Monday, July 18, Day 1: Home to Klamath Falls, OR via SR99, I-5, US97: 364 miles
I had been planning to take a drive into Oregon for the past month, and it was time to actually get the coach ready and Just Do It. On Saturday I cleaned the inside, on Sunday I washed her outside real good, and on Monday morning I loaded the coach for about a five or six day adventure, and hit the road.
I pulled onto SR99 around 0930 and headed north. I took I-5 at Stockton and drove all the way to Weed, CA. At Weed, I turned onto SR97 toward Klamath Falls, Oregon. The drive was beautiful and the traffic thinned nicely once I had Sacramento behind me.Crossing the Sacramento River north of Sacramento on a gorgeous day en route to Oregon aboard Cecil the Diesel!
I recently saw a TV ad for a Portobello burger, but wasn’t sure which burger outfit advertised it. I stopped at the small town of Williams along I-5 and was disappointed that the Carl’s Jr. I stopped at wasn’t the one. So I ordered a double cheeseburger instead, with fries and a Coke which was on special. I enjoyed it in the coach, and after asking my smartphone what chain offered the Portobello burger, I promised myself one at Jack In The Box soon. I had a delicious double cheeseburger for lunch! I rarely allow myself one of these and I really enjoyed it!
I thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful drive through the mountains, Lake Shasta and the gorgeous views of Mt. Shasta. Once I turned onto US97 I was on a two lane country highway with little traffic and great scenery. I loved every mile of US97!Lake Shasta was looking great for summertime.
Mt. Shasta in all her glory; she still had a fair amount of snow.
Castle Crags looked majestic as ever on a beautiful summer day.
US97 in Kalifornistan was a beautiful drive.
The Butte Valley National Grassland is along US97 and is the only National Grassland in Kalifornistan.
An interesting old saw mill. There are very few saw mills that still float logs on a mill pond. This was actually a section of the Klamath River.
When I arrived at the Klamath Falls Walmart I saw a sign I hadn’t seen there during past stays. It read No Overnight RV Parking, so I took my walk and while in the store I asked a customer service manager if they meant it as many Walmarts are required by a city ordinance to post such a sign. But I was told they meant it and after a few hours I’d be asked to leave. I asked a fella who was retrieving grocery carts if he’d seen RVs parked overnight. He said RVs parked overnight all the time. Good enough! I decided to stay and take my chances. The worst that could happen would be to move off the property.Oh, really? This sign greeted me at the Walmart parking lot in Klamath Falls. I’d parked at this store many times in the past and was always welcomed.
I decided to take a chance that they didn’t mean it and that I wouldn’t be hassled. I settled in for the night not knowing when or if I’d get a knock on the door and a bum’s rush out of the lot.
I enjoyed a walk around the store and the parking lot as it was a mild day. I zapped a frozen dinner aboard the coach, showered, and settled in for the night. At least I hoped I was settled in!
I watched online documentaries on the ‘puter before retiring for the night. It’s really very easy to do so but the streaming does consume more data time from my AT&T allotment than watching my DVDs. I enjoyed a couple cool ones, then called it a day around 2300. It had been a lovely day and I hoped for a quiet night with no knock on the door!
Tuesday, Day 2, Klamath Falls to Prineville, then Redmond, Oregon via US97 and a few others: 198 miles
I slept well and never heard that feared knock. Apparently they did not mean what the sign said, and two other RVers spent the night on Walmart’s lot as well.
There is a nearby military base with fighter jets that took off several times during the evening with the noise of a dozen locomotives. It was quite a sight seeing those F16s roar nearly vertical into the sky above Klamath Falls, but I hoped they wouldn’t be doing so all night and was relieved that I heard only one during the night.
I tended the morning chores and then took a walk around the shopping center. The morning was cool as the temps dropped into the high 40s overnight. It was a nice change from mornings at home. I even ran the furnace a while that morning.
When I pulled out of Walmart I stopped at a nearby Subway for breakfast. I ordered an egg white on flatbread and lots of veggies. I love those Subway breakfast sandwiches!
