Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mini-Vacation, Day 3

(Day 1 here, and Day 2 here.)

Sunday, we got up, had breakfast at the restaurant next to the motel, and I looked to see how much driving time we had to get home (and therefore how much non-driving time we could afford).  We set off back through the redwoods, but this time stopped at a couple places to get a closer look.

This spider web looked like fog or something...very cool.

Slug love  :-)

I had noticed a sign on our way out to the coast for "Stout Grove," and assumed it was a grove of shorter, squatter redwoods, and thought that might be interesting.  So on our way home, I turned off at the sign.  Well, it turns out the grove is WAY back in on some dirt roads, and that it's named after someone named Stout, but it was still worth the turnoff.  Partly because it was in a pocket of cell reception (there are houses nearby) so we were able to find a geocache.  There was also a loop trail to enjoy the grove of trees.

I took 95 photos in an arc around me from the same spot, and this photo is partly the result (it was very jagged, so this is quite cropped from the original 95-photo composite)

After the Stout Grove (where I got my only three bug bites of the whole trip), I saw on my phone that the bridge we'd crossed to get there was a virtual geocache--you just have to take a photo of yourself in front of it to earn the "find."

At first, Nathan made a face for our geocache photo, so I copied him

Then he made a more normal face, so I did, too

The bridge crossed a small creek that fed into the Smith River

Our next stop was right nearby, and was prompted by yet another geocache.  I'd seen a spot from the highway that looked like either a large island or a peninsula, and wondered if it was accessible, and it turns out it was the confluence of two forks of the Smith River, and was, indeed, accessible.  We walked out to the point, finding both the geocache and some berries along the way.

Looking upriver along one of the forks of the river

Downriver, after the forks have joined together

Beautiful water, probably quite deep here, too

I wasn't sure whether they were blueberries or blue huckleberries (we also ate some red (SOUR!) huckleberries earlier), but they were tasty.  Nathan and I both ate some.

These were pretty to look at, but we did NOT eat them.
After that stop, we really did need to start making better time, so we highh-tailed it for Oregon, stopped in Medford for dinner, then not again until just outside Crater Lake, at the Natural Bridge.  It's actually a spot where the Rogue River goes through a lava tube.

It took quite a few tries, but I eventually got that "silky" water look photographers always love.  (This is downstream of the "natural bridge.")

The left side of the photo is a cave where the water enters but comes back out again; the right side is where the river continues down

In the upper left is where the water emerges from the lava tube

I didn't get very good photos of the water going into the tube, or the bare ground across the tube, between the harsh sunlight and it just not making a very exciting photo.  But I did take more photos of the river itself.

We found a geocache in this area, though I realized later that there was a virtual cache (read the displays and answer questions to claim the "find") so I guess I'll have to go back.  :-)

One last shot, from my phone through my windshield, of Mt. Thielsen, near Crater Lake.

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