We left Chico Wednesday morning after a short hike and delicious breakfast, and headed into the foothills to the northeast towards Lassen National Park. We have wanted to do this drive for several years, but the roads have been closed due to snow in May until this year.
The drive to Lassen was pretty, but the weather was rainy and clouds blocked some of the views. Our first stop was the Sulphur Mine area, where we saw the boiling mud! There were many fumaroles dotting the landscape; reminders of just how active this volcano is....
After a drive between high snow banks to the site of the devastation from the last eruption, exactly a hundred years earlier, we left Lassen and headed to Old Station buy gas. After crossing through Modoc National Park, we stopped in Alturas to buy food for lunch, including some cinnamon rolls made by a local Mennonite couple (or as the clerk called them "mendonights"). We headed north from Alturas, past Goose Lake and into Oregon. We turned west and into a long valley dotted with lakes, and into volcano country again.
We arrived in Bend with plenty of time to check into our
motel, and find the 10 Barrel Brewery, where we had fine beers and good food.
On Thursday, we headed out in rain showers for the Newberry Volcanic Monument. Due to the weather and the unusual lack of snow this early in summer, we were the only people on the Obsidian Trail that morning. After hiking the trail and then around Paulina Lake, we drove to the Lava Lands Center and got a pass to drive up to the top of Lava Butte, a cinder cone with a fire lookout on the top. As thunder storms were audible, we were told that the fire spotter would let us know if we had to go back down!
Our last stop was a lava tube...we didn't go very far in, since it was slimy and not as interesting as a real cave...
After showers and a nap, we walked around the old part of Bend by the river and then returned to the 10 Barrel for dinner.
The nap helped later that night as a party began in the room next door around 3:00am....only lasted an hour...
On Friday we drove up to Yakima, shopped at Costco, and
headed over Blewitt Pass (exploring some of the old gold mining relics on the way) and then Stevens Pass....arrived home by 7:00pm.
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