Fall Roadtrip..Crater Lake, Klamath Falls and home

We slept in and then left Medford via Oregon Hyw 62 to Crater Lake.  The storm had brought in rains and winds but we decided to keep our plans to go to Crater Lake and then over to Klamath Falls for the night. Off we went towards Crater Lake with the big Pacific Northwest Storm making itself known.  But we had some beautiful trees on the way!


The vibrant red just doesn’t show up with the rain


Beautiful color contrasts

We stopped at a Rouge River trail and scenic overlook to see and hear the power of the flowing river.


The beautiful river

As we were enjoying the beautiful autumn colors of all the trees, I spotted a car coming towards us with snow on the roof.  The outside temperature was about 48 so we assumed it must have snowed overnight at Crater Lake. As we continued on, snow was along side the road.  Then as we got to the Visitors Center it was snowing, heavily!  Snow was not a problem for our Subaru but surprised us. Luckily, the park service does plow part of the roads and will open up more roads after a storm has passed.

Most of the park roads were closed due to the snow. But they were plowing the road from the Steel Visitors Center to the Rim Village and Crater Lake Lodge which normally have spectacular views of Crater Lake.


Our disappointing view at the Rim atop Crater Lake

We saw a flyer for this Historic Hotel and may give it a try next time we go to Crater Lake from Oregon. If you want to see some beautiful photos and information about Crater Lake check out this site.

We stopped into the Rim Visitors Center, Store and Cafe and drove past the Crater Lake Lodge which was open but very quiet. Luckily we had been to the lake in summer about 20 years ago, but we will be back! We drove out of the park and headed towards Klamath Falls, Oregon.


Beautiful fall foliage



Looking out at the beautiful sky & pasture land on the way to Klamath Falls

Klamath Falls was not nearly as busy as the town I remember from my Southern Pacific days visiting there for work.  But the Klamath upper and lower lakes are very pretty and we had a great dinner at the local pub, Klamath Basin Brewing Company.  Best fries I can remember and great Rib Platter and many good beers on tap.  Bob really liked their Notch Eight IPA, I was driving.

Leaving Klamath Falls until we reached I5, we had some rain, but also some beautiful views.


Rainbows along Highway 62 heading toward I5

Our trip home was long with terrible weather from Weed, CA until we got down to Corning on I5.  The storm hit northern California and we had lots of wind and rain.  Three big rigs jack-knifed on the windy I5 it what seemed like 25 miles.  It was evident that some of the trucks were going way to fast for that weather.  Originally, we had thought about extending the trip from Klamath Falls either by staying in Shasta City or going over to the California coast but the weather deterred us, so we carried on home.


So much rain!

Well, sadly all good trips must come to an end so you can take time to plan another one! Also, I need time to finish the Galapagos Island posts.

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Fall Roadtrip. .Southern Oregon 

Up early and we took Oregon Hwy 238 from Medford, thru Jacksonville and out to Applegate to visit our friends, Marcos and Heidi. They bought a 68 acres abandoned farm with woodland area last year. It’s their new ‘life project’ to renew the farm land with grape vines, large vegetable garden and remodel the 100 year old farmhouse from the ground up while living in it. Also, they plan to recondition many of the outbuildings for farm use again.


Looking down on the farm house and out buildings from the wooded hillside

The area is beautiful and they are working very hard to dry in the house and prepare the land before winter arrives.


The hillside where they are preparing to plant a vineyard.  It is all prepared and should be planted April 2017.


Great ‘Crooked Barn’ that they plan to restore for use but keep the ‘crooked’ look.

With a light rain falling, we walked the farm and heard their wonderful plans.


Marcos and Heidi taking their first day off in many months to take us wine tasting.

Then we decided to go wine tasting at a few of the Applegate Valley’s wineries. All were great! So nice to visit on a weekday and enjoy the beautiful trees and gardens in bloom.

First, was Red Lily Vineyards. Beautiful barn restored and reinforced for an event center, nice tasting room and a large winery operation building all tied together with the same architecture. Tastings were ‘testings’ and presented in test tubes lined up in a wooden test tube holder.

Next on to Troon Winery set up as a Tuscan villa with beautiful gardens and cooking class kitchen. The tasting room bar is set up so that guests look out large bay windows to a perfect view of the vines and the mountains. Irina introduced us to the Troon wines, she is a very knowledgeable sommelier and created a great experience.

Next we went to Wooldridge Creek Winery and Creamery.  They also had wonderful wines and gardens too.  With the added joy of various goat cheeses made on the premises available for purchase. Their website also has many wonderful recipes.

Last but not least, we went to Plaisance Ranch which is both an active cattle ranch and great winery. We were given a tour of the facilities and enjoyed a full discussion of wine making with the wine maker and his wife, Joe and Suzi. They were very generous with their time, wine and information. I encourage you to explore their website as it is filled with story, history, recipes and beautiful photography. The wines are wonderful and not to be missed!



Joe, winemaker and owner

The end to a perfect day was a BBQ at Marcos and Heidi’s friends house as the big storm moved in. We cannot thank Heidi and Marcos and Tom enough for such a wonderful day and great dinner company


We were probably a little ‘tipsy’ by the end of the day, but Heidi was driving!

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