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Old 9th January 2012, 08:49   #1
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Default Travelogue: Trip to Shastas and Crater Lake

New Year Trip to NorthCalifornia and Oregan

Members: ROYs in Sonata turbo, MISHRAs in Civic

Route: WalnutCreek (Bay Area) – Vacaville – Williams – Corning – Red Bluff – Shasta Lake – Mt. Shasta – Klamath Falls

It has been sometime that I wrote a travelogue. I blame that partly to my work pressure and partly to my laziness. But this time I can’t miss out the travelogue on this wonderful trip. So here you go..

After some busy months earlier, A long drive was long due and I decided make use of the New year long weekend. Where to go? This Q made me think much longer than I otherwise do, moreso because of all kinds of options available from Bay Area. Drive Northwards from Bay Area will give you option for cold and snowy weather and southwards much warmers and pleasant climate. A week earlier mishra dada and family visits our house from Sacramento for my daughter’s birthday and we finally zero in on the Northward Bay Area. It eventually became a unanominous decision as all of us wanted some snow and extreme climate compared to the pleasant ones. We decided to cover Mount Shasta at North California and Crater lake at Oregan.

After some initial research, I decided to stay at Klamath Falls and hence booked a fully furnished house at Running Y Ranch resort at Klamath Falls. A day earlier I head towards Costco and load the car boot with water and food (chips, crossiants, bread, butter, eggs, curd, milk, juices, fruits, potato, onions etc etc). Dada picked up the desi stuffs from indian store. Also filled the car with Premium 91-octane from Costco. The car have been doing mostly in Bay Area and Sacramento drives and I was raring to take it out for a spin in the mountains and hills.

Day1: Dec 31, 2011 (Saturday):

Alarm rings at 5AM. Wife wakes up to prepare some puris for breakfast and I wake up at 6AM, take bath and start loading the boot. The boot was completely full. We synced up with dada on the start times so that we can meet at I-5. Sacramento is further up north so he can start 15-20min after me. Although planned at 8AM but finally the engine starts at 8:15AM with ODO reading 4915 miles.

It was a wonderful start out from bay Area. It was absolutely perfect weather for a drive. Soon we hit I-680 and starts to zoom out. Reached I-80E in no time and on to I-505.

Turbo-ed at I-505:
I-505 is the 33miles Sacramento bypass highway and was almost empty with very few traffic and all were doing high speeds. I was at 85mph when a lady driving an SUV zoomed in from behind and started going parallel to me in the adjacent lane. She glared at me as if asking me that I will pass you in no time. I just tapped my accelerator and in couple of seconds the car reached 110mph and the SUV was out of site from the rear view. No turbo-lag and smooth hissing turbo-sound made my day. My family didn’t even realize that the car is hitting 170-180kmph speeds. Well I had to control my temptation coz you never know when a cop pulls you over. With the US economy going south, the California cops flock the interstates more often for speedo ticket than ever.

In no time we hit I-5 and met up with dada’s car which was driven by bhabhiji at a steady speed of 70mph.

Interstate Invasion: I got my first scare in US freeway. I was doing 90mph (~140 kmph) when a huge duck decides to cross the freeway. With full honk, it didn’t budge or run but just took a stroll across the freeway. Car speed almost instantly came down to 30mph and duck got saved. Wonder whether duck listened to honks or not.

As per plan we decided to have a meal break before Shasta Lake so stopped at the Rest Area just after RedBluff. It was a bit chilly outside but wonderful sunshine made it a very pleasant one. We brunched on Puri, chana-masala, eggs, crossiants and haluwa with the other toppings of salad, achar etc. it was like a mini picnic out there.

Mini Picnic @Rest Area
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Loaded Boot
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With tummies full, everyone got charged up for the trip further. We start at around 11:30AM from Rest Area where Shasta Lake exist was just a 30mile drive. After the exit the straight road takes you to the mountain and onto the Shasta Lake view point and then to Shasta Dam.

We parked at the Shasta Dam and took a stroll on the dam. The dam was very tall and is constructed like an arch on the sacramento river. The reservoir on the upstream that the dam creates is called the Shasta Lake. The dam was also used in hydro-power generation. It is covered on all sides by mountain and you can also see the snow covered Mount Shasta at a distance. The place a photographers paradise. You can capture the dam, lake and mountain in a single frame. There are picnic areas around the dam so we can plan a day picnic here in future.

