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Old 11-03-2009, 09:14 AM   #1
Jenn OP
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Location: Oakland
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What I Did On My Summer Vacation - Oakland to Portland Round-Trip

I've always wanted to go to Oregon - and haven't been camping at my favorite spot up in Mendocino in a couple years, so when my contract job ended, I decided to make tracks. My friend Scott was also toying with the idea of going up to Oregon and had put in for time off but hadn't put together an itinerary. I put together my itinerary and we planned our shared riding/camping times around our visits to other friends along the way.

WEEK 1 (MAP #1): Only difference here is that Scott went to Willow Creek via I-5, I went via 101 and Arcata (and two days earlier).
  • 07/29 - Wednesday: Jenn to Arcata
  • 07/30 - Thursday: Jenn to Willow Creek for camping
  • 07/31 - Friday: Jenn still at Willow Creek, adhering to strict schedule of sitting in the river, wearing hat, sunglasses & sunblock, drinking cold PBR with her books, napping, collecting blackberries, eating, napping, sitting in the river and counting shooting stars.
  • 08/01 - Saturday: Scott finds Jenn's campsite - coffee in Willow Creek - Hoopa - Martin's Ferry Bridge to Bald Hills Rd (part paved, about 20 miles dirt) - lots of sweepers and hill top prairie - to Redwood Nat'l Forest - Crescent City - Jedediah Smith Park was full so we got info about good routes for dispersed camping and went another 15 miles dirt on Gasquet Mountain
  • 08/02 - Sundayescend 15-20 miles dirt/gravel to town of Smith River and a conveniently located drive-through espresso kiosk - Brookings - up Hwy 101 in very chilly fog bank, turn east at Coos Bay along gorgeous Umpqua River with sun at our backs to Drain then to our final destination, delightful company and delicious home cooked dinner at Cris & Cliff's in Lorane OR
  • 08/03 - Monday: Scott to Corvallis - Jenn & Cris to wineries, lunch in Eugene and other girl things
  • 08/04 - Tuesday: Jenn to Corvallis for lunch w/Scott then to Newberg to visit 91 year old uncle (picture Jenn doing the Lake Oswego-Newberg-Portland-Lake Oswego-Newburg trip about 3 times)
  • 08/05 - Wednesday: Jenn still on Lake Oswego/Newburg/Portland loop; Scott to McMenamin's Edgfield/Troutdale
  • 08/06 - Thursday: Portland/Troutdale for both of us to check out Powell's City of Books
WEEK 2 (MAP #2): after meeting up with Scott, we spent the rest of this trip together, for better or worse.
  • 08/07 - Friday: Troutdale to Hood River via Columbia Gorge, then down through Dee to Zig Zag via Lolo Pass (lots of fog and cold - no pictures), up to Gov't Camp and back to Rhododendron for the night
  • 08/08 - Saturday: Rhododendron - Gov't Camp - Little Crater Lake (pix!) - about 25 miles dirt on NFD 58 Rd and 57 Rd (bad signs) - to Bagby Hot Springs to camp & soak
  • 08/09 - Sunday: Gorgeous NFD 46 Rd to Detroit (huuuuuuuuuge reservoir & shmancy ranger station) - beautiful roads through Mt Hood & Willammette Nat'l Forests to McKenzie (first covered bridge!), Rainbow (horrible food), past Cougar reservoir (passed hot springs due to crowd), Westfir (red covered bridge), Oakridge and then stopping at Blue Pool Camp Ground near McCredie Hot Springs.
  • 08/10 - Monday: morning at McCredie Hot Springs (gorgeous!), drive to Oakridge for fuel & supplies
WEEK 2, part 2 (MAP #3): Google maps doesn't think that some of the roads we took are actually roads - PLUS - it seems to think that roads going into Crater Lake from the north and around the Rim are one-way - so suffice it to say that they need another visit to this area (ok, twist my arm - I'll go for Google Maps!) - and we circumnavigated Crater Lake, no big exciting dirt roads on the way from Crater Lake to Weed though we did see beautiful mountains.
  • 08/10 - Monday: continued - Oakridge south along Hills Creek Reservoir (more beautiful than Cougar - clear and underutilized!) - Secret Camp (you know we had to stop there! how secret is it if there is a sign?) - Diamond Drive partly paved and about 25-30 miles dirt/gravel through Willammette & Deschutes Nat'l Forests (we only had maps for Willammette and the road we used is not marked on Google maps so approximates our egress from gravel) - past Lemolo Lake - enter Crater Lake N.M. - overnight in Fort Klamath at Wilson's Cottages
WEEK 2, part 3 (MAP #4): Crater Lake Lodge to Weed - 10 mile of dirt on Military pass and 15 or 20 miles of dirt on Sand Creek Rd
  • 08/11 - Tuesday: Crater Lake circumnavigation - head south toward Mt Shasta, overnight in Weed
  • 08/12 - Wednesday: Drive around Mt Shasta to Military Pass Rd - double back & south on I-5 - lunch in Red Bluffs - exit freeway near Willows on Sand Creek Rd for another 25 miles dirt to north end Capay Valley - 505 to 80 - cut through surface streets from Vacaville to Fairfield - order thai food for pick up at vista point off 80 and then head for the east bay!

