I have been remiss in updating my blog. I am going to try to do a quick summary to bring it up to date.
This summer I didn't work or volunteer as I usually do. Instead I headed north to simply enjoy that part of the country.
My first stop was in the California Delta where Betty and Lance, good friends from Park of the Sierras were working for the summer. It was there, when I went to put my hydrolic jacks down that I discovered that they would not work. I already had an appointment at my favorite mechanic, Oregon Light Truck and RV in White City, OR.
Fires were burning near Redding so I went up the coast to avoid the smoke. I cut inland near Crescent City and general servicing was done July 1. With everyone trying to get out of the area, the shop was swamped so I needed to go back for the jacks. I returned to the coast for cooler and clearer conditions. Later I returned to get the jacks fixed. Dave saved me a lot of money as he had a barely used pump from another rig and after checking it out, installed it in mine, where it works beautifully.
While the pump was being installed I flew to a family wedding in Southern California enjoying a beautiful outdoor wedding of Caddy and Bethany.
On the coast I revisited favorite spots. Heceta Lighthouse, where I volunteered one summer, had some structural issues and visitors could not climb the spiral stairs. But I did several other lighthouses. I saw Adele who I worked with at Heceta. She lives in Florence. And I met up with some friends from Park of the Sierras who were visiting the area.
After picking up the motorhome I hightailed it north. The air quality near Medford and White City was truly awful due to the fires. In Eugene I visited Yellowstone friends, Ana Maria and Ted. If you go back to earlier posts on Ecuador you will know more about this great couple. I stopped in Salem to see Janice and Gabby, RVing friends who go way back. And then I headed to Washington where I spent five weeks in the Escapee park in Chimicum, near Pt. Townsend. Saw RV friends from long ago there too. Ann and David spend half the year on a spectacular piece of land, renting a site, overlooking the water. The rest of the year they are in South Africa where he makes wine. I saw Don and Robin, also part of that early Boomer group we connected with when we began full-timing, Linda and Howard who I met at the Petaluma Elks park, and several members of my park in Coarsegold. I did a lot of socializing. We ate out, we tasted wine, we rode the ferry to Whidbey Island, had high tea in Port Gamble. Since Bill and John volunteer at the NW Maritime Center I took them up on the offer to use the coast guard simulator to try my hand on handling the waters of Puget Sound. Kind of fun, but I will stick to driving a motorhome on land.
And shortly before heading south, Chris came up for a weekend. We did an all day trip to Whidbey Island. We almost got stuck....one of the two ferry boats which runs between Pt Townsend and Whidbey lost operation of its rudder. Eventually a huge tug boat was able to pull in out of the dock, allowing the other ferry to come pick us up.
I had a health scare and headed home. Not to worry. It turned out to be something very minor. Because of fires, I came back via the coast. route. Photos along the Oregon and California Coast are a mix from the north and south trips.
Here are photos in California, along the Oregon Coast, and on the Olympic Peninsula.
|"Shady Cove RV Park" in the Delta|
|The several whimsical gates and fences at Shady Cove are said to be made from tools |
used in building the Golden Gate Bridge.
|A motorhome hewn from one Redwood log. This is on|
display at the Humboldt Redwoods Visitor Center
|A walk in the woods along Avenue of the Giants, Northern California|
|Hwy 101 north of Florence|
|Fog over Heceta Lighthouse. I volunteered there the summer of 2005.|
|You could not go up inside Heceta Head Lighthouse due to structural issues, but I did do the tour of Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.|
|Coquille River Lighthouse at Bandon. Light was not operating when I was there|
|Beach pattern along Oregon coast.|
I stayed at the Escapee Park in Chimicum for 5 weeks, using that as a base to explore the Olympic Peninsula. Port Townsend is a delightful place to spend time. One day I drove out to Sequim (Pronounced Squim). That area has the right conditions for growing lavender. I was a little late and many of the fields had been picked, but there were a few later varieties.
|Lavender hanging to dry in a barn.|
|Found these two bald eagles on a side road near Sequim.|
|Chris and I took the early morning ferry from Pt Townsend to Whidbey Island|
Another day I went to the Olympic National Park. This is Hurricane Ridge. Thick fog as I started up the hill but I broke thru close to the top.
|After the ridge I went into the Hoh Rain Forest where the deep water was crystal clear.|
140" to 170" of rain falls each year here. But the eastern side of the park gets far less and there was a wildfire south of Port Townsend.
|David and Ann and a little libation overlooking the sound.|
I have traveled all the roads that follow the route of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. That includes a bit of rough 4-wheel stuff along the Missouri Breaks in Montana and over Lemhi Pass. And I have visited the Mandan Villages where they spend their first winter, I was at the Arch in St. Louis when the reenactment of the expedition arrived back 200th anniversary of the Corp of Discovery's journey. I've been to Cape Disappointment and the site along the Natchez Trace where where Meriwether Lewis died. And I had been to Fort Clatsop where the corp spent a wet and dreary winter. But this year I returned on a day so foggy drops were falling from the tree needles like rain. The story of the expedition has always captured my imagination.
|Fort Clatsop where the Corp of Discovery (Lewis and Clark) spent a wet winter|
|Remains of old docks, on the trail at Fort Clatsop|
After the trip home, I left my motorhome at Park of the Sierras and I drove over Tioga Pass, through much of the burned area, to meet my friend Jackie near Bridgport on Hwy 395. I got to know Jackie well in Yellowstone where we were both driver\guides and neighbors in the small employee RV park. From North Carolina she has done plenty of travel in the west but never Hwy 395 which is one of my favorite haunts.
But first, I spent a night with Lynn and Mark. Mark was the ranger who hired me to work at Bodie. We manage to link up every couple of years. They came to Yellowstone a couple times and of course I have visited them at their home, which is off the grid and surrounded by state wildlife refuge, off Hwy 395. They have a narrow easement to drive into their spot.
I love the Eastern Sierras. Of course I took Jackie to Bodie. And as many times as I have been there, and three seasons there as a park aide, you would think I would not find any new things to photograph. But I always do; a slightly different angle, different lighting.
|Although I like this view, Jackie's interpretation was outstanding and I have encouraged her|
to submit it for the 2019 Bodie Calendar.
I told Jackie we needed to be at Mono Lake before the sun came over the hills. She was a good sport and went along with the super early rising. And she told me it was worth it.
Of course we did Manzanar and Alabama Hills. We also drove up to the Bristlecone Pines.
|We went to the Alabama Hills early too. Moon had not yet set and we watched the sun|
light up the steep mountains from top to bottom.
|Manzanar was one of the internment camps which housed people, the majority of them citizens|
of the United States, during WWII
|Cemetery, monument and one of the many chains of origami peace birds.|
We had a great evening at Benton Hot Springs. An old mining camp, today it has a B&B, campground (each site has its own soaking pool and I have done that in the past). We stayed in the B&B, soaked under clear skies and relaxed.
|one of the soaking pools|
|Lots of fun old junk|
|Loved play of light thru the clouds on the hills in the distance. Old building in foreground is part of|
the Benton Hot Springs complex, left from the mining days. Lots of other stuff too, but one can't include it all in a blog.
|driving on back roads to get to Benton|