Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wednesday thru whenever. . .
June 27 - ???

     Of course, after all my whining about the cold, rainy weather in the NW, the sun has come out on Wednesday and it's actually pretty pleasant even though on the chilly side but we all had planned on layers anyway.
      I met Lorraine and Antonia at the Seattle/Tacoma airport Wednesday after storing Rhoda in long-term parking.  

Lorraine & Antonia
They had a good flight and Antonia was a trooper and a charmer
Antonia & Grandma getting reacquainted

 but ready for bed when we got to the hotel.

     Thursday the 3 of us tackled a small portion of Pike's Market, mostly to find a place to get breakfast - at 10 - after Antonia's nap as she's still on east coast time so woke up early west coast time and was ready for a nap when the rest of us would have been ready to just wake up.  But it's all about the baby's schedule - right.

     Lorraine and Antonia are at the hotel now taking a nap and I'm at the new ('04) Seattle library using the internet as the hotel doesn't offer it - or at least doesn't offer it for free.  What a great building for a library - the only Books Spiral in the world.
     So if you don't hear from me on a daily basis just remember that no news is good news and I'm sure we'll all be having a great time.  Jeff & Katie arrive Friday night and the other 3 - Patrick & Joanna and Buzz arrive on Sat.  and then we'll be joined for a day or so by Hugh's family who all live in WA.


mileage:  all by foot                     gas:   good NW fresh food         cab from airport:  $50 and nothing 
                                                                                                             else is being recorded:)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Stay at home Mom

Tuesday, June 26th

     Data:  0 miles, $0 gas, already reported camp fee, zero pictures.

     I was a stay-at-home mom today - packing, confirming plans, researching places to go and sights to see in Seattle & Vancouver, catching up and even though it was on my to-do list, no down time to read.  Where does time fly to when you're busy doing other things !
     But I stand corrected and informed by June:

The McKenzie River begins at Clear Lake and flows adjacent to Hwy 126 to Springfield, OR where it flows into the Willamette River which then connects with the Columbia River.

The river following me along Hwy 22 was the North Santiam River.  It is dammed to form Detroit Lake near the town of Detroit, OR. 

And the answer to my 45th parallel question is that it is half way between the North Pole and the Equator.

And Oregon can sell wimpy fireworks but WA has the big stuff but not "not legal" to take it into OR.

There, now my facts are right.  Thanks, Jane.

Be ready for baby pictures tomorrow!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Trees to Traffic

Monday, June 25th

     I left Jane and McKenzie Bridge this morning and drove through the lush Cascades on my way back to civilization. 
 Said good-bye to the Three Sisters with their snow-capped peaks and their lava-feet thinking about what lay beneath all that seemingly inert material - hot, bubbly lava?  waiting for the next time???  Gives pause to think of all the natural, potential disasters no matter what part of the country/world we live in - hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods.  

Snow-covered Mt. Jefferson
     The McKenzie River followed me all the way to about Detroit - Detroit, OR where I found the Willamette Lake which I'm guessing was the damed up river and so it must be where the McKenzie flows into the Willamette.  Beautiful, large lake with beautiful homes around it, camping, a marina and still that gorgeous blue/aqua water and tall every green trees en masse.

I tried to move these pictures
next to each other to make 1
but couldn't figure it out??


