Monthly Archives: August 2015

Is summer over yet?

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Trixie relaxing and sunning herself atop a picnic table.

The “dog days” of summer – Trixie relaxing and sunning herself atop a picnic table.

Oregon is a busy place during the summer months. And unless you’re on the coast or high up in the mountains, electric hookups are a necessity due to the hot weather. Ever since leaving Canada, we’ve struggled to find vacancies lasting more than a day or two in non-commercial campgrounds. As a result, we’ve had to move frequently leaving little time for taking photos and blogging. From what I read online, school starts here the last week of August so hopefully things will thin out soon.

Since our last blog posting, we’ve been to Milo Mciver State Park near Portland, Detroit Lake State Recreation Area south of Portland and Sisters City RV Park about halfway between Portland and Crater Lake National Park. All were nice but crowded. All had electric hookups as well. But none seemed to offer any blog-worthy topics (either that or I’m simply lazy).

Crater Lake National Park

On August 11th, we headed south to Crater Lake National Park. At over 6,000 feet, the weather was cool so we decided to take a chance and shoot for a first-come, first-served site at a large National Forest Campground on Diamond Lake. We arrived mid-afternoon but were turned away due to wild fires in the area. On the ranger’s recommendation, we headed 30 miles north of Crater Lake to another NFS campground on Lemolo Lake where we found plenty of non-serviced sites from which to choose.

Because we couldn’t camp close to Crater Lake, we only spent one day touring the park.

Believe it or not, the water in Crater Lake really is as blue as shown in this photo.

Believe it or not, the water in Crater Lake really is as blue as shown in this photo.

Cleetwood Trail is the only legal way to access the water’s edge at Crater Lake. It’s a strenuous 1.1 mile hike (one way) that descends the equivalent of a 55 story building. Since Trixie and Eddie are prohibited from Cleetwood Trail, Cindy and I had a good excuse not to attempt it.

So, how did they get the tour boats on the lake? According to the Park Ranger I asked, they were dropped in by a Sikorsky helicopter.

Crater Lake was created by volcanic activity, not a meteor. Note the smoke from wildfires in the background.

Crater Lake was created by volcanic activity, not a meteor. Note the smoke from wildfires in the background.

Some interesting facts about Crater Lake:

  • At a 1,943 feet, it’s the deepest lake in the US.
  • It was formed in 2 days about 7,700 years ago by by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama.
  • There are no streams or rivers leading into or out of the lake. As a result there are no indigenous fish living in the lake, only a few surviving species from those stocked in the late 1800’s.

Click here for more interesting Crater Lake facts.

Our plans to stay at the NFS campground on Diamond Lake were thwarted by these wild fires near Crater Lake.

Our plans to stay at the NFS campground on Diamond Lake were thwarted by these wild fires near Crater Lake.

South Beach State Park, Newport OR

After 2 smokey nights near Crater Lake, Cindy and I headed over to South Beach State Park near Newport OR where we got lucky and snagged a 3-night reservation. Someone must have canceled at the last moment. With lows in the mid-40s and highs in the mid-60s, the Oregon coast is quite a pleasant change from the 100 degree temps not far inland. We really need to plan better for next summer.

Heceta Head Lighthouse on our drive to South Beach State Park.

Heceta Head Lighthouse on our drive to South Beach State Park.

Saturday, August 22 – Memaloose State Park, Columbia River Gorge

Today we’re camped at Memaloose State Park on the Columbia River Gorge. Memaloose is right by Interstate 84 so we can hear the traffic but it’s also close to Hood River Oregon, home to a nice grocery store and the Fruit Loop Trail. Best of all, it’s not full. I guess the families with kids are getting ready for school next week.

Mount Hood as seen from a stop along the Fruit Loop Trail.

Mount Hood as seen from a stop along the Fruit Loop Trail.

Yesterday, Cindy and I drove the Fruit Loop trail, a 35 mile drive that begins and ends in Hood River OR. The Fruit Loop trail passes through farms and orchards, many of which sell locally grown produce. For $2 we bought some wonderfully delicious peaches out of the “overripe bin”. For more on the Fruit Loop Trail and to see what’s in season when, click here.

The view from a farmer’s backyard.

The view from a farmer’s backyard.

On our way to the Fruit Loop Trail, we checked out a few waterfalls along the Columbia River Gorge.

Horsetail Falls along Interstate 84 west of Hood River.

Horsetail Falls along Interstate 84 west of Hood River.

Multnomah Falls is Oregon’s most visited attraction. It was packed with tourists on our first visit so I came back early the next morning to take this photograph.

Multnomah Falls is Oregon’s most visited attraction. It was packed with tourists on our first visit so I came back early the next morning to take this photograph.

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