September 30-October 3, 2009
Twenty Four riders left Eugene Wednesday, September 30 at 8 a.m. in light rain. Our excellent driver was Mo Laneham. We stopped at the Waterfront Park in Oakridge for refreshments. There was a covered area to protect us from rain.
Proceeding over the Willamette Pass, we were treated with snow covered trees about the 4,000 foot level. By Crescent Lake Junction, a ray of sunshine broke through the clouds. Soon the sky was clear as we traveled Hwy. 97 to Collier State Park where we had lunch. There was time to walk through the extensive display of logging equipment from very early years. The Park Ranger thanked us for our visit.
We traveled south through Klamath Falls, then southwest to Weed, California. Mt. Shasta was showing a thin blanket of snow. Traveling I-5 south, we stopped at Castle Craigs view point and resort. We walked by numerous railroad caboose cars which are rented to guests.
Driving south to Redding, we checked in for the night at LaQuinta Inn. Dinner was a choice of several restaurants within walking distance. Indeed, it was a delightful day.
Thursday morning started with a continental breakfast. Next, a drive to the Sundial Bridge. We walked across Turtle Bay over the bridge and through an extensive arboretum. Of special interest, was a large structure built of vines and supported in the center with a tree. Many openings were on the outside so children could run in and out. Back across the bridge to board the bus for the short drive west on Hwy. 299 to Shasta City.
We were now on a stage coach road. From this time on, we would travel stage coach roads and feature stage coach hotels as much as possible.
Shasta City was established before Redding. Most of the city is now in ruins, but the Court House still stands in good condition. It is the museum. We saw a film of the early year and notable people.
On to Whiskey Town Lake. History was shared about how whiskey was spilled into the creek to give it such a name. We enjoyed the beautiful view and the fine visitors center.
Continuing on near the end of the lake, we turned onto a side road which took us to French Gulch, another gold mining town in the old days. We had reservations for lunch at the stage coach hotel. The owner seated us in the saloon area because it was more quaint. It was a good experience and a fine lunch.
Back to Hwy. 299 where we soon were in one of the rugged areas of the Trinity Alps. Driving through scenic country, we eventually came to Lewiston Road, another stage coach road. We stopped at the original Etter (Ethel Allen) ranch home, where they lived during the 1920s. It is now a ranch for horses and mules. The owner gave us apple chunks to treat the animals. Then it was on to Lewiston, a town on the National Historic Register. The buildings in old town are exactly the same as in 1920. We enjoyed ice cream while waiting for the Country Peddler store to open. After shopping, we returned to the main road and on to Weaverville. The Victorian Inn was our hotel for the night. A wonderful Italian dinner was prepared for us at the Victorian Restaurant.
Friday — We picked up our sack lunches prepared by the Victorian Restaurant. Then we drove into the old town of Weaverville so every one could walk about this quaint town until time for the Joss House (Chinese Temple) to open. The Forest Ranger arrived at ten o’clock and gave us an interesting tour and narration of the elaborate interior. Chinese people still come from San Francisco to worship here.
We then traveled northeast on Hwy. 3. Our first destination was the Old Bowerman Barn on Guy Covington Road. This structure was remarkably constructed about 1870 by the two Bowerman brothers. Then on to Carrville Inn, where the owners had given us permission to eat our hearty lunches on their barbecue pad. It was a lovely place, and room for all of us to either sit at tables or on benches. The care taker, Jim Geisler, invited us into his spacious home. It was furnished with many African artifacts. He then ushered us to a separate building filled with dozens of African artifacts which are for sale. Jim is a very interesting man who served in the U.S. Navy. We also met his wonderful dog, Ralph. One year ago, Ralph was in a scrap with a cougar. As a result, he gets around on three legs.
We continued on the stage coach road to the road summit of Scott Mountain. A brief stop there to appreciate how oxen could pull sleds in deep snow over such a difficult road. Pacific Crest Trail crosses the road at that point.
Descending to beautiful Scott Valley, we stopped for ice cream at Scott Valley Pharmacy in Etna. The owner, Dan Murphy, has welcomed Obsidian bus riders into his ice cream parlor off and on during the last twelve years. Then it was on to Yreka, where we checked in at Baymont Inn. Later, we traveled by bus into town where we had a fine dinner at Grandma's Restaurant, another nice experience.
Saturday — First thing on the agenda was a tour of historic homes in Yreka. Next, we traveled north on Hwy. 99 to Klamath River where we turned into the “State of Jefferson” rest stop. There, we feasted on a variety of refreshments.
Back on I-5, north to Ashland, where our bus driver, Mo Laneham, knew the stage coach roads in the area. We drove by numerous pear orchards, beautiful country settings, through Jacksonville, and finally Gold Hill, where we were soon on I-5 near Grants Pass. Soon we drove into Wolf Creek to view the Stage Coach Hotel. The owners could not accommodate us this time, so we continued on to Quines Creek Road where Heaven on Earth Restaurant in located. There, we were treated like royalty. As soon as we were seated at tables, a beautiful plate of chicken salad was placed before us. Warm bread was served and warm apple crisp was dessert. A tag with numbers was beside each plate. There was a drawing and about six of our riders won gifts. What a party!
The last day was a perfect way to end our four day trip. The stage coach experience was great during the final three days. We were back into Oregon atmosphere as there were rain showers near Roseburg. We arrived in Eugene about 4 p.m., leaving the showers behind — sun was shining.
Riders were Ethel Allen (leader), Barbara Beard, Paul Beard, Paula Beard, Sharon Cutsforth, Leona Devine, Rose Mary Etter, Barbara Flanders, Dennis Flanders, Dora Harris, Mary Ann Holser, Amy Maxwell, Joyce Norman, Barbara Payne, Don Payne, Virginia Prouty, Julie Snell and Cristy White; and guests: Tom Holser, Fern Jacobson, Valerie Livering, Bonnie McKee, Judy Moomaw and Judy Phelps.