Road Trips

Road Trips

The best dam burger is in Redding

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A stop in Redding, California for a walk across the unique Sundial Bridge and along the raging Sacramento River left us looking for lunch downtown. We stumbled upon Damburger, which opened in 1938 at the construction site of Shasta Dam. It is a classic burger, fries and shake place that offers indoor and patio seating. Is it worth the short trip off I-5? Dam(n) right it is!

 

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Sierra Nevada: Good times, as usual

 

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An evening of beer tasting and dinner at Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico was a highlight of our weekend visit with son Brad and his girlfriend Ashley.

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A different kind of change in Chico

Can you spare some change? These machines in downtown Chico, California, ask passersby to reduce panhandling and help the needy. Feed the machine a few coins or a donation from your credit/debit card. A green light blinks for a time, depending on the amount of your donation. The money goes to local agencies that help those in need.

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Portland…after the storm

Portland got dumped on Tuesday and Wednesday. The expected 3-4 inches of snow piled up into a good foot of the white stuff, sending the city to a screeching halt for the rest of the week.
We stubbornly refused to postpone our scheduled trip, and arrived yesterday (Friday) to icy roads and slippery sidewalks…but beautiful blue skies Saturday morning. Cold, but otherwise perfect weather for a little urban hiking.

A beautiful, but cold day along the Portland waterfront.

I spot the telltale signs of past benchwarmers.

This woman has the right idea!

Enjoying the brilliant sunshine on a cold winter day.

 

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How we found Lost Creek Bridge

 

The Marina Grill at Lake of the Woods is open on weekends during winter.

Our Thanksgiving weekend was drawing to a close, but we had time for one more outing before my dad and brother made the long drive home to Southern California.

Because the predicted rain had not yet arrived, Reg and I suggested a drive into the mountains to grab a bite to eat at one of our favorite spots – Lake of the Woods.

Once refueled, we continued onward, choosing not to backtrack, but to continue forward, returning home along a different route.

Our summer memories faded quickly as we watched the storm clouds roll over the lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a small sign along the highway that caught Reg's attention. “Historical Bridge next left” it said and before we knew it we were bouncing along a narrow country road in search of a piece of Oregon history.

The official construction date of the Lost Creek Bridge is listed as 1919, although many locals claim the bridge was built as early as 1879 – 1881, which would make it the oldest standing covered bridge in Oregon. It was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1979.

If you want to document your visit, there is a registry to sign on the bridge…but be sure to bring along a pen. If one was ever provided, it is long gone. You will also find a picturesque little park adjacent to the bridge which is just perfect for a picnic lunch.

At just 39 feet long, Lost Creek Bridge has the distinction of being the shortest of all Oregon covered bridges.

Facts about the construction date of the bridge are a little fuzzy.

Lost Creek Bridge has been closed to traffic since 1979.

Just across the road a herd of curious cattle keep an eye on us.

 

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A Wild River and the Wild West

The Klamath River flows 263 miles, from Oregon into California, before emptying into the Pacific Ocean. Early in the 20th century, construction began on a series of dams along the river. Today, those dams have become a source of major controversy, primarily because they block historical salmon spawning grounds, and are facing removal.

Taking advantage of a break in our gloomy weather, we packed a picnic lunch and headed south into California, where we drove up the Klamath River to explore the Iron Gate Reservoir, a lake created by the lowermost of the above mentioned dams.

We were surprised to see Pilot Rock, a Southern Oregon landmark, rising in the distance from the bank of Iron Gate Reservoir.

We had the road mostly to ourselves with the exception of an occasional car or truck.

Fishing, boating, swimming, camping and hiking are popular activities.

Not quite ready to return home, we backtracked along the reservoir and Klamath River until we came upon the turnoff to the California town of Montague. In hopes of finding afternoon coffee and a piece of pie, we were pleasantly surprised to discover a cute little town, big on historical charm.

The town of Montague was founded in 1887

Bits of the old west are seen everywhere.

This short poem expresses the spirit of Montague.

 

A downtown sculpture celebrates Cowboys of yesterday and today.

 

At The Dutchman Cafe a fresh pot of coffee filled our cups...

 

...and vanilla ice cream topped our dessert!

 

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Coastal Trail reveals hidden beauty

The Coastal Trail weaves like a thread along the rugged Pacific Coast, stringing together scenic viewpoints, state parks, hidden coves and dense forests. The trail also offers numerous opportunities to stretch one's legs, which is exactly what we did while sightseeing on our most recent camping trip on the South Coast of Oregon.

