Thursday, July 13, 2017

California, Here We Are

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.


nikkipolani said...

Every mention of water had me smiling! The mountain views are certainly beautiful.

Wendy said...

Beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing the details of your trip.

Barbara H. said...

It's so nice to be able to take a more leisurely trip and see some sights. I have actually been to Mt. Lassen!!! Once my husband's family had a reunion at Lake Almanor - rented a cabin with several bedrooms, and a few had campers on the back of their trucks. Most of them lived in CA or ID, so this was somewhat in between, except for us Easterners. One of the last days we drove up a trail on Mt. Lassen. I especially remember that my boys were delighted to find snow in the summer, and that one small lake was a sapphire blue and another was an emerald green - different colors, I was told, because of the different minerals in each. Have a great rest of your trip!

Faith said...

Oh how fun your trip sounds and of COURSE i LOVE all of your mountain and waterfalls photos!!!

enjoy every minute of your vacation.

Schotzy said...

Retirement is so great... I understand completely how marvelous it is to be able to just leisurely travel to destinations. We drove interstate to work for over 30 years so now when we visit our grand kids...7 states away..we enjoy alternate routes. Obsolete four lanes that generally coincide with the Interstellar routes... it is wonderful to enjoy the byways and beautiful countryside. Your Ca. Photos are beautiful.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely trip. Mary

Susan said...

I am a native Californian and didn't know about or haven't seen some of these places. They are now on my bucket list. Thanks for whetting my appetite.

I hope you continue to have a trip filled with beautiful vistas.

Karen said...

Beautiful pictures! Your trip sounds lovely. My husband and I have been doing some similar drives, through places where we used to camp with the kids. We've been going back to see some of the little towns that we used to go through on the way, seeing sites that we didn't seem to have time to stop.

snoopydogknits said...

Love these photos. It all looks so beautiful! Ros x

Tracy said...

Cheers to being able to take it slow and enjoy! VERY fun to see stops from your travels. I always so much enjoy when you share your travels, and especially from your part of the world, which is so different from where I'm from... and from where I'm living now. It's good to catch up with you, Willow! We've had a lovely staycation the past two weeks, and we we've been having such good weather too we were outdoors most of the time. Gotta grab summer while we can! ;) Happy Days ((HUGS))

ellen b said...

How very nice. Glad you took the cooler more scenic route. So many of our trips south and north have been of the bonzai variety with no good stops along the way!