As I approached the lake I pulled into a Pilot station and added 25 gallons of diesel to be sure I’d be able to run the generator that evening if necessary. Below a quarter tank the generator doesn’t run so as to keep one from running out of fuel while parked.Beautiful Klamath Lake as I drove north on US97.
I drove the back way out of town, missing all the stop and go through the main section that I have driven during past visits – and it was a terrible waste of time and fuel. I was soon on US97 again and cruising by beautiful Klamath Lake. The towns along the highway are few and far between. About the biggest was La Pine where I pulled into Gordy’s Truck Stop for lunch. I planned to have a sandwich but wound up ordering a breakfast of eggs, sausage and pancakes. The pancakes were the size of dinner plates and I ate just one. I was surprised at the price of just $7.55 including coffee. What a bargain!
US97 looks pretty much like this for many, many miles through the Oregon countryside. It is one of my favorite drives.
Somewhere along US97 I pulled into a rest area to fix a new problem that arose on the coach this trip. As I ran water in the kitchen sink since I left home, the water would run out of the faucet as black as coal, but soon would run clear. It also became darker in the toilet. I couldn’t figure out why, but went to good ol’ Google for the answer. On a RV forum that Google found for me, someone else had the same problem, as is almost always the case, and it was caused by a charcoal filter in the water system that disintegrated. Really? I had a filter under the kitchen sink, and there in the rest area got busy trying to figure out how to eliminate it. I don’t worry about filtering our water as we bring our water for coffee and drinking in containers and don’t drink the water in our fresh tank. I discovered that I could remove the filter and that it was certainly the culprit. I then closed a valve and the system ran fine without it. The charcoal was gone, the water ran clear, and I was relieved. I love Google and those RV forums where one can find the fix for almost any problem!
I continued on north toward Bend but turned off before I got into town and headed towards Prineville where my buddy Al used to live. This whole drive was just to see beautiful Oregon and I wanted to include that lovely drive to Prineville. Al asked me to take some photos of his old place, and what a shock! The new owners had planted flowers over the entire front area so tall that the house was not visible. It looked terrible. I almost hated to show the photos to Al.The landscape changes quite dramatically east of Bend. It is high desert and the conifers give way to juniper and sagebrush.
Dropping down into Prineville. I’ve always loved this view of the lovely little town.
Al’s old place in Prineville. The new owners have an unusual taste in landscaping!
Jacks down and settled in for the night at Redmond, Oregon’s Walmart.
I then continued on to Redmond, Oregon where I would spend the night at their Walmart. The drive was on a narrow back road and it was a very pleasant drive. I arrived there at 1600 and settled in for the night. I took a 25 minute walk around the area hoping to burn off some of that fat-boy lunch I ate. And I made a point of eating in the coach even though there was a Jack-In-The-Box nearby and I wanted to try that Portobello burger. There was also a Panda Express in the center to tempt me, but I resisted. The frozen dinner I zapped wasn’t as tasty as Chinese food or that burger I wanted, but it was guilt free!
I spent the evening as usual, aboard the coach. I called Al to let them know I’d arrive the next day, as planned. I tried to convince them that we could bring food in and not to go to any trouble, but he insisted that Betty wanted to cook a meal for us. That would be a treat for me having lived for a few days on my usual travel fare. Again I watched documentaries for free on the computer. They were pretty interesting and, at least for me, not reruns. I enjoyed a couple cool ones as I sat at the computer, then headed to bed at 2300.
Wednesday, Day 3, Redmond to Keizer, OR via SR121, US20, I-5: 153 miles
I slept very well again, as usual, and was up around 0600. I ran the furnace again that morning and again it seemed a strange thing to do in July, but the nights had been nice and cool. I worked through the morning chores, then took a walk around the shopping center and inside the store. After perusing my usual websites, I put things away and converted the coach from a cozy home to a luxurious highway cruiser. I love Cecil the Diesel!
