Monday, June 26, 2017

Hopping Fast Through Oregon

Sunday, June 25
We have not blogged for two weeks. We have been busy - just no time to write. Conversation, food, margaritas, projects, the usual, just more intensive.

The weather was perfect when we got to Carson City. After a week, it was winter like for a day or two. One day, the high was only 50 with dark clouds. The mountains got more snow. Then the temps returned to perfect. Most days, as the valley heats up, the cooler air descends from the Sierra Nevada. Sometimes with gusts of 30mph.

We spent four days in one of our usual haunts in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada near Markleville.
We got to knock off three more passes across the mountains. Well, that not quite right, Ebbetts was closed due to road damage from the winter storms. But, we went as high as we could. Definitely not a road for an RV, only 1.5 lanes wide and unlined. Monitor Pass was not really worth the gas. I think it was only built to give access to Ebbetts. Carson Pass, you remember Kit, was totally different from Ebbetts. Great scenery and lots of boondocking places. There remains only one pass we have not driven.

Monitor Pass

Dorothy protesting the closure of Ebbett Pass
West Fork of The Carson River On The Way to Carson Pass

After the second session of perfect weather, it turned hot and the forecast was for more heat. We decided to make an escape north.

How hot was it? So hot the water from the cold tap was hotter than from the hot water side. It was one the rare times when we were hooked up to city water. I had filled the tank and did not want to have to re-do it, so I connected the 50-foot black hose to the city water inlet. It really confused me when the water from the cold tap was hot. How could that happen? The hot water showed to be 90 degrees. But, the sun heating the water in the black hose was much warmer.

After Carson City, we spent two nights in an out of the way place in NW Nevada. We saw an occasional vehicle on the way there. It was an unusual BLM campground with a hot spring pool. Showers too. And free.

85 Degree Hot Spring

When we arrived we were a little surprised to see several rigs parked. We were more surprised to learn that we were the only ones there that were not digging for opals. In the middle of a wildlife refuge, there is a mining district - opals only. People come from all over to dig here. We stopped by two of the mines to see what all the excitement was about. At one, you dig in the face of a cliff. Hard work. At the other mind, you get three cubic yards of dirt for only $600 to pick through. Maybe you get lucky. But, $600 is a lot to pay for some dirt that you can only be picked through for one day.

 One Of The Private Mine Sites

Several Owners And Some Not Inexpensive Equipment

We looked at the opals on display and we were not impressed. One, a little larger than a marble, was priced at $5,000. I have no idea what is was really worth, but I would not have paid more than $30 for it. Black opals from Australia might command such a price. Not these.

A Delightful Mountain Lake

What Was Behind Me When I Took The Picture Above - "Death Valley"

The heat caught up with us, so we headed north. We spent one night in Lakeview at a working ranch in the south end of Oregon and another night at the Madras Fairgrounds which is mid-state. Both 100 degree days. The map shows it’s hot all over the US.

Monday, June 26
We are a little disappointed that we missed going back to some favorite places in Oregon, but having no schedule and no reservations you get shut out sometimes. We missed the Cowboy Dinner Tree, Lake Paulina, and Crux Brewery - where the beer is OK and the sandwiches are divine.

So in only two days we made across Oregon and landed at a COE park on the Washington side of the Columbia River.

Mount Adams 70 Miles In The Distance

I wanted to tour the Hanford reactor, but it would mean getting there by 8 in the morning or waiting until Thursday. The latter would probably trap us in Richland for the holiday weekend. I think it’s best that we will escape into rural Washington for the holiday.

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