Thursday, October 10, 2013

End of May pictures

After getting setup, we decided to take a hike up one of the nearby trails. Tanzy’s beagle half really kicks in when we are in the wilderness. Her nose is on the ground and her tail wags 90 miles per hour. She is a good girl and sits on command but we have been unable to get her to pose and look at the camera. That makes this shot special for us.

T and T in wilds   Mountain view

This is the aftermath of our hike. Tanzy fixed her bed on the coach with two pillows and Lou’s rag quilt. Then she had Fluffy to join her to dream of all the creatures that she detected with her overactive nose. Fluffy was her very first stuffed animal when she first joined our family.

Tanzy and Fluffy

A friend of one of the camp workers and spent the winter restoring this trolley car. We all took a ride around the camp ground. He did a very nice job with beautiful wood working.


Since Tom was going to be responsible for the patio boats, he thought that a ride was in order. They are 24 foot pontoon boats with big yellow biminis. Yellow is KOA,s color of choice.

Tom piloting the boat  Snow on the mountains 1

If you click to enlarge the mountain picture, you can better see the snow on the mountain. There was little snow fall in the 2012-13 winter. That coupled with the picture taken in early June, not much snow is visible.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

May 24, Our First Foray into the Forest

After arriving at Trinity Lake KOA we were anxious to see the sites. What are the sites when you are located in the middle of one of the largest wilderness areas on the west coast? Forest, streams, mountains, lakes, flowers and more trees.

Trinity county is one of the largest counties in California. About a third the size of the state of Vermont. There are 13,000 people in 32,000 square miles. It is listed as rural! With more than 2.5 square miles per person I think that rural is a good descriptor. There are no traffic lights in the county. Two east-west roads and only one north-south road. Our KOA is located on state route 3 about 30 miles north of Weaverville in the heart of the Shasta-Trinity-Whiskeytown National Wilderness Area. Don’t let the designation as a state route fool you. Just north of KOA there is a warning that the road is very steep and winding. Vehicles over 32 feet and those pulling trailers are advised not to use the road. It is a very scenic drive but not for those who get squeamish on roads with no guard rail and vey long way down.

Our first adventure was UP a logging road following Swift Creek. These are a few of the pictures that we snapped. Lou with her smart phone and Tom with his trusty Sony camera. (More on that a much later date.)

Swift creek

Our first view of Swift Creek from the trail.

Lou w Tanzy on hillside  Tom n Tanzy on hillside

Guess who.  A couple of Buckeyes and their dog!

Red flowers 1  Blue flowers 1

Flower White  White Flowers 2Flowers 1

There were many flowers that caught our eye. These are just a few. The views of Trinity Lake and of the near by mountains were great. The humidity in May was about 10% which made for clear air.

Lake view 1  Lake w trees 2Mountain view 1

More flower and soil pictures.

Close up 4  Close up 3

Close up 2  Close up

Close up 5

This last picture was taken farther up in the mountains where we were unable to hike (getting older isn’t any fun). Of course the picture was taken before the snow had melted. Photographer is unknown.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Visiting friends on the way to Trinity

We took these pictures the end of May before reaching Trinity.

We made this trip with a number of objectives. One was to leave the heat and humidity of south Florida. We also wanted to visit with relatives and friends along our route. We visited Lou’s nephew, Christopher, and his lovely wife, Katie, in Denver. (Pictures in a previous blog.) High school and college friends Al di Vitorio and Dan Shellhamer were our next stops.

Al and Sally live in Camino near Placerville where Al is a surgeon and Sally a nurse. In their already busy lives they make time to operate a wine making operation complete with “cave storage” for aging and a most enjoyable tasting room,

diVittorio Winery Sign   Al and me tasting room

We enjoyed the di Vitorio’s hospitality. They couple in their Kitchen. Nice Party!

Al n Sally in Kitchen  Al's Kitchen party

While staying at Al and Sally’s, we took a day trip “up the hill” to Dan Shellhammer’s in New Mexico. His wife, Cathy, was away on a trip. Sorry to have missed her.

Dan @ Dans (2)   Dan n Tom @ Dans

A Visit to Lassen National Park

Sorry but I have been locked out of our blog. I finally got in. This blog was written in May while we were in Trinity. We are in San Antonio, Texas on our way home. I will post blogs with pictures as time permits. I hope that you will enjoy the belated showings.

