On the way to Eagle Lake, the tow vehicle began to overheat. We found the alternator belt had been rubbing the bottom radiator hose and all the water had been pumped out. After a few hours of running up and down the road between Susanville, CA and where the pickup was parked on the road’s shoulder, we got the hose replaced and were back on our way. Because of a late start, and the overheating problem, we didn’t get to rig and sail the boat until the next day. The sailboat racing was a success with first in the monohull class and overall wins after handicapping, including the multihull class boats, both days.
Our plans had changed, about as often as the sun rises and sets, from going up the California and Oregon coasts where we have friends and relatives in several towns, to Eagle Lake, CA for sailboat racing. With the roads in northern California closed more often than not from the fires, our next stop was Klamath Falls, OR, a town we hadn’t planned to go to until on our return to New Mexico, if at all.
After moteling in Klamath Falls for two days, trying to catch up on our writing, taking photos off the camera and transferring them to the computer and eventually to the smalltownswest.com website, we headed north. Klamath Lake is a lot larger than I remembered. Years prior, I’d gone to that part of the state but had never driven the full length of the lake before. They have an annual 4th of July regatta there and I have a standing invitation to crew on the boat that I’d crewed on at the Eagle Lake regatta with the owner of the kiwi farm in Palermo, CA.
Crater Lake was on the way, and since we didn’t have to be anywhere until late in the afternoon, we took the west rim drive, a few hundred pictures and we talked about going back and spending at least an entire day there.
The water is incredibly blue, and from high on the crater rim it changes colors with the depth of the water and what the bottom is composed of. In some places, it appears the bottom is sandy and in others it’s probably volcanic rock. I put a small slide show of Crater Lake together and it’s on our smalltownswest.com website. Wizard Island and the Phantom Ship are both worth the trip around the lake by themselves. Be sure to take a good camera, lots of unsalted pumpkin seeds and have a quick finger on the shutter button.
At our first stop, a chipmunk jumped up on the rock wall and stood staring at us. Celinda got some pumpkin seeds from our overstuffed car, while the chipmunk waited patiently, which isn’t a common chipmunk trait. Normally, chipmunks come and go and change directions in a flash. As soon as Celinda returned, the chipmunk was instantly in her hand and stuffing its cheeks. There seems to be a signal that animals hear or perceive that we humans miss. When a bird or other animal, in this case chipmunks, discovers food, the rest get some kind of vibes or signal and mysteriously show up. We fed them until their cheeks were stuffed with seeds and couldn’t hold any more. There was a gray bird, not the gray Jays we’d encountered before, that also got into the act, but they weren’t as bold, or as cute.
During our ride around the crater rim, which is about thirty miles, we stopped at almost every pullout to take pictures, feed the chipmunks and take more pictures. It took me hours to sort through the chipmunk pictures to find what to keep and what to discard, and that didn’t include the pictures of Crater Lake. I took what I think are the best of the chipmunk pictures and made a slide show that’s also on our smalltownswest.com website.
After Crater Lake, we went to Prospect, OR, where we stayed and worked on an organic farm for three days. Our accommodations were the same as those at the kiwi orchard in Palermo, our tent in the farmer’s field. We harvested blueberries, eating our share in the process, weeded the garden beds, prepared beds for planting and planted various types of seeds. There were two others at the Prospect, OR farm, who were working on organic farms through the WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) program the same as we were. One of them had been at an organic winery where we’d be in a couple of weeks. The WWOOF program can be accessed at www.wwoofusa.org.
The afternoon of the third day, we repacked the car and headed for Eugene to house sit and feed the fish and cats while our son, daughter-in-law and family took a few days of vacation. They have a wireless Internet connection and we were able to get some of the text and photos of our trip published on the smalltowns website. After our son and family got home, we headed for Bandon, which is another story and a lot more photos. Bandon by the Sea will be the next installment.