Father and Son US Roadtrip 2013 on BMW K1200LT

Discussion in 'Global Trip Reports' started by TonyBKK, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Welcome to the 41st Annual BMW MOA International Rally in Salem, Oregon!
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    Beemers, Bigfoot and Blue Skies! :mrgreen:

    Kristhawee at the Oregon State Fairground in Salem, Oregon! He is a happy camper- coming here was totally unplanned; I just love how easy going he is :mrgreen:
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    First order of business was to get registered and figure out where to camp.
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    Tons of space at the Oregon State Fairgrounds- we chose the "Oak Grove" on the south side of the fairgrounds as it was close to the entrance, the folks there seemed quite friendly and there was plenty of shade under the big oak trees. A panorama taken from our spot; Kristhawee is playing with our neighbors dog :)
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    Inside the fairgrounds, Beemers galore! (But if you look closely you'll see that there are other brands mixed in)
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    Wow, who knew BMW makes a 250cc dirtbike?! ;)
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    So much to see at this rally! A huge list of vendors and tons of seminars plus a full entertainment schedule and more! The Vintage BMW Display and Contest was a highlight for both of us-
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    I don't know anything about these old bikes, but they sure are a pleasure to look at!
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    Did BMW actually make bicycles? I couldn't tell if this was genuine or a nicely done fake... I suspect the latter though...
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    Drum brakes, shaft drive, hard tail- awesome!
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    Not only vintage bikes, there were a lot of vintage riders at this rally!
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    This old timer rode all the way from the east coast on his 1975 BMW rat bike. He was pulling a home made trailer that looked like a torpedo on wheels- that was his camper! Mad respect to him for making the journey and I sure hope he makes it home alive!!

    So much to see and do! Can't go to a State Fair without enjoying a snow cone! :mrgreen:
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    The first night there were some great bands on the stage at the Amphitheater, with old school CANNED HEAT headlining! Yes! Canned Heat!
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    The very same band that played at Woodstock back in 1969 is still going strong! Amazing!
     
  2. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Good morning from the 41st Annual BMW MOA International Rally at the State Fairgrounds in Salem, Oregon!
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    Ha ha! Looks like someone partied a bit too hard last night! ;)

    Some bikers from mainland China moved in next to us- they had shipped their bikes all the way from China and were touring the US and Canada for the summer- Respect!
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    Eventually the little guy woke up and we wandered back to the rally and enjoyed some big breakfast burritos-
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    There was a children's pavilion where we met Dee, a retired science teacher from Minnesota who had driven all the way to Oregon with a car full of Monarch Butterflies!
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    She's actually rather famous and breeds thousands of Monarchs every year for the University of Minnesota and schools all over the country. While traveling Dee's Monarchs spend most of their time in wax paper envelopes, but they need to feed twice a day and in captivity their favorite food is watered down honey. Who knew?!

    Monarchs aren't as fragile as I thought- who knew you could store them in envelopes and actually hold them by the wings and not damage them?
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    How does Dee keep track of her butterflies? Look closely at the picture above and below and you'll see that Dee has numbered them!

    How does a butterfly eat? Kristhawee's word of the day: PROBOSCIS! :mrgreen:
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    If the monarch is hungry it will eat all by itself, but sometimes you need to take the toothpick and manually unwind their proboscis and dip it in the honey water- then they feed until they are full.

    Once full they wind up their proboscis and then Dee puts them in a butterfly tent so they can stretch their wings and chill for a while, before going back into their wax paper envelopes.
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    Dee taught the kids (and me!) everything we ever wanted to know about the Monarch Butterfly! Their life cycle, how to tell the males from the females, their amazing migration patterns, why they only lay their eggs on Milkweed, etc!
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    The kids were tested on their knowledge of the life cycle of the Monarch- Kristhawee passed with flying colors :thumbup:
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    Do you know the difference between a cocoon and a chrysalis? Kristhawee does! :clap:

    Really impressed by the kids pavillion- Dee and her friend had set up a ton of activities for the kids. Arts and crafts-
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    I could tell that Kristhawee was in good hands and most of the parents left their kids at the pavillion all day while the parents attended seminars and whatnot, so I wrote down my number just in case of emergency and told Kristhawee I'd be back in a few hours.

    First order of business- take advantage of the DIY bike wash station and clean the beast!
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    Very nice of BMW MOA to supply the sponges, towels and simple green! :thumbup:

    I had a number of other things that I needed to get done- first and most pressing were new tires for the Land Yacht- never have I owned a bike that eats front tires the way the K1200LT does!
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    Usually I average 1 front tire to two rears, but on this bike it's pretty much the opposite. I guess it's the extreme weight that wears out the front tires so fast? I asked around amongst the more experienced BMW riders and it seems it's not unusual on these big heavy bikes to wear out your front tire well before the rear. My front tire was badly cupped and got noisier over time. It was definitely time for a replacement!

