A Travellerspoint blog

Across Oregon into California

Driving hard, for me anyway

overcast 75 °F

Again, mostly just driving today, but I want to stay in the habit of posting to the blog frequently, so will post what I have anyway. Besides, I've driven this route several times before and don't think I've ever blogged about it. Might be a fun little story to print out for when I can't just take off any more (like when gas hits $10/gal?)

I had to drive pretty hard to make up time for leaving Shelton so late – not hard by most people’s standards, but harder than I’d wanted to drive. Before we left the parking lot, I had to walk the dog (of course), couldn’t help but admire the blossoms. (Caution: If you haven't noticed by now, I like to take a lot of pictures of silly stuff like flowers, mountains, tree's, grass, ...)


Then the reality check sets in... (or as Paul Harvey would say, here’s the rest of the story…)


Actually, I'm doing a bit better than expected. My first tank up (this one), I still got 8.7 mpg even though I had some in town driving up in Renton/Shelton. The next tank, with only freeway driving from Wilsonville, OR to Corning, CA - 432 miles - I got 9.7 mpg and that's towing a car and driving over the Siskiyou's. Since I estimated 8 mpg when deciding to buy the RV, 8.7 or 9.7 is a good thing! I guess it's because it's a bit overpowered for it's size (Chev 454 engine on a 27' Class A).

Pretty easy driving most of the day at least, the northern half of Oregon is relatively flat on I5, so not much of a problem no matter what you drive. There wasn’t much wildlife to see other than the feathered kind. There were lots of red-winged blackbirds and buzzards today. This part of Oregon also seems to have a lot of sheep ranches. There were some sheep near the fence at one of the rest stops but they took off as soon as they saw me (or Grizzly, I'm not sure which one of use scared them more). Fortunately I have a really long telephoto lens (20x optical zoom with image stabilization).


There are also a lot of turf farms, berry stands, and bulb farms in this area. I noticed a lot of daffodils blooming along the freeway medium, so snapped a shot at the rest area (maybe I'm missing the Mt. Vernon daffodils & tulips a bit).


I also thought the hills were quite pretty with the spring grass, evergreens and oaks still covered in light grey moss/lichen. I tried to take a picture while driving, but as you can see it didn’t come out very good.


Then there are a BUNCH of passes through the Siskiyou mountains. This rig has much more power than my old one and didn’t have as much trouble getting over the mountains. Of course I had to slow down, but not below 40. Heading down into the Medford area a snow covered peak suddenly appears. I guess a lot of people are surprised by it so there’s a sign designating this as Mt Loughlin. At 9,495’ tall, it’s fairly impressive but not as well known as other volcanic peaks along I5 (Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood, Mt. Shasta, etc.). It has a very nice cone shape however.


Lake Shasta was quite full and lovely in the late afternoon light, but my shots didn’t come out very good (trying to steer around the curves while holding a camera is NOT a good combination, so the camera was quickly put down. Maybe on the trip back my other co-pilot (Mom) can give it a try, Grizzly just refuses to take pictures for me.) Then of course the big peak along I5 in Northern CA is Mt. Shasta. It was a little too overcast to get a great shot, but I wanted this view since it's from I5 southbound (from the rest area in Weed actually). Most of my pic’s of Mt. Shasta are from the south side while I’m heading north on I5 so this adds another view to my 'collection' (or whatever it's called. Don't we all have just a few too many digital pic's than we need already?)


And of course, Shasta has a little peak RIGHT by I5, Black Butte. I don't know why I'm so fascinated by this stupid pile of rocks, perhaps someday I should just climb it (may not be the safest thing to do.)


I decided to spend the night in Corning, about 25 miles south of Redding. I probably could have squeezed a few more miles out tonight but am tired enough that I decided not to push it further. I probably won’t go all the way to LA tomorrow, but will get close enough that I can finish up Friday morning.

Total Miles Today: 457
Weather: Mostly overcast, some fog & light misty drizzle, sun
Total Gas Purchased: 79.9 gallons (but the tank is full, so I'm good for another 450 miles, give or take).

ps - hate to mess up a nice blog with some truth serum, but the problems Camping World had setting up the tow package have come home to roost. Trying to keep a long story short, the car does not charge while it's being towed, even though I have to leave the key in the assessory position while towing. I added a small 1.8W solar charger, but even so - the battery was dead when I stopped at the rest area with the sheep & daffodils. I unhooked the car and moved the RV to the next spot over, then pushed the car so the hood was close to the RV door - then jump started it using the living unit battery. Ugh, looks like I'll have to start the car up and just let it run 10-15 minutes whenever I stop to walk the dog or ??? When I get back home (or sooner if I get fed up enough), will go jump up and down on Camping World's service counter and let them know this is NOT OK. I know why they did it, but there are other solutions.

pps - the backup camera is still not working. I did reconnect the camera this morning before leaving Wilsonville, but I think the problem is the licence plate light just isn't lit unless the headlights are on. Picked up 25' of wire at Love's tonight (where I parked in Corning) and will run the wires directly to the fusebox where I'm sure there will be juice. Should have just connected it that way in the first place. What would a trip be without a few challenges? The good news is so far, I'm not having too much difficulty changing lanes, etc. (although it could get a little scary in heavy traffic).

Posted by jl98584 21:53 Archived in USA Tagged oregon through i5

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