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Mammoth, CA to Sunriver, OR - Suzie's Trip Report

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Aug 3rd, 2004, 08:58 AM
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Mammoth, CA to Sunriver, OR - Suzie's Trip Report

After being on jury duty for the first 2 weeks in July I was ready for our vacation during the last two weeks.

Left for Mammoth on a Sunday, drove through South Lake Tahoe. It was a stunning day in Tahoe but south shore was amazingly busy. We thought for sure we'd see the smoke from the Waterfall fire in Carson City but it must have been blowing a different direction. The building going on at south shore has really improved the look of the once wall-to-wall cheap motels that used to exists. There have also been improvements in the sidewalks that were once nearly non-existent.

Stayed at Juniper Springs Lodge (condos) in Mammoth. Great deal through owner. We've visited Mammoth for the last 5 or 6 summers and no one has air conditioning. Summer can be hot so this year we brought fans. This made a huge difference in our comfort level.

Hiked to TJ and Barrett Lakes on the first day. It's pretty much all uphill but DD caught a fish on her first cast much to the chagrin of the fishermen who had been there for awhile. The ultra blue cloudless sky was so beautiful it looked fake.

We hiked Obsidian Dome which was like being on the moon. Really interesting. Could have spent the whole day in this area. Took pictures of kids holding huge rocks over their heads like they were ultra strong.

Visited Bishop Creek Canyon. Stopped at the stunning Sabrina Lake. You can rent a little motor boat at the marina and get out where there is no one else. DS and DD both caught fish. Pretty big ones too. Also drove by North Lake which isn't worth the drive and South Lake that I could have stayed at forever. Very pretty lake.

Last day in Mammoth and we decided to take our bikes to the bike park. Now keep in mind that they've converted ski runs to single track bike runs. I quickly discovered I DO NOT possess intermediate mountain bike skills. My back brake stuck twice and I acquired some major bruises on my shin and thigh. The second fall had my DD drop her bike and run back describing a huge cloud of dust. It's hard to ride a bike and laugh though. Finally made it down to meet up with DS who declares that he doesn't think he has the right kind of bike for downhill mountain biking. Ha! Rode a less difficult path but it was incredibly long and steep. Would have been more fun if I wasn't already injured. Took the shuttle from the village back to the mountain for some food drink and skin repair. I would definitely recommend a visit to the bike park. It's pretty fun and the staff is super nice. The gondola to the top of the mountain is a must for the view and they let you take your bike down after you chicken out.

We had great weather this year. Almost never a cloud in the sky. One night we went up to Minaret Summit to look at the stars. It?s very dark up there and I can not remember the last time I saw the Milky Way look that full of stars. Darn those Auto mall lights!!! We were awestruck at the star volume. The crescent moon setting behind the minarets was incredible.

We ate all our meals at the condo. They have a terrific stainless BBQ available, a nice pool and 3 Jacuzzis. We did visit the Chocolate Factory for some yummy desserts.

Left Mammoth on Friday for Reno.
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Aug 3rd, 2004, 08:59 AM
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Arrived in Reno and immediately wondered why anyone would stay there when Tahoe is just over the hill. Stayed at the Eldorado. Nice staff but very average rooms with very lame bathrooms. It was a little hot so we wandered between the three hotels connected by walkways. Eldorado, Silver Legacy and Circus Circus. The kids had a great time at Circus Circus including the show of the two motorcycle riders in the ?sphere of death?. Ate at the buffet. Discovered that we are really not a buffet family. It was Friday and all the buffets had the prime rib and seafood buffets going. They all seemed popular.

Couldn?t wait to leave Reno. Drove to Klamath Falls. Nice drive. Drove past Eagle Lake but there was a fire nearby so we could not even see the lake. Stayed at brothers new house in Klamath Falls before driving to Sunriver.

Never been to Sunriver before. It?s a really nice resort. Lots of bike riding on paved trails, a big pool with water slide, lots of tennis courts. We had our own rafts and rafted down the Dechutes River. It was very beautiful. Very lazy trip, no rapids hardly any paddling. Take ice chest with something to drink. DH caught a trophy fish in the Fall River. He left it there for there for the next fisherman as he is strictly a catch and release guy. We rented a place through Sunset Realty. Had BBQ, cable TV and hot tub. Since the cousins house does not have cable TV or hot tub we were the hangout place. This leg of the trip was incredibly relaxing as kids are free to do whatever they want with their cousins. Bike paths are protected from the road and overall it?s a pretty safe place.

