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!

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