Westcoastroundtrip #1: Chico – Olympic National Park

Here I am, home again. And after some time of adaptation I finally want to upload some pictures for the usual suspects. I decided to divide the trip into two parts instead of doing a day-entry for every day of our travels. Though we surely experienced enough adventures to be able to do so. I started traveling with my parents in our “small” 23 foot RV in Chico. We hadn’t really planned anything except that we wanted to make it up to Olympic National Park. For the whole trip we had 19 days. We also knew that we wanted to travel up on the eastern side of the cascades and down on the coast. Our first stop was Manzanita Lake in Lassen where we stayed two days. I think this was the longest we stayed anywhere. We found morels in the woods, though they didn’t smell as intense as the ones you find around Mainz.

Second stop was Burney Falls and the Lava Beds, where we did some minor caving. The Campground at Lava Beds is really nice. It’s quite, you have an excellent view on the stars at night and thanks to the little pits the campspots are in you are not too bothered by the wind. We then proceeded up to Crater Lake and admired how quickly the landscape was changing. We saw broad, agriculturally used valleys, burned and alive woods, herds of kettle and a ton of volcanic mountains with snow on top of them.

Unfortunatelly we took a wrong turn at Crater Lake and had to drive 2 hour detour to get to La Pine campground. This one was swarming with mosquitos, but the spot was nice and clean. From La Pine we traveled to Bend and the Crooked river. We stayed at a nice and cozy little campground with 8 spots and fished for trout. The license we had aquired at a local flyfishing shop in Bend. Much to my dismay the shopkeeper had typed in my place of birth for my first name, which is why the license said Bingen  instead of Uta. From that day on my mum called me “little Bingen”. I guess I have a new nickname. The next day my mum’s toothaches had gotten worse and we had to drive back to Bend to see a dentist. He confirmed our worst fears: She had an inflamation of the dental root and the only way to permanently treat it would take two weeks as well as a ton of money. So we decided to take the dentist’s advice and go with antibiotics for now. Soon the aches got better and we could preceede our journey along the Desschutes River, where my dad actually cought some trout. I was too afraid of the rattle snakes to even try. That’s the problem with not having wetpants. I tried later at a smaller campground though. It was a lot of fun even though I didn’t acutally catch anything, just got a few bites.

Before we made it to the olympic national park we had to stop at lake silvia, which was also swarming with mosquitos. We bought some wood there which we would regret all the rest of the vacation. That evening there should’ve been steaks. But the wood was still kinda wet, it smoked and spit but didn’t really burn. My dad got a little screaming tantrum because of this. Then he dropped one steak and the good mood was gone entirely. The steaks were good in taste though. The next day we finally arrived at Kalaloch Campground on the Olympic coast line. The campground is directly at the coast and from our spot we were able to see the ocean. It is amazing how many big logs are wash up on the coast and it was a ton of fun to climb them too.

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