Phew. We’re back in business. It has taken me awhile to get settled into all the newness of September, but I think I’m ready to share some of the wonderful things that have been happening in the past few weeks!
As soon as LVC ended (August 12th), I packed my bags and departed for a road trip with the sis. At first, this caused quite a bit of stress for me since I wasn’t entirely moved into my new house and didn’t entirely wrap up my old job. In any case, I (barely) made my flight in time and was on the way to good ole California before I knew it! The next week was quite indescribable, but let me just preface my trip summary by saying that I took over 800 photos, which can be viewed at my Flickr site! So, to add some perhaps inadequate words to some breathtaking photos, our sister roadtrip went as follows (- I’ll have to break down the days into multiple posts, so enjoy!):
DAY 1 – Lassen Volcanic National Park
We woke up bright and early, put Michael Jackson onto our iPods, picked up some bagels, and headed to Northern California for the first leg of our trip. It only seemed appropriate to start the morning off with “On the Road Again,” by Willie Nelson, which quickly became our morning tradition. Lassen was a beautiful spot to picnic, and we followed lunch with a short, beautiful hike on “Bumpass Hell” as we started learning volcanic jargon like mudpot and fumarole.
I can’t say I’ve ever hiked a trail that smelled quite this strongly of rotten eggs before. Yum.
After a short stay at Lassen, we decided to take the “small roads” to the Lava Beds National Monument, where we would camp that night. I took the wheel and headed out on what seemed like a beautiful drive. The back roads are totally the way to go!, we agreed, patting ourselves on the back for a decision well-made. An hour later, and the gas gauge dropping quickly, we started rethinking our route. There was no one else around, the roads were getting smaller and curvy-er, and the idea of our gas running out was turning both Erin and my stomachs into knots! It only got better when the road we were driving turned into a gravel road. I felt the car hydroplaning (gravelplaning?) as I desperately tried to slow my speed. “The Lava Beds better be AWESOME after all this!” I shouted at my sister, who was laughing hysterically at me while I was freaking out.
The gravel road lasted for about 10 miles, finally bringing us in – the back way, we later learned – to the Lava Beds.
The night only got better (how could it have gotten worse??), as we learned that we could purchase 2 gallons of gas from the Visitor Center of the park if we were desperate. We set up camp, cooked some pasta, and even made it to a boring ranger talk after chugging a beer.
First day – check.