Day 31: Child’s Meadow RV, Mill Creek, CAJournal for 2016-10-12 | Published on 2016-10-12 21:08:26
It was cold again this morning, 32F, and we were anticipating a long day and a big climb. Ate breakfast and broke camp, got on the road around 8:30 and 39F. We started the day below 4000 feet in elevation, and before the day was over we would climb up to 8500 feet. What a day!
From the RV park to Old Station, it was the same undulating hills we had from yesterday. We finally got our last look at Mt. Shasta, and then it was onto Lassen National Park. The traffic starting out was a bit high, with trucks and RV’ers on Highway 89, but most of the truck traffic turned off before Old Station. Not all, but most. The RV’ers, however, stayed with us most of our day.
We paused at the Old Station store to get some more snacks to get us up the hill, drank a new flavor of Red Bull, and then it was onto our climb. From our campsite, it would be 41 miles to the top, with just one or two good sized downhills. First, we had to summit Eskimo Pass, which we did, and enjoyed a little downhill until our turnoff for the National Park. Then we climbed up to the entrance, paid our fare, and climbed up a bit higher to the visitor’s center, where we enjoyed lunch.
We didn’t get to dally in the info center, had to skip the 20 minute video, because we knew we would be spending most of the day climbing. We left the visitor’s center around 12:30, and had an enjoyable, but very long, climb up in perfect weather, sunny skies with a few high clouds and 65-70 temps. We stopped at all of the lookouts, and any time we needed to rest or eat a snack. Our first stop was overlooking a rockslide from 400 years ago, but what was most interesting about that stop was the birds Pam could hear. The sound brought back memories of growing up on Stalker Road, with the Sandhill Cranes calling to each other in the fields behind the house. Sure enough, when we looked up really high, we could see several dozen Sandhill Cranes circling high above us. Really neat! They must be migrating.
We continued onward and upward, gaining in elevation, making our way around first the north side, then the east side, and finally the south side of Lassen Peak. When this volcano erupted in 1915, it was the only volcano in the United States. Mt. St. Helens hadn’t erupted yet, and Hawaii and Alaska weren’t part of the US yet. So it really made the scientists excited. Also, there was a witness who took pictures of the eruption, and people across the country saw the photos in their local newspapers.
We climbed, and climbed, and climbed. As we got higher, Pam wasn’t feeling too well, a little dizzy and lightheaded. She stopped as needed, and tried to drink as much water as possible. We had amazing views of the valleys to the south, once we got around to that side.
We were almost to the top, when we ran into a fellow bicycle tourist coming toward us. Oliver left LA on basically the same day we left Bellingham. He told us about the downhill we had yet to come, and we did the same for him. We couldn’t dally, though, because it was nearing 5 pm, and we still needed to get to our campsite before dark.
Finally, the top! It was very chilly, 50F plus wind, and we stopped at the first pullout on the way down to cover up and eat some more before we tackled the down. It was plenty curvy coming down within the park boundaries, and we had to slow on the curves and be on the lookout for cars. We passed through the sulfur side of the complex, and I’m glad we were doing it on the fast downhill. Very smelly!
We left the park, and continued our downhill, turning left to stay on Highway 89, and then continuing downhill until we got to the RV park at Child’s Meadow. No one was at the check-in, so we found a spot, set the tent up before it got dark, quickly fixed dinner, enjoyed a hot shower, and now will fall asleep very quickly. It was quite a day, over 60 miles, and lots of climbing. On top of lots of climbing the last several days. It was a great way to finish up this trip. Short day tomorrow, and then we’ll be all finished.
Since we are winding this down we got to thinking and really wanted to thank Tracey, Lora, Mary Ane, and Penny for their comments and support along the way, you guys really brought some smiles to our faces, and also it was nice knowing you were following along!
Average: 8.6 ( was 7.2 at top of mountain)
Chaos Crag, and pieces of it that slid down 300years ago.
An attempt to get a picture of us riding together :)
The side of Lassen which blew out in 1915
Lake Lamanor (spelling?)
Lassen with King's creek running through a field
At almost 8,000 feet, you feel on top of the world
Pam riding at almost Lassen Summit
We stop at all of these things :)
Pretty view of the valley below
Bubbling mud pits along the road side, scary, cool, smelly!