Friday, November 23, 2018

Autumn Travels ~ Western States

What can be nicer than a drive through some beautiful countryside on a sunny autumn day?  Not much, so I will share some of the sights we enjoyed on travels through Washington and Oregon State as well as California during the Fall season.

Okanogan River, Washington
The month of October is the biggest change in colors for the trees in our part of the world.   Colors range from all shades of yellow to oranges and red.  On this trip, the changes were beginning but left the green to add to the reflections in the water.

Autumn colors
We followed Highway 97 which takes us through some quiet countryside following the Okanogan River.  This is similar to our Okanagan Valley in B.C. with their orchards and vineyards other than it not quite as busy with the traffic.

Beebe Park, Chelan County
We made a stop at the Beebe Park after crossing the Columbia River on this neat old bridge to stretch our legs and give Maggie a walk.  This is located just a few miles from Lake Chelan and according to the information I read, the bridge averages 5000 vehicles crossing it every day.  So much for my observation of not much traffic! Lol 

Maggie is all ready to hit the road again, walked, watered and refreshed, watching the pretty scenery!

Orchards in Washington
We are north of Wenatchee at this point, which is semi-arid where the Wenatchee and Columbia rivers meet, at the foothills of the Cascade Range.  The mountains protect the area which allows for blue skies 300 days of the year.

Klamath Lake, Oregon
We are still following Highway 97 as we travel through Oregon but we now follow the Yakima River for parts of this drive.  We see this gorgeous sight when we reach (Upper) Klamath Lake, a large lake in south central Oregon.  It is 40 km (25 mi) long and 13 km (8 miles) wide.  The elevation is 1260 m (4140 ft.) above sea level, maintained within only a few feet, which ensures the protection of coho salmon in the Klamath River below the lake.

Oregon Wigwam Burner
I would not say this is a ‘pretty’ sight on our travels like the rest of our day, but not something we see very often anymore.  The beehive burner, as we called them in Canada was once used at sawmills and logging sights to burn the waste wood.  Our American friends called them teepee or wigwam burners and they were phased out in the 1970’s due to them being such a major source of pollution.

Mt. Shasta
I’d be embarrassed to say how many photos I have taken of Mount Shasta over the years but I would never pass by without trying for more.  This beautiful mountain is in Northern California and sits at a height of 4317 metres (14162 ft.) and can be seen for miles around.  It is a potentially active volcano but records go back 10,000 years showing it erupted an average of every 800 years but during the past 4500 years it has erupted an average of every 600 years, with the last significant one about 200 years ago.  I think we are pretty safe.

The Grapevine, California
We travelled the “Grapevine”, which is a 70 km (40 mi) stretch on I-5 in southern California and offers quite a climb at times, and well known by professional drivers.  The name was apparently given due to the fact in the very old days, the route was thick with grapevines and travellers had to actually hack their way through.  Thankfully that is no longer the case!  What is a bit confusing is that the traffic going north is to our right, feels like the wrong side of the road.

Pyramid Lake, California

Pyramid Lake is seen alongside the Grapevine and offers boating, fishing, jet skiing and picnic areas.  It is part of the California Water Project System and was completed in 1979.  Engineers had carved out a rock that resembles a pyramid when building U.S. Route 99, not showing in this photo, and then became the name of the lake.


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