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Old 06-26-2016, 08:51 AM   #2941
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Booked a flight to Boston for some early leaf peeping this September. DW has never lived anywhere that had spectacular Autumns. Will rent an RV and drive to the leaves, since it's difficult to predict where the change will be best during a particular week. I'm prepared to drive all the way to Quebec or even Labrador if necessary.

I think the quest will make the trip more exciting.
IMO Western Mass. looks like a picture postcard in the fall . I would take the Rv towards there and head upwards into New Hampshire .
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Old 06-26-2016, 08:59 AM   #2942
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Headed for London in early September (cheap tickets and now, after Brexit, cheap currency).
We have visited many times, and always find new things to do - love the place!
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Old 06-26-2016, 12:23 PM   #2943
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My wife and I are doing a bit of a California loop that we've done versions of previously. This gives us a budget trip that is always fun and doesn't break the bank. For this version we're starting from our home in SoCal and heading up the Eastern side of the Sierra Nevada.

Staying the 1st night in Bishop Ca and will then be doing a tremendous day hike from the Mosquito Flats trailhead. Along the trail you hike by a string of beautiful high alpine lakes. Since you're starting at 10,000 feet not a ton of elevation gain. At the end of the day there is a rustic restaurant/lodge, Toms Place, that does a good prime rib dinner.

That night we're stopping at Topaz lake where we haven't stopped before. May or may not be visiting Bodie Ca. which is a cool mining, ghost town in the area.

Next day we're heading to Lake Tahoe for 4 nights. We never tire of Tahoe and will be doing some hiking and beach time while there. On one day we'll do another great hike, the Shirley Lake trail out of Squaw Valley. It's a stout hike, but very beautiful and follows a river for much of the hike.

After Tahoe we'll be heading to the Gold country along Hwy 49. Staying in Columbia Ca. for this trip, but there are other interesting gold rush towns to stay in the area. If ever in this area, a fun outing is Murphys Cavern, which offers a cave tour that's worthwhile.

Then it's down to San Francisco for a couple of nights which was my hometown while younger. Staying with a high school buddy which saves a lot of $$$! Lots to do in in SF so no hard plans yet. FYI, if in SF a fun thing to do is a bike tour that starts off of Octavia street. This tour takes you up the "Wiggles" which is a way to get around portions of SF while minimizing hills.

Our last couple of days we'll be heading down Hwy 1 and will be stopping in Monterey and Cambria for overnight stays. Beautiful scenery along this route as well as good eating.

Then it's back to reality and work. Without a ton of travel this trip allows a lot of cool sights in a compact time period.
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Old 06-26-2016, 01:16 PM   #2944
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Anyone visit Crater Lake?
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:03 AM   #2945
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Anyone visit Crater Lake?
Absolutely. Crater Lake was fantastic. I stayed at the (somewhat pricey) lodge at the rim, so I would always have the view any time of the day, and make it easier for sunrise and sunset.
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Old 06-27-2016, 07:11 AM   #2946
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Very limited season though. Snow comes early.
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Old 06-27-2016, 08:05 AM   #2947
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Very limited season though. Snow comes early.
Right - we were there in mid-July and most of the trails were still closed because of snow! That wasn't new snow, but still left over from the previous winter

But it is a gorgeous place, for sure!
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:17 AM   #2948
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Anyone visit Crater Lake?
I was there last October. It was nothing like the pictures...overcast, raining and cold. Still, quite stunning views. I didn't realize at the time of this picture that there was lightning in it...lucky shot out of the car window.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:46 AM   #2949
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There's snow in Oregon in July?

What else is up there? Long drive from Bay Area. Guess Shasta is worth a stop. Maybe continue up all the way to Portland?
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:52 AM   #2950
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...
Staying the 1st night in Bishop Ca and will then be doing a tremendous day hike from the Mosquito Flats trailhead. Along the trail you hike by a string of beautiful high alpine lakes. Since you're starting at 10,000 feet not a ton of elevation gain. At the end of the day there is a rustic restaurant/lodge, Toms Place, that does a good prime rib dinner.

That night we're stopping at Topaz lake where we haven't stopped before. May or may not be visiting Bodie Ca. which is a cool mining, ghost town in the area.
...
Sounds like fun. In later August we are headed up that way and staying in Mammoth Lakes. I think we have done the Mosquito Flats hike. As I recall there was a small lake with a "turkey" or "chicken" name in it.

