Father and Son US Road Trip- 9 States, 12 National Parks, 2 Months, 6500 Miles!

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
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At Kamiah the road crosses to the south side of the river-
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We're out of Clearwater National Forest but it's still a great road-
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Welcome to Orofino!
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Neat old railroad bridge-
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We made it! Welcome to Walla Walla, Washington!!

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jsbkk

Ol'Timer
Dec 13, 2010
108
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Me and both my sons are keenly following up on this thread. My envious elder son who is studying in Rochester writes to me - "Dad we HAVE to do this!!!!" to which I 100% agree.
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
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jsbkk;283658 wrote: Me and both my sons are keenly following up on this thread. My envious elder son who is studying in Rochester writes to me - "Dad we HAVE to do this!!!!" to which I 100% agree.
Thanks! Some folks, including my mom, told me I was nuts to try and do a trip like this with a five year old. I'm glad I ignored the naysayers and enjoyed such a fantastic and memorable summer with my son!
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
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We found my friend Scott's house without much difficulty-
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Was great to catch up - I hadn't seen Scott in way too long! Since last I saw him he got married and now has a son-
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Scott has an immaculate V-Strom and I was really hoping we could get out for a ride but his brother was in town and he couldn't get away which was a shame. I could tell that Kristhawee and Perrin were up for it!

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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
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Walla Walla, (The Town So Nice They Named It Twice!) is a beautiful little historic town with several universities, lots of old homes, big trees and a bustling "downtown". We walked down to Mainstreet and enjoyed a hearty dinner and fine brews at the Public House.

Scott had a pop-up camping trailer in his back yard and it was nice to sleep in a "real" bed! The camping trailer was our home for the next few days-
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It had been a long day and we were pretty beat. We stayed up and watched some of the summer Olympics on tv until Kristhawee passed out-
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I carried him out to the camping trailer and we called it a night. Sweet dreams my little prince!
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
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The next day I rode the Land Yacht over to Tom's Cycle where my new Bridgestone Battlax BT-020 OEM Replacement tires from Motorcycle-Superstore.com were waiting to be mounted-

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I had them change the oil and filter while I was there and should have asked about the cost because I was a bit shocked when they presented me with a bill for nearly $300


Damn, that hurt, but I guess it's really my fault for not asking how much it would cost ahead of time.

I'll be doing all my own filter and oil changes from now on, that's for sure!!

Other than getting raped for the oil and filter change I was pretty happy with the service I received from Tom's Cycle. Cool little shop, friendly owners, lead mechanic seemed to know what he was doing.
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feejer

Ol'Timer
Feb 16, 2007
443
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TonyBKK;283877 wrote:
I had them change the oil and filter while I was there and should have asked about the cost because I was a bit shocked when they presented me with a bill for nearly $300

Damn, that hurt, but I guess it's really my fault for not asking how much it would cost ahead of time.

I'll be doing all my own filter and oil changes from now on, that's for sure!!

That has to be a world record, even at inflated BMW service/labor costs. It's a 30 minute job at most, the most time consuming part is replacing the canister filter in the oil pan. $300 should have covered the oil/filter AND tire install/balance. What oil did they use? Motul 300V 15W/50 Racing?
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
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feejer;283890 wrote: That has to be a world record, even at inflated BMW service/labor costs. It's a 30 minute job at most, the most time consuming part is replacing the canister filter in the oil pan. $300 should have covered the oil/filter AND tire install/balance. What oil did they use? Motul 300V 15W/50 Racing?
d
I should clarify, the $300 was for mounting the tires and the oil/filter change. Used Honda synthetic which wasn't cheap... You're right that changing the oil on the LT is a very easy job. I really should have done it myself. Ah well, live and learn :)
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
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While the Land Yacht was being serviced I took Kristhawee to Walla Walla's historic Pioneer Park-
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Hanging out with Buster the 3-legged Pug


Pioneer Park has a cool Aviary with over 50 different species of birds-
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Albino Peacock?
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SQUIRREL!
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(It's a running joke from the fantastic Pixar movie "Up")
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Kristhawee had fun chasing the geese and ducks-
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I was kind of hoping that the geese might stand their ground, but seems they were no match for my exuberant 5 year old!
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Those white geese are almost as big as my boy!
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The fowl beat a hasty retreat to the safety of the pond-
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Hey dad, what else can I chase??
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What a gorgeous park. 40 acres of huge trees, ponds, the Aviary, a rose garden, a playground, sculptures and more! Apparently Walla Walla's Pioneer Park was designed by one of the architects (John C. Olmstead) who designed New York's Central Park.

