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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    249

    Default Volcanic Legacy Byway trip

    From July 7 to 14 I took my family on a trip from Southern California to Central Oregon and back. We noticed that much of the trip followed the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway. I will post photos and more info later, and I will start with mileage and travel times.

    July 7: All on I-5 north
    Orange County to Castaic (breakfast stop at McDonalds): 78 miles in 1 hr., 12 mins.
    We left at 6:00 AM on a Saturday morning, so we didn't hit much traffic on I-5 north. Usually I would take CA 57 north to I-210 east and connect to I-5 north of Los Angeles. This portion of the drive is a trip through the city and suburbia, so it was OK to sleep through (for the passengers).


    Castaic to Santa Nella (lunch stop at Pea Soup Andersens): 233 miles in 3 hrs., 10 mins.
    Following I-5 north through the hills can be interesting (especially in April and May when the wildflowers are blooming). During the summer we see mostly brown grass and dark green oaks. From I-5 you can see bits of the old, 2-lane Ridge Route and imagine how long and hard it would have been to drive from LA to Bakersfield in the good ol' days. After descending the Grapevine ag land spreads out on both sides of the interstate. As my wife and kids distracted themselves with other things I called out the crops I observed. "Pistachios! Corn!..."

    Santa Nella to Stockton (gas stop): 72 miles in 1 hr., 2 mins.
    Here we see more central valley ag land and rolling hills. Yawn.

    Stockton to Dunnigan (rest stop): 79 miles in 1 hr., 9 mins.
    Stockton is the port furthest inland of any on the west coast of the US (70 miles!). It's surprising to see big ocean-going ships just to the left of the highway in the central valley. As you drive north through Sacramento you can see Old Sacramento on the left. We had no time to stop this trip.

    Dunnigan to Redding (lodging): 124 miles in 1 hr., 42 mins.
    It's surprising how much of California is covered with rolling hills and oak trees. If you were to be blindfolded and dropped off around Anderson, it would be hard to tell if you were in northern or southern California. This part of northern California is HOT! It was 104 when we arrived in Redding (about 20 degrees hotter than it was in Orange County that day).

    Total time (including rests and meals): 8 hrs., 18 mins.

    July 7: All on I-5 north
    Orange County to Castaic (breakfast stop at McDonalds): 78 miles in 1 hr., 12 mins.
    Castaic to Santa Nella (lunch stop at Pea Soup Andersens): 233 miles in 3 hrs., 10 mins.
    Santa Nella to Stockton (gas stop): 72 miles in 1 hr., 2 mins.
    Stockton to Dunnigan (rest stop): 79 miles in 1 hr., 9 mins.
    Dunnigan to Redding (lodging): 124 miles in 1 hr., 42 mins.
    Total time (including rests and meals): 8 hrs., 18 mins.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 07-19-2012 at 10:56 PM. Reason: trying to get timeline correct?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Sounds like an interesting and beautiful trip! I'm looking forward to reading it, and seeing your photos!



    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    249

    Default

    Stopping at Andersens in Santa Nella has become a family tradition.
    039.jpg

    The Yuet Bistro in Redding had decent Chinese food, but we found the number of different ways "vegetable" was spelled in the menu the most interesting.
    081.jpg

    The photos for the following days will be much more interesting.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    249

    Default

    July 8
    Redding to Weed (stop to return phone call): 69 miles, 1 hr. 10 mins.?
    Weed to Klamath Falls, OR (fuel stop): 75 miles, 1 hr., 13 mins. (regular was only $3.399 per gallon here)
    Klamath Falls to Crater Lake (rest stop and lunch): 55 miles, 1 hr., 6 mins.
    Crater Lake to Sunriver (lodging for next 3 nights): 101 miles, 1 hr., 50 mins.

    July 9 (minimal mileage)
    High Desert Museum (Bend)
    Lava Lands (Newberry National Volcanic Museum) south of Bend

    July 10
    stayed all day in Sunriver

    July 11
    Deschutes Brewery tour in Bend
    remainder of day in Sunriver

    July 12
    Sunriver to Klamath Falls on US 97 (fuel stop): 125 miles; 2 hrs., 6 mins.
    Klamath Falls, OR to Tulelake, CA on CA 139 (stopped at WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument): 30 miles, 44 mins.
    Tulelake to Newell (stop to see Tule Lake Segregation Camp and eat picnic lunch): 9 miles, 13 mins.
    Newell to McArthur-Burney State Park via CA 139, CA 299 and CA 89 (stop to see Burney Falls): 117 miles, 1 hr, 59 mins.
    McArthur-Burney State Park to Lassen Volcanic National Park north entrance via CA 89: 45 miles, 53 mins.
    Lassen north entrance to Mineral via CA 89 and CA 36 west (lodging): 37 miles, 1 hr, 9 mins.

    July 13
    Mineral back to Lassen: 22 miles (spent about 4 1/2 hours in the park)
    Lassen to Gridley via CA 89/36 east, CA 32, and CA 99 (late lunch and fuel): 99 miles, 1 hr., 57 mins.
    Gridley to Fowler via CA 99, I-5, CA 4 east, CA 99 (lodging): 240 miles, 3 hrs, 41 mins.

