Day 114 (9/14): I woke up nice and early this morning to the sunrise and some cool crisp air. I know I will pay for the lack of sleep later today. I decided hit the road to get to some new terrain. I packed up everything and headed back to the deeper than it looks stream.
After crossing it safely again, I headed back down the gravel road. This would have been the image in my rearview mirror if I could see out through it.
I headed around glacier national park but the air was dirty with smoke which blocked a lot of the great views. Just before lunch I made it to the new track I have not been on before. I spent eating lunch in front of this great lake view.
For the remainder of the day I drove through and up and down the mountains covered in pine forests. I even came across a road that was closed due to a fire. It was a mix of gravel and pavement but more the latter.
I kept on going and for most part of the afternoon I drove through several national forests. I finally found a great campsite in one of these national forests next to this stream. I guess this is a popular rafting stream. I’m guessing this goes on in the spring when the water is higher.
Day 115 (9/15): Today was full of a few things. Diverting and finding alternative routes due to wild fires, see animals, and majority of gravel and dirt roads for the first time in too long. Most of the route today consisted of thick pine forests and driving through either a ravine or along the peaks of mountains which made picture taking hard. Some of the pictures were possible due to previous forest fires or logging. Most people think Idaho is this flat land that grows potatoes as you will see with the following pictures which all happened in Idaho it is not flat everywhere and offers some spectacular views that are better than most states.
As I was driving towards the Lewis and Clark road and trail I had the opportunity to take a photo of this magnificent bird. It had the perfect perch over the river that it gave up due to my intrusion.
I soon started weaving and climbing up and rolling down these switchbacks built for the logging industry. This area was luckily a good alternative route due to a forest fire.
As I was traveling down one of the switch back I noticed these guys resting on the road as all other terrain is steep.
Just another breath taking view.
As I was traveling down to the bridge and river seen in the following post, I also saw a large male elk with a massive rack. I also came across this old car club admiring the bridge.
I continued on through some more thick pine forest ravines and to the start of the Lewis and Clark trail. I had to take several roundabout routes due to more forest fires and continued on down the trail. I eventually found a small turn off to camp for the night. I hope the southern portion of the trail is clear of forest fires as this is the more challenging part of the loop and brings me heading back west.
Day 116 (9/16): As I woke up I could hear the pitter spatter of rain on the teardrop. It was a light rain that would soon stop. But I could tell it rained for part of the night. This is a great thing for all the forest fires around the area. I continued on down my current service road and shortly came to a road closed barricade. I decided to take an alternative route once again and once again came to a road closure. This kept happening to me. I was getting increasingly frustrated and some of these roads were not much wider then a single track which made it difficult to turn around. After a couple hours of this I evenly came to the conclusion I don’t have a detailed enough map of this National forest and should head back to town the way I came in. So I turned around and retraced my steps. I made it back to the town and stopped at the local grociery store. As I was shopping I talked to a older gentleman that informed me there was a detailed map outside the store of all the fires and road closures. Once I was done shopping and packed away everything. I walked over to the map. After a quick look I could easily tell the route eastbound and westbound were totally closed that I was going to take. I decided to just cut this loop out of my travels and jump to the next section. As soon as I left the town for the next section the terrain fully changed. I went from pine filled mountains to going up a steep terrain of prairie and ending up on top of this large plain of farm land. As I traveled for quite a while on this plain I then all of a sudden would go down into these deep ravines where the river and streams cut away at the land. Here is one of the many rail road bridges they had to build to cross one of the smaller ravines.
At one point when I was traveling through the bottom of a ravine. There was a huge rail road bridge up above and it disappeared into the side of the hill and went through a tunnel. Then it would come out again across and bridge then back into a tunnel. I could just imagine the work it took to build these rail lines. As soon as you were sick of tunneling you had to build another bridge and back and fourth.
I made it out of Idaho which was great state to travel through and headed into Washington for a bit. I almost did not notice besides every park I drove by had a sign that said “Discover Pass” required. I had no idea what this is but kind of made me happy I was not planning on camping in this state since you could not self-register at a site.
Almost immediately as I got into Oregon I ran into a road closure sign just outside of Troy. I quickly turned around and headed back to Troy. I talked to a local and he gave me some directions on how to get out of the area without backtracking. This forest fire was mostly contained. But there were still trees across most of the trails and roads. I headed south on a gravel road for about 50 miles and made it to a main highway I then headed west for a bit. Deer were plentiful all day all along the roads. They were all very jump but would not run very far. At least I was back into pine forests.
I found a nice state park campground to stop at since the sun was starting to drop quickly. I talked to some guys that were camping out for a bit enjoying some fishing in the local stream. I asked about directions around the fire.
As the sun was setting and I was packing up my stuff for the night this group of six deer decided to come join us at the campground. There was one spike, three does, and two fawns. The spike kept trying to club one of the fawns nearby and mommy was not having any of it. She decided to retaliate and the spike quickly learned a lesson. I jumped in my camper just after sunset and began to write this. Before the second sentence was written one of the guys from the other camp group informed me there is a large bear running around. Well I’m happy I’m in this hard sided camper as they are just in tents.
