So Oppo I had a good weekend.
Last Thursday afternoon I flew from Oakland to Seattle on Southwest. The pre-check line was short and the flight left on time. The plane was also pleasantly lightly populated and the ticket was only $124.
No neighbors - hell yeah!
Friday afternoon I met up with oppo @Sam-Blockhan @Roadkilled @MidEngine @Dr-Zoidberg and @TheBarber plus his lovely Fiancé Annie. We had dinner and chatted a bunch which was genuinely enjoyable but I only see @Sam-Blockhan made a post about it - so go read his. His pictures are better then mine too. Here's a shitty picture I took of our cars though. Side-note here: @AestheticsInMotion is a bastard who stood us up at this meet!
Then the meet dispersed and at this point I wrote a check, signed some paperwork and took the keys to an 07 Honda Pilot from @TheBarber and drove him and Annie south to their house. So at this point I now own a pilot with a ton of miles (220k) but that has been lovingly worked over by the masterful @TheBarber.
It's now about 830pm on Friday and I fill up the car and keep heading south.
First picture of the car in my ownership
The plan for Friday is to drive a couple hours south and sleep at a rest-stop and then spend a decent chunk of Saturday exploring and doing things outside. I stop for the night about 1130 at a rest-stop outside Millersburg Oregon.
I get up and start moving again about 7am and hit a Fred Meyers nearby to grab some supplies for the day. I flew with the basics (ground pad, sleeping bag, change of clothes) but I needed food, something to start a fire with and so on.
While driving through Oregon on I-5 I came upon Humvees towing what appeared to be artillery of some sort which is not something I expected to encounter that day.
I then cutover at hwy 58 to get to 97 and stopped at a pretty place or two along the way.
My goal for the day was to camp at Jackson F Kimball state recreation site which was a recommendation from CaptainLila over on the PNW discord. The area was stunning and quiet and would have been an excellent place to camp with views of crater lake in the distance and a small river/creek but unfortunately I was there probably a week too early.
Down at the end of that of that was about a foot of snow that no one had broken yet this season. That's definitely more snow than I wanted to tackle in the Pilot, especially with the shitty tires on it and it's unknown to me performance.
Yes I bought a car with beat-up old tires on it. It's not Barb's fault - he tried to convince me to buy nicer tires for it and he'd have them installed. I'm not fully decided on my plans for it so I didn't want to drop substantial coin on tires yet.
From here I'm not entirely sure where I'm going yet so I stop in Klamath Falls and to figure out what I wanted to do next. Logistically it was a little tough as while it's been warm and a lot of formerly closed spaces should be open it hasn't been warm for long which means the Forest Service Rangers haven't been out to open gates and mark opened campgrounds. I landed on Orr Lake Campground in Klamath National Forest which I'm hoping to be a nice place to spend some time.
The drive to the campground was pretty with a couple diversions down gravel roads that I came across. Here's where we hit some @Overland #content!
Getting closer to the campground I came across a rather old wooden bridge. When I showed my wife this photo she asked 'Did you drive over that?!' to which I replies 'Yes, probably 10 times'
I was greeted with a small set of 5 sites next to the lake with no services besides a pit toilet. The view from lakeside was fantastic!
That's Mt Shasta in the distance
At this point I'm now planning on spending the night here, all spots but one are open but I decided the PB&J I picked up in the morning wasn't going to do for dinner. So I headed 45 minutes into Weed, CA for supplies.
While in Weed I though - hmmm, I liked that spot but do I want to drive 45 minutes further from home for the night or look for something closer/a little south of me. I checked the forestry service app and it noted an open campground on the way up Mt Shasta which was only 20 minutes away from my current location
The app lied - snow was still piled up rather deep there and the campground was very closed.
So I headed back to the original site with a couple diversions down forestry service roads to explore the area, test the Pilot and look for a maybe better spot to camp.
This was a strong contender for a spot
Then google maps tried to take me through here to get back to the campground - it was marked closed on the forestry service map but not on google.
So now it's nearing Dusk and I'm back at the campground. A couple other campers had moved in but I still had a lovely spot about 20 steps from the lake.
I started up a fire and went and sat by the lake for quite a time just taking in the changing colors and sounds of the frogs, insects and birds.
I'm going to come back and play this one often - it was lovely
Then I got back and cooked the porterhouse I picked up in Weed over the fire and cracked open a cider.
Now as I'm eating dinner I'm taking in the lovely sunset views
At this point it's dark but I'm not ready to go to bed so I sit by the fire and my phone grabs a tiny bit of reception so I check in with my wife and Discord pings me to make sure I'm still alive (thanks for caring!)
After the sun goes away completely so does the reception and once it gets completely dark I wander down the lake to a larger dock and also find some more camp spaces that fit RVs - I wouldn't want to take an RV down the roads that got me here but at least 3 other people did.
So I wander out onto the dock and turn off my headlamp and just sit there listening to the frogs, watching bats swoop around and eat bugs and hearing the fish hit the water to grab dinner. I probably sat like this for 20 minutes just taking it all in. This was extremely relaxing for me.
I go back to the site and sit by the fire a bit more and when it dies down I climb into the Pilot and go to sleep.
Picture of the site/view/my chariot in the morning
In the morning I decide to hit Pluto Caves which is a semi-collapsed Lava Tube. I spent not enough time playing around here. I did not have the appropriate gear for this and was alone so I didn't go too far into a cavern.
I start to head towards home but it's still the morning and I'm only like 4 hours away so I decide to take another diversion.
An access road that probably exists mostly for servicing this rail line called to me.
Here's where the pilot started to impress me
These roads were closer to trails and the pilot did damn well even with shit tires on it.
Then I headed towards home - the current fleet!
See how filthy it is - I told you to not worry about detailing the outside @TheBarber
The trip ended up being just over 1,100 miles and the Pilot averaged 19.5 MPG during the trip. It performed very well in everything I cared about and it's exactly what I was looking for. It was cheap (I don't think Barb made a dime on this thing), cruised at 85 with no issues, was comfy eating up the miles, I can sleep in it and it was more capable off-road then I expected.