Technical Diffuculties

Due to some technical difficulties with our old server, Gino had to move our family blog to a new server. Thus creating a few technical bumps in the road with updating the blog on my desktop computer.

Don’t worry, hopefully soon we will have the issues worked out and I will be back at. When that happens watch out, because I have a whole month of blogging to add. So check back and be ready!

Until then…

Back At Home

We are back home after our Thanksgiving vacation to Utah. We arrived on Tuesday evening, December 2nd, around 7 p.m.

We had a fantastic time seeing family, being in warmer temperatures and relaxing. Always good for the soul to see all those you love the most.



I will be posting photos and blogging from the trip over the next week. I hope to have it finished by then. Bare with me as I try to get back in the groove of things.

Crater Lake – Day 2

After dinner and PIE, at Beckie’s Cafe along Highway 62, we headed over to a trail head just north of there.

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Rogue Gorge trail head.

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Have you ever seen a stump like this?
Most stump’s we’ve seen have been smooth.

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The living stump from the above photo.

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The tree that “feeds” the stump, goes up and up and up!

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Learning about the Rogue River Gorge/Chasm.

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Can you see it through the trees.
A very pretty area but hard to see with all the foliage in the way.

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Lava tubes just like the “natural bridge” we went to see this morning.

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The lava tubes that are mentioned in the sign above.
This area was very cool to see in person.

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Looking down stream into part of the gorge.

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Looking upstream.
So pretty and the sound of the water was so peaceful to hear.

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The uppermost area before the gorge/chasm.

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Before heading into the gorge/chasm the water cascades down.

2013-08-09 146_edited-1Feeling better after we finally got something to eat.
We have had a busy busy day! Looking forward to some fishing a bit later…

Crater Lake – Day 2 part 4

As we continue on our Rim Drive tour, the day is quickly getting away from us and we have so much more to see!

We bypass several overlooks and come along Cloudcap Overlook (ONLY open during the summer) on the east side of the lake.

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Cloudcap Overlook is the highest paved road in Oregon and is 1-mile long.

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Looking Northwest.
The sides of the caldera create shadows along the edge of the water.

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Looking west.

Whitebark pines cling to the surrounding area (not pictured) for survival, dwarf and contorted by the harsh winds that sweep across. Gino pointed them out just as we were driving back down the mountain. If I would have seen them, I would have gotten photos (next time!).

Our next stop along the drive was the Phantom Ship Overlook. The “other” island, they say it resembles a small sailboat (I’m not seeing it).

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This area is surrounded by trees, so views of the lake are seen through them.

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Looking Northwest toward Watchman Overlook.

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Our tour of the lake is about over and I think we are about done too.

The East Rim Drive road (only open during the summer!) is very bumpy and in need of repair. There are no guardrails along the way, which I thought was very strange, because the road got very close to the edge a few times!

Our last stop along the Rim Drive was Vidae Falls.

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Vidae Falls comes from a spring fed creek that tumbles 100 feet along the cliffs.

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Trying to get a good picture of the falls was a bit difficult but I was able to get a great shot of the sign!

That’s our day at Crater Lake, we would love to go back and see more. Right now it’s time for some dinner and then we are off again…

Crater Lake – Day 2 part 3

After getting Isabel her Junior Ranger BADGE and PATCH, we decided to take the the 100 year old Rim Drive (33-miles) around the lake. There are 7 “must-see” stops along the way. We stopped by 5 of those 7. Enjoy!

We started out heading west from Rim Village and stopped at Discovery Point.

Discovery Point is located near the area where John Hillman, a gold prospector first stumbled upon Crater Lake back in 1853. The European-American called it “Deep Blue Lake.” Not looking so blue today…

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The wind was still really blowing across the caldera but the clouds seem to be breaking up.
A closer view of Wizard Island, Fumarole Bay and Skell Channel.

Our next stop along Rim Drive was Watchman Overlook. This is where we really got to see the BLUE lake water. GORGEOUS!

I overheard a gentlemen telling someone in his party that the water reminded him of the Caribbean. Wow!

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Looking Northeast across the caldera.

Also while we were at the Watchman Overlook, we got to see the 37-passenger boat tour out on the water. There is only 1 boat and 20 tickets are sold over the phone or online ONLY! The remaining 17 tickets are ONLY available at automated kiosks inside the lodge or a gift shop. Only about 1% of the visitors to the park actually see it from the water!

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Looking East across the caldera to Mount Scott (highest peak in the park at 8,929 ft.)
Now we closer to Wizard Island (but it doesn’t quite look like an island from here).

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Looking Southeast.
The Rim Village is along the right hand side of the photo.

I had wanted to add a panoramic view, with the blue water, but I can’t get the look I want, so the lake view is 3 separate shots. Bummer.

2013-08-09 074_edited-1Family photo (only 1) on this trip. This nice family asked me to take several photos of them and then they repaid me with a photo too! It was still a bit chilly out  but the wind had dead down considerable.

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The “moderate” Watchman Peak hike trail.
The hike is 1.6 miles and you gain 420 feet in elevation. The historic fire lookout was built in 1932 and is still used today.

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By this time our “happy” little Junior Ranger isn’t so happy anymore and she’s getting bored.

We’ve got more to see, so off we go…

Crater Lake – Day 2 part 2

We finally made it to Crater Lake, located 19 miles north of our RV park.

It’s beautiful country. We would recommend the trip. Most of the people we encountered didn’t speak English (or weren’t speaking it in public) and we were the only car truck with plates from Washington. Most were from California and Oregon. Enjoy!

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Nobody wanted a picture by the sign and I can’t take one of myself.
Oh well, a quick shot and then it’s onward to the lake!


