Ti’lomikh Falls Hike

Sunday July 21st 2019

It was another comfortable sleeping night, but not as cool as the previous night. The tree cover above my campsite kept my RV home cool all morning. By the middle of the afternoon the temperature was in the low to mid nineties with enough humidity to make it seem warmer. Hopefully, it will get cool enough to sleep without the AC.

Wildflower blossom of the day
Berry anyone?

Before it got to hot I went for another hike along the Rogue River. Today’s hike was at the Ti’lomikh Falls area just up river from Gold Hill. There is a walking trail and a bicycle trail in the area of the falls. The trail follows the river and passes areas of white water with a few two or three foot drops and plenty of washed up debris from up river.

Two rafts full of people coming toward the falls.
The next challenge for the rafters.
Entering the white water area.
Fully committed.
Second boat into the rapids.
Getting ready for the next section of rapids.

While I was near the falls, I got the chance to watch a couple of rafts shoot the rapids. The first boat got stuck on some high rocks until the second raft rammed it loose. Whitewater rafting on this area of the river is very popular. According to the internet, a five and a half mile stretch that ends in Gold Hill includes Class II to IV rapids. I find it hard to believe that some of the whitewater I saw today wasn’t greater than difficult, but I don’t have any expertise in rafting. That is why I was looking things up on the internet.

First section of the rapids without the rafts.
Debris washed up by the waters of the Rogue River.
This section of whitewater is really fast moving.

After hiking by the area of the falls the trail passes the old Gold Hill Diversion Dam. It was remove in 2008 because it was an obstacle to the salmon migration. Young salmon got caught in the diversion dam on their way to the ocean and spawning fish had difficulty getting up river past the dam. The town water supply now comes from a pump station at another location.

Remains of the Gold Hill Diversion Dam.

The hike only a little over a mile round trip, but it was enjoyable. I may return with my bicycle. The trail that starts at the dam parking lot goes all the way to the town of Rogue River about half way to Grants Pass. I was back at my campsite before it got too hot.

A Hike Along the Rogue River

Saturday July 20th 2019

It was another cool overnight. The temperature inside the RV was sixty degrees when I got up this morning. I’m parked under tree cover so the morning sun doesn’t warm the inside quickly. By late afternoon the outside temperature was near ninety and the inside temperature was above ninety. The forecast calls for a warmer overnight and highs in the upper nineties tomorrow.

Wildflower blossom of the day

Today’s adventure started with a drive into Grants Pass to get familiar with the area and buy some gas. Everyone seemed to be out Saturday morning. Traffic was a problem. I got my gas and got out of town to my second adventure of the day.

A little bit of bright yellow.

The Valley of the Rogue State Park sets between Interstate 5 and the Rogue River between Grants Pass and my campsite in Gold Hill. It has a day use area that doubles as an Interstate Highway rest area, boat launch area and a campground. I wanted to stay at the campground but there weren’t any sites large enough for my RV available. Today I hiked the trail along the Rogue River.

Rapids as the river comes under the Interstate 5 bridge.
Kayaks coming out of the heavier rapids backward and sideways.

The Rogue River is known for its white water. Even in the flat areas the current is strong and rocks just below the surface are visible. Along the area I walked, there was plenty of variation in the flow. Near the Interstate 5 bridge rapids made the water very rough. The further down stream you got from that area the water smoothed out. I saw kayaks coming through the rapids and people in small personal rafts a little further down stream.

Rapidly flowing water with rocks just below the surface.
Smoother water further down river. The current is still very fast. This is the location of my impromptu slide.

The bank along the side of the river is a little steep. For a couple of seconds I thought I was going to get an up close and personal check of the river. I lost my footing and slid down the slope on my butt. The water was still a few feet away when I got up, shook the dust off and determined that I was still in one piece. To bad my slip wasn’t caught on video. It might have gone viral. Conditions are very dry and the paths are covered with a thick layer of dust like dirt over the hard packed ground. I just didn’t have good traction.

