A Travellerspoint blog

USA

Into the Furnace

Waiting for the sun at the loop

Waiting for the sun at the loop

Today started out as an extension of yesterday. I was up at 6:30 and out the door by 6:45. After a quick stop at Starbucks I was off to the Tehachapi Loop. The morning was cool and overcast, but felt refreshing. I parked the Mini in the official paved parking area and then hiked up the road several hundred feet to to a dirt road. I was told by a local that I could just walk around the chain stretched across the road and hike out to a hill overlooking “the loop”.

The sun peaks through the clouds

The sun peaks through the clouds

I think I found one of the nicer vantage points for watching trains navigate the loop. From the top of the ridge I could see both directions, up and down the tracks. I found a convenient rock to perch on and sat back with my coffee to wait for trains. A half hour passed and no trains. 45 minutes and no trains. I got up and explored the hilltop and still no trains. I had to be back to meet Karen before 9:00 if I wanted breakfast. Time was running out, then from the tracks up above I heard a train.

By now I had scouted some good vantage points, so I rushed to my chosen spot and started photographing. As the train got closer I moved to several different vantage points. I shot upwards of 50 pictures as the train finally disappeared. I then made the ten minute hike back to the Mini and rushed back to town. I made it just in time for breakfast.

BNSF getting close to Tehachapi Loop

BNSF getting close to Tehachapi Loop

Starting around the loop

Starting around the loop

It just keeps coming

It just keeps coming

Crossing over the tunnel

Crossing over the tunnel

A complete loop now

A complete loop now

Around the backside

Around the backside

By mid-morning we were on the road again. This time headed for Death Valley. Most of the drive is through what I think is the Mohave Dessert. After a while it became quite boring. I have to say that these California drivers don’t make it easy. They’re mostly crazy. We came to the turn-off for Death Valley and Panamint Springs. Only 45 more miles, Ugh! So up over mountains and negotiating the curvy roads with the crazy California drivers and we were at our destination.

Rainbow Canyon

Rainbow Canyon

Picnic lunch at Panamint Springs

Picnic lunch at Panamint Springs

For the rest of the day we explored Death Valley. The deeper we got into the valley, the hotter it got. We actually went hiking in 102 degree heat. Of course we had plenty of water, sun screen, and our hats. We made three short hikes in the mid-day heat then headed for cooler temps and dinner back in Panamint Springs.

Mesquite Flats Dunes

Mesquite Flats Dunes

First views of golden Canyon

First views of golden Canyon

Golden Canyon in the afternoon

Golden Canyon in the afternoon

More tomorrow,

Jim

Posted by olytrains 22:05 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Into the Fog

semi-overcast 68 °F

JimThe Nordic Inn

The Nordic Inn

Greetings from Crescent City, CA. Its been another great day on the road. We departed the Nordic Inn, in Lincoln City, right on time for our drive south. We thought maybe we’d be leaving the smoke behind us as we headed south. Ha! Fat chance. Although we did drive through some areas where the smoke wasn’t as bad, here in Crescent City its worse than ever. It seems that there are two really big fires burning just outside of town.

The drive down Hwy. 101 was a mixture of motor homes, trailers, and tourists (oh wait, I guess we’re tourists too). I should also mention that there were long stretches of road with no one but us. That translates to exhilarating interludes of racing through the twisty ups and downs of this scenic highway. No, I don’t squeal the tires or slide around the curves, but its sure fun to feel the G forces of powering around a sharp curve. I had fun! (but Karen??) This is what the Mini was made for.

We spent a good part of our day in Bandon. There is a 10km walk in this picturesque little town. Our walk took us all around downtown and out to the bluffs above the Pacific. Although it wasn’t smokey, it was quite foggy. Thats like smoke that doesn’t smell. Anyway, the views were a bit obstructed although the cool damp air felt great for a change. If you’re ever driving down this way I’d really recommend stopping here for a look around. Lots of fresh sea food and lots of nice little shops to explore.

Once we got back on the highway we drove straight through to Crescent City, CA. For some reason the drive today felt much longer, even though it was in reality about the same as yesterday. All in all it was a great day. First thing tomorrow morning we’ll do another 10km walk, then head south. We’ve planned stops in Ferndale and Leggett before arriving in Ft. Bragg.

