(Photos lost during an earlier site migration.)
A Visit to Prineville, Oregon
July 9 – 14, 2007
Day 1, Monday, July 9, Home to Klamath Falls, OR via I-5, US97: 349 miles
My old buddy from high school lives in Prineville, Oregon and I make a point of visiting him a time or two each year. On most occasions we fish, and we planned a fishing trip this visit. Al was a senior at Canyonville Bible Academy the school year I was a lowly freshman: ’57-’58. Yeah, that was a long time ago. Next year Al and I may attend his class’s 50th reunion together. Sheesh, Al is really getting old!
As usual for the first day, loading the final stuff into the coach was the first job. I had done most pre-trip jobs the prior two days, but the groceries, clothes, etc still remained. After the loading I finally hit the road about 0930.
I headed north on I-5 to the SR99 junction north of Sacramento. I drove the mostly two lane Highway 99 to Red Bluff. Highway 99 goes through Gridley where I spent a few of my teenage years. I stopped at the local park in Gridley and had lunch under the shady trees of Gridley Park. I continued north on 99 to Red Bluff where I again drove onto I-5 and continued north to Weed, CA. At Weed I caught US97 north to Klamath Falls. I landed for the night at the local Super Wal-Mart.
Taking SR99 and US97 are relaxing, scenic drives. I avoid the busy Interstate Highways whenever I can and by doing so I see the real countryside and small towns that the smaller highways meander through.
Before settling in for the night, I shopped at Wal-Mart to show my appreciation for Sam’s generosity. I spent a quiet, comfortable night at the well lit, patrolled Wal-Mart lot.
Day 2, Tuesday, July 10, Klamath Falls, OR to Prineville, OR via US 97: 173 miles
Morning dawned breezy but sunny and the local forecast predicted another hot day for the area. Prineville would be a bit cooler than what they predicted for K-Falls.
The drive was beautiful, as usual, up US97. Conifer trees line the highway most of the way to Prineville. Traffic is relatively light and it is a pleasant drive. I arrived in Prineville around 1300 and settled into my RV space, hooking up the AC electric, water and cable TV. I dropped the jacks and moved the slide out. I was home for a few days.
I had dinner at Al’s and later we drove up for some treats from the local Dairy Queen, one of my weaknesses. I rarely indulge in such pleasure, but this is vacation week, for cryin’ out loud!
The plan is to go fishing on Paulina Lake in the morning, a high lake at about 6000 ft., about 70 miles south of Prineville. As Al brought me back to the coach after dinner, we picked up some Subway sandwiches for lunch. We should be on the lake by about 0800. The little kokanee salmon are trembling at the thought of my presence on their lake tomorrow – or are they chuckling? We’ll know tomorrow…
Day 3, Wednesday, July 11, A day of fishing with Al.
We began our day early as Al picked me up at the RV park with the boat in tow. We headed south toward LaPine and then east up into the mountains above LaPine. Paulina Lake and East Lake are nestled into the mountains and are big draws this time of year to those who like to fish for kokanee – a small, landlocked sockeye salmon.
We launched at Paulina Lake but were soon turned back as the wind waves knocked Al’s little boat around pretty badly. We turned tail quickly, re-loaded the boat and headed for East Lake, just a few miles down the road. That lake was smaller and more protected from the wind, so we headed across the lake and anchored to jig for kokanee. We caught three between us, and I caught the first, the biggest and the most. I don’t like to brag, of course, but usually Al usually out fishes me and I was very pleased to have turned the tables on him this trip.
After about two hours the wind kicked up more and we decided to head for the ramp early. The trip was about 70 miles each way, so we still had a rather full day for a couple of old geezers.
Al dropped me off at the coach and continued on home. We picked up some Chinese for dinner at Redmond, OR enroute home from fishing. Al would pick me up for dinner after I cleaned up and rested after the fishing trip. It had been a good day and I welcomed the opportunity for some rest before dinner.
Day 4, Thursday, July 12, Another day fishing with Al.
Al picked me up early again so we could drive another 70 miles to yet another lake. We headed toward Mt. Bachelor, the famous ski area. Many lakes dot the mountain landscape in that area, and we planned to fish a small lake named Lava Lake. It’s a rather shallow lake as lakes go, and is considered a trout lake. It is incredibly beautiful but for us, that day, we couldn’t vouch for it’s reputation as a good trout lake. We didn’t get a single bite, but watched many small fish reeled in by a couple of guide boats. We think they were chumming or using some super secret bait. A few others caught a fish or two but nobody did as well as those guides. We fished about four hours, then headed to the ramp empty handed. It was hot that day, and we were ready to call it after four hours of skunk fishing.
