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Saturday, August 31, 2019

Reservations, Mt. Thielson, The Lake: The Estate Takes on Alaska

Copyright 2019, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

August 26, 2019

Today we MUST get some reservations for the upcoming Labor Day weekend.  Practically everyone that owns a rig wants to camp.  We just want to start east and homeward.

 Man has heard about this beach near here, like 1/2 mile, maybe.  Everyone says the connections there are good.  It’s not well marked and we drove past it yesterday, not realizing.  Today, he is determined we will find that spot, he has better directions.

 And, find it we do!  And, yes, Sprint connectivity was perky!  We spent hours there, sitting at the picnic tables, Sir W in his collapsible pen, enjoying the day, the view.  Not bad, eh??

And, we snagged reservations for the weekend in several different parks.  

We took a short ride around Diamond Lake and went to a high view point for Diamond Lake.  The view of the lake was OK, but, that volcano, Mt. Thielson!  Now, that was special.

As we drove around the lake, I spotted some fireweed, I have been looking for some that shows a bloom and a bit of seed on the same stalk at the same time.  Some of my RVing friends and I have been discussing fireweed over at Facebook for weeks.  Such great fun and finally, I found a place where I found my target AND I could stop and take a photo.  So, I took several - - 

I actually grabbed the top and pulled it away from all other greenery in an attempt to show it was only one plant.  Yes, I tend to be obsessive.  LOL


Clearwater Falls, Connectivity and Crater Lake, It Really IS that Blue: The Estate Takes on Alaska

Copyright 2019, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

August 25, 2019

A pokey slow start to the day.  

Off to the lodge up the road a couple of miles, owned by the same man who owns this campground.  We can sit there and use their Wifi all day long if we want.

 Instead of just sitting, we had lunch there, and it was good.  

What with lunch and a few more minutes, I managed to completely catch up on the blog posting.  I had the photos all done, except one, and the notes I keep each day in the “journal”, some fast and furious copy/paste and no proofing, and bam, all done.

Then we drove 138 and went waterfall hunting.  Clearwater Falls, may have been some of the prettiest falls we have seen this entire trip!  I would have been happy sitting there for a long time, till some 8 year old boy was allowed to run to the very edge of the top of the falls by his adults.  I thought for sure he was going down.  I had to leave, I could not stand watching the shenanigans.

We decided to go on to Crater Lake National Park, even tho it was late in the afternoon, like 3:30.  It was a “free” park day, and we had been reluctant to fight the crowds.  Past experience has shown us that later afternoon visits can be quite nice and quiet.  True today.  

On the way, I snapped a photo of the fire piles of dead trees, etc. It appears that there is serious thinning of overgrown, older forest areas.  I have no idea if it is for fire or just healthy forests, but, in this area there are significant areas (acres and acres) of these piles.  For some reason, many of the piles are covered in black plastic.  Why?  Have no idea.

We drove to the Rim Village area, stopping at most of the turn offs along the way.

 What they say about Crater Lake - - its all true!  The light was fabulous and the lake IS that blue!

Driving in from the North Entrance, after driving through many miles of tree lined road, it turns to a desert-like zone.

I'm a sucker for strong and different geological formations.  This one ranks well on all counts, strong, different, and just ole amazing.

And - - near the junction of the North Entrance and the "Rim Roads".

This is the 2nd photo I took of Crater Lake.  Yes, it is that blue!  Auto correct from photoshop barely changed this, it's basically straight out of my camera.  Sony III only has a haze filter.  It IS this blue!

A bit of snow is left on the right side of the photo - -

Indeed -- shapes - -

Close up of the snow - -

Yes, another photo of this dramatic formation - - you may scroll on now - - 

Look hard, see the building at the top??  This is a fire tower.  There is a hiking path near the base of this hill, we did not even think about it, the trail will take you to the fire tower, the trail is called the Watchman Peak Trail on All-Trails.  I bet the views would be spectacular.  Note, Sony III zoom was responsible for this image, the tower is about 400 feet above the road and is about a 1 mile hike to the top.

Sharp, shapes, sighhhhh

And, people being people, there were some that put their lives in danger by going past "don't go past here" signs and walking out to dangerous places for photo ops.  SIGH  And, sadly, there were families with very young children that were feeding these chipmunks.  The parents were teaching their daughter, who had to be about 5 years old, to hold her hand out very still, so the chipmunk would come take the food from her.  I would be worried about the chipmunk biting, but, not these parents. I'm still shaking my head in bewilderment.

Look at those stuffed cheek pouches - - stuffed with human food - - sighh

I noticed during our drive in via the North Entrance that there had been a fire, on the west side, that did not seem to have jumped the road to the east side.  Here are two photos, taken less than one minute from each other, first the west side, burned, then the east side, not burned.

As we head back to Diamond Lake and camp, I capture the lake, Diamond Lake.  It is a very pretty lake, just for the record.

Back at camp, we are in a new campsite, so far, it is nicer.  The other site was quite sunny, not level at all,  we could not get The Estate level and the neighbor was rank.  Just an awful human.

