Saturday, July 13, 2019

7/10 Emigrant Lake Again (and Again)

Emigrant Lake Recreation Area near Ashland, OR, is becoming one of my "go-to" places.  I have been here several times over the past four or five years and will come back again.  It has several advantages:
  • It is not too far off I-5, which makes it convenient on the way from California to Oregon and Washington.
  • The full-service, meaning full-hookup, sites are open all year. 
  • Sites are well-spaced apart and relatively inexpensive for full-hookup sites. 
  • Sites and roadways are paved, so no dust.
  • It has a great view from all sites, looking over the lake and surrounded by mountains on all sides. 
  • It is not too far from Medford and major shopping.  
  • There always seems to be a nice breeze blowing and the elevation is a bit over 3,000' so it is cooler than Medford and the areas in California to the south. 
 It also just feels comfortable, which is one of the things I cannot define, but makes me want to come back here again.  

There is a nearby college, so there is also a rowing club that practices every morning.  Funny to watch the crews rowing with the guy in the small boat following them yelling instructions!
This campground has two levels.  The first time I came here, I made a reservation for the lower level because it was closer to the lake.  I did not realize then that the sites farther from the lake were higher and actually had better views.  The last couple of times, I chose this site or the one next to it.    
This shows the roadway on the lower level, looking up at my rig to the left on the upper level.  Besides a better view, the upper sites are quieter and usually have a nicer breeze, which is important when it is hot. 

View from the lower roadway.  I took a walk around the campground, as I usually do in campgrounds, every evening when it cooled off.  Actually, though, it was not really that hot here for the week I stayed. 

And a couple of views from the top. The first time I came here, I could barely see across the lake because of the smoke from nearby fires.  We were never in any danger, but the smoke did make me cough a bit, but then got better the second and third days.

And looking down toward the boat ramp.  One disadvantage to this campground in the summer is that on the other side of this bay, there is a pool and slide, so you can hear screaming kids on some days.  There is also an older campground on the small hill in the distance, but it cannot handle larger rigs and has no electric, which is important to me because I like to have air conditioning and watch TV.  It is also too wooded for satellite, even if it had electric hookups in any case.


Thursday, July 11, 2019

7/2 Drive from Shasta Lake to Mt Shasta through Fire Areas

Back to California after my trip to Florida and heading to Oregon.  The prettiest and most interesting part of this drive is this area along I-5 and through the area that burned extensively in the last couple of years. 

This was a very quick photo of Shasta Lake.  It actually has water in it!   In fact, it is very full which has made boaters and marina operators happy.  

A few miles farther down the interstate, you will see maybe 20 miles of burned areas along the freeway.  If you remember, this was the section that was closed for several days last year. From these photos, you can imagine the smoke and fire blocking traffic. 

These trees were scorched, although not completely burned.

And finally, Mt Shasta in the distance.  Almost to Oregon. 

6/29 Quick Trip to Florida and Even Quicker Visit at Myakka

I had to fly to hot, muggy Florida to help get the financial and medical situation of some family members settled.  There was not enough time to do everything, but we (another relative) and I were able to get bills and other financial documents organized and arrange for better medical care.  It was a stressful and exhausting several days, so just before I left, I headed out to one of my favorite Florida places for a relaxing hour of so.  

I'll be here at the Myakka River State Park for two weeks in December, but it was nice to just spend some time away from touristy Florida and out into the "real" Florida.  

The park roadway crosses the Myakka River at this bridge, and a lot of people fish here, but even if they didn't this place attracts a lot of birds alligators. 

This is slightly off-season and the alligators had no reason to be basking in the sun since it was so hot, but there is still wildlife here. 

My, what big eyes you have! 

This guy swam up, hoping no doubt that we were fishing, and he could have scraps or take our bait.  Sorry, but no free meal. 
 Actually, these guys were fairly small, about 5' long.

There was also a small family of deer just up the road. 

Myakka Lake is at the end of the road.  No boating here, but you can kayak if you are brave enough.  Note the sign warning about vultures.

So, how can a vulture cause damage to vehicles?  Well, apparently vultures like to have fun, and their idea of fun is tearing up windshield wipers and other rubber or loose parts of vehicles.  They really don't eat the rubber--they just like to tear things up.  These are very intelligent birds and obviously bored. It is recommended that you put plastic grocery bags over your windshield wipers and possibly a tarp over your entire vehicle.  Check this out:

And here are the guilty parties--black vultures.  They are smaller than the turkey vultures we see up north, but not less ambitious.  In this state park, the rangers set off fireworks periodically to scare them out of roosting in nearby trees. 

And all vultures are federally protected, so you cannot shoot one.  They are excellent garbage collectors and rid our lands of dead animals, so they serve a useful purpose. 

The gift shop and cafe is pretty desolate this time of year, but they were open for business. 

A hopeful resident. 

These are limpkins.  They live in marshes and along rivers, and eat snails.  You can identify them by their brown coloring and unique beaks that are yellow at the base and brown/black at the curved-down tip. They live only in Florida and southern Georgia. 

So, will be looking forward to coming back here for Christmas this year.  In the seven years I have been traveling, this will be the fourth Christmas spent at Myakka!