Update 3: June 16, 2006
Lassen Volcanic National Park:
May 15-18, 2006 (Location 8 on the Map)
Prior to leaving for Lassen Volcanic National Park, we knew the heart
of the park was inaccessible due to snow. For that reason, plus the fact
we happen to like having electricity and water hooked directly to the
RV, we elected to stay in a KOA campground outside the park.
Upon arriving at the park, we initially drove as far as the Devastated Area via
the northwest entrance where the road remained closed because of snow. We took
a few pictures, and Justin built his first snowman. Unfortunately, the road closure
meant many hiking trails were unavailable. We chose a simple hike
around Manzanita Lake, which offered enviable views of Lassen Peak. After lunching
beside the lake where a Stellar's Jay tried to beg Goldfish crackers from
Justin (who, of course, did not comply), we ventured toward the south entrance
as far as Little Hot Springs Area where, again, the road was closed. In the vein
the Grand Canyon visit in National Lampoon's Vacation, we briefly got
out of the car,
some thermal vents, then returned to camp.
Unfortunately, Justin fell ill the following day. Feverish and sick to his stomach,
he remained in bed the entire day. The only up side for him was he was able to
watch quite a few Wiggles episodes without a complaint from Mom and
We only identified one new bird here: a male and female Bufflehead.
For photos from Lassen Volcanic National Park, Click
Redwood National Park:
May 18-21, 2006 (Location 9 on the Map)
When we arrived in the area of Redwood National Park, we camped
at Patricks Point State Park along the coast. We spent the first
day and a half running errands and stocking up on groceries in Trinidad
and Eureka. We managed to hike down to the beach where we combed
the sand for agate and stones of interest; we spotted whales off
shore as well.
On our second full day, we ventured into the park. Beginning at the Lady Bird
Johnson Grove, we took the mild one-mile hike through it. Justin walked about
a half mile until rain fell and he rode on Jeff's shoulders the rest
of the way. We continued onward and hiked three miles beginning at the South
Fork trailhead. We ended the day with a drive (followed by a short hike) to
told us part of Jurassic Park was filmed.
If you have never been to Redwood National Park, you should definitely go. The
wooded areas remain deeply canvassed by the coastal redwoods, curtained in ferns
and moisture-rich plants all of which are covered in misty dew. Occasionally,
slivers of light will slice through the forest. It is a peaceful and inspiring
place with wonderful picture-taking opportunities.
New birds from this area: Surf Scoter, Red-Shouldered Hawk,
For photos from Redwood National Park, Click
Oregon: May 21 - June 12,
2006 (Locations 10 - 12 on the Map)
Supposedly, the Cascades in Oregon are beautiful. That’s
what I remember from previous trips, anyway. Unfortunately, I
was unable to verify it this time.
We started our Oregon visit with a stop at Crater Lake National
Park. Like other parks in the Northwest, much of it was still closed
due to a heavy winter snow pack. However, we were able to drive to
the visitor’s center (we entered it through the alternate snow
tunnel entrance), and the road was open up to one of the crater rim
viewpoints. At the viewpoint, we had all of five minutes to squint
through the fog and rain to see Crater Lake and Wizard Island before
our view was completely obscured. As a result, we didn’t put
any photos from this stop in the photo gallery, because the few we
have aren’t very good. Still, what little we saw was beautiful,
and we were at least able to check off another National Park.
Next, we stopped for a few days at a KOA in Sisters, which is near
Bend in Central Oregon. Sisters is a small tourist town with (normally)
incredible views of the Three Sisters peaks, Mount Bachelor, Three-Fingered
Jack, and other Cascade peaks. Because of the continuing rain, we
were at most able to see the bottom third of any of these, and on
some days we couldn’t see even that. Regardless, we spent some
time outside at the campground with Justin, playing in the playground
and walking around the lake. We took a nice hike in a light drizzle
along the Metolius River, spent some time in Sisters and Bend, and
generally had a relaxing time. I even got in a day of skiing at Mount
Bachelor before it closed for the season.
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