Yeah, back in the USA! First stop Anacortes, WA, on Fidalgo Island, where we satisfied our yen for Native American culture with a visit to the Swimonish Reservation (and casino, of course).
Thought we would revisit Mount Rainier in Washington, on our way south. It ascends to 14,410 feet above sea level, and is an icon on the Washington landscape. It is the most glaciated peak in the lower 48. It is also an active volcano. Sort of crazy when you think that with all of that ice, if you were to reach the top, you would feel the hot steam from its smoldering insides.
While leaving, we saw this wonderful waterfall with a permanent rainbow. Wow!!
Bend, Oregon was on our list of “must-sees”, and here we are. It’s on a few lists as a top 10 city – and we can see why. There are 3 Distilleries, several wineries, and about 29 – yep- 29 breweries. There is also a place that ferments tea called Hmmm Kombusha. There are galleries and theaters, and all manner of cultural and outdoor activities. We went downtown to check out the Mill District, which is a mall. But not just any mall. It was built beside the Deschutes River, and this is what we saw while strolling around the mall.
Doesn’t that look like fun? SUPs, kayaks, swimming dogs, and lots and lots of floats; hundreds of folks spending a lazy afternoon gliding with the current through the city.
We ate dinner at Zydeco Kitchen & Cocktails, which was great (see foodd and goodies). While trying to park for dinner, we were told they were closing the area to cars for a cruise ( ??? ). I asked what that was, this being downtown, and clearly not a cruise port. The guard told us that it was a vintage car cruise, and they would be driving a route around town for display. Naturally, we sat at the window at Zydeco, and saw much of he parade while eating.
After dinner, we continued to stroll the “cruise” route, and found this parked just outside the route.
That’s right! A brand new Tesla, (with Tim in the driver’s seat) – not vintage, but fabulosity to the nth degree!!! Nt vintage, but already a modern-day classic.
We went to Volcano for a wine tasting, and of course found several bottles we thought were worth bringing home.
The town of Sisters was an easy drive from Redmond. It is a very cool, artsy, pretty town. We put it right up there with Talkeetna and Homer.
We stopped into Sisters Smokehouse and bought lunch, and a few sticks of home- made Teriyaki Pepperoni. It was sooo delicious.
from there we headed to the McKenzie Highway, OR 242, which is on the National Register of Historic Places due to the fact that it was a wagon route over the Cascades Range. It is said that you get the experience of hiking a trail, while driving in your car. It was a very interesting ride through a mountain pass on a very narrow trail of steep grades and switchbacks. The scenic route also crosses 65 square miles of lava fields, much like Craters of the Moon National Park, but more mountainous, and with more recent volcanic activity. It is closed for winter as early as Labor Day. Snow packs and ice of up to 14 feet are common on the summit of the road.
65 sq miles of this stuff…
And this lava reminds me – we did visit a roadside oddity in Redmond – Petersen’s Rock Garden. Rasmus Petersen (1883-1952), born in Denmark, built his rock garden in the last 17 years of his life, in tribute to his adopted new country. He collected rocks, petrified wood, glass, and shells from around Redmond, and began building replica structures at the age of 52 — when most people start to slow down. The Garden is still owned and run by Petersen’s grandchildren, and in 2013 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Below is one of many buildings Mr. Petersen created on his four acres.
Heading south to California, we were treated to Mt. Shasta, a potentially active volcano located at the southern end of the Cascade Range. At an elevation of 14,179 feet, it is the second highest peak in the Cascades and the fifth highest in California.
It’s beauty is difficult to describe, but John Muir said it best.
“When I first caught sight of Mount Shasta over the braided folds of the Sacramento Valley, my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since.”— John Muir, 1874
“…my blood turned to wine…” ahhhhh – don’t you just love that phrase! I sure do.
I don’t know about you, but we don’t think of ice and glaciers when we think of California. In fact, we never realized just how many glaciers we would see on this trip – amazing! ( And so sad they are receding )
Next stop was Redding, California, and the Win-River Resort & Casino (see posting under Campground Reviews). This is just a short drive from the glaciers of Mt. Shasta, yet, it is 108 degrees outside. Thankfully, it is a dry heat, so it is much more bearable – at least for me. Win-River is a delight. When you use the RV park, you receive a pass for the fitness center, business office, pool, and hot tub.
We visited the #1 attraction in Redding, The Sundial Bridge.
And by the way, where (above) is Waldo?
The Sundial Bridge is a cantilever spar cable-stayed bridge for bicycles and pedestrians, that spans the Sacramento River. The support tower of the bridge forms a single 217-foot mast that points due north at a cantilevered angle, allowing it to serve as the gnomon (the projecting piece on a sundial that shows the time by the position of its shadow) of a sundial. The Sundial Bridge gnomon’s shadow is cast upon a large dial to the north of the bridge, although the shadow cast by the tower is exactly accurate on only one day in a year – the summer solstice. The tip of the shadow moves at approximately one foot per minute so that the Earth’s rotation about its axis can be seen with the naked eye. This amazing architectural structure was designed by Santiago Calatrava, at a cost of $23,500,000. It took 11 years to build, and opened in 2004. The bridge has become iconic for Redding, and definitely worth a visit.
Tomorrow, we leave Redding, CA , and head south again. Since we’re so close to her area, we’re going to take the opportunity to visit Tim’s sister Patty once again. We’ll see you there.