I'm a little behind in writing. I've thought about it many times, but having enough time and enough energy never seemed to coincide. So I'll try to be somewhat brief in summarizing the past week.
Last Tuesday, our first visitors of the season rolled in to see us. Tracy's Uncle Jack and Aunt PJ came down from Happy Camp, CA...which is about 250-300 miles northwest of Chester. They spend a couple of months each year there panning (PJ, I'm not sure if this is the correct term?) for gold. Tracy had not seen her uncle in over 30 years and never officially met her aunt (although rumor has it that PJ babysat her when she was a small child). We had exchanged emails over the last couple of months and were excited to meet.
PJ, Jack & Tracy:
They arrived late Tuesday evening...a little later than expected due to a tire blowout. Luckily, no one was hurt and no damage was incurred. We had a quick greeting, got them to their site and then left them alone to get settled. We both had to be at work early the next day. Unfortunately, we had to work during much of their time here, so we couldn't explore with them, but did manage to visit with them almost every night after we got off work. Unfortunately for us, some of those nights were rather late, with too much wine consumed, and the next work day came much too quickly!
Monday arrived before we knew it and although we were glad to for a day off, it also came with some sadness as it was time for them to depart and head home to Washington. They stayed here for 6 nights and we thoroughly enjoyed their company. We are so glad that they made the effort to come down and I know Tracy is very happy to have reunited with her family.
Our farewell moment:
The remainder of Monday was spent catching up. We desparately needed to do laundry and replenish groceries, so we took a trip to Susanville and did chores.
Today, Tuesday, we decided to take Hunter for a hike. The weather has been great lately - 70s and sunny - so we thought we better take advantage of our last day off before returning to work. We hiked the Deer Creek trail in the Lassen National Forest. It was about 4 miles round trip and not terribly steep, although we were all tired by the end. The trail follows the creek, which is running quite fast right now. We like to hike trails that include some type of water. Usually, water means trees, which means at least some shade. And having natural water sources means that we don't have to lug extra water for Hunter.
About a mile and a half down the trail, lower Deer Creek Falls can be seen:
Tracy decided to soak her toes. Wow, is that water cold!
Or maybe she's just a wimp. Hunter didn't seem to have a problem with the cold:
OK, that was really an accidental swim. Hunter does not swim. He will usually wade, but does not like to get his belly wet. He did not realize that there was a sharp dropoff.
After we finished hiking, we decided to drive up to Lassen Volcanic National Park. We knew the road through the park was closed due to snow and we had heard several people comment about how much snow there was up there, but we hadn't been up to see it ourselves yet. I was surprised at how much there really was!
OK, it's not really that deep, but there were still several feet in some places.And the ground is still basically covered.
I spotted this marker by the roadside. Apparently, they anticipate accumulating up to 19' of snow some years! I don't know how much they got this year, but I do know they got a lot.
However, I am surprised that there is still this much snow left. I guess it will be awhile until we are able to hike around the park! This part of the road is at about 6000', which is only about 1500' higher than our campground. The snow is long gone from down here. I'm not sure when the road through the park is supposed to open - I did hear mid-June, but I don't know if that's accurate. I find the late opening a surprise too. I know Rocky Mt National Park in Colorado works hard to get Trail Ridge Road open by Memorial Day and I would have thought this park would have had the same goal. Either they don't have the manpower and equipment or they just let mother nature decide.
The snow is melting rapidly which is causing Lake Almanor to rise quickly. We have seen a drastic change in the lake level in the short time that we've been here. If there's all of this snow left to melt, I can't imagine how much more the lake is going to rise. I'll write more about that and include some pictures next time.