Crater Lake, from my short snowshoe on the ridge.
Crater Lake is still cloudy and snowing, but I can at least see the entire lake, which is all I need from this place. I do a quick snowshoe around the rim of the lake from the parking lot, maybe 2 miles round trip. Run into some others and we all attempt the trek to Discovery Point. The woman can't climb the steep slopes since she has skis, not snowshoes, so we give up and I head out of the park.
Driving on, I stop at Klamath Falls at a photo shop and ask for a replacement camera battery, but he's all out of them. Eventually I cross back into California and drive towards the Trinity Alps to perhaps do some backcountry hiking/camping. By the time I arrive at the nearby ranger station, it's closed. I need a map, and it's already late so I pull into a campground with the hopes of being able to sneak out in the morning without paying. It's strange looking, with no signs stating the campsite price. No information board at all in fact. I park and hit the sack.
A bit of background, I've been having problems with my truck's fob lately.
The hike up to Castle Dome
The hike up to Castle Dome with the crags in the background,
It doesn't seem to work at all. I tried replacing the battery in it but to no avail. Up until around now, I haven't been sure if the problem's with the fob or with the security/door lock system itself. Another symptom is that my doors will all automatically lock randomly, which thankfully up until now hasn't managed to lock me out of my car, since I've been carefully ensuring I always bring my keys on my person.
So the next morning, as I'm coming to, the damn doors auto-lock on me. Now I know that there's going to be no way for me to get out without setting off the alarm. Then I'll have to quickly unlock the driver's side door with the key to disable it. Having no other way around this problem, I maneuver as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the damage is done, the camp host is now aware I'm here. In about a minute she's on her way to collect the $15 fee. Two weeks since I've paid anything for "lodging"- not bad.
The ranger station is still closed, but I go to the country store next door and ask about the road conditions (the
This is the monolith I almost conquered.
20-mile gravel road to the trailhead). She doesn't know, so I just give it a shot. About 7 miles down the road I pass a truck and ask him what the rest of the road is like. He said it's snowed out a few miles ahead. Deflated, I head back the way I came. But I did have a backup plan- to hike Castle Crags State Park, not far from here.
I head towards said park, and take a road that I had earlier in this trip been forced to turn around on due to snow. But this time, I'm coming from the other side. It's been at least a week, maybe it's been plowed. This is a bet I lose, as I eventually get blocked by snow covered road. Once again, I find myself traveling all the way around a mountain range to get where I need to go. Getting real tired of this!
Arriving at Castle Crags SP, I park at the trailhead, and embark on the trail to Castle Dome, about 2.7 miles and 2500 feet away. Fairly strenuous hike, all uphill, with few plateaus. Eventually it gets very steep, and then you arrive at
the base of Castle Dome. With views of the Castle Crags and Mt Shasta off in the distance. The trail information I have says experienced climbers can continue on and climb to the top of Castle Dome. Well, experienced climber I am not, but adventurous I am, so I embrace my inner fool and give it a go.
Part rock scramble, part earnest rock climbing, I make it about 85-90% of the way to the top, when it becomes clear the rest is a bit risky to free climb. I'm pretty sure I could make it up, but getting down is always the trickier part. Time to invoke some caution and climb down.
After getting dinner in Burney, CA at a diner, which was probably the worst meatloaf I've ever had, I park somewhere between Susanville and Lassen NP off the side of the road for the night.
The next day I'm back in Reno, and I grab a few things from storage and stop by my UPS store mailbox.
Note: I eventually learn that the fob IS the cause of the mysterious door auto-locking, and thus removing the battery from the cursed device solves that
Yours truly on the side of Castle Dome
Me ascending Castle Dome, with the Castle Crags in the distance.
Tot: 2.093s; Tpl: 0.016s; cc: 13; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0225s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb