The second week we continued to play tourist and visit the old home town
The second week we continued to play tourist and visit the old home town
We have landed in San Diego for the month, which is just about over, to return to our beginnings. I from New Jersey and Linda from Arizona. We met here, got married here and spent the first 16 years of our married life here. We met through some mutual friends and beach parties. Lots of good memories. Things have changed here but we are having a grand time. Using the transit system for a few trips. the trolley system and bus system is pretty extensive.
It is a beautiful place to visit but we love our Colorado mountains just as much.
We concluded the month with 2 more National Park stops. we stopped at Visalia to visit Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park. and a week in the Palm Springs area, Desert Hot Springs, to go to Joshua Tree National Park.
While in Desert Hot Springs, we did visit “old town” Palm Springs, General Patton Memorial Museum and hiked in Morongo Canyon. The museum is an overview of the over 20,000 people who supported and trained for the African challenge against Rommel.
Sorry for the delay but the pictures did not upload. In San Diego and keeping busy.
The next stop on the travels was Lodi. A quick stop but a good stop. First place to stop at was a winery. Out on the edge of town but a nice little tasting room. After buying a few bottles, we ventured to downtown for lunch and a walk. The cheese shop was another chance to stock up on some cheeses.
The next day was a stop at the Calivirgin olive oil tasting room. we learned about the harvesting and processing of olives. This company adds fresh ingredients to the crushers as they are processing. Not infused for a fresher taste. Afterwards we went to the Lodi Lake Nature Walk & Park. Home to twenty or so deer and numerous plants and trees. Not totally stocked up on wine and wanting lunch we went to Michael David Winey. They have a nice garden area and were setting up the pumpkin patch.
After a busy 2 days we traveled further south on highway 99. After climbing a few thousand feet on a 25 mph winding road we arrived here at Yosemite Pines in Groveland, CA for a two week stay. No internet and no cell phone in the park. One restaurant we went to had cell phone service. We did get some reception in a few places on our journeys but to be out in the mountains feels so good. They have vintage trailers, cabins, yurts and covered wagons for rent those without trailers or motorhomes.
We traveled on some steep and winding roads. Our first adventure was CA-49 south towards Mariposa, the old mining town. The Merced river is super low. This is due to the drought and the fall season. The first town we came to was Coulterville. An old mining town and the first entrance to Yosemite. Lunch was at “the original Bon-Ton Café”. Not to be confused with the one in Colorado Springs. Mariposa it the southern end of Yosemite. So we took that road back.
Being the weekend we decided to skip the park and went to downtown Coulterville. All 4 or 5 blocks long. Bragging rights to the oldest saloon in California.
In week 2 we did go to the park but will save that for another post. Jamestown was a town we wanted to get to as a western town and a movie railroad state park. Lots of scenes from movies and TV shows where filmed in this park. The number 3 locomotive has it’s own makeup shed to change the stack out to fit the era. It is an oil burner and they just add coal or wood to the top for makeup.
Columbia State Park is another stop people should make if in the area. The preserved town has shops and museums. Great place to walk and get a feel for early western life.
Sonora is another tourist town we drove through but did not stop until we hit the hiking trail. old buildings but modern shops. The hike gave some nice overviews.
We did get to Yosemite on a few days. Did the valley and museums with a few hikes one day and drove around another day with a few short hikes
Moving down the I-5 corridor, thru the Delta fire area. I can report the clean-up along the freeway has begun. trees are coming down logs are being hauled away and branches are being chipped.
We needed some maintenance work done as well as a couple of issues with the rig. So the first day was spent at the shop. this is where I got nosey and want to learn more. I ended up learning not to get up so fast. I slid under the frame. Coming out I slid out about 16 inches. Unfortunately the slide is about 20 inches. Ended up at an urgent care and 8 staples to the top of the head.
Had to rest the next day. On the third day we went to Lassen Volcanic NP. For a drive and some hike. It was called Bumpass Hell. It was the longer way in to the sulfur and mud pots. could not get to close due to reconstruction of the boardwalk over the area. But did pass Cold Boiling Lake in which bubbles come up from the underground. On the drive through the park we did pass a boing mud pot.