    Fortunately there were a lot of tire vendors on hand and I spoke with several reps before deciding on some Metzeler ME880 Marathon tires. I was running the OEM Bridgestone Battleax's and other than the relatively short tire life of the front tire I was happy with them, but these fellows at NoMar recommended the Metzelers, claiming they would perform just as well but last longer.
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  3. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    I picked up Kristhawee from the kids pavilion in the early afternoon; got there just as they were giving the Monarch butterflies their afternoon feed-
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    Sounds like my boy had had a fun day- Kristhawee won another prize, this time a moose to go along with the turkey he'd won the day before! :mrgreen:
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    There was a fun "shuttle" that made the rounds of the rally grounds at the Oregon State Fairgrounds- it consisted of hay bales on a trailer and Kristhawee jumped on the shuttle every chance he got :mrgreen:
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    Kristhawee really wanted to ride the chair lift, but looks to me like it hasn't run in years...
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    Lots and lots of bikes!!
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    I took advantage of the DIY oil change station to service the Land Yacht-
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    Thanks BMW MOA! All I needed was oil and a filter; the BMW MOA volunteers supplied everything else! :thumbup:

    That evening Kristhawee and I decided to take a break from the rally and go for a walk in Salem. A quick peek at Google Maps revealed a large park nearby and the one thing missing from the Oregon State Fairgrounds was a proper playground. We walked about a mile south of the fairgrounds to Englewood City Park and Kristhawee burned off some of his incredible energy-
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    Nice park full of big old oak trees and a nice playground. Lots of kids for Kristhawee to play with too! :mrgreen:
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    Around sunset we decided to find some dinner. We wandered east on Market Street until we came to the very welcoming Willamette Valley Grill-
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    The lot was full of bikes and we hadn't enjoyed a proper sit-down meal in a real restaurant in a while so this was a nice treat.

    After a big dinner my little guy was falling asleep on his feet and I ended up carrying him for a good chunk of the long walk back to our tent at the Oregon State Fairgrounds HeeHee

    Going to the BMW MOA Rally was an unexpected treat for my son and me. Everyone we met there was friendly and welcoming, and it was an eye opening introduction to the BMW scene and culture.

    I'm hoping Kristhawee and I can make it to the 2014 BMW MOA Rally in Minnesota this coming summer, though timing wise it might be a bit tough to get there in time...
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  4. David Learmonth

    David Learmonth Ol'Timer

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    Canned Heat - now there is a blast from the past! Remember them well, but sadly their lead singer Bob Hite ( The Bear) committed suicide. Had no idea they were still going.
     
  5. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Stumbling across the BMW MOA Rally in Salem was a real treat, but it was time for us to get moving again!

    We headed south on the Pacific Highway I-5, through Eugene and exited at Cottage Grove, riding east towards Dorena Lake where I'd heard there was a very nice campground.
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    Unfortunately it was full, but we still had some light left so continued on until we entered the Umpqua National Forest where there were many primitive campsites to choose from.
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    Found a great spot next to a beautiful clear running stream just as the sun was going down. We'd had a late lunch / early dinner in Cottage Grove so I only cooked up a light meal for dinner, then we hit the sack, read a few pages and called it a night!

    Next morning my little guy wanted to see if there were any fish biting-
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    Didn't catch anything but he had fun all the same :)
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    Gorgeous spot!
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    We enjoyed a bit of a lazy morning as it wasn't very far from here to Crater Lake National Park. Time to load up the Land Yacht! :happy3:
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    A quick pic before we hit the road! :mrgreen:
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  6. Winghunter

    Winghunter Ol'Timer

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    Tony, I had the same problem on my LT and it is a common problem of many LT`s. Just have a look to the international LT forum. Quite a lot of good and helpfull information.
     
  7. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Good morning from Umpqua National Forest, Oregon, USA!
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    Wow, what a cool road- single lane, with occasional pullouts in case you run in to any oncoming traffic, which we didn't. Had these roads all to ourselves!

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    We're taking the road less traveled to Crater Lake National Park! Tight and twisty- a motard's dream, but we take it nice and easy on the Land Yacht :happy3:
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    This "road" is more like a footpath. Quite unusual for the US-
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    Started off in excellent repair and got rougher the further we went-
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    Gorgeous views in the Pacific Northwest!
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    This itty bitty road twisted through thick pine forest-
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    There were several sections that were unpaved...
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    I didn't have a proper GPS and many of the forest roads aren't well marked, but the occasional sign helped keep me going in the right direction towards the Willamette State Highway 58-
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    Man it would be fun to come back here with a big dirt bike and really explore these mountains!
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    Eventually we reach the beautiful Hills Creek Lake and the small town of Oakridge-
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    Along the north shore were ripe blackberries as far as the eye can see! We stopped here and pigged out! :mrgreen:
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    We stopped in Oakridge for food and fuel, gorgeous day and we're in excellent spirits!
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    It's here that I learned that the Willamette State Highway 58 is closed for contruction to the east, so I jump on google maps and plot a new route:
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    I thought this route was all paved... Ooops! :oops:
     
  8. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Just east of Oakridge we headed south towards Hills Creek Lake and the "Diamond Drive"- sounds promising!
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    Hills Creek Lake- beautiful!
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    National Forest 21 is a thing of beauty!
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    The highway follows the west shore of Hills Creek Lake-
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    Apologies for picture overload, but it's hard to leave any out!
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    A cool bridge across Larison Cove-
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    We soon leave the lake behind and are once again in thick forest. We've transitioned from the Umpqua to the Willamette National Forest-
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    Tons of beautiful and deserted campgrounds along this road- Secret Campground above and Campers Flat below-
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    Indigo Springs certainly has a nice ring to it! Wow, tempting to stop along here somewhere, but we're quite keen to get to Crater Lake...
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    Big Swamp Road... Don't recall seeing that on Google Maps...
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    A bit further and the pavement ends... :think:
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    Love the look on my son's face- he's like, "Dad, do you know where you're going??!?" :-?

    Not sure if I missed a turn or what. These forest roads aren't well marked. I pull out the iPad- even though I get no data signal here the device has cached the google maps and the GPS still works. It appears we're still on track? Ask the little guy if he wants to turn around or push on. He votes to push on. Good on ya little dude! :thumbup:
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    The gravel road is in quite good repair, but where the gravel gets deep I struggle with the heavy K1200LT! There is NO ONE out here so I take it nice and easy. Don't want to risk a break down or flop out here!

    From the 2153 we eventually connect to the Timpanogas Road, NF2154-
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    The shadows are starting to get long. It's real slow going on these gravel roads. I'm not too worried as we have food and a water filter, so we can always camp if we need to. Still, it would be nice if we could reach Crater Lake today-
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    Zoomin :happy3:
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    Off in the distance a peak! That looks vaguely familiar. I think we're approaching Mt Bailey?
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    Snow!!
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    Finally we're back on a real road! The Rogue Umpqua Oregon Scenic Byway, aka the North Umpqua Highway 138, another road that's now on my short list! http://traveloregon.com/trip-ideas/scenic-byways/rogue-umpqua-scenic-byway/
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  9. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Highway 138 will take us to the North Entrance of Crater Lake National Park-
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    Passing Diamond Lake, we are getting close to our destination!
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    Almost there!
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    We're in! Great road up to the lake-
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    I decided to ride around the lake clockwise as we'd not actually gone all the way around the previous summer. Our first glimpse of Crater Lake:
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    Even though the hour is late, it certainly merits stopping to get a better look!
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    Kristhawee is tickled pink that we've returned to his favorite National Park-
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    Continuing on- I think this was taken somewhere on the East Rim Drive-
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    The bright green lichen on the cliff face makes a nice contrast to the striking blue of the lake. Not bad for an ancient point and shoot Canon, eh?
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    This is Mount Scott, the highest point in Crater Lake National Park. If you look closely you can see the old stone watchtower on the peak-
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    Continuing on we spot the "Phantom Ship" island-
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    And there, on the far side of Crater Lake is Wizard Island, a volcano in a lake in a volcano!
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    We make another stop to take it all in-
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    Beautiful pine forest as far as the eye can see and you can just see the road snaking through the trees below. Not sure what sharp peak that is off in the distance-
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    4 miles from the junction to the Pinnacles Road which would take us to the Lost Creek Campground-
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    Happy Days! :mrgreen:
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    I'd hoped to camp at the Lost Creek Campground where we'd stayed the previous summer, but we were informed by the Ranger at the entrance that the campground was closed due to drought and associated fire risk. The only other campground in the park is Mazama, so off we went! Arriving there with no reservation I wasn't optimistic, and there was a long line of people in front of us, all looking for spots to camp... Struck up a conversation with the nice couple in front of us, Sean a student from California, and his friend Sarah from the UK. Asked them, semi-jokingly if they'd want to share a campsite with a well behaved 6 year old and his naughty dad and they surprised me by agreeing immediately. When our turn came they staff informed us that there were only RV sites left, but, beggars can't be choosers, so we took one all the same. And what a spot it was! Wow- did we luck out!!
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    The spot was HUGE and very secluded. Not at all your "typical" RV spot at all. Wonderful! Sean and Sarah were the nicest people we met all summer- we became friends almost immediately and continue to stay in touch.

    Kristhawee sure has a thing for bear boxes ;)
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    It had been a LONG day! After setting up camp and throwing down a simple meal and tipping back some beers with Sarah and Sean we crashed out pretty early. Tomorrow will be a full day of exploring in Crater Lake National Park!
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  10. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Good morning from Camp Mazama in Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, USA!
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    The lights are on, but is anyone home?

    Ah- that's better!
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    First order of business is breakfast! One nice thing about camping here is there's a general store walking distance from our campsite where I pick up some fresh eggs and coffee. Kristhawee is getting pretty good at whipping up cheddar cheese scrambled eggs :thumbup:
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    After breakfast we all jumped in Sean and Sarah's car to drive to the Cleetwood Cove Trail which is the only trail that leads to the lake. To say Kristhawee was excited would be an understatement!
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    Crater Lake is such a vivid and surreal blue!
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    There's the boat landing, way down below:
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    Sean, Kristhawee and Dad :)
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    Kristhawee is motoring along! He's been dreaming of visiting Wizard Island for a year now!
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    Amazing color and clarity!
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    You can't make them out in this picture, but the water is so clear that we could see the trout swimming around and regretted not bringing a fishing pole.
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    Loading the Umpqua for a cruise around Crater Lake-
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    We were hoping to take a boat tour to Wizard Island, but they were all booked out. Kristhawee was heartbroken that we couldn't go to Wizard Island today- he was so excited to go!
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    Full house, no room for us today... :sad1::
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    I bought tickets for the next day and tried my best to console my boy. Oh those silent tears!

    A Crater Lake panorama taken at the Cleetwood Cove boat launch-
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    Sean and Kristhawee on the shore of Crater Lake-
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    We decided to test the water-
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    OMG it's COLD!!! :shock: Crater Lake is the deepest lake in North American and the 9th deepest lake in the world. Due to it's immense size and altitude the water temperature averages only 38°F (3°C)! To be fair, on a warm sunny day like today the surface water is warmer than that, but it's still REALLY REALLY COLD!!!
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    Kristhawee went to far as to get his feet wet, but that's about as far as he'd go!
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    There goes the boat to Wizard Island!
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    Some other boys showed up and they all had a good time chasing crawfish-
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    The lake is full of them- they are considered a non-native species, as are the trout, all introduced by the white man around some time in the early 1900's
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    Hey! You caught one! :clap:
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    Picnic lunch of the shore of Crater Lake-
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    Some eye candy too :mrgreen:
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    There's a cliff where you can jump into the lake- pretty exhilarating when you hit the water. Sean jumped and is now swimming back to us-
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    I got a pretty good video of Sean jumping too-
     
  11. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    After a fun day at the lake it was time to head back to camp. The 1.1 mile hike from the short to the rim is a tough one and Kristhawee enjoyed a nice nap on the way back to camp-
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    Sean gave him a balsa wood glider which Kristhawee really enjoyed building and flying-
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    For dinner we picked up a few cans of chili and some fresh veggies from the general store and Sean whipped up an awesome meal-
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    After dinner we all piled back into Sean's car for a sunset hike to the Watchman, the highest viewpoint on the caldera rim-
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    Kristhawee at the base of the Watchman Trail with Crater Lake and Wizard Island in the background-
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    Kristhawee is super excited to visit Wizard Island tomorrow! So am I! :mrgreen:
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    Snow on the trial! You know what that means- Snowball fight!!
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    My little guy is developing a pretty good arm- incoming!
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    We hustle up the trail but it doesn't look like we'll make the summit before the sun sets-
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    This trail isn't very long but climbs a lot of vertical; my little dude is running out of gas ;)
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    Gorgeous colors in all directions-
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    Sarah gives Kristhawee a helping hand-
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    With the sun setting to the west I reach a switchback in the trail and discover that the moon is rising just as the sun is setting! Wow, simply spectacular!
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    Moonrise over Crater Lake!
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    And there goes the sun!
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    With the sun set we still have a little way to go to reach the summit. Kristhawee gets a lift from Sean-
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    It's not hard to understand why this is a sacred place for the local Native American tribes-
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    We made it to the top! :clap:
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    Sean and Sarah at the Watchman!
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    The bright moon reflected off the surface of Crater Lake-
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    Kristhawee doesn't want to pose for a picture, but I love this one all the same!
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    We stayed up here long after everyone else had left. I'm glad we did :thumbup:
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    With the sun set it got chilly in a hurry- fortunately we came prepared- warm clothes, drinks and snacks (sorry Kristhawee, you'll have to wait a few more years for the beer) beerchug
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    Finally it was time to head down, with flashlights and the moon to light our way. We discovered that with the sun down a lot of weird and interesting bugs came out in the moonlight-
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    Some kind of weird cricket?
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    Back in the car Kristhawee fell fast asleep on the drive back to Camp Mazama- sweet dreams my little prince! More adventures await us tomorrow!
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  12. Gforcejunkypkt

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    Great stuff and beautiful pix! Your son looks a lot like you, what an adventure to have with him, awesome experience to see the country like that on the back of a motorcycle with his Dad, which I'm sure he'll remember for the rest of his life. Would love to take my daughter on a trip around the States some day, if I ever do I know who to talk to!
     
  13. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Thanks a lot :mrgreen:

    Some people told me I was nuts when I took my boy on our first big US tour when he was just 5, but it was a smashing success and something I hope we can do every year, or at least until my boy is old enough to ride his own bike! No better way to see the country than on two wheels! :happy3:

    We met a cool family at the BMW rally who had brought their 5 year old daughter in a side car. Where there's a will there's a way!!
     
  14. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Good morning from Crater Lake National Park!
    CraterLake_124.

    First order of business- coffee and breakfast!
    CraterLake_125.

    No such thing as too much cheese!
    CraterLake_127.

    Kristhawee the cheesy eggs master!
    CraterLake_128.

    Then it was back in the car for the drive to the Cleetwood Cove Trail down to the boat launch and all aboard for our cruise to Wizard Island!
    CraterLake_129.
    This ranger was awesome- incredibly knowledgeable about Crater Lake and with a great sense of humor too!

    And we're off! (yes, Kristawee is wearing pajama bottoms... :shifty:)
    CraterLake_130.

    I'm bummed I can't remember the ranger's name- he was a real class act and did an excellent job of engaging and interacting with everyone on the boat-
    CraterLake_131.

    Sean and Sarah-
    CraterLake_134.

    Bright and sunny out on the lake!
    CraterLake_136.

    Here Kristhawee, put on your shades- that's better isn't it? 8)
    CraterLake_137.

    The ranger points out some of the more spectacular geological formations along the caldera rim-
    CraterLake_138.

    Kristhawee really enjoyed chatting with the ranger-
    CraterLake_139.

    Cruisin'
    CraterLake_140.

    CraterLake_141.

    Who can identify this rare geological formation?
    CraterLake_145.

    PJ's and pink socks! I kind of dig that my kid doesn't care one bit what people think of his attire :thumbup:
    CraterLake_147.

    Good shot of Kristhawee with Wizard Island in the background-
    CraterLake_150.

    Our destination:
    CraterLake_151.

    The Cleetwood Cove Trail is the only trail to the lake. The rest of the caldera is steep, slippery and dangerous-
    CraterLake_153.

