Yesterday we went to a wildlife rescue place called Wildlife Images. Sounds like a photography shop I know! It was pretty cool. Actually apart from the animals our tour guide Roy was a laugh and well worth the $30 it cost us all for the two hour all American commentary. He was one of the parks many volunteers that keep the place going – rescuing, animal rehab and education.
We got to see our first grizzly, racoon, wolf, black bear, otter and mountain lion. Their otter and one of the bald eagles were retired hollywood movie stars. Roy was super proud they had a massive fake fibro rock from the movie Riverwild staring Kevin Bacon and Meryl Streep. The mountain lion was awesome. He was right close breathing and purring. Being the Leo in our family Geoff was impressed.
Today we drove out of Grants Pass and towards Diamond Lake. We are staying two nights and will check out Crater Lake. It is Geoffs Birthday tomorrow and he has chosen to go hiking. Baileys ears always stand to attention when he hears the words crater or volcano. Tomorrow we shall see both. Crater Lake is a collapsed volcano that created the crater, with a part of the volcano still visible in the middle.
Travelling here we came through ‘Ranch’ farmlet properties. Ramshackle lots with the all American red barns, a trailer or two and various add ons and lean toos. So many houses have an American flag flying off the porch. The houses are fibro, weather board or plain wood. No brick. The natural bush is full of pines and blackberry is in season. We cant tell the difference between poison ivy and the ones that are okay to touch. So we just call it all poison ivy and keep a respectful distance. The wild blackberries look like raspberries and taste good.
We went into a couple of viewing spots along Rouge River. One was an awesome lave tube lookout where once the lava flowed now water does.
You know there is no rubbish on the side of any roads we have been travelling. It is clean as a whistle. How is that possible when there are soooo many people here and junk food is on every corner? I must commend the people of this area for being so clean. It is very impressive and I really notice how clean the roadsides are. I did see one sign saying $1000 fine for littering so I wonder if they are super scared of being fined, or just arent litterbugs. There are far more white Americans here and a lot less say Mexican or Chinese. We hear mostly english now.
There has been lots of smoke in the air the past five or so days with many forest wildfires burning. Grants Pass was being used a base for hundreds of the firefighters.
Bailey had his hair cut at a pain jane salon the other day. Two men in Navy blue cammo where just finishing up their polished military flattops and she charged them each $5 and praised them both ‘for keeping America safe’. While waiting we browsed the busy walls filled with family photos, pastel silk floral arrangements, christian posters, lace doilies, bible sayings and other poems of praise. One wall was dedicated to photos of her and her family lined up with their guns and deer kills. Some had little captions underneath like ‘Daniels first kill’ with a photo of her teenage son and a massive bloodied dead deer and ‘last day of the season’ with a photo of the whole five of them lined up with their big rifles nursing dead deer each in lap. One deer had been taxidermied and was hanging in the salon just next to Bailey having his hair cut. It was very weird. I was thinking where does it say in the bible that killing, stuffing and mounting a deer on your wall is being a good Christian? I did want to ask, but though I had better not lol! I dont get the deer hunting thing they are into. I know some Aussies hunt pig and kangaroo in much the same fashion for fun.
So at Diamond Lake we hired a little ‘motorboat’ (he didnt know what a Dingy was) for the afternoon. The kids had found some line, hooks and sinkers at a couple of river banks yesterday. They wrapped it around a piece of wood like in the old days and off we went to catch a trout. We didnt get a bite, but had fun trying. I was of course – bear spotting – but no luck yet.