Armed with our Coast Trail and Travel Guide and a picnic lunch, we drove north from Brookings, Oregon one day and south, into California, on another day. The beauty stretches for miles in both directions. The views are easily visible from the road, but I'd encourage you to take a short (or long) walk and enjoy all the Coast Trail has to offer.

The Pacific Ocean appears endless from the cliffs above.

A window to the rocks below.

A misty fog is a familiar sight along the Pacific Coast.

Driftwood creates patterns along the beach.

Forest growth is so dense that it creates a tunnel along the Coastal Trail.

It's hard to resist climbing a tree like this!

Reg is dwarfed by soaring evergreen trees.

A splash of color.

 

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A California diversion leads to secret World War II radar station

Radar Station 71 is preserved as a National Historic site.

The buildings are perched on a cliff above the Pacific Ocean.

Fake dormers were added to make the buildings look like farm structures.

 

A narrow, one-way dirt road near the mouth of the Klamath River in California's Del Norte County led us to an important World War II site today, perched above the Pacific Ocean.

Disguised as farm buildings, the early warning system housed radar to watch for Japanese submarines and planes.

Radar Station 71 is the last preserved coastal outpost that was part of a string of such defensive sites. Fifty-caliber anti-aircraft guns stood guard. American military watched, ready to summon help from San Francisco if a Japanese attack was imminent.

We couldn't help but imagine what it was like at this outpost more than 70 years ago when our nation's security depended on the people at this place.

 

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Going Green on the Oregon Coast

When we reserved our Harris Beach campsite last week, the weather report for the south coast of Oregon called for several days with mostly blue skies and temperatures in the mid-sixties. The perfect opportunity to sneak in, what might be, one last trailer trip before winter weather arrives.

As promised, temperatures have warmed up each day, allowing us to comfortably explore, but the sunshine we were hoping for has remained scarce. Although the gray skies haven't slowed us down, they have served as a reminder of one of the reasons Oregon continues to be such a beautiful, green state.

In celebration of my green theme, I thought I'd share a few photos from our Riverview Trail walk along the Chetco River, in Alfred A. Loeb State Park.

Reg pauses to check out the curtain of moss dangling from a fallen tree.

The Riverview Trail eventually turned uphill and past a cascading creek.

As we left the river and climbed higher we entered a Redwood forest.

Lots of green...everywhere!

As a couple fishermen quickly floated down the Chetco River, we noticed it too was a unique shade of green.

We stopped to look for a four-leaf clover, but couldn't spot one. Can you?

 

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Oregon mountain holds link to WWII bombing

Nubuo Fujita dropped two bombs on a ridge above Brookings, Oregon.

It was a September evening off the Brookings, Oregon coast.

Nobuo Fujita strapped himself into the pilot's seat in his floatplane atop the submarine aircraft carrier.

His spotter gave the thumbs up and their craft was catapulted from the sub into the air, eventually rising to several thousand feet as they headed toward the redwood forest on Wheeler Ridge.

Minutes later it was bombs away as they dropped two incendiary devices, intending to start a massive wildfire and divert American manpower from the war.

Forest Service guards heard a plane approaching their fire lookout. “What is going on?” they wondered.

The men heard an explosion and soon saw signs of a fire.

Forest Service Guard Keith Johnson at the bombing site the day after the attack.

They knew they must get to the fire quickly to prevent a disaster. Rain the previous night had dampened the ground. They summoned help and a wildfire was averted.

That was 1942. Fujita was a Japanese pilot aboard the I-25 submarine. His daring raid aboard the Glen was one of several missions by their submarine off the Oregon coast that year.

Sue and I made our way to the bombing site today, driving about 17 miles inland from Brookings, the last 12 on a gravel road that got more treacherous as we traveled. About 15 inches of rain had fallen in a recent storm, making parts of the road a challenge. A few trees had fallen, but the road remained passable.

After parking, we headed up the rustic trail, past a few markers commemorating Fujita's daring raid. After about a half hour, we arrived at the bombing site, marked by a platform overlooking the place where his daughter had scattered some of his remains in 1997.

Nubuo Fujita and his wife visited Brookings in 1962 and he presented his family's 400-year-old samurai sword in an act of friendship to the Brookings mayor.

Small road signs marked the way up the mountain.

There was no sign of other visitors during our drive and trek.

Sue holds back branches so our truck can pass underneath.

The trail headed up steeply, then down the other side to the bombing site.

Somehow, the Japanese attackers launched the plane from their submarine.

A small clearing provided parking near the trailhead.

A marker for the bombing site, as seen from a small deck.

A viewing platform and historical markers commemorate the World War II site.

 

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