Wednesday, July 24, 2013

MIle 1781: Lava, Rivers, Waves and (more) Crabs

Crawling up the road to Mt. Hood
So many miles and so many adventures have happened in the last week it feels like a lifetime in it self. We are gradually finding the rhythm of life on the road. There is so much to report I am not even sure where to begin. We finally detached ourselves from Portland on 13th and climbed over the foot of Mt Hood and into the high desert. The dense evergreens and mountain streams gave way to open sage brush plains in almost a single turn of the highway. This was to be one of many dramatic scene changes we would encounter in the following days. We settled for the night just south of Bend, OR on a quiet National Forest road. In the morning, trails brought us to discover massive lava-fields with gorgeous views of the snow capped remains of the extinct volcanoes that had created them. Also on the same path, we caught a glimpse of a juvenile mountain lion and found the tracks of one much larger! Being in the presence of such wild splendor is already making our hearts ache a bit as we think of turning the bus eastward in the coming months.

Exploring the lava fields near Sun River, Or.
We love our National Forests :)
     But before we even consider our eastern journey, let's first focus on the here and now.  Heading south and west we left the dry forest as we crested the rim of crater lake. The deepest lake in the US is as majestic as what we have heard from others. The most surprising part though was the color. The lake glows an azure blue that is almost surreal. Its as if someone has Photoshoped the entire scene to be just a touch over believable. The Vespa has proved itself worth the extra weight just for the sake of cursing around Crater Lake in the open air at nearly 10 times the fuel efficiency of the bus.

Not a bad view; looking into our front yard.
Chance of a life time.
       We spent the next day escaping the nearly 100 degree weather on the frigid Rouge river, which was not only one of the most beautiful rivers I have ever seen, but also happened to be surrounded but free empty campsites! We then traveled south to Ashland Oregon just on the other side of the California border. Some one once told us that Ashland is as close to California as you can get with out actually living there and I think I would agree. It's a beautiful little town surrounded by dry hills and vineyards. The community feels tight knit with a common thread of new age mysticism as indicated by the billboards around town. Whether you're into Yoga, Faeries, or Extra Terrestrials, there is a place (and a group) for you in Ashland.
Chillin on (and in) the Rougue
Even the pets are starting to get used to life on the road.
   The heat eventually drove us out of the southern lowlands and to the Washington Coast.  From 97 degrees and unrelenting sun, the long sandy beaches and coastal back roads enveloped us with thick mist and cool temperatures. The Pacific is always a welcome relief. We explored the areas around Long beach and Cape Disappointment (a misnomer if I have ever known one) and found quiet beaches, eerie abandoned structures being consumed by temperate rain forests, and piles of crab in the local seafood market.
The Jetty at Cape Disappointment

    Now we find ourselves in Aberdeen, Washington at the local library. Today is a day to catch up and plan ahead. We are working on finding some farms to visit on the next leg of our trip as we head up into the Olympic Peninsula. If you have any suggestions, please let us know!          

No caption necessary.


Anonymous said...

Write a book already!!! I still can't get over your talent of writing!! You just took me away to another place. Love you - your arkansas sister ;)

Lisa Lynn said...

Your photos are awesome! Everything sounds so wonderful (other than the drunk driver you encountered in your last post!)...enjoy your adventure!