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Alaska Trip

Week 1

Travel Map

We've made it to Seattle and are appreciating the ammenities provided by motel, e.g. lights, attached bathroom, etc. not to mention electric outlets and a phone to upload this stuff.

The car is pretty tightly packed with gear, but there is enough room for the dog.

Our stops along the way included the following. Next we head up to British Columbia.

Mt. Shasta

We camped at Castle Lake which sits about 10 miles west of Mt. Shasta. A five minute walk from the campsite provided an excellent view of the mountain. Here we met some friends who were beginning a trip east to Knoxville Tennessee, but were paralleling our route initially.

Castle Lake itself was a lovely (yet very cold) place to swim.

The next day we followed the railroad tracks from Dunsmuir to Mossbrae falls. These falls are fed not by a stream or river, but rather from water which has seeped through the porouse volcanic soil of Mt. Shasta and is escaping from springs above the falls. Another cold place to swim, with the added challenge of the current from the Sacramento River.

For reasons unknown, we all felt compelled to crouch for this group photo.

Crater Lake

From Shasta we proceeded up to Crater Lake in Oregon. Lots of snow around the visitor center and a good part of the rim road was closed (as well as many trails). Still the 1900 ft. deep blue water was quite spectacular.

Newberry Crater

We didn't feel like drivng too much after leaving Crater Lake, and we found a nice set of campgrounds in Newberry Crater National Monument. This area has a pair of lakes in the remnants of an old volcano. We camped right on the shore of one of the lakes (Paulina).

Nearby was a large obsidian (volcanic glass) flow.

Heading towards the gorge we stopped by the ski resort, Mt. Bachelor. Not much to see in the summer.

Mt. Hood / The Gorge

We found a very nice campground at the foot of Mt. Hood in Oregon. This was along the Hood River, which feeds into the Columbia River.

On Friday, we went into the town of Hood River, which is "the heart of the Columbia River Gorge". This place is a windsurfing mecca, and it was no surprise given the 20 mph wind which was blowing when we got there.

I rented some gear and managed to get myself out and back, despite more than a year of not having been out.

We got a good pointer from the camp host to hike to the top of Lookout Mtn. which was a short drive (uphill) from our campsite. At the top of the mountain, we could see Mt. Hood, Mt. Ranier, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Jefferson and the Oregon desert stretching off to the east. There were also some lovely meadows here.

Mt. St. Helens

We drove the Washington Hwy 504 from I-5 to Mt. St. Helen. Every 5 miles of this 40 mile drive seemed to tout a "Visitor Center", so things seemed a bit touristy. Nonetheless the devestation which remains in some areas, and the recovery of plant life in others is quite an interesting sight.

Also en route we passed Tuttle Lake High School which had the somewhat unlikely mascot, the fighting duck.


We visited Heather's family out here and went to the Sound Garden (an actual park) which lent its name to the much more famous grunge band.