Greetings from Boston’s Logan Airport! I am currently heading West after my quick trip East for my annual Montreal trip and Geekend. But let’s go back a couple of months to where the blog left off. I’d just gone from Chula Vista, CA up to San Fransisco then down to LA where I left on July 4th to head North again. Remember?? 🙂
As I left LA, I headed straight toward Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
I cannot get enough of those ginormous trees! Needless to say I saw a ton of them – each one amazing. I took hikes in both parks and made sure I saw both the General Grant tree and the General Sherman tree just to be fair. I apologize for all the tree pictures, but I just kept trying (and failing) to capture their amazingness.
From the big trees I was headed to Lassen Volcanic National Park, but thanks to the GPS I got a little sidetracked – in a good way. It started like this:
Me: GPS, really!?!?!
GPS: [displayed map and directions]
Me: but I was planning on taking rt. 89
GPS: [displayed map and directions]
Me: [after consulting map] well, I suppose this will take me to the same place. FINE! I’ll go your way.
GPS: [displayed map and directions but now with a subtle smugness]
In this case the GPS was totally right. It took me down this backroad through the Lakes Basin area of Plumas National Forest near Greagle, CA. It was nearly devoid of people and filled with lakes, mountains, wildflowers and empty campgrounds. (Though the locals later told me the place was crazy busy on 4th of July weekend.)
It was so pretty I decided to stay for 2 nights. During that time I saw Frazier Falls, walked the Red Fir nature trail, hiked the lakes loop trail and enjoyed the Mills Peak overlook & fire tower complete with cigarette smoking ranger. This area had lots of mining activity in the 1800s, and I saw historic stuff everywhere I looked.
On my lakes hike I found patches of SNOW – in July! I was thrilled by this, especially not knowing what I’d be seeing in just a few days. I cannot emphasize enough how much I liked this region! Seriously, make sure you see the pictures. Thank you GPS!
A quick drive North from the Lakes Basin had me in Lassen Volcanic National Park where even more beautiful sights awaited me. In my first outing in the park I hiked to Cold Boiling Lake and Crumbaugh Lake – some of the trail was snow covered. Surprise! Glad I brought my hiking boots.
Driving through the highest areas of the park I saw even more snow – some of the trails were still closed because of it. One of my favorite things was the mud pots – essentially boiling mud. The sight and sound was kinda mesmerizing. You can see a video of it on my instagram account – Click here to view
The first night at my campground there was a deer feeding so close to my tent I could hear it chewing. So cool! My hike to Mill Creek waterfall also had several deer about and lots of alpine wildflowers. Oh, and of course there was a waterfall…..eventually. Before I headed North out of Lassen I got to take a shower. Such a lovely thing when you’re road-tripping & camping that it’s worth mentioning!
Fun Fact!! Hey kids – this is what a public phone with a mini-booth looks like!
My drive from Lassen took me through Lakeview and Big Valley (those of a certain age will immediately think of the TV show Big Valley as I did). I stopped in Alturas looking for a bathroom (success) & maybe lunch (fail) and stumbled across the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge. I got to take a needed break from the car and see tons of birds and little critters. Such a peaceful and beautiful walk. This was another serendipitous stop that makes me so happy to be on this trip.
Later in the day I passed the salty, disappearing Lake Albert – more birds, more pretty, more awesome.
On July 10th, I drove out of Northern CA into Burns, OR where I stayed at the Silver Spur Motel- $48 including tax and no ID necessary. Despite the cost, it was clean and the shower worked beautifully. A perfect way to start the next leg of my trip.
Next time – my journey from Oregon to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. What was I thinking? Stay tuned! 🙂
Click the advancing rodent for pictures of my trip!