Posts Tagged ‘California’


Day 55 – Reno, NV to Bishop, CA

August 26, 2017

I couldn’t sleep at all last night. I don’t know what the problem was, but I was only able to catch a half hour two or three times before I finally gave up around 4am. Since I was up anyway, and I didn’t want to hang around a Reno truck stop at four in the morning, I got back on the road and watched part of the sunrise at Lake Tahoe:

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There’s, like, a lot to do at Lake Tahoe, but I was still planning on covering the rest of 395 today, about 8 hours of drive time, and I had other stops in mind, so I got back to it.

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Days 53-54 – Rossland, BC to Reno, NV

August 24, 2017

I finally got fast forward in gear. In the last two days, I’ve covered 900 miles, bringing me from British Columbia to Reno, Nevada. I didn’t make any stops along the way, so the only photos I have to show for those miles are snapshots fired from the hip while driving (I won’t tell my insurance company if you won’t) or while stopped on the side of the road.

I finished my time in Canada on British Columbia Route 3…

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Christina Lake

…after which I finally crossed the border into Washington. I crossed specifically where I did so that I could catch U.S. Route 395. I have a fondness for the pre-interstate cross country federal highways. They usually cross more scenic country than the interstates and are a more charming way to travel if you have the time.

I’ve wanted to drive one from end to end for a while, and this seemed like a good opportunity. U.S. Route 395 runs 1,305 miles from the U.S.-Canada Border to the Mojave Desert in Southern California. I’ve been on 395 at various times and various places between Lake Tahoe and Death Valley, but the northern half will be all new territory for me.

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Day 6 – Lava Beds National Monument

July 12, 2017
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Morning View

It turns out that what you do at Lava Beds National Monument is you go caving. The main selling features of the park are the twenty or so lava tube caves with marked and developed entrances. For someone nursing a sunburn, spending most of the day underground is just about perfect.

Unfortunately, it turns out cave photography is really difficult, especially when all you have for light sources is a 50 lumens headlamp. So I didn’t really get much in the way of usable photos, and the photos I did get really don’t do these environments justice.

Oh well. What I did get follows. Read the rest of this entry ?


Day 5 – Lassen Volcanic National Park, Cont.

July 12, 2017

Another morning, another stand of pines to great me:

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Today was, as expected, interesting. Also, very, very tiring. Actually, it wasn’t so much that today itself was all that tiring. It’s more that the bill from the last several days came due. In the weeks leading up to this trip, I was keenly aware that I was way out of shape, or at least not close to the kind of shape I wanted to be in for the kinds of hikes I was planning.

So I tried to dedicate time to getting back into shape. Tried, and failed. Just the bike ride from San Francisco to the Marin Headlands and back on Day 2 took a lot out of me. So I decided to take it easy the next day. Instead, I hiked a trail with a 2000′ elevation gain. After that and yesterday’s snow shenanigans, I woke up today not wanting to move. But, there were volcanoes and lava beds to see, so I worked out the kinks as best I could and headed towards a trailhead. Read the rest of this entry ?


Day 4 – Lassen Volcanic National Park

July 12, 2017

It turns out I shouldn’t have been surprised by the amount of snow I was seeing in the mountains above Truckee. That was only a light dusting compared to what I encountered today.

I started out in a large turnout off California 89, maybe five miles outside of Lassen Volcanic National Park, in Northeast California.

Upon seeing the surroundings in daylight, I found that the turnout was actually the start of a forest road. I had no idea where it lead, only that it went up, which was good enough for me.

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After some twists, turns, and dead ends, the forest road dumped me out onto an unmarked paved road. Not having a map of any kind, I figured “Down” would take me back to the highway, which it eventually did. Read the rest of this entry ?


Day 3 – Truckee, CA

July 12, 2017

Day 3 has taken me to Truckee, California, a town in the northern High Sierras that I’ve had in mind to visit since Amtrak took me through several years ago. As much as anything else, I love the name. “Truckee” is indirectly derived from the Paiute word “Tro-Kay,” loosely translated as “It’s all alright.” Which is ironic, considering the most famous local landmark is Donner Pass.

I truck-camped off an access road in Donner Memorial State Park and was treated to the smell of pine when I woke up:


My plan was to go into town, find breakfast, then find a hiking trail. First though, I was distracted by a dirt road the went… somewhere.


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Days 1-2 – San Francisco

July 3, 2017

And… here we go.

Early on, I’d decided that my first stop on this trip was going to to San Francisco. I’ve got a number of friends up there who are always nice to see, and the city itself is one of my favorite places to visit. I’m not sure I’d ever want to live there, for various reasons, but it’s always treated me well a few days at a time.

Ordinarily, if I’m heading to San Fransisco for anything other than business, I’ll either take the scenic coastal route, or stop off of one of the numerous parklands that can be on the way. However, I decided for this trip to skip past anything that’s within day trip or weekend trip range. Spending time on things I can see or do on just about any weekend would only take time away from the things I may never have a chance to see or do again. So, I was taking the entirely business-like route, right up The 5 through the Central Valley, a 5-6 hour drive, depending on traffic.

I had been planning on leaving LA at 6am so that I would get into San Francisco by noon, having the rest of the day and the following day there. I realized by Friday evening that that wasn’t happening, so I resolved to still get up at 6, take care of all the remaining preparations, and leave no later that 10:00am. I pulled out of my parking garage promptly at 1:37pm. You’d think that at some point, I’d get better at this.

I’ve done this drive several times now, and it never gets any better.


Traffic leaving LA was about what you’d expect.


The Grapevine is always fun though.

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