June 27: Palm Springs to Sacramento (490 miles)
Car is packed. 2 golf bags, 2 bikes, 2 fishing rods, 2 clothes duffels, 2 bike/hike/fish gear duffels, 2 camera bags, tripods, coffee mugs, water bottles, snacks. Good to go. Heading to Sacramento as our first stop on this summer's journey.
Unexpected bonus: we stopped for gas in the little town of Firebaugh, and I see this sign across the street.
APRICOT TREE RESTAURANT – FRESH APRICOT PIES BAKED HOURLY.
Steven does the gas fill-up. I dash across the parking lot and grab one of those pies. Yes, we waited until we got to our hotel room in Sacramento to eat it. Yes, it was a 9" pie. Yes it was awesome, and gone in minutes.
Head off to the Capital Park. It's a delightful urban park, and as new California residents we were interested in touring the Capital Building.
Here's my favorite shot from that…
Dinner at Fat City along the river in Old Town. Great beers.
6/28: Sacramento to Klamath Falls (300 miles)
This is only a 5 hour drive so we had all day to side-track. Going off plan, off road, random choices, and we hit a home run. We pulled off in Redding for no specific reason except we saw a sign for a park. We followed the sign, and this took us to the 300 acre Turtle Bay Expedition Park. The entire town of Redding was there to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Sundial Bridge.
This is a shot of high school kids tasked with creating a collage.
Tom , an engineer/volunteer, told us all about the history and construction of the bridge – designed by world renown Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava.
Here's the short version of the story.
The cable-stayed structure has an inclined, 217 foot pylon constructed of 580 tons of steel. The deck is made up of 200 tons of glass and granite and is supported by more than 4,300 feet of cable. The structure is stabilized by a steel truss, and rests on a foundation of more than 115 tons of steel and 1,900 cubic yards of concrete. The McConnell Foundation, a private, independent foundation established in Redding in 1964, funded the majority of the bridge’s $23 million cost.
Here's the picture of the bridge.
We leave Redding and almost immediately go from flat flat hundreds of miles of agriculture to alpine, mountains, and our first sighting of Mt. Shasta – 14, 179; second highest peak in the Cascades, with 4 overlapping volcano cones, and seven named glaciers.
We arrive at Running Y Ranch, our home for the next few days. Drop our stuff off in the room and go snooping around the property. The Badger Run Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is doing a talk down at the Activity Building. How great is this. They had Daisy the skunk, Sherman a starling, and May a Sweinson Hawk to share with us. Sherman wouldn't hold still, but I got pretty good shots of Daisy eating cream cheese and May.
Daisy eating cream cheese
Golf at the Arnold Palmer course at Running Y Ranch. 133 slope for women and ranked one of the top courses for women. Fortunately we were hooked up with a local because otherwise even with your GPS there is no way to know the aiming spots. Tough. Water. Hills. Here's a shot of the 9th hole – roughly an 10+ degree grade from tee box to green.
Off to find some fishing. Lake of the Woods, about 35 miles from Klamath Falls. We did a lot of shore casting. Nada. Decided the fish must all be further out, so we rented a little outboard. Nada. Great day at the lake, though. Lots of casting practice.
7/1 Klamath Falls to Bend (170 miles ) – with a stop at Crater Lake
We leave Klamath Falls, and here we are on the road again – and as you can see, hardly any other cars in sight for as far as you can see. Not to mention that this is maybe the straightest road we have ever seen.
It is impossible to describe Crater Lake without overdoing superlatives. This is the most pure blue, clearest water we have ever seen. The explaining movie at the Ranger Station is well worth the time (volcano that literally blew off it's top, created a caldera that thousands of years later filled with mountain water run off).
We couldn't do either of the longer hikes we had planned because there was still too much snow. But we did a few shorter hikes and then just sat for awhile and gawked at the beauty of this place. These are totally untouched photos. The color you see is what it looks like.
