Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024
Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Monday, July 31, 2023

A Small Change in Plans Gave Us Time to See Lonnie and Drew - Monday, July 31, 2023

Today, we are getting into our old stomping grounds. We will be traveling on OR 138, a scenic highway with lots of waterfalls. We spent many summers along this highway camping with our boys in our Dodge van or a two-room tent. So many wonderful family memories were made here!

When we left Tulelake, our route took us through Klamath Falls. We stopped for fuel at Fred Meyer and then went north on U.S. 97 past Klamath Lake. We turned west on OR 138 (just north of Crater Lake), the "Rogue Umpqua Oregon Scenic Byway." 

OR 138 is straight as an arrow for a number of miles. We were on the east side of the Cascades so most of the trees are Ponderosa or Lodgepole pines. The huge Jack Fire decimated this area in 2021 and we were afraid of how it affected some of our favorite places. From what we could see from the road, areas near the waterfalls still had lots of trees. As we continued farther down the mountains toward Glide, there was more and more burned timber.

This burned area was at the
higher elevation above Diamond Lake.

High elevation above Diamond Lake.

Here, we are descending into the 
waterfall area.

"Rogue Umpqua Oregon Scenic Byway."

You can see this area still has 
lots of trees.

Our original plan was to camp at Timber Valley SKP Park in Sutherlin, Oregon. It is a first-come, first-served park. We could not make a reservation. 

When we arrived at Timber Valley, we were told they didn't have any availability. Plan B: Continue north on I-5, and have lunch in Rice Hill at K&R Drive Inn. Then we will continue north to Eugene and see Bob's sister Lonnie and her husband Drew.

K&R Drive Inn menu, Rice Hill, Oregon.

Of course, we had Umpqua Ice Cream for dessert!

K&R Drive Inn, our family tradition
for 40 years!

Truck and RV parking is just north of
K&R Drive Inn. That's our 5th wheel.

K&R Drive Inn, Rice Hill, Oregon,

We made reservations at Deerwood RV Park just off I-5 south of Eugene. Lonnie and Drew came to visit us in our RV. It was fun to catch up with them because we hadn't seen them in a few years. We caught up on kids, grandkids, retirement status, and travels. Then, Drew took us in their Tesla on a little tour around the University of Oregon. Bob really wanted to see The Matt. The University has changed a lot since Michael graduated from there.

They recommended Chao Pra Ya Thai Cuisine for dinner which was wonderful. I had Mango Stir Fry, Bob had Chicken Teriyaki, and Lonnie and Drew ordered Gang Puck. 

Bob, Lonnie, and Drew are in our 5th wheel.

Bob, Lonnie, and Drew.

Drew, Lonnie, me, and Bob. [Photo by Bob.]

Me, Bob, and Lonnie. [Photo by Drew.]

We had a wonderful visit and we'll be back in Eugene early in September. We will see them again on our way south. Hopefully, we can catch up with some of our friends who are in Corvallis and Cottage Grove, as well.

Tuesday, we will be in Woodland, Washington. Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, July 30, 2023

The World's Perfect Potato - Sunday, July 30, 2023

We left Sparks Marina RV Park in Nevada Sunday morning and headed north on U.S. 395. All was going well. The weather was beautiful. However, I did not do my usual research on the route. I like to look up the roads we'll take to ensure they are truck routes in the Rand-McNally Motor Carrier's Road Atlas.

I was driving this morning and I set Garmin to take us to Tulelake-Butte Valley Fairgrounds RV Park in Tulelake, California. I assumed we would take U.S. 395 all the way north. 

When we got to Susanville, I knew there would be a bypass around town. Garmin did take us on a bypass, but instead of continuing on U.S. 395, that lovely directional aid took us on CA 36 and Skyline Road to CA 139. It was evident from the start of CA 139 that this was a mistake!

Because I did not check the route ahead of time, and I listened to Garmin, we completely missed the U.S. 395 north turn-off south of Susanville! 

We turned off Skyline Road onto CA 139, the highway got narrower and the road went up and up. Soon, we were high up on a narrow two-lane road with no guard rail, looking down hundreds thousands of feet. If you know me, I am terrified of roads like that. Growing up, all my nightmares were about going over a cliff in a vehicle. I was not amused. 

I had Bob look in the Motor Carrier's Atlas. He informed me that CA 139 was not a trucker's route until it got to Eagle Lake, miles ahead. I didn't turn around, but I drove carefully over the mountains. There wasn't much traffic, thank goodness! We reconnected to U.S. 395 in Canby, California, and continued to Tulelake. At Canby, we switched places and Bob drove for the remainder of the afternoon. NOTE: I do not recommend CA 139 between Susanville, California, and Canby, California for RVers unless you don't mind mountain driving on narrow roads!!!

