We leave Lover's Leap on June 13. We stayed there three weeks! It's been fun but it's time to move on. We arrive in Sacramento late morning and drive around a while in search of a spot for the night. We finally happen into a large mall area with a Wal Mart… home sweet home! The parking lot is extremely busy… we'll see how this goes. We leave the bus and go explore Sacramento.
We find a Bikram's yoga studio and an old theater (the "Tower") that shows all kinds of art movies. I go to yoga while Eric pays a visit to the campus of CSU, which is unfortunately totally deserted. Back to the theatre area, we get a couple of large Jamba Juices (had been fantasizing about them for a while) before going to the 7:30 showing of "Young Adam", a so-so Scottish movie about a barge crew in the 50's. We almost go to a nice looking Thai restaurant nearby afterward but feel we are a bit late (9:30) considering they close at 10PM. Driving back to the bus through town, we find this fun Mexican place close to the Capitol with a terrace and lots of people still eating! Cannot resist. The place is fun and the food pretty good too though nothing exceptional. Nice evening.
And back to the bus for a terrible night…It's very hot and noisy. We don't sleep much and to top it off, the security guard wakes us up in the middle of the night to inform us that we cannot park there overnight. She lets us finish the night though.
The next morning, we decide to enjoy ourselves rather than do chores. We drive to historic Sacramento… just like Disneyland: a few blocks of the old riverfront have been preserved/rebuilt for the tourists. Souvenir shop galore… Some pretty nice buildings but just too much of a trap. We then go back to the Tower theater area. After a very pleasant lunch on the cool tree-shaded terrace next to the theater, we see "Bon Voyage" a recent French movie. Great movie! Funny, with some action and suspense, and great characters, all in a comic strip style. We leave Sacramento that evening.
On June 15, we stop for chores in Redding and drive to within a few miles of Lassen National Park.
The next day, we drive into Lassen National Park and find an OK spot at the SW campground (most sites are either too small or not level, or both). It's $16 a night. We want to go for a short hike to start getting back in some kind of aerobic shape after the mellow rock climbing at Lover's Leap. We drive to Summit Lake hoping to hike there but the trail is completely under snow and water. We continue through the park to Lassen Peak summit trailhead: crowded; some snow for the first few hundred meters, then a dry ridge trail to the top. Looks like a good hike. We'll be back tomorrow - it's just too late to get started today. The weather is quite stormy already.
We also check out the Belly Button buttress that - according to the guidebook - is supposed to feature good rock climbs… looks like dangerously soft and loose tuffa to us… yuk. We drive further down and see Saw Eagle wall from the road… nothing too exciting looking either, and there is snow at the base and top anyway. Further down the road, we stop at Ridge Lake trailhead (where the hot springs are). Initially, we can't find the trail but we eventually do and hike to the lake (about 1 hr, maybe 1000 ft or so). Lots of snow left (3/4 of the hike is on snow). The lake is still frozen. As storms are starting to brew overhead, we go back to the car.
We're back the next morning to climb Lassen Peak, the southernmost Cascade volcano. Trailhead to summit in 2 hours, 10 minutes. Back down even faster with a bit of standing glissade… a fun day.
Lover's Leap to Mount Shasta
|Historic Sacramento, a real tourist trap.|
|The Tower, an old movie theatre downtown Sacramento that shows foreign and independent movies.|
|Bikers having fun in historic Sacramento.|
|More historic Sacramento.|
|Driving to Lassen peak, the southernmost Cascade volcano.|
|Somewhere on the 2-hour hike to the summit of Lassen peak.|
|Lassen Peak summit ridge.|
|Views from the summit of Lassen Peak.|
|Driving to Mount Shasta.|