David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
Nomadic 2005
09/22  Plan B, Part 2
09/23  Canaveral National Seashore -- Freaky People
09/24  Seminole State Forest
09/25  Swimming in Pepsi
09/26  Arachnids
09/27  The End Of The Trail
09/28  Go West Young Man
09/29  Mountains in Arkansas? Who knew?
09/30  Kansas ain't so flat
10/01  Two Kinds of Flat
10/02  Points of Interest
10/03  No Place To Hide
10/04  Look! Grass!
10/05  Everyone repeat after me: Medo is not a jeep.
10/06  Without Incident
10/07  The Fever
10/08  Goodbye, Black Hills
10/09  Lunch with Bison
10/10  ''You're in Oregon Now.''
10/11  Sea to Shining Sea
10/12  My anemone's anemone is my friend.
10/13  Fast Times at Seven-Thousand Feet High
10/14  Redwoods and Grapes
10/15  Welcome to the Jungle
10/16  I live to move furniture.
10/17  Whole Lot of Critters
10/18  Deserts
10/19  ''Please state your nationality''
10/20  Essence of Guano
10/21  Cannonball
10/22  All Done
Bicycle Trip 2009
Bicycle Trip 2010
Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
Bicycle Trip 2015
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

Fast Times at Seven-Thousand Feet High

2005-10-13

Somewhere Southwest of Crater Lake NP (42.819 N, 122.488 W)Highway 101 winds down the Northwest coast through small towns and cities whose streets were laid out using Spirographs. There are more espresso shops than gas stations, and the closer you get to Seattle, the more prevalent becomes the goth styles of black hair and clothes.

Away from the urban, 101 offers sweeping vistas of the ocean that are completely negated by low clouds and fog. The speed limit allows for 55 mph in many places, but local chapters of M.A.F.D. (Mother's Against Fast Drivers) patrol the highway in RVs ensuring that sub-sane speeds are maintained while cruising through the low hills and tidal plains.

So, as charming as 101 is, I soon took 22 into Salem, Oregon. There I jumped on I5 South until Springfield where I took 58 West to 97 South to Sun Mountain Road (find that!) to 62 into Crater Lake National Park. It would have been easier to come into the park from the North rather than the South, but I was told that the North entrance had already been closed for the winter.

I hit the boundary of the park just as the sun was getting ready to set. This left me with precious minutes to ascend to the crater rim if I were to see anything before dark. Fortunately, I had a few things going for me: the park was empty, I have had ample recent practice with mountain driving, and nobody enforces speed limits inside of parks, anyway. I pushed Medo up twelve miles of narrow, mountain-hugging roads that have long since seen their prime, often racing at double the posted limit. This was stupid, and it scared me a little, but I reached the rim in time to snap off a few sunset shots with me camera.

I did also see a mule deer in the park. (BTW, I think some of what I previously described as white-tails were in fact mule deer as well.)

I've been asked about the gas prices I encounter as I travel. The short answer: Gas is always cheaper in the town I pass up in hopes of cheaper gas in the next town. I've seen prices from $2.57 (that is, $2.5695--where did this nonsense come from, anyway?) in Florida to $3.35 in the Olympic Peninsula, Washington. That's for the cheap stuff. Of course, some states consider the cheap stuff to be 87 octane, while others use 85, while others yet mix in amounts of ethanol. I guess I picked the worst time ever for this road trip. Fortunately, Medo averages around 40 mpg.









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