Orcas Island, WA: 7/29 – 7/30/19

013FDFB2-FA16-4B61-8DCD-936316CCD6D9If you plan to visit any of the San Juan Islands during the summertime, it is smart to make a reservation ahead of time for the ferry, especially if you plan to travel with a vehicle.  Our reservation was for Monday morning on the 7:25 a.m. ferry from Anacortes to Orcas.  It was a beautiful day.


35E68936-513C-49EB-970A-F4589735852EIt was a wee bit chilly, but that didn’t stop Scott from capturing the beautiful sunrise coupled with a marine push that produced the spectacular fog this particular morning.






8B1FD01B-B7D2-4B87-81B2-8EFA8F89A025We arrived at Orcas Island in less than an hour.  The island is shaped like a horseshoe.  The ferry is located on the bottom left side.  Once we got off the ferry, we traveled north on Orcas Road (#5) to Lover’s Lane, which is not only the center of the horseshoe, but also the town center of Eastsound (#4).

0882C86D-DB25-4AF0-BE40-85C35D353A7FOur first stop was at my friend’s son and daughter-in-law’s store in Eastsound.

8E6DBFC0-5AC6-4E9C-AAE0-7531736FCA9AThere is a wide assortment of really cool jewelry, most of which was hand designed by the owner.  She also draws all of the artwork that is screen-printed onto the clothing by her husband.  Their collection of items come from all over the world.  Their “lust” for “wandering” around the globe allows for the broad scope of worldly novelties.  The store did not open until 11:00 a.m., so we decided to take a ride around the island to kill some time.

First, we headed east and then south on Olga Road until we reached Moran State Park (#14).  I loved the welcome arch as we entered the park.  We parked the truck and walked around, checking the place out.  We thought about coming back to kayak on Cascade Lake, which was off to the right, if it warmed up.

B069F6C3-6BC4-41A6-BB4B-721A119FBCD6Next, we continued on Olga Road to Pt. Lawrence Road to Doe Bay Resort (#14).  It was mostly private roads, so we turned around and headed west to Obstruction Pass Road.  There was ample parking here, and we took a short hike to see the views.

24638382-907C-450C-A216-DD5E5E131539Obstruction Pass Beach is said to be the largest “public” beach on the island.  The picture below shows most of it.

3BFB3061-01BD-458C-A553-9DDD719FB52BThen, we headed north again to Rosario Resort and Spa (#2).  There was a lot of parking at this beautiful resort, but not one spot was open for us to park.  Scott dropped me off so that I could take a walk around and take a few pictures.  I would love to stay in this condo overlooking the water.  It reminded me of the condos at The Sagamore, Lake George, NY.

152EE968-4674-4877-BB1D-9979B42F2C2FIn the opposite direction was the resort.  My next picture shows part of the restaurant/pool area.

48580485-580C-4467-951B-4B7A8DF2D542For some reason, I didn’t take a picture of the hotel.  So, here is their website picture, which gives a much better view than I could have gotten from land.

D3F0215C-CF23-4134-BD00-8FFC4148C8ECBelow if one more shot from the parking lot.

7C1D8AE9-0219-490B-883D-10440B942AB9Later that afternoon, we stopped for a late lunch at The Madrona Bar & Grill which was located right on the East Sound.  It featured steaks, seafood, and other American fare served in a rustic cottage with deck seating & water views.

FDD3E534-56C3-4319-BB87-9D444BDFF84DAfterward, we drove to the hostel where we would be staying overnight.  It was also located in the center of town, about one block from the water.  Actually, everything on this island is pretty close to the water.

0AD543C6-4D7B-48A1-969C-E840627C3340Below are some pictures taken from the backyard.  There are a few options for sleeping to choose from…a private bedroom or a shared bedroom in the house, or outside in a tent, tepee, or bus.  Not kidding.



1888CA94-2345-471C-9085-ED6EFBB0B79AThe owners sleep in the little brown building with the red windows and door.

We checked into our private room on the second floor in the house and took a nap.  When we woke up, we drove to Crescent Beach Public Beach (#10) with the idea of taking the kayaks out to catch the sunset.  This was as far as we got.

D9AD66AE-3528-44C4-A432-A2BDF78F985CThe next morning, we checked out of the hostel and went to breakfast at Rosies.  They are known on the island for the BEST breakfast.  We arrived shortly after two large parties, and were asked by our server if we had to catch a ferry.  We didn’t know then that it would be 45 minutes before we would see our food.  I never had “baked” eggs before, so it was worth the wait.

We headed west to Enchanted Valley Road (#3) to see my friend’s son’s home.  They had purchased some land about five years ago and are slowly building “little houses” to allow for their growing business and family.  It was so wonderful to see this handsome, young man again.  He is the son of my very dear friends that I grew up with.  They must be so proud of the life their children have created for themselves on such a gem of an island.

EC7B8F9A-B565-4DEC-90FA-9414F79C4DE3We had time for a hike and “Murf” suggested we check out Turtleback Mt. Nature Hike (#7).  It was an easy to moderate hike with some long uphills to some spectacular views.


81DB35C4-85E3-4FA9-9433-4E4C6FA77E37We parked by South Trail and headed north to Lost Oak Trail.


