El Capitan and the Merced River from the valley floor
The American River across from my campsite
A riffle on the American River near my campsite
Mosquito Lake at 8800 ft in the Sierras
Tall Trees in Calderas State Park California - no dogs allowed
Mt. Shasta - southernmost of the Cascades' classic volcanic cones
Mt. Shasta is actually two peaks
Burney Falls at McArthur-Burney Falls State Park CA
Clumps of Perennial Sweetpea lined the highways at some elevations
Brokeoff Mtn, a remnant of Mt. Tehama
Inside Mt Tehama caldara
Mt. Lassen showing the ash and mudflows
Mt. Shasta from a rest area on I-5
Moon Mountain RV Park, Grants Pass OR
Tuesday, June 12, 4 PM PDT
Greetings. I’m sorry to be such a poor reporter, but I have been enjoying the weather and camping in lovely locations so much that time has flown by. I reached Oregon yesterday and am camped here
at this lovely RV Park for 2 nights before pushing on farther north tomorrow. I’ll have more on my plans at the end of this entry.
This is one of the loveliest commercial RV Parks I’ve ever camped in but I arrived so tired that I’ve spent most of my time here sleeping. I plan to spend a bit of time outside reading with Rascal after I get this journal entry out.
I made a second run up to Yosemite and took a few more pictures on May 15th. I drove all the way through the park from SE to NW and
along the Merced River. Then I returned and too more pictures of Yosemite Valley
from the Tunnel Overlook and
from the floor of Yosemite Valley.
I left Bass Lake for the Placerville CA area on May 24th. I camped for 13 days at Ponderosa Thousand Trails RV park, spending most of the time at a site
on the American River. Gold was discovered in California in 1848 at Sutter’s Mill on the American River about 2 miles upstream from the RV Park. The weather was very sunny but quite hot (low 90’s) while I was there so I spent most of my time indoors reading, walking Rascal early and late in the day.
However, I did raft the river on one of the hottest days in a 12 ft 7-person, oar-powered raft. The run was exciting, with some nice rapids (class 2 or 3) and great holes. We got thoroughly wet – which seemed to be the mission of our guide Jeff. He maneuvered the raft in many of the rapids so that one side or the other got drenched. He also directed us so we could “surf” some of the rapids after we passed through them. We would paddle hard upstream into the heart of the rapids to lodge in the hydraulic wave behind a large rock and just sit there in the wave – not getting wet but feeling and hearing all the water rushing around us. It was terrific fun! Even though the water was very, very cold! Thankfully, none of us fell out of the raft so only our feet stayed wet the whole time. The rest of our bodies dried rapidly in the hot sun so we left the river after 3½ hours tired, happy and very hungry.
While rafting I met a guy named Glenn. Twice-divorced and mostly retired he is roaming the west in an old motorhome. We went out for snacks and music at a local Mexican restaurant one Saturday night and chatted several other times while I was there. Rascal loved him. I also saw two movies while staying at Ponderosa. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was a wonderful movie that I recommended to all my retired and nearing retirement friends. Men in Black 3 was a bust for me. I didn’t laugh once and felt that the plot was uninspired and the 3D effects completely lacking. Diverting but not worth the money.
Placerville is about 1/3 of the way between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. So Rascal and I drove up to Lake Tahoe one day to find it very crowded and all the spots where you could see the lake were CA State Parks which ban dogs from trails, paths and beaches. So I turned around and headed SW in a long loop through the Sierras back toward my campground. Along the way I encountered
mountain lakes and tall trees. I took pictures of both but didn’t’ walk through the tall trees, because of the CA State Park Rule against dogs on trails. It was still in the 90’s and I didn’t want to leave Rascal in a hot car, even with the windows down, so I only walked far enough
to glimpse a Giant Sequoia, snapped some pictures and returned to the car.
The drive to Ponderosa from Bass Lake, both located in the foothills of the Sierras, had provided no diesel station with space enough for large vehicles to fuel up, so I left Ponderosa campground to drive to Redding very low on fuel. Consequently I stopped at the first Shell station with diesel and clear access to the pump that I encountered. I had no trouble getting in and fueling up, but once I was done, I was faced with a very difficult maneuver to get out. Unfortunately, I managed to crunch the rear-most passenger-side compartment into a pole protecting the pumps. I really thought I had cleared it, but I was wrong. Once again, I should have asked for help, as I always have in the past in such situations. A nice group of people provided lots of help for me to get free and get back out onto the road. I’ve turned this one in to the insurance as an “it could happen to anyone” claim. I don’t plan to have any more bashes for the rest of my summer tour. Once you leave CA, it’s a whole lot easier to find gas stations with diesel and plenty of room to get in and out.
On the way to Redding, I topped off my tanks at a truck stop and got the coach washed at a Blue Beacon Truck Wash. In Redding, I stayed at the local Elks which had 50 amps of power in their RV Parking area. Unfortunately, the water flow rate there was too slow for a good shower, so I won’t be staying there again. Nevertheless, Rascal and I enjoyed the area. We made two drives – one north toward
Mt. Shasta to take pictures of the this southernmost of the Cascades' classical volcanic cones, and a second one to visit Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park. Mt Shasta looks like a classic single cone from a distance, but from certain views,
you can see that it’s actually 2 peaks surrounding the volcanic crater. On the return trip to my campground, I stopped at McArthur-Burney Falls State Park where Rascal was allowed to accompany me to the Burney Falls Overlook while I took pictures.
The falls are lovely, full of snowmelt runnoff at this time of year. Along the way I encountered numerous clumps of
Perennial Sweetpea alongside the highway at certain elevations.
Mt. Lassen, which last erupted in May 1915, is a cinder cone on the flank of ancient Mt. Tehama, a volcano that blew itself up some 400,000 years ago leaving only remnant peaks such as
surrounding the 8-mile long caldera. On May 22, 1915, pumice falling onto the northeastern slope of Lassen Peak generated a high-speed avalanche of hot ash, pumice, rock fragments, and gas, called a pyroclastic flow, that swept down the side of the volcano, devastating a 3 sq mi area. The pyroclastic flow rapidly incorporated and melted snow in its path. The water from the melted snow transformed the flow into a highly fluid lahar that followed the path of an earlier lahar of May 19–20, and then rushed nearly 10 miles down "Lost Creek" tearing out all the trees along its path.
You can still see the flow pattern of the ash and mud flows, although trees have regrown to cover the original desolated area in the foreground.
Yesterday, I left Redding to move up here to Grants Pass, passing
Mt. Shasta once again on the way. I leave tomorrow for the Keizer Elks RV Park in Keizer OR (just north of Salem) where I’ll stay for a week. While there, I’ll visit Alma Cunningham, a friend of Bob and Caroline’s, in Portland. I also hope to get my hair permed and cut at a local salon recommended by a fellow Elk. And then, if it’s not too late, I hope to take some pictures of peonies if they are still blooming. On June 20th, I move on to Kelso WA to visit with my friend Maureen and pick up my vehicle tags. Then on June 25th I depart for the Olympic Peninsula west of Seattle where I’ll spend the 4th of July.