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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,737

    Default Love this area.

    Hi Buck. I hope one day that I may be able to bring my Grandchildren out to this wonderful part of the world you call home. I hope you are back on the road with the family soon.

    Hi Utahtea, good to see you on the forums ! Alabama hills are great, to get the opportunity to stay overnight is even more special.

    Dave.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,737

    Default North to Lake Tahoe.

    September 18th

    After breakfast we drove to the parking area at the Mobus arch trail along the Movie flats road, so called as it has been a popular location for movie makers. As well as many old western films, more recently Russell Crow filmed a scene here for the blockbuster movie 'Gladiator' and it was also used in Star Trek Generations. It's also been a double for the 'Khyber pass'.

    We walked around the trail and as we went we explored through rock cuts and climbed the rocks, each time you looked up you saw something new. All this plus the Sierra Nevada as a back drop, including the highest mountain in the lower 48. [Mt Whitney] The contrast between the rounded red boulders and desert floor against the white chiselled appearance of the Sierra's is quite stunning.



    Louise discovers a mini mountain range under the arch !







    Despite our early start this morning, time is flying by and it's time to leave this amazing place [not an easy thing to do] as we have another 250 miles ahead of us. Our first stop is Lone Pine where we go to the local grocery store and fill the cupboards up in the RV with supplies and then we head for the Alabama Hills café for brunch. The café was filled with locals [always a good sign] and we found out why. The food was good and there was plenty of it and the staff were obviously happy in their work, highly recommended. The walls had a map drawing of the hills and other drawings naming some of the many shapes and faces you find etched into the rock face.

    I think someone gave nature a helping hand with this one !



    So back on the road we needed to make up a little time, so a few places noted from my research on the 'maybe, maybe not' list were skipped. These included Manzanar historic site, [where Japanese Americans were incarcerated during world war 2] Erick Schat's bakery in Bishop and the Mammoth scenic loop road. We did get to drive the June Lake scenic loop road which was pretty before stopping at the Tioga Mart on the junction of CA120 and US395 for fuel and to revisit the Mono lake vista point. I wasn't surprised to see how low the water level was on Mono Lake after several droughts, rain is much needed, but today I am grateful for the blue sky and warm temperature. It was strange to think that Yosemite NP's east entrance, our first ever National park to visit on our first ever trip [and our favourite] was just a few miles west of here yet we would not be visiting it this time. [We have plans to stay in Yosemite for a few days to explore properly on a future trip]

    June Lake.


    Mono Lake.



    We continued north on 395 through Fales Hot spring and Walker and then turned onto CA89 and gave the RV a nice work out climbing and twisting over Monitor Pass at over 8000ft, then it was over Luther Pass and Deadman's summit. We crossed rivers and creeks, drove through forests and had expansive views from the summits, just the type of driving I love ! We finally arrived at Camp Richardson on Lake Tahoe around 7pm and got checked in and parked up on our site before walking across the road and down to the beach to eat at the Beacon bar and grill for an evening meal. The food was wonderful and we enjoyed trying out the various 'rum runner' cocktails. It was quite a chilly walk back to camp under the clear sky's, but not enough to wake us up. We were all ready for a good nights sleep having had about 11 hours sleep over the last 3 days.

    Today's mileage 246. Total mileage 496
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 10-29-2015 at 04:11 AM.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,935

    Default How could you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    ... so a few places noted from my research on the 'maybe, maybe not' list were skipped. .................

    Erick Schat's bakery in Bishop
    Each vehicle I have driven through Bishop came to a screeching stop.... simply would not pass it by.

    Lifey

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,737

    Default I know !

    It was mainly down to the huge brunch we had ate in Lone Pine ! To full up to even contemplate picking up some goodies, mind you we regretted it later. lol. We will get there next time.

    Dave.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,737

    Default Onwards to Lassen.

    September 19th.

    After a good nights sleep in the RV we walked to the Camp Richardson store and grabbed a coffee before walking down to the shore to check out the views. Once again it was a beautiful morning with clear blue sky's.





    On the way back we stopped at the Camp Richardson hotel and took advantage of the Wi Fi to send messages home to the folks. We then returned to the RV and drained our waste water and topped up the water tanks before hitting the road. Our first port of call was Emerald Bay, just a few miles up the road. The road was narrow in places and the area seemed to be a mecca for cyclists, so it was a slow climb up the hill. When we arrived at the Emerald bay viewpoint it was already packed with cars queuing and jostling for a parking bay. We pulled into the parking area but there was no hope of parking the RV, it was actually a tight squeeze to get around the loop and back out. The road was even more blocked up by the time we had done this so I had to make a quick decision, to skip it or try again. Opposite was a small campground, so I drove over the road to give myself a little thinking time, then I noticed a camping spot big enough for the RV, it was to much of a temptation so I decided to 'borrow' it for a few minutes as the place was all but deserted. We went across the road in pairs to the viewpoint, leaving two behind to watch the vehicle and do what was necessary, move if it was someone's place and they returned , or pay the camping fee if needed. Fortunately neither was the case and we managed to all see the view. Maybe it was bit cheeky but it didn't do any harm.



    We continued up the west side of Lake Tahoe with more lovely views [and more cyclists] following US89 towards Truckee and then through Sierraville into Lassen National forest where we stopped for an RV lunch at Massack rest area. We continued our journey to Lassen National Volcanic park through the town of Quincy and past Lake Almanor to the south entrance of Lassen. We topped up with fuel on the way having seen the prices drop from a high of $4:40 down to $3:09, a huge difference when you have a 55 gallon fuel tank !

    Mount Lassen on the approach to the park.



