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.


Near Whiskytown NRA


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.


Guard tower from Tule Lake concentration camp


Exterior of concentration camp barracks relocated to museum grounds


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.


Camp Tule Lake


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.


Catacombs lava cave entrance


Collapsed ceiling in Catacombs lava cave – I’m out


Inside Catacombs lava cave looking out


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!

California Road Trip Pictures

Adventure, Just things, Travel

Just a quick note to let you know that I finally got around to adding a few pictures to my California road trip postings. I did not really get much of a chance to get many pictures taken since it was such a fast trip. Feel free to go back and check them out!

I’ll be going back there in the future so I will be taking and posting more pictures of that area. I have purchased a laptop so it will be much more convenient to post pictures while traveling once I get it set up with my pictures.

I am quarantined at the moment so I cannot get away anywhere else right now; I started coming down with something a few days ago and I am trying to keep it at bay with some juices, water, chicken soup, and Zicam. Not feeling too good but I’m probably better than I would be if I were not taking those things.

That’s all I have for now – just wanted to share the updates.

And it Still IS Unfortunate

Adventure, Travel

Well that just ain’t right. I wanted to stay around the Redwoods today but I had to abort the mission and get gone. The weather forecast around Crescent city was not very good, and actually has spread up to where I’m at now – in a hotel near Portland, OR. I was hoping to stay on the coast all day and tonight but the weather forecast is looking sour. I wanted seafood too.

I got up this morning and left Crescent City and it has been snowy and/or black ice conditions on the highway most of the day. That has been the case pretty much since day before yesterday. I’ve pretty much had my fill of it.

I will probably have to get up and hit the road at a decent hour to beat the weather and get to Seattle. It’s been a short trip but it has been fun and very relaxing. I have got to see some new territory as far as Southern Oregon and Northern California and I have to say the area is pretty nice. I could probably live there. It still reminds me a little like Florida but without the palm trees. Not the big fancy towns but the smaller little seaside villages. I’ll be doing some journeying all up and down the West Coast for some time to come I have a feeling.

I did get to drive US Highway 101 from the Oregon border with California all the way up to Florence; this is where I took a right and went east to make time. I was hoping to drive all of he way up but I couldn’t do it. As far as US Highway 101, I’ve driven all of it in Washington, most of it in Oregon (except between Tillamook in Florence), and little bits of it in the LA/Huntington Beach area down in California. I do want to do the whole thing in one trip at some point. I’ll be taking my time doing that too.

Along the Oregon coast on US 101

Along the Oregon coast on US 101

Along the Oregon coast on US 101

Along the Oregon coast on US 101

I did get to see some great ocean views. It was fantastic being back by the water. The tide was headed out and I could have had a great time looking at birds and tide-pooling, but on top of the storms moving in it was not really warm. I will be back and it will be warmer.

I stopped at Camping World to grab a few items for the trailer. Those who know me would understand how weird that is for me. I did find a few things on sale IF I joined the Good Sam reward club thingy so I did. Just my savings from the sale items I bought paid for it. I should be able to get some use out of it, such as gasoline discounts and sale items. In Oregon there is no sales tax. A spending spree can be pretty good between that and sales!

So, all in all this was a good adventure. A little too rushed, but you get what you get when you can get it. I’m more relaxed and feeling better. I am excited to travel even more now than when I left. I picked up a key ring with the family crest on it and it says out family motto is “Fortune favors those with fortitude”.

I do believe that there is truth in that…at least there is for me.