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What an odd sculpture- I'd love to know more about it- the cow is wearing boots, it seems it's a woman holding the reins, and there's another woman falling out of the back of the wagon. Bizarre and intriguing!

We took time to stop and smell the roses

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Kristhawee really enjoyed the rose garden-
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Nothing compares to the sweet smell of a rose-
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
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In the afternoon we joined Scott and his brother for a nice hike around Bennington Lake just to the east of Walla Walla-
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Enjoyed a nice picnic lunch at a shaded spot on the east side of the lake with beautiful views of Walla Walla to the west. It was pretty hot and dry but my little guy made it

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Back at Scott's house we fired up the BBQ in the back yard and had a nice cookout, caught some more of the Olympics on tv and went to bed pretty early.

Tomorrow we're going to Oregon!!
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
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I'd promised Kristhawee I'd take him swimming but the day before we arrived at the pool too late and it was already closed, so I promised him we'd hit it today on our way out of town-
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Just like his dad, this kid loves water

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He was first in, and had I let him he'd probably have been last out-
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Trying to splash dad

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Wish I could have joined him, but this pool was for kids only...

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C'mon buddy! Let's go grab some lunch and hit the road- we're going to Oregon today!
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Hit the taco truck next to the pool for lunch- yum!!
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Took highway 11 south from Walla Walla and were soon in Oregon! Wow, I had no idea eastern Oregon would look like this-
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Beautiful rolling hills and fields of wheat as far as the eye could see-
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We followed Highway 11 down to Pendleton where we jumped on the I-84 headed south-east to Hilgard Junction-
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The interstate climbs up out of the valley-
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Exited I 84 at Hilgard Junction and rode west on the 244 which was a cool road.
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In good repair, nice and twisty, beautiful scenery and no traffic- perfect!
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The 244 winds its way through the Umatilla National Forest-
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What a gorgeous road!
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45 miles to Ukiah, Oregon-
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We had left Walla Walla pretty late so we didn't cover much distance today.
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We saw lots of cows but very few people- this road takes you through some really remote country-
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What's an "Experimental Forest"??

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What a road!
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As the sun began to sink I started looking for a place to camp and we ended up stopping at Bear Wallow Creek Campground-
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We had the whole campground all to ourselves! It's weird how crowded the National Parks are compared to the National Forests. Personally I prefer the peace and quiet of the National Forest Campgrounds, but I know that my son likes the National Park Campgrounds because there are usually kids he can play with. On this trip we had a pretty good mix of both, plus the occasional KOA so everyone was happy :thumbup:
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
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The Bear Wallow Creek Campground had a cool interpretive trail that documents the work done to restore the salmon and trout breeding grounds.
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Kristhawee was keen to go for a hike

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Nice trail with educational signs along the way-
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Kristhawee was having fun learning all about the amazing reproductive cycle of salmon and trout-
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Pretty amazing when you think about it- these fish hatch in these small freshwater streams, live their first year in the stream, then swim to the ocean where they roam for two years before returning to where they were hatched to spawn a new generation. The fish in this stream are 450 miles from the ocean!
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The interpretive trail was an unexpected surprise and made our stay at the Bear Wallow Creek Campground all the more memorable-
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A big fire, dad's gourmet cooking and we were in the tent, got through a few pages of the Jungle Book and were fast asleep pretty early.

Tomorrow we are riding to Bend and the Cascade Lakes via the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and the Old West Scenic Bikeway!
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
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Woke up in the wee hours FREEZING my **** off!
Kristhawee was snug in my REI down sleeping bag and I was in an aging lightweight Marmot bag that has seen better days and could really use a re-fill of down.