We had three days off in a row so we decided to visit Lassen NP. Lassen is not that far from Trinity but the mountain roads slow you down. Also there is only one way that is paved to get west to I-5 and Lassen . On rte. 299 there is construction. They are cutting into the mountain sides to get fill for places where severe bends had occurred. We were not held up too long, 10 minutes before being escorted through the construction sites. Some have had to wait up to 2 hours to get started. It takes almost 20 minutes to go the 3 or so miles. It will certainly improve travel time east/west when finished.

As you approach Redding, you pass by Whiskeytown Lake. Whiskeytown is another town , like Trinity Center, that was flooded when the lakes were formed. Redding is a fairly large city that has too much traffic for me. We did some shopping. I bought a smart phone at the Verizon store while Lou was getting help with hers. (I swore I would never get one but that is a story for a different blog.)  It rained. We spent the night south of Redding in Red Bluff at a Best Western.

The drive to Lassen was about 60 miles through the brown parched California country. I guess some call it the Golden California. Smile The rain had gone but low clouds were hanging around. They were predicted to lift by noon. They did not lift completely as our pictures will show.

Rock strenw field

These first shots show some of the views that we saw. The road through the park was twisty and hilly as most mountain roads are. Several places the road hung on the edge will a long drop to the creek below.

Landscape view 4

I enjoyed photographing the narrow creek beds as the water flowed down the mountain side. There were numerous like these.

Landscape view 3

Creek on Lassen

This was a meadow where Lou spotted a couple of deer on the far side. We stopped and watched them quite a while. The one eating stopped eating and watched us cautiously for a while. When it appeared that the deer thought that we were not a threat, it returned to it’s lunch.

Landscape view 1

Another scenery shot. I once had a guy tell me he did like like Alaska. When asked why, he replied “There is nothing up there but scenery.”

Landscape view 5

There are a number of distinct geological features in the park. This is probably due to the presents of all four types of volcanoes found around the world. They are the cinder cones, composite volcanoes, shield volcanoes, and lava domes.

Landscape view 2


Lou at mud potrTom at mud pots 2

“Bumpass Hell is the largest concentration of hydrothermal features in the park. Bumpass Hell was named after an early settler who severly burned a leg after falling into a boiling pool. The hydrothermal features can be reached today from a well-marked 1.5 mile trail that starts from a parking area opposite Lake Helen. A visit to Lassen is not complete without a stop at Bumpass Hell.”



Our visit was not complete as we did not hike to Bumpass Hell. We did not have the necessary foot gear. You walked on snow pack 3 to 4 feet deep made slippery by many Hell visitors. Also the fog was so thick that you could not see more than 20 or 30 feet in front of you. We plan to return. (A later blog).

No trip can be enjoyed without lunch!

Lou at lunch Lassen

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

On to Utah


Boy, these blogs get ahead of you when you are busy travelling. It is about a month after we left Denver and there has been much to see and do. Southern Utah is a high plateau. Most of the time the altimeter reads well over 6,000 feet above sea level. 8,000 was not an uncommon reading. Several times we were over 9,000. The air is cool, clear and deficient in oxygen. I notice the last as we climb trails to explore the wonders of geology that the Lord has bestowed on the area over the last 300,000 years. The air quality makes for beautiful blue skies.

Leaving Denver we slugged our way up and over the Rockies. The last pass was 11,200 feet. The motor home made the last bit in third gear and was happy the air temperature was near 40 degrees. Otherwise we might have had a bit of an overheating problem. Everything was downhill from there, almost everything, there were numerous grades of 6% or more, both up and down. (Click to enlarge, back arrow to return.)

First look Distant Geology

The first looks that we had were of the distant geology. The haze is due to the large distances, maybe 8 to 10 miles away.

Colored EarthFluted Columns

As we drew closer, we could see the many colors in the soil. Much of the color comes from iron compounds although manganese, copper and other minerals add to the coloration.

We hiked one river bed away from the more common tourist route.

Tom Hiking Lou hiking

The spring flowers were in blossom. What a treat.

 Wild flower 1Wild flower 2

There were numerous petroglyphs. We found some where the park people had built board walks near but we also found some while hiking up a dry river bed. You have to be aware of the weather while hiking dry river beds. A rain storm miles away can turn the river into a raging torrent in a matter of minutes. Lives have been lost by careless hikers. Many places there is no high ground to get to as the walls of the canyon are narrow and steep.

petroglyph 1petroglyph 2

Our days were very eventful and tiring but we persevered. Smile There were so many scenes to absorb and photograph for later viewing. Someday, when we are old and gray, we will look and them and reminisce. Until then we enjoy sharing them with friends and family. We hope that you enjoy them. (I have several hundred more to choose from before getting to Trinity CA where we are now.)