Day 117 (9/17): I woke up nice and early to the sounds of my neighbors talking to the park ranger about the bear. I got up and started getting ready to leave when the park ranger came over. I talked to him a little bit. I told him I was surprised there are no rules about leaving pots, pans, stoves, or coolers out at a campsite with bears around. I even informed him that every other state will fine you if you do so. He was kind of surprised. I said it takes care of most of the bear problems. I then headed out on my new route. It was fairly quick to get back to my original track. When I did I was surprised I was not in pine forests. I was traveling through rolling hills of farm land. Very similar to what I saw in parts of Idaho. This is going to make me sound ignorant but I had no Idea Oregon had land like this. They sure do not advertise it.
I drove through ranch and farm land for the remainder of my travels today. I came across this canyon that had a state park in the early afternoon and needing to do some ruten maintence and not having a camping spot marked for the next few hours I decided to stop and get some work done. I’m glad I did. Inside this canyon is a small flowing creek. I walked around for a bit and took some photos before I got to work it was nice to talk around in the sun for the first time in a while.
I then did the maintenance and ate some dinner and enjoyed a relaxing evening with the wind blowing and partially cloudy skies.
Day 118 (9/18): I headed out this morning continuing through the desert portion of Oregon that I did not know existed.
As I got closer to the mountains I could see the terrain was changing. I got a glimps of these three massive mountain peaks towering over the rest of the landscape. I believe the middle one is Mt. Hood.
I continued on towards the mountain peaks and right before I got the the land of pine trees and mountains I drove through this canyon.
Then all of sudden I saw terrain like this. There were no good places to pull off and traffic was thick so I kept on driving through it.
Next I drove through a bunch of vineyard land and I could tell I was reaching the east coast. It was heavily populated and I was driving through residential areas or through city centers. After this I reached another set of hills right before the cost. I stopped about a mile away from the cost at another state park since it is so populated there are no good areas to boondock camp. The park was set on Devils lake.
The campground is near full and I guess there is a parade in town tomorrow so I have my alarm clock set early so I can head south before they close down the streets. Tomorrow will be driving the coast line and hopefully some great shots of the ocean.
Day 119 (9/19): Today was one hundred percent Oregon coast driving. It was absolutely beautiful. On one side you had these rocky coves, sandy beaches, or sand dunes while on the other side you had these thick forested hills. What is not to love about it? There was a park or look out about every two miles so after the first ten or so I started to skip a few. I went a little picture happy and it is hard to tell between each stop so today will mainly be all pictures. I could smell the salt water in the air as I approached the first beach. I woke up nice and early so it was a little cool out but nice that the roads were empty and beaches nearly empty. As I took off this morning it was low tide so there were not a lot of wave action on the rocks. As it got to late afternoon it was high tide.
The next stop was all rocks.
Then more beaches
I then came across this old looking bridge. There were a lot of draw bridges along the route.
A beach right next to almost a jungle environment.
I came across a large sand dune area. I could not play since I did not have proper permits and all the required gear.
Looking inland. That is a railroad bridge in the center of the first picture.
After driving about 20 miles I came to the end of the sand dune area which ended at another bay with another cool bridge.
Sunset Bay which I’m camping near at another state park. I also took all of my sunset photos here.
I setup camp and since it was really early in the afternoon I ate a quick lunch and headed out further along the peninsula I was on. This is one of the parks looking out. There was a classic car show going on too. But with this view I kind of overlooked the cars.
A nice hidden beach among all the rocks.
The next point I stopped at I could hear them before I saw them. If there was a rock someone was trying to get it since the tide was coming up quick.
Some more great views as I waited for the sun to go down and relaxed on the beach for a few hours.
The sun did not swing over like I was told it would so I kept moving further over to center it.
Day 120 (9/20): I continued down the coast during the early morning. After about thirty miles of driving I reached the end of my coastal drive. Along with this it is the end of the TAT (Trans American Trail). This was the trail I was initially on when I started this journey and detoured up to Canada and Alaska. I am planning on running these trails backwards back to Utah were I turned off.
As I started to travel down the TAT it was refreshing to get off the pavement. I instantly started to the drive up this steep winding trail up the first peak in the Cascade Mountains. As I was at sea level when I started this hill seemed to go forever by the time I started to go downhill I was at over three thousand feet. Everything was extremely thick vegetation and I could see glimpses of wonderful views. Every once and a while I would get a window to take a picture of the landscape.
As I kept getting further and further into the Cascade Mountains it started to get drier and drier which makes sense as I am headed towards the desert. Along with this the undergrowth grew thinner and thinner.
The trail was often narrow with signs for CB channels to use along with signs that stated “single lane road with turnoffs”. Luckily I barely saw anyone as soon as I turned away from the coast, one car all day.
Here and there I would spot an old growth tree in the National Forest or BLM land. It was nice to see not everything was clear cut. You can easily spot these as they are twice as tall as other trees around them and around them and five times the diameter.
Another sightseeing opening, this one seemed more natural then some of the others.
As I drove slowly all day I did not make much ground but as it came to being later in the afternoon I found this great area to camp for the night on BLM land next to a old growth tree. It is so nice to hear nature versus neighbors.
There is also this nice creek right behind my camper.