My 2008 Pleasureway's Maiden Voyage up the West Coast Summer 2008 by Rick SwallowNote: for any picture on this website, to see a much, much larger view of it, just click and drag the picture of your choice to your desktop and open it with your favorite picture viewing program (Preview works well on Macs).
ForwardThursday, June 12, 2008 School was out for me today and I departed for Carol and Steve Bednarck's home in Sun City, CA at 12:05, arriving around 1:30 p.m. I experienced my first wine tasting tour on Friday. Some great wines, but one can only taste so much in one afternoon!
Saturday, June 14, 2008 The morning was spent at the local Radio Controlled Airplane field watching Steve (and others) fly planes and helicopters. I could get into that as long as I don't have to build 'em. Later that afternoon Steve and I went into Hemet to a large Hobby shop. On the way back home we visited the Diamond Valley Lake recreation area, a huge, relatively new and large water body intended as an emergency reservoir for Southern California. After giving his plane an emergency appendectomy, Steve was finally able to launch his plane.
Sunday, June 15, 2008 I departed their home to arrive at the Sycamore Campground in Red Bluff, CA. A federal campground on a lake just beside the freeway. Free to me with my Golden Age Pass (GAP) for Federal areas. Very nice campground/rv park. NOTE: The Rest Stop just below Modesto on I-5 allows you to spend the night! It has a dump station as do at least 2 others to the North.
Monday, June 16, 2008 Lassen Volcanic National Park (another GAP freebee) was next, taking a beautiful ride along Hwy 36 to 89 just out of Red Bluff. Beautiful is all I can say. I made my first pano of the trip at Bumpass Hell (named after an early local guide who brought groups to the nearby volcanic/boiling mud). With Lassen peak immediately to the north side of the road, it was very impressive. Some snow still present. I drove all the way through the park, picking up Hwy 44 to Redding. From there it was North on I-5 to Weed and "Friendly RV Park" (right at exit 745), getting there at 8:15 p.m., with plenty of time to get set up before dark. $27.50/night full amenities. Lassen Panorama Link Click on this link for a quicktime 360 degree panoramic view made at a viewpoint just below the top of Lassen. As soon as you see it load, just click and hold on the picture and move your mouse from one side to the other to scroll 380 degrees. You can use your shift and control keys to zoom in and out also. Cool! Below is a deer (left shot) and a ground squirrel that looks rather like a chipmunk. Lots of them around.
Tuesday , June 17, 2008 Walked to a Crystal Geyser bottling plant (bottled water) just behind the RV park. With Mount Shasta immediately behind (Southeast) it was a nice walk and photo-op. Later in the afternoon I dove the side road into Weed and paid a visit to the Colier Memorial State Park Logging Museum there, located in what used to be the courthouse/Police Station/Jail. The docent turned out to be an AT (my Navy rating) but of Korean War vintage. We chatted for about 2 hours about things in the museum, the local area, and our Navy experiences. To the left a nice shot looking back at Shasta from Highway 97, taken just outside Weed as I continued north on the 18th.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008 Got up early and ate an Egg McMuffin from the nearby Mac shop. Then drove back to Mount Shasta where I visited the Tourist bureau and then headed up the Everett Memorial Highway virtually right from the tourist bureau! The very end of the roadway is a very nice parking near an area called Panther Meadow where the old ski bowl was located. There I made my second pano at just over 7900 feet in altitude on Shasta's upper slopes (Shasta is 14162 feet high). Shasta Panorama Link I stopped at Bunny Flat (7960' and some 3 miles back downhill) on the way back down. The return is 14.6 miles and is completely downhill all the way right down into the center of Mount Shasta. I'm happy to say that in my new rig I didn't have to downshift once on the way up. 10 Cylinder Ford engine with 5 speed tranny.... Camping at Bunny Flat is free, but no amenities except bathrooms. McBride Springs at 4880' has 9 camping/rv sites, water and restrooms and costs $10. I was lucky to have arrived when i did as the upper portion of the road was only opened this week. due to snow! I then continued on my trip northward switching to Hwy 97 towards Klamath Falls. A few miles out of Weed in a lovely wooded area, I came across the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden, a group very interesting metalwork sculptures of figures honoring veterans from all wars. Free. Look it up at Sculpture Garden. I found the site to be up only sporadically, so I'm including a couple of pictures of the sculptures just below. About 5 miles further north on 97 and located on a beautiful meadow is another Rest Stop where one is allowed to park overnight if desired. Bathrooms and water available. By now it is mid afternoon. I cross into Oregon and stop at the Visitor Center right on the Highway at Midland.--getting lots of info for the rest of my trip. I learn that I can stay at Hagelstein County Park for free, located just beyond Klamath Falls on the Highway, so due to the late hour-- the two museums I plan to visit in town are closed-- I decide to spend the night there. Thursday, June 19, 2008 Woke early (8 A.M. for me) and drove the few miles back into Klamath Falls for a McMuffin and then on to the Favell (Indian) Museum. A very large collection of arrow/spear/ knife points etc. and lots to read. After a couple of hours I had had enough and headed for the Klamath County Museum at the opposite end of Main Street. Did you know that the camel was an ancient resident of Oregon? Yep. If you've ever driven through central California in the summer, you know that you pick up an added 50 pounds of dead bugs splattered all over your car in a day's time. Well, I decided to wash them off so a trip to the local car wash was in order. Boy, did the rig look better after a fistful of quarters!!! By 2 P.M. I was ready to head off towards Crater Lake less than 50 miles away. I stopped only long enough to register (just in case there was a rush--there wasn't-- of people trying to grab up the nice sites at the Crater Lake Resort on Hwy 62. Continuing along 62 I stopped at Annie Falls for pictures, then on up the road to the Crater Lake, a beautiful drive through Ponderosa Pine forests--uphill all the way. I went straight to the rim (7100') as it was getting late. Because Crater lake averages just over 45 feet of snow each year, some is never melted away. Well, this year was a bonus year and so it seemed driving the rim road was not an option. I was able to get in a couple of panos from Rim Village and Discovery Point (the only two accessible areas). I headed down for the visitor's center but as it closes at 5, I missed out on the films I wanted to see. Maybe tomorrow. Above left is a view of Wizard Island inside the crater; above right a view of the western drive and its 15+ foot snow banks. Keep in mind that this is the middle of June! Click this Crater Lake Panorama Link to view a pano I shot from just off the main parking lot. Just below you'll have to scroll to view this 180 degree shot.
Friday, June 20, 2008 Just about a city block up from the RV park is Ft. Klamath "Museum" on the site of the old fort, once the 3rd largest in the west; some 1050 acres and 80 buildings, now only a burial ground, jail house, and visitor center. Worth a look into, which I did on my way up to the crater this morning. Got to see the films I missed on the snow removal and history of the crater. I decided to see the lake again so drove to the top to discover that the west-side road was now open leading to the North entrance to the park. Below are two shots of the Pumice Desert on the way out of the North Entrance to the Park, created by the original explosion which created the volcanic crater now known as Crater Lake.
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