The shot below is Watchman (see the watch tower at the top right - sort of). This was one of the peaks we intended to hike but …
Late afternoon, we arrived at Bend.
Our arrival included a stunning view of Mt. Bachelor. I had a little fun with this shot because someone asked me how to make a puzzle photo so I used this as my training sample.
Sunny and David Hancock met us at the Pine Tavern on our arrival to Bend, right on the river. Beautiful town! And David's right – this place might make the best scones with honey dip in the world.
7/2 We played golf at Lost Tracks, memorable for its 1940's railroad parlor car that you walk through to get to/from the 16th green. For me, this course will be forever remembered for shooting an 88 (5344/slope 132).
Dinner at Sunny and David's and in addition to a fabulous meal, I got to check off an item from my bucket list – David let me drive his BIG RED TRACTOR. Impossible to have more fun!!
7/3 Bend to Portland (165 miles)
Here's a shot of the Three Sisters mountains just north of Bend.
We stopped along the way for some hiking and photo ops at the Metolious River and the Trout/Salmon Fish Hatchery within the National Forest. The Metrolious is amazingly clear, a wide and fast rushing river from the mountain streams. The headwaters is just a little bubble at the base of a steep hill that opens up within no more than 50 feet to a wide and rushing river. Nature is just awesome.
The larger trout are roughly 6-7 years old. The smaller trout are 2-year olds. If we were under 10 years old and had this been a Saturday we would have been able to drop a line into the lake next to the hatchery. None of those applied to us, sadly.
We arrive in Portland in time for drinks and dinner and after a week of hotels and redundant clothes from our small overnight duffel, Dana and Jerry's house is our luxury palace for the next 4 nights.
7/4. Blues Festival in Portland. All day, all night, 5 stages, all Blues.
Here's Dana, Jerry and Steven geared up for the long-haul up with backpacks (snacks, etc) and beach chairs.
Blue Fest Portland.
7/5. We all pile into the car and head to the Oregon Coast. First stop, Tillamook and a tour of the cheese plant.
Then Cannon, and the landmark Haystock Rock.
After a quick stop at Gerhardt Beach to visit with Dianne Sherman and Elliot, we head to Astoria, with it's historic Column, which of course I had to climb (165 steps pretty much straight up).
Here's the story about that.
The Astoria Column is 600 feet above sea level. While the population of Astoria approximately 10,000 people, it’s estimated that 300,000 more visit the Astoria Column each year. The Column is among the most visited parks in the state of Oregon,.
Modeled after the Trajan Column in Rome, the Astoria Column features a hand-painted spiral frieze that would stretch more than 500 feet if unwound. The monument was dedicated in 1926, and has since undergone several restorations.
The Astoria Column was designed to celebrate three historic events: the discovery of the Columbia River by Captain Robert Gray; the end of the Lewis and Clark Expedition; and the arrival of the ship Tonquin. Each of these events contributed to the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and parts of Montana and Wyoming becoming part of the United States.
Scenes depicting these events are displayed on the Astoria Column, spiraling from its base to just beneath its viewing platform, 125 feet in the air. The artwork was created using a technique called sgraffito (“skrah-fee-toh”), an Italian Renaissance art form. Immigrant artist Attilio Pusterla, hired for his expertise in the technique, began transcribing the artwork onto the surface of the Column on July 1, 1926, with the help of his assistants. The work of transcribing the artwork was completed October 29, 1926.
Dana and Jerry once again play tour guide and take us to the Chinese Gardens, Rose Gardens, and Japanese Gardens in Portland. In between some plenty good Thai food for lunch.
This is shot of Mt Hood from the Japanese Gardens. Way way far away.
7/7 Portland to Seattle (175 miles)
We pack it all up once more and head to Seattle. We have rented a townhouse in West Seattle, not too far from Alki Beach. We head to the beach and it is such a clear day you can see forever and the city is just glistening.
We will be here until 7/24 when we leave for Alaska.
Until the next journal entry--