 I love the road sign that's posted just before a little town - "Congestion".  That says a lot doesn't it and you know you should slow down and look around.
    Also of note are the numerous opportunities for coffee or espresso - every little town, every country road, every cross road, every market has a little kiosk or sign on the building for coffee or usually it says espresso and even one such kiosk said "Pony Expresso".  You know you're in coffee country now - unlike OK or TX.
     Today the roadside colors were bright golden yellow with a small bush, purple low-growing flowers, the white daisies, and lighter purply-pink foxgloves.
     As I got closer to Salem and the trees got left behind there were acres and acres of - NOT grapevines but baby pines or larger orchard trees in a funny shape - branches almost to the ground, pyramidal in shape but with the tops cut square and a decent size dark purply-red fruit being picked - maybe plums??
     Fireworks must be legal in both OR and WA as every large parking lot of shopping centers, Wal-Marts, Lowes, etc. had huge tents set up with all kinds of signs and flags flying advertising Fire Works for sale.
     I learned something new today - well probably I knew it at some time but hadn't had use for the knowledge so it got buried - the capital of OR is not Portland, it's Salem and do you know the capital of WA??  I now do.
     Another questions - even though no one ever answers my questions - what's the 45th parallel 1/2 way between?  It was on a road sign but I didn't see it in time to finish reading it and I've been wondering what was so notable about it.
     Wouldn't you like to sleep at a SnoozInn?
     In the state of WA, I-5 is called the Lewis and Clark Trail.  I'm loving the names of all the highways I travel as well as the names of other things, in case you hadn't noticed.  Like Toledo, WA.  Do you think that by the time the pioneers got out west they were getting really homesick so named their new home after their old ones?
     Another name that caught my attention - Going St.  Do you think there's a Coming St.?
    In case you're wondering - yes, it has rained today but only briefly.  Basically it was rather nice - bright even though heavily clouded with white thick clouds but still a little on the cool side - probably didn't hit much above 68-70.
     So, most of the day I've traveled in traffic after leaving the beautiful pine-cover Cascade area - a rude comeuppance but I made it all the way to Tacoma - only about 10 mins. from the airport so I'll hang out here tomorrow and pack for my week in Seattle and Vancouver with my family.  I've made my first list of things to do since I've left home so I'll be busy crossing things off - never fear - I won't be bored.


Now I've been corner to corner - almost
mileage:  323                          gas:  $71  @ $3.56                  camp:  $115  (for 2 nights)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Mighty McKenzie

Sunday, June 24th

     Today was my day to meet Jane, a blog-follower and fellow Roadtrek solo at her home in McKenzie Bridge, OR.
Might those be rain drops on my lens
Jane at Sahallie Falls
     In Eugene, I took route 126 and now I followed the Mighty McKenzie River and I say don't say mighty loosely!  First it was full to it's banks and running sometimes placidly but often with fast - moving rapids.  I did notice again that since I've been in this part of OR, most everything is green - not only the beautiful trees but rocks and rocky mountainsides are covered in moss, tree branches are covered in moss, roofs of houses are covered in moss.  Hummmm -- wonder why -- could it be due to all the rain they get??  I wonder.
Oh, and I forgot, fences are covered in moss
If you can see it with all the raindrops:)
     Anyway, I met delightful Jane (what can I say, she reads my blog - hi Jane:).  No, really, she is delightful and was so welcoming and gave me her friend's driveway to park in with electricity to boot.  We chatted and toured her park and then she took me on an incredibly scenic tour of this beautiful area.
The beautiful trees
Excuse the windshield wiper - but OH
we needed it as it was raining:)
  We started out seeing a lava field that The Three Sisters spewed out long ago leaving behind not only these weird fields of molten lava but some hot springs that we also went to see.  Then we went to see Clear Lake which was aptly named as you can look down like a long way it's so pure and so cold - never gets above 42 degrees and water is pure enough to drink as it's percolated through the lava beds (I hope I have this info right).
     Then we went to 2 AMAZING falls in the McKenzie River.  Granted, they are full now due to the recent snow melt but the force was . . . well forceful!  and beautiful!  and wet!
Sue at Sahallie Falls
Koosah Falls
                         Just listen to the power of the water          

      So much beauty here even though, yes, it rained on our way to see everything but it did stop mostly in time for the sightseeing.
     We got back in time for "cocktail hour" around the fire pit with neighbors and then Jane cooked me a great, healthy salmon dinner.
     A nice day.


mileage:  107                       gas:  $72  @$3.87 (pumped for me)                  camp:  gratis

Traveling on down the road

Saturday, June 23rd

     Peeked out the window before I even got out of bed and the sun was shining, sky was blue so life is good.
     Drove past Myrtle Beach, Shivley Rd, Patrick's Creek and Patrick's Creek Inn.  Rhoda is sparkling clean.  Life is good.
     Now I have Smith River to impress me as it travels along side me.
     In Kirby, OR I have to pull over to investigate the Burl Gallery - a collection of fantastical, druid-like, hand created buildings (at least 10), all different 
and all displaying redwood burl or the like products in finished and unfinished forms from porch swings, to tree houses, 

to vases, bowls, tables, wall hangings, rocking chairs, couches - you name it.  Funky, funky, funky but fun 
ET - phone home
and even the 3 back-woods old men who were apparently the creators of this whimsical place.  Do my "kids" remember the big barn place near Cooperstown that we all just sort of walked around in unbelieving what we were seeing - some more than others?  Well, this was sort of like that but not in a weird way but in as much of an "in awe" way.
     The pine forests I'm driving through again are amazing - the pine trees are SO TALL and so close together.  I think this is why Sally likes pine trees so much - they are so organized when that's all there are - no deciduous trees to throw their branches any which way.
     Where there's open spaces there are hundreds of sheep with very few black sheep in the flock, hundreds of white daisies along the roadside and on the hillsides, lamas, cows and no vineyards but lots of wine-tasting establishments?
     On the back of a truck in front of me:  Old Dogs, Children, Watermelon Wine
     A restaurant to cater to all tastes (but maybe not mine):  Sushi and BBQ
     Several cloud burst today but mostly sunny but still on the cool side.  As Linda said, everything in Eugene is so green because it rains all the time.  So far, I think she knows what she's talking about:)
     Stayed in a State Park just south of Eugene, OR.  Pulled in a little early to get hooked up before the descending sky opened up.


mileage:  187                                  gas:  $59  @ $3.999                                 camp:  $23 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Rain, Rain Go Away

Friday, June 23rd

     I realized I'm being very selfish since this is the first day of rain on my whole trip but right now I'd take some heat and sun.
     Left campground late thinking it might stop raining but gave up and left at 11 - after thinking to check and seeing that it was forecast to rain for the next 3 days - I didn't want to look out any further than that.  But I should have known - I'm approaching the OR/WA area.  And besides, Rhoda badly needed a bath so this is an easy way to at least give her a sponge bath - she really needs a loofa to get all the bugs removed.
I guess pretty in it's own way
     First "town" I came to was Pepperwood - pop. 50 and I think each person had a beautiful, large garden they were out working in, in the rain, and each had a produce stand but closed due to no produce from the garden yet, I guess.  But had to give them credit for a whole new angle on getting the tourist dollar - I hadn't seen any other fresh produce for miles.
     Went through another grove of Giants where the road was hardly wet due to the high, dense canopy from the Redwoods.
     As I came out of the Avenue of Giants and had to get back on 101 to Eureka, I saw a huge lumber mill, I'm afraid for the Redwoods, and it looked like an old lumbering town with multiple lumbering buildings and many houses all clustered on the property which were still inhabited but it now was part of a more sprawling town next to it.
     It was still raining hard, foggy and cold so I just drove through Eureka and didn't see Vonnie's nephew nor stop at Marie Calenders restaurant BUT a thrift store didn't draw Rhoda in.
     N. of Eureka was a nice, long, flat beach, actually called Calm Beach and wouldn't you know, yup, pouring rain, cold & foggy so could only see about 5 breaker lengths off shore.  
look closely and you can see a breaker
I pulled into a parking lot anyway and had lunch and caught up with Antonia's hoof and mouth disease:) which has now progressed to her ears and thus penicillin in hopes that she'll be well enough to fly on Wed.
Add caption
     I was desperate for pictures today and this rest stop was worthy.  Who takes pictures of a rest stop but if it had been a nice day it would have been worth lingering at - probably the prettiest rest stop I've ever stopped at in all my years of traveling 
Just imagine - there's a picnic table just in the canopy on the left
and a trail goes off into the beautiful woods in the center

