Travel Journal, Day 2: From Weed, California To Vancouver, Washington

June 2, 2019

Sunday morning we left Weed, California and made our way up on US 97 to Crater Lake National Park. US 97 is also named Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, because it runs east of Interstate 5 along all the volcano/mountain chains up in the Pacific Northwest. Our morning started with a big treat for us. The Sun was shining, the sky was clear, and Mount Shasta looked stunning with its snow-covered top(s). Most mountains have no caps anymore, because they were blown away from a volcanic eruption or weathering in this region. It leaves these mountains with two or more tops, which is sometimes hard to tell, which one is the highest point, the summit.

Once we’ve made it to Crater National Park, we’ve noticed lots of snow along the roadway. I said to Kevin to take a break and let the kids play in the snow for a little bit. The girls had so much fun sticking their fingers in the frozen white and having a small snowball fight. The fun was over, when Sara threw snow in Katelynn’s mouth. It was time to move on. Sara got some Karma later, when I threw a small snowball on the back of her head at the lake. It didn’t hurt her, because the snow was soft. But it made her think twice being a stinker to her older sibling.

When we saw the lake, we were mesmerized by its blue mirror reflecting water; the size of the caldera,; the big cone “Witch Cauldron” on Wizard Island; and the snow, which was still on the ground in the beginning of June. I’m happy, that the true love of my life took me to this lake. About 25 years ago, my son’s father supposed to take me to this lake. As a matter of fact, he lives in Oregon. But it didn’t work out. So here we go. Kevin made it possible for me to see this beautiful work of nature.

Crater Lake is with a depth of 1,949 feet (594 meters) the deepest lake in the United States of America. The caldera was formed when the Mount Mazama volcano collapsed approximately 7,700 years ago. It is filled with water due to heavy rain and snowfalls. Therefore the water is crystal clear and reflects blue due to the BIV (blue, indigo, violet) in the solar radiation interaction. The lake has two islands: Wizard Island and Phantom Ship. There is also a great chance that the volcano will erupt again, in the future. 

From Crater Lake National Park, we drove past Mount Thielsen, which has a very interesting looking summit. While capturing photos of it, I ran into a guy from Oklahoma. We had a little conversation about Oregon and Washington, before our ways separated again. It’s nice seeing people from home or a neighboring state. We always have something in common.

Soon, we’ve made it to Eugene. There we went back on Interstate 5 to drive to Portland. Our motel was on the other side of the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington. My long-time friend, David, was waiting for us, so we all could have dinner together. It was wonderful to see him after over 26 years, again. We had a lot of years to catch up. Kevin and David talked about Seattle and the Army. I’ve never have seen David talking so much, when he was younger. But it was fantastic. He’s back home and in his environment. We’ve all enjoyed the conversations. After guiding us to the motel, David said, we should visit on our way back from Seattle. That way, we could also meet his wife. So, Kevin and I planned a lunch in Vancouver for Wednesday.  There is always some room on our trips for being spontaneous. Especially with kids, we have to be flexible.

… to be continued …

Travel Journal, Day 1: From Dallas, Texas To Weed, California

June 1, 2019

At 8:45 a.m. our plane took off from Dallas Love Field. We were on our way to San Jose in California within 3 ½ hours. Arriving in San Jose we found out that Kevin and my luggage (we usually share one bag) wasn’t at the airport. After some back and forth in the Baggage Claim Office, we decided to go get our rental car and move on as planned. Southwest Airlines called us back later that day, letting us know, the luggage never made out of Dallas, and asked how they could accommodate us. I told Kevin to let the Baggage Claim know to send our bag to Seattle by Monday. I was in a bad mood and didn’t want to talk to the guy on the other end of the phone. It was bad enough, I didn’t have my hiking shoes with me and had to purchase some toiletries, clothes and shoes to hold us over until two days into the trip. But at least they found our luggage. It could have been much worse. At least I had my camera gear and our passports in my carry-on, in case we wanted to go to Vancouver, British Colombia in Canada for a day.

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Mountain Range somewhere in southern California close to the Mexican Border

Our first destination was the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Kevin, the girls and I couldn’t wait to see the huge bridge stretching one mile over the entrance of the San Francisco Bay. The bay and the top Golden Gate Bridge were covered in fog. A cool wind blew from the Pacific into the bay. It was perfect weather for sailing, surfing, parasailing, and many other water sport activities. There were a lot of people having fun in the bay that Saturday afternoon, while many tourists were just in “Awww” seeing the San Francisco Designated Landmark. Since it was very misty, we could only get a climbs of Alcatraz Island. But it was all what we needed. I’ve got some pictures of the former prison out in the distance.

Here is a video of us crossing the Golden Gate Bridge: https://www.flickr.com/photos/132943299@N07/48034613211/in/album-72157705230883495/

The first night we made it to Weed, which is a stone throw north of the town of Mt. Shasta. On our way there, we had a good look at the mountain. But it got too dark for capturing good photos.  The next day, we were in for a treat.

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Mount Shasta at dusk

… to be continued …