|We woke this morning to a heavy fog, so we decided to take our time getting ready to hit the road. Besides, it was a cool 44 degrees which never motivates us to move very quickly. We had a leisurely breakfast and with the skies finally brightening got under way about 10am.
A couple of blocks later we got back on I-5 Southbound. Normally we don't like to take the interstate unless there really is no other choice. We leave the interstates to the truckers! I have to admit, I have taken us on some real doozies trying to avoid the interstate, but the scenery is almost always better and we just sort of meander along wherever we go anyway. So slow and steady seems to work for us. Fortunately we would only be traveling about 50 miles before our turnoff onto 89 East this morning.
It was a lovely drive. I always forget what beautiful scenery this portion of I-5 affords. We were in and out of low lying clouds again this morning and before long we had a beautiful view of Mt Shasta. There really aren't any turnouts for photos, and traffic was heavy, so I had to shoot out the windshield. But it was still pretty. We made our way through the small town of Shasta City, past Lake Britton and continued toward Reno, today's final destination.
I guess I hadn't realized exactly where we were because all of a sudden a sign appeared reading:
Burney Falls 25 miles ahead. I excitedly asked Larry "do they mean OUR Burney Falls?" He laughed and replied "yes honey, OUR Burney Falls". We discovered this area last year on almost this exact same date when we came to nephew Scott's wedding. But we traveled a different route then and I didn't realize we would drive right past the park this morning. Made my day!
McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, located on Hwy 89, truly is a beautiful drive with a tree-lined, rolling road that meanders through the forest. And the best part, Burney Falls. Theodore Roosevelt called Burney Falls the “eighth wonder of the world.” I don't know about that, but the 129-foot Burney Falls is one of the most beautiful falls we've seen, and one of the most photographed attractions in the Shasta-Cascade region. It's not the highest or largest waterfall in the state but it certainly is worth visiting.
It flows at 100 million gallons every day with a never-changing water volume. Much of the water flowing appears to simply flow out of the rock or strata layers. This effect is from the springs which supply water for the falls from many different outlets above and within the falls. The area above the falls was formed by volcanic activity and consists of porous basalt rock which retains water from rain and snow melt underground and then releases the water through springs. The mineralized water creates a beautifully colored pool below the falls. A beautiful deep blue. With tinges of turquoise at the edge.
There weren't many folks here today so we were able to park easily, even with the 5'er behind. There are a few options at Burney Falls. You can drive up and park near the falls overlook about 150 ft away. At the very least we recommend you walk the easy path down to the base of the fall. And then there is a 2.4 mile loop/hike usually available, but it is currently closed for repairs. We were a bit disappointed as we certainly would have enjoyed taking it. So instead, I took a ton of pics and then we went back to the rig, made lunch and enjoyed eating it outdoors, with the visiting stellar jays hanging nearby in case there were crumbs. There weren't any (crumbs) as we had leftover spaghetti but I'm glad they dropped by!
We finally tore ourselves away, got back on Hwy 89 and not too many miles later Hwy 44. We were planning to stop in Susanville for fuel and were driving at a leisurely pace, enjoying the scenery, when a vehicle pulled alongside frantically waving their arms. We couldn't quite figure out what they were doing. We were pretty sure we didn't have a tire issue, as we have a Pressure Pro tire monitoring system, but it was still a possibility. So we pulled over and the other car stopped as well. The lady was yelling at Larry "are you trying to start a forest fire?" Say what??????
Check back later and I'll tell you what she meant!