Part 3: Doug and Jo in Oregon and Washington


Click on any picture to see it full-size.

When we had planned this trip, I made a list of travel dates (Friday, July 27 through Saturday, August 4). I said I wanted to go to Crater Lake NP on our way north, and we made a list of the people we knew in Oregon and figured out who we'd like to visit when. In February, I emailed everyone and said, here's when we'd like to visit, is that good for you? And all our lovely friends said YES YES YES! So that was set.

After three days at home, it was time for Oregon, and here I had to pack to be gone for five weeks...my truck still had all the camping stuff in it, and since Doug and I weren't camping for the first week, I didn't have to worry about food much, so I got drinks and snacks and repacked my clothes...he threw his suitcase in the back, and we were off!

Friday, July 27

We left around 9 am for Eureka, stopping at the vista point on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge. And we always stop at the same place in Cloverdale for lunch...we've been going there for 30 years through many changes of owner and type of food, usually either a burger place (we still fondly remember the Hi-Fi) and Mexican (most recently La Grullense). But this time...it was closed. So we went downtown and found a good sandwich place, and took some silly pictures as we walked around.

Driving up the 101, there was a lot of smoke...the fire in Redding was burning, and from Laytonville onwards, the smoke was everywhere. This will continue for most of the next five weeks...

When we got to Eureka we checked into our motel and texted our friends Lance and Tracy; they said to park downtown and meet them at the crafts/food/farmer's market that took up about three blocks downtown. We did, and were walking around when we saw a bookstore we remembered fondly, the Booklegger. And after dinner (at Oberon, quite delicious) we went to Eureka Books. We wandered around the craft fair talking, and had a really good time.

The Dude helps me pack, and says goodbye to us as we get ready to leave...
Northbound vista point just past the Golden Gate Bridge. Yes, that's a car full of giant stuffed animals. I have no idea why...

Blurry because Doug hit the video button instead of the picture button. He's not the only one who does this...

It's the Douglas store! Let's get one!

Beautiful trees in Richardson Grove State Park, and the carpet in the visitor's center.
Booklegger and Eureka Books, and dinner with Lance and Tracy.
Some stuff around Eureka that caught my eye. The face is on a guitar case...

Saturday, July 28

We got up early for a day of driving, had breakfast in a local diner, and as we left Eureka I mentioned to Doug that every other time we've been there the air smelled like oil...this time it smelled like pot. Everywhere we went. I'm not sure that's an improvement.

It was a foggy (not smoky, although that's coming...) morning, and we drove through redwoods and forest and beautiful turny twisty roads to Grant's Pass, then in Medford we turned onto the road to Crater Lake, and (after stopping at Rogue Gorge) got there around 2 pm. We had passed many signs on the road from Medford warning of fire vehicles pulling into the road, and it got smokier as we went east. We stopped at the Visitor's Center, which is where they had a docent with the fire map showing all the dozens of forest fires burning in Oregon at the time, and then we drove around the lake counter-clockwise. The very first thing we came to was the Wildflower Meadow, and I squealed like a fangirl and we stopped for an hour while I walked the loop trail and took pictures of flowers and butterflies. My husband has the patience of a very very patient saint.

Then we drove around and tried to see the lake, but by that time, the smoke was so thick you literally couldn't see the water; in the time we were in the meadow, the wind had blown the smoke in and it was like fog. Except smellier.

After the lake, we drove to Chemult, where we had a lovely room (the first of many really nice rooms at small privately owned motels) at the Dawson House Lodge. It was the Cowboy Room, and Doug said that day was actually the International Day of the Cowboy! I love that. There was a gray cat named Jinx who just wanted a ton of lovin', which we gave her. I found out later that she's the manager's sister's cat, and is NOT supposed to be out and about 'bothering guests'. We petted her on the sly whenever we saw her.

The manager recommended the Chalet for dinner, and since there were only two restaurants in town, we went there. The waiter, in shorts and sneakers, told us about the special: Beef ribs, he said. BIG OL' FATTY RIBS. THREE of them. Oh HELLZ yeah, I had them, they were VERY good. We walked back and had a nice quiet evening.

Yup, it was getting smoky...here's a map we saw later in the day showing the fires that were burning at that time in Oregon...
Rogue Gorge. Pretty.

An aster, probably Cascade Aster.

Primrose Monkeyflower

Lyall's Angelica

Lyall's Angelica

Purple monkeyflowers

Purple monkeyflowers

These just looked surreal...

Another aster

Pearly Everlasting

American or Western Bistort

Aphrodite Fritillary butterfly

Now it's just showing off how pretty it is...

Bee break!

The red flower is some kind of paintbrush.

To the left is the Eastern-Tailed Blue Butterfly. To the right is a Question-mark butterfly (there is a tiny mark on its underwing that kind of looks like one) and more Purple Monkeyflowers.

Fireweed, so called because it's the first thing that grows back after a fire.

More monkeyflowers. I just love these guys.

Lyall's Angelica

One more Pearly Everlasting

Then we left the meadow and took the road around the lake to see it...hah!

Cream Stonecrop

Lupines

I think this is some kind of buckwheat with grass growing through it.