CE7F1882-9BC5-4B54-8B91-DE874FC56D5BParts of the trail were shady and wide while others were sunny and grassy.

604EE3D7-C964-4E9C-A30D-EA1236C2233FSome were narrow…

09D8F061-0BB3-4D35-97C9-AAB8C6210B34…and lead to a magnificent views.



91251D1F-A2D0-450A-B549-9024CC5855C4It was time to head south to the ferry for our reserved 7:25 p.m. ride back to Anacortes.  When we pulled up to the station, the attendant seemed entertained by our arrival time.  He said that the 5:15 ferry had just left and the next one was not until 8:50 p.m.  I told him that we had made a reservation over a week ago.  Upon checking my text messages, I realized the mistake I had made.  Instead of booking a round trip fare, I booked two one-way fares from Anacortes to Orcas.  Since their return trip is free, we just had to wait another three hours for the next ferry.  I’d rather be hiking.

C3835C8F-CCDB-41C4-BB0A-A12E6AF4DAD5We finally were on our way back to Whidbey Island, hoping to return to Orcas Island again some day.



North Cascades National Park, WA: 7/22 – 7/24/19

Molly was able to get a few days off from work again.  This time we picked her up in Bellingham, and then we headed west, passing through North Cascades National Park.

20D34B63-1573-4DC7-B0C9-39A14DE723EFWe were able to find a really nice campsite right on the river at Early Winters Campground.  It is a first-come, first-serve campground.  This is probably our favorite campsite yet!


9F029B42-553A-4185-8594-BA740C0BA29FHere is a few from the other side.

64B5C6C9-14A5-4618-9622-FC3EE76CF664This campground was located about five minutes from the quaint town of Mazama.  There is one local gas station/grocery store/restaurant with outdoor seating.  It was usually frequented by many customers.  Their homemade bread was to die for.

F983C697-7839-4216-B4D3-8D2E6851416EAfter we set up camp, we got on our bikes for a 17.2 mile bike ride along Methow Community Trail.

1100518D-1200-4D4D-8922-43341B29FFCB It was all flat, which was perfect for us to warm up our legs for tomorrow’s elevated bike ride.  None of us had been on a bike recently.   Shortly into the beginning of the ride, there was a suspension bridge that takes you over the Methrow River.   We stopped to rest and to watch some dogs frolicking in the water.  That’s Molly on her bike on the bridge.

66976107-C1F7-40C1-ADC8-CC0794995AFCThe next day we drove to Chicakadee Trailhead,  and did a 5.7 mile single track loop with considerable elevation, narrow paths, and a few steep drop offs.  Needless to say, I hopped off my bike on a few occasions so that I wouldn’t fall down the hill.  I did take one photo of the Northern Cascades off in the distance.


E42F48D7-F3CB-4246-8D32-F4F5D430CDD7.jpegAfter the ride, we stopped in the town of Winthrop to have some lunch.  Winthrop is a small, old fashioned, western-like town.  Some of the buildings are quite old, yet maintained.




83A26219-9381-4043-979E-AE1DE781B398That evening, we saw a beautiful sunset from our campsite.

1F850D70-3C8D-42D7-A53E-1E10913B0D27The next morning, we packed up camp and drove a couple of hours west.   The map below shows our location at Rainy Pass.

FD52FCEB-3E6F-4E97-B882-4C32DA00E733We hiked Maple Pass Trail, a 6.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail with breathtaking views.  This is the third time that I have walked on part of the Pacific Crest Trail.  Maybe some day we will hike the entire length of the PCT.  Right.

Since it is a loop, you can begin either in a clockwise or a counterclockwise direction.  If you go clockwise, there is considerable elevation gain, but the descent is not as steep.  We figured our knees would prefer a gentler downhill.  Once we began, it was pretty much an uphill climb.

D224BD39-8872-4F9E-A0C2-0FB548E35723We finally got our first glimpse of Rainy Lake.


A5622AC3-B028-41CC-89A4-43EAE002C109It was rich in color and surrounded by snow-capped mountains.

FF186360-E229-4434-BF93-4A6CCCFF0CA6Scott always finds the best spot to take his pictures.



2F8365A1-FF00-4EE5-A038-9984F40FD5C7As we reached higher elevation, the wildflowers were everywhere!  They were absolutely stunning!






3FABA124-C99C-4D6D-84E3-1669033F2F36We continued up the switchbacks, enjoying the colorful view but anxious to get to the summit of the pass.  See if you can find Molly and me.  Here’s a clue.  She is almost at the top.

FF9B3055-FEA6-4486-B50D-49AA322BB91DAm I there yet?


11848EF9-1D21-40AE-A493-1A067A974068We finally made it to the top and pondered the trail we just climbed.

1F059D01-79C2-4418-9C5C-121A9610E8E7Scott found a perch to take our first picture of Lake Ann.

C82B1BB7-11D7-4043-9A3B-412BA4E0C341Next, he spotted a white mountain goat on the rocky hill.  Can you spot it?

C2C602F6-0C6B-417D-BE01-CB664EA64248.jpegIt was pretty chilly at the top of the pass as the wind was howling.  We had a quick snack and then began our descent.  We hope that you enjoy Scott’s photos.  The view was truly amazing.




