This is the second time we have been to Oregon in the last 8 months, who’d a thunk? Not us, but circumstances were such that we had to take our big road trip back to Washington state and travel back down through Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada to Arizona. This time though, unlike the torrential rains we had in November, we had plenty of sunshine.
We took this opportunity to do the waterfalls around Hood River, and Klamath Falls. That’s one thing about the Washington / Oregon area… they do have an abundance of waterfalls, something we don’t see too much in AZ, particularly of this size.
Highway 138 between Roseburg and Diamond Lake is actually called the Highway of Waterfalls, with nearly 2 dozen falls along the North Umpqua River in this short stretch of road.
In Oregon, they come in all different shapes, sizes and types. They call them Thundering Waters and class them as Cascade, Segmented, Tiered, Horsetail, Punchbowl, Plunge, Block or Fan.
I’m not sure how many we saw, but we did quite a few, and each cool in its own right.
After all the scenic overviews we had along the Oregon coast, we were a bit surprised by the lack of ocean views along the Northern California Coast. Granted California has a lot of beach and ocean views… but I’m not talking about San Diego, Mission Beach, or Redondo Beach. I’m talking about the section from Crescent City, CA to just north of San Francisco.
This area tucks inland and goes through some very pretty red wood country. There are a number of ‘alternate routes’ like the Humboldt State Park that are certainly worth doing to get the full exposure to the redwoods… not just highway driving, which is what most of this drive feels like. While there are small towns in between, they seem to be working towns, run down and dilapidated. They aren’t the popular tourist towns bustling with people and shops like Sausalito.
There are the occasional signs that says ‘Coastal Access’ … turn here. If you drive down the long dirt road (and back) it’ll take an hour with no premonition of the view until you get there. Once you do, it yield beach access to the ocean and beach, but no great views, no jutting rocks.
The best ocean views along this stretch is between Jenner and Bodega Bay… with the added advantage that you can tuck into the quaint charming winery towns from Jenner. You can visit Duncan Mills, Guerneville, Sonoma, many more.
We are always on the lookout for a nice place to relax and have lunch. It makes for a great little outing in a tranquil, peaceful environment. It keeps us sane and stress free from life’s stress inhibitors. So when a Firefighter friend mentioned this cascading stream just outside of Payson, only an hour or so from the house.. we were all in.
Wagon Wheel park is unmarked, and uncrowded, yet right in the city. The turn off is actually directly across the street from the Home Depot. As you wind through a residential looking road you wind up with parking areas on either side allowing one the opportunity to walk the creek and settle in for a picnic.
Even the dog had fun playing in the water as she chased a stick and wore herself out.
It was great fun, relaxing, and a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.
So what do you do with the wine bottle after you drink it? I know, I know… make glasses! Not what you were thinking? Well, that’s what we do with them. It’s an insane project I must admit.
First, you have to drink the wine.
Then, you have to wash the bottle and score the wine bottle with a hand glass cutter. We like using wine bottles that have some fun painted-on labels these days… rather than having to take off the paper labels.
Next (we have to figure out a better process someday), we use a candle and heat around the glass score mark the circumference of the bottle for several minutes… then run to the closest cold water spigot and chill it down…. keeping your fingers crossed and your breath held hoping it breaks perfectly when you gently tap it on the corner of the sink.
Finally, you sand sand sand to get the edge nice and clean. Being careful to not overdue it, as if the glass gets too hot it will break in your hands.
It’s a long tedious process for every single glass. We often wonder why we continue to do them… but them make great gifts that our friends seem to enjoy. I wonder if they realize how much work goes into every glass?
In the end, you have a cool wine bottle glass that tells it’s own story with individuality and uniqueness…. and you got to enjoy the wine.
I love the reflections water can make. It’s a photographers draw to capture it’s beauty and challenges. We just got back from Fossil Creek and loved all the fallen leaves and reflections. Check out my fall waterfall pix on kritterspix.com