This post is going to be heavy on the pictures.
You've been warned.It's time for Friday Fave Fives. This week my faves are going to be a little bit different.
The Professor and I have been traveling this week. We are wending our way north to Oregon on his first post retirement trip. Every time we have driven north from Southern California, we have had the goal of getting from one place to the next as quickly as possible. This time, we chose to take the time to turn off Interstate 5 and explore all those places we didn't feel we had time to visit before. Here are five of our favorite spots which we visited, and we aren't even out of California yet.
1. Instead of blasting up the freeway through the Central Valley in blistering 100+ degree heat, we drove up Highway 101. Its other name is El Camino Real. The 101 goes past our home (about a mile away) as it moves north along the California coast. So we left our house, turned north on 101 and just drove. We thoroughly enjoyed our first day (until we reached the San Francisco Bay area. Traffic. Yuck.).
Santa Barbara Coastal Mountains with fog hovering above the crest line
You know you're on the El Camino Real when you pass these bells
Many people don't think of California as being rural, but much of the state is.
Our lunch view. Pismo Beach.
2. The Professor had never been to Lassen National Park, so it was on our bucket list for this trip. Mt. Lassen is a volcanic mountain in the Cascades Range. It last erupted in 1915.
You can see the basalt from previous eruptions littered all over the countryside.
Parts of the national park were still closed because of the heavy snowfall we experienced last winter. So we drove out the southern entrance, around, and back in the northern entrance so we could visit the museum.
Streams! There were streams filled with WATER!
3. Then we included Burney Falls (state park) on our itinerary. I had never heard of Burney Falls, but now that I know, I would recommend it to any and everyone. There is a 1.5 mile trail on either side of the creek flowing from the falls which also includes crossing above the falls on a bridge.
Water! More water in Burney Creek!
4. Returning to Interstate 5, we passed Mt. Shasta, approaching from the east for the first time. I probably have taken at least fifty photos of Mt. Shasta but always from the west. So this time the view was different and if possible even more stunning.
5. And since we had time, once we reached Mt. Shasta City, we decided to back track a bit and visit Castle Crags State Park. Again, we have passed this place so. many. times. and never stopped. So we drove up to the vista point parking lot and hiked up to the viewing area with our lunch in tow.
The road to the vista point is a very windy one lane road. In face, trailers aren't allowed. We met a few cars and had to navigate VERY carefully at the edge of the pavement. Not for the faint of heart. But still worth it.
California is a beautiful place and there is so much to see! I'm thankful for the time and opportunity to see more of this state where I live.