Cathy and Don RV America travel blog

Mt Lassen

Standing on top of the glacier on Lassen

View from the top of Mt Lassen. Highlighting a cone volcano.

John, Don and I

Devil's Kitchen

Eagle Lake.

Emerald Bay.

Mountain Blue Bird at Eagles Lake

Sunset over Lake Tahoe.

In and Out Burger

Writing tonight from the Elks club in Sacramento, CA. Tomorrow we are headed to Muir Woods National Monument. I am really excited as John Muir has become my guru on this trip.

Let me share with you our wonderful experience in one of our countries least frequented National Parks, Lessen Volcanic National Park in California. We arrived at Highland Ranch RV Park on Tuesday. Beautiful, rural location with a resort across the street. We settled in and headed to the park to scope out the next days hike. First attraction, a mud pot. Definitely reminded us of Yellowstone. Within the park itself their are examples of four different types of volcanoes: cinder cone, plug dome, composite and shield. We headed to the base of Lassen Mountain, a lava dome that last erupted in 1914-1917. I was a bit intimidated as this would be the highest mountain we would climb. We headed to the resort across from our RV for a bite to eat after. We sat at the bar as it was pretty busy. We ordered a capresse salad without speaking with anyone else at the bar. It came and it was the best capresse salad I have ever had. When I mentioned to the bartender this fact, it sparked conversation from both ends of the bar. We ended up sharing contact info and taking notes from both sides of the table. Pat and Jim were from Philadelphia and had hiked Lassen Mt that day. Thad and Derrick lived locally and had opinions about trails as well. One of my favorite experiences of the trip is enjoying new friends.

Wednesday came and I was still not sure about this 10000 ft mountain. Ah but all works for the best. About .3 miles into the walk we met John. We stopped to chat and after about 5 minutes I recommended that the three of us talk and walk. There is nothing better then listening to a forester discuss his job as you hike in th forest. At one point John stopped and said, " I'm talking too much." I assured him it was perfect as I could not speak because I was too winded. I am so sure John and forestry got me through the 2.7 mile vertical climb. The very top of the trail was loose rock. Don and John went up and I stayed at the lower summit. Don and I quickly descended. We met John at the base and was introduced to his wife Dani. I am sure we will see John and Dani again hopefully in Sequim, WA where they are from. What an incredible hike.

The next day we hiked on the other side of the park on the Devils Kitchen trail. The hike was long but gained a modest 475 feet of elevation. We stopped frequently and collected more future hiking data from the couples we encountered. The Devil's Kitchen had multiple mud pots and fumaroles. It was a perfect name for this bubbling and steaming landscape. We then hiked to the Boiling Lake which was a loop trail. Definitely picked the wrong side of the loop as the couple we were hiking near took the other side and encountered a bear and her cubs. Oh well. We planned to meet one of our hiking friends at the local bar for drinks but it was closed so we headed home for dinner.

Friday we headed to Verdi Nevada to explore Lake Tahoe area. We stayed at an RV resort at a casino. Nothing like doing laundry and reading in a lounge chair by the pool. The park was in Nevada and part of the parking lot was in California.

Saturday we checked out Tahoe City. Stopped for coffee and walked a bit on the waters edge. Definitely touristy and crowded. We headed to hike the Five Lakes Trail in Alpine Meadows. The trail is in a canyon with high mountains surrounding us. It was 7 miles long with scenic views along the way. We made it to 5 pm mass at Corpus Christi. Dinner, to Don's delight was, In and Out Burger. I still can't believe I agreed to this. It was pretty good. We next ventured into Revision Brewery. We met Mike and Eric, two nurses. Mike had lived in Greenville NC, same city Kelly lives in. Both were avid hikers and had a lot of information. We sat down with them and took notes on hikes in the National Parks that we are headed too.

Sunday after the Patriots game we headed to Emerald Bay and hiked the Eagle Lake Trail. (Still strange to watch NFL at 10am!) This trail was unique as it has hundreds of stairs made out of the ledge. The view of Lake Tahoe was stunning. We hiked on ledge and in the forest. The sun was setting as we headed down the trail. It illuminated the clouds above the Lake providing a magnificent scene.

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