Sunday, July 21, 2019

Mount Shasta

On 11 July we headed north on State Route 89 to camp near the spectacular Mount Shasta (CA) in the southern Cascade Range of Shasta-Trinity National Forest. When I lived in Shasta County as a teen and young adult, I saw Mount Shasta every day from my home about an hour south. I had seen it numerous times as I drove by on I-5, but I had never gotten as close as I did on this day. It really is such an impressive mountain/volcano. Mount Shasta and its satellite cone, Shastina, are visible from very far away, as it towers about 10,000 feet above its surroundings!

Mount Shasta from the McCloud area. Photo by Virginia.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

After twenty-five days with our cousins in Redding, CA, we had our sights set on spending a few days at Lassen Volcanic National Park (CA); but first, errands: oil change for the Roadtrek and grocery shopping at two stores. I handed out a business card to employees at the oil change business and at Trader Joe's. Both of the ladies appeared very excited about our adventure and asked where we were headed, etc. Once stocked up on food, we left Redding where it was 88°, and headed east on California State Route 44. When we reached 2,000 ft. elevation, the temperature had dropped to 82°; and at 3,000 ft. elevation, it was 77°.

We stopped in Shingletown to gas up; and our next stop was the park entrance, where Margaret's pass got us in for free! Once we reached 5,000 ft. elevation, the temperature had decreased to 70°. While Margaret was driving, I was taking photos and videos. We arrived at Summit Lake Campground North at 4:15 pm on 08 July, and it was a cool 68°. Yay! We found a lovely pull-through site and settled in. We were surrounded by huge pine trees and were very close to Summit Lake. The campground had flush toilets, showers, picnic tables, fire rings, and very recently had the potable water line repaired; so we had drinking water, too!

Loomis Ranger Station @ Lassen Volcanic National Park. Photo by Margaret.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Sundial Bridge & Redding, CA

After leaving Potato Patch Campground, we drove to Chico and headed north on Highway 99. Driving through the miles of orchards felt very familiar to me, as I lived and worked in Shasta and Tehama Counties many years ago. Whereas the temperatures were in the 80s up at the campground, we watched it climb to 103 degrees before too long. The area has changed a great deal since I was last there, but there were enough familiar streets, buildings, and landmarks to spark quite a few memories.

We have been staying with our cousins in Redding, CA, (camping in their side yard with electricity!) for more than three weeks. During that time, we chatted, went out to dinner a couple of times, made dinner a couple of times, used the heck out of their Wi-Fi, had showers, did laundry, took advantage of the abundant variety of stores in which to shop, and Margaret had work done on the Roadtrek. We were also taken to see Burney Falls, Shasta Lake, and the stunning Sundial Bridge in the Turtle Bay Exploration Park on the Sacramento River.

Sundial Bridge from the south. Photo by Margaret.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Shasta Lake

The first time I laid eyes on Shasta Lake was in the summer of 1977. What I most remember is the huge amount of earth showing that should have been under water. The lake was at the lowest point in its history—nearly 250 feet below its normal depth! Its "full pool" shoreline length of 365 miles was reduced to about 124 miles. Such is definitely not the case now. Shasta Lake is gloriously and amply full! Since October 2018, Shasta Dam has received about 88 inches of rain, which is about 42% more than average. Roughly 90% of the water retained in the reservoir is from rain water. So, the increased rainfall did its job!

Shasta Lake (Mt. Shasta in the center background). Photo by Margaret.