Friday, April 15, 2016

Lassen National Park/Shasta Lake NRA


“I got this” she said looking up at the 12’ snow bank in front of her. “If I get a running start I think I can make it to the top”. Those were the last words Daisy said before she ran at the snow bank and started climbing. She made good progress about ½ way up the bank then her moment slowed…..”Abort, abort!” she cried and leapt into my arms.
 

Where did we find a 12’ snowbank in California you ask? Why, Lassen Volcanic National Park!

 
We had driven through this area twice in the past two years on our way to visit relatives in Northern California. It is an absolutely beautiful area just west of Susanville. This trip, with a smaller rig and more time we vowed to stop for a few days. What we did not count on was the snow. With the higher elevation of the park there was still plenty of snow and the main road (Hwy 89) through the park was still closed. We watched a movie at the Visitors Center that said the park can get up to 40' of snow during the winter season! Despite this set back we had two great days in the area hiking and just exploring the backroads.
The snowmelt is creating streams


Most of the lakes we saw were foggy but pretty cool looking

The truck/camper in the closed visitor center parking lot. We had the place all to ourselves!
 
We even managed to find a snow free remote logging road to camp out on for a couple of nights. The last night we were there it rained pretty hard, we were trying to watch a show on the computer but the sound of the rain was so hard that we could not hear the show. So we turned it off. That is when Barb noticed steady drip, drip, drip coming from the side of the hatch above the bed. Luckily the rain stopped and we were able to get some sleep.
We drove a good mile down a logging road and backed into this open area to camp

And did a little exploring

I had the camera ready.....just in case!
Next up was a day at Shasta Lake. We wanted to get to a little warmer climate so we drove about an hour northwest and found a quiet little spot right on the shore of the lake, had lunch, got out the Dicor and did some  repair work on the camper roof.
Sealing in some areas were the caulk was getting old

Nice lunch spot on Shasta Lake
 
The water levels in the lake are way up from the last few times we have been here. With the higher than normal rainfall in the area the lake is much higher than the previous few years. According to a website we looked at the lake is about 100’ higher than it was last year, only 14’ from the dam capacity.

Roof repaired, we moved on to find another spot for the night. Using Allstays we found a free spot right along the lake near a boat launch but when we got there it was less than ideal. A guy fishing there said we should check out the Gregory Creek area just up the road so we headed that way. When we got there we found a dispersed camping area right along the lake that charged $10/night during their open season (May-Sept) and free during off season! We had the place to ourselves camping within 10’ of the lake!
Our spot for the night

This Google Earth shot from last year shows how much the water has risen.
We are really enjoying the ability to explore remote roads and campsites that we have not been able to in the past. Each of the places we have camped so far (minus the Walmart) we would not even attempted with the 5th wheel and we have not spent a dime on camping fees yet! We have gone down some of the curviest roads and steeping hills taking advantage of our smaller size. Another bonus is the fact that we are able to go to just about any gas station not worrying about height or maneuvering around the pumps. This has saved us an average of about .15/gallon compared to the truck stops we would have normally stopped at. On the down side, we really have to watch the power on our computer and other electronic devices. We bought a small inverter to charge the computer and have that plugged in as well we our iPads, iPhone, GoPro and GPS taking turns charging as we are driving down the road.

We have not used the shower inside the bathroom but we have used the outside shower a few times and we have not killed each other yet but we are only a week into our 24 week journey!

Next up, visiting relatives in Redding......stay tuned!

24 comments:

  1. Bring your pick-up camper to Moab and we will show you some amazing spots. Using the outside shower must be fun for the neighbors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We did get a few weird looks while we were showering together in the Walmart parking lot!

      Delete
  2. It might be cold and snowy but there's something to be said about having the place to yourselves. See any wildlife.....other than Barb and Daisy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not another soul around except a few people at the visitors center. Gotta love the off-season! We have seen a few deer but nothing too exciting.

      Delete
  3. Sounds like a lot of fun! We aren't too far from you - currently in Klamath (on the coast) - heading toward Grants Pass OR tomorrow. When/where will you cross into Canada?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We will be in Grants Pass in about 4 or 5 days. Looks like we will be crossing into Canada on the ferry into Coupeville BC sometime the first week of May.

      Delete
  4. Glad the campers working out for you. We're in Victoria on the 28th so keep us up to date on your arrival so we can plan accordingly.
    Safe travels!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds good, as of right now it looks like we will catch the ferry anywhere from 5/2-5/4.

      Delete
  5. That looks really fun. My love the remote places you are visiting. Super brave of Barb to walk on that log!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were a little worried about the bark slipping off the log so we sent Daisy across first.

      Delete
  6. Barb's got the technique down pat, Jim. Before you know it, she'll be taking on the lumberjacks in Canada in a log rolling contest! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We will have to sign her up on our way through Canada!

      Delete
  7. How nice to finally be able to explore where ever you want and not have to worry about size! One of the nice things about being small:) Looks like some spectacular sites.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who knows, we might just sell the big rig and stick with this!

      Delete
  8. Uh....how cold are the outside showers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cold.....you remember that Seinfeld episode right? It was really cold!

      Delete
  9. I can't believe you threw poor Daisy up that snowbank! Shame on you! Looks very cold up there! We're about to finally leave AZ for Colorado, but it's still snowing there too!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Could we get our 30' motorhome in any of those campsites? We'll be in that area in about a month. Hope some of that snow melts by then!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Lassen site would be tough but you would be able to fit into the Lake Shasta sites without a problem. The Gregory Creek area is fairly easy to get to.

      Delete
    2. There is a snow park very close to where we camped in Lassen where you can camp. I think it was $10/night.

      Delete
  11. We have ridden that area on motorcycles, pretty for sure but DANG that snow looks cold!! Oh, nice job walking that tree Barb!!! You keep that up now ya hear, one of these times it will be bound to make the bloopers LOL!!

    ReplyDelete