The Bluebell

April Doornbos By April Doornbos , 8th Apr 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>Oregon

The journey from LA to Oreogon and the unexpected arrival of this US Coast Guard ship docking a few feet away from where I was parked along the river

Exiting California

I felt the urge to abandon southern California even earlier this spring than the previous spring and departed March 22, almost a full month earlier that last spring, of course I knew the weather wasn't really warm up there yet but after the vandalism that destroyed and totaled my VW Passat GLX, a car I never could have afforded new since I have two other VW's purchased new but the Passat was way out of my budget but used it was a bargain at just 5000$ in mint condition, I took good care of it and only drove it a few months a year after buying my second motor home. The damage happened in stages each growing bolder until some substance was put in my gas tank eventually rendering my pretty car useless, with the engine now seized I finally called my insurance company to drop the coverage and salvage some of the money I just paid renewing my policy only to be informed the I might be covered under the comprehension for vandalism and so I filled out the endless proof of loss forms, got the notarized and faxed to the insurance company and awaited the eventually long drawn-out investigate that followed.

Along the Highway

No damn rain for months the day I left it started raining dribs and drabs that turned into thunderstorms and deluges but no worries because along with the down poor I was stuck down with a stomach virus that keep me busy on both ends, disgusting as well as draining both physically and mentally luckily I was not far from Redding and the onslaught of the mountains from hell now finally covered with a fluffy blanket fresh snow, it is April folks now snow now and in fact there was no snow on Mount Shasta all winter, no skiing, no nothing but here it was now.
I can't tell you how refreshing the crisp, moist cold air felt, I found a place to sleep in a little hovel of a town if you want to call it that but it was so beautiful and once parked and on foot I could see just how much new snow had fallen but it didn't really feel that cold and so I went to sleep, by morning though it was quite cold and had rained again and at higher elevations added to the fresh pack that was there from the previous day, when I emerged from under the covers cat in tow, he was under those covers too only to be greeted by this spectacular sight in those mountains, I tried to take pictures but my batteries weren't working to my dismay, there goes that Kodak moment. Siskiyou, took several tries to pronounce that, you won't forget it though because the summit of Mount Siskiyou is the highest point on the interstate I-5 that goes on for well over a thousand miles and several western states in north America and along this ever higher obstacle even more snow, I hate snow, it creeps me out but finally I started to descend pass several runaway truck ramps, I'd hate to ever have to use one of those and more orchards and of course rolling pastures filled with an assortment of livestock ranging from cows who have recently calved and horses, goats, sheep and even llamas.

The Rogue River

This is the first of many rest areas you hit after crossing the California, Oregon board and it is right on the Rogue River made famous by an old movie starring Marilyn Monroe or Kirk Douglas, can't remember but I never forgot the name. I continued up the I-5 through Oregon heading north and into a cooler area for the approaching summer to avoid all that dreaded heat in California that goes on forever. This is one of my favorite areas on my way to the Columbia river to attempt catching fish again that is fun and always surprising.

Returning to the Cascade Locks

After weeks of sporadic rain traveling well over a thousand miles I finally reached the scenic Cascade Locks and stopped at the boat launch there for a couple of days, shortly after my arrival that afternoon a large and surprising coast guard ship backed into the channel where I was parked in my motorhome and began docking there. The mission of this river boat was to repair or replace damaged buoys that are in place to guide the numerous barges that travel back and forth up the Columbia, I was lucky to enjoy two beautiful days in this usually rainy area along this area on the Columbia, it reminds me of upstate New York and the Catskill mountains that lead into the Adirondacks on the way to Saratoga Springs and the oldest race track in America.

Docking the Bluebell

The Coast Guard vessel entered the channel in reverse, probable because there is a low bridge preventing the ship to pass through the entire length of this narrow channel where local fishermen catch the highly prized Steelhead and Chinook salmon that have a spring and fall run. On the deck is an orange replacement buoy and several large revolving lights that are mounted on top for dark nights to guide and keep the barges on a correct course. Also a small dingy that can deploy several of the crew to execute these procedures. I watched this whole thing as it unfolded before me while I enjoys the rare sunshine and breathtaking scenery that was all around me. Finally their mission was completed and they departed the way they came and quietly slipped away in the morning sunshine and floated away.


Casacade Locks, Coastguard, Columbia River

Meet the author

author avatar April Doornbos
In my younger days I exercised famous racehorses until I injured my spine since then I have traveled to Europe many times and all over the Unite States.

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