More tomorrow,

Jim

Trains at last!

Trains at last!


Yes, we enjoyed Bandon

Yes, we enjoyed Bandon

A stop on our walk

A stop on our walk

Face Rock?

Face Rock?

Interesting artwork

Interesting artwork

On the boardwalk

On the boardwalk


Horse parking?

Horse parking?

Posted by olytrains 21:48 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Adventures Under The Red Sun

The Oregon Coast

semi-overcast 70 °F

Cape Kiwanda, OR

Cape Kiwanda, OR

Wow, did you see the sunrise this morning? A big bright red ball rising above the horizon, wow! I admit that I’m rarely awake early enough to see the sunrise, but an early departure calls for drastic measures. Along with the red sun there was a dusting of white ash all over the car this morning.

We departed right on schedule under a weird red glow. To my surprise the smokey sky prevailed throughout the day. We have spent the afternoon and evening in Lincoln City under a blanket of fog and thick smoke. What an eerie feeling. Even the shadows had a red cast.

Our drive south went very smoothly. I love driving the Mini on the twisty Hyw. 101 along the Oregon coast. Our one and only stop was at Pacific City (or Cape Kiwanda) to have lunch at the Pelican Brewery and Pub. We ate out on their deck enjoying a soft warm breeze. After eating we took a walk across the beech to the rocky outcropping that is Cape Kiwanda. It was beautiful in spite of the smoke.

Lunch at The Pelican Brewpub

Lunch at The Pelican Brewpub


From the deck of the Pelican

From the deck of the Pelican


Launching into the surf.

Launching into the surf.

We arrived in Lincoln City mid afternoon and located the start point for a 10km walk. The walk took us to almost every corner of the town that is north of the Dee River. It was good to get out and get a bit of exercise after driving all morning.

Afternoon pink sky

Afternoon pink sky

Tomorrow our destination is Crescent City. We plan to stop along the way to do another walk, or maybe a hike out through the woods. We’ll see when we get there. I hope we finally emerge from the smoke by the time we get to the CA border.

More tomorrow,

Jim

PS. I’m still evaluating blogging sites. I hope to have all this figured out soon.

Posted by olytrains 21:49 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Preparations

There's so much do do before we depart.

sunny 29 °F

Tugs arriving for Harbor Days

Tugs arriving for Harbor Days

Hi everyone,

Since my old blog host folded earlier this year I've searched for an alternative. It looks like Travelerspoint might be a good alternative. I'll give it a test run on this road trip to California. As yet I'm still not sure how to share my posts, but I hope to figure that out soon. As usual I hope to create an entry each day of our trip, as long as we have a wi-fi connection. I do know however that in Death Valley there will be no connection, so I'll just have to post my entries once we've re-entered civilization.

Our scheduled departure is bright and early on September 5th. If all goes according to plan we should arrive home in the evening of September 18th. Our proposed route will take us along the Washington, Oregon, and California coast lines. We plan on staying on US 101 and CA 1as much as possible. Our destination is San Diego with overnights in Lincoln City, Crescent City, Ft. Bragg, Halfmoon Bay, Carlsbad, and San Diego. We plan to take lots of side trips along the way and even do a few 10k volkswalks/hikes.

Our return will take us first to Tehachapi (to watch trains), Death Valley (two nights), Carson City, Bend, and finally back home. The trip home will be a bit more diving intensive. Our side trips will be limited unfortunately, but we've been through central Northern California and Oregon several times in recent years. Tehachapi and Death Valley are both places I've wanted to visit.

The Chieftan and Lady Washington

The Chieftan and Lady Washington

Well we have one more full day to prepare for our trip. There is just so much to do before we can leave home for two weeks. Just getting the sprinkler system set up so it will keep the garden and landscape watered was a big deal. Then we had to go down for Harbor Days so I could get my new Harbor Days T-shirt. We're finally wrapping up all of the loose ends and we'll start (and finish I hope) our packing tomorrow. The car (Karen's big Mini this time) is ready, the house is ready, all the reservations are made, and I think on the 5th we'll be able to give a huge sigh of relief and drive off on our adventure.

Stay tuned for regular up-dates,

Jim

Posted by olytrains 22:17 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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