Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day 5 - Lava Beds

Saturday morning we drove north to the Lava Beds to go spelunking. Somehow, I was expecting that it would be fairly well marked and/or supervised. No, you're basically on your own. Fortunately, maps are available at the visitor center and we had lots of headlamps and flashlights. It could have been scary and claustrophobic, but we had a lot of cool heads with us.

All 11, including children, went into the first cave, which was basically a figure 8. You couldn't really get lost, but it was dark and had interesting lava flows. The second cave, The Catacombs, was much more complex and a map was needed. Baby Landon, Darla and I waited outside in hopes the baby would take a nap. No one got lost so we headed to Medicine Lake for lunch.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Day 4 - Rafting

We spent the rafting on the Pit River. Although there weren't any treacherous rapids, there was enough white water to make it exciting. Several Bald Eagle nests were spotted along the river and during our stay in the area, we saw quite a few.

Day 3 - Horseback Riding, Fly Fishing, & Golf

Another beautiful day in Fall River Mills was spent on a variety of activities. Jill, Nathan, Jason and Heather went horseback riding and moved a herd of cattle from one pasture to another. Pat, Bill and I went fishing on the Pit River. We landed several fish. In the afternoon, all of us went golfing at the Fall River Golf Course. The first nine we split into teams of two and played alternate balls after teeing off. The back nine was played as we wanted, either our own ball or as a team.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Road Trip Map

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The Candidate's Wife - Patricia O'Brien

The Candidate's Wife by Patricia O'Brien

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Borrowed this book from a coworker for a quick vacation read. It was entertaining. Story of a presidential candidate's wife and the stress of backing her husband through a variety of personal and professional trials.

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
One of the best books I've read for book group. Want to visit Guernsey NOW!

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Day 2 - Mt Lassen

Jill, Nathan and Joel drove up from Loma Linda on Wednesday just in time for our most strenuous activity, hiking to the top of Mt Lassen (10,451 ft elevation) in the evening in time to watch sunset from the summit, then hike down by moonlight (one day past full moon).

The drive to from Fall River Mills to Mt Lassen took about 90 minutes. We took along lots of water, snacks, many layers of clothing, and cameras. The parking lot at the Mt Lassen Summit Trailhead is around 8500 ft. During our 2000 elevation gain, we hiked up switchbacks, enjoyed the beautiful views of surrounding mountains and lakes, crossed several snow fields (we heard someone feel over 1500 feet down one and had to be evacuated a week earlier), stopped for snacks and photo opps and finally reached a stopping spot just below the summit.

There was plenty of time before sunset so some hiked over to another high area just to the west of the summit while the rest climbed the rock fall to the summit. Fortunately we took warm clothes and warm drinks; it was freezing on the summit and we had to wait almost an hour for the sun to go down. But it was worth it. (We saw several summiters with just shorts and tshirs, brrr!)

It was getting dark during the descent of the rock fall. Then due to a miscalculation of moonrise time, we waited for another hour for the almost full moon to rise giving us moonlight for the hike down. While we waited (with one other person who wasn't part of our group), we kept ourselves and him entertained by singing folk songs.

After the moon came up, we hiked down with headlamps, flashlights and then simply moonlight. There were at least a dozen hikers ascending in the moonlight. It was amazing how bright the moon shone, but there were still areas where lights were helpful. The drop off along the trail is quite steep.

I have so many pictures from various cameras. Will post a slideshow later. But for now, here are a few pictures.

Fall River Mills Decatholon

There's so much to do in the Fall River Mills area. Darla and Nathan had tshirts made with a list of planned activities. Between the nine adults, we accomplished all but whiffle ball.
  • Summit Mt Lassen (10,451 Ft Elevation
  • Golfing
  • Fly Fishing
  • Spelunking
  • White Water Rafting
  • Water Skiing
  • Horse Back Riding
  • Whiffle Ball
  • Wake Boarding
  • BBQing
Lots of pics to go through, so watch for a few slide shows.

Day 1 - Fall River

After Sunriver, our vacation continued in Fall River Mills in Northern California. We parked the RV at Nathan's parents home and headed to the river for an evening of fly fishing on Hat Creek.