Diary/Photo Journal

Week of July 20, 2003 
                         Tejon Pass fire
Our journey appropriately started with a send off of traditional Los Angeles flare.  Going through LA, we were surrounded by a significant amount of people equally anxious to get out of town.  Once we broke through the crowd and looked to freedom beyond the Tejon Pass, we were waved goodbye with a small brush fire along the side of the freeway.  We thought it a fitting goodbye.
Great sunset    Yuba River Both of us taking 
advantage of the 
Yuba River 
Finally getting away from the reminders of LA, Cindy drove us into a spectacular sunset over the desert landscape and we stowed away just south of Sacramento.  In our excitement to truly initiate this journey, we rose early and drove toward the Historical mining country that is so unique to California.  We found the temperature to be somewhat higher than we anticipated so we decided to cool down with a lazy dip in the Yuba River.   Did I say "dip" or should that have been "nap" as the shade lulled us into an easy snooze.

Traveling through the mining country, we found that there were also many people that were enjoying the area and therefore, we found ourselves looking for a place to lodge Cindy somewhere beyond the "campground full" signs.  What we found was a wonderful little spot outside of Graeagle that nestled us in the trees within the far-reaching shadow of Lassen National Park.

Lassen was one of the many National Parks we specifically planned to visit.  In October 2002, we purchased a National Parks Pass for $50 and it has already paid for itself.  I would say that if you or anyone you know would be motivated to go to more National Parks with a pass such as this, I totally recommend the purchase.  Most National Parks are $10-$20 for the entrance fee.  Anyway, I digress...

On our way to Lassen, a place of active volcanic wonder,  we were prepared to dash through a little podunk town called Quincy.  As we were nudging the town's speed limit, a large white with red letters sign caught my peripheral vision.  The sign?  State Farm Insurance, Richard Stockton.  With my shriek, Gerson made the immediate right turn into a nearby parking lot.  Why?  Richard and I worked together 12 years ago during what is fondly known at the "Oakland Fires".  We popped into his office and had a terrific visit.  Richard is one of those rare people that is a genuinely nice guy and I was thrilled to see that he had successfully taken over his father's State Farm Agency and made it his own.  Good things happen to good people.

Incredible Lassen landscape Yes, it's July
and that is snow
on Lassen
  Boiling pools and sulfur vents - phewwww

We did make it to Lassen and sniffed out a few sulfur vents and boiling pools.  Unfortunately, the navigator (moi) missed the turnoff for the walk that takes you past the mud pots and large boiling pools but no worries, we camped at the north end of the park and took a swim in Manzanita Lake.   

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