Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Vacation 2012: Part III - From Avalanches and not quite to Tsunamis

(For Part 1 - where I get to California (the first time) Monday and pick up Rachel Tuesday see this post. For Part 2, where Rachel and I see part of California's Volcanic Legacy before crossing the border in to Oregon (the state, not the Ohio city) see this post.).

Having made it into Oregon, our first step was my grandmother's office where we visited (and Rachel met said grandmother for the first time) before being escorted to the secret entrance to Cliby County. On the way we saw multiples of the sign at the right. Rachel and I spent quite some time in the car questioning what a rogue Umpqua would look like. Or as Rachel posted on Facebook "Umpqua. That is all."

Behind the gates at Cliby Country -- beautiful wooded acres with a sprawling collection of outbuildings (My #2 goal for a vacation property behind a Manhattan pied-a-terre) the time flew as we visited before realizing that we should probably get food before everything in Grants Pass closed for the evening. We wound up at the Taprock Northwest Grill with a fantastic view of the Rogue River; returning to base camp, we visited a bit more before hitting our beds hard.

Thursday morning we convened in the morning with no idea what we were going to do -- the menu of possibilities was nearly endless with far too much to do in the one full day we had allotted to Oregon (yeah, bad planning on my part-- it seemed like a good idea on paper), Ziplining was a strong contender, and a trip down the Rogue river was on my list but fell by the wayside for reasons I don't really remember.

We settled on a trip back to one of the most beautiful places I've ever been -- Crater Lake. Rather than repeat the history I'll let you visit the Wikipedia article and just post a handful of the photos we got on the trip.

The ride up was full of interesting signs -- incidentally, when I say "up" we covered about 8000 feet vertically from the highest point of our trip to the lowest:
The post extending beyond the top of the Avalanche Zone sign gives one indication of the annual snowfall.
You really have to wonder what necessitated this rather obvious sign...
 But when we made it to the top of the drive it was all made worthwhile -- click the photos for the larger versions:
Perhaps my favorite photo from the trip:
After we exhausted the viewing opportunities from the main tourist encampment (and I got a little tired of unleashed children) we grabbed a quick lunch and then embarked on a "quick" trip all the way around Crater Lake on the Rim Drive [by "Quick" I mean "33 mile"] stopping at a few of the scenic overlooks to enjoy Crater Like from a different angle.
Once we had circled back to our starting point we descended from the mountain to return to the real world, but not before passing an aptly named picnic ground
Having exhausted most of the day (not to mention our leg muscles) we decided to head back to Cliby Country and enjoy the evening. While waiting for my grandmother to get home from work, I showed Rachel around the grounds before parking ourselves on a park bench to enjoy the sights and sounds.
How many people are lucky enough to have trees like this in their front yard:

Grandmother came home, more visiting, more food (including a great margarita while we waited for our table) more visiting, and another solid night sleep leaves us at the end of this post...


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