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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tustin, California, United States
    Posts
    273

    Default

    Bringing back fond memories of our own trip to Canada using this route back in 2011. Not sure if it was along your way, but you have already passed Lava Beds National Monument on the northern edge of CA by Tulelake. If you have any fancy for caving into tunnels made by ancient lava, that's an excellent place to go.

    I trust you're using coastal Hwy 101 when coming back south, hehe.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,264

    Default

    Mark Sedenquist. You know I will be featuring some of them soon on the RTA front page!
    Yep, no worries. I will have to dig around my photos and find some other road shots for you.

    Kinless. Not sure if it was along your way, but you have already passed Lava Beds National Monument on the northern edge of CA by Tulelake. If you have any fancy for caving into tunnels made by ancient lava, that's an excellent place to go
    Hi Joey. Lava Beds National Monument was on our radar, but could not be worked into our timescale along with a lot of other things !! We travelled along US97 and was hoping to briefly explore a lava tube known as Pluto's cave but that also went on to the 'Another day' list.

    I trust you're using coastal Hwy 101 when coming back south, hehe.
    It would be daft not to, although I guess we will have to wait and see. ;-)

    Dave.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,264

    Default Lakes and Waterfalls and a near miss.

    September 23rd.

    Awake at 6:30 this morning to the silence of the forest, a beautiful location. Once we had readied ourselves it was time to walk down to the lake via an old growth forest trail that snaked it's way around the trees. We arrived at Lost lake and it truly felt as though we were the only ones to have found it, there was a peaceful calm that enveloped you so we found a nice spot along the shore and sat in silence to take a while to 'breath' it all in with the warm morning sun on our faces. Heaven !





    The little store had opened and there were some pastries and other 'goodies' reduced for an end of season clear out so we bought a few and some coffee and walked back through the forest to the RV. I must say our campsite was wonderful, we were tucked in the trees and we had steps going down to our very own sunken garden with picnic set and fire ring. This would be a perfect retreat for a few days R&R, but alas it was time to hit the road once more. [Later than expected as usual]

    We headed back to Dee along the Lost Lake road and then headed north towards Hood River. First we stumbled across 'Apple valley country store' on Hood river. The store had a lovely range of speciality pickles, jams and biscuits etc. They also had some rather tasty milk shakes. We can vouch for the Pumpkin and Huckleberry flavoured shake, Yummy ! We walked around the pretty garden which had a lot of colour left in it from various plants and took a look at the river while drinking the shakes. There was also a BBQ shack on the premises but we didn't get to try that out. It was a great little find.

    DSCF1019



    At Hood river we took I-84 along the Columbia River before turning off to Cascade Locks, where we parked up and looked around some shops and walked to the 'Bridge of the Gods'. I think the name of the bridge offers higher expectation than what you get in real life, but some of the artwork underneath it on the walls and columns is quite impressive.

    Bridge of the Gods.


    So back on I84 for a short while before turning off on to the Historic Columbia river Gorge, an area I had been looking forward to visiting for a long time. Our first stop was at Horsetail Falls and although a relatively small falls it turned out to be one of our favourites as there were fewer people and you could 'get up close and personal' by sitting on rocks near it's base. You can also hike up the hill to the upper Ponytail fall where you eventually come to a cove that you can walk under and stand behind the Falls.

    Ponytail Falls.


    The highway got pretty narrow in places as we made our way to the popular Multnomah Falls and I had to 'breath in' a couple of times as there were some large vehicles coming towards us that seemingly had the confidence not to slow and to think I would move over even tighter while they hogged part of my lane ! We stopped in a pull out parking area a short walk from the falls as we knew it would be busy and parking might become a problem, we were glad we did. As we were walking a huge long train with several engines went through the canyon blasting it horns just a few feet from us, it was kind cool !

    It was soon after this that our holiday nearly took a turn for the worse. We had taken the foot bridge over Multnomah creek which then joins the roadway just past a narrow bridge and opposite the Falls. There was a pedestrian crossing and the traffic on our right had stopped so we checked left to see a car a slowing so we started to cross. Luckily [as I had been taught to do as a kid] I kept checking and noticed that the driver of the moving car had only started slowing so he could crane his neck to look at the Falls and was not going to stop. I pulled Lezli back and then noticed the look of horror and shame on the drivers face as he came to a stop on the exact spot where we had been standing on the crossing just a second earlier. It was a near miss !!

    Multnomah Falls.
    DSCF2048

    There is no doubting what a beautiful waterfall this is, but it has fallen victim to it's own success. Coach loads of visitors, food places and traffic prevents you from sitting and having a quiet moment unlike some of the other Falls, but it's certainly worth stopping for.

    We continued along the Gorge stopping at Bridalveil Falls [also walking to the Columbia river viewpoint from there] and Latourell Falls and at Vista House for more views of the river.



    Not for the first time the daylight was running away from us and we had one place we wanted to see but wasn't sure if we would make it in time. It was the 14 mile slow mountain drive up to Larch mountain, we decided to go for it. We got to the top and the light was fading and it was a little hazy but it was certainly worth it ! From this point you can enjoy panoramic views of 5 famous mountain peaks from one spot. They are; Mt St Helens, Ranier, Adams, Hood and Jefferson. We sat and watched in silence as the light faded.




    DSCF2119

    We drove back down the mountain in the dark and arrived at our RV park, the Sandy river resort near Troutdale at 8pm. We confirmed our pitch was waiting for us and headed straight back out for something to eat. Louise is our 'foodie' researcher and she had found Shirley's Tippy canoe by Sandy river which had featured on the TV show, 'Diners, Drive in's and Dives' and thankfully it wasn't the latter. The bar was really nice and the food and people were great, I really enjoyed the Clam chowder which was a first for me. If you visit during September or October you need to check out their Halloween garden with all sorts of ghouls and creatures lurking around. They certainly go 'all out', Great stuff !

    Todays mileage 110. Total 1439 miles.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,264

    Default Forces of nature.

    September 24th.

    We don't often use city type RV resorts but Sandy river resort was very pleasant and I took a walk to the river bank while admiring some awesome 'Big rigs' that their owners parked here and used as a base while exploring the Gorge in there tow[ed] vehicles. As I returned I got chatting to our neighbours who were road trip enthusiasts and were close to taking the next step of becoming 'Full timers' and living on the road. They were only to pleased to show me around their Class 'A' RV which was immaculate inside and out. With both slide outs open it was huge inside and quite luxurious, oh yes I wouldn't take much convincing if I resided in America.

    Today we are heading towards Mt Ranier and it's another lovely day. This we are particularly pleased about as we want to visit Mt St Helens and there was a question mark over making the lengthy detour had it been cloudy and overcast. First we went into the charming town of Troutdale, the self proclaimed 'Gateway to the Gorge' town.



    After a walk around the town admiring the various plant pots and bronze statues and looking in a few Antique shops, we were on the road. Our plan 'B', had the sky's not been clear to see Mt St Helen, was to visit Portland but we just didn't have time for both. A shame, but nature wins the day every time ! We crossed the Columbia river into Washington State on I-205 and joined I-5 for a while before turning off onto 504 to the Johnston Ridge Observatory. There were some lovely views to be enjoyed as we drove along 504 and we stopped a few times to capture the moment. Once at the Observatory we were reminded of what great value the Annual National parks pass is at $80, without it would have cost $32 to gain entry for the four of us. The visitor centre was pretty awesome with displays and was very informative as to what happened here back in 1980. A Ranger also gave a great talk out on the deck with the mountain as a back drop.

    A view on the way.
    DSCF2163

    Observatory centre.


    Mt St Helens.
    DSCF2214

    I remember the news coming through on our news channels in the UK about this huge eruption in 1980. Being here and witnessing how the mountain and landscape changed forever, and thinking of those who lost their lives near the mountain was quite surreal. For those that don't remember it there is a lot of footage to be found on line, here is one short YouTube video but there are a lot of in depth reports if you search.



    We made our way back on Hwy 504 as far as 505 and went through the small community of Toledo to Ethel and US12 past Riffe lake before heading north to Elbe on WA7. Elbe was a town close to Alder Lake, the location of one of many wildfires this year but there were no signs of it, or the smell of smoke in town. We were then approaching the Longmire entry to Mt Ranier National park, but we stopped a little short for the night at the Mounthaven resort, a lovely wooded little campground. We then walked back down the highway to eat in the Wild Berry restaurant. The owners were originally from Nepal and they had a selection of American and Nepalese dishes as well as Pumpkin Ale. The food was nice and it was a nice intimate dinner, in that you felt as though you were in their kitchen at home.

    Gift shop near Ashford.


    DSCF2250

    Todays miles 229. Total 1658 miles

  5. #35
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,016

    Default

    Just for fun -- a motorhome (MH) sometimes has a towed vehicle, on or off a trailer (depending on what type vehicle it is). That towed vehicle is fondly known as the "toad". :-)

    Love your report, and the gorgeous pictures. Hubby and I were at St Helens the first time in 1983, about 3 years after the blast. We went again in 1997 and saw the difference. Now your photos really bring out the reshaping of the mountain and its area.

    Donna

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    209

    Default

    Amazing what idea's people come up with like all the chain saws for example. Great pics.

    Keith

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,264

    Default Mt Ranier. [Or RAINier as we now know it]

    September 25th.

    We woke this morning to a grey murky day with drizzle in the air, I guess it had to happen one day, we were just hoping it would be while we were in the rain forest, if at all. It was a short drive to the Longmire entrance to Ranier where we stopped at the museum and gift shop and took a walk through the woods on the 'Trail of the Shadows'. It rained quite heavily at this point, but it was a lovely walk



    We continued towards Paradise, stopping at the pretty Christine Falls and driving via the one way loop to Ricksecker point.





    The cloud was rolling in and the views were obscured, but it didn't matter, they took on a new form of amazing. We were on 'Cloud 9' when we arrived to Paradise.



    Narada Falls.


    Paradise.


    Driving back down the mountain the visibility through the cloud was terrible, only being able to see a few feet ahead of you, any hope of seeing Mt Ranier in it's glory is long gone, never mind seeing it's reflection in reflection lake. We decided to abandon our plans of driving the road to White river and Sunrise as the visibility was so poor at higher elevations, along with a planned detour to Crystal mountain for the views. So we did a couple of walks and stopped for a while at Stevens Creek and Box canyon. It was a lot clearer at lower elevations.

    Nope not a waterfall. Looking down 180ft into a box canyon.


    We left the park via the north entrance and started our way towards Port Ludlow, our overnight stop between here and Olympic NP. We hope to re-visit Ranier in the future as we loved the place despite the weather. We have named it 'Rainier'. We followed WA410 through Greenwater and remained on it through Bonny Lake to I5 for a brief moment near Tacoma and then took WA16 past the Cheeney stadium over Tacoma Narrows Bridge. We then stretched our legs in the nice little town of Gigg Harbour.



    Back on the road WA16 curved it's way around Sinclair Inlet past Navy yard City and north to Port Gamble and over the Hood canal bridge. We arrived at the campground around 7:30pm and was soon heading to the Harbour for a 'fine dining' experience at the Fireside restaurant. The food was great and so was the service, so we didn't mind paying that bit extra as a treat to ourselves.

    Navy Yard.


    Todays mileage. 182. Total 1840 miles.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,016

    Default

    I hate to be the one to rain on your parade, Dave, (grin), but the actual spelling of the mountain DOES include the word "rain"....Rainier is the official spelling. It is definitely a "rain-i-er" place at times! Sorry it rained so much on your trip, though.



    Donna

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,264

    Default I knew that ! [Doh !]

    Thanks Donna, I don't know what I was thinking ! I obviously wasn't, other than hearing some Americans pronounce it 'Ran-yeah,' where as we called it 'Rainier', and it was ! lol. It was only the second time we had experienced these conditions in all our visits to the US, the other was at Glacier NP, but we had a second day there that was fabulous.

    Dave.

    [Enjoyed your pun.] lol

  10. #40

    Default

    Wow - your picture of Paradise with Fall colors is surreal and spectacular! Sometimes a cloudy day makes colors pop! Some benefit to enduring rain.
    Pat

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