Trans USA & Canada Week 18, 9/21-9/27

Day 121 (9/21): I woke up nice and early again this morning as it was humid and muggy out. As I got going again I could tell it was extremely foggy out. At some points where you could have seen a great view the fog was so thick I could not see any trees or mountains. As the morning went on this fog got burnt off by the sun.
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I continued on my diverted trail around the logging operation that closed down my main path. I just about reached around and the trail was barricaded off with large concreat cylinders and and large cable that was ran between two steel post. After a little investigation on the other side of the barricade was a sign that read no trespassing. Hmm, I did not see any signs going the other way and I was insight of the paved road that would take me to the next trail. There was no dedicated bypass and no phone number to call anyone. So I decided to navigate another route around it. Using both my gps I thought I found a route. As I got closer I soon realized it was across a gate I already ran into and again it was locked. So here I was and could not find another way and already been trying to travers this trail system for 40 miles at a slow crawl. I started to head back the way I came when one of my gps all of a sudden picked up a new route. I figured why not. I was starting to get low on gas and it could not hurt. If I ran out I would at least be closer to civilization to walk. The new route ran me through some logging operations and I soon ran across a couple heading the other way. After a short conversation I was only a couple miles from pavement and the path was easy and open. Once I got on pavement the nearest town with gas was only a few more miles headed in the right direction. It was so nice to fill up and fill up a couple jerry cans again for a reserve. I continued on towards the next gravel road and as soon as I got to it. It was another steam climb almost straight up a mountain.
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I continued on going up and up.
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I passed what looked like an old mine with warning signs and it appeared someone still looked there. Then I hit a Y in the road. My maps and gps told me to take a right down this narrow trail. And my brain told me to continue left as it seemed like the trail to the right has not been traveled on for a while. Well gps don’t lie right? I headed down the narrow trail and after a few miles of rough terrain going up and down these steep mountain roads through thick forest the trail started to narrow further. I soon was scraping both sides of my vehicle and trailer on this brush as the trail has become overgrown and sometimes the roof too. All of a sudden the trailed up and I was going along this mountain on a path that looked much more suited for an atv. The terrain was always steep going up or down. It was nice having to use 4lo again. I stopped to take these pictures on one of the more level sections of the trail.
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This trail continued on this way for about fifteen more miles. Luckily I did not run into anyone as I did not see any passing areas for most of it. Once the trail ended I was back on a normal forest service road.
By midafternoon I started to look for a place to camp and the first vehicle I saw in hours was a Forest Service Ranger. He waved me down and told me the road was closed due to another fire up ahead. I was surprised as I did not see any markings like I have in the past. He looked at his map again and said sorry not this one but any trails that head off north of it are. We talked a little and he said I should be good to go on my route. I headed off and ran across a few more rangers and fire teams. I then hit a intersection and noticed I was souse to head north but continued on alternating my route again for another fire. I soon made it back to my original route and headed up another mountain.
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I then reached the top of that mountain and there was a nice little turn off to camp at. Since the road did not seem well traveled I don’t mind camping right off of it. I setup camp and ate some dinner and enjoyed watching the sunset through the trees. If I wake up early enough I should have a great view of the sunrise.
Day 122 (9/22): As soon as I got on the trial I had some spectacular views looking out over the valleys below. The trail narrowed a little bit then opened up to a nice two lane wide gravel road.
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Right around lunch time I came to my pavement turnoff to head towards Crater Lake. As I headed that way I decided to drive around Diamond Lake too. Which offered some great views and ended up being my camping spot that night.
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I soon arrived at Crater Lake. And I have forgotten since my childhood how beautiful this lake really is. With the steep rock faces surrounding it and rich blue color of the water it is hard to see any flaw in it. I circumnavigated around the whole lake and got pictures at nearly every viewpoint.
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Don’t forget to look out away from the lake too.
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Shipwreck Island
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A large Pumice rock sticking out, I guess there is a whole layer of this stuff but most of it is hidden.
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I believe this is the same peak I saw across the way at Diamond Lake.
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Proof I was there.
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Day 123 (9/23): As soon as I left the Crater Lake area this morning I could see a full on terrain and plant life change. The trail was compact sand for the most part and sometimes soft sand. All the underbrush was gone and it was just pine trees left. This is what they consider high desert and fairly wet to still support tree life.
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Every once and a while I hit a gravel road and I hated it, these roads had higher traffic and wash boarded. The sand trails were narrower and much less traveled and even in uneven terrain the sand gave much more.
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I continued on at a ginger pace to take in all the surroundings and I guess a little to extend the trip as much as possible. I did come across this large tree across a trail and figured it was not worth the hours of work to remove it. I ended up backing down the trail for a bit and finding an quick detour around it.
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For most of the day the travel was relatively flat occasionally I would come upon a hill but nothing like the last few days. This was the only elevation lookout I had all day.
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Once I got to midafternoon the plant life changed again. It became only short shrubs with the occasional tree and the soft sandy soil was replaced with rocky compact sand.
