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2017 The Odyssey Part 3 – Westbound

2017-10-07 Westbound; Urban Rally in Carson City…

Saturday morning in Carson City dawned bright and clear.  We walked down Carson St. and went to Mom and Pops Diner for breakfast.  As we walked down the street we saw all the Airstreams that were parked along the street:

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After breakfast we returned to the Villa and prepared it for the Open House.  The local papers had advertised that all are welcome to see the Airstreams.  So we cleaned up, put away stuff, and made the Villa look as nice as possible… We were told to be available from 10:00 am to Noon.

People started arriving at 10:00 am.  They were still coming through at 6:00 pm.  Apparently the newspapers said “all day”… But we don’t mind…

We did sneak away for a few minutes in the afternoon to do the “Wine Walk”.  Downtown Carson City does this the first Saturday every month. (On the third Saturday they do a beer crawl…)

We signed up, paid our $15.00, and received our wrist bands and our glasses.  There were over 60 merchants pouring wine throughout the downtown district.

Some had set up tables on the sidewalk, others had you come into their stores.  Note that this wasn’t some delicate wine tasting with good wines and tiny pours.  These were fairly average wines with full glass pours.  Ant no one was keeping count on how many times you asked for a glass of wine…  Between stores, there were throngs of people, carrying and drinking glasses of wine, and walking along the sidewalk… We’re not in California anymore!

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Some places had entertainment: Irish music, similar to what we heard at the Ceilidhs in Nova Scotia…

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Our final wine stop was at the local Elks Lodge.  After drinking our wine, and enjoying some of the food they had set out, we sat at the bar and watched college football.  And, since the bar was open, we were allowed to order drinks.  Let me tell you, if you like to drink and have the opportunity to drink in an Elks Club bar, you are in heaven!!!

We made our way back to the Villa and fixed a quick dinner; lookieloos were still coming through…  We left and walked to see an outdoor concert put on by some local musicians:

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An added benefit of the concert was the ice cream store right there on the square:

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We had a nice time hanging out in Carson City.  It is a friendly, nice little town.  They have just spent a ton of money redoing their streets, curbs, and sidewalks.  Now they just need to get a few more upscale businesses and fill in the “missing teeth” of the storefronts along the street.

We started to return to the Villa, but were distracted by a casino bar that had both the CAL game and the Dodgers game on the TVs just above the bar.  Drinks ensued and an enjoyable time was had by all.

 

PS:  The Dodgers had a better night than CAL…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-10-06 Westbound; Goodbye, California, Hello, Nevada…

We left Hat Creek mid-morning, and headed east.  Soon we were rewarded with a view of Lassen Peak in the distance:

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We continued south, just west of the Nevada border, until we crossed over into Nevada near Reno:

2017-10-06 Map - Nevada

Our map is now complete, showing all the States we have visited on this trip, except for the five Canadian Provinces.  We’ll have to look for a combined map when we return home…

We soon at arrived in Carson City.  We were instructed to show up at exactly 2:00 pm, so we had two hours to kill.  We did some shopping and spent some quality time in a nearby Starbucks:

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We are going to spend this weekend with the Lake Tahoe Airstream Club in what they call an Urban Rally; specifically, it is called Airstreams on Main.  There are 32 Airstreams parked along Carson Street – downtown Carson City – and in an adjacent parking lot.  It was great fun to attend an Airstream rally again after these many months.  We met many new friends and saw many interesting Airstreams:

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Our main activity this evening was Happy Hours – over 60 people!  Quite a mob.  We also had some great singer/guitar entertainment…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-10-05 Westbound; California, here we come…

We left Junipers RV Park in Lakeview, OR and soon we reached the promised land:

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We are happy to be back in California; we left California on June 10…

Today we are heading into the Lassen National Forest and Burney Falls State Park.  We’ve wanted to see Burney Falls since we first heard about it in 2006.  Today is the day!

We had an uneventful drive south along the eastern border of California, not far from Nevada.

We reached Burney Falls State Park about noon.  The falls are not far from the Visitors Center; we soon had a peak at them as we started down the canyon:

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The path takes us over the stream above the falls; interestingly, the stream flows mostly underground until about 3/4 mile upstream, where some of its water pops to the surface.  (More on this later…)

We crossed the bridge and walked through the woods, hearing the falls and occasionally getting a glimpse of them.  Along the way we had nice views of the stream.

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Finally we were able to get a full view of the falls:

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As we drew closer we noticed the interesting shape and location of the falls and the water:

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Notice how the water is flowing not only over the top of the rocks, but from within the rocks as well!

