Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pictures posted for the entire trip, Blog finished !

With the exception of some final thoughts about the trip that I will post in a few days the daily blog should be now finished with pictures posted for every day now.

Over the next few weeks I might go in and edit each day, caption pictures and add more links to describe some of the places and things we saw.

It was an awesome trip but it's good to be home and in my own bed.

Enjoy reading and seeing what members of Jeep Expeditions experienced this summer in the great north.

Saturday, July 30 - Firebaugh, CA to Phoenix, AZ via L.A.

Sunrise woke me shortly after 6am.    I had 650 miles to do today and the goal was to make Phoenix by sunset.  Hit the road to the 1st McDonalds for a quick bite to eat and on the road again.    About 4 hours later I was on the northern outskirts of LA.    Traffic was heavy and got heavier as I got closer to the 210 freeway.   I got a good view of the LA skyline at one point but no time for pictures,  I was on a mission and didn't have time to waste.

Traffic on the 210 was horrible for a Saturday late morning but perhaps that is the way it is.   Some times it was just  bumper to bumper.   I would be glad to hit I-10 for the final stretch home.  It would be a good 2 hours before that happened.

I-10 traffic was moving well and my next stop would be Palm Springs for lunch and fuel.   I ended up in Indio just east of Palm Springs and I needed a good rest.    Lunch at the Spot 29 Casino sounded like a good idea and it ended up being so.   Myself and the Jeep all fueled up it was a good 4 to 5 hours home and I was ready.

With Arizona being backwards and not observing Day Light Savings Time,   it was getting dark fast.   Instead of sunset  being at 8:30,  it was coming fast shortly after 7 and by 7:30 it was dark and I had another 40 miles to go.    There are two things I don't like about Arizona,   the summer heat and sunrise at 5am with sunset at 7:30.    I get cheated with shorter hours of daylight and in the winter, it's dark at 4:30.    I am missing the long days of the norther latitudes but still there is no place like home and I pulled in my driveway before 8:30.  What a relief and the end of an awesome trip.

Sunrise today

They were cooking in McDonalds parking lot, right in front of the drive up window......scrambled eggs?
Almost home!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday July 29 - Klamath Falls, OR to Lava Beds, NM (CA), Mt Shasta (CA), Lassen Volcanic National Park (CA), Firebaugh, CA

I actually got started earlier today than the last two days.   Russ and Ziggy are heading home,  I am going to do the last three stops on the original itinerary today:  Lava Beds National Monument,  Mt Shasta and Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Someone told me that once  you saw a volcano, you've seen them all.    Don't believe it!   Lava Beds were much different than Newberry yesterday and it had history.    I entered the park from the north entrance and I saw a sign that said "Canby's Cross" and "Captain Jack".   Time to explore.    Canby's Cross was a cross that was a recreation of a cross placed at that site in the 1870's by an American soldier.  It was to commemorate the death of General Canby,  the only general ever to die in an Indian war.   The inscription was quite simple and said something to the effect that "General Canby was murdered by Modoc Indians at this place...." and the date.  Ok, I get it now so who is Captain Jack?   He was the young leader of the Modoc Indians.   He had a real Indian name but the "whites" called him Capt. Jack.   So off to the south to the spot named after him.

The sign along the road a few miles from the cross said Captain Jack and behind it was a parking lot in front of a hill that was loaded with big piles of volcanic rock.   Closer inspection revealed walls and fortifications made of lava.   The Park Ranger on site told me these human made structures were built by Indian and Soldiers alike in the Modoc wars in the 1870s.   None of them were rebuilt or recreated.    What you saw is exactly as it has been for 140 years.   This was the site of Captain Jacks stronghold where 60 Modoc Indians held off over 600 Federal troops for a long time.      A short piece down the road was Hospital Rock where the soldiers had a hospital set up at that time.   I am really getting into the history of this place.

I was told there was an area where the greatest concentration of petroglyphs in the NW could be found.   I couldn't find them so I was off to the visitors center over 16 miles away.   Along the way there were large lava fields,  lava caves, cinder cones and other geologic features like chimneys and vents.

The visitors center was set up for the lava cave explorers and there are tons of caves for those who want to check them out.   They had free lantern rentals and there was no shortage of takers.   I found out that I was close to the petroglyphs but I really didn't have time to run back so I finished up there and headed off to see Mt Shasta. 

It wasn't long I had some magnificent views of Mt Shasta and took no shortage of pictures from different angles and zooms.   I also saw a could of F18s that were flying wing to wing that disappeared in what looked to be a field.   They must have landed but I cannot find a base anywhere near there on Google.

In a small town that compares their coffee and Starbucks and the "Ony Frosty in Town" claiming a famous BBQ I stopped for a quick lunch.    They had 1/2 chickens and Tri-tip on the wood fired grill.   The guy told me I was about an hour early,  I told him the Tri-tip was rare and cooked enough for me.   He said OK and said he would carve me off some slices and serve me now.    Some slices?  How about 8 slices 1/4" thick.   Nearly a pound of meat for $5.   I was in heaven but had a date with Lassen National Park so it was time to hit the road again.

Next stop was Lassen Volcanic National Park.    Lassen erupted in 1914 and was a pretty significant event that they compare to Mt St Helens.    When I 1st got there I looked around and thought "I drove all the way here for this" and then I read on.   There is lots of cool stuff there like the Bumpass Hell area with steam vents, boiling water and more.   You would need a few days to fully explore here and it would be well worth it but that would be for another time maybe.    It was time for this cowboy to head home.

I came out on I-5 between Redding and Red Bluffs and drove until I got to Firebaugh, CA where I called it a night a little after 3am.    Not that I could not have gone further,  pretty sure I could have but no sense on taking chances.............................

Along the way
Lava Beds National Monument
                                                                      Canby's Cross
                                                            Captain Jack's Stronghold
                                                                    Hospital Rock
                                                                    Devils Homestead
                                                                     Splatter Cone
                                                                        Vent - Funnel
Lassen Volcanic National Park