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June 26, 2016

On to Mt Rainier via Deshutes River Rec Area

Despite a most welcome invitation from Jim and Gayle of Life’s Little Adventures to join them for a beer in Bend, OR we continued our pace across Oregon.  Arriving at the Columbia River, it was too windy to dry camp at Rufus, OR … but just down the road is the Deshutes River Recreation Area.  We snagged site #11 a very nice site overlooking the river.

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It is $22 for water/electric in a well maintained park.  However there is no dump station, but we’'ll be here again.  Just the other side of the Columbia River is Maryhill State Park and Peach Beach.
We took a morning hike up to Ferry Springs, taking the Middle Trail to Ferry Springs Trail and returning the River Trail.  The only shade is on the River Trail, plan accordingly.
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Dogs on leash are permitted, however with the long traverses through fields of foxtail grasses and thistles I’d not recommend at the time we went.
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Ferry Springs itself is dense vegetation and a bit of rockhopping to cross.  The spring creates a lush green belt down Ferry Canyon.
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Looking down the Deshutes River is the confluence with the Columbia River.
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Next stop was in Yakima to pick up groceries and supplies.  A bit of shopping with Walmart and Target both easy stops with big parking lots.  We’re heading to Mt Rainier for a few days where the family will gather while one of our favorite nieces and husband begin the climb to the top.

The hookups at Suntides RV Park provide a chance to clean, dump and refill.  The hookups are a bit strange in that a center utility island provides 2 sites.  Hence the RVs are parked nose-to-tail.  Worked great for us with an end site.  And if there’s time for golf ... it’s right there.
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Arrived amidst overcast at Mt Rainier, with the kids already on the mountain.  Overcast turned to rain at night into a rainier morning.  They trained a prepared well, but thinking Florida to 14000’ or tropics to glacial is not an easy adjustment. 

Our fist hike in the park is the Pleasant Valley Loop TR999.  It is multi-day loop, or an out-n-back., yup we did an out-n-back!  Nice trail but check out the ant hill!
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My younger brother came over from Tacoma to join us with his Red Cross Disaster Supplies Pack!  Now that’s a perfect survival kit!
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Our son and family had already planned to be here with their revitalized Coleman pop-up camper.  They did a really great job of adding a new life to this 1994 unit.
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The campground is along the American River with a few short trails.  A nice little lean-too fort is along the river for some fun play time.
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Games were played – Jm won!
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Hikes taken – Against G’pa’s advice Jm crosses with a bit of courage from mom!  A double ant hill is along this section of the loop.
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Yup the kids are up there somewhere, but the weather is good now and bet they are having a good time.
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The boys!
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Campground Reviews:
Deshutes River Recreation Area:  $22 w/ water electric.  No limit hot showers.  Good cell service.  On the river with large maintained greenbelt and miles of trails.  Lacks a dump station.
Sun Tides RV Park: $41 with unless Internet, but good laundry $1/$1.25.  Showers tied to laundry so very hot/cold as the washing machines kick in.  Golf next door.   Good cell service. 

Big hop - next to the Olympic Peninsula ….

June 19, 2016

Petroglyphys at Lava Beds National Monument

We camped at Rush Creek in the Modoc National Forest.  A small but beautiful campground near Adin, CA.  One of the more scenic FREE campgrounds we have used while traveling this route.
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This is pretty much the same route we took last year.  Because the fridge thermometer said it was 50 degrees inside.  I re-did all the checks I had done before leaving thinking I missed something, but the  gas/AC/DC all good, flu cleaned, etc. made no difference  No place in Reno, nor Sacramento could squeeze us in for a week or more.  But Bend,OR had a window on Monday, so off to Bend.  Skipping Lake Tahoe and the Monks at New Clairvaux.

But while at Rush Creek going over the check list again Fran opened a cold soda and asked if I changed the batteries in the remote thermometer.  ‘Of course, just before we left’.  But I changed them again and bingo the fridge is 'working' again! Smile   How embarrassing ….
We went thru the Lava Beds last year, so a minor variation is to visit the Petroglyphs.

There is a short steep! trail to the bluff above the Petroglyphs.  This is considered ‘holy ground’ by the local Kamookumpts Indians.
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The clay and rock formations are quite unique, with beautiful viws of Mt Shasta to the east.
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A hundred yards beyond the trailhead is Petroglyph Point.  One of the largest colletion glyphs, with over 5000 documented along the cliffs.  The path has numbered posts that describe the varios features including not just the glyphs, but the history and geolopgy.
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Perhaps the acients had a recipe for pizza!
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There is evidence of vanadalizem, including lots initials carved in the sandstone and some effort to highlight the glyphs with paint.
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The cliffs are home to hundreds of sparrows making their home in the overhangs and a few raptors in the alcoves that include owls and falcons.
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Certainly lesser known than Manzanar the Tule Lake Segregation Center not only held US citizens of Japaneese anstry, but also German POWs.  The Center is only open on Saturday mornings for a ranger led tour.
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Campground Reviews from where we stayed the last few days:
Topaz Lake Casino:
Full hookups (30 amp only) w/ cable and WiFi $22.  poor cable, but usable WiFi with a booster.  Gravel parking, mostly level sites, with store and gas station on site.  Good restrooms and showers.  Solid Verizon signal.
Rush Creek:
About a mile off 139 on narrow dirt road with 5 back-in sites for small rigs.  We had site 5 (best one!), site 4 is better for solar.  Pit toilets, trash dumpsters.  Water on site was not yet turned during our stay.  Two bars of Verizon, good voice and text but not strong enough for data.
Kla-Mo-Ya Casino:
Simple parking lot overnight, but the adjoing Travel Plaza offers full services including FREE truck/RV wash station.  Nice resturant in casiono with usable FREE Wi-Fi available.  Strong Verizon signal.  Great overnight spot to visit Crater Lake