    Another very cool geological formation-
    CraterLake_154.

    CraterLake_155.

    Apologies for picture overload, but as a Geology Minor I find this stuff fascinating!
    CraterLake_156.

    Cool colors on this steep pumice slope-
    CraterLake_159.

    CraterLake_160.

    Almost there!
    CraterLake_161.

    Kristhawee is so excited :mrgreen:
    CraterLake_163.

    CraterLake_164.

    The Ranger gives us a run down on the island, safety rules and reminds everyone not to be late for the return trip a few hours later-
    CraterLake_165.

    Looking back the way we've come-
    CraterLake_166.

    Approaching the Wizard Island landing-
    CraterLake_167.

    CraterLake_168.

    Woohoo! We've made it!
    CraterLake_169.

    CraterLake_170.
     
  15. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Woohoo! We're on Wizard Island!
    CraterLake_175.

    We've got a few hours to explore Wizard Island before we have to catch the boat back to Cleetwood Cove. Let's hit the summit!
    CraterLake_177.

    It's a rocky slippery trail and it's all UP!
    CraterLake_178.

    Kristhawee motored along pretty well-
    CraterLake_179.

    Chasing lizards!
    CraterLake_180.

    Onwards and upwards!
    CraterLake_181.

    Hiking in PJ's- you rock little dude! :clap:
    CraterLake_183.

    This island looks small from the crater rim, but once we're on it we get a better sense for the size and scale- Wizard Island rises some 755 feet (230 m) above the surface of Crater Lake and the peak is 6,933 feet (2,113 m) above sea level! We're huffing and puffing in the thin air up here!
    CraterLake_184.

    The higher we climb the more beautiful the views!
    CraterLake_185.

    CraterLake_186.

    CraterLake_187.

    The trail switch backs up the volcanic cinder cone, offering amazing views at every turn-
    CraterLake_188.

    Getting close to the top!
    CraterLake_189.

    My point and shoot doesn't do the colors of Crater Lake justice-
    CraterLake_191.

    Amazing blues, greens and turquoise!
    CraterLake_192.

    CraterLake_194.

    We made it to the top of Wizard Island! :clap:
    CraterLake_195.

    Hard to get a sense of scale- Wizard Island's volcanic crater is 500 feet (150 m) wide and 100 feet (30 m) deep. The crater was named the "Witches Cauldron" by Will G. Steel in 1885, who also gave Wizard Island its name at the same time.
    CraterLake_196.

    Descending into the witch's cauldron!
    CraterLake_197.

    And here we are! Sitting in the Witch's Cauldron- a volcanic crater that's in a lake that's in a crater! Mind blowing!
    CraterLake_201.
     
  16. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    We'd slid down into the Witches Cauldron from the north and hiked up and out to the south-
    CraterLake_206.

    Here comes Kristhawee!
    CraterLake_207.

    Amazing views in all directions from the crater rim-
    CraterLake_208.

    This looks like a nice spot for a picnic!
    CraterLake_209.

    Omnomnomnom DinnerGif
    CraterLake_210.

    A final look into the Witches Cauldron before we head down-
    CraterLake_211.

    Let's hit the trail!
    CraterLake_212.

    Wow, the colors!!
    CraterLake_213.

    CraterLake_214.

    Apologies for picture overdose!
    CraterLake_215.

    Kristhawee is motoring along- down is easier than up, but you have to be careful as this is a cinder cone and quite slippery-
    CraterLake_216.

    I never get tired of looking at the colors of Crater Lake!
    CraterLake_217.

    CraterLake_218.

    I keep telling Kristhawee to slow down and be careful... He gives me "the look" ;)
    CraterLake_221.

    CraterLake_222.

    Some nice thick forest and shade towards the base-
    CraterLake_224.

    We've got just enough time for a quick visit to Fumarole Bay-
    CraterLake_225.

    Fumarole Bay- that-a-way!
    CraterLake_227.

    It's a bit of a challenging trail over rugged volcanic rock-
    CraterLake_229.

    Which way??
    CraterLake_231.

    An interesting volcanic landscape!
    CraterLake_232.

    Can you see the "trail"? It's easy to lose it!
    CraterLake_233.

    Watch your step! It would be easy to twist an ankle here and I'm glad we've both got decent hiking boots-
    CraterLake_234.

    Fumarole Bay! The colors here are amazing and my camera does not do them justice-
    CraterLake_235.

    This trail is a workout!!
    CraterLake_236.

    Not sure the purpose of this steel cable with loops in it... Perhaps a place to moor boats?
    CraterLake_237.

    Another look-
    CraterLake_239.

    Crater Lake has some of the cleanest clearest water of any lake on the planet-
    CraterLake_240.

    Love the bright green fuzzy moss on the north sides of the trees-
    CraterLake_242.

    I'd brought Kristhawee's fishing pole all this way as a ranger had mentioned there is sometimes good fishing in Fumarole Bay-
    CraterLake_243.

    Kristhawee fishing in Fumarole Bay, Wizard Island, Crater Lake!
    CraterLake_244.
     
  17. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    I wish we could have stayed on Wizard Island longer, but overnight camping isn't allowed and it was time to catch the last boat back to Cleetwood Cove-
    CraterLake_247.
    Look like Kristhawee had a good time :)

    Someone is not in the mood to smile for the camera ;)
    CraterLake_252.