I headed out of town toward SR121 which would take me to US20 and westward across Oregon to the valley and I-5. I was looking forward to the long, twisty, scenic drive across US20, one that I’ve never driven before. But first things first; I stopped along the roadway just beyond the small town of Sisters, under the Sisters’ peaks, and whipped up a good, diet breakfast.Along SR121 I drove near the volcanic peaks known as The Three Sisters, all over 10,000 feet, in Oregon’s Cascade range.
SR121 was a beautiful drive through the forests of Oregon. The day was perfect for a long, scenic drive.
One of several lakes I drove by along US20.
Probably the longest name I’ve ever seen for a highway: “Over the Rivers and Through the Woods Scenic Byway.” It was a gorgeous, twisty drive.
At one point along US20 a large sign read “First Notice: 11 miles 6% downgrade ahead.” The next sign, about a mile later, “Final Notice: 11 miles 6% downgrade ahead.” And they weren’t kidding; it was a long, steep downhill drop and I was happy to have that Cummins exhaust brake to keep me slowed down.Note the stone knobs atop the hill in the background on this section of US20 through the Cascades.
Another lake along the scenic drive.
Entering the small town of Sweet Home near the end of my drive along US20.
When I finally got back to civilization and reached I-5, I pulled into a rest area about 25 miles south of Al and Betty’s and made a light lunch. Al told me that Betty was planning on whipping up a big pork roast dinner for us that evening so I wanted to eat lightly. I again protested and suggested we just bring something in for dinner. But no, Betty insisted on making dinner.
When I arrived in Keizer I pulled into their driveway, dropped the jacks and made myself at home. It was good to see Al and Betty at their lovely home in Keizer.Jacks down at Al and Betty’s lovely home in Keizer, Oregon.
Al and I visited in the living room as Betty slaved away in the kitchen whipping up a huge dinner. She allowed no help from anyone, and when she called us to the table, she had laid out a huge spread.It was Thanksgiving in July! I couldn’t believe the huge meal that Betty prepared for us. I pigged out and didn’t even feel guilty!
The way Betty cooks, I’m surprised Al doesn’t weigh 300 Lbs! Their secret is that Betty cooks like this only for company – and she loves doing it.
There was pork roast, mashed taters, wonderful gravy made from the pork roast that was very good, fresh green beans with bacon, dressing, salad and deviled eggs. Wow! It was like Thanksgiving in July! I overate, naturally, and let her know I really loved every bit of it. Then she served up peach cobbler and ice cream for dessert. Whew. It was a grand feast. When Al and I offered to help clean up, she would have none of it. We were both kicked out of the kitchen and into the living room where we continued our visit. It was a grand evening with them, but a bit after 1900 I bid them goodnight, thanked them for the wonderful meal, and retired to the coach for the night.
I enjoyed a couple cool ones in the coach as I worked on this blog and edited photos. Afterwards, I watched some more documentaries online. It had been a big day; I headed for bed about 2300 and slept well.
Thursday, Day 4, Al & Betty’s in Keizer to Yreka, CA via I-5: 292 miles
Al and I agreed to have breakfast at a local restaurant, so after morning chores I met him at 0800 and we drove across town to one of Al’s favored restaurants. Betty set up a huge container with all the fixings of the prior night’s dinner for me to take along for lunch. Naturally, it was enough for three meals! So I ate light, knowing I had Betty’s feast awaiting in the coach for lunch and dinner. My meal of poached eggs on toast with tomato slices was the only meal of the day that could have been called diet. We took our sweet time visiting at the restaurant and enjoyed the time together. We go back well over 50 years and have lots to remember.
Back at Al’s place I began setting up the coach for the day’s drive to Yreka. When I tried to back out of the driveway with its fairly steep rise, we discovered that I’d have to raise the big mudflat at the back to avoid breaking its mounting links as I did the last visit. After getting out of the driveway, we said our goodbyes and I headed back to I-5 and continued south towards home.Those white flowers, Al called ’em weeds, seem to be along every Oregon highway I drove. The were plentiful and very pretty.
