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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

South on California 395 - Mammoth Lakes

Our first stop was outside of June Lake at a National Forest Trail. It was a nice addendum to the Yosemite country.
Then we hopped back on Route 395 south, stopping at Mammoth Lakes to go to RITE AID (modern store, wow!) to buy toothpaste and gas. Prices go up as hwy 395 goes down!

This is the road into Convict Lake, named for an escaped convict who was captured by the posse in this area in the 1800's. The lake itself is only a few miles from the interstate, so it seemed like a logical detour. The temperature today is PERFECT up here -- 75-80 degrees. Why leave sooner than we need to?



Jack gets his feet wet.



It's a beautiful place and the big gray rock at the other side of the lake is one of the oldest rock formations in the Southwestern U.S.


We had a short four hour drive today --- with detours specifically designed to prolong going into Death Valley!



Onward to Death Valley. The hottest time of the day is passing... And Death Valley deserves a blog posting all of its own. Stay tuned!

Goodbye to the Cool Fresh Air of Mammoth Lakes

It hit 39 degrees here in June Lake last night! Today we hit the road again for a short three-hour drive. Our destination is Death Valley, Panamint Springs, temperature 120 degrees. That's 15 degrees cooler than most other places in Death Valley. We've loaded up extra water for the trip and we are packing our fleece and winter scarves away for another day. We'll see you there!

Monday, August 24, 2009

June Lake Loop: Central Sierra Nevada California



Wow did we get lucky! All we did was track the lakes on the mapquest map leading to Death Valley and we found the Mammoth Lakes area and June Lake Loop. It is on the backside of Yosemite and it is spectacular to see the huge rocky mountains meet the lakes beneath them. I wonder if these pictures do them justice, but we'll sure try!

Who would ever know to turn here?
I'm so glad we didn't stay in Mt. Shasta!

The rains were just leaving the area. This mountain looked ominous!


Loop Landscape

June Loop Road

Grant Lake

Grant Lake is a reservoir for the Los Angeles aqueduct system.

Fishing Season in Full Swing - Silver Lake


Check out this WEIRD cloud formation - This photo is completely UNTOUCHED!


We passed Grant Lake, Silver Lake, Gull Lake and arrived at June Lake...

Coming into the town of June Lake -- It's an adorable Alpine Village -- 
like a miniature Lake Placid or Interlaken Switzerland.


This is a photo taken from the other end of town 
(there's not much between the two ends besides what you see in the two photos!) 
Our little motel is The Villager, straight ahead. $65/night bought us a big one bedroom with a full kitchen. Very comfortable!
It was very COLD last night! We could see our breath! Good thing we had our fleece with us and our winter scarves! This morning we took a walk around 6:30 a.m. and the grass was FROZEN!
And tomorrow we head into the FURNACE just three hours away! We'll keep you in the "loop" as we head to Death Valley, Panamint Springs!

Leaving Mount Shasta Heading South

Leaving Mount Shasta on the backroads



Within an hour or so we came upon a huge area scarred by forest fires. It went on for many miles in all directions as far as the eye could see. But as you can see, there is life coming again -- see the mossy green color at the lower left of the picture! Hope springs eternal.


This is becoming a typical view! Just another beautiful mountain road!



To get where we are going, we had to drive into Nevada and back out again. How much the terrain changed along the way! This was north of Reno.
The train seemed camouflaged in the golden landscape.


Most of the towns en route looked a lot like this one, on the outskirts of Reno.


This was the sweetest town of all of them today -- Carson Valley.
Old fashioned lampposts, hanging baskets of flowers... very nice!



This was a beautiful area -- lush with a river running through it. It is known as Antelope Valley.



And Topaz Lake, the first of several lakes in the area.

We're getting closer to our destination. Stay tuned to take a tour of the June Lake Loop with us...


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Getting Acquainted With Mt. Shasta City



At the city park in Dunsmuir

This is not mine -- I found it online and thought it was beautiful!

This was the window of the little grocery store I stopped at to pick up a few things.
The prices were way better here than in Sedona!


Main Street


A restaurant with a good reputation.


Another peek at a beautiful peak!
Elevation 14,179 feet

After we went into town we came back to Dunsmuir, which is about six miles south of Mt.Shasta City. On the way out of Dunsmuir we saw a guy walking his dog.
On the way back into Dunsmuir we saw a guy jogging.
On the way out again we saw a guy riding his bike.
Every time he was the same guy! Weird!
Population in Dunsmuir is 2763.
We found the most wonderful City Park in Dunsmuir complete with Botanical Gardens. The Sacramento River runs through it and the trees grow HUGE! Here are some photos to show it:


Sacramento River








Not Staying in Shasta Long

Cave Springs Resort -- What They Don't Tell You and Why It's Only $50/night.

This is our "home" in Mt. Shasta at the Cave Springs Resort. It has its sweetness, but we can't get out of here soon enough. We leave tomorrow, two days early. There is NO air conditioning! And they don't tell you that they are 350 feet from the interstate -- and near a curve too, so the nearby trucks downshift all night long.


This is the screen door off the tiny little kitchen (so small that the fridge is outside). You can see the river running below out there. The river is really beautiful and FULL of trout! The fishermen are everywhere fly fishing here!
By the way, there are only two outlets in the whole cabin and they are near the kitchen sink, so she had to set up our office in the kitchen.


It's pretty cool really (hot temperature-wise but cool otherwise); the Sacramento River runs behind the cabin. We get the fresh air but the roaring river is REALLY LOUD. It sounds like a GIANT FAN RUNNING ALL THE TIME. But it helps to drown out all that traffic noise coming from the front.
But oh dear! The railroad runs along the river too -- so a dozen times per day (and night!) the trains come through -- slowing down around the curve long enough to blast their horn and wake us from our slumber!
But that's OK. We are so lucky to be traveling and seeing new things! We'll sleep one more night on a mattress that must be about 40 years old and we'll be on our way tomorrow.
See you whenever we get where we're going!

From Oregon to California

Next stop, Roseburg Oregon...

The Veteran's Administration Medical Center Campus in Roseburg is BEAUTIFUL! Rose gardens, tennis courts and a golf course. The river runs through it and it seems to me the entire town is built around this campus. She submitted an application for employment just for the heck of it here, so the campus was our first stop.


Then a self-guided tour of the city of Roseburg. This was the historical district, but it was not revamped like other "historical" districts that I know. It is just plain OLD! A little depressed, but it just feels like Small Town America like so many other towns in the USA.



A few hours later we are approaching Mt. Shasta. Wow, could this be it???


Nope! There it is up ahead -- it took our breath away. 
And to think it is snow capped when it's 103 degrees down here!

The local cattle have a nice setting to graze in!





Snow in Summer.