    This will have to do :mrgreen:
    CraterLake_257.

    Bye bye Wizard Island!
    CraterLake_249.

    The boat doesn't take us straight back to Cleetwood Cove- we enjoy a tour of some more prominent geological features of Crater Lake-
    CraterLake_259.

    From the Crater Lake Institute: (http://www.craterlakeinstitute.com)

    "Much of the beauty of the walls of Crater Lake comes from the delicate coloring of the rocks, notably on Garfield Peak and the Eagle Crags and beneath Hillman Peak, where they have been affected by solfataric action. Here the normally somber colors of the andesites give way to shades of yellow, buff, brown, and orange which contrast pleasingly with the deep blue of the adjacent lake and the bright reds of the slaggy lava crusts."

    CraterLake_264.

    CraterLake_272.

    CraterLake_262.

    These green-covered hills are pieces of the crater rim that have fallen into the lake! Geologists are able to match the rock layers in the hummocks to those in the rim above-
    CraterLake_265.

    Lots and lots of waterfalls!
    CraterLake_266.

    CraterLake_267.

    Very dry this year, but there are still a few patches of snow-
    CraterLake_270.

    CraterLake_272.

    Wow that's steep!
    CraterLake_274.

    Phantom Ship!
    CraterLake_275.

    From the Crater Lake Institute:

    "The Phantom Ship is a remaining section of the filled conduit of a fissure from which probably poured many of the lower layers of lava constituting Dutton Cliff. The island is about 500 feet long and reaches a maximum width of 200 feet near the east end. Its east-west ridge of spires, towering 170 feet above the water, sharply divides most of the island into two slopes, one very steeply sloping to the south and the other less steeply to the north"

    Eye of the needle-
    CraterLake_276.

    CraterLake_277.

    Phantom Ship looks so small from the crater rim, but is anything but!
    CraterLake_279.

    Coming around the Phantom Ship you can see the clear line in the water that marks the spot where the depth of the lake plunges dramatically-
    CraterLake_283.

    More amazing scenery- I believe this is Dutton Cliff?
    CraterLake_281.

    Pumice Castle!
    CraterLake_296.

    From the Crater Lake Institute:

    "Of the many colorful volcanic formations in the walls surrounding Crater Lake, The Pumice Castle, on the east wall, attracts the attention of many visitors.The Pumice Castle is part of an extensive lenticular bed of fragmental pumice outcropping on the crater wall about 1,300 feet above the level of the lake, or 400 feet below the crater rim just south of Cloudcap. The bed of pumice has a maximum thickness of 190 feet"

    CraterLake_292.

    Pumice Castle up close-
    CraterLake_291.

    CraterLake_299.
     
  18. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Let me back up to Wizard Island for a moment- I forgot about these panorama shots that I took using a cool app called Photosynth (http://photosynth.net/)
    CraterLake_023.

    The Witches Cauldron-
    CraterLake_024.

    From the crater rim of Wizard Island looking in the direction of Fumarole Bay-
    CraterLake_026.

    One more-
    CraterLake_027.
     
  19. Lakota

    Lakota Ol'Timer

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    Thanks for taking us with you on your epic journeys . :thumbup:
     
  20. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Continuing on our boat tour of Crater Lake we passed Redcloud Cliff-
    CraterLake_300.
    From the Crater Lake Institute: "Located near the center of the eastern Crater Lake caldera rim, Redcloud Cliff takes its name from the reddish-yellow tuff or tuffaceous dacite that underlies it's principle flow.
    [Cloud Cap Dacite Flow, The Geology and Petrography of Crater Lake National Park (1902)] Redcloud Cliff is a dacite flow overlain by pumice and glacial till and underlain by an older dacite flow. Beneath the older dacite flow lie thick deposits of pumice and welded tuff, and then a succession of andesite flows."


    A few more random shots before we arrive at Cleetwood Cove-
    CraterLake_304.

    CraterLake_305.

    Haha! My little guy passed out :)
    CraterLake_306.

    More impressive and imposing cliffs-
    CraterLake_310.

    CraterLake_311.

    CraterLake_313.

    Looks like there's a cave at the bottom of this cliff-
    CraterLake_314.

    Would be cool to canoe around this lake, except that you'd have to portage your boat all the down the Cleetwood Cove Trail...
    CraterLake_315.

    Finally we arrive back at Cleetwood Cove. If you look closely you can see the trail switchbacking up the steep face-
    CraterLake_316.

    CraterLake_317.

    As we're heading back up to the Crater Rim one last shot of Cleetwood Cove-
    CraterLake_029.

    The nap seems to have revived Kristhawee and he enjoyed racing some other kids up the trail-
    CraterLake_318.
    (He beat 'em by a mile) :mrgreen:

    We made it!!! What a brilliant day cruising Crater Lake and exploring Wizard Island!
    CraterLake_319.

    Got back to camp around sunset and enjoyed hotdogs over the fire and S'mores for dessert-
    CraterLake_320.

    Kristhawee had had a LONG day and passed out early!
    CraterLake_323.
    Good night!
     
  21. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    We had a wonderful time at Crater Lake National Park and made some great new friends, but it's time for us to hit the road again! It's already mid July and we've only covered two states! Still a long way to go to reach Grandma's house in Minnesota!
    CraterLake_324.
    We bid farewell to our new friends Sean and Sarah and the funny kid who was camping nearby and hit the road.

