Monday, May 20, 2019

Views From The Road

The day after my twin brother drove back home, Roger and I hit the road and headed north to southern Oregon for his sibling reunion at his sister's. It's not a very long drive, only 185 miles, but almost all of it is on very winding two-lane mountain roads. It takes 4 1/2 hours to get there. The weather was still rainy and bleak.

Heading north on Highway 101 to Crescent City
One of my most favorite sights of the trip was seeing this stratovolcano, Mt McLoughlin. There is something about seeing a volcano that makes me get a sense of our ever-changing earth. This one hasn't erupted in 30,000 years, but that's a mere blip in time for our planet. Our human lifespans seem so very short.
Mt McLoughlin in the layers of gray
It was interesting contemplating our time on earth while gathering for a family reunion. It was a lovely time together for those few days.

Posing for me in Lithia Park, Ashland, Oregon
We are all the elders of our families now. Our bodies changing in the way they do, bending with age and challenges. Some things we could laugh about, others made me cry while we drove home.

Highway 199 is a challenging road. It bends, curves, winds, goes up and down mountains, all within two very close lanes. You can't look away for a moment. Roger did all the driving. When we got home I looked for photos of the highway. I found this one that pretty much captured what it looks like in Oregon. Once we get into California, it looks a bit like this but with towering redwoods hugging both sides. While googling around, I found that this highway is ranked 13th of the top 25 most dangerous highways to drive in the United States. Wow! The ranking is based on the number of fatalities per mile on each highway from the years 2011 to 2015, with Highway 199 coming in at an average of .575 deaths per mile. That’s a total of 46 fatalities in four years. Wow again! So yes, we both pay attention while we're on this road.

Klamath Bridge Golden Bear
Once we're on Highway 101 heading south, we breathe a sigh of relief. We get to drive along the ocean for miles and miles. We also cross the bridge over the Klamath River. There are golden bears on all four corners of the bridge. I love seeing them. It's a challenge trying to take photos from a car window while zooming by in the rain, but it's a great diversion. Timing is everything.


26 comments:

  1. I suppose we're just a very thin stratum on this mountain of humanity. It's hard though to see ones friends and relatives growing older while I'm still young and vigorous (I don't look in the mirror very often these days!)

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    1. John-- You made me laugh, and I appreciate that so much. Thank you.

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  2. What John said... I love that there's a bike lane even on that highway! Our mountain roads don't have room for them, and of course that doesn't stop bikers. So traffic is congealed whenever they are discovered, and passing them is risky business. The scenery, oh the scenery!

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    1. Barbara-- The bike lane is on the coast Highway 101. On Highway 199 there's nothing but steep mountains on one side and a drop to the river on the other. No bike riding there. It is beautiful, but yikes!

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  3. I really enjoyed your pictures today. We live close to many volcanoes, dormant for 10,000 years but not dead. We often visit the crater lakes and watch the gas bubbles coming to the surface, feeling slightly creeped out.

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    1. Sabine-- I love that there are volcanoes there. I wonder why I never knew that. There's a big place just east of where we were visiting called Crater Lake. Our planet is so beautiful!

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  4. Those highways may be dangerous but what a view you get. It's tough to get good photos when you're driving . Family reunions have some good and some bad but mostly good.

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    1. Red-- It's true about those views. It's quite a spectacular journey. I could do a whole photo album of crazy road pictures. LOL. Reunions are good, bad, happy and sad.

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  5. Rats, I am so sorry I missed your birthday but am glad you and your twin got to celebrate together. Ah to be 67 again. Have a wonderful year.
    Nice you got to spend time with Roger's family also. When did we become the elders? Sure happened quick.
    So glad you had a safe trip, considering the stats on that highway. Better to know when it is over.
    Thanks for stopping by while I was laid up. Meant a lot.

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    1. Patti-- Thank you for your birthday wishes. I so appreciate that. It was nice to spend time with Roger's family. We all live so far apart (Hawaii, Colorado, California and Oregon) so it doesn't happen often. You are a dearly loved blogging pal, Patti.

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  6. From following your route it appears you drove through Medford, shortly before reaching Ashland. Did you see my wife's daughter there?

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    1. Catalyst-- Yes, we drove through Medford. I think we did see your wife's daughter. We waved hello for you both!

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  7. I love 199 along the Smith River - know most of the turnouts and almost always stop to visit the Darlingtonia Trail. I know you will know where I mean as you must have driven the highway many times. But, yes, it is like being in some kind of Grand Prix race most of the way. I have so many memories made along that highway though -- and down the rivers like the Illinois. I took Don there to see many of my favourite places along 199 in 2006, It would be nice to return some day to sort of remind myself of some of those places once more.

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    1. bev-- It's a beautiful highway winding through a grand river forest. Back in 1974 my then-partner and I bought 10 acres of land just south of Cave Junction on the Illinois River. We built a cabin there. If you ever make it back to the states, I know our paths will cross in this neck of the woods.

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  8. wonderful road photos, Robin. Haven't gone up to Oregon that way, but I've thought a few times about driving up your way, hanging out, and then hitting the road for Grant's Pass where I have some friends. Maybe some day, but oy, that highway!! That whole getting old thing, yeah, that's just weird and sad and amazing and everything in between. Dad is 87, mom is now 84 and I wonder how long we've all got on this spinning orb.

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    1. Tara-- It's a very challenging drive. Not all of it, but a good part of it. If you do decide to make the journey, we'd love to see you and Steve. We're getting older all the time!

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  9. I love the bears! And the picture of the volcano is amazing. It DOES convey a sense of how ancient our world is. Hwy 199 looks like a beautiful road -- I wonder if people get distracted by the scenery and that contributes to the accidents?

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    1. Steve-- The bears are so beautiful. I've always wanted to photograph them, so I gave it my best shot. I think people do get distracted on the highway, by both the beauty and the ongoing twists and turns for miles and miles.

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  10. It is wonderful that the siblings get together. Everyone looks wonderful and happy to be there. What were the things that made you cry? Hugs.

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    1. 37paddington-- Things that made me cry: a brother-in-law whose life was utterly changed by a surgery; a sister-in-law who has an aggressive cancer; a feeling of being truly and lovingly accepted by all of them.

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  11. Lack of traffic is what I notice in your photos, something here we cannot see to get away from. Beautiful scenery you have

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    1. Billy-- Not many cars on the road there. It's a part of California and Oregon that doesn't see a lot of traffic. It is quite beautiful there.

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  12. Challenging and dangerous, maybe, but it sure looks like a beautiful drive. I'm glad you enjoyed the reunion. I find that reunions get more and more emotional for me as I get older. I enjoy them while they are happening, but they always leave me feeling slight torn apart when they're over.

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    1. Sharon-- It is a beautiful drive, although some of those bends and curves are literally breathtaking. This family reunion was definitely a bit of a heartbreaker. We're all getting older, and some of us are experiencing life changes that are challenging in every way.

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  13. Reminded me of our visit to Oregon last year and we also saw the Klamath River.

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    1. Beatrice-- Oregon is a beautiful state to explore!

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