Day 8 - Collier Memorial State Park
|Sunday, August 20, 2023: After a windy night where one of the tent walls collapsed twice (and was easily corrected by leaning a duffel bag against it), we woke around 6:30 AM to get our day started.
|There was someone already up trying to tidy up the campsite that had hosted a large family reunion the previous evening. It's hard to tell but there's a seagull in this photo divebombing the leftover food.
|We were packed up and at the dump station just after 7:00 AM. Travelling with the portable toilet makes travel so much less stressful, even if there is maintenance that needs to happen.
|This stone denoted that this area was part of the Lewis and Clark Trail on their expedition of discovery in 1805.
|The wildfire smoke that was contained in the Spokane area had spread overnight. The haze now stretched from Vancouver in the north to the California border in the south, and the westward to Montana. Yikes.
|We started our drive toward Portland with a stop at Del Taco, our first for this trip.
|While we waited in the drive thru, Debbie took this awesome photo of the sun through the haze. If you look at the larger image, you can see sunspots. Amazing.
|This is for you, Susan.
|We crossed the Columbia River and into Oregon just after 8:00 AM. This was our eighth state that we had visited on this trip so far.
|There was enough haze that you could barely see the river even though we were probably less than a mile from it. It's just visible beyond the end of the train in this photo.
|Score! After passing one of these signs on the highway without getting a photo and then seeing one at the top of an exit that we didn't take, we finally found another one many miles down the road and got this photo of the Oregon Trail National Historic Trail sign.
|Check out the spillway at the Dalles hydroelectric plant! Water was gushing through this huge dam as we drove by.
|This bridge was decorated with a railing that looked like fish jumping in the waves.
|The rock formations along the other side of the river were beautiful and exceptionally spooky in the haze.
|There was no need to stop and walk to Multnomah Falls this time. We could see them as we drove by.
|We were near Portland, so we obviously had to stop at Voodoo Doughnut. This was our first time at this location in Oak Grove and we were delighted with the large parking lot and the ease at which we were able to get here.
|Pinball! And Defender! Oh, and an NBA video game as well.
|They have such a cool logo.
|We thought long and hard about our doughnut choices, and they all just happened to be next to each other in the display case. We ordered a Banana Cream Pie, a Mango Tango, a Raspberry Romeo, and a Voodoo Doll (on the shelf below).
|Here's the Mango Tango and the Voodoo Doll, ...
|... and the Raspberry Romeo and the Banana Cream Pie. We ate the Mango Tango and the Voodoo Doll as we were driving away, and saved the other two for later.
|Check out downtown Portland in the distance. This is as close as we got to downtown. We headed south from here, ...
|... to the LEGO Store at Washington Square Mall. They had opened at 11:00 AM and it was nearly noon, so we were surprised to see a line of people waiting to be let in. The store was at maximum occupancy, so we had to get in line and wait until the employee at the door let us in.
|It was a short wait of only a few minutes, and then we were heading to the Pick & Build wall. Here's a photo of Debbie's loot after we got back to the van.
|Our next stop was in Salem to see the Oregon State Capitol building. The outside is a gray-streaked white marble, and it is more beautiful in person than it looks here.
|We stopped at Popeyes for lunch, and then we headed out of town.
|Ninety minutes later, we were driving past this beautiful covered bridge, ...
|... on the edge of the Willamette National Forest.
|We were heading toward Crater Lake National Park and our route took us on the West Cascades Scenic Byway.
|Even here there were signs of the wildfires that were raging throughout the west.
|We drove through Deschutes National Forest, ...
|... and then Fremont-Winema National Forest, ...
|... before turning on to the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway. That has to be the best name ever for a byway and all of the other byways know it.
|Just when you thought we couldn't possibly drive through another National Forest, we entered Umpqua National Forest, ...
|... and a few minutes later, we arrived at Crater Lake National Park.
|There were piles of debris along the road that we couldn't help but think looked like perfect piles of kindling to start a forest fire.
|Check out the burls on these trees! We passed acres of trees with huge, beautiful burls on them. Debbie desperately wanted someone to make her a pen with the gnarled branches that were on the ground.
|Apparently we were on part of the Pacific Crest Trail. We had seen the end of the trail in Arizona back in June when we drove along the US-Mexico border.
|It was raining lightly as we drove around the crater rim, and the sun shining through the clouds was gorgeous.
|This Escape campervan was parked at the Visitor Center as we drove past.
|We drove along the rim away from the visitor center and toward the lodge, stopping when we saw what we were looking for.
|There is a Mather plaque along the walkway that we couldn't see the last time we were here because it was buried under ten feet of snow.
|This is one of the original 1930 casting series, and it is in one of the most beautiful locations of any of the plaques.
|Check out the views from the walkway around the plaque. There's the island on the edge of the lake, ...
|... and the magnificent crater walls looking the other way.
|The plaque is located pretty close to the historic Crater Lake Lodge.
|When we were here in 2016, they had to construct tunnels through the snow to access the bathrooms. Here is the building that the tunnels led to.
|We made our way back down the mountain and out of the park, entering the Winema National Forest as we left through the southern exit.
|What's this? Debbie spotted this next on top of a power pole as we drove along and we pulled off onto the side of the road to get a better look.
|Debbie's awesome zoom on her camera brought the next into view, with several birds occupying the nest.
|Tom brought up the Merlin ID app on his phone when they started to cheep at us, and it identified them as ospreys. Isn't technology wonderful?!
|We arrived at Collier Memorial State Park Campground around 6:30 PM and quickly got everything set up.
|It had been a great day, and we celebrated with Fresca cocktails.
|We were surprised to find a beautiful open area behind our campsite, complete with a river that ran through it. The Starlink didn't have any trouble locking on, ...
|... and soon we were happily enjoying ourselves in the Oregon countryside with high-speed internet.
|Sunset was gorgeous, and it was only then that we realized that we'd managed to escape from the smoke and haze of the wildfires.
|We relaxed and streamed a few more episodes of "The Masked Singer" before we fell asleep under the stars.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy