« Meet Moira | Main | Sing The Jingle contest »

May 29, 2007

Smelly mud

The wife and kids smell the sulphuric mud pots at Lassen

No blogging for the past week or so as we took our annual family vacation and went again to explore the natural beauties of Northern California. This year's trip began with a leisurely drive up Hwy 1 following the Sonoma and Mendicino County coastline which was resplendent with spring flowers and bright sunny weather. A visit to the botanical gardens in Fort Bragg was a particular treat.

We then traversed the Trinity/Shasta coastal range on Hwy 36, a much more remote route than I expected with the road getting down to a single lane over some very steep and mountainous terrain. We left the coast with almost half a tank of gas and figured there would be stations along the route. When the last town on the map, Mad River, turned out to be a single store that was long since out of business and the sign said next service 59 miles we realized how remote the area is. We finally staggered into the small town of Hayfork with barely a couple of miles worth of gas and luckily their one and only gas station was open.

After visiting an old friend in Redding we headed to the most fascinating part of the trip the Lassen Volcanic National Park. Usually the road that runs thru the park does not open till June or even July but this year's light snowfall allowed them to open the park early and we were some of the first to cross the summit. The scenery is terrific and the summit was still thick with snow and the lakes frozen solid. The kids' favorite was the bubbling mud pots and the sulphur smell lead to lots of jokes.. (There is a place there called Fart Gulch).

We then continued thru the high Sierra to Lake Almanor and onto the eastern slope in Susanville and down to Reno and Circus Circus for the kids. I have passed thru Reno and Northern Nevada on several occasions in recent years and find it to be a most interesting part of the country. Its colorful past with plenty of historic towns such as Virginia City, the amazing scenery of the high desert, the remoteness and the various native American reservation together makes for an intriguing area to spend time.

We took a most interesting way to return to the Bay Area by taking Hwy 70 thru Plumas County traveling down the Feather River Canyon where we stumbled upon a music festival at an ancient lodge tucked onto a small island at the confluence of the river's north and south forks.

It was a wonderful trip which once again impressed me with the abundance of natural beauty that we are so blessed with in the this part of the world. Back to regular blogging tomorrow.

Posted by acapnews at May 29, 2007 10:27 PM