Thursday, June 30, 2022

Road Trip, Part 2

 We left for Diamond Lake on Saturday morning. More curvy driving. One thing we noticed were all the green trees. In our area, trees are either decimated by bark beetles or forest fires. This was a nice change.

The family gathering at Diamond Lake included some of Mark's first cousins and extended family/friends. We always call this family the ABDC family, as the first born was Adele (we celebrated her 85th birthday at Diamond Lake), then Betty (also in attendance). Then there was a boy, Dan, and another girl, Connie. At this point they realized they were kind of following the alphabet in naming their children, with that one minor exception. So then came Edith, Florence, Gladys, Howard, Ione (she was at Diamond Lake), Julia and Ken. 

The first time we attended a family gathering at Diamond Lake was in 1997, the summer after Aaron's freshman year in college, so it's been a while. We stayed in a little studio, and a lot of the rest stayed across the road in a really gorgeous cabin that accommodated 20, which was good because there were lots of mouths to feed, and it had a gourmet kitchen and lots of seating, both inside and on the decks.

We celebrated milestone birthdays and anniversaries, along with anything else needing some kind of acknowledgement.

The lake and Mt. Thielsen were as beautiful as we remembered. 

We enjoyed campfires both nights.
The group:
Back row: Mike, Karla, Kristie, Betty, Mert, Brian, Andrea, Adele, Doug, me, Mark, Fares
Middle row: Kelly, Michele, Alyssa, Debbi, Ione
Front row: Jen, Adam, Emily, Aubrey, Kole, Issac

We loved getting to know Adam and Jen better over the weekend. 
I feel like this is the "real" Jen and Adam.
The one drawback to being at Diamond Lake is that we had no cell phone reception. It's definitely okay to be in a place of beauty and not be able to scroll through Instagram or Facebook. However, to not be able to call out or receive calls or texts is a little disconcerting in this day and age. We did hear of people getting three bars out in the middle of the lake, but renting a boat for that purpose seemed a little extreme. Brian, one of the relatives, told us of a spot where we should be able to get some reception. It was only a couple of miles by car. Aaron and Christa and the kids were supposedly in Washington, DC, to stay with my brother but we hadn't been able to get in touch. We found the area of reception and we were able to Facetime with them for a bit. Whew, it felt good to have contact again, even for a short period of time. Fortunately upon leaving Diamond Lake and getting to the highway, we were able to regain access to Google maps. Otherwise, things would have looked like this:

On Monday morning, we left for Crater Lake, about 40 miles away. There was still a lot of unmelted snow.

We stayed at the Crater Lake Lodge, a lovely old lodge.
They are reroofing this summer, and the workers are there from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. but we were not in our room during that time so it was not a problem.

Mark had booked a room with a view of the lake (if you stood by the window to look out).

This time we did not have to worry about a slanted floor. We had to worry about the slanted ceiling. 
They served some nice snacks in the lobby, definitely not free but still very good.
We spent a couple of hours reading in this little nook on the third floor with a view of the lake.
The lake was absolutely gorgeous. It is 1,943 feet deep, the deepest lake in the United States and the deepest volcanic lake in the world.

The second morning we were there, the lake was smooth as glass, and the reflections were amazing. 

We reluctantly left this beautiful area, spent our last night in Corning, California, and made it home on the 30th of June. 

And that means the first half of 2022 is over. Wow, that went by quickly.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Road Trip, Part 1

 On June 21, Mark and I embarked on a road trip, headed toward Diamond Lake, Oregon, for a family gathering. 

In all the years we have lived in California, we had always wanted to go to Mendocino, and this was our chance. 

We spent the first night in Bodega Bay.

The thing we will remember the most about our room was how slanted the floor was, and the step down into the bathroom, both of which we needed to remember if we got up in the middle of the night.

We had a really good fish dinner at a nearby restaurant.
The next day we headed up to Mendocino on Highway 1, along the coast. We were surprised that much of it took us further inland than we had expected, but still many, many curves.

We stopped at the California Coastal National Monument.

We had reservations at a truly beautiful bed and breakfast, the Agate Cove Inn. Our room was large and very comfortable. 

The flowers on the grounds were breathtaking--things grow so much easier when it's not scorching hot, like Fresno.

We went into nearby Ft. Bragg for another seafood dinner.

After dinner, we sat outside at the Inn for awhile and enjoyed the view.

Our stay there included a gourmet breakfast in a lovely room with a view. But it's a good thing we enjoyed the sunny view the day before because on Thursday it was overcast.

We headed over to Glass Beach, a beach adjacent to MacKerricher State Park near Fort Bragg, which used to have a lot of sea glass created from years of dumping garbage into an area of the coastline. Over the years of people picking through the sea glass and taking all the large pieces, most of what remains are just small pieces among the rocks.

But it was enjoyable to sit and watch the waves, one of our favorite things to do.

Later in the afternoon, we wandered around the town of Mendocino. Even though it is known as an artist enclave, we didn't really go in any of the shops. Someone had recommended an Italian restaurant, Luna's, and we had a lovely dinner in a garden-like setting.

After dinner, we took a stroll along the coast. The first photo shows the town of Mendocino in the background.

The next morning, we again had a lovely view from the breakfast room. 

 We checked out at the last possible moment and headed to Crescent City. In Ft. Bragg, we noticed this sign outside a dispensary. I always enjoy a clever business name. :)

Along the way, we had lunch at a beautiful rest stop and were able to take a short stroll through the trees.

In Crescent City, we again opted for a good seafood dinner.
A nearby lighthouse, inaccessible because of high tide.
Fishing boats close to our motel.

The next day we left for Diamond Lake.