RV Adventures: A Trip Out West! Day 22

Saturday, June 26, 2021

We were awake at 5:00 AM and on the road by 6:30 AM to head to our next to the last national park, Crater Lake.

We drove on Oregon route 138 that begins in Elkton to Crater Lake. This route runs along side the N. Umpqua River for a long way.

Route 138 has also been called the Highway of Waterfalls. We tried to see the waterfalls but there wasn’t a place to park an RV towing a car! At Clearwater Falls we turned on the road that said it was parking for RVs over 25 feet and then there wasn’t a place where you could park and then turn around. It was a fiasco getting out of there. We had to drive the car off the tow dolly, unhook the trailer and then Dave worked and worked to get us out of this tight space. We were both drenched with sweat and the mosquitos were swarming!

The highway is surrounded by the Umpqua National Forest. As we were driving we saw MANY acres of burned forest! It was so sad to see the destruction from fires. We found online that this area was destroyed in 2017 by dry lightning strikes and over 64,000 acres of Umpqua National Forest.

Near Diamond Lake as we get closer to Crater Lake.

Crater Lake National Park was magnificent. What a place to visit! We entered through the North entrance which opened on May 28, 2021.

North Entrance to Crater Lake

Crater Lake is famous for its deep blue color and water clarity. We took many pictures as we went around the rim of the lake. We were lucky that we were able to drive the entire rim and stop at all of the viewpoints (8 main viewpoints and 15 turnout vista points) because the East Rim Dr. opened on June 25th, the day before we arrived! The rim drive is 33 miles and loops around the caldera. Below is our first view of Crater Lake. We were awestruck!

Crater Lake with snow on the hillside.

Cleetwood Cove Trail is the only lake shore access. It is a very steep trail but it wasn’t open when we were there because of the snow and ice conditions that still existed.

Cleetwood Cove Trail

As we drove along the Rim Drive we couldn’t believe how tall the snow poles were that measure how much snow the area received. There was still snow around the area.

Wizard Island was formed about 7,300 years ago when a newer volcano emerged!

Phantom Ship is an island that is a natural rock formation. We walked a trail up to the viewpoints to see this island. It got its name because it resembles a ghost ship. They said if it’s foggy or not much light it really looks like its name.

Pumice Castle in the Crater is another viewpoint that we viewed. We really had to follow the map for some of the viewpoints because they are not marked and Pumice Castle was one of those. It is made of orange-brown pumice rock. Its castle shape was formed because the rock around it has eroded away.

We spent hours hiking the trails that were open. There was a slight breeze and it was a sunny day!

Crater Lake Selfie

Crater Lake is 1,943 feet deep. It is the deepest lake in the U.S. and the deepest volcanic lake in the world. The lake is fed by rain and snow!

The NPS (National Parks Service) app allows you to use your photos to make a postcard. It’s a cool feature! Here is one example.

Crater Lake Postcard

A favorite photo from Crater Lake is the one below that looks like the lake is in a frame of evergreen trees!

Crater Lake

Our campground for the night wasn’t far from the lake. In fact it was called Crater Lake Resort. Fort Creek runs through part of the park. We were informed that we were in luck because this evening a local band from Klamath Falls, OR. would be playing behind the store.

After dinner we walked over with our chairs to the lawn to listen to the local band called “Michael Quinn & Cherry Wine”. They mainly play music from the 60s and 70s with a few other decades mixed in.

After the band finished playing we headed in because we would be having an early start!

RV Adventures: A Trip Out West! Day 21

Friday, June 25, 2021

Dave went fishing first thing this morning. He caught a couple of bass and also broke his reel when he lost his balance in the mud along the river! He had hoped to fish this evening but not now!

Late morning we spent outside enjoying the beautiful scenery, listening to the flow of the river and reading our books or “resting our eyes”!

Reading???

This afternoon we drove over to Drain to go to their grocery store because the store in Elkton is very small and Drain has a local grocery that is a little bigger. Drain is a historic northwest timber town and was first settled in 1847. John Drain was the first mayor.

While in Drain we visited Pass Creek Bridge. It was first built in 1876 and the current bridge replaced the original bridge in 1925. Pass Creek Bridge first carried stagecoaches over Pass Creek. The bridge was moved in 1987 and 1988 to a city park and was used as a pedestrian crossing. It was closed in 2014 when it became unsafe for pedestrians.

Not far from the bridge was a Drain covered wagon that was reconstructed to celebrate Oregon’s 100th year of statehood in 1959. It was to repeat the journey that brought pioneers to the Pacific Northwest. The wagon tried to follow the original Oregon trail from Independence, Missouri to Independence, Oregon and passed through six states (Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon).

Drain Covered Wagon

This evening we relaxed because tomorrow we leave Elkton, Oregon and our friends! It was so good to spend five days with them!

“Travel is better with friends!”

Our last sunset at Elkton RV Park and the Umpqua River.

Last sunset over the Umpqua river

RV Adventures: A Trip Out West! Day 20

Thursday, June 24, 2021

The four of us left in the morning for our drive to the Oregon coast. Our friends wanted to show us more of the coastal area. Winchester Bay was our first stop. It is a small sea town located at the Pacific end of the Umpqua River. It is known for its fishing, both fresh and saltwater.

Looking from Winchester Bay

We stopped at Ziolkouski Beach Park in Winchester Bay. It has a wide expanse of sandy beach. This is where you’ll find a triangle that is a jetty formation. It consists of two jetties that consist of rip-rap structures jutting out into the ocean and then they connect with each other and this forms the triangle. As we walked along the beach there was a LOT of driftwood! A family was creating a fort with the pieces of wood. In the middle of the triangle we saw the oyster pods from the Umpqua Triangle Oysters.

“The Triangle”

After walking along the beach and climbing over the jetty to look at the oyster pods, we drove to the Umpqua River Lighthouse. The lighthouse was originally built in 1857 near the mouth of the river and the Pacific Ocean but it was destroyed by a flood in February, 1864. The lighthouse was rebuilt at its current location in 1891 and was finished in 1894.

Portside Restaurant, Coos Bay

Coos Bay is where we stopped for lunch. Coos bay is a city where the Coos River enters Coos Bay on the Pacific Ocean. This city is the most populated city along the coast. We had a delicious meal at the Portside Restaurant which is located along Coos Bay.

After lunch we visited Shore Acres State Park. This park was originally the summer home of Louis J. Simpson who was a lumberman and shipbuilder. It was built on a scenic bluff and then purchased by the state of Oregon in 1942 because after the crash of the Great Depression Simpson was bankrupt.

Shore Acres has a formal garden with plants and flowers from all over the world, a Japanese style garden, and the All-American rose selections. In the garden there is something blooming year-round. There is a trail that leads to an ocean cove called Simpson Beach and another trail that takes you to the cliff’s edge.

We were able to get a close up photo of the Cape Arago Lighthouse from the cliff’s edge in Shore Acres. The lighthouse was first erected in 1866 and the only surviving building is the third lighthouse. The lighthouse stands on Chief’s Island at Point Gregory and is now private property owned by the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians.

When we finished touring the gardens we started back toward our campground. The route back is the same that we took yesterday so we passed the elk viewing at Dean Creek. Today we saw bull elks feeding. Of course we pulled over and watched them.

The sunset over the Umpqua River was beautiful this evening.

RV Adventures: A Trip Out West! Day 18

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Dave purchased a fishing license for today and he went out early to hopefully catch and then release some fish. He caught four so he was happy!

He had visitors around while he was fishing! I think they were hoping he’d help them out with their breakfast! 🙂

After Dave was finished fishing he wanted to drive up to the newer bridge that crosses the Umpqua river to see about fishing there. Unfortunately there isn’t a way to get to the water around the bridge. We did cross the bridge and looked down at the water which was really clear and we could see some really big fish swimming down river! You can tell that the water level is down from its usual level and this was just before the really hot days arrived in Oregon. We can only imagine what the water level is now!

Elkton has 4 wineries within a 2-mile radius. Wine growing began in the 1970s and the first winery was established in 2000. The main grapes planted are cool climate whites and Pinot Noir. We visited two of the wineries this afternoon. Our first stop was the Rivers Edge Winery.

We enjoyed tasting and talking with the owner. He told us about the wines, pairings and his background and that of his wife as biochemists. There wasn’t a charge for any of the 9 wines we tried.

Across the street from the winery were some turkeys hanging out!

Wild Turkeys

Our next stop was to do some tastings at Brandborg Winery. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we sat outside on the patio, but it was a gorgeous day so we didn’t mind at all.

When we got back to our campsite, we had a FaceTime with our dog and her Aunt! They are doing well.

FaceTime with Matilda

Dave spent the evening fishing along the river.

Evening fishing
Umpqua River sun setting

The end of another good day shared with friends!

RV Adventures: A Trip Out West! Day 17

Monday, June 21, 2021

Today we are driving to Elkton, Oregon. It’s about three hours, RV drive time, from Salem. As we got closer to the small town of Drain we noticed quite a few log trucks heading each direction. There are a lot of logging companies around.

On our drive to Elkton, we went through the Elk Creek Tunnel Forest State Park which is over Oregon route 38. It was built in 1932 and its length is a little over 1000 feet in length. We drove through the town of Elkton to get to our campground site. Elkton is a small town that overlooks the Umpqua river and has a little over 200 residents.

The Elkton RV Park is where we will be meeting our friends that we met on our New Zealand/Australia trip in 2020 just before the COVID- 19 lockdown! Our campsite was set up by noon. We fixed some lunch and waited for our friends to arrive!

A few hours later Peggy and Ernie arrived in their Class C RV and car. We helped them set up and then we enjoyed the sounds of the river and catching up with each other. Of course, due to the COVID-19 pandemic we each hadn’t done much!

Across from us we saw this Class A RV with this display which gave us a chuckle!

LOL!

Our first sunset along the Umpqua River! This river flows into the Pacific Ocean.

One can’t help but relax and enjoy the beauty of nature when you are by a river.