The underground stream stays underground even as it comes to the surface 3/4 mile upstream, and it is this underground water that flows out of the layer of porous and fragmented rocks that are lodged between the harder basalt rock.  Here is the sign which explained the phenomenon:

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2017-10-05 California 02 Burney Falls 12

We admired the blue color of the pool at the base of the falls; there were even men casting here:

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(No fish in sight…)

We like walking to see waterfalls, as you may have noticed… We hope these are not our last…

We headed out of the State Park and drove about 25 miles to our campground for the night: Rancheria RV Park in Hat City:

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Happy Hours ensued and an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-10-04 Westbound; Lakeview, Oregon…

We had a leisurely morning in the Villa.  We went for a walk and marveled at these strange formations:

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We were told that this is ice.  mmmm… Well, it was 30 degrees here this morning…

We left the park and headed southeast; we drove over a very remote part of eastern Oregon (over 95% or people in Oregon live west of here…).  The land is very rocky and volcanic; the views are wonderful:

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After about three hours we reached the Junipers RV Park in Lakeview, OR.  The RV park in in the center of a 5,000 acre working cattle ranch.  The sun was warm but the air is cold.  (I haven’t yet figured out how that can be…)  We parked the Villa and set up for another cold night:

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Happy hours ensued and an enjoyable time was had by all…

PS: Since this is another short, travel day post, I have added pictures of the grandchildren (and their Mom…):

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2017-10-02 Westbound; Bend, Oregon…

We bid farewell to Silver Falls and headed southeast to Bend.  We need to climb over some mountains to get there, so we were rewarded with some lovely views:

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2017-10-02 Oregon 02 Views 02

More woods and mossy trees:

More fall colors (ie: dead leaves…):

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We also had awesome views of Mt. Washington:

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We arrived in Bend, OR, population 80,000, elevation 3,623.  We parked at Scandia RV Park, and set out for a walking tour of downtown; the Deschutes Rived flows northward through town, with nice walking paths and views to the lovely waterfront homes across the river:

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We found some ducks enjoying dinner:

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And more fall colors:

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We found the dam that keeps the river under control:

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We stopped into the Crater Lake Spirits tasting room and sampled some of their finer spirits.  Then, as dusk approached, we went to Zydecko for dinner:

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-10-01 Westbound; South to Oregon and a visit with friends…

We left Maple Valley and pointed the Villa south.  Sunday morning traffic was light, and in a few hours we arrived at Vancouver, Washington.  We parked the Villa in a pre-school parking lot and walked for about 1/2 hour. Then we found the Kitchen Table Cafe, where we joined friends from high school:

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We had a lovely time getting reacquainted, and we had a good breakfast as well; but soon we were once again on the road.  Within a few minutes we crossed over the Columbia River into Oregon:

2017-10-01 Map - Oregon

Our destination today is Silver Falls State Park.

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We found our assigned camp site and set up.  Then we headed out to see the falls.

Silver Falls State Park is located near Silverton, OR, about 20 miles east-southeast of Salem.  It is the largest state park in Oregon with an area of more than 9,000 acres, and it includes more than 24 miles of walking trails, 14 miles of horse trails, and a 4-mile bike path.  Its 8.7-mile Canyon Trail/Trail of Ten Falls runs along the banks of Silver Creek and by ten waterfalls (duh!).  Four of the ten falls have an amphitheater-like surrounding that allows the trail to pass behind the flow of the falls.

The most accessible waterfall is South Falls; we reached it after about a 1/2 hour walk through the park; no hiking involved.  We even walked across this covered pedestrian bridge over Silver Creek:

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Interestingly, we arrived at the top of the falls, where Silver Creek flows over the basalt rock into the canyon below:

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From here, we walked around the canyon and down a path into this bowl-shaped arena:

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The falls eventually came into view:

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The gigantic overhang of the rock above the pond below is amazing!

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Soon we were behind the falls, where we could see the back side of water:

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We decided to proceed to the lower South Falls, another .8 mile down the hill.  We walked along the creek and walked lower and lower into the canyon:

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Then it got steep, and we descended many stairs, until the Lower South Falls came into view:

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Once again, we could walk behind the falls:

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And then we had to walk back up. And up. And up…

Finally we reached the main area of the park.  There is a lovely Lodge, built between 1946 and 1955; it used to be a full service restaurant; now it is a simple cafe:

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After our taxing hike we walked the 1 mile back to the Villa.  Happy Hours ensued and an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-09-30 Westbound; Family day in Maple Valley…

Today is all about Lynda spending quality time with her sisters.  I spent quality time watching football!

We are in Maple Valley, WA, at the home of Lynda’s sister and her husband, Barb and Terry DeKruyf:

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Lynda’s sister Maria Van Zanen is visiting from South Carolina as well:

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The Villa is parked in their front yard:

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Terry was working this weekend; Lynda, Barb, and Maria visited and played Scrabble; I watched football:

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Mid-day I went for a walk to meet some of the neighbors:

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Later in the afternoon we drove about 30 minutes southwest to the home of Barb’s son, Andy, and his wife, Danae.  Andy cooked a great dinner of salmon and Kobe beef.  Maria read to Andy’s daughter, Riley:

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It was a nice day of relaxing and visiting family.  An enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-09-29 Westbound; The Olympic Peninsula Rain Forest…

We hitched up and left Port Townsend at about 8:30 am; we are heading west to see the Olympic National Forest, along the northern coast of the Olympic Peninsula.

