Sunday, July 21, 2019

Lassen Volcanic National Park (CA)

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 (08 Jul 2019) 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 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 at Lassen Volcanic National Park. Photo by Margaret.

A short movie of Lassen Volcanic National Park by Virginia.
[If you have trouble viewing this embedded movie, 
you may view it directly on YouTube here:]

Chaos Crags from the moving Roadtrek. Photo by Virginia.

Lassen Peak from the moving Roadtrek. Photo by Virginia.

Lassen Peak from the moving Roadtrek. Photo by Virginia.

Between the two of us, we saw a number of unusual (to us) birds while at Summit Lake: male and female American Goldfinches, Stellar's Jays, Mountain Chickadees, Western Tanagers, and Dark-eyed Juncos. We noticed a few squirrels and quite a few chipmunks. One chipmunk, in particular, put on quite a comedic show for me one afternoon. I saw a park newsletter moving jerkily up and down at the base of a tree. When I got closer, I saw it was a chipmunk shredding it up for its nest! The paper was several times larger than the chipmunk, but it didn't want to give up. It took off when I got too close; and, sadly for the chipmunk, I disposed of the paper in the waste receptacle. Later on that day, I saw a chipmunk racing up the campground road with a huge piece of paper in its mouth. Same chipmunk? I bet it was!

Each morning before the other campers and day use visitors arrived, I walked down to Summit Lake and took in the quiet, glassy, and clear lake. (Check out the movie above to see and hear what I did.) If you look at the enlarged images, you can see the rocks under the water and the clouds, vapor trails, and trees reflected in the surface of the lake. It was absolutely stunning!

A clear and glassy Summit Lake in the early morning. Photo by Virginia.

A glassy Summit Lake early in the morning. Photo by Virginia.

Summit Lake. Photo by Margaret.

Summit Lake. Photo by Margaret.

Since it got a little warm for us in the afternoon, Margaret wanted to deflect some of the sun by hanging up the space blanket and Aluminet we brought, which really does seem to help knock off a few degrees.

I sat outside reading and enjoying the sights for as many hours as possible each day, but the mosquitoes were a real problem. I noticed many campers spraying themselves with insect repellent, but I would rather go inside than be all oily and smelly.

The Roadtrek decked out to keep cool! Photo by Margaret.

Peaches sure has taken to life on the road. She truly enjoys her adventure walks with Margaret, but she prefers being off of the floor when inside and up on other things when outside. She jumped up on the step stool and backed in between my feet one morning. Several times, actually. :>)

Peaches. Photo by Margaret.

Peaches, the contortionist. Photo by Margaret.

I had made a double batch of vegetable tofu scramble and Potatoes O'Brien, which meant we had plenty of leftovers for breakfast burritos! (I sprinkled a little Daiya Cheddar over mine.)

A breakfast burrito made with vegetable tofu scramble, potatoes, and Daiya Cheddar. Meal and photo by Virginia.

On our second night at Summit Lake, I made the most "gourmet style" dinner yet: Mushroom Stroganoff (vegan) over organic whole wheat fusilli pasta. I wanted asparagus in a lemon and herb sauce and lucked out when I found a packet of ready-made skillet sauce with "real" ingredients at Safeway. They were both really delicious and complemented each other beautifully. There was even enough for second helpings.

Mushroom stroganoff and asparagus in a lemon & herb sauce. Dinner and photo by Virginia.

Sunset (09 July) through the window above my bed! Photo by Virginia.

On our way out of the park on 11 July 2019, we stopped at the Loomis Museum, where there were rangers on duty to answer questions, a documentary movie playing throughout each day, and lots of exhibits, books, and postcards. This area has a fascinating history. The names that are bolded in the post are links to either Wikipedia or park service webpages where you can find out about them.

Our next camping adventure didn't work out as we had hoped; but we still got really close to another big, beautiful volcano in the southern Cascade Range.

NOTE: Clicking on the photos in the post will open them in a larger view (recommended!). If you want to see more photos of the beautiful places we've shared, we have them in this Flickr Collection: Over the Hill Sisters Photo Collection.


Cyn said...

Just absolutely beautiful! I'm so happy you are both doing so well and having a great time. My hand is still bandaged so it's hard to type much.

Mary Jo said...

beautiful pictures, and I bet it was the same chipmunk getting more paper. And grumbling about the silly human taking away his nest supplies.

Margaret Hill said...

Ha, ha! You’re probably right, Mary Jo!

Margaret Hill said...

Your hand is probably much better now. Crippled or not, you’re still a faithful follower and commenter! I’m so grateful that Virginia and I are able to experience this lifestyle while we are able to!