Saturday, November 4, 2017

Washington ~ Oregon - California

Castle Rock, WA

September 17, 2017 started out in Vancouver, BC and ended up in Castle Rock, WA. 270 miles and a ferry ride! What a long day. After picking up the RV and Mielikki we headed off on what we thought was a short hour drive to the Little Creek Casino Resort RV Park. The drive went well, but once we arrived at the casino it quickly went down hill from there.
First - there are no signs on the road to direct you to the RV Park so we drove through the casino parking lot till we saw RV's on the other end of the lot. Drove thru the RV park only to find out we needed to check in at the Casino Hotel.
This is where the fun really started:
~~ When we made the reservations two weeks prior we used Les's debit card to pay for the first night and hold our spot. Nancy tried to use hers to pay for the second night and they couldn't do that. They needed to use the same card used for the reservation, or credit the first night back to us and charge both to Nancy's card. No, it doesn't make any sense.
~~ After going out to the RV to get Les's card, Nancy is informed that Les needs to come in with his drivers license - did we mention they all ready took the money for the first night out of our account? ~~ So Nancy made them credit us, then recharge all of it!
What a crazy mess, but wait it gets worse....
~~ When we made the reservations we were told we would have a pull through, but the only spot left was a back-in that was not long enough for our rig. When we questioned them they said we "should" fit and if there wasn't room for our car and tow dolly we could park them in the casino lot! Nope
 So, back to the lobby desk to cancel our stay, we got a refund for that night and ate the first night. At 8:00 pm we started looking for a new place to stay, found one another hour south.
Thankfully the Paradise Cove Resort RV Park in Castle Rock, had an opening. The park is mostly full time residents, but it is kept up very well. The pull through site was plenty long enough for us and had full hook ups. We paid $33.20 a night with no discount. The laundry room was clean. The WiFi was spotty and Verizon signal was fair. The original plan was to stay one night but we ended up staying three. Les made a trip back to David Johns to pick up items forgotten and Nancy spent the time doing laundry and such. It rained non-stop and we sprung a leak over our couch one night - all in all not a great end to our wonderful Alaskan trip! But Mielikki was very glad to have us back.

50 lb lap dog

Tillamook, OR

On September 20, we headed to Tillamook, OR.
Yes that awning is
touching our RV! 
We stayed at the Big Spruce RV Park which is just across the road from the bay. The sites are extremely narrow, we were touching our neighbors on both sides. We paid $17.00 a night with our Passport America discount. Luckily we hit if off with the people next to us - and their traveling companion "Jimmy Hoffa".
The morning walks with the dog were the best part of this place!
Walks along the bay - perfect way to start a day
We were here in December 2015 so the weather was a little different this time. Visiting our friends Michele and Eric Brinkert brought us back here. Michele recently started a job at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. We met up with her in Boardman, OR while she was there on business but didn't get to see Eric. They treated us to a wonderful dinner at The Schooner Restaurant.

Our first afternoon here we took advantage of the nice weather and explored a little bit of Cape Lookout State Park. 
The weather was perfect the whole time we were here.
Another day found us at the Kilchis Point Reserve. It was so much more than we expected. A well maintained trail leads you out to the bay and small rocky beach filled with driftwood. There are informational signs along the way that tell of the areas history and what type of animals and birds live here.

Mielikki found a mud bog to play in and was a disaster. Luckily there was a do-it-yourself dog wash right down street.

We were a lot warmer at the Cape Mears Lighthouse this time. There are two trails that lead you to the light house - both paved with beautiful views of the surrounding water.

The glass is quite fascinating! 
The lighthouse was closed last time we were here, but this time Nancy was able to take the tour. In looking back at the last blog post we discovered we forgot to include the pictures from here!

It is a short flight of stairs to the top. Nancy appreciated that and also the fact that they are enclosed! The tour guide gives a detailed talk about the history of the lighthouse and area.

Les got a picture of Nancy and she got one of him too! 

Sutherlin, OR
On September 23 we said good-bye to the coast and headed inland. Nancy snapped her last pictures of the bay and the ocean.
We stayed at the Hi-Way Haven RV Park, this is the second time we stayed here. We celebrated Christmas 2015 here (in the link above). It is a large park with a number of full time residents.
It is very well maintained, the sites are long enough for our rig and tow dolly. Each one has a fenced in cement patio. The laundry room and bathrooms are very clean, WiFi was spotty.

They show movies every Friday and Saturday night on their drive in movie screen. Princess Bride was this Saturdays feature. A favorite of Nancy's and one that Les had never seen. We paid $39 a night with our Good Sam discount.

We were able to visit Crater Lake National Park this time. The last time here it was closed due to snow. This time there was only a foot and a half - which we didn't know when we dressed that morning. We wore shorts and sandals, we had checked the weather two days before, but not the morning of. Luckily it was fairly warm with lots of sunshine so we didn't freeze.
The poles in the left picture
are the snow poles!!! Yikes 

Such a beautiful place, we were able to drive around three-quarters of the lake, the west road was closed due to the recent wild fires and the snow.

Mielikki loved the snow

Nancy made a mini snowman and wrote our tag line in the snow and even made a bare footprint! We came across another couple who brings along mascots to take pictures with - theirs are stuffed animals. Nice to know we are not the only crazy ones.
Phantom Ship  ~~ Cloudcap and Pumice Castle were some of the overlooks we stopped at.

A six-mile drive from the rim takes you to The Pinnacles. There is a whole canyon of them. They are "fossil fumaroles" and were created when volcanic gases rose up through a layer of volcanic ash, cementing the ash into solid rock. You also get a nice peak at Mount Scott from here.

Wizard Island 
Crater Lake was formed over centuries of rain and snow, after a massive eruption 7,700 years ago left the deep basin. It is the deepest lake in the United States. 1,943-feet at the deepest point. It is 6.02 miles across at its widest and 4.54 miles across at the narrowest.  After William Gladstone Steel's first visit here in 1885 he fought for it to be protected. It became a park in 1902.
Wizard Island is a volcanic cinder cone and is 6,933-feet above sea level and 755-feet above the lake surface.

Mt Shasta, CA
This is another place we wanted to visit in December of 2015, but couldn't because of the snow. The drive from Sutherlin took us through Grants Pass and offered peaks of the mountain as we got closer.
We arrived at the Cheateu Shasta RV Park on September 26, it is about 10 minutes outside of town. It is a combination RV and Moble Home Park. The site was just long enough for our rig and parking the car. We had an end site which gave us a little bit more room. We paid $30 a night. There was no WiFi or other amenities. The morning we were pulling out we had a problem with the sewer hookup - when we went to empty our tanks we discovered that the pipes were clogged. This made for a very messing situation.
Mt Shasta is considered to be an energy vortex spot, much like Sedona. So the town is full of interesting and unique shops. We enjoyed wandering through them.
Majestic trees line the road
The Evert Memorial Highway takes to you to almost 8,000-feet where it ends at The Old Ski Bowl. It was fun seeing all the cairns and labyrinths that people have built.

The views are quite spectacular, reminded us of our Blue Ridge Mountians.
We came back to this spot twice and both times we were treated to beautiful weather. Lots of sunshine and only a slight breeze. This time we "wrote" our tag line with rocks!

The solitude, even with a number of other people around was impressive. The mountain is composed of four major volcanic cones. The last eruption was about 200 years ago.

While here we ventured into Weed. It is not as thriving as Mt Shasta but it still has a lot to offer. The Weed Historical Museum was an interesting place. The town was originally founded as a lumber town. The giant saw blade was pretty impressive, and the tree growing around the ax made us chuckle. Bocce Balls even made it into the museum - a Wilson family favorite.

Smokey is another favorite and Nancy can't help but think about her mom when she sees Singer products. We stopped in at the Visitor Center and had a wonderful conversation with Kandy. She landed here from Texas and hopes to travel like we do one day. If you are reading this Kandy, thank you for such a great welcome to Weed.

Lake Siskiyou is a pretty spot for hiking. It is a large reservoir formed by the Box Canyon Dam on the Sacramento River. There is a trail that wraps around the lake and takes you along side the water and through the trees. The Wagon Creek Bridge was built in 2010 and allows you to cross over the lake at the Wagon Creek Inlet.

You get just a peak of Mt Shasta from the center of the bridge.

Dunnigan, CA
Once again we were back at the Happy Times RV Park, this is our third time staying here. Once in December of 2015 and then again in December 2016. This time we arrived on September 29.
Morning dog walks took us over a train track and down a road between two fields. Last time there was broken squash and pumpkins on the road - this time tomatoes. We saw a number of fires off in the distance.

Our friends Jan and Dave are why we always come back here. Nancy and Jan worked together in Michigan and it is wonderful to spend time with them.

On the drive to their house you pass the Sacramento airport and almost every time there was a plane coming in.

They made us dinner numerous nights and Jan and Nancy got to spend an afternoon shopping and just hanging out together. Yahtzee is always involved and their flowers are beautiful. Mielikki and Skye have a blast chasing each other around, until Skye gets tired and finds a safe place in Jan's arms. He was getting a little bored with having his picture taken.

Next up is Nevada - yes all of it!

Till we meet again....

Happy Trails to You!

Tips and things we have learned along the way. 
~ Check the temperature the morning of a road trip.
After living in Asheville for 3-years you would think we would know better. Our first trip into the mountains there taught us to always be prepared. We went from 70 degrees at home to low 40's at Mt Mitchel. We carried warm clothes in our car at all times after that.
As you noticed above we were not prepared for the weather waiting for us at Crater Lake. We had checked the weather and their website two days before, no snow in the forecast and temps around 70. Well, obviously that changed in two days! Luckily the temps weren't that bad and we still carry sweatshirts in the car, but not a change of shoes!

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