“From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters…”

After leaving Samantha and John’s place in Oroville, I had such noble ideas of ascending Lassen Volcano (the largest plug dome volcano in the world) exactly 100 years to the day after its last eruption.

deb lassen sign

Entering into Lassen Volcanic National Park exactly 100 years to the day of the last eruption that occurred here!

But come to find out, that was not going to happen without a winter parka, snow shoes and a pick ax! The southern most active volcano in the Cascade Range twas covered in snow and fog!

bigblue and lassen peak

Lassen Peak covered in snow, cold temperatures and fog. BigBlue and I just looked on from afar!

However, the surrounding area was fascinating with its boiling mud pots, sulfurous fumaroles, and churning hot springs.

steaming pots

The boiling mudpots and steaming fumaroles definitely had an odor to it than only an egg could appreciate! It was still incredibly cool to see!

Lassan is one of the few areas in the world where all four types of volcano can be found (plug dome, shield, cinder cone, and strato).

Lassen national park overlook

The overlooks from the various points along the 30-mile highway 89 are spectacular!

And though the peak was covered with snow, the meadows afforded beautiful scenery, hikes and picnic areas.

snow covered lassen meadows

Lassen National Park provides diverse ecosystems and weather 6000-10500 feet above sea level! Even though the meadow was covered in snow, it was picnic perfect weather!

Admittedly, a braver soul would have traversed the elements to reach Lassen’s peak, but I have in mind to do some of the more difficult hikes with a buddy in the future (Sam or Brenda, get your boots ready!).

boots in snow

Standing on the snow at the base of Lassen Volcano (8500 ft). Need a hiking buddy for the ascent…get your boots ready!

Next on tap was the Redwood National and State Parks. But I just had to stop in Redding, CA to see the nation’s largest sundial over the Sacramento River!

sundial redding california

Here I am on the south side of the nation’s largest sundial which is a bridge spanning the Sacramento River in Redding, CA. It made me very thankful for my watch!

One day, I will have to a nation-wide trip to compare all the cities’ river walks…this one was pretty good!

sacramento river

Looking westward from the sundial bridge in Redding towards the Sacramento River and Shasta mountains. Beautiful balance of natural and urban!

One more stop, before hitting the coastal portion of the Redwood Park was putting my feet in the sapphire blue waters of Whiskeytown-Shasta National Recreation Area.

whiskeytown nra

The waters of Whiskeytown-Shasta National Recreation Area are nearly as sapphire-blue as Crater Lake…but not quite! It is a jewel of water surrounded by towering mountain peaks!

And, I found the way they do the dam for the fishes’ sake quite interesting, so I just have to post a info-sign here!

whiskeytown lake sign

These buoys are not to keep boaters away from swimmers, but to keep water away from water–warm water from cold water that is. The buoys are attached to a rubber curtain that drops 100 feet below teh water surface. A smaller curtain anchored at the upper end of the lake forces the cold incoming water toward the lake bottom. Working together, they trap the lake’s sun-warmed surface water, preventing it from mixing with the deeper, cold water. The cold water flows below this curtain as it exits, bound fro the Sacramento River. Why all the fuss? To save Chinock salmon spawning grounds in the Sacramento River. Chinock eggs and gry require temperatures below 50 degrees to survive. The cool water discharged from Whiskeytown Lake makes the difference, by a matter of degrees

Then after a few hours of meandering through various forests via the Trinity Scenic Byway I arrived at a part of the Redwood Park that isn’t often associated with it just in time to set up camp. This collection of redwood parks not only has forests, river ways, and prairies, but also a rugged pacific coastline.

trinity forest

Shasta-Trinity Forest covering the distance between Redding and the Redwood coastline…there were many little towns nestled in the valleys of which I thought “Oh, I could so live here!!”

bigblue on north california coast

BigBlue taking in the beautiful scenery of the north California coastline along the Redwood National Park. The coast is still rugged, even though there aren’t the bluffs and cliffs of Big Sur area.

The next morning was Memorial Day and not a soul was to be found on the fog-laden coastline.

redwood beach

Fog drenched beach early Memorial Day. Not a car or person could be seen in any direction…perfect solitude!

Just as the English have their poppies, on this memorial day silky beach pea and an orchid-like pink flower (that I cannot find the name of on google) peppered the north coastline of California in the sea mist.

wildflowers on redwood coastline

Wildflower feast for the eyes! I still have to find out what the pink ones are…they have an orchid-ish like tongue but googling “flowers on redwood coastline” hasn’t secured me any answers yet! Beautiful scenery none-the-less, especially on Memorial Day!

And though the day started out foggy, while walking in the woods, the sun began to make an appearance! And what a glorious appearance it was!

rays through the redwoods

The sun breaking through the clouds and the redwood trees! The rays were nearly tangible!

This was a great park both for beauty and for just the right amount of solitude. Being surrounded by some of the tallest and most massive tree species on earth has a way of reminding me that it is not all about me…and that’s not a bad thing!

deb by redwood tree

Here I stand, camouflaged, as a knot of the redwood tree. The trees were massive…and it all started from a pine cone that fits in the palm of your hand!

I finally had to bid farewell to the beautiful state of California as I headed into the great adventures that Oregon had for me! And, DV, that will be the content of my next blog entry!

yellow lady bug

A 12-dotted yellow ladybug enjoying herself on the flowers found at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. (I think it is really called a spotted cucumber beetle though!)

Just as a personal note…it was also on Memorial day that I woke up to excruciating pain in my funny bone and my the top joints of my right pointer and thumb unable to bend. It seems it is nerve related and that driving 15,000 miles with your elbow planted on an armrest can impinge one’s nerve. Thankfully, the pain has disappeared! But no more armrests for me!

redwood sunrays

The Redwoods is in my top 5 parks so far! The variety and views are simply breathtaking!

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