We started this day, Sunday, August 10, 2008, looking forward to the scenary ahead of us, in particular visiting Lassen Peak but this was tinged with a wee bit of melancholy as we realized this wonderful little road trip which was also the Last Hurrah of our Summer was now over half completed and we would soon be separated.
However, we didn't dwell on such thoughts and chose to live in the moment.
After breakfast at our new-found favorite local joint there in Alturas we headed up the road to the west on Highway 299 to Highway 139 which we took northwest with a short stop once again at Howard's Gulch Campground and then drove all the way up through the town of Tulelake and to Stateline Road which we then took west to Highway 97 and back down through Dorris and across Butte Valley and over the pass to Grass Lake where we stopped again at the rest area there before taking another little stop at the Highway 97 Mount Shasta vista point we stopped at a couple of days earlier.
Living Memorial Sculpture Garden. This is a very poignant and powerful place at least for those who endured the Vietnam War and I suppose any war.
I highly recommend all Americans visit this place at least once.
We then hit the road again and headed on down to Weed, CA, where we picked up Interstate 5 and took it south through the mountains intending to stop at the rest area near Lake Shasta but found it too hot and crowded so we got back on the freeway intending to stop somewhere outside of Redding to the east of town along Highway 44.
At Redding we switched onto Highway 44 and headed east and ended up driving all the way to Shingletown before we found a place we felt like stopping.
There we got gas and some snacks and water intending to enjoy them at the rest area just east of town that we had used in the past.
When we to said rest area we found it empty but for a single auto and a scraggly-looking guy playing with the gate to the rest area.
There was a sign at the entrance stating the rest area would be closed the following morning.
Almost immediately after getting out of our cars we found the scraggly-looking fellow in our faces informing us the rest area was closing right then and there.
The fellow sure wasn't dressed like a CALTRANS employee and this day was a Sunday (meaning it was not a work day) but he did have the keys to lock the rest area and was insisting we promptly leave albeit with trite platitudes to the effect that he was merely following orders.
Surely he could have given us five minutes, no?
I was civil, but did nothing to disguise my displeasure.
He seemed uncomfortable which was understandable, however, he seemed to try too hard to justify what he was doing.
Normally, when public servants inconvenience me I'm the model of grace and patience, particularly with road workers.
However, for some reason this guy didn't elicit that automatic reaction from me but instead I found myself pissed at him and after we left him at that rest area and headed on up to Mount Lassen National Park I found myself increasingly finding his story fishy.
I'm an extremely intuitive person and I have a potent internal b.s.-alarm which that fellow activated.
I now suspect he wasn't supposed to close the rest area until very early the following morning but didn't want to have to do that so he went in and closed it prematurely on his weekend so he could say he did it at the crack of dawn the following morning and save himself driving his lazy ass out there.
We soon pulled off of the highway and into Lassen Volcanic National Park.
As we drove up the short road to the park entrance we passed a NPS fire crew cutting and stacking wood just off the road in anticipation of burning it later in the year it appeared.
After paying (which cost mom nothing due to her senior pass) we immediately stopped at Manzanita Lake which was beautiful as always but mom was having problems by this point having driven so far so fast with so few and so short breaks.
Fortunately, she was able to regroup and given the time factor we headed on to the next stop.
Manzanita Lake we headed on up the park road, past the park museum and visitor center and on over the rubble field of Chaos Jumbles from which we could get a great view of Chaos Crags. We drove towards the Devastated Area but decided that was taking too long and we wanted to spend more time back at the Jumbles so we turned around and drove back to Chaos Crags and stopped there and got out and took the photos shown here.
Chaos Crags is the newest feature in the park and collapsed about 300 years ago which generated a long run-out landslide whose rubble field is Chaos Jumbles.
Instead we elected to shunpike around the city to the east on Deschutes Road down to Interstate 5 at Anderson, CA.
From there we shot on down the freeway to Williams, CA, where mom decided to drop anchor for the night. On the way down we enjoyed a smokey sunset caused by the Trinity Blazes.
All photos by Krissa Klein (all rights reserved).
We checked into the motel there right by the freeway.
After dealing with that we walked down to nearby Granzella's which is a local landmark that has been a staple of Interstate travelers passing through this area for many years.
They had a bad fire last year and I had wondered if they were rebuilt yet.
Not only were they already rebuilt but looking better than ever. The smell of fresh-cut and sanded wood was intoxicating in the antechamber.
They even had a small shrine of sorts on the wall near the cash register dedicated to the fire and recovery which had newspaper clippings about the fire and even photographs of the fire as well as burnt pieces of paper and such from the fire itself which was caused by an electrical issue in the kitchen. By the way, the dinner was first-rate as you'd expect.
Day Five ~ Williams to Atascadero
We finished with a delicious breakfast from Granzella's and then promptly hit the road.
The drive went quickly and smoothly and we got in rather earlier in the day than normal for such a drive as we sped down Interstate 5 all the way to State Route 269 with breaks only at the rest areas along Interstate 5 which were hot so we kept our breaks short.
Upon our arrival home, there was a while of concern when our cat Rocki was nowhere to be found (she usually runs out to greet us as soon as we arrive).
Fortunately, she was just being a cat, and it typical cat fashion sauntered nonchalantly in after we'd looked all over the place for her!