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A Pleasant Surprise!
Klamath Falls, Crater Lake, Oregon

A semi spring break in snow-ridden northern California and Oregon didn’t seem very exciting, but a trip with friends and family turned out to be great fun with visits to Klamath Falls, Redding, Crater Lake and Kla-Mo-Ya Casino, writes fourth-grader Vansh A. Gupta.



Crystalwood Lodge at Klamath Falls, Ore. [SILICONEER photo]


I wasn’t very excited about going on a spring break semi-camping trip to Klamath Falls. But it turns out that this was a vacation of a lifetime, at least for me and my group of four chums.

It just kept getting better and better. Here’s how we started . . . .






The white snow-filled trail along the Klamath river. It felt like we were in a white forest. The entire gang loved it. [Sadhana Agarwal | SILICONEER]


Day 1. We loaded up the SUV and van with more stuff than we could actually carry and that set us wondering: Why? Clothes, winter gear, snow shoes, extra fat jackets, food, veggies, drinks, and more food. Seemed to me like we were headed to an Arctic expedition.

Anyway, we starting off early in the morning “to avoid traffic” as we know. We began the road trip to Klamath Falls and Crater Lake in Oregon. The trip had more surprises for us than what we had anticipated. Our first tourist stop was in Redding, Calif. at the Sundial Bridge. This is a bridge made with a see-through glass walkway. There was also the Turtle Bay exploration museum, a café, a beautiful garden and picture-perfect views of the Sacramento River and snow-peaked Shasta mountains in the backdrop. As you can tell, our perception of this vacation was already turning from “just another road trip” to a “very cool road trip.” We had no idea what else was in store.




Sundial Bridge and the Sacramento River in Redding, Calif. [SILICONEER photo]


We had our brief rendezvous with the Sundial Bridge, walking over the glass floor, taking pictures and enjoying the view. A great place to eat, the Turtle Bay Café, got me energized for the trip ahead. The Sundial Bridge gets the name from the fact that it can tell the current time based on the sun’s reflection on the bridge making it a giant clock.

The journey continued through the beautiful Interstate 5 drive from Redding to a very scenic route. Next stop: Gas at Shasta City and I got to see the iconic Mount Shasta. In between numerous ordeals of keeping my kid brother quiet and fighting over the best songs to play in my iPod, we crossed the mountains and arrived to a place that had a very calm and lonely feel. It was just Mother Nature and us. Two cars driving on an endless stretch of empty land and winding highways. The drive was just stunning in its own way. No sign of life, just white snow-covered countryside all around us.




The majestic Mount Shasta covered by clusters of low clouds and the winding roadway to our destination Crater Lake. [SILICONEER photo]


We reached our destination at the Crystalwood Lodge in Klamath Falls after some searching around as the GPS could get us there but then everything looked the same around us, and missing a turn seemed the most natural thing in the world.

A big house, a small house, an old lady and a dog. What could be more exciting? Turns out the lady (Liz) had 17 dogs. Isn’t that amazing!

The vacation home was a huge country side ranch home. Old wooden furniture, oversized couches and lots of stuff that reflected the love our old lady Liz had for the place and specially her dogs. A wall was covered with portraits of all her dogs.




From the white snow-peaked mountains to the greens of Ashland, and finally to a blue Lake Shasta this trip gave a colorful experience of what mother nature has to offer. [SILICONEER photo]


We spent three nights and four days at the Crystalwood Lodge and not for a moment did I feel bored. Our day began with the smell of Indian food.

Yes, all the dads were cooking Indian food like pav bhaji, desi chinese, dosa, churmur chaat and the good old poori sabzi. It was all the dads running the kitchen as all the moms took time off, occasionally helping with gathering the ingredients for the pseudo chefs. They were all over the place and made sure we ate every bit of the food that was served.




One of the spicy concoctions from all the dads’ signature recipes was Churmur, a spicy snack.
The Kla-Mo-Ya casino, a playground for moms while the dads take over as makeshift babysitters. [SILICONEER photo]


There was not a soul outside and it was all quiet enough so you could hear a pin drop, but within the lodge it was a different story. Loud music, laughter, and the usual sibling rivalry between my kid brother Janam and me. The other three of us, Sonal, Neha and Yash weren’t letting up either. To be able to raise a riot without the usual bickering of our moms — now that’s what I call fun!


The author, Vansh, carrying a heavy load at the Crystalwood Lodge. Also seen are Vansh’s kid brother Janam, Sonal and Neha. [SILICONEER photo]


Day 2. Guess what? We went to KLA-MO-YA Casino. The drive to the casino was gorgeous. The drive was through snow all over the place, in the trees, road, plants, and even the ground with water and grass. You know what happened next? Well, we ended up passing our turn and soon we were lost. I was very scared and tired! After finding the way back it turned out that we were in the lodge dancing after 12 midnight. The morning was fun as we went on a hiking trail. The trail was in a forest, it had beautiful birds, lots of snow, bended trees, and lots of curves.






Winter wonderland in the midst of spring! [SILICONEER photo]


Day 3. On this day I went to Crater Lake. Yay! On the way there I saw this cool machine, I even saw a hard snowfall, and the drive was very scenic. When we to the top of the mountains it was breezy. Brrr! It was 10 degrees Fahrenheit. When I went to see Crater Lake I thought it is a plain lake, but it turned out to be a beautiful surprise. Though we could only see the pictures, as the visibility was almost zero at the summit with knee-deep snow all around us. We decided to return to the lodge. Our was completely covered with snow and was all white.


Upclose and personal
with the resort-owner Liz's dog, Breck. [SILICONEER photo]


Day 4. We said “goodbye” to the lodge and left for home. I was kind of sad, but when we got to Mount Shasta, Lake Shasta, and Shasta Dam, I was happy again. Shasta Dam is the second largest dam in the U.S. and boy, is it huge! Mount Shasta was a very scenic mountain. I liked Lake Shasta because it was beautiful. When I got back to Home Sweet Home I was very happy. After I came back home I realized how much I enjoyed it because I started dreaming about it.

The trip was a pleasant surprise!







The mammoth Shasta Dam. It is the second largest dam in the nation. [SILICONEER photo]


Vansh A. Gupta, 9, is a fourth-grade student at Mission Valley Elementary School in Fremont, Calif.


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OTHER STORIES
EDITORIAL: Management Wizard
NEWS DIARY: April
SUBCONTINENT: Crude Oil Bonanza
SUBCONTINENT: Maoist Bloodbath
BUSINESS: News Briefs
SUBCONTINENT: India’s Food Security Act
SUBCONTINENT: India Prepares for Another Kind of War
SUBCONTINENT: Sania-Shoaib Wedding
RECIPE: Vegetable Pakora
SUBCONTINENT: Honor Killings
TRAVEL: Klamath Falls, Crater Lake, Oregon
AUTO REVIEW: 2010 GMC Terrain
BOLLYWOOD: Hindi Film Review: Prince
BOLLYWOOD: Guftugu
TAMIL FILM: Paiya
CULTURE: CCF Contest
COMMUNITY: Esho He Boishakh
COMMUNITY: News
INFOTECH INDIA: Briefs
CULTURE: Natya Mela 2010
HOROSCOPE: May


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ENTERTAINMENT
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