Left Sunriver on Friday for Mt Shasta. Stayed with in-laws who watched the kids while DH and I took the dinner train out of McCloud. We had a beautiful car with wood paneling and high back booths covered in tapestry fabric. Food was good, service was good, and scenery was fab. Our car was the only one that was so elegant. Other three cars were table and chair arrangements. In a chair for the 3 hour ride might have been too much. If you go, try to get the Lassen car for a very nice experience. The trip was a Christmas gift from in-laws. Expect to pay about $100 per person when you factor in the wine and tip. You can get up and wander through the cars to the open air car for pictures and outstanding views.

Left Mt Shasta for home. Back at work.
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Aug 3rd, 2004, 10:29 AM
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In Sunriver the boys went to the pitch and putt with their uncle. Pretty cheap like 4 or 5 dollars. They had a really great time doing this. It's much better than the miniture golf the girls did though they enjoyed themselves too. BIL went golfing one day and joined up with other small groups.
You can rent bikes and go on raft tours if you don't bring your own stuff.
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Aug 3rd, 2004, 10:53 AM
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Nice report! And I agree with your Reno observation.
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Aug 3rd, 2004, 12:11 PM
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Glad you enjoyed Sunriver! We go there quite a bit and thoroughly enjoy it. The river is great...you can do an easy float like you did but you can also do white water rafting with class IV rapids which is fun. We were just there a few weeks ago and already we are all saying it wasn't enough time.
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Aug 3rd, 2004, 12:21 PM
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Wow, mms, we didn't even try that! Sister has owned a home there since like 92 but it's taken us this long to make our way up there. So much more to do there and nearby. You could spend weeks there and never do the same thing twice!
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Aug 3rd, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Suzie...yes, there is SO much to do there! We have a relative with a house there too and we try to go at least once a year with lots of family and we rarely do the same thing twice. Plus there is amazing hiking/climbing in the area and we love that so are in heaven when we are there. Between all the outdoorsy stuff and then the shopping, we always need a vacation when we get home, lol!
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Aug 3rd, 2004, 01:16 PM
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You know, I'm not much of a shopper but I found so much stuff to buy at the little mall I amazed myself. And no tax like CA. What you see is what you pay!!!! Bought gifts for upcoming birthdays and two pictures from a cute shop for the dining room and 4 pics from the gallery for the kitchen. I've never bought so much on vacation. Kids loved the donut shop ans since there were so many of them the clerk declared them the winners when she presented the bill! Hard to believe you can spend so muchon donuts!

One thing I can never get used (and that we never did when we lived in Portland for a time in the 80s)is trying to buy alcohol. Even though it might be sold inside a grocery store you have to buy it at a separate counter. You also have to plan pretty well so that the liquer store does not close between the time you buy the lime aid and the time you buy the tequila!!!!

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Aug 3rd, 2004, 01:36 PM
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"You could spend weeks there and never do the same thing twice!"

Or, you could spend weeks doing the same thing over and over again, and never tire of it. That's the beauty of the place (though I much prefer Black Butte).
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Aug 3rd, 2004, 01:36 PM
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mms
 
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Did you go out in town to shop at all? I love the village too though. That gallery is great...I have bought so many gifts and prints for ourselves there. I tend to buy prints of mountains we have climbed. I too tend to buy gifts and stash them for later. The stationary store there (cant remember the name!) is so much fun...my daughter and I could spend hours upon hours in there. The kids would either walk with me or ride bikes down to the Hot Lava Baking Co. (the donut place) and they could get a treat while i got coffee. I am headed back again this fall with a girlfriend for a long spa weekend. Even though we were there just a week or so ago, I am already looking forward to going back!
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Aug 3rd, 2004, 03:42 PM
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Beachbum--We just hiked to the top of Black Butte recently...amazing views and a really easy hike! Could look down on the resort and see the golf course. Haven't been to that resort in many years though...may have to try it again.
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Aug 3rd, 2004, 04:20 PM
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Black Butte has a more peaceful, relaxed, slower-paced feel that appeals to me, mms. No shopping, though, except for in Sisters, which suites me (and my wife) just fine.