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Everything was extremely dusty all day and if I stopped I stayed in the vehicle for a good five minutes to try to not get dust everywhere. This only worked so well. As I traveled I noticed my awning was dangling all weird. I got out to inspect and noticed that the rivets have sheared that hold the mounting plate to the back plate inside the cover. Only one remained so I bungeed up the awing in the cover back to the back plate. I sent an email to arb and let’s see what there warranty center says. It is only around 9 months old. If it is too much of a pain to deal with them I will just rivet it back together. Sorry I forgot to take a picture before I temporarily fixed it.
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I passed through the town of Silver Lake hoping to fill up on fuel. But I guess there gas station is only open on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, since I’m in Oregon there is not such this and pay at the pump and self-pump. Here is to having enough gas in Jerry cans to make it, I hope. I found this great National Forest camp ground and it is worth the stay at being only three dollars per night.
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Day 124 (9/24): I continued on through the high desert towards the boarder of California today. The view was mostly Pine trees with hilly terrain.
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The roads were very wash boarded at points which slowed travel. And I had only a view opertunitys for lookouts with the flatter landscape.
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The roads made my shattered side mirror glass fall off. Large cities will be interesting and now it is hard to tell if someone is trying to pass me.
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Just after I stopped for gas and some groceries my rear driver shock also ended up shearing in half which makes driving always more fun. I just added it to the growing part list to order when I’m done list.
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I did end up finding this great campsite just off the road I was traveling with some shade from these large trees.
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There was a great view just a short hike away with an open field filled with grass for once.
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Day 125 (9/25): As I headed out I was only four miles from the boarder of California. The first picture is looking towards California and the second is looking back at Oregon.
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I only drove 18 miles through California but most of this consisted of winding down a mountain side into a lower planes dessert. The mountain was covered in pine trees but once I got to the bottom it was only shrubs.
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What you see below is one of the few lakes I saw as I drove through Nevada. Only one lake of the dozen or so had water in it.
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As I drove through the desert it was some very dusty conditions. Every time I would stop to take a picture I would have to wait before exiting depending on the wind direction.
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You could always see if there was traffic off in the distance due to the big cloud of dust.
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Another dry lake, even though it was hot and dry out there was such beauty in the terrain.
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There were sections of the road that made travel extremely slow and other sections that were very nice. In driving around seven hours today I did not even go one hundred miles. With all the dust in the air it made long distance visibility difficult at times.
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As the shrubs were thick in most places and the nice opening I saw for most of the day were dry lake beds and river beds. I kept my eye open for camping spots fairly early. I soon saw this trail and hiked up it. I found just a big enough opening to park my vehicle and camper and turn around. It offered an amazing view with being on top of a hill with cliff faces behind me and wide open terrain below me.
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Day 126 (9/26): I kept getting amazed at the beauty of the desert. I have never spent much time in it and every turn was just as beautiful as the last. It is also the perfect time of the year. The highs were close to ninety but there was a nice wind all day and it is a very dry heat.
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After about twenty miles of driving I came to this creek bed that was not dry. I’ve crossed some smaller ones but this one was about eighty feet wide and seemed to get fairly deep. It was also rushing quite fast. It almost seemed like some rancher opened up a large well and was flooding a pond. There was fresh dead grass stacked about three feet high in the middle of the road trying to act like a damn and there was a manmade levy about two feet high around it and the water was flowing over. After looking at it for a while I decided to find an alternative route. After much searching I finally discovered a route on my Lawrence GPS it would add about 40 miles of rugged road but felt much better than getting stuck or stranded in the middle of nowhere. I continued on this route and passed by the pond that seemed to be filling up and kept seeing wonderful rock faces everywhere.
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Along my way I saw this beautiful group of Antelope. Some of the group where hanging out with this horse.
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Also today I saw two Coyotes which took off running over a hill like most animals do when they realize I’m coming. I then also saw what I believe was a Mountain Lion or Bobcat. I’m leaning towards a Mountain Lion. I could tell it was a cat by how smoothly it moved. But just like the Coyotes it disappeared before I could get out my Telephoto Lens. As I continue on I crested some beautiful mountain tops with breathtaking views.
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After a long day of driving I finally found this beautiful camping spot for the night. I wanted to keep driving but could not pass of the view for the evening. Here is a three hundred and sixty degree shot of my campsite.
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As the sun was setting behind me I got this great shot of the moon coming up.
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Day 127 (9/27): Last night I tried my handy work at capturing the moon.
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Then is morning I ruined a few photos by not switching back settings. You would think I would learn by now. This morning’s roads were smooth and up and over a few mountain passes and through some dried creek bottoms.
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By later morning I started to head south and the terrain really started to flatten out there were still large hills around but I mostly followed through a plain of grass. There were so many mice around it was crazy.
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This was the last true mountain I climbed.
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The roads were much smoother then they have been all week so it was refreshing to be able to travel constantly in the double digits of speed. Everything was also getting sandier and dustier as I traveled further south.
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As it was getting late and a nice ten hour day of driving and opening and closing cattle gate all day. I bet I opened and closed close to fifty gates. I just pulled slightly off the side of this road for camp tonight. I am not too worried about traffic as the only tire tracks are those of motorcycles. As the sun set I was able to capture these photos.
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