My blog about motorcycle rides, photography etc.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Lassen Volcano

I met Kathy at the gas station at the first Ashland exit where we topped off gas.  Two girls ready to hit the road! 

We headed down I-5 into California.  After the fruit checkpoint we left the freeway at the Holbrook-Henley exit and rode Ager Road, Old Stage Road and Old Hwy 99 - all the back roads down to Mt. Shasta.  We took Hwy 89 east to Burney Falls. 
A deer ran out in front of me and I got an exciting close up view of her tail!  I was probably 15 feet and closing when she cleared my path and we made it safely to the falls.
The view of the falls is actually right off the parking lot.

You can walk a short easy trail down to the bottom for a better view.  So glad we made the hike as the view was worth it!

Kathy and I at the falls.

After Burney Falls we headed down to Anderson, California.  It was getting pretty warm.  We arrived at our destination - Gaia Spa and Hotel.  It was almost 2:00.  We checked in and the desk clerk said the restaurant was about to close.  We had hoped for a late lunch but we just missed it.  They would be open for dinner so we made a reservation.

We unloaded the bikes and went into our rooms to cool off and relax.  We met later to eat snacks we picked up at our last stop and had drinks.  Kathy told me her refrigerator had leaked and she used her bath towels to clean it up and had to call maintenance.  She said her blow dryer didn't work either so I gave her mine. 

We had dinner in the hotel and it was pretty average, it was hot and brown but I guess I expected more of a gourmet experience at a Spa/Hotel.

The next morning we headed out to visit Lassen Volcano.  We stopped for gas down the road that this painting was on the building.

We arrived at Lassen Volcanic National park.  There was a building with an old eruption-meter in it. 

There was a $15.00 entry fee so we decided to get our money's worth.  I got this great picture at the first stop called Chaos Crags. 

This is Kathy at Hot Rock.  They said this rock thrown from the volcano (miles away) and was still sizzling the next day when it was found.

This is the Devastated Area stop.  Just beautiful.

I made a quick rock pile along the hiking trail.

Kings Creek.

Bumpas Trailhead.

Here is Kathy with the weight of the world!  She is so strong!

That's one big rock!

There was an interesting Sulphur pond bubbling and boiling just off the road.    We could smell the fumes from about a mile down the road.  And of course we had to stop for the mandatory bike picture at the Lassen sign.

So we get a little down the road and there is an official roadblock and a sign that said "Accident Ahead"  Being medical personnel, Kathy and I drove to the front of the line and announced ourselves.  The guy said the accident had happened that morning and they were just clearing debris.  A hay truck had turned over and the guy had a broken leg but he was already in the hospital.
After about 10 minutes a trucker came from the line and asked if he could park his truck nearby because the road ahead was closed due to fire.  The road control guy said he had not heard that yet.  We decided to see if we could get through.
We traveled about 15 miles and sure enough there was a roadblock with several highway patrol cars.  We could see the smoke in the distance.  Helicopters were dropping into a canyon just off the highway and filling up buckets of water and rushing it back to the fire. 
About 20 minutes later, the highway patrol told everyone to get back in their vehicles, and the roadblock was moved back a couple miles.  The options by Highway patrol was to go down the highway to Chico south or go north back up through Lassen Park.  Not much of a choice.  Didn't they realize we had an appointment for a massage? 
I was walking back in the car line letting everyone know what was happening and a big guy in a big red truck said he might know a way around the fire without going to Chico. 
I asked Kathy if she was game with following this guy and she said yes - and so did about 20 other cars. 
Our caravan went off the main highway and follow a tiny one lane road.  Twisting and turning through county land and homes that looked off the grid.  Were we about to become another chapter in a horror film.  Visions of "The Hills Have Eyes" came into my mind.
And suddenly, the road came to a "T" back to the main road.  There was the guy in the red truck waving us in the right direction.  We honked our horns and waved with delight.
We didn't make it back for the massage but rescheduled for the morning before the ride home.  It was a great weekend!

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