Road Trip!

Mt. Shasta

My sweetheart and I have been on a road trip. We left our home in Oakland and journeyed to Seattle and Portland, doing a bit of sightseeing and camping along the way. 1650 miles later we are back home and exhausted, but we did have some adventures along the way.

The picture above is of Mt. Shasta, one of the five volcanoes in the Cascades we saw on this trip. The others were Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Lassen. You may remember that Mt. St. Helens blew its top in 1980. The others haven’t erupted that recently, but they could.

Mt. Shasta is 530,000 years old, which is young in geological terms. The Castle Crags, which are in the same region, were formed more than 150 million years ago. On our last night we camped in the California State Park named for this feature, and drove up to a “vista point” that gave us this view along with that of Mt. Shasta.

Castle Crags

On our way north, we took U.S. 101, camping under redwoods at the Avenue of the Giants, and then driving up into Oregon. We saw many wonderful views of the Pacific Ocean and its many bays.

We had hoped to camp in Oregon as well, but, sigh, it rained. We are not such hardy campers that we wanted to pitch a tent in the rain, so we stayed in a nice old-fashioned motel in Florence, just on the edge of the tsunami evacuation zone. Oregon hotels in tsunami country (which is pretty much the entire Pacific coast of the state) are apparently required to post a notice telling you how to evacuate in the event of tsunamis.

The experience of driving around Northern California, Oregon, and Washington state is a great way to understand that our planet is fundamentally unstable and still changing.

However, in Florence we also went for a walk along the Siuslaw River and saw, among other things, a wonderful cormorant spreading its wings.


Our travels across Washington state included a ferry ride from Bremerton to Seattle. After several days of driving the curves and climbs of 101, we decided that ferry travel was the most civilized thing we’d ever done.

The reason behind this road trip was  a sad one. Vonda N. McIntyre had set aside several things for me because they related to interests we both shared. I needed to pick them up. I am glad to have a few things of hers, but meeting up with her friends who are dealing with property and estate things was sad, as was going to Vonda’s house without her there.

But we also visited several friends and some family. And I got to teach an introductory class in falling to some friends of my sweetheart’s father when we stopped in Portland. All of them were in their 90s and all were willing to try new things. Just spending time with them was good and I hope some of the skills I shared will be of use.

This trip was a whirlwind of experiences with nature and time spent with people. It left me with lots to chew on and, as I said at the beginning, exhausted. Next road trip we are going to severely limit the number of miles we drive in a day. 25 miles every other day sounds about right.



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