    A quick stop at the Crater Lake Post Office to mail on some toys and Junior Ranger books as we're running out of room on the Land Yacht. Kristhawee was sad to leave and was really missing Sean and Sarah...
    CraterLake_325.
    I'm happy to report we've stayed in touch and I'm looking forward to catching up with Sean and Sarah again some day!

    Today we will bid farewell to Oregon and ride to Idaho!!! :happy3:
     
  22. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    It feels good to be back on the road again!
    CraterLakeToIdaho_002.

    Exiting Crater Lake National Park we turn right and head east on Volcanic Legacy Oregon Scenic Byway 138-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_003.

    Approaching Dalles-California Highway 97-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_004.

    We ride east on the 138, then north on the Dalles-California Highway 97 through Deschutes National Forest and Bend, Oregon, turning right and riding east again on the Central Oregon Highway 20 towards Idaho!
    CraterLakeNPToJohnDayBurnsHwy395.

    One thing I really dig about Oregon is it seems to have a lot more mom and pop businesses and has somehow resisted the invasion of the big national chains.
    CraterLakeToIdaho_005.

    Bigfoot Tavern- the yeti features prominently in the folklore of the Pacific Northwest! Even bigfoot likes beer apparently beerchug
    CraterLakeToIdaho_008.

    Just me and my boy and the open road- life is good!
    CraterLakeToIdaho_009.

    Riding east on the Central Oregon Highway I think we might get wet...
    CraterLakeToIdaho_011.

    This is some wide open country! Lots of OHV trails too. Some day when my boy has got his own bike!
    CraterLakeToIdaho_012.

    106 miles to Burns, Oregon and from there it's still a good ways to Boise. It occurs to me that we won't reach Idaho today...
    CraterLakeToIdaho_013.

    Selfie :mrgreen:
    CraterLakeToIdaho_014.

    When people think of Oregon they usually think of mountains and pine trees. Central and eastern Oregon remind me more of the great plains in the midwest-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_015.

    Rest areas are few and far between out here-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_016.

    Lots of abandoned buildings out here-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_017.

    Cruisin along :happy3:
    CraterLakeToIdaho_018.

    Feel pretty small out here!
    CraterLakeToIdaho_019.

    Lone backpacker / hitchhiker out in the middle of nowhere. Hope he can get a lift!
    CraterLakeToIdaho_021.

    This is Hampton, Oregon, population 41!
    CraterLakeToIdaho_022.

    We've got the road pretty much to ourselves-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_024.

    Whole lotta nothing!
    CraterLakeToIdaho_025.

    Doesn't look terribly dry, but fire restrictions are in effect-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_026.

    Was that someone's home once upon a time? I can't imagine what it would be like to live out here. Must be brutal in the winter...
    CraterLakeToIdaho_027.

    Haha! I can't remember what we were talking about, but what a face!
    CraterLakeToIdaho_029.

    Still smilin' :mrgreen:
    CraterLakeToIdaho_031.
    Kristhawee is such an awesome kid. Never complains and is always up for adventure. I feel blessed to have such a wonderful son!

    The small town of Burns, Oregon has got a Golden Arches. Kristhawee is psyched and I can finally check my email. Someone needs a haircut!!
    CraterLakeToIdaho_035.

    While we're hanging at McD's I do a search for campgrounds and discover there are a bunch not far to the north in the Malheur National Forest, so after picking up some supplies in Burns off we go north on the John Day-Burns Highway 395-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_036.

    The 395 is a nice road- nice to see some curves again!
    CraterLakeToIdaho_037.

    CraterLakeToIdaho_038.

    I take it easy as it's getting late and this looks like deer country-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_039.

    CraterLakeToIdaho_040.

    Devine Canyon Scenic Corridor :thumbup:
    CraterLakeToIdaho_041.

    Welcome to Malheur National Forest. "Malheur" is French for misfortune and strikes me as a rather depressing name for such a beautiful forest. I wonder if there's a story behind the name...
    CraterLakeToIdaho_042.

    We spot a weathered sign for the Idlewild Campground, pull in, and it's pretty much deserted-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_049.

    CraterLakeToIdaho_043.

    What do you think Kristhawee? Want to stay here?
    CraterLakeToIdaho_044.

    He picked a good spot! :clap:
    CraterLakeToIdaho_045.
    The gentleman managing the campground was a real nice fellow and told us that there might be some severe weather headed our way and that if it got ugly he didn't mind us moving our bike and tent under the big picnic pavillion you can see off to the right in the above picture.

    Idlewild Campground, Malheur National Forest, Oregon- if you're looking for some peace and quiet, this is a good choice!
    CraterLakeToIdaho_046.

    We wandered about and I quite enjoyed this hand carved wooden map of the area-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_047.

    Lots of people told me I NEEDED a GPS for these tours, but honestly, paper maps do me just fine. Kristhawee seems to enjoy them too-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_048.

    Dinner and a few pages from the Call of the Wild and we were soon fast asleep. The nasty weather never did materialize. Life is good! :mrgreen:
     
  23. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Friday, July 26th and we're on the road again, headed east to Idaho!
    CraterLakeToIdaho_050.

    11 am and the temperature is climbing quickly. Gonna be a hot one today I think!
    CraterLakeToIdaho_052.

    Zoomin! :happy3:
    CraterLakeToIdaho_051.

    The Central Oregon Highway has got some nice curves east of Burns-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_058.