When I went to check the temp on the Land Yacht's built in gauge is was showing 36 degrees Fahrenheit (about 2 Celsius)

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Wow, I really wasn't expecting such cold here- it's not like we were at a very high altitude. Must have just been a weird cold snap.

I built a fire to stay warm and eventually my little guy woke up-
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He wasn't too keen to leave his warm sleeping bag- love his expression in this pic-
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On the road headed West.
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The heated seats and grips on the Land Yacht proved useful.

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Beautiful road!
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The 395 Pendleton John Day Highway was fantastic! We saw quite a few bikes on this road.
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Zoomin

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As the morning wore on the temperature rose quickly.

The 395 ends in the tiny little town of Mt Vernon where it intersects with the Old West Scenic Bikeway, Highway 26-
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With a name like that it's gotta be good, right?


We removed several layers of clothes, gassed up and grabbed some breakfast in Mt Vernon before jumping back on the bike and heading West on the Old West Scenic Bikeway.
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We've left the forests behind and are now approaching Picture Gorge and the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument-
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It was getting pretty hot now so we pressed on through the National Monument-
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"Journey Through Time" Oregon Scenic Byway-
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The road through Picture Gorge was pretty cool-
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We're getting closer to Bend; only 32 miles to Mitchell-
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The Old West Scenic Bikeway was a really fun road!
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It was really quite hot now; such a contrast to the near freezing temperature we work up to in the morning. Stopped to stretch our legs and drink some water-
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This is the Painted Hills section of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Colors are pretty washed out in the mid-day sun, but it reminded me quite a bit of the colors and formations that we saw in the Badlands in South Dakota-
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Woohoo! Almost there- welcome to the Cascade Lakes Oregon Scenic Byway!
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
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We rode through Bend which seemed like a really nice town. There was quite a bit of construction on the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway between Bend and Mount Bachelor-
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Our first glimpse of Mount Bachelor!
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Kristhawee was excited to see snow and I pointed out the chair lifts to him as we got closer and told him that some day I'll take him skiing here-
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Once we got past Mt Bachelor the construction ended and the road was in much better shape-
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Mount Bachelor is only one of many volcanoes that makes up the Cascade Range- I think this might be Broken Top Mountain?
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I can't tell you how LUCKY we were in finding camping spots on this trip. For our entire summer I only reserved ONE camping spot, and that was in Yosemite Valley where reservations are a must.

The first campground on Elk Lake was full but we got lucky and scored the last spot in the Point Campground a little further down the road-
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Not a bad spot!
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Quick let's go for a swim! Seemed like a good idea until you set foot in the lake and realize how FREEZING it is!

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C'mon Kristhawee- don't make me splash you!

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Brrrr! That was a cold and invigorating swim!
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Let's get you into some warm clothes and build a nice fire-
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The view from our campground- looking east:
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Looking northeast-
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And to the southeast-
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
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Good Morning from Point Campground on Elk Lake, Cascades Scenic Byway, Oregon!
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The nice couple in the site next to ours gave us some fresh blueberries which certainly livened up our breakfast!


On the road again! Cascade Lakes Oregon Scenic Byway-
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Very short ride today to Crater Lake National Park-
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The road passes through some huge lava flows-
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What a beautiful day! Not a cloud in the sky!
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You can't really hear it due to all the wind noise, but we've got the tunes cranking and the little guy is bouncing to the beat

 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
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Approaching Crater Lake National Park-
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30 more miles to go!
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Winema National Forest
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Volcanic Legacy Oregon Scenic Byway-
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Umpqua National Forest-
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I see snow!!

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It's a beautiful ride up to the rim of the caldera-
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This road is only open during the summer and is buried deep under the snow in the winter-
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Our first glimpse of Crater Lake- Wow!!!

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Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the US and the 2nd deepest in North America.
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Crater Lake formed in the caldera that was left over when Mount Mazama erupted some 7700 years ago. Crater Lake has no streams flowing into or out of it. All water that enters the lake is eventually lost from evaporation or subsurface seepage. The lake is a striking blue hue, and is re-filled entirely from direct precipitation in the form of snow and rain.