The Olympic National Forest is home to four temperate rain forests; they are part of a huge and historic Pacific Northwest rain forest that once stretched from Oregon’s southern coast to southeastern Alaska.  They are the Hoh, Quinault, Queets and Bogchiel rain forests.  We were in the coastal plains of the Hoh rain forest.

But what makes a temperate forest?  Rain.  Rain.  And more rain ⎯ 12-14 feet per year, to be exact.  Climate is also an important factor.  Temperatures rarely drop below freezing or go above 80F, enabling an incredibly unique ecosystem to grow.  Mosses, ferns, Douglas fir, red alders, Western hemlocks, and Sitka spruce thrive in these temperate rain forests, as do epiphytes, which are plants growing on other plants.  Cat-tail moss and licorice ferns are two types of epiphytes you will find in the Olympic National Forest.

Another characteristic of temperate rain forests are nurse logs, which are the remnants of downed trees.  They become vibrant places for seeds to grow, small mammals to live and insects to burrow.

So we drove through the rain, amongst trees and plains; we drove along Lake Crescent:

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We finally arrived at the Storm King Ranger Station, the trail head for the hike to Marymere Falls.  Or, I should say, we almost reached it.  About 1 1/2 miles before the turn-off we were stopped for construction.  We sat for over 1/2 hour, waiting.  Finally we were allowed to proceed.  Then we saw it: a huge rock wall, extending hundreds of feet up the mountain; about half way up were three or four men dangling from harnesses, working on the rock face.  Apparently they have discovered several fissures that are threatening to break loose; the workmen are blasting away the loose rock to prevent it from falling onto the highway and into the lake below.

So we parked near the ranger station and the shores of Crescent Lake:

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The trail led under the highway, and up through the rain forest:

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PS:  Lynda always says she takes pictures of me so that she will have pictures to show at my funeral.  I told her that the photo above is the one I want printed, enlarged to 11 x 17, and framed, to be placed on my casket…

The rain forest is really amazing, with the moss, the colors, and the nurse logs:

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We saw the river and crossed over some bridges; one bridge was even made from a fallen log:

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We finally reached the falls; they are about 90 feet tall:

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It was a nice hike; it was an easy-to-follow trail.  It started sloping moderately, but near the falls it became very steep; many parts of the trail were steps.  It was just about two miles, round trip, to where we had parked the Villa.

So, after having our exercise for the day, we drove back east. We again had to wait at the construction site, but it must have been lunch time, because the wait was only about five minutes.  And, speaking of lunch, we stopped in at Granny’s Cafe:

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Apparently the current owner bought the cafe from her mother, the original Granny… We had a lovely lunch:

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We even had a view of the Villa:

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Now our destination is Maple Valley, to visit both of  Lynda’s sisters.  We chose to take the scenic route, along the west shore of the Hood Canal:

Hood Canal is a fjord forming the western lobe, and one of the four main basins, of Puget Sound.  Hood Canal is not a canal in the sense of being a man-made waterway—it is a natural waterway.  It is simply long and narrow, with an average width of 1.5 miles and a mean depth of  about 175 ft.  It has about 215 miles of shoreline, most of it dotted with vacation houses.  Along its entire length, Hood Canal separates the Kitsap Peninsula from the Olympic Peninsula.

It is beautiful:

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After fighting Friday afternoon rush hour traffic on the 5 we arrived in Maple Valley.  Happy hours with Lynda’s sisters ensued as the moon rose over the Villa:

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And there was football… And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-09-28 Westbound; Ferry to the Olympic Peninsula…

A short travel day today.  We hitched up and headed out about 12:30. We had a leisurely drive from the fairgrounds to the ferry landing in Coupeville; obviously, the ferry wasn’t here yet:

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So we waited…

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Finally the ferry arrived and we were directed to drive on-board.

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We are traveling from the Coupeville Ferry Landing, on Whidbey Island, across to the town of Port Townsend, on the Olympic Peninsula; we will stay in Port Townsend overnight, then explore the rain forest on the Olympic Peninsula.

Being first on-board the ferry, we were parked right up front:

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We passed by a small trailer park and spotted an Airstream, the 117th one we have seen  as we have been driving this trip…

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35 minutes later we arrived at Port Townsend:

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Our campground was right in town, in conjunction with the marina:

We walked along the shore:

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We walked through the town; it appeared to be a “real” town, with local businesses, bars, and restaurants, maritime industry, and tourist shops all cohabiting nicely.  Over the shops were offices and apartments/condos.  It felt much more real than previous small towns we have visited…

We opted to stay in the Villa for dinner tonight; we watched football and Happy Hours ensured; an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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