Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Brown Creek Campground & Lopez Island (WA)

Following our stop at Mount Ranier, we headed to the place Margaret next wanted to camp—Olympic National Park. While stopped for gas in Port Orchard (WA), our nephew, Joshua, contacted me, surprised that we were "already" in Washington and not too far away from where he and his family were anchored on their sailboat. After a lot of back-and-forth discussion, we decided to head north to visit them, but only after a couple nights of restful camping at the remote Brown Creek Campground.

Brown Creek Campground sign. Photo by Margaret.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

La Wis Wis Campground & Mount Rainier (WA)

On the morning of 24 Jul 2019, we left French Prairie Rest Area late enough to avoid the Portland commuting traffic and drove over the Interstate Bridge into Washington State at 12:30 p.m. We stopped for water, ice, and groceries in Vancouver, Washington, before continuing north on Interstate 5. We checked several sources for an open campsite near Mount Rainier; but after exhausting those sources, we decided there wasn't one available where we might be able to see it from the campground. We drove east on U. S. Route 12; and 2-1/2 hours later, after passing Mayfield Lake and Riffe Lake, we arrived at La Wis Wis Campground in Packwood, Washington.

La Wis Wis Campground sign. Photo by Virginia.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Columbia River Gorge (OR)

It's been a month since we visited the Columbia River Gorge, but traveling and camping has been the priority and not a cell signal or public Wi-Fi. So, better late than never….

We left our second time staying overnight at the Peter Skene Ogden State Park on 22 Jul 2019 and headed north on U. S. Route 97. We drove through miles of cotton and alfalfa fields and the pretty little town of Madras, Oregon. We had a view of Mount Jefferson to the west, while rugged volcanic cliffs were to the east; and through a rather thick haze, Mount Hood eventually became visible. I hadn't seen Mount Hood for twenty-two years! Fortunately, the closer we got, the clearer the sky became. We then drove west toward the busy metropolitan area of Portland, Oregon, because it was Margaret's birthday, and she really wanted lunch from Native Foods Café. While there are three Native Foods Cafes in San Diego (our home base), there is only one in the entire Pacific Northwest! That scrumptious lunch was served in the swanky Bridgeport Village Mall in Tigard, Oregon. We parked in the shade to eat our lunches, which meant Peaches could be let out of her crate (happy girl!). Staying for a few hours allowed us to catch up on our iPhones before it was time to go to French Prairie, a nearby rest area to park overnight.

The next morning we drove through intense traffic in Portland to get to one of the most breathtaking areas in the world—the Columbia River Gorge, where we spent the entire day in a state of wonder. (I'd been there several times when I lived in Portland back in the late '90s, but one can never experience this area too often. Margaret had only seen Multnomah Falls once, possibly in 2003.) The first waterfall we encountered on the Historic Columbia River Highway was Shepperd's Dell Falls. (We bypassed the actual first falls, Bridal Veil, on the way in and out because the parking area was prohibitively busy.) Shepperd's Dell Falls are like a winding ribbon through the rough hillside of trees, ferns, and bushes; and the terrain makes the falls difficult to see and to photograph in their entirety, as you can see below.)

Shepperd's Dell Falls. Photo by Virginia.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Sisters, OR & Cold Springs Campground

We left our overnight parking site mid-morning on 16 Jul 2019 and went south on U.S. Route 97 before taking State Route 126 west. We had only 25 miles to go; so in about an hour, we arrived in the beautiful town of Sisters, Oregon. A friend drove Margaret through Sisters back in 2002. It was so cute that she was hoping to return eventually and linger awhile. So she added it to our West Coast States Adventure itinerary.