Kristhawee was pretty impressed, and so was I!
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You have to be careful- it's about 2000 feet down to the lake and the cliffs are pumice and ash- very slippery. People have fallen to their death when they wandered too close to the edge-
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Back to the Land Yacht- I want to hit the Visitor Center and pick up a Junior Ranger workbook for my son, then we need to find a place to camp, dump our gear, then we'll be back to explore some more!
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
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We ride south on the West Rim Drive-
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Surprisingly little traffic considering it's a weekend-
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Even with all the snow it's quite warm up here at ~7000ft
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The West Rim Drive is a fantastic road!
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I believe that's Hillman Peak on the left-
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Not a cloud in the sky!
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
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Gorgeous views from Rim Village- Crater Lake and Wizard Island-
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We grabbed some lunch here along with a Junior Ranger workbook for Kristhawee. Chatted with the rangers in the Visitor Center and was told the Lost Creek Campground still has spots available.

Some fantastic peg scraping curves just south of Rim Village-
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We take a left onto East Rim Drive. Looking back the way we've come-
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My little guy is zonked out

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Yeah! We scored a great spot at the Lost Creek Campground!
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
While I set up camp Kristhawee went exploring-
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Lost Creek has been found

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Nice spot, but the pine beetles are really doing a number on the trees...

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Once we've got our camp set up we ride back to Rim Village so that Kristhawee can participate in some Junior Ranger activities. The Land Yacht without all our luggage feels almost nimble!

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Great riding in Crater Lake National Park. The traffic in Glacier National Park was quite bad. Crater Lake on the other hand seems unusually deserted on this beautiful summer weekend. You can see the road snaking through the trees below-
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We stopped to check out Vidae Falls-
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Kristhawee at Vidae Falls, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, USA

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Love this pic

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This one's a keeper too!
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Back in the saddle and ready to roll!
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
We return to Rim Village and learn all about the history and folklore surrounding Mount Mazama and Crater Lake.
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A reminder to stay back from the cliff edge-
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We enjoyed a very interesting presentation by one of the Rangers at the Sinnott Memorial Overlook-
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The Ranger told of of how, nearly 7000 years ago, the Klamath Indians witnessed the eruption and collapse of Mount Mazama and subsequent formation over a period of some ~700 years, of Crater Lake. It's quite amazing how closely their ancient legends match what modern day geologists' have discovered. Crater Lake is a sacred place for the Klamath. Their most popular story tells of two Chiefs, Llao of the Below World and Skell of the Above World, pitted in a battle which ended up in the destruction of Llao's home, Mt. Mazama. The battle was witnessed in the eruption of Mt. Mazama and the creation of Crater Lake.

Kristhawee seemed quite fascinated by the whole story and I have to say the Ranger did an amazing job spinning the tale-
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The view looking straight down from the overlook. It's hard to get a persepective, but it's about 2000 feet down to the lake!
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
Next we went to a Junior Ranger activity where the kids got to make a volcano and re-create the eruption of Mount Mazama and formation of Crater Lake-
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The balloon is the magma chamber and the kids are creating Mount Mazama over it-
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Mount Mazama is about to "erupt"!

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Boom! (or pop, as it were) I LOL'd at the kid on the left covering his ears

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And voila- Mount Mazama blew it's top, the Magma chamber collapsed leaving the caldera which filled with rain and snow and became Crater Lake

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We finished the Junior Ranger workbook and Kristhawee earned his Crater Lake National Park Junior Ranger Badge!

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Good job Kristhawee! I'm so proud of you!!
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
We wandered around Rim Village a bit more, taking in the sights-
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Bought some picnic supplies at the General Store, hit the drinking fountain, and then we jumped back on the bike to ride to the base of the Watchman Peak Trail.
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Riding north along the West Rim Drive, we catch occasional glimpses of Crater Lake on our right-
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There's Watchman Peak, and if you look closely you can see the historic stone fire lookout on top-
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Not many cars or people in the Watchman Overlook parking area. The beginning of the trail is an old road which you can see in the background-
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It's about a mile from the parking lot to the top, and about a 400 foot ascent.
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The Watchman Trail sign at the trailhead-
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Gorgeous view of Wizard Island in the late afternoon sun-
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Let's go!
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West Rim Drive on the right, Watchman Trail on the left-
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Starts out easy enough-
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Snow!

