Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Day 19 - Wednesday, September 16 - Redding, CA, Lassen Volcanic Park, Reno, NV

Starting mileage:  5475 Starting time: 8:00 am

Ending mileage: 5797 Ending time: 4:30 pm
Travel mileage: 322 Travel time: 8:30 hours

We left relatively early in the hope that we could get to Lassen but it was sprinkling already. Temperature dropped again as we went up in elevation from 59 degrees at the hotel to 37 degrees at Lassen. We are glad that the Adlers are bringing desperately needed rain to assuage the drought and many fires but it would be nice to get some nice weather when visiting the national parks.

From watching the national news about forest fires in the west it is impossible to appreciate the pervasiveness of forest fires out here. We are constantly passing through areas where the tree trunks are blackened from low-burning fires and areas that were completely decimated by fire and are recovering.

When we arrived at the north entrance to Lassen, the road through the park had just been closed due to snow. We were fortunately able to see Mt. Lassen while we were there. Instead of a 30 minute drive, we had a little over 2 hours drive to get to the southern entrance where we were able to visit the Sulphur Works where there are active hydrothermal vents and mud pots which were fascinating to see. There was regular rain which kept us from doing much walking on the trails.

We thought we might stay at Lake Tohoe tonight but it was difficult to find open and affordable accommodations so we ended up going to Reno and staying at a Days Inn here.

Once we got down to lower elevations in California and Nevada it was again very dry rangeland with sagebrush and dry grass. The road map shows Honey Lake as 10 mile by 10 mile blue area but when we went by didn't see anything but a large flat area with dust kicking up due to the wind. There were lush green fields that were being actively irrigated - we are always wondering how sustainable this is.

Day 19 route

Mount Lassen

Carmen with snow in the background at Sulphur Works

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