Our first view of the lake at 7,100 ft. was a disappointment!
The view matches the sky!

We arrived around noon and the wind was blowing across the caldera cold and fast. Thick clouds were gathering overhead and it looked like rain. Since we didn’t think to take along our jackets or a sweatshirt, we stopped by the gift shop and got some great souvenirs! Afterward, we went and hiked around.

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Does she look cold? She’s not, the wind was whipping up dirt and it was getting in our eyes.

2013-08-09 042_edited-1Wizard Island, Fumarole Bay and Skell Channel.

Wizard summit is 6,940 feet and is only accessible via the Crater Lake boat tour. You can swim, fish, and hike on the island. I later learned that the trees along the summit have been killed by a parasitic plant; dwarf mistletoe.

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Isabel and I in front of Wizard Island.
The “Devils Backbone” is just over my left shoulder.
(notice the little stone wall behind us, at the very bottom of the picture…)

2013-08-09 050_edited-1The view drops straight down into the caldera! So WATCH OUT!

After taking this photo and posting it to the blog I noticed that the lake water below looks more like clouds. So it appears that we are above the clouds, which isn’t the case at all. The lake reflects the sky no matter if it’s cloudy and gray or sunny and blue. Very interesting and cool.

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One last photo before we head inside, while the rain comes down and there’s a bit of lighting.
The water in this photo is fascinating in the way the surface  seems to bend and twist all within the same space!

Grotto Cove is on the far left, while Danger Bay is on the right. You can also just make Phantom Ship Island. Garfield Peak, in the right foreground,  is the second highest peak in the park at 8,054 ft. Mount Scott, in the very back, is the tallest peak in the park at 8,929 ft.

Interesting fact: the average water surface elevation is 6, 173 ft. and the average temperature is 32°-60° F. No streams empty into the lake that would normally bring sediment to cloud the water, so clarity is 143 feet, which is a world record. The maximum depth is 1,943 feet, which is also a record for a fresh water lake in the United States. The maximum distance across is 6.1 miles.

There were several species of fish introduced into the lake between 1888 and 1941. However only 2 live and reproduce in the lake today; Kokanee salmon and Rainbow trout. Fishing is allowed but with artificial lures only.


At this point we came to our first destination and it was where we spent most of our time at the lake because someone wanted to earn her Junior Ranger BADGE and Junior Ranger PATCH. We made a stop at the Rim Village Visitor Center to collect her Junior Ranger activity book. She had to complete 7 of the 11 pages in her book to get the BADGE.

With help from Daddy, she finished her book in 2 hours time and was able to join the Junior Ranger summer activity to get the PATCH. AWESOME!

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She’s so PROUD!
Now it’s time for that summer activity with the ranger.

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Her Crater Lake activity book, badge, and patch.

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Inside she got to pick which pages she wanted to complete.
Draw your own National Park; she drew mountain peaks with snow and trees and 1 mountain erupting! She would call it: BLAST OFF National Park!
(the ranger loved this!)

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On this page she had to come up with a poem of her own while using the letters from CRATER.

“Crater Lake is
Really cool!
All the
Trees are really tall.
Enjoyed my stay
Rain please go away!”
by Isabel

So awesome! Love it!
She did 5 other pages with various activities but I just wanted to highlight these 2.

Now it’s onto more site seeing and exploring!

Crater Lake – Day 2 part 1

On our way to Crater Lake today, we made a little stop 10 miles from our RV park.

The upper Rogue River natural bridge. Enjoy!

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Isabel standing by the map of the area.

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This sign states how the bridge was formed with lava and water.

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Heading to the natural bridge but first we have to cross a not-so-natural bridge.

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Looking north up the Rogue river on the not-so-natural bridge.
The mix of lava and forest is just so beautiful.

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Looking south down the Rogue river on the not-so-natural bridge.

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The “cave”, which appears to go back into the rock a ways but the water does come back out.

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The “cave” along the Rogue river natural bridge.

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“Out of the Rock” the Rogue river emerges from the natural bridge before heading
to the Pacific Ocean 184 miles away.

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The water shoots out FAST here at the end of the bridge.

At peak flows approximately 335,000 gallons of water rush out each minute at speeds of 6 feet per second! Wow! The temperature in the river is cold too, varying seasonally from 32 ° to 60° Fahrenheit.

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The “hidden river”.
When the water levels are low the whole river goes through the bridge.

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Looking north upstream just below the natural bridge inlet.
In seasons of heavy river flow this top part of the natural bridge would be under water.

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When the water levels are low, “potholes” can be seen.
(to the left and right out front)

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Looking south toward the not-so-natural bridge.
So pretty.

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The natural bridge inlet is just below us!

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A look over the railing and all you see is water!
Very cool.

Crater Lake – Day 1

We took a few days to head south to Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon. Enjoy!

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On the straight road to Prospect OR.


We arrived late yesterday afternoon and are heading to the National park tomorow.

So these pictures are from yesterday after we arrived at our RV park.

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The Rogue River behind our RV park.
What a sunset!

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An Upper Rogue River dam.
Such a peaceful gorgeous place!

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Looking around the bend.

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Enjoying a walk by the Rogue river and canal.
We saw fish; maybe we can catch something for dinner.

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Looking back toward the dam.

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Our little monkey!

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Our RV park.
We were located in the back corner along the highway.
It was nice and quiet, even being so close to the highway.

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Our campsite and trailer!

The campsites don’t have fire pits which was completely fine because of the “extreme” fire danger in the area! The park has 2 common pits in the center of the park and the hosts hold s’more/live music parties during the week and on the weekends. Awesome!

So much to see in just a few minutes from the RV park and the camp hosts are more then helpful with places to see. Would stay here again and it’s close to Crater Lake as well.