Thursday, April 12, 2018

4/12 Emigrant Lake & a Cold and Stormy Week

On Tuesday morning, I headed north from Orland Buttes Recreation Area, planning to reach Emigrant Lake in southern Oregon.  I was here last October during the fires and posted a lot of pictures of the hills being shrouded in smoke.  It was just barely within the "safe" for most people category in terms of smoke pollution.  

However, this trip turned out to be a lot more rainy and colder. It got cloudier and rainier as I got to the Shasta Lake area.  Tuesday night, it dropped to 40 and started to rain. 

Lake Shasta is looking pretty good these days.  When I took this route a couple of years ago, there was hardly any water in the lake.  Now it is very close to being full.  Unfortunately, no pull-offs to take good photos.  Maybe this summer or fall I will do more exploring around this area. 

Mount Shasta, I think.  

Crossed into Oregon and got to my campground.  No reservations, but it was fairly early in the day and I had my pick of sites, so I chose one of the ones on the higher level because they had a better view. 
A little sunnier here, at least briefly.  I signed up for two days because it was such a nice place with excellent Verizon signal so I can get good internet through my mobile hotspot.

The rest of these photos were taken Thursday morning.  It had rained all night with temps down very close to freezing.  Note the frost or snow line on the mountains across the lake.

This hill to the south had spots of actual snow.  

All of this snow seemed very close, so I agonized about whether to move on to Bullard's Beach or stay here for another day.  I checked the weather and webcams along I-5 and Oregon 42.   By 10 am, they looked wet, but with no snow.  One big consideration is the need to put chains on my vehicle.  Not only WILL I not do that, but I CANNOT do that.  If there is snow or a chain-up warning, I will turn around and go back.  No way am I driving 15,000 pounds on ice and snow!

On my way out, I found a man packing up his trailer and noticed he had Oregon license plates, so I asked if he knew anything about passes on the route I was taking.  He assured me there were passes, but they were all lower than the campground we were staying at.  That made me feel better. 

Whew!  The roads were nearly completely dry, although the clouds looked nasty and periodically produced rain. 

 Other than my GPS deciding that for some reason I could not make a left turn onto Highway 101 near the coast and rerouting me 10 miles to Coos Bay so I could go around a block so get me headed south!  

It does strange things like this once in a while.  A few years ago, it decided I needed to drive over 100 miles down the Key Highway in Florida so I could make a turn and drive 100 miles back to the campground!!  I saw the left turn lane to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and saved myself an extra 200 mile drive!  

Luckily, I am a little familiar with this part of Oregon and recognized I was getting close to Coos Bay, so I turned into a gas station and headed south, which was the right direction.  Glad to get parked and set up for three nights in this very pleasant campground.  Will post photos in a couple of days, assuming is does not rain solid for the next two days.   

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