From Brookings, OR we headed just enough south to swing northeast on US 199 to Grants Pass and then south on Interstate 5 a few miles to The Valley of the Rogue State Park.
This is a really nice park right on the Rogue with much less freeway noise than you would think considering its location. As you can see, fall is upon us. It proved to be the ideal location to do a little uninhibited exploration of the area and for a run up to Crater Lake National Park which we had not visited since the early 80’s.
We stopped and took a short hike on the way up and were rewarded with this view. The caption simply says it all.
Between Medford and Crater Lake is this “must see” stop. The entire Rogue River flows through an old lava tube forming a natural bridge. It is easy to find and only about a mile off the highway. The beautiful level hike is on a paved trail across a foot bridge and up the river. The scenery is unforgettable.
An awe-inspiring sight and we certainly managed to pick a perfect day!
This view of the smaller of the two islands in Crater Lake was a short (uphill but worth the effort) hike from the highway through the park.
This giant private campsite was courtesy of our White City friends Peggy and Gerry where we spent a couple or three days imposing on their hospitality and enjoying every minute. (Hope you guys make it down to our place this winter!!)
We are really on the road home now. Decided to enjoy dinner at this lodge tonight. We had picked up some groceries and did enough laundry to probably get us home. There was a lot of freeway noise here but was great for our needs.
It was here at Placerville that our trip got rerouted. On our way up highway 50 we saw warning signs stating that the road was closed due to the King fire. The television news that evening had the highway reopened but by morning it was closed again. So rather than head back north to Interstate 80 or take one of the higher and more difficult passes we decided to take US99 south. See the big pyrocumulus cloud in the picture above? The fire is only about 30 miles up the road from us. (Pyrocumulus are clouds that are formed by the intense heat from fires and volcanic eruptions. That is your miscellaneous trivia lesson for the trip.) By the way this was another great place for an Elk to stay.
Next stop Fresno, while here we went to a well advertised farmers market that simply did not exist, so we had to settle for a Trader Joe’s grocery store which was a pretty good compromise but not what we had driven 20 miles to do.
This is a very large Campground and we spent three nights here. The first night in we had dinner in the lodge. It was much quieter here than at Fresno, a very welcome relief as we have been moving nearly every day and it was time for R&R.
In the Mojave Desert one can find some unexpected things. One of those is the Antelope Valley Indian Museum, a Swiss Chalet like structure which once was the home of Howard Arden Edwards a theatrical set painter and his Indian Research Museum. It has passed through several other hands and is now part of the California State Park System and houses a rather eclectic collection of native art, treen, tools, pottery, textiles, baskets, and implements from all over North America. The first day that we spent here we found some great food at a farmer’s market that really did exist as advertised.
He we are right outside of Palm Springs, CA. The drive here was thankfully short as we are very near Los Angeles, the city that gave California Drivers a bad name. Insane, I’ll say nothing more. We went to another non-existent Farmers Market, found a very marginal used book store, spent 1.5 hours going 2.5 miles on a 12 lane section of Interstate 10 in 107 degree weather, and went to a very large outlet mall.
We rode the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, a spectacular 5,873 foot 10 minute climb to the top of Mount San Jacinto. It was almost chilly up there and the views were astounding. This made Palm Springs a worth the time and effort destination.
Our last 2 nights on the road for this trip. From Palm Springs we headed west on interstate 10 and then south on route 86 to El Centro where we set up for the night and went shopping at Costco. Then west again on interstate 8 to Gila Bend with a rest stop in Dateland, AZ to get dates. We also purchased some garden ornaments at a couple of purveyors of Mexican crafts in Gila Bend.
Well we made it home again. Fifty-five hundred miles on Bertha and almost twice that on the truck in 128 days.
Would I do it again? Oh I might, but there are still many new adventures awaiting us. We will be home for a while doing other things and making new plans.
Keep your tires turning, there is always something new and interesting just around the corner.
Your Random Rover (and Migrant Non-Worker).