Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Great Salt Lake

We're getting caught up on things here in Salt Lake so today we took the afternoon to revisit Antelope Island, in the Great Salt Lake.   The last time we were there clouds of tiny bugs kept us inside the car with windows rolled tightly up.      If I tried to lower a window to take a picture we were both covered in pepper sized bugs within a few seconds.

water birds dot the water

We figured it must be a springtime thing so we thought we'd give it another try.  The island is a State Park so there is a fee to visit, but it was well worth it to us today.     No bugs!

We saw four new to us birds, wandering pronghorn, enough bison to exhaust my camera's battery and rocks over a billion years old.   Worth the $10 entrance fee....

three American Avocet dozing

very bad picture of an Eared Grebe,
I love his red eyes

A male Chukar with ridiculous feet!
These bird pictures are not very good, but I didn't include a really bad one of the fourth new to us bird......a Sage Thrasher.   You'll have to use your imagination and please excuse the picture quality.

our lunch view

A causeway led us to the Island

we followed the fenceline
looking for burrowing owls

a lone pronghorn

He's a real beauty even though he is a bit cowhocked.....

Mom and babe

he has Lewis's hair do!

Dave looking down from the trailhead at Frary Peak, the highest point on the Island.
The tiny dots below on the other side of the road are Bison

its a steep journey!

1.7 billion year old rocks comprise
the southern 2/3 of the island

I just love these little Chukars!
They lined up in the shade of the picnic tables in an empty campground

What a pleasant and simple day we had.    Just the way we like it.  

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Boring update

I've no pictures to show you and nothing to really say.   We've just been driving.   Driving through Nevada on I-80.    Those of you who've done this route a few times know what I mean.

Susanville, CA, to Fernley, NV to Elko, NV (where we are tonight) then Salt Lake City.    Pull into the RV park fairly early, don't unhook, happy hour, feed and walk sweet Lewis, eat dinner, play a little ball with him, go to bed.   Repeat.

We'll be in Salt Lake City for a few days to regroup and restock, visit friends and then move to Vernal, Utah for a week to see what we can of the Flaming Gorge and perhaps Dinosaur National Monument.  


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Susanville and Susan falls

We've always believed Beluga's thermometer, we've lived by what it told us....when it told us the temperature was below zero we unhooked our exterior  water connections, when it told us it was above 80 we put our foil backed sunscreens in the windows, but could we believe this?    Could it be right?

What it told us yesterday was that it was time to move on.    These high temperatures, tinder dry ground and thunderstorms in the area told us clearly that it was time to move out of the forests and away from the potential wild fire danger.

So, we reevaluated our travel plans and decided to skip our visit to Lassen Volcanic Park and move on towards our September date in Denver a little earlier than was scheduled.

bye bye beautiful Shasta Lake

So, tonight we're happily tucked in at the Susanville RV Park (California) and tomorrow we'll move on into Nevada.

We didn't get to do or see as much as we would have liked in the Shasta Lake area because it was just to darn hot to move around much.   A return visit is assured.

Mt. Shasta

The other day we drove a bit north to the McCloud River to find the Upper, Middle and Lower Falls.    On the way we discovered a pleasant little hike in Dunsmuir leading to the Hedge Creek Falls.    Lewis was along for the ride so he joined us, screaming and barking all the way down the dirt switchbacks to the pool below the falls.   He's nothing if not enthusiastic.   Its embarrassing.  

We got to the bottom of the trail and discovered there was a small cave behind the falls.    The water was beating down on four or five large rocks, making a lot of noise and lots of spraying water.    Lewis was unsure if this was safe but decided to investigate cautiously.

It was fun to walk behind the falls and see the hanging foliage and cascading water from the other side.   The cool spray from the falls and the temperature in the little "cave" was delightful.

The short hike back to the car was not, however.   At least Lewis had expended his excitement and walked quietly up the path.   By the time we got back to the Jeep we were all dusty and sweaty again.

We stopped for a quick lunch in the picnic area for Castle Crags State Park.  We ate waterside near the spring head for Castle Creek Spring Water.

The creek was clear and full of deep sunlit pools.

After lunch we continued on our way to the McCloud River and the final three falls.

People were using the river on this hot day.  They were even using the falls.....

We walked to a couple viewing points for the middle falls, but couldn't really get a good picture of it.

Walking back from the middle falls, I caught my toe in a hole and it stopped my feet's forward progress.     Thus we ended our day of falls with the most spectacular one of the day, Sue falls.

I was not injured and did not drop my camera.    I am, however, sore in places I didn't know I had.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Shasta Lake continued......

Yesterday we tried to find a cool spot by the creek to relax and chill out, but our efforts were thwarted because we weren't the first people to find "the spot".    We left the shady dirt road and drove slowly along the shores of Shasta Lake until we found a place we could get down to the water.  

Lewis helps look 

We just love this jeep.    It always takes us exactly where we want to go with no complaints.     We found the perfect place to drive off the road and down to the water's edge in a relatively shallow spot.

Not too shallow, however.    As Lewis followed his ball into the water, he couldn't wade in, he had to swim.    No problem says Lew.....he'll go anywhere for that ball!

We spent a hour or so at the water's edge, but the the terrible heat eventually enveloped us there as well and we couldn't wait to get back into the cool jeep for the ride home.     Love those leather jeep seats too.....water and sand just wipes right off when a soaking wet poodle jumps in the back seat.

Today, another triple digit day, we decided to check out some water falls in the area.    I did tell you that we were water people, didn't I?     We saw Upper Falls,  Middle Falls, Lower Falls (on the McCloud River), Hedge Creek Falls in Dunsmuir and then Sioux Falls.....the latter wasn't pretty but resulted in no serious damage.    More tomorrow.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Shasta Lake

The drive from Ashland, Oregon to Lakehead, California on I-5 was uneventful.   A bit of construction near our destination slowed us down but we pulled into Antler's RV and Marina mid afternoon.

 our lunch spot view of Mt. Shasta

We have a lovely and private campsite in the woods with full hookups and only a quiet train occasionally disrupting our peace.

site 108

We had hoped that being in the woods would help lower the temperature a bit, but it definitely hasn't.

We decided to take an autohike (the only way to see the scenery with air conditioning) around a few of the arms of Shasta Lake.   I was in the office trying to get a map of the area when an old timer (no comments please.....) passing by suggested a couple drives that he enjoys.    We took one of the dirt roads and found the "special" place he talked about.

  Unfortunately for us someone else had discovered it and had set up a tent right beside the creek so we had to content ourselves with views from the jeep and then continued up along the rutted, dirt shelf road.    Beautiful spot and a great ride, but it was still plenty hot.

Well, I'm going to stop here, the internet has slowed to a crawl and its time for bed.    Check back tomorrow?

Saturday, August 13, 2016

I'm such a wimp

Its our last day here at Emigrant Lake County Park and I know we'll be back.

 We've enjoyed this park very much, despite the nasty stickers in the summer crisped lawn areas and the lower than normal lake levels.   The sites all have wonderful mountain and lake views, are paved and have full hook ups.   Not much shade is available from the line of small trees at the back of the sites, but we managed nicely using a combination of their weak shade and our big awning.
The moonshine on the still water is so lovely, it reminds me of our lake at night.

It's summer time and that means people enjoying themselves, everywhere, but we didn't feel cramped at all and really loved watching their antics on the lake.   We loved watching the birds and ospreys using the water as well.

I know we'll be back because we didn't even scratch the surface of this area's charms, there is so much to see and do.    We started out pretty well, but as the week wore on the temperatures made me positively wilt.    I felt less like exploring and more like holing up either in Beluga's welcome air conditioning or in the shade with a good book and the lake to keep an eye on.    I'm such a wimp.  Three digit heat is too much for me.  

We didn't get to the Farmer's Market, we didn't see a play or even take a tour of the theater.   We didn't get to more wineries, and there are MORE wineries to visit.   We didn't hike, swim (we did wade) or even eat out at one of the many wonderful restaurants in Ashland.   We didn't shop in the interesting shops or wander the quaint streets.     We didn't stop in at the Equamore Sanctuary right next door, although I am in the middle of learning about them and their horses on their website

The thought of all those things will bring us back for sure.   We really like what we have seen, we'll try to get back earlier or later in the season next time.

Tomorrow morning we're off to Lakehead, California to check out Mt. Shasta and Shasta Lake.

 We've absolutely loved our summer in Oregon, it will be hard to leave.