Wednesday, August 31, 2011
We also found Sherwood Forest, Jack and Jill’s hill, the Little Engine that Could, Jack’s Beanstalk (along with a giant foot), Farmer Brown’s Barn, the Tortoise and the Hare, and many others. Fairytale Town just might be the unofficial cutest playground ever for little kids. We loved it!
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Sutter built his adobe fort, which he called “New Helvetia” or New Switzerland. He eventually employed hundreds of local Indians in his fields and ran 30 plows a day. At the height of his empire, he had 12,000 head of cattle, 2,000 horses and mules, between 10,000 and 15,000 sheep, and 1,000 hogs.
Sutter’s Fort was well known in its day as a temporary refuge for weary travelers. Sutter generously housed them, fed them, and gave them supplies for free. He actively recruited settlers from across America and Europe. He was also instrumental in the rescue of the Donner Party, the 89 members of a wagon train who became trapped in the Sierra Nevada Mountains during the winter of 1846-47 in high snow. It was Sutter who sent rescuers and brought back the 47 survivors, who famously survived by eating the flesh of their dead companions. Patty Reed, a child in the party, donated the doll she carried with her during the harrowing winter to Sutter’s Fort after her death as appreciation for the care Sutter gave her family and traveling companions. It is still on display today (although is currently being restored and was unavailable to view on this day).
Monday, August 29, 2011
Sunburned and mosquito-bitten from our time at Crater Lake, we left Oregon with smiles on our faces and lots of happy memories. But the instant we crossed the state line, we were abruptly reminded we were back in California. The road immediately changed from smooth and clean to rough with patchwork fixes of potholes. The graffiti started on buildings. Suddenly there were almost as many signs in Spanish as there were in English. The gas prices went up. The marked difference in…well, everything was crazy.
And for the first time, the campground we’re staying in warned us to lock up our bikes.
Oh yes, welcome to California, indeed. There is much to like about the Golden State and we’ll certainly enjoy our time here, but there is definitely an element of culture shock every time we come here. Other than New York, we feel that adjustment more in California than anywhere else in the country. That probably sounds crazy since Rob and I both grew up in California and we know it well, but it’s true!
We’re going to hit some major highlights in the next few weeks/months -– places Rob and I have never been to (Yosemite, Death Valley, etc.) in spite of growing up here. I think we’ll manage to get over that "culture shock" pretty quickly. :)
Sunday, August 28, 2011
12 (Hundred) Crazy Drivers
11 Highway Rest Stops
10 Near Collisions
8 construction areas
7 awesome vistas
6 missed phonecalls...
4 children's flicks
3 tired kids
2 done parents
and a campground that's nearly empty.....
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Oregon is an awfully nice substitute for all the glory and wonderment of Maine. We have enjoyed it tremendously.
We came into the state with no expectations and very little knowledge about the 10th-largest state. Now even the kids can rattle off random facts like Oregon, Washington, and Idaho are the three states that once made up the Oregon Territory. Some of British Columbia was originally part of it also, but was ceded to England. Oregon officially became a state in 1859, not long before the Civil War. It is said she entered the Union to help balance the slave vs. non-slave states.
We’d thought it would take us somewhere between four to six weeks to cover Oregon and then we’d move on. Instead it’s been twelve weeks and we’re truly sad to go.
Plus we’ve finally gotten used to not pumping our own gas. We’ve certainly gotten used to not paying sales tax. We’ve grown accustomed to the natural beauty, the friendly people, the mild weather, and the easy-going lifestyle. And Madelyn, in all her wisdom, really likes the Tillamook yogurt and other dairy products here. (“These are the best we’ve had so far; we should move here someday.”)
Who knows what the future holds for us and we certainly have many more foreseeable years of traveling left, but Oregon goes on “the list.”
*Disclaimer: We haven’t been to Montana yet! We’re pretty certain we’re going to love Montana.
Friday, August 26, 2011
No, no, no, no, no, and no! All these images are from Crater Lake today. WHAT a place. And yes, that is Rob leaping off a 20-foot precipice and into the water!
But this sign at the top of the trail made me worry. One hundred-fifty flights of stairs! We’d heard earlier it was only 65 flights. I guess at that point, what’s another 85 flights of stairs, right?
The boat tour took us on the perimeter of the entire lake, plus around both Wizard Island and Phantom Ship. One of the most wild spots was at Phantom Ship. Immediately around the rock structure, the water was only about 12 feet deep. However, one could clearly see something the rangers call “the Blue Line.” It was like there was a line drawn in the water, where the color abruptly changed from the shallow teals to the deep blue. And sure enough, in a matter of only three feet, the water depth drops more than 1,000 feet.
The ranger told us the water is 55 degrees until you are five feet below the surface; at that point, it drops to a constant 38 degrees.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
“I knew when I gazed upon Crater Lake that even though the West was filled with undiscovered wonders, Crater Lake would hold its own.” –John Wesley Hillman