Chapter 4 -- Crater Lake

I left the Bay area about 2:00pm on Tuesday, Sept 2. I headed north, and figured I could make Mt. Shasta by sunset, so here I am, in the Shasta-Trinity national forest, on a little forest service road. It's rather warm. I'll sleep in the well ventilated "attic" bedroom of the van tonight, to try and stay cool.

Sept 3, 1997

Someone drove by us before dawn, when Orion was well up; must've been 3:30 am. One or two small pickups drove by at 9:00am or 10:00am, but all in all, it was a pleasantly quiet campsite. Some animal woke Pepper and me up in the middle of the night, though, with a loud scream. It was very warm last night, only getting cold enough for the blanket after midnight.

Mt. Shasta

When I got up this morning I drove west, toward the Trinity Alps. Then turned north, toward Mt. Shasta. It's a beautiful mountain, as you can see in the picture above. Went up through the pretty college town of Ashland, then through Medford, and up to Crater Lake.

Tonight I'm camped in an asphalt campground run by the Park Service, but at least it's only about half full and surrounded by beautiful scenery, so it's not so bad.

Tonight I went stargazing, and among the objects I identified with the telescope were the "double-double", Epsilon Lyræ the Ring Nebula, M57; Albiro, the colorful double; M27, the Dumbbell Nebula; the globular? cluster M71; The double star Gamma Delphini; M11, the "Wild Ducks" cluster; and of course, Jupiter. All but Epsilon Lyræ and Jupiter were new objects for me. I was most impressed by the Ring Nebula, followed by the Dumbell Nebula. My observing site was the campground's ampitheatre, which was pretty well surrounded by tall trees, so I could only look at objects that were high in the sky. I couldn't see Scorpio and Saggitarius, unfortunately.

September 4, 1997

I broke camp and drove around Crater Lake. It was spectacularly beautiful! This is the bluest water I think I've ever seen. I used almost a whole roll of film taking pictures, some of which are found below.

Pepper got very tired of me driving a short distance and then stopping at a scenic viewpoint, leaving her in the car. Here she is, waiting not-so-patiently. She did quite a bit of yapping as I was taking pictures.

Pepper in the Van

Stopped at Umpqua Hot springs. This is my favorite hot spring so far. It's in a lush forest, high above a rushing stream, with a nice shelter built around it. Met Sally, a postgrad student at Stanford who studies medical imaging. She left, and then I met Mary, another Bay Area woman. She's travelling around with Fred, her golden retriever. She looked a bit like Ellen DeGeneris.

I also met George, the old salt, living on the fringe of society. He pretty much lives at the hot spring. He's been living on his bicycle and camping out for over a year. He looks to be about 50 years old. He has a pretty sour attitude toward conventional society. He rides around on his bicycle, towing a trailer with his gear. He occasionally goes into Ashland, Oregon to work for awhile and earn enough money to buy food. But he also seems to know a lot about native edible plants, so I'll bet his food bills aren't too large. When I asked him what kind of work he does, he said "Oh, anything that doesn't tie me down". Somehow, I don't think all the cables, chains, and ropes in the world could ever tie George down.

Camped in a national forest a few miles from Umpqua hot spring. Not a soul around. When I got up the next morning, there had been a heavy dew, or maybe a light fog, or perhaps a little drizzle. Anyway, it's cool and damp.

Contents Previous Next
©1997 Richard Cochran
Web Hostingweb hostingdedicated serversSSL Certificatedomain namesweb hosting