    We were staying in the park at Manzanita Lake campground near the north entrance so we got to drive through the park this evening to get a taster of what we will see tomorrow. The road was steep and twisty in places with long climbs, but boy what an amazing drive ! It's a National park so it had to be good , but we were amazed at how beautiful the views were for a park that has a small amount of visitors compared to others.



    DSCF0362

    It took us about an hour to drive through the park to our campground, arriving around 6:30pm as the sun was beginning to set. We parked up in our spot and walked through the woods down to the lake to catch the last light. It was very quiet with a few people sitting on the shore and a couple of small boats fishing on the lake. We then spotted a couple of Deer having an evening swim !





    We returned to the RV and had a simple Stew and bread supper and washed it down with a couple of beers around the campfire.

    Todays mileage 210 Total 706 miles.

  6. #16

    Default

    Hi Dave,

    Great report as always.

    As a keen angler myself, I just love that photo with the deer and the guy fly fishing - absolutely fantastic!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    142

    Default

    Hi Dave.
    Great to be reading your report. Fantastic as usual. Interesting seeing your Lassen National Park pics. Looks like a great place. We have stayed in Westwood in Lassen County on both of our trips with rallies but havnt been to the park yet. We nearly got there last time but forgot and went to see the Sheriff in Susanville. (Relation) Then kept heading south from there. Looking forward to reading more.

    Cheers. Keith

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,737

    Default Thanks.

    Hi Subman and thanks. Yep, wasn't sure if he was a fly fisherman or a 'new age' Deer hunter ! ;-) Shame the Deer weren't facing me, it could have represented a 'water stage coach' with rider whip in hand. lol

    Hi Keith and Thank you. Hopefully it'll be 'third time lucky'. I was really impressed with Lassen. Hope the 'Sheriff went easy on you. ;-)

    Dave.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,737

    Default Lassen Volcanic Park.

    September 20th.

    The campground had quite a few tent campers and a lot of them were already sitting around campfires at 7am on this bright cold crispy morning. It was very quiet apart from the odd crackle and pop of the wood burning and the smoke clinging around the trees as the sun came up just made you think, yep this is the life and it's gonna be a good day ! So breakfast and shower sorted it was time to explore the park. First we drove to the other side of the lake where we got lovely views of the mountain as the sun created a mist rising off the water. We scrambled down a bank to the shore and also spotted a big bird opposite, which we presumed to be a type of Heron.

    Manzanita Lake.



    Then it was back through the park tackling big climbs, steep descents and switchbacks through the heart of the park, wonderful ! Even though we had been experiencing temperatures from mid 70F to low 80's there was still snow in sheltered spots and someone had even stopped and built a 'snow owl' by the side of the road, quite amusing as it felt like summer. We decided to head straight to Bumpass Hell as it was a highlight of the park and we wasn't sure what parking would be like. We needn't have worried, the car park was big and there were only 4 or 5 vehicles there. There were some lovely views to be had from the parking area as well as on the trail down to the Hydrothermal area, it was a wonderful 3 mile hike, round trip. It's not a difficult trail but it is located at 8000ft which makes it a tad harder than normal. Bumpass Hell [so named after the person with the unfortunate surname who discovered it] is the largest active thermal area in the park and we learnt that 'Big Boiler' fumarole is one of the hottest in the world, having had the steam temperature recorded at 322F.

    Bumpass Hell trail.



    Bumpass Hell.



    Lake Helen from the Bumpass Trail.



    After our walk we continued south to the Kohm Yah-Mah-Nee visitor centre near the southern entrance and had a look around at the informative displays and had lunch. It was now time to head north back through the park and visit other areas along the way. The first was the Sulphur works which was located close to the road with a nice size parking area. This was a big boiling mud pot and with the help of a swirling breeze it done it's best to chase you around with it's 'rotten egg' smelling steam invading your nostrils.

    Once again we wound our way over the mountain at a high of 8212ft near Lassen peak trailhead while stopping at various viewpoints and Kings Creek picnic area, Summit Lake and the Devastated area.

    Lassen Volcanic National park Highway.


    DSCF0565

    The Devastated area interpretive trail had good views of the mountain and took you through the trees where huge boulders that ended up here after the big eruption lay. Lot's of good info here telling you about the forces of nature. We continued north stopping at 'Hot rock' and Chaos Crags and out of the North entrance past Manzanita lake once more.

    Chaos Crags.


    Lassen National Forest on route to Burney Falls.



    Once we had left the park it was about an hours drive through the Lassen National Forest to our destination, Burney Falls Trailer resort, ready for our morning visit to the Falls. The owners of the RV park were very friendly and made us most welcome. We chose a site for the night and then drove into the town of Burney for a bite to eat. We ordered two Pizza's to eat in at Gepetto's that were very nice and VERY HUGE but they didn't mind giving us a take away box for the remainder, which was going to be plenty for lunch tomorrow. There was a late night supermarket just across the road so it was an ideal time to re-stock the fridge etc before returning to the campground.

    As I may have mentioned once or twice already, we really enjoyed our visit to Lassen, even though we only explored parts of it. We would love to come back one day and do a couple more hikes and visit the Butte lake and Cinder cone area as well as the Warner Valley. It's typically thought of as a day visit park but you could easily spend a couple of days here in my opinion.

    Today's mileage 135. Total 841 miles.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 07-01-2016 at 01:54 AM.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    142

    Default

    Well, you have done it now Dave. You have upset me that i didn't go to Lassen National Park. We will just have to not worry about our dollar being so low and go there. We had been told it was beautiful there and not a lot of people go. Shame. Hope they sell ice creams there. :)

    Keith

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