Olympia, Washington

June 14-16, 2019

American Heritage Family Campground.

Today’s travel is only 72 miles a little over an hour. I found this campground online and it had good reviews. We just needed a place to catch up with laundry, groceries and truck maintenance. To our surprise this campground was very nice. Tucked away from all the hustle bustle of the city. The lady that checked us in are the original owners of the park and the park is 40+ years old. She told us that the city just build around them. We talked for awhile and then we went to set up camp and take a look around.

Our campsite

After we walked around the campground we decided to head into town and get the maintenance done on the truck and Walmart run.

The next day we had the day to explore so we went into the downtown area of Olympia and explore Washington’s State Capitol. It was the weekend and the grounds are open to the public that wants to look around. Its amazing the time and energy that goes into planning and building the government buildings not to mention the amount of money that is spent.

The details are amazing
More doors
The ceiling
Walk way to the Governor Office
On the floor
The grounds

This was a wonderful surprise visit for us and definitely see more State Capital visits in our future.

Our time is up here and got everything done that we needed to get done. We move onto Port Angeles’s Washington tomorrow to explore Olympia National Park.

Mt. Rainier

June 12-14, 2019

Taidnapam Park, Glenoma Washington

We have really enjoyed the Oregon Coast and definitely would love to return. Now it’s time to move inland a little as we are visiting Mt. Rainier National Park.

When we decided to go out west my plan was to visit as many National Parks as we could. Not realizing some were in the middle of no where and Mt. Rainier was a perfect example of no where. We finally found our campground. A nice small campground run by the county. Sites were nice. Some had full hookups but most were just water and electric. When I made reservations for here we were orginally planning on staying 4 nights but once we set up camp we didnt have any cell service, no TV, and no satellite. Ummm maybe a couple of nights will do for us at this location.

Our campsite
Beautiful park
My sweet girl

June 13th we got up early and packed a lunch and headed to Mt. Rainier.

A little information from the website.

An Icon on the Horizon

Ascending to 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning five major rivers. Subalpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. Wildlife abounds in the park’s ecosystems. A lifetime of discovery awaits.

Lots of falls
Steven’s Creek

Making our way up the road to Mt. Rainier we came across more snow. I can’t believe its June 13 and there is snow. Of course the elevations are pretty high up there too. So when there is snow we have to pull over and play a little while. 🙂

This is the stick I want to play with

After spending a full day at the park we headed back to the campground. We did decide to leave early and head into Olympia and stay a couple of nights there. We need an oil change and tire rotation and a trip to Walmart to restock everything. So we will leave in the morning. Mt. Rainier is a beautiful National Park and glad we came.

Oregon Coast

Cape Lookout State Park

Tillamook Oregon

June 9-12, 2019

Today’s journey has us still going up the coast to Tillamook, Oregon home of the Tillamook Cheese and Creamery. We traveled 165 miles today at a little under 4 hours. Our drive again was so pretty. We passed lots of little towns wishing we could have stopped but couldn’t because of parking and towing the camper. Maybe another time. When we arrived at the campground we were there before check in and as luck would have it someone was still in our site and they haven’t left yet. So the ranger sent us down to the beach parking area for a little while. We decided to go ahead and have lunch and after lunch we walked down to the beach to take a look.

Seen a Lighthouse while driving
More views of the coast

After a couple of hours we were checked into our site and set up camp. Time to expore the beach area from this end of the park.

Our campsite
Our first sunset at Cape Lookout

June 10

We wanted to visit the Lighthouse at Cape Meares which also offers a Three Sisters Scenic route. The drive was a mixture of farm land and rivers and the ocean with amazing views of Oregon.

One stop along our drive

A little info from the website about the park.

Park History

Obtained between 1938 and 1968 by lease and purchase from three federal government agencies, the park is surrounded by the Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuge. The cape itself was once an active lighthouse of the U. S. Coast Guard. The cape is named for the 18th century British naval officer, trader and explorer John Meares.
The lighthouse was built in 1889 and commissioned on January 1, 1890. The tower stands 38 feet high and is the shortest lighthouse in Oregon. It is constructed of bricks covered with iron plates. The original addition that now houses the interpretive shop was a work room built in 1895.  The current interpretive shop replaced the original work room in 1978.
The lens is a first order Fresnel lens made in Paris, France. It was shipped around Cape Horn, up the west coast to Cape Meares and then hauled 217 feet up the cliff by a wooden crane that was built from local timbers native to the area. It is an eight-sided lens with four primary lenses and four bull’s-eye lenses with red panels covering the bull’s-eye lenses. It produced about 30 seconds of fixed white light from the primary lens followed by a red flash of five seconds from the bull’s-eye lens once every minute. This was the signature of Cape Meares Lighthouse. The primary lens produced 18,000 candlepower and the bull’s-eye lens produced 160,000 candlepower. The light could be seen for 21 nautical miles at sea.

