Saturday, March 28, 2020

Oregon Trails and Tales

Day two of our travels home and we leave Lodi, CA under dark skies with promise of better weather to come.  We say good-bye to friends as they’re following a different route home and I’m soon to receive a text with “on the road again, just can’t wait to get on the road again” a Willie Nelson song.  A morning chuckle and a familiar song to us all.  Lodi was also made famous by a CCR song years ago!  I digress........ we are on the road again!

Blooming bushes
I don’t recall every seeing these blooms on our home travels before but they’re several bunches of them lining the freeway.  Safe to say they are bush weeds and nice to see the color. I've learned that these are called Jacarandas trees. To this point we’ve not seen too many things in bloom so this brightens things up a bit.

Good reminder
This was seen on every overhead sign we passed on this trip.  Such a great idea and an easy way to be reminded and with a slight rhyme, too!

Lake Shasta
Still very overcast here but the calm lake looks so pretty with the morning mist, colored banks and reflections.  This lake level varies a lot over the year and we’ve seen it at a very low level.  This level looks good, indicating the drought in California is no longer a worry, although always a concern.

Cloud covered Mt. Shasta
Now we see snow!  We are at 1100 m (3600’) elevation at this point with Mt. Shasta just ahead of us and although there is not a lot of snow showing, this road in the Siskiyou Pass was closed to all traffic only two days earlier.  There are many travellers who are not prepared for winter driving so precautions are taken on roads that we might not consider a problem if we are used to winter driving conditions.  

Weed, CA
We left I-5 at Weed, CA to follow Hwy 97 out of California into Oregon.  Weed has gotten much smaller over the years and now this small town is under 3,000 people.  It sits about 1044 m (3425’); we’re driving through the Cascade Range so snow is still visible in places.  Have often wondered how this little town got this name.  Turns out it was named after the founder of a local lumber mill, which during the 1940’s was named the largest sawmill in the world!  This little town of Weed! 

Gulls of Weed
Dining with the local gulls.  “Are you looking at me?” He had a pretty clever way of getting his lunch.  Signs say ‘do not feed the birds’ but they’ve figured out how to overcome that.  Just pull the leftover bags from the garbage bin and this fella did it quite easily, threw it onto the sidewalk and shared it!  The car had to stop and honk, then wait for them to scatter.  They have their own rules!  Fun to watch.

Clean up time
This area was hard hit by the fires a couple of years ago.  We do see this work as being a bit early in the season but likely taking precautions of clearing the debris to prevent more fires in the future.  Not a bad thing and no chance of fire spreading with all that snow on the ground.

Dorris, CA
Dorris, CA is one of several small towns we pass through on Hwy 97.  I’m surprised it is called a ‘city’ with a population of only 1000, and I believe the sign is outdated and numbers are fewer but the reservoir proves that it is just that, a city.  It covers 1.8 square km (.7 sq. mi) and has very few amenities but ... looking on the bright side....the real estate is very reasonable.

Cascade Range

The black clouds have disappeared and as always the blue sky and sunshine lift the spirits!  We’ve passed by Klamath Falls and are heading northeast towards Bend, Ore.  We see nice scenery and follow pine tree lined highway through the Cascade Range.  We will stay over in Redmond, Oregon located on the eastern side of the Cascades to end our travels of day two.

We are so fortunate to be able to travel and enjoy the beauty of this world we live in.  Not everything is perfect but if we can find joy and happiness in that which we have and what we can do, then we need to enjoy it as best we can and count our blessings!


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