9BF6F8FB-2F12-4928-B3AF-E26294E76608Here is a closer view of Lake Ann.  Now, you can see the small island on the lake more clearly.



Mt. Rainier National Park: 7/15 – 7/17/19

We were happy that Molly could get a few days off from work, so the three of us headed to Mt. Rainier for some hiking and car camping.

“At 14,410 feet, Mt. Rainier is the tallest volcano in the Cascade Mountain Range and the most glaciated peak in the continental United States.

Scott has been here before.  On July 7, 2005, he embarked on a four-man tandem climb that turned out to be almost deadly.  Below is the article published in the Seattle Times.

Mt. Rainier climbers rescued after fall

Three climbers and their professional guide were plucked from the flank of Mount Rainier yesterday in a high-altitude helicopter rescue after falling during a climb. The accident — a 120-foot slide down a steep slope to a crevasse on Ingraham Glacier high on the mountain — sent all four climbers to the hospital.

No one was killed.

The most seriously injured of the four, Patrick Clemens of Bethlehem, Pa., was airlifted to Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis near Tacoma with a broken leg and head injuries, said National Park Service spokeswoman Lee Taylor. A hospital spokeswoman declined to release his condition late yesterday. Another climber, 42-year-old Matthew Fisher of Vernon, N.J., suffered a sore back and a possible spinal injury and was taken to Harboview Medical Center in Seattle. He was listed in serious but stable condition last evening.

A third climber, Peter Bridgewater, 54, of Singapore, suffered no major injuries. He was in satisfactory condition at Tacoma General Hospital.

The guide, 31-year-old John Lucia, lost consciousness for a time after the fall but then was able to help with the rescue before he was flown to Tacoma General Hospital, where he was in satisfactory condition.

The climbers were on a trip run by Rainier Mountaineering Inc. (RMI), the mountain’s largest guide company, following the popular Disappointment Cleaver route to the 14,411-foot summit.

Bridgewater, who was roped to the three other climbers, fell on a steep slope at 12,600 feet, pulling the rest with him, Taylor said, based on a report from a Park Service climbing ranger at the scene of the rescue.

Bridgewater had fallen a moment earlier, but Lucia, who was first in line, was able to stop the fall. But when Bridgewater fell again, all four men slid toward the crevasse, Taylor said.

Lucia and Bridgewater were going so fast that they flew over the giant crack in the glacier. But Fisher and Clemens slid into the crevasse and fell about 20 feet.

The rescue operation involved two Black Hawk helicopters from the Oregon National Guard, a U.S. Army Reserve Chinook helicopter, park-service climbing rangers and RMI guides.

Lou Whittaker, a veteran mountaineer and co-founder and president of RMI, said the four were part of a larger guided group following a standard route.

Another RMI team was traversing the mountain yesterday to check out the route, and the company planned to resume regular guided climbs today.——————————————————————————————————————————

A year later, he attempted the same climb with a successful and gratifying outcome.  Fourteen years later, he returned not to climb but to hike and reminisce about the past.

6B8CC83F-027D-4E66-93D2-962E85869AF3Molly had reserved a site (Loop A 130) in Ohanapecosh Campground, set beneath towering old growth trees and running alongside the Ohanapecosh River.

BEDBEA85-ADBC-45FC-A730-CD85914F5635It was drizzling, so Scott and Molly got busy putting up a tarp to give us some shelter.

4C8E0779-0322-4392-8926-4AE97EB63172When that was ready, we took a short hike on Silver Falls Loop Trail to the Grove of the Patriarchs, which were accessible from the campground.   What I love most about the hiking trails in Washington is the richness of the greenery.

03788FF4-9E54-4143-8ECD-B4344D4365EDWe hiked along the river’s edge and found a spot to sit down and take in the beauty surrounding us.  Scott was busy taking photos.


4B7C1566-759C-4031-BB99-D6A344306715All of a sudden, Mr. Photographer had a minor problem.  Oops!  No problem.  He was able to retrieve his camera cover before it was swept away by the rushing river.

35E6F19A-2905-4B16-AF41-A5D6649EF897A little farther up we were delighted to see and hear Silver Falls.

7AAEE52D-62CC-451C-B396-4E77C3369AE5We had to cross over a single person suspension bridge that crossed over a quiet part of the river, and into the Grove of the Patriarchs.

CE659671-CC78-44AD-8BF4-27C57B28EDA8On the way back out, there were small bridges that provided more stunning views of the river.

9D72B6EA-7EFF-4382-B965-FFBA3960C37B07CF18A2-60AD-4AC0-B331-9CC0BDDFC647That evening, we made a fire to combat the soft drizzle and cooler temperatures.  Campfires are not the norm for us.

E2172CC5-7399-482E-9C0B-B2D1D2A5B2B6We woke up early the next morning as we had a bit of a drive from our campsite to Paradise Trails.  The winding roads in the park allow for views of ancient trees and beautiful waterfalls.  I particularly love the rock tunnels that you will ultimately drive through.

