Friday, June 20, 1997

1997 Oregon summer vacation (yurt and Crater Lake)

This was the summer Tim graduated from high school and told us he didn't want to go.  I don't know if it was Oregon he was tired of or going on vacation with us, but we let him stay home.  So we let Angie ask a friend to come along.  She chose Shannon and she was a delight to have along.

We did our usual 2 night trip away from Dallas, but did it a little differently this time.  Instead of staying in a hotel, we stayed in a yurt.

I had tried to get one on the coast, but reservations for those were gone well before summer.  But I did get one in southern Oregon between Crater Lake and the coast.  It was much more comfortable then camping, but it isn't a resort!   It was cheaper then a hotel, but not much.  It was a unique experience, though.

There was a bunk bed for 4 and a double fouton.  It was clean and I liked that there are real floors in it unlike camping. 

Since we were fairly close to Crater Lake, we decided to head there one day.  Even though it was July, there was snow along the road in many places.   The girls got a kick out of playing in the snow in July; something they've never gotten to do in St. Louis in July!!!

Crater Lake was as beautiful as I'd remembered.  We've been to Oregon many times, but have only gotten to Crater Lake about 3 times.  It's too far to go for a day trip from Dallas and we usually end up taking our over night trips to the coast.

Crater Lake is famous for its deep blue color and water clarity. The lake partly fills a nearly 2,148-foot deep caldera that was formed around 7,700 years ago by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama. There are no rivers flowing into or out of the lake.  The evaporation is compensated for by rain and snowfall at a rate such that the total amount of water is replaced every 250 years.  It is 5 by 6 miles across with an average depth of 1,148 feet.  Its maximum depth has been measured at 1,949 feet which makes it the deepest lake in the United States. 

On previous trips we had taken the 2 hour boat ride around the lake and even hiked to the top of the island in the middle of the lake.  Here are a few pictures from our trip there in 1990 when we did that:

Resting on the way down to the boat ramp

Hiking up the crater in the lake
made it to the top!
walking around the the top
another picture from the crater within the crater
back on the boat
Back to 1997----we didn't do the hikes or boat ride, but we did eat in the lodge.  The restaurant was booked up, but we were able to eat at the buffet above the gift shop. 

The girls also posed with a special friend there.

Then we headed south on I-5.  We figured the best way to get to the southern Oregon coast border was to go down I-5 into California and over to Cresent City, then drive up 101.  The girls got a big kick out of going into California.

I got a big kick out of going through the redwoods in northern California (part of the World Heritage Site of Redwood National and State Parks)!  It is estimated that old-growth redwood forest once covered close to 2,000,000 acres of coastal northern California. 96% of all old-growth redwoods have been logged, and almost half of the redwoods remaining are found in Redwood National and State Parks. The parks protect 38,982 acres of old-growth forest. Redwoods have existed along the coast of northern California for at least 20 million years and grow to heights over 350'tall and live an average of 500-700 years.  They are truely awesome!!!

Our views of the northern California coast were shrouded with fog.

We headed up Highway 101 back into Oregon.  We've never been that far down the coast so it was really fun seeing a different part of the Oregon coast then we usually see. 

In some areas, there was no beach, just tumbled driftwood.

Another part of the Beautiful Southern Oregon coast.

I didn't realize there were cranberry bogs on southern Oregon---or Easter Lily fields.  It was interesting seeing them.  Even in July there were a few lilies blooming.  By the time we got this far, it was afternoon, so we decided to spend the night in Bandon.  The beach there is really neat with all the monolithes just off shore.  We were fortunate to have a beautiful sunset, too, so I went photo crazy.

Next morning, I took a few last pictures of Bandon and we were on our way again.  I've always wanted to get back that way!

A short ways from Bandon is a unique botanical garden on the coast---Shore Acres Park.  It was originally an estate of Louis Simpson, a Coos County timber baron. After fire and financial losses devastated his estate holdings, Simpson sold the land to the State of Oregon for use as a park in 1942.  

The park features 5 acres of formal gardens including a rose-testing plot and Japanese lily pond.

There are also tall sandstone cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean for storm watching and to watch the gray whale migration.  There's even a pretty nice looking beach access.

We have gotten down as far as Florence a couple of times so I have been to the Sea Lion Caves before, but that didn't stop us from stopping to take another picture!

For a realatively small cost of about $12 we went down into the caves.  Sea Lion Caves is nature's home for wild sea lions and a variety of sea birds.  The roar of the sea lions is quite loud, but it's a very unique experience. 

Another little wayside park I love to stop at when we're down that far is Darlingtonia State National Site.  Darlingtonia californica is a carnivorous plant, commonly known as the cobra lily, which traps insects in its hollow tubular leaves.  The park has a short loop trail through a peat bog area overlooking patches of Darlingtonia. It is the only Oregon state park dedicated to the protection of a single plant species.

In Newport I always take a picture of the bridge. 

Sometimes we go down to the dunes in Newport.  This time there was a lot of sand.

We also enjoy the views of the boats in the marina.

A couple more views of the central Oregon coast on our way to Lincoln City.

Even stopped in Depoe Bay to watch the resident whales for awhile.

A view of Boiler Bay

By the time we got to Lincoln City it was dinner time.  We had a nice sunset dinner in the Shilo Inn overlooking the ocean, then headed back Dallas.

A couple other days we headed up into the Cascades and sloughs to do a little fishing and sightseeing.

Even walking into the fishing areas were a scenic walk!

The girls seemed more interested in playing games in the car then sightseeing.

Even saw some interesting things on the highway, such as this!

We were treated to another beautiful sunset up in the Cascades.

Another day we let the girls choose where they wanted to go for the day.  They chose back to the beach by Lincoln City.  We took Angie's cousin, David.  Treated them to a gourmet meal at McDonald's. 

And let them play in the cold Oregon surf.

Even met up with my brother and sister-in-law for dinner at one of our favorite coastal restaurants---Mo's.  Then caught another beautiful sunset!

 Another day I talked the girls into going to Silver Falls State Park.  The Canyon Trail is a nationally recognized trail system  along the banks of the north and south forks of Silver Creek.  We only hiked a short area near the lodge, but far enough for the girls and me to get quite a scare.  I let them go ahead of me.  When I got back to the lodge, they weren't there.  So I went back to the look out and still didn't find them.  Hiked partway down again---no girls.  Finally I went to park Ranger and asked for help finding them.  They were relaying the girls' descriptions to someone at the Lodge when they walked in there and said, "that's us!".   We apparently criss crossed each other a few times looking for each other without ever seeing each other.  

We also spend a lot of time around the Dallas area---bar b qs with the family, playing on the computers of 1997, visiting with family---

It was another wonderful Oregon summer vacation!

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