Posted by: GeekHiker | September 20, 2007

Oregon Trip Day 2: The Trip Really Begins

The really fun thing about camp food is that you often find yourself combining whatever is at hand to create a dish. It’s also a great opportunity to experiment, i.e. “I’ve always wanted to try this and trying it out in the middle of a campground is a great idea!”

Well, it’s fun for fools, that is.

Sometimes these meals turn out to be spectacular successes.

Other times: monumental failures.

Tonight’s dinner falls somewhere in between those two.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Today’s travels were supposed to be from Sacramento to Crater Lake National Park for two days of camping and exploring.

As of last night, however, the weather at Crater Lake was slightly below freezing…with snow showers.

This, of course, is totally out of character for fall in the west, and directly in opposition to my plan to spend two nights there.

After some discussion with the Parentage, a new plan was hatched: spend one night at a lower altitude about 2/3 of the way there, then blast into the park Friday morning, when temperatures should be significantly warmer.

Am I wimping out? Maybe. But I’ve slept at temperatures in the 20’s before, so it’s not a matter of not being able to do it. I also know how much fun it is to wake up in the morning and not be able to feel your fingers. As in, not very.

And so it was that I headed north on I-5 again this morning, through farming territory marked by such things as the Ag Museum in Woodland, heading for my first, closer destination.

Oh and “Ag”, for those of you city-folk, is short for “agriculture.”

Unlike yesterday’s trip fighting the headwind (which, by the way, dropped my mileage by three miles per gallon, it was that strong), today’s driving would be much more pleasant.

I left about noon, having spent the morning running errands and having a tire inspected (a screw in the left rear which, as it turned out, hadn’t penetrated the tire).

As I left, the remnants of last night’s storm were moving out, leaving in its wake blue sky and dry roadway.

About a hundred miles north of Sacramento, the Sutter Buttes came into view off to the right.

Day 02 - Sutter Buttes

The Central Valley & Sutter Buttes.

The Buttes are the remnants of an ancient volcano, but their exact origin is still a geological mystery. Still private land, they tempt my hiking boots.

Without the wind and dust and rain of yesterday, I finally started to feel like I was on vacation. I don’t have a huge number of traditions in my life, but I always start a road trip with Graceland on the CD player, and so it was today, with me singing along.

The miles whizzed by on cruise-control, heading north through the flat valley plains and the towns of Red Bluff and Redding, then into the foothills & mountains of northern California past Shasta Lake.

It was about this point, four hundred miles from home or so, that I realized I’d left my camp chair at home. Oops.

It was yesterday, of course, that I had realized after 200 miles of travel that I’d left my little BBQ outside while cleaning up the flooded kitchen.

I wonder what I’ll realize I left behind when I hit 600 miles?

Well, I’d been wanting to buy a new camp chair anyway, and I know there’s got to be a camp store somewhere along the way.

As I gained altitude, the massive hulk of Mt. Shasta came into view.

Day 02 - Shasta Approach

Rounding a bend in the highway: Mt. Shasta.

Tonight I’ve pulled into Lake Siskiyou Camp & Resort, just south of Mount Shasta.

It’s been a long time since I’ve stayed at a private campground (vs. National or State Park), and I’d forgotten just how luxurious it can be: water spigots everywhere, hot water in the bathrooms, toilets that work and are clean, etc. Kind of a pleasant change.

The place is huge, with hundreds of campsites, a boat dock, even cabins near the water’s edge. And wandering down to the shore: this was the view this evening:

Day 02 - Siskiyou Lake & Mt Shasta

Lake Siskiyou & Mt. Shasta.


Day 02 - Lake Siskiyou Boats Stored for Winter

Winter comes early here – boats already in storage.

I stayed at the beach as the sun started to set and a brisk breeze started up, then ran back to my campsite, lit a fire, and started to cook dinner. Tonight was beef that had been marinating in teriyaki sauce all day, mixed with rice and pineapple and served in a tortilla.

Day 02 - Mt Shasta Sunset

Last sunlight on the Mountain.

At least, that was the idea.

Problem was the wood skewers didn’t get as wet as they should have, so they, uh, kinda burned. It didn’t help that the meat was sticking to the grill over the fire, which would cause the skewer to snap as I tried to turn the meat. And that I couldn’t get the rice to heat up at the same time as everything else. Or that it got cold almost the moment I pulled it off the fire.

The flavor wasn’t bad, so I can’t write it off as a total failure, but not quite turkey sandwich level of success.

I’ve still got half of the meat and rice & stuff, which I figure I’ll just stir-fry over my stove tomorrow night.

In any case, the s’mores and hot chocolate more than made up for it. 🙂

Well, off to bed before it gets too cold. Tomorrow: Crater Lake!



  1. No BBQ.
    No chair.

    Are you blond or old? 😉

  2. just a girl – not blond, just old. Now get off my lawn. 😉

  3. Make me!

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