The drive was very pleasant although the day was pretty warm. I stopped in Albany, OR to fill up with cheap diesel I’d found on the ‘net. I pumped on something over 60 gallons at just $2.30 per and was very pleased with myself. I’d seen diesel around $2.60 or more most of the trip.
I stopped at a rest area along the Interstate and zapped some of Betty’s wonderful taters and gravy, dressing, green beans and bacon, and pork roast that was to die for. I didn’t have much, but still more than my usual lunch.Photos above and below: Oregon is so beautiful most anywhere one drives. I love the place!
I discovered that the brand new windshield had cracked as I drove. I don’t know when or where or how it cracked, but there was no sign of a stone hit; just the crack that began at the bottom and worked its way upward about seven or so inches. My awful luck with broken windshields continued! I called the claims gal that handled the new one less than a month ago and she assured me it was under warranty. I was relieved. She would handle the details and in a couple of weeks I’d be hearing from the local glass shop when they received it. What a rotten run of luck!
I arrived at Yreka’s Walmart at 1640 on a very warm day; it was in the 90s when I arrived. I headed to the store at once and walked for about 25 minutes to get my exercise done. I also scoped out another section of the lot to park in, under the shade of a nearby building, and moved to it before settling in for the night. I ran the generator/air conditioner ’til nearly dark to stay comfortable, and it sure did a good job. It was after sunset that I was able to turn it off for the night. The outdoor temps dropped into the 70s not long after sunset.Parked in the shade of a nearby building, I got some relief from the hot sun. Yreka is in the mountains and it cooled off nicely after the sun set. But the generator/air conditioner had a good workout that day and served me well.
I spent the evening relaxing aboard the coach, writing this blog and editing photos. It was very warm outside but inside the coach I was very comfortable. I also showered, watched some TV and enjoyed a couple cool ones. I went to bed about 2300 and slept well.
Friday, Day 5, Yreka to home via I-5, SR99: 318 miles
I was up that final day of my Oregon loop a bit before 0500, hankering to get on the road early and head for home. I wanted to get through Sacramento and on south before the Friday afternoon rush hour. I hurried through the morning chores, scanned through my favorite online sites rather quickly and pulled out of Yreka at 0615.Pulling onto I-5 as I left Yreka on the last day of my Oregon loop. Home was just a little over 300 miles away!
Somewhere along I-5 as I neared Redding, this big ol’ bus/motorhome flew by me at more than 60 MPH backwards!! That was a first!
The drive was uneventful, as I like, and I stopped only once, in Williams, CA where I thought I’d buy a Mickey D breakfast. When I entered the place I found a long line waiting to order. I turned and went back to the coach where I zapped a breakfast sandwich and peeled a banana for breakfast. I also ate more of Betty’s wonderful cooking. I was back on the road for home pretty quickly.Rice growing below the Yolo Causeway near the banks of the Sacramento River.
Crossing the beautiful Sacramento River above Sacramento.
Entering Sacramento on I-5. The drive was smooth as I beat the Friday traffic by several hours.
The drive through Sacramento and on home went smoothly. I was well ahead of the heavy evening traffic and arrived home at 1220. It was already warm, heading well into the 90s that afternoon. I greeted Wifey with a big hug and kiss, and began unloading the coach at once. I was done and had the coach parked in about an hour. I would dump the tanks and wash the front cap the next morning when it would be much cooler.
The trip was 1325 miles over five days and Cecil the Diesel delivered over 10 miles per gallon even through all those mountains! I enjoyed the long drive through the beauty of Oregon and Northern Kalifornistan. I had scratched my itch to get back on the road pretty well, and would be looking forward to our trip to Denver again in August and September. Life is good with the comfy and efficient Cecil the Diesel!
Over the years I have posted many exciting fishing and boating stories here, but now in my seventies, it was time to sell the boat and find less demanding pastimes. All the fishing stories are still here! I will now post my travels aboard the motorhome and other activities. I hope y'all will still enjoy the fishing and boating adventures and perhaps peek in on my post-boating activities on occasion. Thanks for dropping in and I hope you enjoy your visit.