Some pics near Dam
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Mt Shasta from Dam
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DownStream
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After spending an hour there and some more time at the view point to capture all three shastas (dam, lake, mountain) in the same frame we headed out to our halting destination which was about 2.5 hours away.

All Shastas in a frame
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Our Rides
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Me and my ride
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Our Group
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We had to drive further north on I-5 for about 60miles and take a diversion to US-97 which is a 2 laned undivided road. Those 60miles of I-5 where very picturesque through the mountains. We were playing hide-seek with the Shasta Lake and also could view Mount Shasta from all angles. Just before taking the diversion at Weed we stopped for a fuel break just at the foothills of Mount Shasta. The snow covered mount Shasta was an awesome sight.

Mt Shasta as seen from a view point @I-5
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As seen from our Fuel Stop
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Beautiful US97: At Weed, we left I-5 and hit the beautiful US-97. After a long long time I am driving on a undivided highway and was enjoying the oncoming traffic. There was significant truck traffic on the road so I had to do lots of overtaking. I was relishing the overtaking as it reminded me to the beautiful NH48 and NH63. Plus the turbo was amazing in that, a slight tap in the gas and it just zoomed like jet. We did a couple of pit stops for some nice view points and somewhere in between also left California and entered Oregan. Then we drove the next 50miles to Klamath Falls. The temperatures were dropping to negative and road was snow-ploughed a day back we decided to reach the resort by daylight (by 4:30PM).

As seen from a viewpoint on US97
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Resort –
We reached the beautiful Running Y Ranch Resort and checked in by 4:45PM. We were given a fully furnished 2 bedroom house with 2 indoor parking. Good to see that the cars will not be left open outside to freeze. Also we can access the cars from inside the house and don’t need to come out of the house in cold.

New Year 2012: Soon we settled down in the house. The ladies packed up stuffs from the car into the freeze. Soon the marinated chicken which we were carrying went into the oven and its time to toast. Me and dada spent the new year's eve chitchatting on the toast and tandoori chicken. Also called up our friend bhoka da in Singapore for a happy new year. Also discovered that my ipad does have the capability of voice and camera chat through facetime.

Happy New Year 2012
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Wife testing the new SB-900 flash
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At the stroke of midnight, we sat for dinner. After a long day, the sumptuous dinner of hot rice, dal, and egg curry was a wonder to start the New Year. Thanks to the ladies it was a good start of the New Year. By 1AM we hit the bed after a long and exciting day. The temp outside was close to -10 deg C.

Day2: Jan 1, 2012 (Sunday):

Trip to Crater Lake

We wake up at about 7AM. After a nice tea, we decided to go to Crater Lake as the weather forecast was excellent – sunshine and no snow storms. Since there was a heavy snow storm three days earlier we can expect lots and lots of snow there. We decided to have a filling brunch so that we don’t need to carry food and we can do just with the chips and juices. We brunched on paratha, sabji and bread-butter and left the house at around 11AM.

Resort in the morning
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Crater Lake is about 60miles from the resort. The drive was a picturesque one through the state hwy 140 and adjacent to the Klamath lake. The road of the climb to the top of the lake was covered with snow. We reached the top from the west rim. Being icy, The parking was a bit risky. Carefully we walked to reach the softer part of the snow. The view of the crater lake from there was breathtaking. No words can that feeling. It was speechless. I have never seen a lake so blue in colour. It looks as if it was painted blue.

Crater Lake
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After some initial photo sessions, packed the camera back and started playing with snow balls. It was amazing and kids loved it as well. After about 3:30PM when it was getting colder and windy we decided to head back.

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Paddle shifters: I bought the car for three months now but always had the impression that the manual paddle shifters which Hyundai has provided in the steerling are just a fancy stuff and would never be in my use. But soon I have to change my mind. The initial steep downhill was now covered with ice (although ploughed but still it had traces of ice). In the very first curve I realized it will be too risky to use brakes and I have to use manual gears. I shifted to manual mode and this is where the paddle shifters came very handy and comfortable. It was just like playing a video game with a joystick. The upshift and downshift was phenomenal and the engine braking ensured that my foot was out of the brake. The came down the hill without pressing the brake. The engine braking at the first and second gears were enough to bring the car downhill.

