Friday, May 22, 2009


Leaving Redding at 8:00 in the morning yesterday, Mount Shasta was still ghostly on the horizon. See the snowcovered peak barely noticeable in the upper left?

Northern travelers soon begin the climb into the heavily forested mountains, towards Shasta Lake. Though it is enormous, Mt. Shasta mostly disappears from view as you travel the twists and turns of I-5 - then suddenly re-appears, larger each time. When we came over a rise and caught a glimpse in the lower left photo, both Odel and I gasped in awe. What a mountain!

Past Mt. Shasta City, the road flattens in a high, dry, volcanic plain to the Oregon border - where the climb begins to the highest point on I-5,
Siskiyou Summit. Though it is only 4,310 feet high, heavy snowfall causes frequent closures in the winter. Not so yesterday - we sailed over in 66 degree sunshine.

While the climb from Redding to Shasta Lake, Mt. Shasta City, and Siskiyou Summit is gradual, the descent is anything but. Just as you cross the pass, a warning sign alerts you to a long, steep descent: 7 curvy miles at 6% grade. Not one, but TWO runaway truck ramps, one at 2 miles and one at 5 miles. To us, that always means "LOOK OUT". Yesterday, we had the added excitement of road work underway. :)

Those road conditions don't fluster Odel anymore. He put the transmission in 3rd gear and we cruised slowly down the long, long hill into Ashland, rarely touching the brakes.

We pulled into at big Pilot truck stop at 11:00 - our first fill up since the beginning of April. Diesel had gone up about 20 cents a gallon; here in Oregon, it currently costs less than regular gasoline.

Since we had the afternoon before us and only 20 miles to go, we pulled off the interstate in the beautiful rest area at
Valley of the Rogue State Park, an Oregon State Park right along I-5. We spent a couple nights in the campground there in 2007 (too close to I-5's noisy traffic for my taste) and knew we could take a long walk through the campgrounds and along the river... it was a good break.

By 1:30 pm, we were in Grants Pass, where we had reserved a site at an RV park we've never seen before, Moon Mountain RV Resort (read our review here). It's a small park, with terraced sites stepping down a fairly steep hillside.

Our site is one of the largest; we have just enough room for Scoopy, a small picnic table, Luna's crate, our chairs and BBQ grill. Luna likes our top-of-the-hill site and was content to spend the afternoon lounging in the shade, regarding the view.

The downside of the park: it is just as close to I-5 as Valley of the Rogue State Park! The traffic noise means we have to keep the windows closed at night. :(

The upside (besides the beauty of the park and friendliness of the manager): a local woman makes homemade ice cream and cookies that she sells at the park office. We took advantage of that last night. Yum!

No comments:

Post a Comment