The another day we went to the Sundial Bridge for a 3 mile nature walk. The bridge has a sun dial and crosses the Sacramento River where salmon fishing is popular. It has a glass floor but is difficult to se through.
This finishes up our 6 months of RV living and 5 months of moving around the western US. This is only 9 states if I include our 60 mile drive through Idaho.
We made a short stop at Bend, OR before going to Diamond Lake for 10 days. At diamond Lake we had no internet/wifi. No cable or tv. About as far as you can get “roughing it” in a class A motorhome.
In Bend we went to the lava tube and hiked halfway in. the darkness got to Linda and the uneven floor make it a little hazardous to walk. So at half mile in we decided it was to slow and we wanted to hit the lava field. The second day we took an afternoon and walked to their river mall and up a path along the river.
Then unto Diamond Lake located a few miles north of Crater Lake. Three trips through the park, a few hikes and some rim walking. Then there were the side trips to the Rouge river. National Falls was a side trip and then there was the Natural Bridge. Also included a lunch stop at the only eatery within about 25 miles. I did 2 mornings of fishing and caught some rays of sun and beautiful peace and quiet. there was the 7 mile hike to the Lodge up the road for another lunch.
At trip to Chiloquin for some internet service and connect with our daughter. While there we did get some gas along the way. Vey few towns and services on the east side close to the park. Nice art gallery and small town.
It was a great place to rest and get out of the rat race known as life. With the parks being full of tourist it was nice to be camping in the middle of no where. I think I am starting to sound like a hermit after reading this.
We are rested and ready to get back to wifi and cable.
It has been 7 weeks but will try to catch up today. Excuses are we have been busy, I have been lazy and bad to no internet/wifi connections.
We traveled to the town of Cascade Locks. This is along the Columbia River in Oregon and the place where the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) crosses the river. While here we learned about the formation of the gorge, some history of the area and drove some scenic roads. And I took a hike along the PCT just to sample it.
We did take a sternwheeler day cruise down the river through the Bonneville Lock. It drops the river 60-70 feet in 12 minutes but for the sternwheeler it was only 7 minutes to flood it to get back up.
The Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum had a fishing wheel that they used to fish salmon out of the river by channeling them into an area and using a wheel to get the out. Was outlawed in the early 1900’s.
The Bridge of the Gods is an engineering feet and replaces a land bridge the local natives say was there years ago. About 7000 years ago during the melting of the ice age, ice and rocks 1000 feet tall raced down from prehistoric Lake Missoula, Montana and washed it away. This created the severe drop in the river. Most pioneers had to now go by land to the coast after floating down the Columbia. Some tried to go through. Some made it others not so fortune.
Did meet some people hiking through the PCT. A fellow employee made the trek this year. It is a trail that is 2650 miles long from close to the Mexican border to Canada.
We did drive to The Dalles, a city, which is also a place in history for the pioneers traveling west.
Fast week but very enjoyable.
Our last week in August was our last stop in Washington. Staying at Brook Hollow RV Park in Kelso. We are back on track for following the Corp of Discovery trail better known the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Ready for another drive we traveled to Cape Disappointment. We did find and stop at the last covered bridge in use in Washington. At the Cape there was an interpretive center. After walking up a hill to the center, we were able to get an overview of part of the Columbia River, as the fog did not permit a clear view. After walking into the center the lighthouse and the view below disappeared. We then took the mile hike to the lighthouse. Again up and down to reach the destination.
We then wet to the North lighthouse which was closer to the parking lot. While there were tours to the top of this one we did not go as the fog did not allow any views.
Then traveling to Astoria to Fort Clatsop took us to Oregon. The fort is a recreation of the winter home of the Expedition that came from the sketches in the journal.
We did take a day off and walked downtown Longview after a stop at the visitor center for a picture with Sasquatch. We did miss the convention but did learn about the squirrel bridges and the squirrel festival held once a year.
On the list of things to do and see was Mount St. Helens. The eruption in May 1980 took 1500 feet of the top and created a disaster but a lot was learned scientifically. It made geologist look back on other old volcano shapes. Super stops to learn the history of and see how thing have returned.
