and it is only for a month or so. Either they don’t want to work or it is not worth quitting other jobs to do that for only a month.

I then drove over to Camp Tule Lake to see it but it was closed off and I had to look from a distance. They offer tours of the compound in summer but they are done for the season.

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Camp Tule Lake

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Camp Tule Lake

I found it interesting that the Japanese prisoners (and later German and Italian POWs) were used as slave labor to farm since the local men were over fighting the war and crops needed to be tended to by someone. All I knew of was the other immoral and disgusting behavior behind this rounding up of human beings for simply being “different”.

Just down the road is Lava Beds National Monument, my next stop.

This whole area is desert-like with scrubby brush and grasses and some trees. In the Monument there are sprawling lava fields and lava tube caves you can go in. So that’s what I did.

I went into a cave called “Catacombs” and it was eerie. I got inside and turned off my lights. It was way beyond dark inside. I didn’t go very far in because I came up to a spot that had a pile of rock from a collapsed section of the ceiling of the tube. I decided that was not for me and turned around. On the way out the ranger at the gate told me that they have found over 800 of these caves and 13 or 14 new ones this year alone.

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Catacombs lava cave entrance

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Collapsed ceiling in Catacombs lava cave – I’m out

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Inside Catacombs lava cave looking out

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Collapsed lava tube

Next I went over to the Petroglyphs section of the Monument. I looked and there does not appear to be many of the petroglyphs left with the weathering that is attributed to draining Tule Lake down to gain more farmland. They say it has uncovered more ground the blows around and erodes the soft rock they are carved in. Not really much carving to see from where I was.

I left to head further south into CA. It was strange to be going down the road and seeing highway signs for Reno and Winnemucca, NV and San Francisco. I really haven’t driven that far but it ends up I am only a few hours from Reno.

That’s all for this post. More tomorrow!

September 20th, 2018

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, pictures, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

Yesterday morning I took off on the first day of my latest adventure. As usual, I’ll be delaying these posts for my privacy.

I got out of the house at a decent time yesterday morning. After a few errands I hit the road and headed south. Along the way I had the usual questions about the trailer from people when I stopped. I also got a thumb’s up from someone on the highway. It tends to turn a few heads for some reason.

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So THAT’S how it gets around…

I thought Denver traffic was bad but then I came to Seattle. Seattle traffic sucks. And then…there is Portland traffic. Jeezus…how the hell do you people deal with it? It sucks no matter the time of day. Do all of you drive at the same time?!?! And fix that damn bottleneck where I-5 narrows down from three lanes to two as you are getting into downtown from the north.

I was almost out of downtown and then there was the sound of crunching metal – like a large beer can being squished. I saw it happen two lanes over from me. A lady, perhaps she missed her turn or was texting, hit the divider where the highway splits. I saw the car bounce and the brake lights flashing when she hit. Airbag deployed. SURPRISE!!!

One of two covered bridges in Lowell, OR

I got off I-5 at Eugene and headed SE along highway 58. It is a beautiful drive and is worth the trip off the interstate. I ended up getting to Cascara campground in Fall Creek State Park near Lowell. OR around 5 or so. I had a relaxing, leisurely evening. It was a nice park and there were only three or four sites taken. They had no water due to well issues so if you are headed there make plans for that.

The campground is right on the lakeshore and direct access to the beach. Well…kinda:

Dry lakebed at Cascara campground in Fall Creek State Recreation Area

The stairs in that picture actually lead down to the swim beach and what you see in the distance should all be under water up to the gravel beach seen between the railings. It is late in the year so runoff has slowed to a trickle, but the other part of the equation is the Corps of Engineers is working on the dam so they had to let a bunch of water out. There was NO water in sight from the campground and the meadow you see in the picture has been there only since June. It was still a beautiful place to look at and a nice campground to stay in.

I woke up at my usual 5:00 A.M. and had a nice mellow morning before I hit the road again. The drive down 58 and then highway 62 was so beautiful, but then I was totally awestruck by what I saw next.

Crater Lake National Park.

Man…what a beautiful place. A steep, gorgeous drive to the top of the crater and along the rim then back down the other side. That first view of the lake was simply stunning. It is so much bigger than what I ever imagined and the water was incredibly blue. As you can see by the pictures it was a beautiful day and it ended tip being perfect up on top. Another achievement on my bucket list!

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Crater Lake panorama

Closeup of blue watrer around Wizard Island - Crater Lake NP

Closeup of azure-blue water around Wizard Island – Crater Lake NP

Crater Lake NP

I had thought about staying in the Mazama campground but didn’t. I did not like the campground or the prices being charged so I went on south, but I will definitely be back to explore more. There is a lot to see and do in the area and I want to take a boat over to Wizard Island. The area reminds me of Colorado in many ways and the drive all the way down here to Klamath Falls was beautiful.

I ended up in a KOA which happened to be in town but it was all that is around that was habitable. But, it IS close to shopping and I needed to get supplies anyhoo and am taking advantage of the water, electricity and the shower as well. Now that I have water in the tank I am fully self-contained and will probably dry (primitive) camp the next few nights and not stay in a KOA or similar campgrounds until my last night (to use a dump station). They are nice (so are the utilities and showers) every great once in a while but not really a place I like to stay very often. I did not bring my generator but am getting by fine without it. Next time I will but I am not really missing it too bad. I did not even have any cell service from about 3:30 yesterday afternoon until about 10:30 this morning and I lived to tell the tale.

I really prefer to stay in a Forest Service campground because they are primitive. I have always liked staying in them (as far as developed campgrounds) and I think they are the most fun and cheap. I have propane for heat and hot water and cooking, and it is a whole lot cheaper. Hauling water adds weight and drops my gas mileage a little, but I am getting an average over 12 MPG! Even not pulling the trailer I get about 16-17 so I am happy with that, especially with all the hills I have been climbing.

One thing I did when I got here was re-organize some of the previous re-organization I did in the Spring. Last night I just saw how it wasn’t going to be fully practical in everyday use so I moved a few things into a completely different spot and I think I’m getting close to finding the right combination. I need to get some more bins to organize my kitchen supplies better. I have one bin but it just isn’t enough. Perhaps I can create a divider with compartments that I can put together inside the dinette bench to better organize the stuff in there. I have thought about buying a Dremel tool set and that just might be handy for that project.

I am a little disappointed that during packing I forgot to load my guitar. I was wanting to work on some song ideas with it but I guess I can get by doing some work with instruments in Garage Band on my laptop.

So far I have had great weather and beautiful surroundings. I hope the weather holds out for just a few more days. If I stopped now I’d be happy with this adventure but there’s more. If you are looking for a great drive this is definitely one to not miss.

Tomorrow I’ll be headed off to another place so check back! For now I am off to have another local blackberry (Marionberry) hard cider – Made Marion – by 2Towns Ciderhouse. If you can find it it is worth a taste!