 New campsite we are level without any levelers at all, no neighbors close enough to be rank and trees should keep this site cooler.  I sat out until 7:45 or so, and not one skeeter.  It’s been too dry.  Oh, the internet MIGHT be a wee bit more responsive in the new site.  How’s them apples, as they ask.  

Fire danger is “High”.  

All in all this has been a wonderful day, the weather was favorable, skies blue, the Clearwater Falls were some of the prettiest we have seen all summer and Crater Lake is all they say it is and more, and it is BLUE as BLUE can be.


Sunday, August 25, 2019

Day of Rest and More Rest: The Estate Takes on Alaska

Copyright 2019, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

August 24, 2019

It is full on sun. We really don’t move much till 9 am. I don’t get dressed till 11 am. 

I put the “tin foil” back in my window as the sun is direct, strong and warming up the interior quickly.   

Plans for today. REST and REST some more. 

Awning and chairs are out. 

I’m ready for a nap.  

Internet is limping. Man cannot connect.  I am connected if I hold my breath long enough. There is internet at the lodge owned by the same man who owns the campground. It’s not walking distance, at least not today. 

Made lunch. Did some computer chores, backing up photos, downloading first from Sony III.  Worked on photos for future blog posts. 

Warm.  Ran the air conditioner. Lazy all day.  Needed a day of rest, so took it!


Crater Lake, Here We Come - - The Estate Takes on Alaska

Copyright 2019, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

August 23, 2019

We are headed to Crater Lake. First another grocery stop and a fuel stop. We had forgotten about the Oregon law of no self serve at gas stations. We find it frustrating, as some places do not have enough attendants and the waits are excruciating and painful.  We had a Taco Bell while we waited for fuel. The Taco Bell was fast as much as the fuel is slow.  

Around Salem it looks painfully dry.  

Look at this cool bridge - - cannot research it right now - - it has to be a good story - - note there is a dam in the background (right).

And, a tunnel -

We approach Crater by using 58. We eventually climb about 5000 feet. Pretty rivers, lakes and lots of tall pine trees of undefined species. 

This is Diamond Point - - in silhouette.

Pretty - -

We are only a few miles from the north park entrance and pretty much got one of the last campsites again. It’s not level, I hope I don’t roll off on to the floor while asleep!  

We drove about 200 miles today.  It was about 84 degrees when we arrived. 


Nothing Found, Portland and Points Beyond, Here We Come: The Estate Takes on Alaska

Copyright 2019, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

August 22, 2019

At Cummins, to see if it can be discovered why we smell gasoline in the coach after we turn off the generator.

 We check in a 7 AM, don’t ask how that early rise junk went.  It was not pretty.

 First attempt - - they cannot find anything wrong with the generator. SIGHHH 

Back to our overnight spot, we will try running the generator for an hour and see if we can recreate the issue. 

Failed to recreate?  We ended up having to leave but have a letter of what they tested and found. The lemonade - - we are sure there is nothing wrong with the generator.

Pizza and Italian for lunch. Fred Meyer for some groceries, oh dear, forgot the yogurt. Sigh. 

Loaded up and headed for 5 south. 

Yep, there are bridges - - a double - - twice the special.

Portland. Traffic horrible, took well over an hour to get from. North side to south side. Win the prize for dodging between lanes,  they are, for the most part, Swift and clean, snap, outta one lane, snap, into the next one.  They have obviously had a lot of practice. 

182 miles. 

Lovely campsite and the crickets or something are chirping away. Nice!  


Back to Sumner We Go, RAIN RAIN RAIN: The Estate Takes on Alaska

Copyright 2019, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

August 21, 2019

Today we head  back to Sumner to have the generator looked at.  

It’s raining.  More like dribbling most of the time.

We left camp late, about 11:30, after several u-turns, a wee bit of stressful cussing, we fueled up. Another u-turn put us on I-5.  We found a subway, lots of traffic. Lunch. 

Back on I-5 we headed back into the Seattle fray and arrived in Sumner by 2. We are parking tonight in the free 3 site RV “campground “ at Cummins. 

Hopefully tomorrow they will fix our generator.  

For now, we will sorta rest. To the sound of industrial park traffic.  This is not our first rodeo of this kind. 

46 miles today.   

We take naps, rest and I do blog post work. 

It rains, sometimes hard, then, stops, then, an hour later, it starts raining again.  We were glad we got here about 2, as by 3 the traffic was solid, and stayed that way for well over 2 hours.  There is a train nearby.  Music to our ears.


Leaving the Peninsula, Aberdeen and Olympia: The Estate Takes on Alaska

Copyright 2019, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

August 20, 2019

We have mild temps, in the mid 50’s and favorable skies, mostly sun.  Considering this is a “RAIN” forest, I think we will count ourselves as very lucky to have 2 days of sun.

Seriously, they make the pines huge here.  I did a bottom to top panoramic.  LOL  It's a bit curvy.  You get the idea tho!