Acreage: 240.79

We took a walk around the park and visited the Octopus Tree. The picture below will give you the information about the tree. This tree was pretty huge.

June 11

Today we have plans to meet up with some long time friends that live in Tillamook and have breakfast at Tillamook Cheese and Creamery. We had a great visit and toured the factory and went back to our friends house for a little while. Thanks Sheryl and Tom for a wonderful visit. Afterwards we headed back to camp and took Nova for some play time on the beach.

Another day gone and our time is up here in Tillamook. We had a wonderful time and move to another new state for us as we head to Washington to explore Mt. Rainier.

Oregon Coast

June 6-9, 2019

Sunset Bay State Park, Coos Bay, Oregon

As we continue to travel up the Pacific Coast, today’s journey is only 110 miles at a little over 2 hours. We already know now that we would love to make this trip again. We’ve traveled a lot of highway but traveling the coast is simply amazing. They have lots of pull offs to explore.

We arrived at our campground to find its self check in. Alrighty then. So we go to our site and set up camp and hit the beach.

Our campsite

It was early enough we went for a drive to check out the area. We found a beach area not to far from the campground and we let Nova run for a while.

The tide was out
Trying to get as close as she can

Another wonderful day in the books. Tomorrow we will explore the rest of the State Park.

June 7th

Next to the campground is Shores Acres and Cape Arugo State Park.

Perched on rugged sandstone cliffs high above the ocean, Shore Acres State Park is an exciting and unexpected combination of beautiful natural and constructed features. Once the grand estate of pioneer timber baron Louis Simpson, Shore Acres features lushly planted gardens with plants and flowers from all over the world.

The Garden

After visiting the Shores we headed a short distance down the road to Cape Arago. This was a huge surprise for us as we had no idea we would be able to see sea lions and seals.

The day flew by and again it was another fantastic day on the Pacific Coast. We headed back to the campground had dinner then went back to the beach to try and catch the sun set here. While we were at the beach a guy was cleaning clams so walked over to get a better look and omgosh they were huge. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Clams

Another evening down and we are a little disappointed about leaving tomorrow. I think we could easily spend a couple of weeks here. Lots to do from kayaking, fishing, etc and even this morning we seen folks cleaning dungeons crabs that were pretty big. (sorry no pictures).

We head up the Pacific Coast to Tillamook next.

Redwood National Park

June 3-6, 2019

Harris Beach State Park, Brooking Oregon

Our campsite.

We had a wonderful time at Collier State Park visiting Crater Lake National Park but we are super excited about getting closer to the water. There is just something about being by the water and especially getting to travel up the Pacific Coast. Our first stop is Harris State Park in Brooking, Oregon. Our travel here was 206 miles just a little over 4 hours. Check in was smooth but after we realized they had water sites and the site I picked was in the back of the park there was a little disappointment in the air but hey we are here and it’s so beautiful. How could we be disappointed? After we set up camp we headed down to the water.

Hike down
From snow to the beach
Driftwood every where
Can I please get out
Our sunset on the Pacific Coast

June 4 we were up early and headed to the Redwoods. It’s about an hour drive from the campground. We got to the visitors center just as they opened. The ladies that were working helped us to decided where we needed to go and while we were there the ranger asked us if Nova had her Bark Ranger badge. Well she does now. 🙂

Just a few pictures from our day at the Redwoods. The trees are just amazing. There are lots and lots of hikes to take here but National Parks are not pet friendly so we could only stay where cars can travel. Even with that we were able to see some pretty big trees.

Nova says Hi

After our day at the park we headed back to the campground.


Starfish on the rock

Didnt stay until the end but close enough. Tomorrow we move up the coastline to Coos Bay, Oregon.

Crater Lake National Park and Lava Beds National Monument

May 31 -June 3, 2019

Collier State Park, Chiloquin, Oregon

Today’s travel was a little over 4 hours right at 240 miles. We traveled Interstate 5 for half the trip then onto State Road 97. Again another long and lonely road. We arrived at the campground and found it to be self check in. We made it to our site and set up and just relaxed the rest of the day.

Our site

Oregon is another new state for us camping and so far this campground is so beautiful. All the sites are paved and has full hookups. The next day we went exploring the museum across the street.


