Upon leaving Sacramento area, we did the long haul (7 hours) to southern Oregon. We are bypassing so many good places in California, but we’ll be back in October or November.We arrived in southern Oregon and parked at Valley of the Rogue State Park outside Medford. This state park was a nice place to spend a few days, since they have spacious full hookup sites, a greenway for walking, and convenience to the highway/town.
The one southern Oregon spot we’d really wanted to visit was Crater Lake National Park.Being that it is still March and typically the temperature are still rather low, we were unsure about the accessibility of the roads into the park.However, this year Crater Lake has been reporting record lows for snow falling and most of the roads are clear into the southern half of the park.
It was a beautiful drive from Medford into Crater Lake, especially when we hit the Umpqua National Forest.None of the campgrounds or day-use areas were open yet, but we were able to visit the overlook for Rogue Gorge.
From the gorge, we continued on to Crater Lake.Since we brought Ame along, we only had two options for hikes/views.First was the walk along the rim near the Rim Cafe and Visitor Area. Even with the snow still piled up, the clear skies and warm temperatures help make an enjoyable walk with some spectacular views down to the lake.The weather was so pleasant that we pulled out our chairs, order a hot lunch from the cafe and enjoyed picnic in the snow surrounded by the beautiful views.
To finish our visit to the lake, we walked along the West trail road .The road had been plowed the first four miles and was open to walkers, but not vehicles.It was quite nice to experience the views that wouldn’t normally be accessible for visitors in cars.
This ended up being the ideal trip to Crater Lake.With comfortable weather, beautiful views and less crowds, we thrilled we made the visit.
Andrew was born in California and has several family members who still live there. Folsom Lake State Recreation Area at Beals Point became our home for the eight days.We originally picked Folsom Lake for its convenience to Andrew’s aunt and uncle in El Dorado Hills, but found that the camp also offered some vistas and walking trails (…and tons of pollen).While I dreaded that our campsite (#9) might be small and a challenge for our us to fit into, it turned out to be the largest site with plenty of room for the Rosie, our SUV and several other cars.The extra space was appreciated since we hosted Andrew’s family at our place a few times.
The week flew by with a whirlwind of socializing and catching up.We spent most visiting with Aunt Linda and Uncle Chris.It was hours of dinners, evening strolls and reminiscensing, even a little talk about near-future plans to potentially meet up in Alaska.On Saturday, the four of us met up with Andrew’s cousins, Megan and Nathan, in Davis.We watched Nathan’s rugby team play and then stopped over at The Dumpling House for another delicious meal.The next day we attended the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit at the Crocker Art Museum and then walked around Old Sacramento.
Also, while in the area, Andrew and I visited with a fabulous Airstream couple, Larry and Kathy.We met Larry and Kathy at AlumaFiesta and spent some time talking about Alaska.Once we realized we’d be close at Folsom Lake, they invited us over to share their expertise on preparing the Airstream for the haul through the Yukon and beyond.They gave us some very useful tips, which we will share in a future post (with pictures).We really appreciate Larry and Kathy’s hospitality and advice.To Larry and Kathy, thank you so much!
As the week came to a close, it was time to pack up and say goodbye to Linda and Chris.We had a wonderful week and can’t wait to see them again…(maybe in Alaska).
Sorry, for the abundance of bloom and pup pics this week.Spring is quite the inspiring time.
Since arriving in California, we discovered that all Californians agree on one thing, Point Reyes National Seashore needs to be added to every visitor’s itinerary.Andrew and I have heard many times how we need to make a day trip or weekend out the seashore.While staying in Vacaville, we decided to make the trip out to the shore (our first Pacific Coast visit, since arriving back from Japan).
Point Reyes is the spectacular section of shore just north of San Francisco in Marin County.It is peninsula area that includes both rocky and sandy coastal line, wildlife preserve for birds and sea life, include migrating gray whales and elephant seals, and historic landmarks.Also, the park has a multitude of hiking trails.
Since we brought our ocean loving companion Ame, we were limited to which trails we could use.However, the park does allow dogs between the north and south beach near Tomales Bay. We enjoyed the serenity of the beach while having a picnic and long walk.After the beach, we made a trip up to the elephant seal overlook and the lighthouse.
We had a wonderful time at the shore and would agree the Point Reyes should definitely be on all itineraries.