Monday, September 28, 2015

Lovely Likely

We are moving slowly down historic Highway 395.  We have made it through Oregon and find ourselves in Likely, California.  We will be in northeastern California until HWY 395 cuts over into Nevada for a short while. 

The next few days we are at Likely Golf and RV Resort.  This 542 acre former ranch has an 18 hole golf course but most of the acreage is pine forest, streams and small spring fed lakes. 

There are nice hiking trails through the woods and meadows.  We saw 5 mule deer, several jack rabbits, quail, red tail hawks and dozens of different birds on todays hike.  It's been a nice place to spend some quiet time.

In the last week we have seen 100's of antelope, more coyote than we can count, dozens of wild turkey and deer of every type.  There has been no shortage of wildlife.

Another almost dry Northern California lake.
One thing we keep seeing is that the drought has left many huge lakes dry or almost empty.  The picture above is 20 mile long Lake Abert, it only has a tiny fraction of the water it once held.

We camped on Goose Lake on the Oregon/California border.  This massive 30 mile long lake has no water left.  And no geese either.

Can you imagine a lake larger than Lake Washington or Lake Chelan going dry?  It's strangely beautiful but must be awful for the farmers and ranchers that live here.

We are headed to Reno/Carson City later this week but first we're headed for a few days of boondocking in the Plumas National Forest between here and Reno.

We've managed to cover 732 miles in the last 14 days.... not a fast pace.

Life is good.

Friday, September 25, 2015

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

We're spending two days at Clyde Holliday State Park in Eastern Oregon.  It is one of the prettiest state parks we have ever seen.  It is a well manicured park set among pine, aspen and maple trees alongside a gently flowing river.  We are backed-up in the perfect spot to hear the water flowing past.

The reason we are stopped here along Highway 395 is to get to visit and hike John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.  The good reviews I read were correct and we have enjoyed seeing this national park.

Our first hike up Blue Basin.

They have displays of prehistoric fossils of animals that
were captured inside these rocks.

Eva gets a water break in a small spot of shade along the trail.
It was a warm hike in the mid 80's sunshine.  My photos don't capture the blue/green colors of the canyon very well.  It is an unusual sight to be in a blue canyon.

Our second hike was the "Flood of Fire Trail".  It was a short hike to the edge of a cliff.  It ended with a view down into a valley between two mountains.  I did not see any "Flood of Fire".

On the drive back we stopped and looked at Cathedral Rock.  The beautiful John Day River flows through the park.

It's Friday which can mean only one thing.  It's time to find a Mexican restaurant for dinner tonight.  We're headed to the big town for dinner and grocery shopping.  I know how to show Terri a good time.

Life is good.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

What in the Sam Hill are we doing?

We are about a hundred miles up the Columbia River in Maryhill.  We are staying at Maryhill State Park which is down the road from a museum we have talked about seeing for years.

The Maryhill Museum sits on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River.  It is in the middle of nowhere.  Built by Sam Hill for his wife, she refused to live that far from civilization, so it was never lived in and sat empty for years.  Finally Sam decided to make it a world class museum.  He had the money to do anything he wanted to do.  Even in the middle of nowhere.

The view South from the house/museum.
Sam filled the museum with art from around the world.  I have to say he had good taste.

Terri striking a pose.
I enjoyed the Northwest Native art more than the European and Chinese art.  Of course the blown glass was great but not as colorful as I am used to.

So what do you build in the middle of nowhere if money is no object?  Stonehenge.  Makes good sense to add to your legacy, right?

Eva enjoys her time in England.  A cultured dog.
So in case you have ever wondered where the saying, "What in the Sam Hill are you doing?" you now know where the expression came from.  Crazy man or genius?  I'm not sure, but it was fun seeing his place.

Life is good.... even though Terri was eaten by this giant flower.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Hot Rod

We have spent our first week in our South bound travels in Toutle, Washington visiting Terri's brother and SIL.  We seem to stop by for a visit as we pass by Shan and Beth's place twice a year.  It is such a comfortable place to be that we've had our longest visit since being retired.

Shan has been building his dream hotrod for years.  The 1940 Chevy is nearing completion.  Here are a few photos that I shot the other day.

The hood is off for some engine work.

Chrome, chrome and more chrome.
Nothing stock on this dash.
The interior is just about done.  It has taken 12 cow hides to complete the seats, headliner and door panels. The trunk will be done next in matching leather.

Back seat. 
The front seats are completed but sitting outside the car as interior work is done.
Pin striping on the trunk.
Matching valve covers.

Love that shine.
We have enjoyed our time with Shan and Beth but we will hit the road on Monday morning.  It will be Highway 14 along the Washington side of the Columbia River and then south on Highway 395 through Eastern Oregon and Northern California.

Life is good.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Heading South for the Winter

Tuesday morning we begin our travels South for the Winter.  It will be a slow paced drive for a little over 5 weeks.  We plan to arrive in Mazatl├ín on October 22nd.  We are turning a one week drive into a five week wander.

Last year my goal in traveling South was to visit every lighthouse along the West coast.  It was a fun trip .

This years "theme" is small towns.  We are going to travel old highway 395 through Eastern Oregon, Northeast California and Western Nevada.  We'll end our U.S. travels in Tucson, Arizona.

Highway 395 is from the era of Route 66 and is the historic road going from San Diego to the Canadian border.  The sections we will be traveling are dotted with small towns and a few ghost towns.

It's time to see what's there.

Life is good.... time for another adventure.