Where are we?
Subj: 133. Where are we?
Date: Monday, October 6, 2003
We are still in Crater Lake National Park in Oregon; however, lots of things
have changed. Fortunately, not the weather. We are still having days in the
60s and nights in the 30s. Generally we are having bright and sunny days.
What's changed? The campground is now closed. The Motor Inn is now closed.
The campground store is now closed. It's really sad, but, we are still employed
cleaning up everything and winterizing the buildings. Our last day will be
October 13, two days earlier than we originally planned. We will certainly
miss this place and, of course most of the people we have worked with. It's
kind of like the last day of summer camp.
We still have done some interesting things. A few weeks ago we hiked the
Annie Creek Trail. This trail is only 1.7 miles long. It starts in the campground
and skirts the edge of a canyon. The canyon was first formed by glaciers,
then, when Mount Mazama blew its top 7700 years ago, the canyon was filled
with ash. Water flowed out of natural springs and formed a creek. Over the
years, the creek carved a "V" shaped valley. That's what we hiked. After
following the canyon, the trail decends 200 feet to a small meadow. Then
the path goes upstream, crossing Annie creek 4 times. It's really a beautiful
hike. Finally, you climb back up to the campground. The climb down and back
up was a bit scary since you are on a narrow switchback path on the side
of a very steep hill. But, the hike was something we wanted to do and was
Now that the season is over, we have often been asked if we will return next
summer. We aren't sure. Certainly we have enjoyed the summer. We enjoyed
the people we worked with, the customers, our jobs, and the beautiful mountains
and lakes in the area. We just don't want to make any commitment at this
We've attached a picture of Crater Lake with this email. It give you a small
idea of just how beautiful this place really is.
Ending the season at Crater Lake National Park
Subj: 134. Where are we?
Date: Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Monday, October 13, we checked out with our employer and hit the road. We
met our contract at Crater Lake and have left. As much as we enjoyed our
three months at Crater Lake, it's also nice to start up our motorhome and
hit the road. We are now in the second largest population center in Oregon.
Yes, we've been here before and are here again. The county we are in was
the first Oregon County to build covered bridges on a large scale. During
and after World War I, steel was in short supply but wood was plentiful,
so the county kept building covered bridges. Since the covered bridges attract
tourists to the area, the county is reluctant to remove them. The brochure
lists a total of 20 covered bridges in this area.
As we've said before, our three months at Crater Lake was fantastic. We really
enjoyed working in this beautiful place and met some wonderful people. We
are sure that we will see some of those people again. Many of them will be
working in Death Valley during the winter so taking a trip to Death Valley
is in the planning stage. It really was sad to see the season come to an
end. It's kind of like the last day of summer camp. The campground was empty,
the kiosk was closed, the store was almost empty, and we were closing up
and putting stuff away for the winter. However, spending the summer at Crater
Lake and getting paid for it was great.
After leaving our campsite for three months, we drove out of the park to
a small town called Fort Klamath. We stopped at the Fort Klamath General
Store to see the 18 year old twins that we worked with. We had a pretty good
lunch at the general store. Then we continued east to highway US 97. On US
97 we headed north, then we headed west on highway 58. Highway 58 goes over
a pass in the Cascade Mountains and down into the Willamette Valley. We've
driven that route before and it's still beautiful.
Where are we? We are in Eugene Oregon, home to Michelle, Keith, Clyde, Jenny,
Zoe, and Tabatha. (That's Larry's older daughter, her husband, their two
dogs and two cats.) We'll be here for several days cleaning the RV, visiting,
and hopefully playing a round or two of golf.
Still Havin' Fun in Oregon
Subj: 135. Where are we?
Date: Monday, October 20, 2003
We left Eugene this morning and headed north. After about 100 miles we started
heading east. We didn't drive very far today, only a bit over 100 miles,
but we are now in the place that was our goal. We are in a scenic area consisting
of 292,000 acres of sheer cliffs, mountainous forestland, hilly deciduous
woods and grassy plains. This is also a river valley with 77 named waterfalls!
That's a lot of waterfalls.
Our time in Eugene was spent enjoying Keith and Michelle's company, cleaning
the RV, and doing some shopping. We were even able to find a cleaners that
cleaned the front shade on the RV. Because of the way the shades are made,
a normal cleaners would not touch them. However, we did find a place called
Evergreen Ultrasonic Cleaners that did the shade in a few hours. They really
Larry really enjoyed Eugene since he played golf on three different golf
courses on three different days. A total of 45 holes of golf. We won't mention
his scores but the golf courses were beautiful, especially Laurelwood and
Now, Where are we? We are in the Columbia River Gorge at an Oregon State
Campground with full hookups. The Campground is beautiful and at $12.00 per
night, the cost is hard to beat. The Columbia River separates Oregon from
Washington. In 1803, the US purchased most of the land west of the Mississippi
from France. Because Louisiana was the real reason for the purchase, this
transaction was called the Louisiana Purchanse. In 1804, Lewis and Clark
set out from Missouri to map the land purchased. They were commissioned by
President Thomas Jefferson. Part of their route took them down the Columbia
River to the Pacific Ocean.
Subj: 136. Where are we?
Date: Thursday, October 23, 2003
We actually left the West end of the Columbia River Gorge on Wednesday. Wednesday
night we stayed at the East end of the Columbia River Gorge. Today, we drove
to a high desert area. The town we're in is named in honor of the area's
beauty. We are on the western edge of the Grande Ronde Valley at the foot
of the Blue Mountains. To the East are the Wallowa Mountains.
We really enjoyed the beauty of the Columbia River Gorge. The West end, where
we stayed Monday and Tuesday nights, is forested. Actually it's kind of like
a rain forest with ferns, moss, and lots of trees. It's really beautiful.
We spent two nights at Ainsworth State Park, a really beautiful campground.
We drove part of the Historic Columbia River Highway on Monday. On that drive
we stopped by at least four of the 77 named waterfalls in the Gorge including
Mulnomah Falls, the highest waterfall in the Gorge at 620 feet high.
Tuesday we drove east from Ainsworth State Park. We drove all the way to
Hood River and visited the fruit farms in the Hood River Valley. Many places
in the valley have wonderful views of Mount Hood to the North, and Mount
Adams to the South. On the way we stopped by Bonneville Dam, one of the many
hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River. At the Bonneville Dam it was interesting
to see a paddle wheel boat go through the locks. Watching the salmon in the
fish ladder was also fascinating.
After buying some fresh fruit along the "Fruit Loop," we crossed the Columbia
on a bridge and drove west on the Washington side of the river. We returned
to Oregon on the "Bridge of the Gods" at Cascade Locks.
Yesterday, Wednesday, we drove the RV to Deschutes State Park where we spent
the night. Again, like all the Oregon State Parks we've seen, it was beautiful.
After we set up camp, we took the truck west to get a better look at some
of the sights. Our first stop was the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center near
The Dalles. It's also a County Museum and was really fascinating. There we
learned the difference between the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the Oregon
Trail. Lewis and Clark (commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson) were,
among other things, were trying to find a water route to Oregon. They went
up the Mississippi and Missouri River, crossed the Rockies, found the Snake
and Columbia Rivers, and followed them to the Pacific Ocean. The Oregon Trail
is the corridor routes created by more than 350,000 nineteenth-century emigrants
as they moved west with oxen-drawn covered wagons between roughly 1840 and
1880. We hope to learn more about the Oregon Trail in the next several days.
Then we drove the remainder of the Historic Columbia River Highway. The East
end of the Gorge is much drier than the West end, but both are beautiful.
Where are we now? We are in La Grande Oregon. Tomorrow we hope to drive east
in the truck to get some views of Hell's Canyon, the deepest river canyon
in the US.
Subj: 137. Where are we?
Date: Sunday, October 26, 2003
Today, Sunday, October 26, we left Oregon and entered the "Gem State." The
license tag for this state has the phrase "Famous Potatoes" on it. The city
where we are camped is the capital of this state. Apparently the first settlers
to reach this location were fur trappers. Since this place is also mentioned
as being part of the Oregon Trail, it must have also been an Army Fort in
Our last email was sent from La Grande Oregon. We spent two nights in La
Grande. While we were there, we drove the Hells Canyon Scenic Route. This
was about a 200 mile drive through some interesting quaint towns on a state
highway, about 50 miles on a paved, but very hilly and curvy US Forest Service
Road and back to a different state highway, and finally another 40 miles
on an Interstate Highway. It was a long day but it was an interesting drive.
We did manage to stop by Hells Canyon Overlook and could see the canyon,
the 7 devil mountains in Idaho, but we couldn't see the Snake River.
We left La Grande on Saturday and drove the RV the 40 miles to Baker City.
After arriving at the campground, we drove to the Oregon Trail Interpretive
Center. This was a very worthwhile stop and we learned a lot. In fact, we
could even see the tracks left by the wagons that took about 500,000 people
to Oregon over several decades.
The Interpretive Center is on Flagstaff Hill. It was at this point where
the hardy people who traveled and survived the Oregon Trail first saw their
"Promised Land." Even though many people stopped at the Baker Valley, the
end of the Oregon trail was still several hundred miles away in Oregon City,
near Portland in the Willamette Valley. There were still hard miles to go
and many hazards like the Columbia River Gorge or the slopes of Mount Hood.
The Interpretive Center was a great place to visit.
After leaving the Interpretive Center, we drove east to the southern entrance
to Hells Canyon. Then we drove up the Canyon to the Hells Canyon Dam. The
drive up the canyon to the dam was only about 30 miles but it was a beautiful
30 miles. Hells Canyon was originally called the Grand Canyon of the Snake
River. It may not be as long as the Grand Canyon in Arizona but it is about
1/2 mile deeper. The drive up the canyon was wonderful. If anyone wants to
take the drive we would recommend starting in Baker City, driving about 70
miles east to the Snake River, cross the bridge into Idaho, and drive north
up the river. It is well worth the trip.
Today we left Baker City and continued southeast. Again we followed much
of the Oregon Trail. Actually that wasn't by choice but Interstate 84 pretty
much follows the original Oregon Trail from our current location into Oregon
Where are we? We are in Boise Idaho, the capital city of Idaho. In a few
days we will continue our journey.
Subj: 138. Where are we?
Date: Thursday, October 30, 2003
This is actually our second stop since we left Boise. We are now in the "Beehive"
State. We are camped in the largest city in the state. It is also the capitol
city of this state. Nearby is a large lake. It's a unique lake because it
is large and it is salt water. This is also where the 2002 Winter Olympics
We spent two days in Boise. The primary reason for stopping in Boise was
to get some work done on the motorhome. Larry noticed that sometimes it felt
like the engine was missing just a little. It was barely noticeable but Larry's
so used to driving the motorhome he noticed it. We took it to a Workhorse
Dealer (Workhorse is the company that made the chassis). The dealer discovered
that the only problem was a bad spark plug wire. After changing all eight
plug wires, covered by the warranty, we were set to go. The motorhome is
now running like new.
We left Boise about 4:00 PM on Tuesday and headed south on I-84. We stopped
at a small campground in the middle of farming country. When we registered,
the manager told us about some of the sights in the area and give us a book
on what was there. After reading the book, we decided to stay an extra day
and do some exploring.
This area was called "The Great Rift" or the Snake River Plain. According
to the book, "Great Rift Country is a diverse and incomparable regional landmass
that was originally shaped by the dynamic forces of tumultuous volcanic activity."
Yes, the Snake River runs through the area, but most of the time you can't
see it. Why, because it is in a deep canyon. In some places the canyon is
250 feet deep, in other places it's over 500 feet deep. There are plenty
of waterfalls, some seem to come right out of solid rock. But, the rock isn't
really solid. It's volcanic in nature and is porous. The water seeps right
through the rock.
We drove the Snake River Canyon along Highway US 30. That highway follows
a similar route as the 160 year old Oregon Trail. Yes, we saw areas that
still had the wagon ruts from the Wagon Trains along the Oregon Trail.
The route we took brought us into Twin Falls Idaho. It turns out that Evel
Knievel did not jump Hell's Canyon, although we remember various news reports
claiming that's where his jump was attempted. As it turns out, the jump was
attempted across the Snake River Canyon near Twin Falls. In 1974 Evel Knievel
attempted a motorcycle jump across the Snake River Canyon. He had a rocket
powered motorcycle. As soon as he left the ramp, his parachute deployed and
he ended up 500 feet below in the canyon. The launch ramp is still there
as well as a plaque commemorating the event. Just for the record, he survived
with relatively minor injuries.
Today we left that area of Idaho and headed south. We wouldn't take too much
time describing our trip today except that, as soon as we drove through a
town called Snowville, it started to snow. We drove the last 100 miles in
snow flurries. Yes, there is some snow in the campground where we are staying
for a few days.
Now, Where are we? We are in Salt Lake City, Utah. A city known for winter
sports, in a state that's know for excellent skiing. The Utah license plates
say Ski Utah at the top and, The Greatest Snow on Earth on the bottom. However,
we prefer warm sunny skys.
In Salt Lake City Utah.