Smoky Slalom

Our plan after leaving the Redwoods was to head north through Oregon. It really felt like we had to run a slalom course through fire areas. We drove up 101 on the Pacific coast, home to some really beautiful beaches. We spent a little time at Meyers Creek beach, where the beauty was surpassed only by the intensity of the wind!

We had reservations for a nice campground in Oregon, but the closer we got, the more reservations we had about getting that close to the fires. We even stopped and called the campground and asked about fire proximity. They said the fires were all past them, there was no danger… and said if there WAS any danger, they’d be long gone themselves. So we continued, and arrived at a nice quiet campground. But near the entrance was this board, with a Fire Map which the authorities updated every morning… The camp is right where Cherryl is pointing.

Here’s a close up view. The pink is where fire has already burned, the red areas are the current fires. So great, no active fires closer than a couple of millimeters on the map!!!?

We stayed a couple of days – some areas were beautiful for a while, then smoke would roll in and change things dramatically. The river was just a few minutes walk from our campsite.

We drove to the trailhead for the Toketee Falls. Running the length of the parking lot is this 12 foot diameter redwood stave pipeline. It was the first portion of the North Umpqua Hydroelectric Project. Completed in 1949, it takes water from about a mile above the falls, about 1,500 feet to a concrete pipe, through a tunnel to the hydroelectric generator. It generates enough power for about 22,000 homes. I wonder how many homes’ worth of power is squirting out through all the leaks!

The trail to Toketee Falls is really pretty and not too steep.

Interesting pools are in the stream above the falls, but I don’t think they’re HOT tubs!

Lots of other falls are within a few miles down the road – Clearwater Falls, Whitehorse Falls, Watson Falls. There is also a fairly steep trail up to a series of natural hot tubs, high above the river.

The day we left, we detoured south a bit to Crater Lake. The lake is amazing – such deep blue both of the water and the sky!

Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the U.S. and 9th in the world. With the deepest point almost 2,000 feet, Crater Lake holds 4.9 trillion gallons of water! [That’s about a gallon for every stimulus dollar our government is shelling out…]

The view to the east, of the lake, was fabulous…

The view westward, however, showed the dense smoke layer hanging over much of the land. Ugh!

We then continued north to the Columbia River, and to a campground right on the river. Named “Peach Beach,” it featured the river on the south and peach orchards to the north. They even gave us a couple of peaches upon check-in. Really a smart move, because we then visited the orchard shop, and left with a couple of boxes of fabulous peaches!

A few days ago, our water pump failed. We don’t need it when hooked up in a campsite, but need it for water when we’re moving, or not hooked up. There aren’t many well stocked RV supply stores in the Redwoods, so we just ordered one from Amazon and had it shipped to our Kid’s place in Spokane. We had about 4 days of travel before we got there, so we filled lots of jugs of water for any drinking, washing, or toilet needs while moving. Turns out we didn’t need a tenth of it. Once we arrived the pump was waiting for us. I removed the old one, installed the new identical pump, and had the same problem – no water. I found the line from the water tank to the pump was blocked somehow… I blew compressed air back through the line, and the new pump worked fine. We were thinking we should have a spare pump on board anyway…

After I had the pump situation handled, it was time to check out the 45th Annual Meeting and Boat Show if the Antique and Classic Boat Society, Inc. I bet you didn’t even know it existed! Well, I didn’t, but somehow Cherryl got an email about it, and I couldn’t pass up an opportunity like that! So with a short 45 minute drive I was in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. A very nice resort and marina hosting over a hundred beautiful antique wooden boats. FUN!

[WARNING! If you don’t enjoy looking at gorgeous classic wooden boats, go elsewhere. And btw, there is something the matter with you!]

OK, before I got to the boats, I noticed this nice looking Rolls-Royce.

Before even getting to the water, you notice this “World’s only Classic Wood Jet Ski.” Beautiful woodwork surrounding modern jet ski innards.

On the docks, this is the first craft you get to. Probably the only affordable boat in the show.

Clive Cussler wrote a book about two 10 year olds with a magical box that can turn any object into a life-sized version. So they turn a model of a famous 1931 racing speedboat, “Hotsy Totsy,” into a real boat and go on to race it. I won’t tell you the outcome so I won’t spoil your enjoyment of the book (and also because I’ve never read it) but now I’ve seen the real-life boat. Cussler was a car collector, and wove antique/classic cars into most of his novels. He owned most of the cars he wrote about, so I’m not sure if he ever owned this “Hotsy Totsy,” or it was created to match the book. It is a 1972 Chris-Craft.

The owner of this beautiful “Barrel Back” boat was afraid it was going to rain, so moved his boat into a covered slip. You can see the exquisite craftsmanship on this floating piece of art.

“Risque” had a very practical canvas bimini, or shade over the rear seating area. While practical, I think it really detracts from the beauty of the boat. I include it here because it was the first I saw with a hardtop with a retractable slide that reaches to the windshield, or lets you drive in the sun.

Here’s a nice boat with a cute little “Galley” and a little dining area as well.

“Big Sky” is a 1947 Stan-Craft Torpedo Runabout. If this was a car, I’d call that gorgeous stern a “Boat Tail.” Here I guess it’s a torpedo. Note the ski has the “Big Sky” logo.

Here’s another classic Chris-Craft, complete with logo’d picnic equipment. Unusual for its twin engines, it is typical in its attempt to make the driving controls look like cars of the time.