More lupines

The white one is Alpine Wild Buckwheat, and the yellow/pink one is Marum-Leaf Wild Buckwheat. I like buckwheat!
So yes, pretty leaves and dead trees...and then I saw these things near the parking lot...was there ever such a Dr. Seuss plant? It's Western Pasque-Flower, after the flowers are gone.
And, of course, here is the view from the big scenic overlook of Crater Lake...sigh.
On the way to Chemult, there was a place on the map called the Pumice Desert...this is it, no trails or anything, just...pumice. And trees.

The grammar person just shakes her head and walks away...

Three restaurants in town had closed and left their neon signs with the Chalet's owner. The waiter said there were too many to display...that's a shame!

And...the saddest park in the world.

Sunday, July 29

We had a little time to do stuff this morning; Bend, OR is only an hour or so north of Chemult, and there is Newberry National Volcanic Monument on the way, so we did that! We got there around 11:30 and heard part of Ranger Charlie's talk about the place, and he said he was leading a hike at noon; we ran back to the car, changed our shoes and got our hats, sunglasses and my hiking pole and joined him...for an easy, paved, one mile saunter. But he was interesting and funny, and we were the only ones on the hike, everyone else being afraid of the sunlight or something.

Ranger Charlie was great, he told us about the volcanoes, the flowers, the wildfires and the trees. He also passed on two 'stupid question' stories that made us laugh. One was that MANY people ask why there are trees growing in the lava, why didn't they burn? The other was, and he swears someone said this, At what altitude do deer turn into elk?

That second one was quoted for the whole rest of my trip. Hilarious!

We took the free shuttle bus up to the top of Lava Butte; the smoke was starting to come in, and although the two lave cones further south in the park (and in a completely different section, so we didn't go there...we were at Lava Lands. I love that name!) have lakes in them, this one was just a cone. There was a fire watcher station there, but no tour. So we got off the bus, looked around, waited twenty minutes for the next bus, got on and went back. Then we had a tailgate lunch and talked about what to do. I kind of wanted to go into the lava tube, but since it was the only cool and shady place in the park, it was packed with people. So we decided to do a short hike on the Deschutes River to see Benham Falls. Found the parking lot, and ALL THE MOSQUITOES found us. Sigh. I probably had ten bites on me by the time we found the trail and hiked to the falls and back. But it was a pretty hike. And I had my itch-zapper, so that pretty much took care of the bites. Yes, it really works. Then we went to Janis and Andrea's house, got the tour (we hadn't seen it before) and all sat around and talked for hours and hours. It was lovely.

These are for the Squirrel Lady.

Wax Currant

Gray Rabbitbrush

The first is Davidson's Penstemon, the other three are Fireweed,

Doug and Ranger Charlie

A lava tube with the top caved in.

Then we drove about 3 miles to the parking lot for the Benham Falls trail. We passed at least three signs over a quarter mile that said, Benham Falls .5 mile...I don't know if they kept moving the falls, or if the signs meant that was how far to the trail or what, but by the third one we were kind of annoyed.
The first is Jessica Sticktight, the second and third are Hardhack, also known as Douglas' Spiraea, and the fourth is Cow Parsnip.
This is one of my favorite pictures from this trip, a blue-eyed darner.

Who's a pretty boy? You are!

This is what the trail looked like once we finally got to it.

Horse? Wierd duck? Don't know, but I like it.

Monday, July 30

We went to breakfast with Janis and Andrea, then hit the road for Nehalem, OR to see Anne and John. There just happens to be a Del Taco in Salem...that's #3 since July 15 if you're keeping count. And in one of the tiny windy-road towns between Salem and Nehalem, there was a road called, I am not kidding, Big-Ass Truck Road. We showed up, had a walk on Manzanita beach, had John's delicious gumbo for dinner and watched a 50s movie version of Anything Goes. I have a note of a phrase Doug used at some point during the day that I liked, he called one of the places we went through 'some little slow-down town'. Which describes a lot of towns on highways very well!

John, Doug and Anne Abbey Road-ing it.

My new waterproof hiking sandals! I have totally fallen in love with these.

Tuesday, July 31

We had breakfast with Anne and John in Nehalem at the restaurant that has two doors, one for the Big Wave Cafe, one for the Bayway Tavern...we chose the restaurant, it was 8:30 am!

Then we had a nice quiet drive to Portland to visit my bro Bill and his wife Signe. We sat around and talked, then walked to dinner at the Rose and Thistle pub and talked, then walked home and talked. It was so nice! Here's our guest-room-away-from-home in Portland.

Wednesday, August 1

On Wednesday, we mostly hung out and chilled. I walked downtown to my favorite shop, Trade Roots, and found earrings and a coconut mask. More hanging out.

Then I got into Boudika, who had been kind of bored sitting around for 24 hours, and visited my friend Cat. We had dinner at the Country Cat, one of our favorite restaurants near her house; we played concertinas together; and we played Scrabble and Qwirkle. A most fun evening!
And that afternoon, Bill and Signe and Doug went to the main library for something, and Bill took a couple of pictures of their lovely sculpture, including an otter just for me! Thanks, Bill!

