We came into California from Oregon. We passed through the agricultural check at the California-Oregon border. We didn’t have any fresh produce, but I just wonder what would happen if we did. They asked us if we had produce and we said, “no”…so they directed us to keep moving.
Our first stop in California was Mt Shasta Recreation Area. It was late August, snow on the mountain was non-existent. The area was extremely dry; ravaged by the drought.
We decided to keep on moving after one night at Mt Shasta. We made the relatively short drive to Lassen Volcanic National Park. Lassen turned out to be one of the top highlights of our entire trip. We made our base the KOA at Mt Lassen. It is a beautiful RV park in a beautiful setting. We really enjoyed our stay.
We spent a full day in Lassen NP. We drove the entire park and then took a walk/hike down Bumpass Hell Trail. Since Lassen is a Volcanic Park, the terrain and topography is very dramatic. The hike along Bumpass Hell trail was the highlight of our day in Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Bumpass Hell Trail got its name from a mountaineer named Bumpass. He walked down to the boiling paint pots at the end of the trail. He accidentally fell into one of the boiling paint pots. As a result his leg was amputated. Hence, the name for the trail became Bumpass Hell.
We left Lassen Volcanic NP and made our way to Petaluma, CA where we were to hang out with our college classmates and friends, Steve and Karen Spratt. But, along the way we had a blow out on our Rolling House. Thank goodness we had the tire air pressure and temperature monitor in our truck. We were alerted to the blowout about 30 seconds before it could do serious damage to our under-carriage. The tire blew when we were about 100 miles Northeast of Petaluma. After about a 2 hour wait on the side of the road for the roadside service vehicle we were on our way. When we arrived in Petaluma, we purchased a full set of tires for our fifth wheel. We were good for the rest of our trip!
We spent 4 days with the Spratts in Petaluma/San Francisco area visiting tourist attractions. We drove over the Golden Gate Bridge, visited Ghiradelli Square, toured downtown Petaluma, spent a full afternoon at the Disney Family Museum, and spent a day at the Armstrong Redwoods State Park. It was a whirlwind visit, but great.
We left the San Francisco Bay Area and made our way to Placerville, CA. It is in Placerville, where the Gold Rush of 1849 took place. We spent a full day touring Sutters Mill, Gold Bug Mine, and other sites in downtown Placerville. It was here that we connected with my childhood friend, Gary and his bride, Kris. We found Placerville, to be quaint, but with a ruggedness you would expect from a mining town. We stopped at Sweety Pie Restaurant for breakfast one morning. Sweety Pie is small, and definitely a local favorite. We had a most stupendous breakfast!
After our brief visit to Placerville and Sutter’s Mill we made the short drive to South Lake Tahoe. We journeyed over Highway 50 into South Lake Tahoe. It is a spectacularly beautiful drive. Unfortunately, we have no pictures to document the drive, because the navigator/photographer spent most of the time looking at the floor board as the sheer cliffs on the passenger side of the road made her a bit nervous.
It was Labor Day Weekend when we visited South Lake Tahoe. It was a very crowded place. Fortunately, the crowds did not detract from the beauty of the area. While in the area, we made the drive over to Truckee, CA and we spent a day at Virginia City, NV. We found it somewhat interesting and funny, that Virginia City was celebrating “Civil War Days” with real battle enactments.
We left Lake Tahoe and headed east. However, we decided, after contacting a couple of RV parks near Glacier National Park, to make the 1500 mile detour and head to Glacier National Park. We were told that the fires in Glacier were contained and most were out. The entire park had reopened after several weeks of partial closures due to the wild fires.
So off to Glacier National Park….