North to Oregon
It seemed as soon as we crossed over the Sierras, the clouds moved in and dogged us for weeks. Life gets in the way of writing and blogging, finding a spot to stay in the Paradise, California area was next to impossible after leaving the Sierra on the 20 and heading West. All the RV parks and State Parks, including wildlife refuges were full of displaced fire victims from last Fall. We trudged North on the 99 through the gloom past miles of orchards, fruits and nuts, including a detour from an accident that sent us off on dirt roads and left us with a mud covered trailer, not that is was clean to begin with but now, wow, like an off roading adventure, just follow the 18 wheeler I told Mike;) ha! We found an RV “resort”with vacancy at Red Bluff. When it says resort they have a pool, perhaps not open, or a fountain it seems…sigh…resort, not what I think about when that word comes up, I imagine palm trees and coconut rum based drinks, so, you can imagine my continuing disappointment;) It was a good stop for the night and even a wonderful taco truck, Tacos Santa Cruz, graced the town, thanks to the information from a lovely Mexican gentleman that showed us to our spot along the Sacramento River.
We even managed to rinse some of the mud off the trailer;) I think we left enough for a garden behind before we packed up and headed to Mount Shasta. There was a snow/storm warning coming in so we wanted to hole up for a few days. The KOA there is friendly, and unlike many, actually quite reasonable. We usually avoid them but this one is lovely, and a view:)
After the clouds parted and the drizzle stopped we had a partial view of a snow covered Mount Shasta. We took the opportunity to have a wonderful lunch at Shri Ram Indian Cuisine. We’d been three years ago and Mike wanted his birthday lunch here. Their vegetable Thalis and breads had been amazing and they did not disappoint the 2nd visit. The owner is a charming man who loves to explain his cooking and cuisine, a real treat.
The cats had an assortment of Cat TV out the back window. The resident squirrel, a Canada Goose (they deemed too large to pursue) and a crow. We had a few fits and bouts of sunshine. We tried to fill our drinking water at the local supermarket, the Glacier dispenser was out of order, no wonder, a short drive away at Mount Shasta City Park people were lined up filling their containers, for free, from the stream/artisan spring that flows from Mount Shasta, the headwaters of the Sacramento River. We were NOT overrun by loitering pot smoking hippies, as one reviewer had posted on TripAdvisor complaining about that;) Ha! This IS California, what are people thinking, sounds like 50’s parents, get a haircut;)
When the sun finally did peak through the clouds the mountain behind was covered in snow. The clouds were swirling like a skirt on a dancer as she spins. Light is so magical. How it dances off of a snow covered hill or catches the moss high in the trees.
Light and shadows are what inspires me to look at things differently sometimes. We need to do that, challenge ourselves to find every bit of beauty in our surroundings!
The day we left the sun truly broke through to a beautiful blue sky with a few fluffy clouds as we headed North on the Interstate 5, the changing view of Mount Shasta was constantly readjusting itself.
Our next planned stop was at Valley of the Rogue State Park between Medford and Grants Pass. It looked like me might be blessed with a few days of SUNSHINE! Woohoo! We’d managed to make reservations a few days earlier taking the only available spot left. If we’d realized it was sitting right beside Interstate 5 we might have looked for something quieter but not much was open here as well. We pulled into a very tight spot we’d reserved in the park, crammed side by side with other RV’s, more like a RV park than State Park and went for a walk. There were loose dogs everywhere, from the camp hosts to other trailers, Groot and Gamora were not amused! I did wander into one of the farther loops of the park to the North to discover it was open as well. I asked the camp host, then park ranger if we could move, the bathrooms were not open but we don’t need them, and yes they said!..It was beautiful. Huge open spaces, almost no other RV’s or trailers, perfect. So after a two hour stop we closed back up and moved to D loop and a far more quiet and lovely experience! Not so close to the muddy brown river but soooo much nicer!
Along the river wildflowers were starting to push their way up and some beautiful blooms on twig like bushes were eye popping! A beautiful foot trail runs along the river, it’s been moved and repaired from past years floods and calamities by the looks of it. The peaceful brown Rogue River looks like it lives up to it’s name!
In the bushes lurked birds, Juncos and Brown Creepers, Spotted Towhees and Yellow Crowned Sparrows, several birds that have evaded my lens:) until now! A a new bird altogether, a Bushtit, fast moving comical little birds guaranteed to make you smile:) A Raven scratched it’s head high in the tree and Goldfinches darted too and fro.
If it hadn’t been for the continous traffic noise from Interstate 5 this would be a paradise. The onslaught of noise is something that really resonates with me in a not so good way. After so many years in the quiet Sierra it feels like such an intrusion upon nature and our very peace. I suppose for many it simply becomes white noise but not me.
It did feel like Spring though:) The ground was covered in small wildflowers, trees were blooming, wild apples perhaps or cherries. Groot and Gamora said it was an “approved” park. Lot’s of trees to climb and it was getting WARM! But time to move on, Portland was calling!
Stay tuned amigos as we explore Sauvie Island, Portland and the Columbia River!