Saturday, July 23, 2016

Crater Lake National Park / Sutherlin, Oregon - Escapee RV Park

Our 300 mile drive from Reno, Nevada to Fort Klamath, Oregon was as uneventful as it should be on June 1st. We left Reno on Highway 395 for the back-woods drive. We saw plenty of terrain changes in the next six hours, but it was a beautiful drive through the Modoc National Forrest, and along the Upper Klamath Lake near Klamath Falls, Oregon. I say uneventful but not stress free as some of the mountain roads were only two lane with shear drops if we happened to get off the road that appeared to be only three feet wider than the motorhome. Whew!

We departed the Reno area right at 8:00 A.M. and found our way into the Crater Lake Resort around 3:00 P.M. Excited to see the lake, we rushed our set up on the motorhome and took off to see the lake around 3:30 P.M. The temperature was 75 degree with no wind in the RV Park as we left for the lake. It was about 20 miles to the entrance to the park and another four miles to the visitor’s area at the rim of the most breathtakingly-beautiful view. We took a few pictures with the sun in the west before retreating to the gift shop. The elevation overlooking the lake at the Rim Village is 7,100 feet. The afternoon temperature was 55 degrees with a small breeze of about 3 MPH. I was comfortable in Levi shorts and a golf shirt even though there was plenty of snow off the roads!

Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the U.S. at 1,943 feet, and the 9th deepest in the world.

Our RV Park, Crater Lake Resort, is right next to Highway-62 that is the main road to the entrance to the park. The back of the park is right up against a slow moving and very clear river that appears to be two to four feet deep. There are small and large motorhomes in the park along with tent campers, and a dozen or so cabins. Nice park setting! Oh yes, and it is very quiet at night because there is no park traffic at all because the park is closed.

Our day two visit to the lake saw us get away from the RV Park about 9:30 A.M. The passing traffic on the highway had been minimal so entry to Crater Lake N.P. was immediate. We found our way to the Visitors Center and on up to the Rim of the lake to find virtually no one roaming around. We immediately started our tour by driving the west rim of the lake. It was only open for four miles but in these four miles we had a half dozen photo opportunities. By the way, that island in the middle of the lake is a volcano inside of a volcano. It is called Wizard Island and scientists have determined it was formed about 7,300 years ago.

The weather was supposed to be partly cloudy today but it started out in bright sunlight. We felt the pictures we were taking were going to be excellent and some were. Janet packed us a picnic lunch and we figured we would just grab a loose picnic table when it came lunch time. It turned out the weather was 45 degrees on the rim and the wind was blowing about 10 MPH. In shorts and a golf shirt I felt like I was at the North Pole. Around noon we decided to pass on the picnic and headed back down the hill. We saved the picnic lunch for dinner, and headed for a recommended Mexican restaurant, El Rodeo, about 15 miles the other side of our RV Park. It was very satisfying considering we hadn’t had breakfast!

On the way back to the RV Park we went to the local Indian casino to get gas in the Jeep and check out the access to the diesel lanes for our departure on Friday, June 3rd. We will be traveling only about 100 miles heading northwest onto Interstate-5 with our destination being “Timber Valley”, the Escapee Co-Op park in Sutherlin, Oregon. We aren’t sure how long we will be there, but I understand there is a decent golf course nearby!

After Sutherlin, Oregon, we will be visiting the Oregon coast between Reedsport and Astoria for the next couple weeks. We hope it doesn’t rain!

Escapee RV Co-Op Park in Sutherlin, Oregon

It took us about 3 hours to get the 100 miles from Crater Lake Resort in Fort Klamath, Oregon and through the Umpqua National Forest to Sutherlin, Oregon.
It was a beautiful downhill drive through the forest but a semi-stressful drive from the standpoint of driving. We came out of 6,000 feet and down to basically sea level. Our average speed was around 40 MPH as there were many twisty turns and switchbacks to negotiate. We just took it kind of slow.

We checked into “Timber Valley”, the Escapee RV Clubs co-op in Sutherlin, Oregon about 1 P.M. This park has just over 200 spaces. They ushered us to a nice large space and we took about an hour to get all the arrival chores completed. That is kind of slow but we were in no real hurry to get further relaxed from an atmosphere that is always relaxed!

Sutherlin, Oregon is located right on Interstate-5 about 50 miles north of Medford and 70 miles south of Eugene, Oregon. It is 8 miles north of Roseburg. It does have a nice looking golf course but the weather betrayed us by jumping into the mid-90s. The temperature didn’t get us but the humidity was a killer. We ended up closing the motorhome and starting the air-conditioner about 11 A.M. each day.

After a four day stay we ended up leaving Sutherlin on Tuesday, June 7th. Our 80 mile drive west was accomplished in about 3 hours. It was delightful to find the temperature in the low 60s at the Pacific Ocean in Florence, Oregon.

Okay, BooniePeople followers, we are going semi-boonie on this trip. We are staying in the lower parking lot of the Three Rivers Casino in Florence. We got on to this 3 years ago when we were in the area. The casino allows RVers a free stay in this lot for up to 4 days. Of course they hope we will use their casino. Fore sure we will use their buffet!

There is plenty to do in Florence. Many dunes to explore that are ocean-side along with a handful of very decent restaurants. There are two nice golf courses in Florence and we may try them out. When we were here 3 years ago it rained every day.

We will be leaving Florence for a 50 mile drive up the coast to Lincoln City on Sunday, June 12th. Wouldn’t you know it, it is supposed to rain for the next 3 days. Oregon is a beautiful state - even with the rain.

Thanks for following us, Dave & Janet, “The BooniePeople”.  
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