September 23 - 25, 2013;
I awoke early in the morning to the sound of rain, not what I wanted to hear on a travel day, especially one that was going to involve much driving up, down and around tight curves on narrow roads. To my relief, the rain tapered off by 8:30 AM, and we were able to get hooked up without getting wet and on the road at 10 AM. We went north on route 101 to Crescent City, then route 199 east through the beautiful Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Forest area. It was especially beautiful with the wetness and the fog although I couldn't take my eyes of the road much, very narrow in places with Redwoods right on the edge of the pavement and oncoming traffic. We then came upon a warning sign, accident ahead and sure enough a few miles we were in a long line of stopped vehicles. After 20 minutes or so started moving again and we came upon the accident scene. A lumber truck rounding a curve had lost the load, boards were strewn all over, blocking one side of the road. It must have been a crazy accident blocking the whole road initially. That was the big excitement, the rest of the trip was uneventful, just the way I like it. We passed by a few towns along the way on Rt 199 that I wished we could have stopped at and explored, but parking this rig is usually impossible. We arrive at the Valley of the Rogue State Park, right off Rt 5 near Gold Hill, Oregon at 1:30, our reserved site was an easy one to deal with, a pull through, nice width and length, full hookup and very nice.
The Rogue River is the big attraction here, it is another great fishing, boating and rafting river that runs 215 miles across Oregon from around Crater Lake to the Pacific Ocean. Lots of RV parks and interesting places to see, things to do along its length. The other big tourist attraction here is the Oregon Vortex and house of mystery, where strange unexplainable things happen, everything naturally takes on a lean and is out of perspective.
|Blackberries are everywhere along the river|
|The Rogue River also has a "Trail of Tears"|
|Old wagon at the Valley of the Rogue State Park|
|Beautiful lichens in trees here along river|
It rained overnight, the rain season seems to be starting here and continued in the early morning. It did stop at which point I went for a short walk to the Rogue river trail very close to the campsite. It is a beautiful fast flowing river, one of the original 8 rivers that were
We decided to check out the nearby town of Jacksonville, established in the early 1850's with the discovery of gold in the area. The gold didn't last, it then became a center of commerce, then the railroad bypassed the town and it went into a period of decline. In the 1960's it rebounded and is now one of the nicest and coolest little towns on the planet. We started walking around town and as I was admiring the Odd Fellows Hall, (now a senior center) with a few local elderly musicians playing inside a lady came out and invited us. She was very gracious and explained how they help feed the poor and the elderly and serve meals during the day. Once a month a few mostly senior musicians get together to play at the Hall. It was mostly old country music, good old Americana at its best. Especially touching was the fact that they had two vacant chairs out for two of the group who are no longer with us.
|Old advertising images on Jacksonville building|
|The senior center music jam|
|View along sidewalk in Jacksonville|
|The J Ville sign is a classic, the inside of the bar was too !|
|Downtown Jacksonville street scene|
|Sewer Cover dedicated to tireless worker, Art Carney would love it|
|Your Wate and Fate in Jacksonville|
We then went a few doors down where I was admiring the Masons Club when a man there was moving some stuff inside. He asked us if we would like to see inside and he showed around upstairs and pointed out some of the historical photos and items. He was very proud to show us around and it was great, the inside was like a museum, all sorts of original things from the mid 1800's.
|The Masons Lodge in Jacksonville|
We then did some shopping, great interesting shops, then lunch at "Bella Union Restaurant" which was one best lunches we have had in a long time. In fact I'm pretty sure the Tomato basil soup was the best soup I've ever had. It then started raining, we cut off the tour, couldn't see it all, but saw enough to know that this is a wonderful town.
|The Bella Union in Jacksonville for great food|
As it has been raining on and off, making hiking and outdoor activity not appealing, we went to another interesting town, Grants Pass on Wednesday. It has another lively artsy downtown with several restaurants, shops, cafes and bars. We again did lunch at a Tavern called the "Laughing Clam". It was a nice old rustic 1800's Tavern, very original and very cool. We have been doing a lot of eating lately, need to get back on the trail.
|Grants Pass mural|
|Brilliant Sun Flowers for the moment the sun was out|
|Grants Pass street sign as it started to rain|
|The Wonder Bur for cocktails in Grants Pass|
|The Odd Fellows Hall in Grants Pass|
|Private Detective sign|
|Grants Pass Stage mural|
|The Rogue Theater in Grants Pass|
|Tile mural in the sidewalk|
|Store window in Grants Pass|
|The Laughing Clam in Grants Pass|
Tomorrow we are on the road heading south back into California again to the "Pit River Casino RV Park" near Burney, California. It is a full service RV Park at the Casino. Hopefully the weather dries out, visiting Lassen Volcanic National Park is the plan.
Twinkles and Slick