Next to the museum

While we were at the museum we talked to a family and they told us about another park to visit and it was about an hour away. Well then what’s an hour when you’ve come this far. So we went back to the camper had lunch packed a cooler with water and off we go to Lava Beds National Monument in California.

Lava Beds
More Beds

500,000 YEARS AGO THE EARTH OPENED

Cracking and sputtering, it released liquid rock and rivers of fire across the landscape. Intermittent eruptions over thousands of years layered the land, leaving intricate caves, cones, craters, and black, jagged blankets of lava. The Modoc called this “the land of burnt-out fire.” Tule Lake and Lava Beds were then, and are today, the center of their world.

Caves were formed from the eruptions and 700 lava tube caves can be found in the park. We did see a few as we really couldn’t explore because we had Nova and they did not allow pets in the cave. Not sure I would have went any further than I did to take the picture. Look pretty spooky and very cold.

Ice Cave
Going into the cave
Schonchin Butte

It was a very interesting day and its amazing how much Lava rocks you see in the area as we have been traveling thru California. Tomorrow we plan to head to Crater Lake National Park

We tried to get to Crater Lake early before the crowds and its supposed to get real cloudy as the day goes on. Pictures of the lake are best without a lot of clouds. Again most of the roads were closed due to snow and they have yet to clear all the roads.

How did a mountain become a lake? A massive volcanic eruption 7,700 years ago left a deep basin in place where a mountain peak once stood. Centuries of rain and snow filled the basin, unmatched color and clarity. It’s the deepest lake in the United States. The lake is 6.02 miles across and 1943 feet deep. It holds 4.9 trillion gallons of water.

We had another great adventure and Nova loves playing in the snow. Our time is up here and we move to the Oregon to travel up the Coast. We are excited about seeing the Pacific waters

Lassen Volcano National Park

May 29 -31, 2019

Lassen Mineral Campground, Mineral, California

We had a wonderful time in Lake Tahoe and although it snowed on us the weather was perfect. It’s time to move a little further north as our journey continues. As we leave we were able to follow Lake Tahoe along the north side. The lake is so magnificent. I was able to enjoy it, Louie not so much as he was pulling the camper along the narrow roads going up and around Lake Tahoe. Seems like the GPS wants to keep us on back lonely roads which makes it nice for traffic but not so much for fuel. Our drive today should be just under 4 hours.

Some of our scenery

We finally made it to our campground in the middle of no where. When researching everyone fails to say when giving reviews about a campground that you better have what you need before coming. No we found out the hard way. I asked the guy that checked us in how far is the nearest store or fuel and he pointed one direction 30 miles and pointed the other direction 45 miles. I guess we missed the sign saying “No Sevices next 75 miles” good thing we were in the middle. After we checked in and went to our site we realized we had the whole campground to ourselves. Alrighty then. At this point I didnt know weather to start crying or be happy. Anyway we set up and headed 30 miles back into town for fuel and a little groceries.

Going in to the campground
Our site
Our view

After our trip into town we returned back to our site and enjoyed the rest of the evening. By then the idea of being the only one in the park wasnt so bad after all. Tomorrow we head to Lassen Volcano National Park which is only 5 miles from the park. Oh yeah that’s why I picked this campground.


Before we left to go to the park I looked up to see what activities we could do on the website only to realize most of the park is closed due to snow. Are you kidding me….well we are here so off we go to see what is open and what was not. Even though there was a lot of snow the most we’ve seen yet we had a really good time. Once you get into the park only one mile of the road was clear for traffic and you could park and walk the rest of the roads that have been plowed but not open to traffic. So off we go exploring.

Of course we had to stop and let Nova play
Vistors Center
Just outside the back door
The Visitors Center

Powerful Forces

Lassen Volcanic National Park illustrates Earth’s powerful forces. Every rock originated from volcanoes, and all for types-shield, composite, cinder cone, and plug dome- can be found here.

Lassen Peak is one of the largest plug dome volcanoes in the world. Its last eruptions were between 1914 and 1921, with the largest explosion on May 22, 1915. The eruptions, photographed by local businessman Benjamin F. Loomis, paved the way for the creation of Lassen Volcanic National Park in August 9, 1916.

Scientists continue to monitor the landscape. No one can say when or where the next eruption will occur, only that it will.

We were happy to see the park in the wintertime landscape but wished we could have seen the summer landscape as the pictures we seen the park is just beautiful then. A few more pictures of our day.

Sulfur
The road we walked up
Wow we walked alot today

We walked to an elevation of 7300 ft and the cloulds started getting darker and we decided we better start walking back and sure enough we got caught in a light rain. 🙂

Tomorrow we head to Collier Memorial State Park to explore Crater Lake National Park