Trip Tally: 2260 miles for Jenn (slightly less for Scott - no back & forths to Newberg!)
  • 90 million dead bugs on our jackets & motorcycles
  • 80 million pine trees
  • 8,000 blackberries & marionberries
  • 91 year old uncle who was happy to see me!
  • 30 bored elk eating someone's front lawn
  • 20 dead skunks on the side of the road (I've noticed an increase in CA, too - poplation boom?)
  • 15 places called olallie-something
  • 10 waterfalls (or so)
  • 9 mosquito bites
  • 6 too many servings of hash browns (with some mushrooms, onions, peppers if you have them - no butter) and dry wheat toast
  • 5 kitties (Brian, Chester, Tristan & Tiger, Maschka)
  • 4 chances to drive through clouds
  • 4 homecooked meals with Cris
  • 3 vegan restaurants
  • 3 jars of local honey (bad vegan!)
  • 3 cute pre/teen girls
  • 2 softball games
  • 2 hot springs personally tested by us
  • 2 covered bridges
  • 2 pretty and talky birdies (Pablo Picasso the parrot & Max the Macaw)
  • 1 suicidal squirrel, RIP
  • 1 black bear!
  • 1 parking ticket
  • 1 cute fluffy white puppy
  • 1 pit bull
  • 1 leopard gecko
  • 0 thefts from our gear on our bikes
  • 0 speeding tickets
  • 0 accidents
For me, this was really fun because as a child, when I thought about "camping" - my mental image based on books I had read was that of mountains with cool streams and rivers for canoeing, lots of tall pines, blue skies, hot days and cool nights, campfires and the sound of a stream running by your tent while you looked at the stars.

As a child, however, I lived in rural Napa County and my camping requests were usually met with "You want to go camping? Sleep out on the back deck!"

For Scott, we got to see two major places on his "To See" list (Mt Shasta & Crater Lake). Both of us got to reconnect with old friends and make new friends - both people and animals. We had the chance to explore lots of areas and have many ideas about future trips to do more exploration (Mt Shasta and Hunt Hot Springs are high on my list for next summer!).

At one of the many drive-through redwood trees in Northern California:




Scenic overlook above Arcata, looking West:




Camping without a tent off the S Fork Trinity River:


Next to an amazing river:


With all the blackberries you can eat:


And cute frogs to guard your drinks, chilling in the fresh spring trickling off the hillside:
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:16 AM   #2
Jenn OP
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Stewart's Ferry Bridge - it's a bit decrepit and one way in the middle:


...but offers spectacular views


Just don't stop on the side of the road to pull of layers - you may have the tribal sheriff run an ID check on you. Seriously - we look really dangerous - would some renegade pot farmers be parked out on the shoulder like this in plain view? *DOH*


Bald Mountain Road - basically a prairie or savannah - but at a bit of altitude - just stunning - with great dirt roads:




People and elk watching in Elk (of course!)


Jedediah Smith was full so we went up Gasquet Mountain for dispersed camping. We realized our good fortune in the morning - being above the chilly, damp fog (of course, we had to drive down through it)




We wondered why were were getting mosquito bites on a seemingly dry mountain - but exploring nearby on the red dirt roads, we found a hillside seeping with springwater and covered with carnivorous plants (who weren't really doing their job at 100%, if you ask me).



Lots of fun dirt roads to explore...


Southwest Oregon - "Agates," Myrtlewood and ships dragged up on shore and made into restaurants:


There were also amazing coastal vistas - much of which were socked in with fog (brr!!)

And you've heard about this - but it's true - some people get a "Lion Cut" for their cats - and Chester here doesn't seem to mind:


View from winery in Crow, near Lorane (west of Eugene) - just stunning country:



Columbia Gorge is full of amazing waterfalls:


...and tourists:


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Old 11-03-2009, 09:17 AM   #3
Jenn OP
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Just don't forget - they snowboard all summer at Mt Hood - it's FREAKING COLD up there - we were perpetually in this cloud/fog bank - making the ride over Lolo pass chillllly:


Little Crater Lake was cute - nice small campground and tiny little natural spring pool with turquoise water:


The Willamette Forest is just stunning:


...with lots of nice dirt roads and no traffic


Here we cross from Willamette to Mt Hood National Forest - yay! More Forest!


Here's a great covered bridge outside Oakridge - we didn't photograph McKinley - it was even more cool


Camped at Blue Pool near a beautiful river - quiet campground, too!


with interesting fauna


and adjacent to McCredie Springs
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:17 AM   #4
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We took Diamond Drive - all the way - and were wishing we had sport bikes for the paved areas.



The secret is out!


Still on Diamond Drive


Some steep drops off the road - nobody would find you for months!


Going through burned watershed was eerie



...and, hey! a volcano!


Finally, Crater Lake!




More strange fauna


Ghost ship in the background
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:18 AM   #5
Jenn OP
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At Rogue River - a really curious bit of flora - a living stump!



Rogue River Gorge



Mt Shasta


View from the north


Sand Creek Road - outside Arbuckle




Capay Valley


THE END.
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:17 AM   #6
contacterich
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Beautiful trip/photos! Thanks for sharing...
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:29 AM   #7
Thorne
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Thanks for sharing your adventure.......
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Old 11-03-2009, 02:21 PM   #8
GB
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Well, you did a lot more than I did this summer!! You had a great ride.. thanks for the beautiful pics and report
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:15 PM   #9
nicomama
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Gotta see this part of the country

Jenn Mama,

Gonna be zipping up to Portland on a beeline trip from LA to Portland roundtrip in 7 days on 7/8/10. Thanks for posting your fun adventure. I will be PMing you to see if you know of any campgrounds in the Grants Pass area.

Have fun on your Big Sur/Grand Canyon trip. You're going to have a ball!

You're awesome,
Nicole
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:18 PM   #10
Clem Kevin
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awesome, you guys did some routes I'm planning to ride in a few weeks. Getting me excited here!
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:03 AM   #11
Jenn OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clem Kevin
awesome, you guys did some routes I'm planning to ride in a few weeks. Getting me excited here!
Thanks!

It was just so gorgeous in Central Oregon - just remember to bring extra warm layers as it is chilly on Mt Hood in August - can't imagine how chilly it is now!
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