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Uh oh, somebody's after me!

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Snowball fight!
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More snow-
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Somebody getting tired already??
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C'mon little dude- it's not much farther to the top!
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As I wait for the little guy I snap some wildflowers by the trail-
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Not at the top yet, but already some amazing views-
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I'm rather surprised to spot this large bird at this altitude. Too big to be a grouse. About the same size as a pheasant, but doesn't look like any pheasant I've ever seen. Not sure what it is?
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Yeah, we made it to the top!!

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What a view!
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I ask a sexy German girl to take our picture-
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Father and son on Watchman Peak, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, USA!
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What a great spot for a picnic!
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On the way down Kristhawee makes friends with a bunch of college co-eds and forgets all about me

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Nice girls and they love my kid, but alas they were staying at Mazama and we're at Lost Creek... ah well


Kristhawee asks me, in all seriousness, if he can go with them

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I want to get back to Lost Creek before dark, but the girls invite us for ice cream at Mazama Village. How could I refuse?


I don't generally like riding at dusk, but I get the impression deer don't come up this high, or at least I hope that's the case.
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Enjoyed ice cream with the girls at Mazama Village and picked up some essential supplies at the General Store-
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Nice Rack IPA


Once the sun went down the temperature dropped quickly. Again I was thankful for the heated seats and grips on the Land Yacht. We made it back to our campground safely and Kristhawee helped me build a big fire.



He's a pyromaniac just like his dad

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Making music with my empty bottle-
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A few pages from the Jungle Book and he was gone-
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Good night my beloved son- sweet dreams! :happy1:
 

TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
Good morning from Lost Creek Campground, Crater Lake National Park!
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Today we're headed to California!
An interesting sidecar rolled by as we were packing up our site-
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Bunch of Harleys at the south entrance of Crater Lake National Park-
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Pleasant morning, the beautiful weather continues! Riding past Klamath Lake-
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Approaching the California border, 53 miles to Weed!

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Our first glimpse of Mount Shasta far off in the distance-
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Welcome to California!!

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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
Woohoo! Welcome to California!
Butte Valley National Grassland-
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Off in the distance we see Mount Shasta-
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Beautiful!
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Grass Lake Station, Klamath National Forest-
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What a view!
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Shasta-Trinity National Forests-
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The snow looks cool, but it's getting quite hot-
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TonyBKK

Ol'Timer
Dec 27, 2007
3,854
11
38
We stopped in the funky town of Weed for fuel and lunch. The Hi-Lo Cafe was packed and serving up some great food-
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After lunch I dropped the Land Yacht
I'd parked it in kind of a tight spot on an incline and as I wrestled it up off the side stand it just kept going, toppling over onto the right side. (Because of the slope, when I went to put my right foot down, I only found air; by the time my foot reached the ground, the bike was already past the point of no return.

Damn it's a heavy beast, full tank of gas, and my son strapped on the back. Kinda funny actually. Kristhawee was hanging there in his harness trying to decide if he should cry or not, which gave me the giggles, which set him off, and there we are, laughing our butts off in the parking lot of the Hi-Lo while passer-bys are giving us strange looks.

A really nice off-duty fireman who was built like a linebacker saw the whole thing, came over and told me there was no way I'd pick that bike up by myself, which was probably true. I removed my son and emptied the top box and panniers and we got the beast back on its feet.

The cool thing is, the engineers at Bayerische Motoren Werke had forseen that numpties like me would be dropping their Land Yacht and they designed the bike with this in mind. There are big solid crash bars built into the sides of the bike, hidden under some black trim, and this keeps the bike from going all the way over.

We rolled out of Weed, pride a bit scuffed, bike undamaged