Saturday, August 2, 2008

July 29 – First Casualty…

Yep, today Junior reported its first problem of the trip – the license plate vanished. Was it taken? Did it blow off on I-5? We’ll never know. We DO know that when we arrived this evening in Lava Beds, the plate had disappeared and left behind only an exposed rectangle of gelcoat. Apparently the previous owner hadn’t bothered to remove the plate when he painted the trailer.
Got off a little later than we expected today, particularly since we forgot the peaches at Evie’s! Had to turn back for those! (We were only a few blocks away having just fueled up at $4.28 – imagine my disappointment when we found fuel $4.05-$4.09 in the next town, a blip on a map but with cheaper gas!)

Had a nice picnic lunch break at Grass Lake off Highway 97. The map showed a waterway here. Uh…no. The water from the ENTIRE LAKE was drained after an accidental dynamite explosion when the bottom of the lake was compromised and a lava tube of unknown depth was exposed. Today, that “glory hole” keeps this retention basin from overflowing on the nearby highway. V particularly enjoyed playing with a cat that another family had brought on its travels. The leashed kitty, Milo, seemed quite comfortable at the picnic area, though rather intent on those cattle over the fence.

Discovered that the GPSr which I’d set up for this trip wouldn’t work because it only allowed 50 waypoints. Clearly, there are more than 50 points of interest along our stop. So…unless I break down the trip by day, we’re not using the GPSr! (I tried to set it up by day initially, but Garmin’s MapSource isn’t exactly user friendly, and Streets & Trips doesn’t translate – too bad the software companies can’t cooperate.) I did, however, discover that the new GPSr (Garmin 60csx) that Mr. B so kindly purchased for me as a gift last Christmas WILL map a route if you just give it the name of your next stop. It doesn’t recognize a lot of the minor highways we’d like to travel, but it does work for major highways and interstates. The girls like the feature that gives you up-to-the-minute estimated times of arrival. Now, our car sounds like this:

“How much longer, Mom?”

Me reaching for GPSr that’s at my side and glancing down, “38 minutes if we continue at this speed.”

This discovery reared its head as I headed north on Highway 97 headed for Klamath Falls, from which I planned to turn southeast toward Lava Beds. However, at the OR/CA state line, I spotted a sign directing us to follow Highway 161 “Stateline Highway” directly east to Lava Beds. The GPSr maps wouldn’t be rerouted that way, so I set it aside and let it beep to itself to oblivion while we cut ½ hour off our drive time by following road signs rather than electronic doohickeys. Referred back to paper maps once at camp and THERE was the route. Someday, electronic mapping may take over, but for now, paper is king.

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