Make The Most of the Dash
From Nevada to the Oregon Coast
Traveling via our Jeep Wrangler (aka "Black Betty") from North Las Vegas, Nevada, to Yachats, Oregon, we commenced our three day road trip on a Friday after work. As predicted, we had a late start but made the trek through the night to our immediate destination - Sportsman's Beach Campground at Walker Lake.
The wind gusts and the echo of the traffic from the mountain wall behind us made for a challenging night of sleep. Waking up to the view of the 38,000 acre lake and blue skies, we couldn't stay grouchy for too long, especially after we had our morning caffeine! Eager to get back on the road, we made quick work of breaking camp and making our way to the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
The landscape transformed from a brown desert to a lush green forest. And the drop in temperature was much appreciated! We stopped at an overlook to take in the view with Mt. Shasta in the distance. Using the telephoto lense on our dslr camera, we were able to capture some great pictues of the snow capped mountain. There were a couple of locals at the outlook who kindly provided us with some need-to-see places in the area. We jotted these down and made sure to add them to our bucket list for our return trip to this area.
We stopped in the town of Mount Shasta to fill up the gas tank before heading up on County Hwy A10 towards Mt. Shasta itself. Although our research had shown us many campgrounds available along the county highway, they were all full with folks making camp along the highway outside of the designated camping spots. With our GPS coordinates for dispersed camping sites in hand, we took an off-road trail down into a snow covered spot that was just perfect for the night!
At just over 6,000 feet in elevation, we knew it was going to get really cold as soon as the sun set. We made quick work of setting up our tent and prepping the back seat for Moose, and then proceeded to make our Weight Watchers friendly dinner - steak, corn and asparagus. Who could ask for better ambience for dining than the breeze blowing through the forest pines, birds singing, and the silence pauses in-between? It was perfect, just perfect!
Our Thule tent liner in our Smittybilt rooftop tent combined with our Teton zero-degree queen sleeping bag kept us toasty warm through the night as the temps dipped below freezing. Couldn't recommend this tent liner and sleeping bag combination more! Yes, of course we had some slight condensation inside the tent, but it was nothing that couldn't dry up with the tent windows open while we packed up the rest of camp.
Trekking back up the off-road trail, we made our way up to the Bunny Flat trailhead where we hoped to capture some pictures and video of Mt. Shasta. It was a no-go as she was covered by clouds that morning, but we took our pics anyway! It is what you make of it, isn't it? Took some more views on the way back down to the I-5.
Stopped in Weed, CA, for a delicious, and I mean blow-your-mind delicious, pastries from Ellie's Espresso & Bakery. So worth the drive, trip and stop! And even though we are on Weight Watchers, we made the necessary point calculations to afford a chocolate croissant and a raspberry cheese danish that we had later that day. Deeeee-licious!!! Five stars, two thumbs-up, highly recommend if you are ever in the area of Weed, CA.
Turning off the I-5 on the Oregon Hwy 138 west, we were in awe of the lush green landscape and all the ponds, lakes and waterways - so many waterways! The weather was so nice and cool that we rode with our windows down just breathing in the crisp air. We sensed the change in the air as we neared the coast. Amazing how you can smell the salt water from the ocean, and it became more pronounced as we arrived at the Hwy 101 intersect. Continuing northward, we passed Reedsport, Gardiner, Dunes City, Florence and our destination - Yachats!
What a great little town, Yachats! Don't blink or you might miss the candy shop, the great restaurants, or the brewery! But we will get to those later. Now, it's time to park Black Betty and get our dinner on at The Drift Inn!
Walker Lake Recreation Area - website
Shasta-Trinity National Forest - website
Ellie's Espresso & Bakery - website
- Sportsmans Campground at Walker Lake, NV: 38.69140, -118.77190
- Bunny Flat Trailhead - Mt. Shasta, CA: 41.35382, -122.23374