Go to the largest Sitka Pine in the World. It is one block away from our campsite - - if you look closely, you will see someone walking up to the tree, a small someone, well, they just look small, it was an adult!

Pull out of camp about 10:50. We are off to Olympia today.  No stops planned. 

Someone had trimmed some evergreens like bonsi, OR, they were just healthy shrubs of a different kind.  Sunflowers growing on the corner in downtown Aberdeen.

 Traffic in Aberdeen was horrible.  Just bad!  We were pretty much at a standstill for 20 to 30, maybe 40 minutes.  Sometimes it is good to not know the real numbers. 

We saw this along the way, and since my internet is so pathetic, I have no idea what it is, if you know, let me know - - 

We pulled over at a shopping center where we saw some fast food places, cause.  LOL  It is Tuesday, mid day and the parking lot is quite full.  Not like our all but defunct mall in our county seat.  Where are all these people going and all that shopping.  Man suggested possibly back to school shopping? 

On to Olympia where the campground is nice, laundry, clean up time.  It got HOT!  Low 80’s outside. We got the last full hookup site in the campground.  This time it was not that we were small enough, it was all the timing, just the timing of Man’s call to reserve.

 The electric pole we were supposed to use is wired wrong, polarity issue.  The Progressive electric minder would not turn on the power.  Saved by the Progressive.  We plugged into another power pole.

Wrote and edited 4 blog posts. 

Drove 99 miles today.  


Falls, The 31 Mile Drive, Bump, Noise, Yikes: The Estate Takes on Alaska

Copyright 2019, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

August 19, 2019

Foggy start, calm seas. 

And, a pretty river view as we travel along.

Breakfast in Folk. 

Big ole rock spun at us from a car approaching us. Man managed to miss it. 

Sun wants to try. 

Curvy, log trucks going a wee bit fast. 

Frost heaves?

Driving along the beaches. Pretty views what with rocks in the water. 

Almost black beaches, so smooth.

Found at the pull off where I took the ocean photos, flower was about 3 inches across, ID unknown.

Stopped at The Lake Quinault area. Found a public campground we could fit in and had lots of sites. We picked one, went and registered. We left nothing in the site, and went out to explore. When we came back later the campground had given our site to someone else?  We moved to another site. There are tons open. It's a pretty campground, but, the management leaves a bit to be desired, in my book.

Nice view from the campground - - 

And, we have favorable sun.

Went to Gatton Creek Trail. .8 of a mile, with an elevation gain that was significant. (I checked this trail with AllTrails later and it was actually .9 of a mile, one way.  In the first .3 of a mile we went from 225 feet elevation to 373 feet.  Yes, what with my allergies to most things pine, etc., I could really feel this elevation gain.  Yikes!) 

Sir W went too. He got a comb out afterwards in the parking lot. Met a family that were visiting the area of the ashes of their father. before we knew that Man offered to take a group photo of them and indeed insisted they move to better light and took their photo again. 

Sir W led the way, all the way, even after .9 of a mile he would not submit to being carried.  Nope run back down the trail!

Rain forest - - yes indeed.

I saw at least 3 of these cut trees sporting fungi.  They were so cool!

Sir W sporting some local ferns.  He was such a mess that after the hike I had to sit out side and brush it all out!  He had a blast, cept for the grooming part!  And, he slept well!

Our best view of the waterfall.

Then we went for a 31 mile drive around the lake. Ohh myyy!  Washboard was so bad it shook The Estate microwave, and it started making horrible noises. The dishes moved and were banging. It had not been that long that I felt I had the rattles under control and was feeling pretty pleased with all my creative sound silencing tricks.  And after that little tour, it sounded like every bolt and screw on The Estate had wiggled loose.  I was sorta deflated. Sigh. I found some of the noise makers right off, but it took me riding in the back while Man drove slow on that back road to pinpoint the major noise maker. It was one screw holding the shroud on. Which holds the microwave in. Only they installed the entire works so it looks straight and plumb, but the two legs on the right do not touch anything. They are floating. It’s so bizarre.  We have no way to fix it properly right now, so put it all back together , and it’s quiet again.  Stay tuned. This may or may not be finished!

There are two waterfalls, I liked the first one best.

What a pretty view - - mountains, teal river - - believe this is the North Fork of the Quinault River.

The second set of falls, longer and harder to get a photo!

And, another pretty view of the North Fork of the Quinault River.

We crossed this bridge - - 

It is entirely possible these photos are sorta out of order - - let's pretend they are fine.  

The 31 miles was mostly through a rain forest.  I official claim that there never need be a rain forest on our bucket lists evah again!  Two waterfalls, one interesting bridge, very narrow, steep gravel roads.  Never have to drive that one again. 

Oh, it's hydrangea time here - - stunning - - I saw one entire hillside full, that hill went up 50 feet or so.

This is someone's yard - -

This was almost purple, most likely the shade, I don't care why, it was soooo pretty - - 

116 miles today, 31 around the lake. 

Went out to dinner, way too much food that late, but, I did take most of mine home.

 Sunset photo with iPhone.