Tomorrow I’m going to explore an area of the Rogue River that is labeled as a waterfall. I think it might just be heavier rapids with a little bit of a drop. It sounds like an interesting hike.

Travel Day to Gold Hill Oregon

Friday July 19th 2019

The temperature drop overnight to the point that I had to add a blank just before dawn. It would have been fine if I’d closed a few windows before I went to bed, but I like the air circulation. The low starting point kept the temperature comfortable while I packed up this morning. When I was setting up this afternoon 190 miles south it was in the mid 80s. Tomorrow is forecast to be in the nineties. It still sounds more comfortable than the weekend temperatures in the northeast.

I was on the road about 10:30 heading south on Interstate 5. The change in terrain really surprised me. The first part of the journey was in the flat and open fields of the Willamette River Valley. As a I approached the city of Eugene the road began a gentle climb up and down over more rolling land. South of Eugene the hills got more pronounced and the road twisted and turned around and over bigger hills. I wouldn’t call them mountains since the altitude signs at the tops were numbers within a couple hundred feet plus or minus of a thousand feet. The difference was the climbs and descents were fairly steep. The motorhome was geared down a lot and I had to play hopscotch with the big trucks.

Site 46 at the Medford/Gold Hill KOA.

I arrived at my destination in Gold Hill Oregon about two. I’m at the Medford/Gold Hill KOA about half way between Medford and Grants Pass. It is located in the Rogue River valley which winds its way from the Cascades near Crater Lake to the sea through this area. The campground is near enough to the river that it has many mature trees, but the hill sides beyond the campground are covered in grass lands and scattered pine trees. The area is also drying out and turning brown. An outdoor fire bad was announced today.

Fields and hills behind the campground.

A Little Cleaning and Relaxing

Thursday July 18th 2019

It was a sunny day with the high temperature around 80. Unlike the last few days the humidity was down and the hazy sky was clear. The coastal mountains to the west were clearly visible.

The humidity gave way to a clear dry day today. The coastal mountains are clearly visible across the Willamette River valley.

I spent some time today on domestic chores. Specifically, the inside of my RV home got cleaned up a bit. It wasn’t in my plans until I spotted a random cobweb in an obscure corner under the kitchen cabinets. Somewhere since I left Florida in May I’ve picked up a few hitchhiking spiders. I’ve dealt with a few recently. Today the web was a reminder that I haven’t had the vacuum cleaner out in a few weeks. I’ve gotten by with just a little broom work. The vacuum took care of the cobweb and any other random dust on the floor. As a follow up I even took a can of Pledge to some of the woodwork.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing. I did some reading and TV watching followed by an unplanned nap. Hopefully the nap won’t impact my sleep schedule since this is my last day at in the Corvallis area. Tomorrow I’m moving south about 200 miles to the Grants Pass Oregon area. From that base I can tour the Rouge River area, Crater Lake National Park and other forest areas. My plan is to be there until the end of the month.

Blossom of the day.

Locking in the next Two Months of Travel

Wednesday July 17th 2019

This area has been on a bit of a weather roller coaster the last few days. It has been alternating between sunny days and cloudy days. Today was another cloudy day. The day started cloudy and the cloud cover thickened as the day progressed. Overnight showers are in the forecast before the sun returns tomorrow.

Blossom of the day

First up on today’s agenda was restocking my food supply. I drove a few miles north to Albany Oregon in search of the Walmart. It would have been easy to return to Interstate 5 and travel north one exit, but I decided to see something different. I chose to travel on Oregon 99E which parallels the interstate. All I really got for my trouble was a tour of the downtown area after I made a wrong turn. Eventually I got to the Walmart near the intersection of Interstate 5 and US 20.

