Oregon and Idaho

3/15/ to 3/22

We departed Sacramento and headed North to make a quick stop over night in Weed, CA at a cute Harvest Host location of Mt. Shasta Brewery. There was a beautiful short hiking trail close by that wound through majestic pines, and so we took advantage of this delightful walk after the long drive.

In the evening we had a nice dinner and beer at the brewery alongside a few other Rv’ers.  The town of Weed as you can imagine had a lot of Weed jokes, t-shirts for sale etc.

As we headed north from Weed we passed through some beautiful scenery but also some shocking views of some reservoirs and lakes that were extremely low. We also drove through many more burned out forests than we can remember.  It caused us to have lots of long talks about how the Earth can continue on this trajectory.  Seeing the affects of climate change in person really brings it home and closer to my heart.

Eventually we got to Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort where we were able to get an RV reservation with electrical hookups at the base of the mountain.  We were almost literally ski in and ski out which has been a dream for Ross.  The day we arrived it was a blustery and snowy afternoon with the winds blowing the snow sideways. 

Fortunately, we woke up the next day to 7 inches of fresh snow and blue skies. We got out on the mountain and had some fantastic skiing. 

We were told by some locals that the Summit chair which goes to the top of the volcano was open and is rarely open (due to wind) so we beelined it over there and were able to ski that run twice and get the amazing views from the top.  See the video below (sorry for a finger in the way during part of it).  What I thought was particularly interesting about the top was being able to see other dormant volcanoes nearby and understand that we were at the top of a volcano and the ski runs and lifts go around the peak and ultimately there is a circular trail at the bottom connecting the mountain.

The following day was a grey day and windy so we skied the lower part of the mountain but again had fun and were glad that we had seen the mountain when there was blue sky.  We had been told by the locals that this mountain is known for its winds. The following morning we awoke to some more fresh snow and the Summit Chair was opened briefly so we went back up to the top.  It was an entirely different experience with horrible winds.  It was pretty humorous to get off at the top and see everyone trying to survive the winds.  Needless to say, it was closed down soon afterwards.

One of the nice things about staying in a location for a few days at a time is that it allows me time to paint.  As I previously mentioned I am working on creating a greeting card line for pets.  The idea is to have cards for pet sympathy cards, welcome to the family cards, get well soon cards etc.  So this week I created a few silhouette images of cats and dogs that I think would make some nice generic images so that I can customize the cards with the appropriate wording.  If any of you are wordsmiths, feel free to send me some wording that you think would be appropriate for these images and I will make sure that you get some free cards!

As you may remember from last year’s adventure we had camped in nearby Sisters and loved it.  We had been to their famous Sisters Bakery and Ross had been talking about it for a year so we decided to make a quick detour to Sisters to stock up on their baked goods and fill up our freezer with lots of goodies.  We then drove to Redmond which is nearby, to spend a lovely evening with my old Nanny who we called Mary Poppins.  We had a heartwarming evening catching up and sharing memories which was so appropriate since it was 32 years ago that my father had passed away, and he adored Kathy.

We officially made the turn to start heading East towards home and decided to take the longer Scenic Byway drive along highway 20/26.  The scenery was beautiful and well worth the extra miles driving this route.   We overnighted at a Lavender farm in Ontario after a long day on the road and for our last night in Oregon.

We awoke to a windy day, fortunately it was mostly a tail wind but we encountered A LOT of tumble weed.  There was something mesmerizing about watching it roll in groupings across the freeway.  We safely got to Ketchum, Idaho with a beautiful drive through valleys, snowy mountains and beautiful ridge lines marked with snow. Downtown Ketchum had some beautiful shops and galleries and had a very nice upscale feeling.  However, almost everything was closed on Sunday afternoon.

The following day we skied Bald Mountain which is an incredibly steep mountain.  We were so surprised to ski their green runs which felt like advanced intermediate runs to us.  Unfortunately, the snow conditions were less than desirable and almost all of the ski runs we would have normally wanted to ski were exposed rock and soil since they hadn’t had snow in quite a while. 

We explored the resort and decided that on a good snow year it would be a fantastic resort to go back to.  However, for us the skiing wasn’t worth another day, so we decided to move on. 

We did drive around town and went over to the Sun Valley area.  We were so surprised to find out that Sun Valley is not a ski resort but a town and that the ski resort is actually 2 different mountains (Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain).  There was lots to like about Ketchum and it would be somewhere we would go back to even in the off season to explore their vast bike paths.

Since we decided not to ski a second day we changed our itinerary a little bit and took a slight detour to Craters of the Moon National Monument.  We arrived and found it closed on Mondays and Tuesdays in the winter so we were not able to get a lot of the information that we would have liked.  The 7 mile driving loop was closed due to snow so we walked in for a ways to explore.  It was interesting to see the vastness of the black lava  with the stark contrast of the white snow. 

We weren’t able to see the craters either due to the snow cover or because they were further out on the 7 mile loop which we could not do but the picture on the informational panel looked great (haha!) and what we could see of lava formations was intriguing. 

Aerial View of the Craters

If we are back in the area at a future date we will stop by.  Ironically, we went to 2 National Monuments on this trip, one of which was the White Sand Dunes made of gypsum and now the black lava fields. Next stop are the ski resorts in Utah for hopefully some better skiing.

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