We picked up some KFC as we headed home, and I pigged out once again on food I shouldn’t even be thinking about eating. But this is a vacation week! Well, tomorrow I begin my drive home and I had better find some new self control. More tomorrow.
Day 5, Friday, July 13, Prineville, OR to Kla-Mo-Ya Casino near Klamath Lake via US97: 157 miles
I was up early and ready to hit the road again! I love the driving part of the RV life. But not so fast! I had chores to do to prepare for the trip home and a breakfast get-together with Al. I set about dumping the holding tanks, cleaning the windshields, pulling in the slide and raising the jacks. And the several other daily chores required to hit the road. I drove over to the restaurant we agreed to meet at around 0900 and met Al for breakfast. We had a nice visit and discussed our next get-together – probably not ’til May of next year. I then bid Al farewell and hit the road for Bend, OR where I’d meet my niece and her family for a visit.
Jill and the kids, Preston and Keileigh, met me at the Wal-Mart store after I gassed up the coach for the trip home. We headed to a nearby restaurant where we had a nice lunch together. After lunch we headed to their lovely home and visited ’til Craig, Jill’s husband, came home from work. We visited for another hour or so before it was time for me to get back on the road and head for Klamath Falls.
I headed the coach south on US97 for something over a hundred miles to an Indian casino I had seen on my way to Al’s. It is located about 25 miles north of Klamath Falls and is right on the highway. It has easier access than the K-Falls Wal-Mart store and seemed like a good place to stop for the night. And so I did. I didn’t even enter the casino, but I did have a quiet, safe lot on which to spend the night. I turned on the house air conditioning, dug out The Music Man video and watched at least a part of it for the 237th time. I also popped a couple of brews and settled back for the night. Life is good.
Day 6, Saturday, July 14, Kla-Mo-Ya Casino (Klamath Lake) to home via US97, I-5, SR99: 373 Miles
I was up early and anxious to hit the road. The casino parking lot was handy, but it was a poor choice due to the swarms of bugs that the lot lights attracted during the night.
The large Sphinx moth, I think, was the monster bug that for a moment sometime after dark, convinced me that it was raining outside. I looked out the window and saw swarms of small bugs flying about the many, bright lights of the parking lot. But the large moths were the noisemakers that were thumping onto the roof, sounding like rain. With all those bugs I chose not to step outside for any reason. I went to bed and forgot about them.
In the morning I looked out again to see a gazillion big moths on the parking lot. They seemed to be dead and dying. I chose to head on up the road a ways before I began my morning routines for the day. A few miles up the road I pulled over and stepped out to check my tires and the appearance of the coach – something I do every morning on the road. The dang moths had pooped along the side of the coach in some places. I could still hear them twitching in the corners of the closed vents on the roof. I didn’t check the roof, but figured all was Ok, so I did my chores and headed on down the road.
At a view area a few miles before I-5 I pulled over to wash the windshield and check the roof for the moths I could still hear twitching just outside the roof vents. I was amazed by what I found on the roof! I dug about 30 of those huge moths out of the crevasses of the air conditioners and vents. Most were dead, some were still twitching – all those I could reach were picked out and tossed to the ground. I also found groups of their eggs glued to various surfaces –half the size of a BB and about as hard. I picked off those I could find and imported the rest to my home, I suppose. That was a lesson well learned. I won’t be parking under bright lights anywhere near a large lake again. What a mess!
Just before the California state line, I saw a huge heavy-hauler rig parked along the road. It was parked there on my trip north, so I decided to stop and take a few photos and find out what I could about it. This was no ordinary heavy-hauler; it had 14 axles and 94 wheels and was two lanes wide. It was awesome! I’d never seen such a big rig. I discovered that it was parked because there were unresolved issues in getting California permits.
I continued my trip home with no problems. I stayed on I-5 clear to Stockton, CA, avoiding the smaller SR99 on what would likely be a busy Saturday in all those small towns I’d have had to drive through.
As always, it was a pleasure to spend a few days at Al’s and get out fishing with him. We always have a good time together.
I plan to climb aboard the coach and head for San Diego next month to visit my son, Dean, and his family. We’re talking about another trip to Colorado in September and maybe a trip to Georgia later in October or November. I love this Rving and plan on many more trips!