Sunday, April 30, 2017

Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge & A visit to Crater Lake.

We have been busy since the last post.  As you may recall, our travel plans were altered due to bad weather.  While we were stopped at the Elk's Lodge in Gardnerville,  NV John was surfing the internet and found Tule Lake NWR and contacted them to see if they could use a couple of volunteers for a short term.   On April 10th we arrived at Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Our site at Tule Lake Refuge.

One of our projects while there was getting the class room ready for use.  The classroom used to be a barn which has been converted into a venue for school group programs.  The classroom hadn't been used in a while and needed a good cleaning.  Unfortunately, there were a couple of openings where birds got in and know what they do.  John pressure washed the building (inside and out), tables and chairs.  We cleaned all the surfaces and wiped everything down.

Tables drying out.

Chairs drying out.

Inside the classroom.

Another view of the classroom.

John performed maintenance tasks and most of my time was spent working at the Visitor Center.  I really enjoy doing that because you meet so many interesting people from all walks of life.  Below is a picture of some of the people John and I worked with.  An awesome group of people.  We would definitely like to return here. 

John F., Janelle, me and Steve.

We had plenty of time off to explore the area.  A few of the places we viewed were Mount Shasta, Lava Bed National Park and of course multiple areas of the refuge.

Lava Beds.
Here are a few pictures taken of the refuge on one of our outings. 

An eagle in flight after catching his dinner.  

A pair of Cinnamon Teals.

A pair of Mallards in flight.
A Pelican in flight.
We left Tule Lake Friday, April 28th and journeyed on to Crater Lake National Park.  We boondocked over night at Annie Creek Sno-Park.  There was lots of snow at Crater Lake.   It is such a beautiful place. 

The road up to Crater Lake.

Visitor Center covered in snow.  The snow tunnel entrance was open to the public.

Our truck parked at the Visitor Center. Wow, that is a lot of snow.

John took this picture of Crater Lake.  I think it is my favorite.

Here we are taking a selfie at Crater Lake.

John's selfie.

Here are a few more views of Crater Lake.  It is so large it is hard to get it all in.

We left the Crater Lake area yesterday and are staying at an Elk's Lodge in Salem, OR until Monday morning.  Our next destination is Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.  

On a sad note, our friends Steve and Sandy, who traveled with us on our Nova Scotia/Prince Edward Island trip last year, lost their little dog Yoda to cancer this week. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.  It is so hard to lose a beloved pet.  Yoda was a sweet little dog. 

John and Yoda on one of our daily outings in Nova Scotia.   Yoda really liked John.

Laugh everyday.  Happy trails.  Stay safe. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I looked at our last blog today and realized it had been over a month since the last post.  On the last post we had made it to Tucson and were very busy getting things ready for the parking team to arrive.  The week before the rally a group of us took an afternoon off to go see Mount Lemmon.  So glad we got to do it.  It was a beautiful drive.

John and me on the way up to Mount Lemmon.

You know the old saying:  "Be careful what you wish for.?"  Well, two years ago when we were in Tucson for the Escapees Rally we were wearing jackets, hats and gloves on the first two parking days.  This time we were wishing for warmer weather.  We got what we wished for.....94 degrees on the longest parking days. LOL
The Awesome Parking Team

Molly Pinner and Alaine Wilson getting ready to welcome the first  staff arrivals. 

After leaving Tucson traveled on to attend the diesel truck pull and drag races at Wild Horse Pass Motor Sports Park in Chandler, AZ.  Lots of cool trucks there.

The next stop on our journey was Jojoba Hills SKP RV park in Aguanga, CA to visit with our friends Chuck and Kathy Donley and Judy Bell.  We enjoyed our visit with them and appreciate their hospitality.
Chuck and Kathy Donley

One of the beautiful ponds at Jojoba Hills.

The area at the front gate in Jojoba Hills.

John, me and Judy Bell.

We are slowly making our way to Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge to volunteer again.  It has been two years since we were there.  While making our way toward Oregon we stopped off in Lone Pine, CA and  boondocked at Tuttle Creek Campground.   It is a beautiful park. On the second day there we visited the museum of Western Film History. Very cool place.  That afternoon John was reading the weather forecast and he saw where our next stop (Mammoth Lakes, CA) was going to get up to 18 inches of snow beginning Thursday night and very high winds so we left a day early (Thursday morning).  Unfortunately, the wind started early and one of our side awnings became a casualty.  It was a lost cause so John cut if off and we were on our way again.  We hadn't gotten far after that stop when we came upon an 18 wheeler that had flipped over on its side.  The driver was standing outside the truck and appeared to be ok.  It looked like he escaped through the windshield.   That was scary but...wait...there's more!  A few miles down the road we were coming down a hill and noticed an 18 wheeler coming toward us with the trailer shifting over in our lane.  Thankfully the trailer didn't come over any further and we passed without incident.  By this point I was so ready to get off the road.  The rest of the trip was uneventful and we made it to the Elk's Lodge in Gardnerville, NV.  A storm was moving into that area so we decided to stay put until it had passed.  We left this morning and arrived around lunchtime in Susanville, CA.  It was perfect traveling heavy winds. Yeah!!!

Our site at Tulelake National Wildlife Refuge in Northern CA.  We will volunteer a few weeks here before moving on to Crater Lake and Tualatin River.

Laugh Everyday.  Happy Trails.  Stay safe.