May 10th ~ Lassen Volcanic National Park
Our original plans went up in smoke due to late and abundant snowfall. Most of the park was still closed and the Bumpass Hell trail was down for the season due to replacing the boardwalk. We were open for a recommendation and the KOA park manager provided us with a solution.
Taking the easy, and mostly flat, 1.8 mile hike around Manzanita Lake became our morning contingency plan.
I had wanted to try hiking poles for a long time, so just before we left on this trip I picked up an inexpensive set at Costco. They were really an “overkill” on this easy trail, but at least I got to learn some of the pros and cons of using them.
Manzanita Creek flows directly into this relatively young lake. The lake was formed only about 350 years old. This is a catch and release fishing spot, beloved for the much larger (sometimes more than 20 inches) rainbow trout found here.
And the much smaller stream where it exits on the other side of the lake.
We got to see a snow-covered Lassen Peak off in the distance and a shimmering reflection on the lake in front of us.
A variety of moss and flowers brightened our path. Even the manzanitas were in bloom.
Wildlife was plentiful and we were fortunate to see chipmunks, nesting geese, ducks, blue jay, woodpeckers, deer and a grandiose bald eagle.
But, with Laura and Michael’s new camera with a 40x zoom, they were able to capture this magnificent creature in great detail.
And a few more random shots of the day:
Sadly, this trip was about to come to an end. After an outing for lunch and a relaxing afternoon, we enjoyed our last evening in our RV and Michael and Laura in their cabin.
Up the next morning at 7:00, we repacked everything and headed south for the long drive back to Southern California. We had talked about splitting this leg up into two parcels, but everyone was anxious to get home and the guys were willing to keep on going.
We arrived back at our shop just before 9:00 pm. Laura and Michael had another couple of hours to make it on to Oceanside.
We all agreed it felt wonderful to sleep in our own beds that night!
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that our two-week surprise trip was a huge success, even with a couple of minor roadblocks. Thank you to Laura and Michael for trusting us to plan and organize this journey. That is asking a lot of someone to say “join us for two weeks” and not tell them where you are going.
And also a hearty thank you to all of you who followed along with us.