My recollection of Sisters is different from my sister's. ;>) I spent my youth to about age 30 drooling over the photos of the gorgeous horses of Patterson Arabians in the Arabian horse magazines of the time. The Patterson Ranch was a famous landmark in Sisters. The photos of the mares in the pastures with the snow-covered Three Sisters volcanoes in the background were stunning and left a lasting impression on me. The horses were sold off in 1989, and the ranch was sold in 2017. (Here is a 2015 video of the ranch: https://youtu.be/C1sCVqnGEoI.) I didn't know exactly where the ranch was located and ended up seeing it only after Margaret had driven by—a minor disappointment, but I saw enough to get an in-person impression of the beautiful place I remembered from magazines so long ago.

Welcome to Sisters sign. Photo by Margaret.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Peter Skene Ogden State Park & Rest Stop (OR)

After our day at Crater Lake National Park and two nights dry camping at Annie Creek Sno-Park, we headed north to the big city of Bend, Oregon, on 15 Jul 2019. The Roadtrek got washed, we spent several hours using the Wi-Fi at the public library, and we grocery shopped at Whole Foods (YAY!) and Safeway. We were tired and too hungry to wait until we arrived at our at-that-time-still-unknown overnight destination; so we made and ate our dinners in the Safeway parking lot. One of the really great things about having your home with you all the time is that you can do things like make a meal whenever you're hungry. :>) Margaret got busy Googling rest stops where we could overnight and found one just about 25 miles north on U.S. Route 97 in Terrebonne, Oregon. It turned out to be the most interesting and probably the most impressive "rest area" I've ever seen. The rest area is located at the Peter Skene Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint (Peter Skene Ogden Wikipedia Page) on the border of Deschutes (duh-SHOOTS) and Jefferson Counties.

From the viewpoint walkway (thankfully with a sturdy rock wall), one can stroll along the south side of the 300 foot deep Crooked River Gorge with its basalt cliffs and gaze at the Crooked River, which is really far down there! To the west is the Crooked River Railroad Bridge, which has been in use since 1911. To the northeast are two more bridges. The first, Crooked River High Bridge, was built in 1926 and replaced in 2000 by the Rex T. Barber Veterans Memorial Bridge, which runs parallel. The "old" bridge is open to pedestrian traffic and offers alternately stunning perspectives of the canyon, river, and other bridges.

The  Crooked River High Bridge (foreground) and the Rex T. Barber Veterans Memorial Bridge. Photo by Margaret.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Crater Lake National Park (OR)

After our first night in Oregon (at the Midland Rest Stop), we continued on 13 Jul 2019 north on U.S. Route 97 through miles of pastureland with grazing cattle and horses. There was ground water everywhere—irrigation canals, ponds, lakes, and reservoirs. There were large Rainbird sprinklers in use the likes of which I hadn't seen in decades. We passed through the city of Klamath Falls and drove by Upper Klamath Lake and Mount McLoughlin (in the distance) before turning west on Oregon Route 62. We drove through miles of dense pine forests before stopping briefly at the Annie Falls Overlook. We entered Crater Lake National Park via the south entrance, hoping to get a first-come-first-serve campsite, only to find out that due to an overly harsh winter, even some of those with reservations were being turned away because of downed trees. Numerous campsite loops were closed for repairs and still are, as of today.

 Crater Lake and Wizard Island. Photo by Margaret.

Hello, Oregon!

It's been 18 days since we posted our last two entries (Lassen Volcanic National Park and Mount Shasta); and we've traveled through Oregon and Washington, visited numerous places, camped at several, and visited with family. Today, we are parked at a public library utilizing their rather slow public Wi-Fi. I sure hope we can catch up a bit! 

On the 82nd day of our West Coast States Adventure and several hours after leaving the Mount Shasta area on 12 July 2019 we crossed into Oregon and made it to our first Oregon stop, the Midland Rest Stop on U.S. Route 97. It was nearly 9:00 p.m., and we were more than ready to rest.

I did a quick walk around, checking things out and taking a few photographs. There were only a handful of personal vehicles and quite a few semi-trucks. We both felt quite safe there.

Our first Oregon sunset! Photos and editing by Virginia.