Thursday, August 2

Whoa, you mean I have to get up early? Yes, I do because our niece Rhiannah came by at 9:45 to pick us up for fun. We dropped Doug off at Powell's City of Books, and then we drove across downtown to a shop called Spicy Bambu, aka The Batik Store. One of my favorite places. It's only open during the Saturday Market (it's located at the edge of the market, in a big storefront) but if you email them they will open for you if they can. We had asked the owner to be there at 10:30, but we got there way early, at 10:10. So we went looking for trouble...and we found it. Voodoo Donuts, and for the first time ever there was no line stretching across the block...just to the inside of the door. So we got in line, split a huge donut and had some caffeine, and got back to the store just before the owner opened it. I got a shirt, a dress and a wrap they called a kimono, Rhi also got a 'kimono', and I got a couple of things for my friend Kathy. We were very happy!

Then we went back to Powell's, found Doug, and got out before I spent money. We hung out all afternoon, then that evening Rhi brought her son Nick's s.o. over...her name is Maria and she is a sweetie! Bill cooked a delicious family dinner for us all, and we had great fun.

Not only are Voodoo Donuts delicious, but they have a cool neon sign. Chillin' in Portland...even Rygel the dog is taking it easy.
Yes, Rhi and I bought matching 'kimonos', as the store called them...I love this thing, it washes and dries and looks FABULOSO. I took it along on the rest of the trip, it was fun to wear!
Family dinner, Doug telling stories on the back porch, and the Rose of Sharon flowers from the front porch.

Friday, August 3

On Friday, we had to get up REALLY early, because we had made an 8 am breakfast date with our friend Mark's sister, Caitlin, at the Cadillac Cafe. We had never met her, so it was fun having breakfast and talking some. After breakfast, we left town and drove along the Columbia River toward Spokane. We stopped for gas at Cascade Locks, but when we tried to get back on the freeway eastbound, we found ourselves going west. For a couple of miles. The first offramp was for the Bonneville Dam and Power Station, so we kept going into the parking lot and checked it out. This was extremely cool-you can go down a ramp under the dam and see the fish climbing the ladders that take them around the dam, and you can also go into a building and see the generators and lots of pictures of the building of the dam. We had a great time there!

We got to Spokane at 4 pm, checked into our motel, then went to see Liz. Unfortunately, Nick had to work all weekend...and I do mean ALL weekend, we never saw him in the 48 hours we were there. But we hung out with Liz, did a lot of walking around her part of Spokane (the old part, Browne's Addition) and also a lot of cat time with their three kitties, Peaches, Masha and Ellie. And their turtle James, who mostly runs (so to speak) around loose in their house. The three of us met Liz's friend Lisa at a local pub, the Elk House, and it was so good Liz and I went there again the next night. And then we went back to Liz's and talked more until it was time for us to go.

Doug looking extremely interesting, and a lovely breakfast with Caitlin.
This is something in the pea family, don't know what. It was growing along the walkways, so probably not indigenous...

LOL. Interesting phrasing.

Sign outside a church.

I always shop at the giant John Wayne statue!

The bridge into Washington. Who knew this many people would want to go there?

Spokane. Official traffic signs tell you to get coffee...

Liz and her landlords' cat, Winter.

Liz and Nick's cats were VERY photogenic, this is Masha. And Liz caught me taking Masha's picture while lovin' up Peaches.

Latah Creek

Squirrel feeder

We went back here to see the neon when it was lit...

This house has the coolest gargoyle ever!
Back at Liz's, Ellie the cat was all, My turn for a portrait!

Mr. Man mugging for the camera in our motel room that night.

Saturday, August 4

Doug and I just had breakfast in our room, then went for coffee with Liz when we got to her house. We hung out, walked and talked, then dropped Doug off at the airport at 1 pm. As Liz and I drove away, we saw GORGEOUS thistles beside the road from the airport, which was a two-lane road with plenty of room at the side...so we pulled over and took some pictures. Then we hung out til it was time for me to pick up Kelly at the airport. We went back to Liz's and had dinner at the Elk Public House again (and it was indeed delicious again) and then took Liz home.
Liz and Nick's third cat, Peaches, finally holds still long enough for pictures.

And James the Turtle, as well.

<facepalm>

Lewis' Flax

Camellias

This is at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, which is in Liz's neighborhood, and we were walking by...and there are bronze statues of these creatures. These were the three I saw; evidently there are nine.
One more interesting plant, a few more animal pictures (Liz took the one of me and Doug with Winter) and we took Doug to the airport.

A chokecherry among all the thistles

After the photo-fest, Liz and I went to Auntie's Bookstore, a place I love. And I got a marmot shirt! Liz took this pic of me with it.
I dropped Liz off at her place, picked up Kelly at the airport, we dropped her stuff off at the motel, went back to Liz's (one more pic of adorable James) then went back to the Elk Public House. More neon!
And here we are having dinner...during which, the Party Trolley came by, which made us all laugh.
And on Sunday, August 5, Kelly and I set out for the next part of this story, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado.