Saturday, July 11, 2009

July 11, 2009

Short Day

Short drive up the coast to Waldport. Very pretty drive through coastal forests with patches of ocean views.  Unfortunately it was quite foggy most of the way so we couldn’t see the ocean.  We are parked in a ‘RV Park’ and fishing camp about three miles up river from the coast.  Very quiet with great view up and down river.  We took a short drive to the Cape Perpetula Scenic Area.  We plan to go back there tomorrow.

Friday, July 10, 2009

July 10, 2009

Gold and Silver Falls

Sight seeing and caching day.

We drove 30 mile east into the hills north east of Coos Bay to a remote state park.  The last four miles were one lane gravel road.  At the end of the road is a small picnic area Trails lead in different directions to the base of two different falls. 

Gold Falls                            Silver Falls

This area is pretty much a rain forest.  Everything is green and lush

and the trees are covered with several types of moss.

There were a number of these snails on the trail.  Pretty shells.


On the drive back we found some geocaches, eleven of them.

Our treat for the day was a chocolate dipped cone at Dairy Queen.

Home to pack for a short trip tomorrow.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

July 9, 2009

Forty three years

Today is our anniversary.  Pretty quiet day.  We left the state park and moved up the road about eight miles to a commercial RV park.  Hated to leave the state park but it was booked.  The park we are in is rated #2 in the state so they say.  It is nice but not surrounded by nature.  We toured a myrtlewood factory and did several geocaches in the area.  Dinner was our traditional Mexican fare.  Good spot.  Would go there again. Tomorrow another adventure planned.

July 8, 2009

Sunset Bay State Park

We drove north along the scenic southern Oregon coast.  Very pretty.  Unfortunately all the pullouts were on the other side of the road so we couldn’t stop to take pictures.  It was scenic though and fun to see again.  Next time we’ll come from the north.  We pulled into Sunset Bay campground hoping they would have room.  We got the last spot in the entire campground at 11;30 on a Wednesday morning.  Guess summer is here.  Could only get one night.  Too bad.  It is a nice spot even if it is full.  We spent the afternoon visiting two other day use state parks associated with this one. 

The first was Shore Acres.  This site was owned by a wealthy capitalist who built a mansion on a bluff overlooking the ocean.  He built a second one when the first burned down.  That one is gone also but what is left is an observation building on the site of the mansion.  Great views.

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What is also left is the land and the botanical gardens he built.  Flowers and plants from all over the world.  The place was immaculate.  There is always something in bloom there.  Must be rose season because there were hundreds of them.  We took a lot of pictures.  Good chance to play with the macro feature on my camera.

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A little south of Shore Acres is the Simpson Reef Wildlife viewpoint.  Just offshore is a small reef and an island that are home to a variety of marine mammals.  Seals (several types), sea lions (several types), gray whales, and a variety of marine birds all can be seen here.

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Further south is Cape Arago.  A point of land with great views.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

July 7, 2009

Oregon Caves

We headed west about 9 am.  Pretty drive down US 199 through tall trees.  At Cave Junction we parked the carbus at the local visitor center and drove 19 miles into the hills to Oregon Caves National Monument.  We were able to sign up for a tour leaving in twenty minutes.  Tours here are limited to 16 people and on busy days there can be a long wait for a tour.  We met our ranger guide who gave us a brief introductory history and then we were off.  Oregon Caves is much smaller than Carlsbad.  Also different type of cave.  Smaller rooms and fewer formations.

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80 year old graffiti sealed in limestone


Lots of narrow passages and elevation changes.  Very active cave meaning quite wet in many spots.  Our guide was entertaining and quite informative.  We picked up some points we had not heard on previous cave tours. 

400 year old black bear bones


The tour exits the cave at a spot distant from the start and instead of taking the direct route back to the visitors center we took a longer scenic trail. 

cave pano

We then walked through the Oregon Caves Chateau which is on the registry of historic National Park hotels.  Late lunch at a picnic spot by the parking lot and then retrace the drive back to the carbus. 

Lunch visitor


All hooked up we drove to Smith River, California to Salmon Harbor Resort.  The term ‘resort’ is used rather loosely here.  Mostly it is a long term RV Park with vacant spots interspersed for short time stays.  Looks like spots can be leased and they are rented when the lessees are away.  Crowded but clean and quiet and close to ocean. 20090707-27 20090707-26

Monday, July 6, 2009

July 6, 2009

The Journey Resumes

After breakfast and saying goodbye to all the relatives we were on our way by 9 am.  We went down the scenic west side of the north end of Klamath Lake and then west toward Grants Pass stopping along the way to find several geocaches.  We stopped at Valley of the Rogue State Park.  It can be a little noisy but otherwise is a beautiful place to camp.  Right on the Rogue River.  We took a two mile walk along the river and then just relaxed outside and planned our direction for the the next few days.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 5, 2009

Quiet day

Saw Ken and Dan and families off and then did some clean up and catch up.  Sue did a sewing project on some bed comforters.  Mostly a pretty hang loose day.  Tonight we will celebrate a birthday of a cousin-in-law.  Supposed to be a surprise.  Don’t know how well that will work.  Off  tomorrow.

July 4, 2009

Fourth of July

Started the morning with more quad riding and swinging from a rope in the barn.  Later in the morning the kids, their fathers, Sue, and I took a short walk to a geocache.  Only cache for 24 miles in any direction happens to be about a half mile from the ranch house and just over the fence on Forest Service land.  Very well hidden but many eyes made pretty quick work of it.

After lunch we took everyone to see the actual headwaters where the Williamson River starts as a series of springs in the middle of a very dusty hill side.  Within a few feet it is a 20’ wide river.

Williamson headwaters

From there it was off to Hyde Lake for several hours of swimming and boating.   

Swimming in lake.


Hawk Lake

The two white spots in center are pelicans,


This lizard was quite happy to sit two feet from me for quite a while.

Clouds over Hyde Lake

Back to the ranch to shower and get ready for dinner.  Ranch style buffet feeding 25-30 people.  Several families of nearby and not quite so nearby friends and relations.  After dinner the kids played with their uncle/cousin Joe.  They would run around and he would rope them like a cow or a horse.  Often he would catch them in bunches. At twilight we lit a large fire to sit around and began the festivities.  Sparklers for about 14 kids for a half hour or so and then fireworks for all.

July 3, 2009

Day on the ranch

My cousin had a chore she wanted tackled that had been put off for a while.  The task was installing a hood over her cast iron kitchen range/oven.  Sounds simple enough.  Complicating factors:  the house is nearly 100 years old,  the exterior walls including the wall the stove is on are 18” thick lava stone,  the ceiling is exposed beam with a beam right over the stove, there is no electrical power on that wall for the hood fan and light.  It became quickly apparent why the task had bee put off.  It took the efforts of four people for most of the day but the final installation looks clean and functions well and will be a good addition.

Late in the afternoon Ken, Julie, Amanda, and Nicholas arrived from their stay on the Oregon coast.  Again the new kids were introduced to Lizzy and the quad and ranch life became interesting. 


July 2, 2009

Yamsi Ranch. 

We left Redding before 9 am and it was already hot.  Easy drive up  I-5 with lots of trucks and then over to Klamath Falls on US97.

Two views of Mount Shasta.

Shasta NOrth sideShasta south side

In Klamath Falls we picked up some fireworks and milk and filled both vehicles with gas.  Up the east side of Klamath Lake and right at Chiloquin.  Thirty miles and one mountain later we turned in to Yamsi Ranch.  Yamsi Ranch is owned by my cousins and I have been visiting and sometimes living here since my pre-teen years. It is a large working cattle ranch.  The headwaters of the Williamson River start just outside their fence and the first six or seven miles of the river flows through their land.  This section of river has some of the best fly fishing in the world.  This is not a boast but an evaluation of many the best fly fishermen.  If interested in fishing at Yamsi click this link.

We spent some time greeting and visiting and about mid-afternoon Dan, Lori, Griffin, and Claire arrived.  They had been spending a few days in the Bend area.  The kids were introduced to their cousin Lizzy who introduced them to the quad runner and from then on the ranch looked pretty good to the city kids.  Dan was introduced to the mysteries of fly casting and that pretty much filled his spare moments while he was here.


Williamson River


The dot in the water in the center of the picture is a muskrat.  It swam within three feet of us but I was slow to take picture.

Sunset over the Williamson River.