    As well as long stretches that are dead straight-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_053.

    Modest living out here-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_057.

    It gets drier and hotter the further east we go-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_061.

    Drinkwater Pass, elevation 4212"
    CraterLakeToIdaho_063.

    Now we're into some rolling hills and the road is more interesting-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_064.

    An "Oasis" in the middle of nowhere ;)
    CraterLakeToIdaho_065.

    CraterLakeToIdaho_066.

    Gorgeous road and completely deserted!
    CraterLakeToIdaho_067.

    Following the Malheur River-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_068.

    Hotter and hotter! 99ᵒ degrees Fahrenheit (about 38ᵒ C)
    CraterLakeToIdaho_069.

    CraterLakeToIdaho_070.

    102!
    CraterLakeToIdaho_073.

    At least it's a dry heat, and the views remain spectacular-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_074.

    CraterLakeToIdaho_075.

    CraterLakeToIdaho_076.

    CraterLakeToIdaho_077.

    CraterLakeToIdaho_078.

    CraterLakeToIdaho_079.

    31 miles to Idaho!
    CraterLakeToIdaho_080.

    CraterLakeToIdaho_081.

    Huge harvester!
    CraterLakeToIdaho_082.

    Big agriculture around here-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_083.

    Approaching the town of Vale, Oregon-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_084.

    Welcome to Vale!
    CraterLakeToIdaho_085.

    Lunch at a fantastic Mexican joint on A Street-
    CraterLakeToIdaho_088.

    If you're passing through Vale, Oregon, Chavelitas Mexican Restaurant has got some awesome grub! DinnerGif
    CraterLakeToIdaho_090.
     
  24. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Welcome to Idaho!! :wave:
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_012.

    I didn't want to ride through downtown Boise so we skirted the city and followed the Payette River to the north, riding east towards the Boise National Forest-
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_065.

    A pleasant albeit slow ride through some small towns north of Boise-
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_013.

    East on country road 52-
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_017.

    Following the Payette River-
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_015.

    A pleasant ride and we avoided all the heat and traffic of Boise-
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_016.

    We stopped for food and fuel at Horseshow Bend at the junction of highways 52 and 55 and I consulted the large map on the wall-
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_018.

    Kristhawee talked me into buying him a rather nasty looking icecream. Turns out it was just as gross as I thought ;)
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_019.

    On the road again! Now we're riding north on Highway 55, still following the Payette River-
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_020.

    Highway 55 is a fantastic road!
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_021.

    A bit further north we hang a right onto the Banks-Lowman Road and and follow the South Fork of the Payette River east-
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_022.

    Smokey the Bear warns us of high fire danger, and I hear there are some large forest fires burning in the Boise National Forest, but so far the air is clear and no sign of smoke...
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_025.

    A fantastic ride and zero traffic! :thumbup:
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_027.

    Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway-
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_028.

    What a road! What a view!
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_029.

    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_030.

    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_031.

    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_032.

    A few short sections were under repair, but well marked and no drama-
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_033.

    Motorcyclists love these signs :mrgreen:
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_036.

    Some serious earth moving equipment!
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_037.

    It's getting late so we should pick a spot to camp soon. There are many National Forest campgrounds to choose from along this road and we chose Pine Flats on account of it's attractive location right above the Payette River and the fact that there are some wild hotsprings nearby-
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_038.
     
  25. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    We set up camp in record time and hit the trail from the Pine Flats Campground to the nearby wild hot springs-
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_040.

    Came across this little pool... Lukewarm and unimpressive, this can't be it; let's keep going!
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_041.

    The "trail" takes you through the Payette River- COLD!!
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    Cold and slippery but nothing my little guy couldn't handle :mrgreen:
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    Another small pool, not terribly hot, this can't be it...
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    We found it! Wow, it's a hot spring that's fed by a scorching hot waterfall- how cool is that??!?
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    This amazing wild hotspring is right above the beautiful Payette River- what a spot!
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    A look up at the waterfall- it was scalding hot- I could stand under it only for a few seconds at a time!
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    Relaxing in one of the most beautiful wild hotsprings I've ever enjoyed with my beloved boy; as good as it gets!
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    The closer you sit to the waterfall the hotter it gets!
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    Hotspring selfie ;)
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    The shadows were getting long but neither of us wanted to leave!
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    Fortunately I'd brought along food, drinks, warm clothes and flashlights in case we ended up hiking back to camp in the dark. Ah, here come some more people. Guess we'll have to share our hotspring :)
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_055.

    But, as it turned out, those kids were afraid to follow the trail through the river so we still had the hotspring all to ourselves :thumbup:

    When we'd get too hot in the main spring we'd wander down to some of the cooler ones below-
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_057.

    Splish splash life is good!
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    Just before sunset a couple joined us- they were cool and friendly-
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    Dark now but it looks like me little guy is in no hurry to get back to camp-
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    I asked the couple to snap a picture of us- father and son enjoying the hot springs near Pine Flats Campground, Boise National Forest, Idaho, USA!
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    Finally it was time to head back to camp. A simple dinner and marshmallows over the fire for dessert, then straight to bed.
    ValeOregonToPineFlatsIdaho_063.
    After soaking in the hotsprings for several hours we were so relaxed that sleep came quickly and easily. Sleeping under the stars and pine trees with the soothing sound of the rushing river below and by boy beside me, I never want this to end...
     
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