134E520E-6725-437A-8730-216F6605D47AScott chose Paradise Trails, which was the trail where he began his summit trek years back.  On clear days, these trails provide an amazing view of the many glaciers and the summit.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t a clear day.  We started on Skyline Loop via High Skyline Trail, a 5.5 miles round trip-hike, with an elevation gain of 1,700 feet.  The trail starts in the parking lot as a paved trail. When Scott was here last, it was covered in snow.  Today it was luscious green.

7EDE48BD-4720-46D8-896A-A4A4E9153CB5If you zoom into the picture below, you can see a stone building.  It may be a warming hut although we didn’t see a path leading to it.

F3C103C8-1D5F-4AE2-8643-E48E3AF31800As we gained elevation, the fog rolled in, making it difficult to see the glaciers and summit before us.

263A6087-6DF1-4FD3-A6CA-13E87958B67COff to the side of the trail, there were climbers training for the same climb that Scott had made. We got off the trail to get in the picture.

7B2C22F7-0135-4FC9-BFEE-F3044B81A6C3We continued up the trail towards Panorama Point.


4855C684-C7BA-482C-8207-01F2377E6C80We befriended a park volunteer, Pete, who was eager to hear about Scott’s previous climbs.  In the picture below, Scott is facing the summit of Mt. Rainier, and Pete is looking at the valley below.

5A0D37FF-04CE-49F4-8C31-1F6B742ABB32As the clouds appeared to be dissipating, Scott got up to be ready to capture a glimpse of the summit.  You can barely see the summit in the picture below.

500C145E-2241-4A3D-A81C-93049138E3A5Here’s another shot.  Don’t blink.


04392B6E-6205-4607-A015-2E101886169BThere it is, right behind me!  That’s about as close to the summit that I will get!


There were more nice views of a glacier and waterfall on the way down.


While we sat around waiting for the clouds to pass, there were several frisky friends who came right up to us hoping for some food.   One of them climbed up Scott’s back and sat on his shoulder!

A46A3EE3-9D1C-4378-89E1-9F2C01783D98Then there are the OTHER furry friends.  They are more interesting in eating the flowers.

F5FBA7E4-ECC6-4AD7-BFB2-F255DC194C68The clouds were hovering over the summit, so we continued hiking on Skyline Trail loop.  The snow depth in some places was mind boggling.

DAAB1908-291A-416A-BAA2-25A557B225A7FC837FCD-6363-443D-800B-859D03F53AB2As we came down in elevation, the landscape quickly changed back to colorful flowers amidst the luscious greenery.

B116251E-16F0-46F7-837E-16F8AA395638The next morning, we broke down camp and headed to Palisades Lakes Trails, which is over by Sunrise section of the park.

FB28BF03-315C-4B2C-AE4F-1A92B472E1D6 The trails descends into a valley with many lakes to explore.

C7131F87-21F2-44C3-BA3C-A91158AC340FWe only went as far as Clover Lake due to time constraints as well as the rainy weather.






Oregon Travels: 7/1 – 7/12/19

Crater Lake in Oregon was formed as a result of a collapsed volcano about 7,700 years ago.  Our next stop was to another collapsed volcano, Paulina Lake. We were fortunate to get a site for one night in Paulina Lake State Park as it was fully booked beginning July 2.

A0DF4A3E-1B2D-4BC0-AC87-26ADE38110F6The next morning, we got up early and took a six-mile round-trip hike to Paulina’s Peak, approximately 1,200’ elevation gain.

E51B1FCB-56D2-4CB8-B4FF-4552B9F23594The first mile was flat through the forest.

0506EC81-816A-4C60-9298-F92E5034A1E6 The next two miles was a constant elevation gain.

9F5D5BF8-8934-4EBC-9194-55BDDC2F158FFrom the peak, you can clearly see Paulina Lake.

A232C492-F4A8-4355-BEF2-1F6BA5B420EAPanning to the right, you could see the dried up lava, Big Obsidian Flow, and East Lake.

8D1C312C-3E0B-44A7-83D6-1C5A3D925AF8Below is a shot of both Paulina and East Lake.  The two lakes are a result of a volcanic dome pushing up into the middle of a once larger lake.

73B75CBB-701E-4023-B455-66BBC54F30DBWe didn’t spend much time at the peak as we needed to be out of the campsite by 11:00 a.m.  So, we packed up (AGAIN) and headed north towards Bend.  We stopped for a late lunch at a restaurant called Crux Fermentation Project.  It was a great little place with an outdoor setting for families to hang out with their kids and dogs, and the food (beer?) was great!


0923BDD1-B533-4C39-BD37-2014549FF716Afterwards, we set up camp at La Pine State Park North Loop #127. This campground offered large sites, water & electric, and it was only 30 minutes outside of the town of Bend.  I wanted to be close enough to a town that had a Fourth of July parade, and we agreed that we would stay there for the next three nights!  Woo hoo!


3035D308-5853-4579-AB11-75F26EA9DC29After relaxing for a bit, we took a fun bike ride on Phil’s Trailhead, and met some fun folks who helped us navigate the trails.

B850B26D-F9D3-4A7F-A77A-A1C3F5DBF73EOn July 4, we drove back to Bend for their “annual” Pet Parade.  It was one of the most entertaining parades I have ever witnessed!  While there were mostly dogs in this parade, we did see pet ponies, horses, goats, chickens in coops, boa constrictor, iguana, and a pig in a baby carriage!  I took a short video at the start of the parade.

