Thursday, June 24, 2010

Winter Wonderland...And More Eagles

Current Location: Chester, CA

Another week has flown by and we can't figure out where the time is going! We had a short 'weekend' this past week. One of our coworkers was off for a couple of days on a pre-scheduled vacation so we helped fill her shift on Monday. Even though we each only worked 3 1/2 hours, the day was pretty much shot. That left only one free day to play.

We had a slow start to the morning but finally got out the door about the crack of 11:00 for a hike. We had chosen a trail just outside of Lassen Volcanic National Park. The trail guide was written from the perspective of a snow-shoe/ x-country ski trail, but it did mention that it could also be hiked. It was supposed to go to a lake and have a nice view of both the Sierras and the Cascade mountain ranges. Well, we found neither. The trail followed a forest road and it kept going down hill. Hmm, whatever we go down, we must come back up eventually. We walked for about 2 1/2 miles and never did find a lake. There were several offshooting paths, but none looked especially suitable for hiking. We eventually turned around and started our long trek uphill. Although the trail was nothing special, it was a nice walk and very peaceful. We had it to ourselves.

Upon returning to the car, we decided to take a drive into Lassen Park. The road through the park is still not completely opened (the latest target date is early July), but we thought we'd drive in to see how much progress they made.

Boy, what a difference a few miles can make! This is the road through the park. Notice the car on the road and how much taller the snow is!

This is close to the end of the road, about 6 miles in from the entrance station. It may be hard to tell but there are several feet of snow, probably at least 4 feet.
In the background is Mt Lassen. One of our goals this summer is to climb it, but it looks like it won't be happening anytime soon! We didn't bring our snowshoes with us. :) I guess we'll have plenty of time to get into shape for it.

It's pretty apparent that we won't be doing any hiking within the park for awhile, which Hunter is not too upset about. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on the trails within the Park and he can't understand why we would ever go hiking without him! So for now, we'll focus on the numerous National Forest trails, on which dogs are allowed!
In my last post, I had mentioned that one of my dislikes was the late shifts. Well, most bads also have a good side and one of the blessings of a late shift is a late start. Often, I don't start my shift until 1 or 2, which frees up all morning. I frequently take Hunter on a long walk along a neighboring forest road, where he can be off leash to run and sniff to his heart's delight. But it's not all for him. This is an area where we've frequently seen eagles. The further we get into summer the more we're seeing of them. First it was just one on occassion. Then there were a couple flying overhead from time to time. Now we see them almost everyday and there are often 3 or 4.
I hadn't been lucky enough to see them stationery very often...until yesterday. To get to the forest road, we have to stumble across the rocks on the shoreline for a short ways. As soon as I reached the point and looked towards our destination, I immediately saw 2 white heads:

We were still pretty far away (all pictures are cropped to provide better views), but I kept my eye on the tree, hoping that they would stay put.

As we drew nearer, the top one flew off. I couldn't spot the other one but hadn't seen him fly off either. So we kept walking and I turned around to look behind me, and there he was! How beautiful!
I stood there quite awhile admiring and taking lots of pictures. After awhile I guess he figured I'd been there long enough and he gave me the stare!
Shortly thereafter, he flew off. If you haven't figured it out yet, I have quite a fascination with eagles, especially bald eagles. And it is always a thrill for me to see them in the wild. So I'm sure you can imagine how excited I am to have them living in my 'backyard'.
We're now back in the thick of our workweek. The summer season is finally upon us. Warm weather and a busy campground. We have close to a full house again this weekend. Between the 2 of us, Tracy and I are doing security rounds 3 nights a week. Those 10:00 drives make for some long days, but we're learning how to sleep in...we're still working on Jasper however!
And speaking of Jasper, I am proud to report that he is continuing to earn his keep. The other day when Tracy returned from walking Hunter, Jasper had left a present just inside the front door. A dead mouse (uh oh, do we have mice in the house now??). It was not mutilated, just dead in a nice obvious place where it would be seen and easily taken to the trash. He earned a special treat for that! :)


  1. We could use a cat to take care of the ground squirrels around our camp spot at our current campground host assignment in Morro Bay, California. You go Jasper! Sounds as though life is busy on the road, or in the park. We find the same thing. We're ten months into our rv adventure. Take care you four -- the Camp Host Housewife (Oh. Love the picture of the eagle looking at you.)

  2. Connie, those are really fantastic photos. I swear I could reach out and touch that eagle sitting there so beautiful and proud. How exciting to have them so close. Keep up the blogging. I am enjoying the news. Give Jasper extra hugs for being such a good cat and give Hunter some love for just being such a great walking companion. Love you both.

  3. hard to believe how much snow is still on the ground there and I too am looking forward to having eagles in my backyard...

  4. Oh my gosh! That picture of the bald eagle just took my breath away! He is beautiful!
    We have never seen a bald eagle and that is one bird I just can't wait to experience.

    I agree with Levonne...we could use a cat to rid us of our ground squirrels. They are such a pest. You may have found the most natural way to keep the critters out of the rig. Way to go Jasper! :)

    Things are getting busy here too. I guess it is better to stay busy than not. This weekend has been our worst yet. People just do the dumbest stuff. You guys hang in there!!

    Take care!
    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  5. Those are beautiful photos of the eagles. It's hard to believe all the snow there. It's in the upper 90's here and that snow looks pretty inviting.

  6. Could you please bottle up some snow and send it to us in Texas? It sure is HOT here. Pictures are great.

    Stay Safe

  7. Wow .. surprised at how much snow is still up there. Loved your eagle pics. Safe travels!