Day 15 Drive: Redding, CA to Sisters, OR

It doesn’t seem to matter what time we get up, or how much we dawdle, or even if we sleep in. When we check out and ask Dingbat for vectors, the ETA is always 1320. Of course, that doesn’t mean we ever arrive before 1500 – there’s usually a lunch stop and a fuel stop. Sometimes there’s a shopping stop, and quite often there’s a scenic tour.


Last time we drove from California to Oregon, we were on the coastal highway, where you dip in and out of the redwood forests, and carve down to the rugged beaches of the Pacific. Very scenic. This time we were further inland, and crossed that same border at a very different place. I never saw such a desolate and desperate looking town. There were rusty remnants of some kind of logging industry, and weathered old wooden sheds waiting to fall down. It was Saturday, and every block had a yard sale, but nobody seemed to have much left except old clothes. Didn’t see a small appliance or a coffee table or even a lamp.  Even after we picked up speed again, derelict gas stations seemed to be a theme for the next hour or two, mostly with the company logos removed or painted over, some still displaying prices in the two dollar range.


Today’s scenic tour was Crater Lake. Our road atlas (we don’t entrust our lives entirely to Dingbat) shows that you can dive off the big highways for an hour or two, see Crater Lake and rejoin the major roads afterwards, refreshed and revitalized. The truth is, Crater Lake is located at the top of the Cascade Mountains, and it gets buried in snow. Regularly. Parts of the park are only accessible in August and September. May is pushing it. We were able to get to the lake, but the snow, which started out like this



got deeper and deeper, until it looked like this:



Don’t forget, if you want a closer look, you can click on the image to see it full size.



We actually had to climb on top of about ten feet of it, to take this picture of Caroline at Crater Lake. The temperature here was 5C, and the fog had just lifted. The path back down to the parking lot was steep and slushy, and one older woman (older than me, and that means she gets a seniors discount)  had stopped to see how she could work her way down without risking a fall. I put my boy scout hat on and let her take my arm. We went very slowly, and we did not fall. I didn’t tell her that my driving mocassins have all the winter traction of a Krazy Karpet.


As you can see, there was a lot of snow, and the north route out of the park wasn’t open today. We had to backtrack quite a ways, so we stopped for lunch once we got far enough downhill for it to warm up a bit. We found a rest stop that was less than half buried in snow and made lunch.


Back on the highway, with a revised ETA for Sisters of 1556. Also watched the GPS trip distance tick over 7000km since we left home. By the way, I haven’t mentioned Motorhomes vs Trailers lately. Numbers were high in California, where my RVs beat Caroline every day, sometimes by as much as 67 to 40. Today the tables turned, and Caroline outscored me by something like 26 to 18. 


When we came to Sisters before, we were westbound from Idaho Falls, so we had a different route into town today, and realized that this town is bigger than we thought. Still, it looks just as beautiful as we remembered. The Llamas are still here, and the nice guys on the front desk let us upgrade to a suite, so we have fabulous accommodations again. Got here in time to do laundry before the majority of the guests arrive, and then we’re heading out for dinner.

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