Here is a collection of some of my favorite pets in the parade.

After the parade ended, we walked around Drake Park to check out the holiday festivities.  There were multiple food trucks as well as artistic vendors sellingand games for kids.  They did NOT have a free beer like they do in my hometown of Oradell, New Jersey.    If you wanted an alcoholic drink, you had to go into one of the restaurants.  Check out this establishment.



5DD262BB-8DF5-4C56-9952-E8500894FC7FPerhaps the highlight of the day was when I called my momma from the trailer and asked her to sing to me The Star Spangled Banner.  It made us both giggle and smile.

The next morning, we left our home of three days and headed east towards Eugene.  We had scheduled an appointment for Saturday in Eugene to get new tires put on our trailer.  We spent the next two nights at Kamping World Campground in the town of Coburg, just outside of Eugene.  It was catch up on laundry time.

AEC52B44-E0F5-4FAD-8365-228C195F4A6C On Sunday, July 7th, we celebrated our wedding anniversary.  The day began by packing up camp and heading up the coast.  We decided to take a break from driving and stopped at Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Park.  Listed on the National Register of Historical Places, it claims to be one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world.  The walk up to the lighthouse was a bit steep, but the view was beautiful!




16D299C9-BA3A-4809-B501-5DECAAE821D6Next, we hiked up many steps and switchbacks on the opposite side of the lighthouse.

20D044FB-1DFF-452C-BE6C-6B31B956FD8EI had to stop close to the top to catch my breath.

2B348D89-834A-4F51-ACFF-04F419DF9952Seeing this view of the ocean was completely worth it.

BBF3C42A-0E9A-4EC6-8629-B3DEE25AA41AAfter the hike, we found a campground in Florence at Pacific Pines RV Park for one night.    Then, we went out to dinner to celebrate our 15th Wedding Anniversary.  What?  Yes.  It had been five years since we said our “I Do’s” on Long’s Peak, plus another ten years for one year of living together 24/7 full-timing.  If you ever full time, you will understand and agree with my calculation.

The following day, we continued north on 101. The views are so spectacular as you drive parallel to the water, especially when you see the Tsunami warning sign (zoom in to see the sign).  The elevation along the coastline of Oregon changes every so often, and there are signs warning you when you enter a Tsunami Evacuation Zone.

F65EEC09-5914-4BD9-8FF6-4C4E6F811678 We stopped at Cape Perpetual Area and hiked Captain Cook Trail.

2CAB3531-D079-4896-8115-4A41454DF6CCFirst, we hiked up Captain Cook Trail.  The views at the top are breathtaking!


E1AF2352-B6BE-4F40-BBC9-701336145743 Below are closer views with Scott’s camera.


78E92A45-6621-43A4-A353-E8560D452C70Next, we headed back down to walk along the shore.  Below is a picture taken as we were approaching the beach.

E8834B8F-0356-4FF2-AC6C-52A2A47590E1As you head out towards the water and to the left, you walk around tide pools and on uneven and slippery rocks covered with mussel shells.


D9CBE637-4CDC-49B6-8774-561A5D3C2491It was a bit freaky to be walking over the mussels that I love to eat.

F940DC79-D058-4E44-A182-80700B7F9414.jpegThe next picture is of Thor’s Well.  At high tide, you can see water splashing up out of the well into the air.  Unfortunately, it was low tide.

FD19C137-EA17-4830-875D-1B18F195B40BScott wanted to get closer to the edge and ventured on without me.

C409CF1C-F305-4C23-B3F4-5BA87C26CB08After the hike, we drove a bit farther to Cape Lookout State Park and was lucky enough to find a site about a five minute walk to the water.

4DCE747C-CE52-49C8-9D52-4AC097FA520DWe parked and took our chairs down by the water.  I was pleasantly surprised to see people/kids swimming in the ocean!  We sat in our chairs and watched while contemplating whether or not we should put our suits on and go in.

9380BA1D-F46C-48F8-87E1-58E6FF6768B115500ECA-6C7E-4912-AD4C-667F99AD5893Scott pretended to go for a swim.  He is dead center in the below picture.

D60621D9-180B-46A2-99E2-9896159C73C2The next morning, I took a stroll alone on the beach.

C8BBBA1C-7C9F-4623-A309-584B2BF38E63It wasn’t long before I came across a stream cutting a path from the land to the ocean.

CB239B15-EFA9-43E4-A8D6-DF8596F7CDADI was too nervous to cross over it for fear that it would be deeper upon my return, so I retreated back to the campsite.  Silly, right?

Our next stop is Portland.  We spent hours driving through city traffic which is something that we do not miss.  Eventually, we got off Hwy 84 and onto Hwy 30, which is a winding two-lane, scenic road that runs parallel to 84.  There are a five different waterfalls cascading over the walls of the Columbia River Gorge that are reached from Historic Hwy 30.  We stopped at Crown Point Vista House and took some pictures of the view.  Scott is taking a picture of the Columbia River Gorge.  On the opposite side of the river is the state of Washington.