And this was the path to go to the bathrooms
I know, it looks sunny and nice but enlarge the picture and maybe
you'll be able to see the pouring, fine rain and fog in the distance
This was protected due to the high canopy of trees
Note the large Redwood on the right
and come to find out, it was at a road or town called Patrick's Point.
     N of here again, on a nice day would have been another moment of magic - the ocean on my left and giant redwoods on my right.
     If you love trees - of any size - giant or younger redwoods, this road - 101 - N of Eureka is just beautiful.  Often you could see the top of the forest and a few trees were about a third taller than all the others and you knew that it had to be one of the giants.
     Came to "Mystery of Trees" in Kalmath, CA and this is what I had been remembering from about 4 years ago with my first trip to OR and going over the border to see the Redwoods.  But again, with the rain - yes, it was still raining hard - I didn't stop this time even though I would have because there's a walk through the trees that's just wonderful.
     Came to Crescent City and again, only stopped to get gas and get soaked with the now blowing rain, just drove on through to catch Rt. 199 to Grants Pass, OR.  I stopped in Hiouchi at the RV Park but up until then, the route was another amazing stretch of giants but it's a busy road so hard to experience their magnificence plus today with the dense fog and heavy rain and fast travelers, it's a missed pleasure.  You see the massive trunks as you go by and the awesome height and you still feel that awe.  I think these trees are even bigger than the ones S of Crescent City.
     As I said, I stopped in Hiouchi at 3:30 - so tired of the rain, cold & fog and must say it felt good to just laze around on Sally's bed which is now my couch with my feet tucked under her scrunchy duvet and my satiny blanket over me, my book to read and maybe I closed my eyes to the sound of raindrops on now very clean Rhoda and when I opened my eyes I was looking at my bouquet of magenta sweet peas and purple grasses sitting on Rhoda's dashboard which I had picked yesterday on my walk.
     I ate hot roasted tomato and basil soup (from Trader Joes) for supper without any Velveta cheese to put in it to get all soft and gooey:)
     So, as nice as it was to have a rainy, lazy afternoon to just relax, I know I'm going to need an AA (Attitude Adjustment) talk with myself when I wake up in the morning if it's still raining!


mileage:  132                           gas:  $38 @ $3.99 (but only half full as I got too wet to finish)
camp:  $30 plus money for shower

  • parallel parking in campground
  • paying for a shower in the US (had to do it Nova Scotia)
  • cup of tea for warmth
  • hanging clothes around Rhoda, not from laundry but to dry off from getting wet in the rain
  • no choice on whether or not to camp with/without electricity for heat
Good name for business:  "Sight for Sore Eyes"


