There and back NorCal-to Pacific NW
Just wanted to give you all my field report from my roadtrip this past week. My friend and I drove from Lodi, CA to Forks, WA to do some fishing, then just kind of roamed around the way back.
Total trip mileage: 2,130 miles.
Pictures from this trip can be viewed here: http://bmarciasini.photosite.com
Day 1 Saturday - Rolled out of Lodi, CA at 4 a.m. Arrived in Eugene Oregon at noon to meet up with my cousin, aunt, and uncle at the Eugene airport for lunch. Followed I-5 all the way (the 45th parallel sign in Salem was pretty eye opening), then we cut off to go see Mt. St. Helens. Unfortunately, clouds covered the mountain and it started to snow, made it all the way to Coldwater Lake. Absolutely beautiful drive. Drove back out and stayed the night in Olympia.
Day 2 Sunday - Left Olympia around 10 a.m. and started driving around the Olympic Peninsula. Beautiful drive on 101. After arriving in Port Angeles, we drove up into Olympic National Park and took the ride up to Hurricane Ridge. Amazing views. Could see Victoria, BC, Mt. Baker, and peaks far off on the horizon. Lots of snow. We drove back down the hill and made a quick stop at Lake Crescent, hard to believe that was the remnants of a large glacier. Then drove to Rialto Beach and took the walk out to "The Window." Living in California all my life, I gotta admit, I have never seen a beach like that. The Tsunami warning signs make me wonder how often they occurr??
After the sunset, went to our hotel in Forks.
Day 3 Monday - Woke up early to meet our guide to fish the Hoh River. We had an amzing float down stream. Beautiful scenerey, but we didn't even get a bite!! $325 down the drain, oh well, next time. Full moon, clear water, and sunny skies made it a tough day to fish. After that we walked the trails in the Hoh Rain Forest, which I must say was a lot of fun.
Day 4 Tuesday - Started home. But we decided to do a lot of zigzagging. Wanted to see Astoria, OR, so we took 101 down there. Ate some seafood and bought some delicious smoked salmon at a place called Josephson's Smokehouse. From there we took highway 30 west towards Portland with our destination being Bend, OR. Got stuck in Portland traffic once we got on Highway 26,took over an hour to break out. From there we hit snow heading over the pass and finally rolled into Bend about 7 p.m.
Day 5 - Left Bend at 5 a.m., wanting to hit Crater Lake on the way back to Lodi. Took 3 hours to work our way around to Crater. Huge snowbanks on the side of the road and ice all over the blacktop slowed us way down going over Diamond Lake Summitt. Mt. Thielsen was an unexpected beautiful site here. Finally got to Crater, only to find it fogged in!! I have wanted to see this place for years and it was fogged in. It did lift for about 2 minutes, just long enough to see the water and the far shoreline. Defintely have to come back in summer. Left there about 9:30 a.m. and finally rolled into Lodi at 5 p.m., 4 hours before I had to be back in Sacramento, to catch a plane back to San Diego.
Overall, great trip. Bummed I didn't catch a steelhead, but had lots of fun.
Favorite town: Bend, OR
Best meal: Pine Tavern (prime rib) - Bend, OR
Prettiest road - WA-504 to Mt. St. Helens
Thanks again to Judy and everyone else that helped give me ideas and info for this trip, I used a lot of it and it definitely contributed to a nice trip.
Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-23-2006 at 09:21 PM.
Reason: Good Neighbor Rules
Yes, but was it silent?
Brett, Thanks for the nice field report. Sounds like you had pretty great weather for most of the trip. Gotta ask -- was it silent at Crater? I have been there several times, and I find I like it more in the Winter -- people seem more subdued, almost awestruck in the winter. What did you notice?
Originally Posted by packman
Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-23-2006 at 09:30 PM.
Reason: fixed typo
Window and the ???
Great shot of the "Window" -- but what was the earlier photo of the kanagroo-looking critter?
Originally Posted by packman
We were there about 30 minutes and had it all to ourself. When we were driving out, the park ranger was just driving up. It was dead silent except for the sound of the gusting wind, which was very cold. Our Expedition's temp reading said it was 23 outside. Kind of a neat feeling knowing that we were the only ones crazy enough to try and get up there that mornin. The amount of snow up there was unbelievable. I can't wait to go back up there in June.
Thanks for the compliment. Would you believe me if I said it was a kangaroo?? haha..probably not. It was a little deer on the road to Hurricane Ridge, practically stuck its head in the window. On the way back down it was still in the same spot and I got that second picture.
That was a surprise look!
Well, it was a pretty amazing photo!
Originally Posted by packman
The photo views you captured at Crater looked pretty mystical. Glad you made it up there!
Glad you had a good trip but sorry about the fog and missing good views at MSH and Crater Lake....and, of course, no steelhead. Bummer. I guess I'm glad I didn't share exactly where I live or you might have come and raided the steelhead and blueback outta my freezer. LOL
101 south of Aberdeen was closed for awhile for repairs. I didn't warn you of that because I didn't think you'd be going that way. Did you have to detour or did you come through after they were done with the reparis?
Hope you come back up our way. I know a few guides from the Quinault Indian Nation that can take you on the Quinault River. My husband caught a 25# steelhead there just last month. (Yeah, trying to tempt you for a return trip LOL)
101 south was ok
Your freezer sounds really good..haha. The Quinalt River looked nice where I crossed it. The guide we had said he'll make us a deal this fall for the salmon run on the Humptulips River, I definitely wanna get back up that way. 101 South was ok, they had 101 North completely closed somewere south of Aberdeen, but we made it through without a slowdown.
Thanks again for all the info.
Hope you have better luck catching a fish or two next time! Take care.
The Silence of a PNW Winter... like nothing else
I love the silence that comes with snowfall out in the rural lands in the PNW... about the only thing you hear is the occational snap of a tree-branch or gust of wind. Something very peaceful about it. Normally lack of sound can be frightening, especially in our modern- fast pased world. Last time I was up there in the winter, I found myself just sitting out in the freezing cold for 45 minutes, listening to the silence. It sort of clenses the mind, in my opinion.
Originally Posted by Editor