728C2985-8EF7-47B1-AFAB-8CC7ED8BAE92And, here is his photo.

AF7EB9AB-3B83-4D5D-A3CF-E01ABB25B250We wanted to stay outside of Portland, even though we planned to spend some time there.  We booked Crown Point RV Park in Corbett for three nights.  It was a self check-in and this owner left us treats!  This was a first.

87CE1340-AD0F-4A74-BE85-23CE4DC11B6BMultnomah Falls is the most popular of the five along the Gorge.  When we passed it on the way to our campground, there was no parking available.  We actually set up camp, ate dinner, and headed out around 7:00 p.m. in the rain.  There were NO crowds and plenty of parking.  LOL

We started at Latourell Falls and continued on to Bridal Veil Falls, Wahkeena Falls, and finally the famous Multnomah Falls.










DF93CA28-33DD-42D0-A678-A214856D49C0The next day we hiked 11 miles round-trip on Timberline Trail #600 at Mt. Hood.  Talk about green scenery.  Is it this green in Ireland???


AE94EEE9-4F81-4216-A1D4-9CB532BB02E0The flowers were so vibrant.  These are just a few that we saw.

Beargrass was plentiful in this area.  You can see the growth pattern in the pictures below.

While it was a perfect day for hiking (cool, light rain), it was too cloudy to see Mt. Hood.  We stopped to eat lunch with the hope that the clouds would roll by to reveal the hidden mountain.  Not a chance.

ED19D2CB-1576-46DF-B731-DC95D1DAF26FKnowing that driving around the city of Portland the next day could create unnecessary tension, we elected to take mass transportation.  Don’t we look happy and excited to be on the morning local train?

63668614-672A-4247-9629-9B766D544779Portland is your typical big city with the big name stores, lots of places to eat and drink, and plenty of tourists.  Apparently, donuts are extremely popular here.  We passed a store called Voodoo Doughnut, but the length of the line outside thwarted our desires.

AFF82B43-59D2-48CF-B057-E193F716A7D4So, instead of getting a donut, I got a picture of the menu.  Voodoo Bubble?  Would it taste like a piece of gum??

350C6D8E-58D8-44EC-8656-612E6A4F143CA little later when I stopped at an Athleta store to shop, Scott found Nola’s.

1D9D3FE4-5D87-458A-9209-EF8D237C9883Then we spotted a guy walking into a building with his dog.  I wanted to see what building he had entered.  Wow!  This was a surprise for me.   It was the company that my daughter worked at for three years in New York City.  They have a bring your dog to work policy.

D1D19FAB-101F-4F52-A8FB-938FB9259A74Our next stop was Washington Park.  We had limited time, so we had to choose from so many attractions.  There is a beautiful memorial there for Vietnam Veterans.  We walked for over an hour, stopping at each plaque, and reading the names of those who died in service.  In addition to the names, each plaque had inscriptions for that time period that occurred in the world as well as locally in Portland.  It was very moving.




CE60DC18-A526-4F3F-9938-A40C2A8DBDB4It was time to get back on the train and head west to Beaverton.  We were meeting family (Amiee and Jay) for dinner at a popular, local Food Court.

051C1770-6FCC-46FC-8838-52BD53F717CCWe were having such a good time together, that I forgot to get a picture of us.  There WILL be a next time.  It was a long, fun day with the highlight upon us.  We would now get on the train back to our campground in Corbett for almost two hours.  Next stop is Whidbey Island, Washington.


Crater Lake National Park, Oregon: 6/30 – 7/1/19

Crater Lake National Park has incredibly blue water, dramatic cliffs, and several hiking trails to choose from.  Rim Drive is a 33-mile road that encircles Crater Lake, a collapsed volcano from 7,700 years ago.  It has about 30 scenic pullouts along the route as seen on the map below.

945f3ab0-1f20-43e1-b03f-058136886b04-e1563667562938.jpegThere are only two campgrounds in this national park.  Lost Creek Campground is located to the southeast off East Rim Drive, which is only open the summer.   It has 16 sites for tents only on a first-come, first-served basis.  Mazama Camprgound is located about seven miles south of Rim Village, just past the park’s southwest entrance station.  It is a large campground with 214 sites.  During the month of June, sites are available on a first-come, first served basis.  During July, August and September you need to reserve a site online or by phone call.  They accept reservations for 75% of the sites.  The other 25% are first-come, first-serviced.  


We arrived at Crater Lake National Park around 9:00 a.m. from the south off Hwy 62.

005665BE-B7EE-4290-B88A-1EDCB62EBA28We soon learned that East Rim Drive was still closed, and not expected to open any time soon.  Heavy snowfall during the previous winter resulted in all trails being closed for hiking due to dangerous snow conditions.  This was a disappointment to us.  We still wanted to spend a few nights.  It was June 30, the last day in June.  Lost Creek was completely closed, and Mazama Village did not have many sites available.  We had to wait in a line for three hours to maybe get a site for just one night.  Beginning July 1, they were fully booked.  The wait wasn’t really so bad as there were some very interesting, chatty people on line near us.  The only problem was with the darn mosquitoes that were swarming us while we stood on the line.  One guy was sharing his DEET spray as we watched each other swat the darn bugs away.  It was as though the area was infested with them.  They were truly annoying and obviously hungry.  Every so often, a park employee would come out of the Ranger Office to tell us that IF we were lucky enough to get a site, it would ONLY be for the one night.  Nobody got off the line.  We persevered and was granted Site C24 in Mazama.