Friday, June 22, 2012

Avenue of the Giants

Thursday, June 21st

     First things first - yes, I had to back out of my space all by myself - Yeah Sue!!  It took a few (quite a few) jockingings to get in position for a straight back up because night before I had jockeyed a few times thinking I could turn around until I saw that wasn't going to happen.  I avoided the overhanging roof of the falling-down building and the gas tank of the trailer and out I went.  I don't know if "where there's a will, there's a way" or if "necessity is the mother of invention" would apply here but anyway, I was outta there early, in the fog, in the cold, windy temps.
     Of course about 5 miles up the road I drove by "Crescent Cove" - a nice RV park also on the ocean.  Next time:)
     Continued northward up CA 1, "high on the hill" with cows grazing between the road and the cliffs and I had to wonder how many cows are lost each year with greediness - just one more step and I can get that grass that's just a little greener?
Cows & People want to be one step
closer to the edge 'cause it might be
     I liked the name of the town of Sea Ranch.  It was a nice enclave of appropriate (low, weathered wood, plenty of space between, not manicured) yet beautiful homes, a nice lodge ocean-side, beach access roads - so it's not all cliffs, AND something for everyone - Sea Ranch Golf Links (must be a little Scottish influence here).
     Not sure where all these people come from because the stretch of homes went on for miles but they must be vacation homes because there's no big town for miles!
     Wild Calla Lilies were growing in the ditches!  and how much do they cost for a wedding bouquet?
     Went through Albion, CA (my family will know why I noted this).  Population of 398 - cute little town as were all of them along this route - not much poverty was evident.  They even had a TruValue and of course a "watering hole" with market and gifts and a very nice RV park (some how I've been noticing the abundance of NICE RV parks).
Don't these plants look like something
from a Dr. Seuss book?
     Another thing I've finally caught on to:  as Sally knows, I am prone to "pulling over", not just for photo ops and ooooohhhhs but to let cars go by so I don't feel like I'm holding up the locals because I want to look too as I drive thus drive more slowly than those trying to get to the coffee shop.  Anyway, the first couple of times I got tooted at, I knew they weren't flirting but I was afraid one of Rhoda's drawers had popped open and they were alerting me but no, everything was fine.  After about the 5th toot, I caught on - they were thanking me for pulling over and since I like to know that I'm being appreciated, my attitude changed about all the times I had to pull over:)
     After about 84 hair-pin turns going up hill or down at 25 mph, there in front of me was a hill-side full of houses just like San Francisco.  I had arrived at the first big town of Mendocino.  I intended to get a cup of coffee and walk around this artsy little town but it was so cold and windy that the coffee was all I managed (was waited on by a very efficiently and polite 8 yr. old boy).  People here are definitely unique - probably movie stars in disguise - scruffy, woodsy, artsy.
     I moved back onto the Shoreline Highway which now looked more like a country lane - lots of fenced in land with again, a profusion of mostly purple wild flowers along the road, the blue ocean with white breakers in the near distance, deep green forested mountains, golden fields, and black cows.  Houses just dotted the landscape here and there - very rural "up north".
On a walk these were flitting around everywhere
Ediths Checkerspots they're called
Black sand beaches
     I know you think I've got a lot of pictures on my blog but I want to remind you that you haven't seen all the ones I've taken with my eyes - every turn brings another image I'd like to share but me, myself & I will have to do most of the time.
     A surprise stop was The Drive Thru Tree which I thought we'd seen in Sequoia but according to the sign here - this is The World Famous Drive Thru Tree (but about 25 miles down the road there was another one so I'm wondering. . . ).  This one was in Leggat and of course I couldn't drive thru because for the second time on this trip, Rhoda was too tall but cars were driving thru.
The place was a little rinky dink but fun.
     By now, away from the coast, it had warmed up to in the 70s so sweatshirt with hood could come off.
     Last year I was surprised in So, CA at all the agriculture.  This year in No, CA - far northern, at all the mountains - not like the Rockys or Adirondacks but mountains, and all the rivers, trees, pastures, cute LITTLE towns, and of course with all this beauty - vacation homes.
     When I got on 101 from 1 (it ends for awhile), the highway is now called The Redwood Highway.  I took a side road near Phillipsville to get on the Avenue of Giants and so glad I did.  Again - unexpected and unknown to be before I came upon it.  
     The highway and now this Avenue follows the Eel River as it winds, twists, turns, and curves.  The banks are broad and flat but deep down from the rest of the landscape.  People drive on the banks, set up tents, picnics and play in the water.  It's very open and sunny and then you enter the Redwoods and it's dark and quiet and intimate.  Just the Redwoods and lots of ferns.  The trees are SO tall and big but after seeing the Sequoias the bigness wasn't as awesome to me as their height.
See the little reflectors on the trees because
they are so close to the road
     Don't miss this road.  It's a wonderland of sights and senses and such a feeling of calm.
     There were little hikes at some of the stops on pine needle-covered paths and you felt like you were alone with these giants.  You have to feel the gratitude of those who preserved these forests from the loggers.  Can you imagine.
     There's a great campground right in the Redwoods - Burlington - but after last night I felt like I needed amenities.  
     So instead, I went for the name:  Ancient Redwoods RV Park.  I'm close to the end of this marvelous Avenue but I'll still get a smidgen of it tomorrow as I leave, heading to Eureka and now I know how it got it's name - Eureka!!  I made it without losing my brakes again!


