Since we’d given up on our plan to explore Lake Tahoe for a day, we’d spent part of yesterday evening forming a new plan for how we would use the time in our schedule. We had three days until our reservation to camp in a fire tower in Oregon, so we mapped out a rough plan to make our way up there. In order to keep the pace of this journey manageable, I had hoped for a full day off from riding somewhere in California. Instead, and with some reservation, we planned some shorter mileage days that allowed us to fit in some additional places we wanted to see. The goal would be to make it to the Pacific coast, and camp and hike among the redwoods.
After the previous long day, we had a leisurely morning, and I spent some time making use of the wi-fi and updating the blog. We were eventually ready to leave around 9:30, but were side-tracked by a conversation with the friendly proprietor of the campground. The camp hosts at the Alder Creek campground are a really lovely couple, and full time RV-rs that travel the country when not hosting at this campground. It was really nice to find this place after our slightly stressful quest for a place to stay the night before. While we enjoyed our conversation, we were finally able to extricate ourselves from our friendly host and get on the road around 10 am.
This part of northern California is a beautiful place to ride, and for once, the weather was perfect. This is a really fun place to have a sportbike.
We found a fun looking roadside stop for lunch, with lots of picnic tables in the shade. It would have been the perfect stop, if this place wasn’t the least efficient fast food place on the planet. It took over half an hour to get our food. I had planned to get an ice cream cone after my lunch, but it took so long to get our tacos, I didn’t even bother. At this point, even though we didn’t have far to go, we were making such slow progress, we needed to get moving.
At our final fuel stop for the day, we also made a quick pit stop at the local hardware store. Keeping all of our various electronic gadgets charged has been something of a challenge, as its often several days between available shore power. Kevin solved this before the trip buy buying an inverter and wiring it into his top case such that we can charge a phone or camera while riding down the road. It turns out that only charging one thing at a time was a problem. Kevin uses his phone to run a tracking app that uses the phone’s GPS to track where we ride. In order to keep his phone from dying, he has to leave it plugged in whenever he’s running that app. That leaves my phone and two cameras orphaned. So, we stopped at the hardware store for a power splitter, and now his top case looks like Christmas light wiring gone awry. The little cooling fan in the inverter runs like crazy, but now we can charge both his phone and one other device, which means we can keep both phones and both cameras charged.
Tonight’s destination was the absolutely stunning Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California.
We arrived early enough in the afternoon to secure a tent spot in the park. We set up camp, and then rode down to a trail head to do some hiking. We didn’t get back to camp until about hour before dark, and by then, all the campgrounds were full.
We hiked a little over five miles between two different trails. One led to a beautiful waterfall, but the trail to the bottom was closed, and so we never got to a very good spot to get a picture of the falls. The other trail led to a boardwalk around one of the parks main features, the hydrothermal vents, mudpots, and fumaroles that are indicative of Lassen’s volcanic activity. Kevin liked that the area is referred to as “Bumpass Hell,” (seriously, that’s what its called on the park map) after a fellow names Mr. Bumpass, who guided people through this dangerous area. (Mr. Bumpass lost his leg guiding people around the fumaroles when he stepped through the surface into hotter than boiling water. He should have read the signs to stay on the boardwalks).
Some researchers were collecting data on carbon dioxide emissions of the vents while we were there.
7/14/2012 – 180 miles so we could hike to Bumpass Hell.