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June 26, 2015

Entering Washington at Maryhill

Entered Maryhill Washington on US97, still east of Mount Hood with the idea of visiting the Glendale Observatory in the morning.  Although a bit off the main line for the upcoming of the Ring-of-Fire, Glendale will still have 98% coverage and great educational support.

Found a great spot for the night at Peach Beach.  Right on the Columbia River, adjacent to a working peach grove and with our own private driving range.  A better stop for us than the neighboring Maryhill State Park.
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Heading north we made the slight detour to visit Stonehenge, WA.  This is a monument to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice during World War I.
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But then climbing the hills to Goldendale, WA the RV computer shut the turbo down sending the engine into limp-home-mode.  Without the turbocharger the RV is very sluggish and comes to a crawl on the slightest hill.  Autotronics in Yakima was the closest Sprinter service available. 
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They service the FedEx Sprinters and have a full service facilities, however they were not able to determine the exact cause of our failure.  But they are a very capable shop, and provided a complete set of testing done incase the issue should reoccur.  With the RV again fully operational we were on our way.  Leaving Yakima without an apple nor a wine tasting :(

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Settled in for the night at Dog Lake’s little 7-site campground just below White Pass.
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In the morning we took the hike toward Cramer Lake (TR1106).  The trail starts off easy enough, but soon debris from the past storms block the route.  It's a bit of a scramble to find a detour around some of the obstructions.
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Looking after crossing the scree filed and looking back at Dog Lake
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After getting back on the road the turbo failed again.  The idea was to spend this day at Mt Rainier, but this was as close as we got. 
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We're now safely in Tacoma, WA, while Larson Dodge tackles the repairs.

June 24, 2015

Cove Palisades State Park, OR

We ended up driving a bit further than planned, settling at the Crooked Creek Campground within the Cove Palisades State Park – just north of Bend OR just before sunset.  The view of Mt Jefferson from site E47 was just as awesome in the morning as the previous sunset.
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Checkout time was 1PM giving time to unload the scooter and tackle the Tam-a-lau Trail from the Upper Deschutes Day Use Area.  Crooked Creek forms a waterfall just at the entrance to our campground with a nice long cascade 600’ to the Deschutes River below.

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The trailhead is at Loop B of the Deschutes Campground across the bridge.  But parking for hikers is in the day use area a half mile farther on.

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The trail is called ‘an experience of a lifetime’.  Sure enough that first mile is a real killer!  It starts out easy enough on a paved walkway, then quickly turns to single track with steps up the steeper inclines. 

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The arrow points to where the scooter is parked.  It’s just a speck and that’s only half way up.
Crooked Creek is W/E only but has a dump station with a view!
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June 23, 2015

Crater Lake

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When going to Crater Lake from the south there are not very many staging options.  For this trip KLA-MO-YA Casino was perfect!  Free self-contained parking $6 for pork ribs/fries/corn w/soup or salad.  Enough for 2 meals for us. 

Next door is their Travel Plaza with gas/diesel/propane/store and a scooter wash with a hose and brush long enough to wash the RV! – free!
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The Crater Lake Rim Trail follows the entire west rim, and is likely the best trail in the park.  We followed it from the Visitor’s Center to where it met up with the Watchman Tower trail, another 2.4 miles beyond.
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The science question of the day – Why is Crater Lake blue?  With the flat light from the clouds on this trip is was not as deep/dark blue as I’ve seen it in past visits.  But the shallows were more turquoise then I remember.

The Cascade Scenic Byway in Oregon has yet to fully recover from the fires, but it is still a beautiful drive.  Lots of hiking and camping options.  Not much snow on Mt. Bachelor this year.
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Tomorrow Cove/Palisades …

June 22, 2015

Lava Beds

Lava Beds National Monument is a diverse landscape dotted with lava tubes, volcanic features and history.  Entering from the SE entrance there’s a nice long occasionally maintained road.
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Most visitors do the Cave Loop from the Visitor’s Center.  Really not a bad idea – a paved road to the entrance to a dozen tubes.  But being more than a bit claustrophobic I prefer the trails to the larger more remote tubes, over the gatherings along the more popular loop road.
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Along the trail is the world’s largest dandelions (thistles?) and more then enough tress, features and landscape to make the hike along a destination.
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A lunch stop at the Devil’s Homestead.  A vast lava flow above the landscape of the Modoc War.
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Crater Lake next ….