After we got settled, we took a drive southwest of the lake to an entrance to the Pacific Crest Trail, that would lead us to Union Peak Trail.  

4128BE4B-1F82-4C5D-ABFB-CE15644FEAF7The PCT is not part of the National Park, but it is a stop off spot for through hikers where they can get mail (food goodie bags), take a hot shower, and eat a meal.  I am always excited when I get to hike on the PCT.  It is the third time that I have hiked on part of this famous 300 mile North-South trail.  There was some snow remaining here and there on the trail, but so far the going was easy.

0E8A7B46-FBFE-4E4C-890F-1C4F49171C9BThe problem was that the mosquitoes were having their annual reunion.  They were everywhere!  And, they liked to bite ME.  I was actually wearing a net around my head, but it didn’t make a difference.

85CAE2D1-57B0-42A8-8D86-E41076752DA4 I just wasn’t in the mood for them.  I am at a point in my life when I have no problem not doing things that I don’t want to do.  I hate bugs.  I hate bugs that fly around my face bugging me.  Call me a baby or call me a wimp.  I don’t really care.  I insisted that Scott continue, and I headed back to the truck.  We agreed that I would pick him back up in three hours.  So, I headed back to the Campground and made some through-hiker friends outside of the Ranger’s Office.  

5B740D61-CCDB-4935-8FF1-737087BA53BBThey shared some stories about their journey so far and graciously posed for a picture with me.

The next morning, we packed up camp and took a drive on West Rim, the only section that was open.  As I mentioned above, there are several pull-offs to enjoy the views.  It was a beautiful day.  We parked the trailer and hiked on Discovery Point Trail, an easy dirt trail that runs along the rim of the lake through a pretty forest of white bark pines and mountain hemlocks.  Below are a few pictures of Wizard Island as we walked along the east rim from the south.


BE6009E6-F53D-46D9-9709-855C8483413F107B84B5-4604-48B2-9D90-31371ED25C0CEB097B26-D536-4CA8-B793-94AAA8403479Wizard Island erupted out of Crater Lake approximately 7,300 years ago.  Somebody is a bit too close to the edge.

47F8E20F-9C97-4B2F-A3E2-802D82CA37B7Below is West Rim with the opposite view from the lake.  Simply spectacular!

D805E59C-B024-4706-ABD5-66F62C1769A1To be completely honest, I am not that disappointed that we had to leave this park.  Apparently, the nasty mosquitoes have been around for a while.  Twenty-four hours was enough for me.  I would like to return here someday when the East Rim is open.

Our Oregon adventures to be continued.

Redwood National Park – Part 2: 6/28 – 6/30/19

The next morning we headed north up the coast to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.   Our campground neighbors said that we had to see Fern Canyon, a short 0.6 mile walk filled with jaw-dropping greenery.  This is a popular spot for tourists.

32A6B138-57F3-46AD-9443-2D632FE87AF4The mostly level switch-back trail had several narrow, wooden planks to walk on to keep your feet dry.


1C09BB37-2B78-4322-A35E-B15B1AA3AE11The cascading fern growing out of the canyon walls were stunning.

A29CFA62-5177-447E-B436-6600D4F59413There are longer trails that branch off from Fern Canyon Trail, but we decided to head back up to the beach instead.  It seemed like forever to reach the ocean, especially when carrying two chairs!


F9F9C362-2372-48C2-B76B-FF28BD66BDC3The water was much too cold for swimming or even wading, but we made sure that we got a selfie.

5E632A5D-1F1A-42FB-B947-20FC28165A4DI don’t recall seeing flowers growing in the sand at the beaches in New Jersey.

4A0B5CE4-4D13-4FED-80C7-31C07EAA60D7The next morning we found ourselves back on the road again heading north along the coast.  It wasn’t long until we reached our next state.

28008849-D3D3-4DF1-8779-BAE6F44CBEA7After a few hours on Hwy 1, we stopped to take a break at Pistol River Viewpoint, and took a short walk on the beach.  I wanted to see the Oregon Coast firsthand.

F6F95812-67E7-410F-840B-38D66C4357CBIt was a shorter walk to the water this time.  There was a grassy, sandy trail leading first to a sandbar and then to the ocean.

A2F58FEF-60D5-4B2D-B807-07863677C6E1We took a short walk to stretch our legs and then got back into the truck.  After another five hours on the road, we finally found Perkins Point Rest Area just off Tiller Trail Highway, also known as Douglas County Hwy 1.

91416418-A740-4F69-B8E1-7AB344F187D2You are allowed to spend no more than 12 hours at these stops.  It was almost 8:00 p.m at night, and we just wanted a place to sleep for the night.  We parked in the corner of the empty lot and realized that there was a beautiful stream just below us.  Scott took off down the hill to investigate.

90EF1AA3-11BF-4EC1-963F-B11D97F490B8“Our trailer is right up there,” he said.

A4D55DD6-DEDF-47DC-855A-1D777ACFC246It was almost 7:00 p.m. but it was still fairly light out.  We stood by the waterside watching salamanders and crawdads (crayfish) enjoying their habitat.


80A566BC-AC50-4F42-B948-212FDB9AA098 It was getting dark, and I was feeling the chill in the air.  Scott stayed by the water, and I walked back up to sit in the trailer.  There I was, minding my own business in the trailer, playing solitaire.  A truck with five young guys pulled into the lot and parked adjacent to our trailer.  The trailer window was open, and I felt funny shutting it while they were standing right outside of it.  They were pretty loud, and it was obvious that they had been drinking.  Scott came back up when he heard loud voices.  They said hello to him and he came into the trailer to join me.  He figured that this rest area/parking lot may have been a hang out for the young locals.  They only stayed about 20 minutes.  As they pulled away they shouted, “Find another place to camp!”  Ouch.  We weren’t “camping.”  We were simply resting overnight at a REST AREA.

We are off to Crater Lake in the morning.

Redwood National Park – Part 1: 6/26 – 6/28/19

The Redwood Coast consists of many State Parks that work cooperatively with the National Park Service.  Usually, the National and State Parks operate separately but that is not the case for the Redwoods.  It has to do with how the land was purchased.  Most State and National Parks charge an entrance fee.  You can purchase an annual National Park Pass for $80 and then entrance to any National Park is free.  For entrance into State Parks, you can purchase a daily, weekly and even monthly pass in each state.  For some reason, we NEVER had to pay or show our pass in the Redwood National and State Parks.  Go figure.

“The Redwood Tree is the world’s tallest living tree – monarch of the North Coast -living link to the Age of Dinosaurs.  Redwoods grow from seeds the size of a tomato seed yet can weigh 500 tons and stand taller than the Statue of Liberty.  It’s foot-thick bark makes the tree all but impervious to fire and insects.”



We would spend the next three nights at Klamath River RV Park.


Our peaceful, tranquil site was located directly on the river.

9F1F6F33-36A6-4007-8A97-8C1352BC7508.jpegCan you spot our RV across the river?

C4077B45-D04B-437E-8E06-AAF2254E75BCOur first hike was to The Tall Trees Grove.  You have to get a special permit and a combination code at the Visitor’s Center in order to enter the gated access road.

6463A86A-ABB9-43D7-B546-0354B51266BFWe travelled down a wooded, winding road until we got to the trailhead.  As we hiked, there were fallen Redwoods that hovered over the trail.  Scott had to duck every now and then.


E4EE39A4-C061-4ADD-B328-456418EA832ASome trees were even cut into to allow access down the path.

D1C88B72-7764-4D8A-BCB5-5822C8AD6BD4Each tree had its own beauty.  Some barks were very bumpy near the ground.

CE592BE5-2895-4376-9BC5-264BC0DDA3D4Yet, when looking up, they were all towering towards the sky.

AC4FB76E-1BD5-4330-A21C-07084000FBDEAnd, if you are lucky, you may see a burl (a dome-shaped growth on the trunk of a tree) that looks like a deer.

CF5501F1-F281-44BB-906B-EF55C8CE0369Then, there are the Redwoods that have “hollowed out” at the bottom.  You can walk under them as well as through them.

85A1D5B2-B26D-4B58-8ED2-84C02B51B836While the grove consisted of mostly redwood trees, there was another odd looking tree with arms that extended from just above the ground to the height of the tree.  The moss seemed to attached itself to every branch.

61A7A50D-3A8B-41B6-B964-0F07BBBBD2FE.jpegAnd, of course, there were beautiful wildflowers scattered here and there.

Our next stop was at Lady Bird Johnson Grove.  This trail is handicap accessible and one of the more popular tourist spots.

A1D5CB94-CC09-400F-8817-81EFDF469CDD.jpegAfter you park your car, you take a short walk on a bridge over the road below.  (The picture below was taken on our way back out.)

48A7CE99-C302-41C0-82BA-7B68601D0914.jpegThere is a numbered trail map that is available for a $1.00 donation, or you can just borrow the map and return it at the end of your tour.  The actual dedication took place about half-way into the short loop trail.


D76E5097-CC52-43A1-884D-587E36BC0658.jpegThe trails were wide with hundreds of Rhododendron bushes, and there were still a few “rhodies” blooming.  This place must be magical in the springtime.

0AE9C465-DE04-4526-9BD1-952440D1A037It was fun catching Scott capturing the beauty surrounding us.

Before heading back to the trailer, we drove to High Bluff Overlook.

A530C41C-44CC-4F79-B05B-2D3A6FC56B46What a magnificent view! The sound of the ocean water crashing against the large boulders below was breathtaking.  The drop is straight down and there are no barriers to stop you from falling over if you get too close to the edge.  So, we looked very gingerly even though we wanted to get closer.  It was pretty foggy out, but I took a few pictures anyway.

18CFB9F8-16F4-4C25-B367-98DA885A2EFDC8A982C7-ACB0-4D24-BED5-8F8A8ED64038Scott returned later for sunset pictures.  Be sure to check out his gallery.