The last thing we did was walk a couple of miles around Sacagawea City Park. The Japanese Botanical garden and passing a couple of squirrel bridges mad got a great day.
All of this on my new hiking shoes as the other pair fell apart. We had a great week. the park had a dike and trail near by and several walks on this made a great morning or evening walk.
It was time to pack up and head for Oregon on September 3rd.
After a small tight space that had road noise and parties in Kent, Washington it was time to move to Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula. We found ourselves in a small quiet grass and concrete site. The only problem here was the smoke from fires all around. Fires on the peninsula did not help.
Tuesday we went to a lavender farm. Afterwards we walked the downtown tourist area and found a wine tasting room. We had to enter as we were looking to find a wine to take to Court And Chrissy Hanna’s house for an upcoming visit. So we tasted and talked about the area with young lady serving us. we ended buying another 6 pack.
Wednesday we travels to Silverdale to have a very enjoyable day visiting with Linda’s step brother and his wife. It was a super visit. Court being the chef as a sideline cooked up a fantastic salmon grilled. Had a super salad and vegetables. Wow-what a treat. We had a super visit and it made for a wonderful fast day.
The next day we headed for the Sequim State Park and enjoyed walking around. There is a trail that follows the coast. We just hiked part of it.
Later in the week we headed to the coast to see the Pacific Ocean. We took a hike up the coast to a destination they call Hole in the Wall. The tide was coming in so we did not get to hike through it. On the way back we stopped at Hurricane Ridge. It was an uphill drive in the fog. Between the fog and smoke there was not much of a view. We did some more hiking on the trail around the visitor center.
Saturday was the big hike. There is a light house on the end of a long sand bar or spit. Dungeness N.W.R. was created but land sliding into the sea. It needs to be done at low tide or you may have to walk over large driftwood pieces. It was 5.5 miles to the lighthouse so an 11 mile day. Nice to walk along the beach again. The lighthouse view was a good overview of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Needless to say Sunday was a church morning and a rest day as we were on the road again Monday.
After the Burlington stop we mad our way down to Kent to stay at the Seattle/Tacoma KOA. Not the best campground around but a place to get to Seattle and Tacoma. We were 2 plus mile from the light rail.
The first day we stopped by the Hydroplane Museum to remember out days in San Diego in the early 70’s when we attended a few years in a row. It was a great museum. They still run some of the old boats for show.
We made two trips to Seattle. Took the Hop on hop off bus tour to get around. Took the monorail to the Space Needle but opted out about going up. Although retired, time is limited each day. We walked around the Space Needle then back onto the bus. Stops at International Square and Chinatown. Past the two stadiums. The second day we went on the Underground Tour. This is where they raised the city by 10 feet or more and turned the mud flats into a working harbor. The first floor of the buildings are now the basement. with tunnels connecting them. Then to the Smith Tower build in 1914 and was the tallest building west of the Mississippi, It survived the 1939 earthquake. After walking around the viewing platform we had a drink. We then proceeded to Pikes Market for lunch and shopping.
We rested a day before making the drive to Tacoma and going to Browns Point Lighthouse. The next stop was Point Defiance State Park for a walk through the gardens and out along the water front. In the park is Fort Nisqually Living History Museum. It is a fort that has been moved around and added to. The 5 mile drive through the old growth forest was super.
We did drive to the Ballard Locks to see the boats transition from Seattle Bay to Washington lake. Not only an elevation change but also the fresh to salt water control.
Our last trip from this location was a ferry ride to Bremerton. After a stop for brunch, we toured the USS Turner Joy. It’s history is short as far as naval ships go but.. It was involved in the Gulf of Tonkin incident which helped Johnson escalate the Vietnam “conflict”. It also had the order to fire the last shot the landed a few minutes before the ceasefire went into affect. We then went to the Puget Sound Naval Museum. it was all about the role of the Puget sound it shipyard and the boats and ships station, build and repaired there. The USS Stennis, Aircraft Carrier, was in port and the display in the museum gave a section to life on board.
After 10 days here, it was time to move to the Olympic Peninsula.