Trails we have liked in that region:
1) Several short hikes in Mammoth Lakes area
2) Trails around Tioga Pass and eastern Yosemite including Toulumne Meadows region
3) Saddlebags Lake just outside Yosemite

Saddlebags Lake region is pretty spectacular. You drive in a few miles on a decent road with some gravel. You take a boat across the lake (to avoid walking 2 miles around it) and then there are several small lakes around there above 10,000 feet. Not much elevation gain either.
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Old 06-27-2016, 03:38 PM   #2951
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Is anyone familiar with this travel agency... or is this "too good to be true":

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At $1199-$1399 per person from 29 cities, this new China vacation package from Sinorama Holidays is the lowest price we've ever seen for a two-week China tour, including a Yangtze River cruise.
More reasons why we love it:
  • Includes international flights and all intra–China transportation (air, cruise, coach, high-speed train)
  • You stay in upscale hotels and in a balcony cabin on a deluxe riverboat
  • In addition to visiting major cities, it's the first package we've seen to include a stay in Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) -- known for spectacular scenery and a frequent subject in Chinese art (pictured)
  • It's fully escorted, which means guided tours of Beijing's biggest sites -- like Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China -- are included
  • No need to figure out where to eat: Most meals are included
China Vacations: China 2-Week Trip: $1199-$1399 from Cities across the U.S. | Travelzoo

Wild China 15 Days < Sinorama China Tours for Your Family & Friends

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Old 06-27-2016, 04:28 PM   #2952
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There's snow in Oregon in July?

What else is up there? Long drive from Bay Area. Guess Shasta is worth a stop. Maybe continue up all the way to Portland?
Crater Lake is spectacular. The lodge at Crater Lake tends to fill up. And the towns of Medford and Ashland are not too far. Impressive rivers run down to the towns from Crater Lake (the Rogue and Umpqua). Great places to visit in the summer. Scenery, hiking, Shakespeare festival in Ashland.
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Old 06-28-2016, 07:18 AM   #2953
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We took a Sinorama tour of China last fall. We enjoyed the tour and felt it was a good value for the money. Of course, it had all the advantages and disadvantages of a group tour. Advantages...all planning, transportation, luggage handling...disadvantages.....you are on their schedule and with your group of 30. PM if you want additional information.


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Old 06-28-2016, 07:49 AM   #2954
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I did a 2 week China trip with China Spree. Paid $2,900. It was very good. The guide picks you up at the airport and took care of everything. We did and saw a lot. Beijing, Great Wall, Forbidden City, Yangtze River cruise, Shanghai, terra cotta soldiers (awesome), etc. Hotels were very nice, food was good and varied, saw two shows, it was very well done. No long lines, no waiting at restaurants, basically, very well worth the money. Our group was only 24 people and they were a fun group. Normally I travel independently, but in China this was the way to go. Loved it.
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Old 06-28-2016, 09:54 PM   #2955
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Sounds like fun. In later August we are headed up that way and staying in Mammoth Lakes. I think we have done the Mosquito Flats hike. As I recall there was a small lake with a "turkey" or "chicken" name in it.

Trails we have liked in that region:
1) Several short hikes in Mammoth Lakes area
2) Trails around Tioga Pass and eastern Yosemite including Toulumne Meadows region
3) Saddlebags Lake just outside Yosemite

Saddlebags Lake region is pretty spectacular. You drive in a few miles on a decent road with some gravel. You take a boat across the lake (to avoid walking 2 miles around it) and then there are several small lakes around there above 10,000 feet. Not much elevation gain either.
Thanks. I've done a number of hiking trips in that area but have not come across Saddlebags Lake so will look out for that. Tons of cool scenery/hiking in that part of the Sierra and it sounds like another place I should check out. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 06-29-2016, 05:02 AM   #2956
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There's snow in Oregon in July?

What else is up there? Long drive from Bay Area. Guess Shasta is worth a stop. Maybe continue up all the way to Portland?

I've been to Crater Lake twice. We camped there a week when I was about 11. Nights were cold. There wasn't much snow, just a tiny bit on the peaks. There was a boat ride around the lake. We had to hike down to it, about a mile. I loved the trip.

Ashland has a fantastic Shakespeare festival. DH and I spent a week there and saw comedies in the outdoor theater. In fact it was so romantic in Lithia Park he proposed when we were there one night. There were many bed and breakfasts in Ashland. July is a good time to go.


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Old 06-29-2016, 06:42 AM   #2957
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Thank you, FIYes & whatnot.
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Old 07-08-2016, 01:42 PM   #2958
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Just spent a relaxing week at a rented cottage in Muskoka cottage country in Ontario.

Been to this place numerous times before and we appreciate the solitude and quiet. Able to sit on the deck, drink a nice dark rum on ice, barbecue up my special ribs and listen to and watch the loons paddle by.
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Old 07-08-2016, 02:04 PM   #2959
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....and watch the loons paddle by.
There are numerous water birds in the area also.
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Old 07-09-2016, 06:40 AM   #2960
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There are numerous water birds in the area also.


You quack me up. Is that a Merganser in your pocket or ..... ?
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