“Shady Lady” is a 1955 Chris-Craft Continental. The Continental was Chris-Craft’s top of the line model in ’55, a time when Lincoln Continental was about the most expensive car in the world. There were only 102 of these 22 foot boats produced, some with this unique hardtop, some with a 200 HP Chrysler Imperial engine, but only three with the hardtop and big engine. It is believed this is the only surviving model of the three. It has had 8 owners, and was reportedly used for some illegal activities in the Sacramento Delta during the 70’s. When the current owner had her restored, given the signature hardtop and the legend of her illicit past, she was rechristened “Shady Lady” on her 55th birthday, June 2010.

“Killer is another example of the cool “Barrel Back” shape.

Not really a classic, and definitely not a wooden craft, this little “Amphicar” showed off by chugging by at a pretty good clip. If you aren’t familiar with Amphicar, it is a true amphibian – it drives like a little 60’s import car on land, then drives right down the boat ramp and steams out across the lake. Former president Lyndon Johnson owned an Amphicar, and being a known practical joker, liked to frighten visitors by driving down towards the lake while shouting the brakes had failed!

“Rhubarb” is an elegant 22 foot 1961 Shepherd. She is displayed with lots of rhubarb gear – shirts, logo’d ice chest, recipe book, and even real rhubarb. Why the name?.. Patty, one of the owners, grew up in Sumner, WA. Of course you recognize that as the rhubarb capital of the world, right?

In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, fins were all the rage on cars. Everyone was intrigued by jet planes and rocket ships, so that was reflected in auto design. It also showed up in boat design! This is maybe my favorite of all the finned boats! Isn’t that tail end awesome! Makes me smile. Note this beauty also has the sliding roof under the hardtop. She’s a 1958 Chris-Craft Continental.

Or how ’bout both fins and gull-wing doors on the roof like this cleverly named “Fin & Tonic.” The famous Mercedes 300SL with its gull-wing doors was probably inspiration for these panels, which possibly made it a bit easier to squirm in under the hardtop.

Here’s another Chris-Craft “Gull Wing” with interesting fin design.

This 1958 Century also sported the hardtop with sliding panel to connect to the windshield. My Dad owned a Century when I was very little, but I’m sure it wasn’t quite like this. It was a beautiful mahogany boat, requiring extensive (expensive) maintenance, so Dad didn’t keep it too long.

This pretty “Barrel Back” has three compartments for riders – forward, midships, and aft. It also had this fascinating NOTICE TO DEALER placard on the engine compartment door. In case you can’t read it, it states in all capitals that “This boat has not been water tested.” It then has several tests that must be done, including floating for a few days so the wood will expand and stop any leaks. It is recommended to watch it during this days in case it tries to sink. It also requires dealer to run at top speed for 3 to 5 minutes, adjust carburetor and spark for maximum RPM, then tell the new owner not to use more than 3/4 throttle for the first 10 hours. Crazy!

I got to talking with the owner of this “Sweet Sixteen,” a 1931 Dodge A-16. It was fun to find out he’s a retired dentist also… with a great name for a dentist – Bill Moore! A super nice guy with a beautiful little runabout.

This 1971 Riva Super Ariston has an interesting history. Purchased new by a “very rich and powerful” international banker, Edmond Safra, who lived in a harbor-side mansion on Monoco harbor. He died there in 1999 when a nurse started a fire in the mansion, hoping to then be found extinquishing the fire and “gain favor” from Safra. The fire got out of control, and Safra was the only one extinguished. Ouch! The current owner imported the boat in 2002.

This is one of two Chris-Craft Cobras at the show. It looks like a “Batboat.”

This sleek mahogany beauty is so sleek it doesn’t even bother with a windshield. The stern just tapers off towards the water. Pretty slick.

It wasn’t all speedboats at the show. Here is a 1929 Chris-Craft Commuter Cruiser. An open cockpit forward, and enclosed cabin midships, the helm behind and above that cabin, and another open cockpit aft. An elegant way to cruise the lake. (She’s for sale for only $425,000!)

This is a new classic – very slick, gorgeous woodwork, twin engines… I didn’t ask what she’d cost.

“Greyhound” was built in 1921, on the very site of this marina on Lake Coeur d’Alene. It had a huge engine, 225 hp, and was extremely fast for the day- over 40 mph! She has been rebuilt and now sports a 330 hp engine. At 33 feet long, she is one of the largest speedboats at this show.

This shiny Greavette Streamliner dates back to 1955.

This gorgeous Garwood looks to be a mile long! The wheel looks to me like it’s from a period Bentley, but many of these boats had similar wheels.

I’m reading a book about Seabiscuit, the racehorse that dominated the 1930’s. People rode “Seabiscuit Limited” trains, wore Seabiscuit hats, used Seabiscuit wallets, and played at least 9 Seabiscuit parlor games. The name also graces this lovely speedboat of the period.

So here’s the last vehicle I saw at the show. Parked about where the Rolls-Royce had been, was this immaculate Ford Model A. A fine ending to a fabulous show!

One comment

  1. Loved Crater Lake, all the boats, and always enjoyed Chris Crafts at Tahoe. The wood work was beautiful and you don’t see it much any more. I remember your dad’s Century. One evening I skied from their back yard down to Lakeport and back about sundown. (single ski) It was warm and beautiful out except for the gillion mosquitoes that were out. I had to keep my head down, mouth closed and eyes almost closed. It was truly miserable, but I was not about to quit!! It’s fun to be young!! 🙂

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