We chose to stay at the Tulelake-Butte Valley Fairgrounds RV Park. We had full hook-ups (30 amp) for $36/night. If you have Passport America, it is $18/night. 
Our site, #13, was very level. The surface was dry grass. Behind our site was an irrigation ditch. Many birds flitted around by the trees, fence, and on the ground. We opened all our curtains for "kitty TV." JoJo especially loved "hunting" the birds from inside. It was very peaceful at this campground and we would stay here again.

If we come back, we will take the time to go to Captain Jack's Stronghold and the caves, including ice caves, at Lava Beds National Monument. There is also great bird-watching at Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge. 

Site 13 at Tulelake-Butte Valley Fairgrounds
RV Park. The park is first-come, first-served.

At the campground looking toward the
irrigation ditch and farmland beyond.

The fairgrounds RV park is at the back
of the fair complex.

I was exhausted from driving today. Bob wanted to go out and explore, but I wanted to stay in and work on writing my blog from Saturday.

He took off to learn about Camp Tulelake and the Tulelake Segregation Center AKA Tule Lake War Relocation Center. Both detained Japanese in the internment centers during World War II. He came back with a wealth of information in the form of brochures and what he learned from the National Park Service ranger. I told him he needs to write a blog!

The Tulelake area is known for its potatoes. Cal-Ore Produce is headquartered in Tulelake, California. It was started in 1976 by a small group of potato growers located in the Klamath Basin. Today, Cal-Ore is recognized as a major provider of organic potatoes in the Western United States. They farm over 2,500 acres of premium-quality potatoes. As we were driving out of Tulelake this morning, I saw a big barn with a painted sign that read, "The World's Perfect Potato." I didn't get a photo of it.

[As an aside, my memory of Klamath Basin potatoes started when I was 25 years old. My husband, Russell, and I lived in Klamath Falls. We were living on a shoestring budget and never seemed to have enough food in our apartment. Russell's mom, Eve, left a 40-pound box of potatoes on our doorstep one day. For about a month, we ate potatoes in every way, shape, and form: mashed, hashed browns, scalloped potatoes, French fries, baked potatoes, and sliced thin then pan-cooked in butter. Those were lean times for us.]

When Bob returned from his exploration, we had breakfast for dinner: pancakes, fried eggs, and hot cinnamon applesauce in lieu of syrup. Very tasty!

When we did the dishes last night, there was no hot water in our 5th wheel. We think when they worked on our black tank handle maybe they changed a setting for our hot water heater or bypassed it while they worked on the plumbing. This morning, I took a shower in the RV park shower house. We need to figure out how to fix our hot water heater situation!!!

I stayed up late finishing my two blogs from Saturday and then called it a night. 

Saturday, July 29, 2023

What Kind of Mischief Did We Get Into Today in Reno? - Part 2, Saturday, July 29, 2023

 Continued from Part 1...

As soon as we returned back to the RV after retrieving our pickup truck from its "prison," I gave Sunnie his insulin. Then we sorted laundry. I spent the next two hours doing laundry. 

At around sunset, Bob rode his bike around Sparks Marina Park Lake and the big shopping/casino complex by Scheels. The casino is new since we last stayed here in 2012.

After doing the laundry and eating dinner, I went to William May Arboretum for  Dragon Lights: Nature Glow. Bob did not come with me because this isn't his thing. He's way more excited about sports. 

By buying my ticket online, I saved $5. The early admission from 8-9 pm was sold out, so I went from 9-10:30 pm. The only problem with the late time is that there is limited parking at the arboretum. When I arrived, there was a line of cars. I ended up parking in a lot about a mile away and ended up walking even more miles today! It was worth it.

This is a photo blog of Dragon Lights: Nature Glow. I feel extremely fortunate to be here during this event.

Dragon Lights: Reno - entrance.

You may see a few photos of this dragon!

The Tree of Life - If you play the drums next 
to this exhibit, the lights change color and 
move to the music.

Awesome! I want one.

The talking parrots.

The peacock's feathers change colors.

The cobra at night.

The Cuban Blue Scorpion at night.


Praying mantis.



Dragon and Tree of Life.

Illuminated swings.

The dragon is way brighter than I am.

So impressive!

A wall of flowers.

The butterfly tree.



Chameleon changing color.


Fanciful flowers.




Dragonflies in the trees.


Praying mantis.

Here is a video of the Butterfly Tree.

And that's a wrap for my photo blog of Dragon Lights: Nature Glow. 

On the way back to the RV park, I stopped at Raley's grocery store to pick up a few items. Once home, I edited all 277 of my photos from today. 

I think it's time for a rest. Sunday night, we will be at the Tulelake-Butte Valley Fairgrounds in Tulelake, California. Travel Bug out.