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Thursday, February 20, 2014

My blog--New Series From Sea To Shining Sea Part 12

Mt. Shasta

Okay, I'm  very past my due date to continue this series:

Mon. Oct. 11  We headed back over the mountain to find some civilization so we could continue our journey, but stopped first to wash clothes at a Laundromat.  First thing out of the hat we ran across some people also over doing business from Cedarville.  Unfortunately I felt the need to keep a firm grip on my mouth--no easy feat.  Something had happened in the past with these folks that caused so many people to change their faith in mankind.  Rudeness didn't nearly cover the whole problem.  It's hard to erase people from your mind, but I'm still trying with these folks.

Today is 63 degrees and sunshine for a beautiful driving day.  However, Abby had decided to bathe in some serious caca, so she needed both a hosing off and a real bath.  I was not impressed.  But what are you going to do when you take a city dog into the country?  So now she's fluffy and looks like a molting sheep, and is sleeping off the 10-day party we had back in Cedarville with such loving friends.  She had to compete with two dachshund puppies.

Mike and Darrel were able to fix the Coyote's lift brake problem just before we left town.

The Oregon Mountains pine forests look almost exactly like southern Georgia's pine forests.  Northern California is a bigger political mess than Georgia.  Stupid is rampant everywhere, I guess.  But I understand they finally made a budget after way too long and much borrowing.  With this budget the young people in Cedarville will still have jobs, since the only employer of consequence is the Forestry Svs.  All their jobs were scheduled to terminate without that critical decision being positive.

In the National Forests, which is most of southern Oregon and Northern California, the BLM is cutting out all of the Juniper trees felled among the pines in all directions.  Apparently Junipers draw all the water from the soil and dehydrate plants and land.  We've picked up a peculiar smell in the air which turns out to be a million acres of harvested onions which grow near Klamath Falls.  Street banners advertise the potato festival in Merrill.  Piney hills gave way to farmland separating medium height mountains.  Klamath is known to be five feet deep in snow in winter.  Fortunately we're a little early for that.  From Alturas, Mt. Shasta's snow peak can be seen at its 14,162 ft. height.

Oregon law states a person may not fill his/her gastank with gas. Only the attendant may do that.  Maybe that's why the price is even higher there than expensive California gas.  I called my cousin Peggy in Medford Oregon to see if Abby will be a problem since she's a hair factory.  She said not if her cat doesn't attack.  So I warned Abby, who had never met a cat.

We went over the Klamath River then the GPS changed our minds for us and directed us through Keno and Ashland.  A beautiful mountain drive.  Darrel is only clenching his teeth a little bit.  an amazing amount of underbrush has been cut throughout these woods, we assume to avoid fire exposure.  The pines here are about a hundred feet high.  It looked like the road from Cumming to Hiawassee in every way but pine trees instead of hardwoods.  As the altitude decreased, the pines became shorter.  The Klamath River was again before us to be re-crossed.  My parents took us to these woods when we were children so we could camp in the rustic woods.  My mother canned blackberries which she had picked while I invented horses from fallen logs and my dad fished.  I have no idea what my brother did.  We were seeing what looked like creeping cedar along the roadside, which I didn't expect to find in Oregon.  This endangered ground cover shouldn't be in a dry climate..I will have to investigate that.  We were over the 4551' summit of this Cascade Siskiyou Mountain Road and back into pinelands along Oregon 66.  It looked like we'd left the desert behind on the other side of the mountains we'd just crossed.  Now I'm confused--in front of us were Oak Trees? and switchbacks as we head into Ashland on the steep grade (down)--so glad the brakes were repaired on the Coyote.  Ashland is the home of the Oregon Shakespere Festival then in progress.  We saw ski slopes you wouldn't dare to steer wrong or you'd plaster yourself on a tree.   Steep is in.  No more pines next--only scrub oaks.  Steep as the devil.  I'm glad we were on the inside lane as we entered the valley.  We were struck with golden hills and dense clumps of oaks both green and gold--my favorite.  The Pacific Coast must be right over those hills but it's really 70 miles away.  Monster clumps of mistletoe cling to the 20 foot oak trees.  Seriously dry "Emigrant Lake" was on our right. And breathtaking majestic land with towering mountains practically blocked the sky from the road.

We've only seen five cars since we left Ashland.  Could it be the winding switchbacks?  Then we were thrown back into the 5 freeway north to Phoenix outside of Medford where we parked for the night.  Not bad for one day.  Ashland is so gorgeous we were delighted.

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