I could see the Civic infront struggling to stay inline with the braking. I couldn’t even call Mishra dada about using the manual gears as the phone signals were out as well. I could only tell him the trick of using the manual usage on Automatic cars when we reached home.

Turbo-ed again: After crossing the snow zones we came across a straight stretch surrounded by just fields and only two of our cars in sight. I decided to press the gas again. The initial torque was breathtaking and amazingly smooth. The car touched 105mph in a blink of an eye. The civic in the rear mirror was out of sight. Another small press and at 112mph (~180kmph), I left the pedal. The car was asking for more but I decided against. Later dada told he felt like a jet taking off in a whisker. Wish I was in india with this car and no fear of cop – the NH7s and NH5s would have told different story !!

Anyway after a nice trip to crater lake we were back to resort by 6pm. Me and dada played dumb C with the ladies which obviously we won. In between the ladies cooked a sumptuous dinner again of rice, dal, alu-gobi and chicken tandoori. Had a filling dinner and went to sleep by midnight.

Day3: Jul 4, 2010 (Sunday): We wake up at our regular time of 7AM and start packing our stuffs. Had a filling breakfast of French toast and packed up the remaining for the road. The ladies cleaned up the kitchen and we guys load the stuffs in the car. By noon, we bid good bye to the resort at Klamath falls and head towards US97. It was pretty windy that day and I could feel the occasional jerk in the steering.

Dust storm: Just as we cross the border of California-Oregan, there was a warning on the highway notice board of dust storm and low visibility. I thought I have seen a lot of dust winds and in this sunny weather it shouldn’t be a problem. But ohh boy, I was so wrong. I have never seen such a high speed storm in my life. It was like a tornado which we see in TV. I felt the gusty winds hitting my windshield and visibility came down to just a metre or two. I could barely see the Civic in front. Moreover I felt that the civic may fly and sit on my car. It felt like a dust loaded jet gun is pointing me on the road. Luckily there was no oncoming traffic that time (later we realized that the cop had blocked the oncoming traffic on the other side). In the first hit, my wife was so scared that she started shouting to stop the car – I simply told if we stop we are gone. Let me keep driving slowly. Even if we topple, seat belts should save us. Soon It subsided a little and came heavily again. This time my wife was more comfortable and took some snaps of this nature’s fury and left the fate to god. Anyway we came out of the fury only see a cop car blocking the incoming traffic and all the guys are looking at our two cars as if we are coming out of some fierce tornado unhurt. Both the cars were covered with dust. My black beauty looked totally powdered. One thing I like about these cops, they came in out of nowhere and ready in action to cope with the condition. Looks like they are always planned.

Dust Storm
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Car just out of the dust storm
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The remaining journey was uneventful. We took a fuel break at I-5, same place as we did while coming and a stop in the rest area to finish off the food we were carrying. We did a final see off to dada and his family headed straight to home. I-5 and I-80 was crowded but our speed didn’t. We could consistently do 80+mph and reach home by 7PM. End of a wonderful journey and memorable one too.

Special thanks to my wife and bhabhiji to prepare those tasty delicacies that we never felt we were out of home when it came to food.

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Some Stats of the drive:
• Total run on the 3 days were 833.1miles (~ 1333 km)
• Total FE was about 34mpg. FE for the return journey higher. At one point during the downhill drive on I-5 the onboard computer displayed an avg FE of 42.4mpg which for me was unbelievable for a 274 bhp beast.
• Being always a Michelin man, I am now loving the Korean Hankooks. The 225/45R18s alongwith the sporty suspension works amazing in handling the high speed curves.
• Never thought paddle shifters in steering will be so comfortable in the downhill drive.
• People visiting/staying in Bay Area must plan this trip alongwith Lassen Volcanic Park (I plan to do that sometime)

Signing off
Abhijit Kumar Roy
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Old 9th January 2012, 10:23   #2
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Default Re: Travelogue: Trip to Shastas and Crater Lake

Hello Abhijit,

thanks for the travelogue. I enjoyed it.

I'm new to Bay Area and planning to do many trips for the year. This place will be one of my destination.

