Run off from Sierra Nevada Mountains, Bishop, CA

The GPS had been set to avoid highways and toll roads and what a journey that made from Bishop, CA to Pacific City, OR.  I drove through four seasons in two days: snow in the Sierra Nevadas and the road to Lassen Volcanic Park had a CLOSED sign due to snow; spring wind & summer’s driving rain in southern Oregon; sat on a bench in the sun on a bench in Coos Bay, Oregon. The beauty of Northern California and Southern Oregon left me in awe of a land contained by mountains while windy rivers made the demarcation lines between hay fields and tiny communities. Country roads wove in and out of forgotten towns with dwindling populations and remnants of gas stations. Dreams built and abandoned left faded signs with paint shards on the dried-out wood. Occasionally, I’d see a group of men, heads covered with cowboy or baseball hats, standing with one foot on a fence rail, arms resting on another rail looking out at the fields’ horizon. This is the America I forget about at times; this is the America whose lives are dependent on the land as their grandparents were when the soil first felt the wooden hoe.

Hey 395

Hey 395

HWY 395

Hi! This is Mabel. Lisa makes this trip sound bucolic. Let me shed a dose of reality into this. I knew I was in trouble when I saw the setting of the Navigation system — no highways — God forbid, Lisa ever stay on a highway, oh no, let’s take the most off-the-wall road we can. Which we did, and ended up climbing and switchbacking back and forth on a one-lane God-forsaken road. I am not young, you know, 2002 1 ton Chevy chassis, I carry 1000 pounds on this body and when I hear her (Lisa) say “AH HAH”, she has seen the road she wants, I brace myself, tighten up the shocks, breathe deeply into the steering column (practice my yoga breath), brace the tires and we turn without skidding.  ♫ Thank you Lord  ♫.

Taken from inside the car, because she never stops for these road photos..and when I don’t see lines, I know we’re in trouble…I’ll talk to you later.

I stayed at BLM and USFS campgrounds all the way to Pacific City, Oregon. FIREARMS AND GROCERIES – these were the store signs I passed, which sums up the areas I drove through, don’t you think? When I arrived at the coast, stopped at a campground with a trail leading to the beach. Half way along the trail a little bench with 1000s of petals covering the ground was there.   Quiet, a lake nearby and a birding area.. so calm..

Trail from campground to Oregon Coast

Arrived in Pacific City, Oregon and stayed with a  friend. We took a long walk on the beach, Alice must have run 10 miles back and forth, up and down, until she stopped to look at seals basking in the sun.



Well, we’re (Mabel, Alice and I) are heading on to Washington, San Juan Islands and onto BC. 

Take good care,

Lisa, Alice and Mabel


  1. Hi Lisa- Bill and I are in Oregon also (Ashland), so close and yet so far. Wouldn’t that have been cool for our paths to cross again after all the time has passed since Tibet etc. Ahhh the San Juans….a favorite place for me. I love that you are only on back roads. There’s so much more life to see “back” there. I love reading your adventure stories. Enjoy!!


  2. reply

    lisa, it is like being there with you. keep up the good work!!! chuck have a great day!


  3. Hi Lisa,
    Thanks for sending your blog–looks like you are having a wonderful time. The “blue” (on the map) roads are just the best and our favorites. Also Bishop is one of our favorite places in Calif. Since you were on HWY 395 you may have blinked and passed right through where I grew up in Lassen Co. Northern Calif. Keep motoring on!!
    Jay & Ethel


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