Mileage:  186                                      Gas:  $58  @ $4.26                                  Camp:  $38.50
Drive thru Tree:  $5

Interesting:  Twice in the last 50 years, the Eel River has flooded wiping out several small towns that never returned


Thursday, June 21, 2012

She's on the Move!

Wednesday, June 20th

     Rhoda & I saddled up and moved out about 9, saying good-bye to my new grand-dog, Oscar 

(and Jeff & Katie), and headed for Santa Rosa, CA to visit one of my freshmen college roommates who, as Vonnie reminded me, I hadn't seen nor communicated with in (46 - shhhh) years!  Could it be.
Vonnie & Sue
(Hi Rosie - we missed you)
     We had a great time catching up with all those years and Vonnie fixed the most delicious salad and gave me a great CA goodie bag to be enjoyed during the rest of my trip.
     And speaking of catching up, yesterday (Tues.) I had lunch with high school friend, Tracy

 in Los Altos after viewing her new house by mid-century modern builder Eichler.  She has great plans for it's restoration and fun to have a dream come true.  She treated me to lunch at Rick's Cafe in Los Altos while we caught up.
    So, it was a fun "vaca" to relax and reconnect.
    Tough getting to Santa Rosa with so much CA traffic and it wasn't at all good for my new brakes and rotors as it was go, brake, stop, go, brake, stop - almost all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge 

with only a few spurts of getting up to speed.
     Along the way I noticed that the Gateway building complex was for lease while the E-bay/PayPal buildings across the road with showing no signs of a slow-down.
     After lunch with Vonnie, I took Rt. 166 west to connect with CA 1 to go up the coast.  I passed the Kobel champagne vineyard plus many others and loved seeing all the activity on the Russian River - lots of people playing in and around it as the river meandered along side of me or me along side it.  It met the Pacific Ocean in grand style - wide and welcoming and the Pacific welcomed it too with beautiful haystacks.
Russian River in foreground and Pacific Ocean and haystacks in background
     Turned north on CA 1 and quickly found myself way above the ocean and ascending higher and higher on narrow, curvy, cliff-hanging roads so I didn't dare look over the edge too often even though I was on the inside edge (which I'd recommend to anyone trying to decide which way to do this route).

     I had picked out a campsite from my book but with no signs along the road, I missed the turn and there was no way to turn around so I continued on for about another 1/2 hr. until I spotted other "RVs??" on the ocean side even though they were on top of a cliff so I pulled in to what turned out to be a very scraggly, mostly permanent campers, 

with very small parking spaces, no hook-ups and I knew I wouldn't be using the bathroom (didn't even want to check it out - thank you Rhoda) for $30 but it was location, location, location:
The front of Rhoda is about 6' from this fence
which is about 2 inches from a sheer cliff

Looking to the right from same position

Behind Rhoda
(actually looks pretty good in this picture but it was all
falling apart-uninhabited)
    I don't know how I'm going to get out in the morning as I had to drive  between this dilapidated building and a pretty shabby permanent RV (no one was home!) with about 2' clearance on both sides and then make a sharp right hand turn to park.  It looks like a driveway behind me but the bathroom is just out of the picture on the right and space between isn't as wide as Rhoda.  My biggest fear is that the only way out is the same way as in but backing up.  What do you think Sally??
    Stay tuned.


Mileage:  110 (after San Francisco - I forgot to start at zero)         Gas:  $36 @ $3.76
Campsite:  $30                                                                                $13 @ $4.29 (hate those CA pumps)