For New Year I drove to Monterey and 17-Mile Drive. I don't know how far it is from your place.

Thanks,
Jose.
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Old 9th January 2012, 10:27   #3
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Default Re: Travelogue: Trip to Shastas and Crater Lake

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Originally Posted by josejoseph View Post
Hello Abhijit,

thanks for the travelogue. I enjoyed it.

I'm new to Bay Area and planning to do many trips for the year. This place will be one of my destination.

For New Year I drove to Monterey and 17-Mile Drive. I don't know how far it is from your place.

Thanks,
Jose.
Jose, ya pls plan for this trip. you will enjoy it a lot. which part of Bay Area are you put up?

I have done Monteray and 17miles in last summer. did it in a days trip.

Abhi
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Old 9th January 2012, 10:31   #4
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Jose, ya pls plan for this trip. you will enjoy it a lot. which part of Bay Area are you put up?

I have done Monteray and 17miles in last summer. did it in a days trip.

Abhi
Hey Abhijit, I'm in San Jose.

I too did Monterey and 17-Mils in one day. Good place. Let me see if I have the patience to write a travelogue .

Thanks,
Jose.
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Old 9th January 2012, 11:14   #5
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Default Re: Travelogue: Trip to Shastas and Crater Lake

abhi it's been long and yeah nice to see you back here with a travelogue. I still miss reading those epic travelogues you would write and one worth mentioning was the one to Kolkata in your Alto.

You seem to have settled down in the land of milk and honey or like we call it the land of opportunities ? Never the less the photos have come out really well.
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Old 9th January 2012, 11:50   #6
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Originally Posted by rjstyles69
abhi it's been long and yeah nice to see you back here with a travelogue. I still miss reading those epic travelogues you would write and one worth mentioning was the one to Kolkata in your Alto.

You seem to have settled down in the land of milk and honey or like we call it the land of opportunities ? Never the less the photos have come out really well.
Thanks Riju , how are you doing? it was indeed a while that I wrote one. Hence spent this weekend in writing and posting this travelogue. I too miss those India drives and my alto which is already sold.
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Old 9th January 2012, 13:19   #7
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Arrow Re: Travelogue: Trip to Shastas and Crater Lake

Hai Abi,

That's cute little Tlog from you after a long time though it's more like a paragraph compared to your earlier ones Lovely photos, the sky is so blue, is this the natural colour or is it the camera setting?

Loved the photos and account of your, dinner & speeding!! I've read a lot on the Ogegon Trail in old Max Brand / Sudden novels, was crazy about them, some had Crater Lake in the stories. Never imagined I would one day read accounts of our own Sudden going there!!

I'm planning a C2C drive for some time, have lots of close relatives in SFO so the area is of great interest to me.

--Ramky
======

Last edited by ramkya1 : 9th January 2012 at 13:21.
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Old 9th January 2012, 20:10   #8
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Hai Abi,

That's cute little Tlog from you after a long time though it's more like a paragraph compared to your earlier ones Lovely photos, the sky is so blue, is this the natural colour or is it the camera setting?
Sky was really blue. Not much of camera settings just some contrast during post-processing. Daytime pics were typically taken on aperture mode and at low ISO-100.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramkya1 View Post
I'm planning a C2C drive for some time, have lots of close relatives in SFO so the area is of great interest to me.

--Ramky
======
Sir, When are you setting foot here. How about your next trip in this part?
would look forward to see you here.

Abhi
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Old 9th January 2012, 20:41   #9
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Default Re: Travelogue: Trip to Shastas and Crater Lake

Hey Abhi, thanks for pointing me to this link, as you said, a travelogue after a very long time, but none of the details are lost (puris have replaced parathas for breakfast) nice pics and seems like you had a good time, wishing you and your family a very happy new year, your daughter has grown much since we saw her last. Do keep in touch.
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Old 10th January 2012, 09:35   #10
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Hey Abhi, thanks for pointing me to this link, as you said, a travelogue after a very long time, but none of the details are lost (puris have replaced parathas for breakfast) nice pics and seems like you had a good time, wishing you and your family a very happy new year, your daughter has grown much since we saw her last. Do keep in touch.
Hari, thanks !! ya, long time indeed but looks like your lil one has engaged you as well. How are you doing?

Abhi
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