My favorite hike in the area is Canyon Creek Meadows. The trail starts near Jack Lake and ends at the base of Three Finger Jack. Hike above the meadow to the glacial cirque, and the ridge just above that for a take-your-breath-away view. Best in late spring or early summer, when the wild flowers are all in bloom and there are still some snow fields for sliding.
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Aug 3rd, 2004, 04:22 PM
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Suuuz,
Cool trip. Got out of the valley heat, too.

We have relatives moving up to the K'Falls area soon. We'd go visit them but I may still have outstanding warrants form the 70s.

Spent a lot of time in the Shadey Cove area. Kicking myself for not buying a little house on the banks of the Rogue River back then that now go for about a gazzillion.

Hittin' "Downtown Tuesday Night" shortly. Time for my weekly shower.
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Aug 3rd, 2004, 06:28 PM
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mms
 
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Beachbum--Now you really have me wanting to go back to BB Ranch! Slower paced and more remote is definitely our style. That hike sounds great...we usually prefer more elevation gain but sometimes its nice for a change of pace. Sounds like a great hike that we need to try. We are off for Mt. Jefferson this weekend!
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Aug 4th, 2004, 07:01 AM
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mms, Did I go out in town to shop? LOL I went to Bend to Fred Meyer for food. Upon my return my kids were all concerned about how long I was gone. They told DH I had been gone for hours. I hate shopping in unfamiliar grocery stores. After that trip kids kept me on a short leash!!

I can believe that Black Butte is quieter. Actually when we were in Sunriver it was pretty busy. We wouldn't even go to the pool until after 3:00.
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Aug 4th, 2004, 07:19 AM
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Suzie--I know what you mean about shopping at unfamiliar grocery stores. Which pool were you at...there is the big one (the south pool) and then the north pool. We usually go to the north one since its not near as busy. One day we were there it was pretty much deserted and we could not figure out why...but it was really pleasant. We also usually stay on the north end of the resort since it is quieter. Next time you go you will have to hit the other shops out in town...lots of unique places!

Beachbum--Meant to ask you if when you go to BB do you ever stop at the Ski Inn in Sisters? It has been there for eons (I can remember when I was very little going there) and they have the best hamburgers! It looks like a dive, but oh so good!
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Aug 4th, 2004, 07:39 AM
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We were also nearer to the north pool but the kids preferred the larger pool with the slide. They also hit the ternnis courts nearby and then back to the pool.

The quiet does not appeal to a group of young teens and preteens nor would we do that to those at he north pool looking for some peace!
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Aug 4th, 2004, 07:57 AM
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Is Ski Inn the one at the east or west end, mms? We've been to the place at the west end a few times, but our traditional once-during-the-week-dinner-in-Sisters spot is Papandreas for pizza.

For more than pizza or burgers, try the Kokanee Cafe at the Metolius River Resort in Camp Sherman for dinner, or lunch on the dock at Suttle Lake's restaurant. Both places have surprisingly good food made more memorable by the beautiful locations.
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Aug 4th, 2004, 09:13 AM
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Suzie--Our kids are 13 and 11 and they love the slide at the south pool, but they like the north pool because there is more room for them to play. The north pool isnt too quiet though, so dont worry...your kids would be fine and not disturb others I saw so many of the tennis courts one year...I went for a walk and got lost and ended up walking 9.5 miles trying to find my way back to the house, lol!

Beachbum--The Ski Inn is on the east end of town, on a corner on the north side of the street. We used to camp at Suttle Lake eons ago...very fond memories and we want to go back with our kids. Really hated to see what the fires did to that area last summer. We ate at that restaurant once...a family camping trip that turned into a snow storm, lol! Guess I need to try it now with my own family. Thanks for the other ideas...will jot them down in my file for the area! We are having so much fun finally living back here and exploring everything again...we really missed it even though we visited family often.
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Aug 4th, 2004, 11:33 AM
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My sister's kids (they have a home in Sunriver) proclaimed the north pool to be too boring. Maybe they were afraid their cousins would be unimpressed. We'd be dumping 8 kids into the pool in one swoop which may be a bit much! DH and I drove by the north pool and it looked very nice. The south pool is very well used and the locker rooms that you're forced to walk through are terribly smelly. The lifeguard staff are really diligent in keeping the grass area picked up and free from trash the sloppy guests leave around. We were impressed with that.
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