I was curious to see if the grocery shopping experience in Oregon would be different than other states. Oregon has some different consumer laws and environmental protection laws. For example, they still require service station attendants to pump gas for you at the filling station. I was ready for a ban on plastic bags or a bag fee. All I found was a ten cent deposit fee on each bottle of Gator Aid I purchased. I still left Walmart with a dozen half full plastic bags to find a way to recycle as well as the task of figuring out how to recycle the Gator Aid bottles to get my deposit back.

This afternoon I got busy making reservations for the next few weeks of travel. I had to get a little creative to work around all of the issues with availability I’ve been encountering. I booked two two week blocks in August at campgrounds only a few miles away from each other. I’ll be in the Coos Bay Oregon area for four straight weeks. The southern two thirds of the Oregon coast is within about 100 miles north and south from there, so I should have plenty to see.

I still couldn’t find anything on the coast for the Labor Day weekend. There were reservations available at campgrounds inland from the coast. I have booked the holiday weekend and the following week at the same campground I’m in now. It’s about sixty miles inland from the coast. After the holiday, I’ll return to the coast at Astoria in the far northern part of the state for a few days before starting east. For the middle week in September I’ll be back in the Columbia River Gap at the KOA in Cascade Locks. After that I’ll make my way toward Reno and Pahrump Nevada for a few weeks, but I haven’t made those reservations yet.

Drive into the Cascade Mountains

Tuesday January 16th 2019

Today was a nice sunny day with lots of puffy clouds. Early in the day the scattered clouds were all across the sky. As the day went on the clouds clustered over the mountains to the east and the west. The temperature peaked in the low eighties.

I started out on a grocery run today, but got side tracked. I ended up driving up into the Cascade mountains on US 20 east. The road crosses the valley as a wide four lane road, but once it reaches the edge of the mountains it shrinks to a narrow two lane twisty road. There are truck length restrictions that discourage big rigs from using the road. The climb isn’t bad, but the turns are tight with rock walls on one side and drop offs on the other. I wouldn’t want to drive my RV on the route, but I saw several as big as mine or bigger.

Dense moss covered forest on the west side of the Cascade mountains with a river below.

It was a nice drive through dense forest. I stopped at a few of the turnouts, but the trees prevented much of a scenic view. Eventually I lost interest in the drive and turned around and came back down out of the mountains. Near the flat land is Foster Lake created by a dam on the Santiam River. I spent some time sitting in the shade watching the boaters on the lake towing tubers, boarders and skiers.

Foster Lake

Rob’s Rambling Road Trip Reaches the Pacific Ocean

Monday July 15th 2019

When I raised the blinds this morning it looked to be a very cloudy and dull day, but it turned out to be worse. Although I couldn’t here any rain on the roof the windshield of my motorhome had water streaking down the glass. The air was full of a heavy mist. It got brighter and drier during the afternoon with a high temperature in the low seventies.

I finally got out of the campground today without a defined plan other than to tour the area. When I encountered route US 20 in Corvallis I had a whim to follow. I grew up in Massachusetts about fifty miles from the eastern end of US 20. Corvallis is fifty miles from the west end of US 20. I had to follow it to the end. I drove west on US 20 over the coastal mountains to the end of the road in Newport Oregon at the intersection with coastal route US 101. On the return trip I saw a sign that read Boston 3,365 miles.

The trip to the end of US 20 also resulted in another milestone. Rob’s Rambling Road Trip has reached the Pacific Ocean. I drove south on US 101 and stopped at one of the state beaches. After a short walk I was at the ocean. It was low tide and a very chilly sixty degrees so I wasn’t going to get anything other than my fingers wet. It was enough to declare the milestone complete. The motorhome will not reach the coast until next month. For now reaching the coast with my towed SUV dingy satisfies my milestone completion criteria.

A grey and cool day at low tide on an Oregon beach.

The short portion of the coast I saw on this trip was pretty. Newport seems to be a very tourist focused town. I get the impression that the whole coast is dedicated to tourism. The traffic was heavy and included a lot of RVs of various types. I think I understand better why I’m finding it difficult to find places to make reservations.

Second Slow and Lazy Day in a Row

Sunday July 14th 2019

Today was a nice sunny day with a high temperature in the mid eighties. The overnight temperature was in the sixties so I had the windows open for air flow. There was a little traffic noise and I even heard a train in the distance, but nothing to disturb a good nights sleep. After the few nights I spent in Cascade Locks about one hundred feet from the train tracks this is nothing.

Petunia blossom of the day.

I didn’t have any real problem with the nearby train tracks at my last stop. During the day the whistle of the approaching train would startle me to the point of jumping out of my skin at times, but the actual passing train was more entertainment than bother. At night, once I was asleep, the train didn’t wake me up until it was time to wake up. Other people at the park were really disturbed by the train. I talked to two different people that cut their stay short because of the train.

Today was another lazy day. I’m going to blame the time zone for today’s laziness. I’m an east coast guy accustom to sports on TV later in the day. Particularly on Sunday I’d return from errands or activities to watch whatever sport was on TV. On the west coast the sports coverage starts as early as 9AM. Today the coverage of the Scottish Open golf tournament started even earlier. I got caught up watching the match. By the time it was over it was time to cook and eat. This sort of upside down day also caught me off guard in 2017 when I was last in the Pacific Time zone. I don’t think I ever really got acclimated.

Besides watching sports on TV, I got in some reading and a couple more walks around the campground. I even found a nature trail at the back of the campground leading to a river overlook. The amount of water flowing in the river was not impressive, but the deeply cut river banks indicted that it has had a good flow in the recent past. Tomorrow I really need to get out of the campground.

Another Slow and Lazy Day

Saturday July 12th 2019

The day began cloudy and dull, but ended sunny and warm. It was one of those days that I had to really think about it to know the day of the week. I knew it was a weekend day, but it could just as easily have been a Sunday than a Saturday. Without anything specific planned, the day was slow, lazy and not very blog worthy.

This campground puts some effort into having nice flower arrangements around the grounds.

My physical exercise for the day was a couple of walks around the campground. For mental exercise, I worked on travel planning. I’ve let the making of reservations for August and September slip. I’m now in a position of having to scramble to find places to stay after July 30th. RV travel in Oregon seems to be very popular. It is very difficult to find openings on the weekends. Weekend camping seems to be very popular with Oregon and Washington residents. It’s just and impression, but I think it is more popular in this area than some of the other areas I traveled through.

To solve the reservation issue, I’m having to look at shorter stays at the good places with stays at less than ideal locations to fill the gaps rather than a few stops for a week or two. This means more research and juggling of days and distances. My Web browser is hitting the campground review sites hard and Google Maps is busy telling me the distances between places. So far I haven’t got a long enough block lined up to make actual reservations, but it will be a focus over the next couple of days.

Travel Day to the Corvallis Oregon Area

Friday July 12th 2019

I was up early this morning to prepare for travel. After a busy day touring yesterday I didn’t get any of my usual day before travel packing tasks accomplished. I didn’t rush my preparation tasks. I just worked steadily and departed Cascade Locks right at the 11AM checkout time.

Both Google and my GPS recommended Interstate 84 west to Interstate 5 south. For some reason they didn’t route me on the Interstate 205 beltway. As I crawled through Portland traffic at thirty miles an hour or less, I was rethinking my decision to follow the mapping software’s recommendation. Even after I was south of Portland on Interstate 5 traffic was very heavy and slow.

Site 89 at the Albany/Corvallis KOA.

After three hours on the road I completed my 125 mile journey. My home for the next week is at the Albany/Corvallis KOA. This is a very agriculture oriented area. On the four and a half mile drive west from the Interstate I passed many fields with freshly cut hay. I expect they will be bailing it in the next few days. This will be my base for touring. I’ll range out about a hundred miles to the west, north and east. I won’t explore quite as far to the south since that is the direction of my next stop.

Moon rising in the sky at about 9PM . The clouds are still reflecting some of the setting sun.