Our fifth wheel and the truck

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Moving South - only a little way though!

Well as I predicted, the area around Roseburg, OR was my sort of place - well Norm’s too. We stopped in Tri-City for two nights and it was from here that we visited some lovely wineries.

Famous last words! Norm to Paula as we pulled in the first winery “ You know we can’t buy any wine, we don’t have anywhere to put it.” Well, we tried the wine and some of it was really nice so Norm walked out of that one with two bottles! We visited five on the day and Norm brought home about ten bottles in total. But they were really nice ones!!!!

What was really good about the day was driving through the vineyards with the autumn colours just everywhere throughout the whole area. Mind you I didn’t take too many photos - that sort of got lost in the other major activity - wine tasting!!!!

We drove to Crater Lake on Wednesday, unpacked and as it was still early we decided to go up to the crater and have a look around. It is just unbelievable! You drive up the road and don’t even realise how high you are ascending until you get a glimpse of this dirty great side of the crater and then you get out of the car and go to the edge and look over! It is absolutely breathtaking! The water has got to be the most unimaginable colour of blue and is just so still. The crater was formed when the volcano, Mt Mazama erupted 7,700 years ago and collapsed in on itself. There is no river or stream or spring feeding the lake, the water comes solely from the rain and the average snow fall of ….. Wait for it…. 44 feet of snow!!!!!

We drove all around the crater and got some wonderful photos including some of Wizard Island and the Phantom Ship - the only two bits that stick up out of the lake. As the day progressed and we made our way around the crater it began to get very misty and foggy and it wasn’t until we were about ¾ of the way around that we saw a huge bushfire. We were told it was probably a controlled burn but of course it was the smoke that was settling in the crater that was causing the misty appearance. The only good thing out of it was that when I took some photos of the Phantom Ship the smoky haze gave it an even more spooky look.

On Thursday we had a day of falls! No, not the splat type of fall but waterfalls. Around the Crater Lake area there are quite a few absolutely beautiful waterfalls so we spent the day visiting them. The Pearsony Falls were not high but were in an area more like a fairy glen with moss covered rocks and trees, fungi and shady trees. Just so beautiful and, as we were the only ones there, it was really peaceful.

Our next destination was Thompson Bridge and as we approached this very ordinary looking bridge wondering what was so special about it, we looked down and the most amazing waterfall, still ponds, beautiful autumn colours were evident. It was really lovely and as we explored - climbing over rocks, clambering under the bridge and pushing our way along a bush track, we were continually amazed by how beautiful it all was.

From there we made our way to the Natural Bridge which was gorgeous and pretty interesting for the geologically inclined (me). The river actually disappears into a ’lava tube’ at one point in its path and 70 feet downstream reappears out of the lava tube. This is how the bridge has been formed. The photos may give some idea of how beautiful it all is. The falls in this area are, for the most part, on the Rogue River.

We followed the Rogue River to the Rogue Gorge which was just stunning. Just upstream from the Gorge were more falls - again - so beautiful. The amount of water in this country blows me away. Coming from a continent as dry as Australia I can’t understand how America could ever suffer from a drought. I am sure there must be places where there is a lack of water but all the places we have been so far have certainly not appeared to lack water.

We continued up Highway 62 to Diamond Lake and although the weather had come over very cold and windy with rain threatening it was easy to see how it would be a wonderful place to spend the summer. It was the end of the season and the only people left were some hunters (now that is another story), some fishermen and the staff who were closing up for the winter. I would love to go back in the summer to just be able to sit and fish and cogitate. With the weather closing in we headed back to the park to pack up for Friday’s drive to north California.

And so much for sunny California! As we headed down through the redwood forests it became really cloudy and miserable. We did get a glimpse of some of these gigantic trees but I believe there are better to come. The California coast up here is a continuation of the Oregon coast so is very similar with craggy outcrops and today, a grey, angry ocean. Mind you, the first beach I saw had dark gray sand although they did seem to lighten as we moved a little further south.

Saturday was another grey, cloudy day so we took a drive down to the historical section of Eureka. Well that is where we planned on going but a missed turn saw us take a bridge to Woodley Island, just off the coast. Interesting island - I am sure at its uppermost point it must be all of 1 yard above sea level. Seriously! And the Tsunami warnings along the coast do not inspire a lot of confidence in staying! We had a lovely lunch on the island and then took a stroll around the Victorian inspired area of Eureka.

We are planning on staying around here for a few days or even a week as Norm is really keen to spend some time in the redwood and sequoia forests. He also wants to visit Ferndale - a town that apparently has managed to preserve itself as a town from the Victorian era.

Till the next episode in the chronicles of our adventure I will bid you farewell. If you do drop in, please leave a comment as we would love to hear from you.

Keep yourselves safe and well and hugs to family and friends. You are all so important to us.


  1. BeeeeeUtiful pictures Paula. Never been up in the Oregon/Washington coastal area.

  2. Why thank you Nita. You can't take a bad photo when everything you point the camera at is so lovely!

  3. i am slowly catching up on your travels and am mind blown away with your adventures, wishing i was there with you. It has been so exciting. I always wanted to travel Australia first when i had the chance, maybe i still will. :)