    July 14
    Fowler to Sanger via CA 99 north and surface streets (fuel stop): 5 miles, 13 mins.
    Sanger to Centerville Fruit Station via surface streets and CA 180 east (buy fresh peaches, nectarines, etc.): 18 miles, 30 mins.
    Centerville to Reedley via CA 180 east and Reed Ave. south (lunch at Uncle Harry's Classic Meals): 11 miles, 20 mins.
    Reedley to Delano via county roads, CA 201 west, and CA 99 south (Starbucks stop): 74 miles, 1 hr, 14 mins.
    Delano home to Orange County via CA 99, I-5, I-605 and CA 91 east (avoiding slow traffic on section of I-5): 3 hrs., 10 mins.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    249

    Default

    July 8
    Redding to Weed (stop to return phone call): 69 miles, 1 hr. 10 mins.?
    This is where the drive got more interesting for me. I grew up in the chapparal, so it was nice to climb higher in elevation and get into conifer forests. As you ascend toward Mt. Shasta the trees get bigger and the temperatures lower.
    This is a view along I-5 north between Dunsmuir and Weed.
    088.jpg

    This is Black Butte, a parasitic lava dome of Mt. Shasta (closer to Weed).
    090.jpg

    Weed to Klamath Falls, OR (fuel stop): 75 miles, 1 hr., 13 mins. (regular was only $3.399 per gallon here)
    The ascent out of Weed brings beautiful views of the north side of Mt. Shasta (on clear days).
    092.jpg

    As you drive north to even higher elevations you leave the conifer forest and get to the southern Oregon high desert and lots of agricultural land on US 97.
    095.jpg

    Klamath Falls to Crater Lake (rest stop and lunch): 55 miles, 1 hr., 6 mins.
    I think I enjoyed the drive more the closer we got to Crater Lake. The tall confer forests brought another welcome relief from the flat ag land that I'm so used to.

    Crater Lake was high enough that there was still lots of snow in July.
    101.jpg

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    249

    Default

    Crater Lake to Sunriver (lodging for next 3 nights): 101 miles, 1 hr., 50 mins.
    Wizard Island is a cinder cone in the caldera of the volcano Crater Lake now occupies.
    028.jpg

    More volcanic activity is apparent as you continue north on Crater Lake Highway toward OR 138.
    030.jpg

    Back on US 97 I noticed a frustratingly common habit of SUV and pickup truck drivers who towed trailers and drivers of RVs. There were passing lanes of 1 mile in length every so often on the highway to allow faster vehicles to pass the slower ones. As we approached a passing lane, however, I noticed puffs of diesel smoke from the tailpipes of the trucks and RVs as they raced to the end of the passing lanes. So instead of continuing on at 55 mph as they'd been driving the last 10 miles, they'd speed up to 75 mph as quickly as they could. It puzzled me that this was so predictable. It wasn't just one or two drivers who wanted to keep faster traffic behind them-- it was nearly every one (and most of them had California plates--D'OH!).

    I'm afraid to admit I had to pass some of them on the right because they stayed in the passing lane and drove as fast as they could to keep others from getting in front of them, but even an old minivan loaded with a family and all their junk can beat a Ford F250 diesel hauling a trailer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default I was just complaining about this...

    Yeah, that drives me crazy too. In order to pass the dawdlers you have to reach speeds of 80+ and then as soon as the passing lane ends, everyone dials it back to the normal highway speeds. It's just nutty behavior.

    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    249

    Default

    July 9

    "High desert" must mean different things to different people, because the High Desert Museum is in the midst of a pine forest while I'm used to high desert vegetation consisting of creosote bushes, joshua trees, and sage brush.

    The museum has a number of interesting critters. Here are a couple:
    078.jpg

    092.jpg

    The Newberry Volcanic National Monument has a really cool (literally-- it was 40 degrees inside) lava tube to explore.

    105.jpg

    Supposedly NASA is studying the bacteria found inside the lava tube because they think it may be like primitive life forms on Mars.

    The cinder cone at the national monument is clearly seen on the east side of US 97.
    182.jpg

    Once you get a reservation you can drive to the top.
    133.jpg
    Last edited by shirohniichan; 07-22-2012 at 06:38 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    249

    Default

    Here's a shot of US 97 north taken from the top of Cinder Butte (you can see Bend in the distance).
    112.jpg

    Moochers await at the Cinder Butte parking lot (even though it's illegal to feed them).
    128.jpg

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    249

    Default

    On July 12 we got off the beaten path to some sparsely traveled California state highways.

    Right off the east side of CA 139 is the current town of Newell that used to be the Tulelake Segregation Center. During WWII Japanese Americans and Japanese residents who did not answer "yes", "yes" on the two loyalty questions of a questionaire were sent here as "disloyal." The building under the new roofed structure is the original jail.
    143.jpg

    We didn't have time to stop by Lava Lands National Monument as I'd hoped, so we continued down CA 139 to CA 299 west toward Lassen. As you drive south on CA 139 from Newell on the way to Canby the landscape changes from sage and grass to conifers.
    158.jpg

    CA 299 west just west of CA 139
    163.jpg

    Between Adin and Bieber the scenery changed back to agriculture and scrub with fewer trees. As we entered the town of Bieber I voiced my concern that my 12-year old and 6-year old daughters might contract Bieber fever. My 12-year old (listening to the Beatles and Clapton on her iTouch) told me she'd already been inoculated.
    173.jpg

    Big trees reappeared after Bieber and Nubieber. The approach to Pittville descended quite a bit from the 6,603 foot Big Valley Mountain Summit on CA 299 west.
    177.jpg

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