Thursday, September 20, 2012

DAY 29- Wildlife Refuge, Creamery, & a Pedicure...

The first thing I did was run by for an oil change at Oil Can Henry’s; an oil change chain that I had never heard of until I came out this way.  Unlike, Jiffy Lube they do not have a waiting room.  So you sit in your car and can watch via a TV what they are doing under your car and under your hood; plus chat with them as they do it.  It was something new to me.  Next, I went down the street for an express car wash where the clerk teased me about driving all the way from Utah for a car wash.  I laughed and told him it was because I drove all that way that I REALLY was in need of a car wash.

I wandered a bit around Klamath Falls; going out to the Upper Klamath Lake watching the Pelicans.  While I was further wandering, I happened to find an Oregon Visitor’s Center near the edge of the town.  I asked the lady about doing a short scenic drive because I needed to be back by 4pm for a pedicure appointment.  She suggested a drive to the south that was a loop that took me along the edge of the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge.  She said that it was mostly a bird refuge.  Why not I thought I’ve already been watching birds today.
Photo- The beautiful stark landscape before I got to the marsh lands.

Thus, I went along Hwy 97 south and just before Doris, CA I took a left on to Hwy 161, about 17 miles south of Klamath Falls.  It’s a highway that runs right along the Stateline between Oregon and California; literally a straight shot.   The landscape seemed rather beautiful in its starkness.  But quickly the land changed to marsh lands.  Soon I was seeing ducks and egrets on water pond areas.  It was just amazing. 
Photos- The beauty of the marsh lands.

Photo- A white egret out in the marsh land.
Photos- White egrets in flight.

Photo- Some variety of stilts.

I turned south off of the highway into the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge.  I took a quick hike to a platform lookout but it was the dry season and there wasn’t much going on because it was dry around the platform.  I opted to take one of the Auto Tour Routes which happen to be on gravel roads through the area; so much for having a clean car.  I stopped here and there and managed to see more birds. 

Warning these gravel roads are not designed to go much over 25 mph.  They are rather graded to ensure that you go slow and maybe that's so not to scare the birds?  The Auto Tour Loop is in two sections a short loop and a longer loop.  There's also several other little paths where its built up to walk into the marsh.  However, I would recommend that you wear long pants to walk through the tall grassy areas because there are a wide variety of other plants growing that might, or could, cause skin irritation.  So, in other words, me and my capris didn't get very far on some of these pathways.

I guess there are over 353 species of birds in the area but I only saw a few variety of ducks, some beautiful white egrets, a male pheasant and a female pheasant, flying eagles and hawks, and some variety of stilts(at least that’s what I’ve figured out from the pictures in the brochure that they had.  I’m not a real bird watcher as you can tell.)  It was rather fun.  
Photo- A brew pub named the Creamery?!??

Back in Klamath Falls, I grabbed a lunch at the Creamery which is a local Pub/brewery that was started in 2005 by two electricians who found the abandoned Creamery building and decided to start their business.  They’ve had some award winning micro brews and I really enjoyed their Hogsback Heffie which they serve with an orange; just the way I like it!  Oh did I tell you I got a kick out of parking between an Oregon Highway Patrol car and a Sheriff’s car just across the street.  I was just waiting to come out and find that my car got towed or some kind of note saying "Please behave yourself while you are in our neck of the woods", or something like that.  But I also kind of got a kick out of parking between the two with my out of state plates.  In the end, I came out and my car was safely still sitting there and intact.  Yeah!
Photo- The inside of this Creamery...

Next, I went to the Favell Museum in Klamath Falls.  The museum is based on a boy’s interest in collecting artifacts from our Western heritage; that boy being Gene Favell.  It started with Favell’s collection and has been expanded to include other collections and Western art from several prestigious and well-known artists.  It included quite a few of the Indian tribes of the Northwest and it was very interesting reading about the specific tribe customs.
Photo- My new toe look!

Shortly after 4pm, I found myself in a snazzy blue convertible car with my cousin Kimmie on our way to the nail salon.  I got my second pedicure ever and Kimmie was going to get a nail fixed.  It was fun!  Kimmie has been going to this same salon for over 5 years now and she was being teased by the employees.  I was cracking up and then we talked while we dried our nails.  Then when our nails were dry, we went next door to a new Japanese restaurant.  What fun!

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