Note: This blog was ready to post last Thursday (13 Sept), but we couldn’t find decent internet access, so it’s going up a week late – Sorry!

We started our California adventure by heading to Lassen Volcanic National Park which is a few hours from the border. But a very mountainous and hilly few hours. And of course we were arriving there late and it was dark and the deer were out in full force. We didn’t make it to our destination and instead parked a few miles short in a campsite along the road for the night. The next morning, after a few more ascents with Ginger we arrived at the National Park entrance and got all the info we needed. We spent the day checking out all the volcano hot spots, literally, and getting ready for our first backcountry hike the next day.

The view from up high on Mt Lassen

Looking down into Bumpass Hell

The steaming vents and landscape at Bumpass Hell

The sulphurous steam at Bumpass Hell

Our backcountry hike was around a couple of lakes, Butte and Snag lake, volcano lava fields and a final climb up and over a cinder cone.

Ready to hit the trail!

The view of the lava field and cinder cone across Butte Lake

It was hard going with the terrain being mostly sand and fine cinder. Christine was not impressed. We saw lots of deer enroute and they even came to visit us at our camp site.

Hiking around Snag Lake

Christine deer spotting

Christine and the friendly deer around camp

A bear also came pretty close and just as we were about to start cooking our dinner. But he pretty much stayed to himself and did a little bit of washing in the lake before heading in the opposite direction of us. Phewf! Before going to bed we tied up all our food and scented things and hung them between a couple of trees a distance away from our camp. We didn’t have any problems and did manage to get a pretty good sleep in our new sleeping bags and matts. And the tent also was a success.

Our new camping gear

The black bear at the lake

Dave remembers that there are Hershey bars in the bear bag!!

The edge of the lave field at Snag Lake

Christine climbing the cinder cone – and hating it!

The lava fields from the cinder cone

The view from the cinder cone, with Snag Lake in the distance

Dave on top of the volcano

The crater of the cinder cone

We made it out of the woods on Monday and headed to a campground to shower, do some laundry and get ready for San Francisco. We’re going into the big city!

Dave, very happy to be finished hiking

We left Tuesday and drove through a fair bit of traffic to land at Glenn and Emma’s, friends of Dave’s from Melbourne, in downtown San Fran. They even were so gracious as to give up there bed to us! And we really appreciated the 2 nights of comfort and space. When we got there Tuesday we went out for a super meal at a Peruvian restaurant. The next day we got up and out and explored the city. Mostly walking and looking at the Golden Gate Bridge, the steep hills, the cable car, the seals, etc… Lots to see and a beautiful day to do it.

In San Francisco, with the Golden Gate bridge behind

The seals at the fishermans wharf

The famous cable cars

The steep streets of San Fran, with Alcatraz island in the background

Dave riding the cable cars

At dinner with Glenn and Emma. Thanks again guys!!!

After a very long lie in on Thursday morning we loaded the bikes back on the van and hit the road again. We are now in an RV park just outside of Yosemite National Park, and will hit the park first thing in the morning.

1 Comment

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One response to “Californi-vacation

  1. Madeleine


    You guys are so versatile- from backpacking in all that cinder dust , to communing with the bears and the deers to riding the cable cars in San Francisco. And you both look so happy !
    Love to you both . Mom

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