December 29, 2016

Washoe Lake State Park

"We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and un-explorable, the land and sea be indefinitely, wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us. We can never have enough of nature."
Henry David Thoreau

We bid farewell to Lake Almanor with a goal to head east via the Feather River Scenic Byway toward Carson City, Nevada to connect to Highway 395. Our plans were to slowly travel south into California toward Lone Pine, skirting our beloved Eastern Sierras and then spending a few days in them Alabama Hills. travel is to live..."but the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."

Whenever we travel, Imkelina's thirst for new places and sights to explore and immerse herself in, is unquenchable. Her favorite saying is "I haven't been everywhere, but I am here now, so let's check it out." 

As we cruised down Hwy 89, we pointed our nose toward Washoe Lake State Park.
The name Washoe comes from the original inhabitants, the Washoe Indians. The park was established in 1977 to preserve a portion of the valley for future generations to enjoy. Unfortunately, that is the only way to protect our environment these days...legislate and establish, to protect and preserve.
Within the park there is a wetland and sand dune habitat that support a diverse collection of wildlife...including deer, coyote, jack rabbits, hawks, eagles, pelicans, Great Blue and Night Herons and many other migratory birds. Washoe has been called a bird watchers dream.

The campground had some very nice sites and during our stay, was pretty sparse of campers. We located a perfect pull through, so did not have to disconnect the car during our stay. With an offering of a few nice views, walking trails and a campfire under a blanket of stars and the glow of the full moon, this waypoint was perfect.

Extreme circumstances remembered in tranquil setting...isn't this the definition of adventure? While at Washoe, we kept abreast of weather conditions heading down Hwy 395 toward Bishop, CA. A big storm was brewing over the Sierras and producing some very cold conditions. Projections were as low as 17ยบ at night. Well after much debate (not really), we chose that protecting the plumbing on our Webegon was more important than viewing the wrath above and below Mount Whitney and knew we would be cruising the 395 corridor again by spring time. So we headed west toward the California Gold Country and Jackson, CA via the steep and winding "slide" call Hwy 88. Our plans now were to take our time heading back to the Central Coast Hidey Hole just in time for the holidays.

At Waypoint 39.666656  -119-7999

December 14, 2016

Lake Almanor...Where the Sierras Meet The Cascades

As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler, solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness, weakness.
Henry David Thoreau

As we bid farewell to Dick and Melinda, we headed east toward Lassen Volcanic National Park and Lake Almanor. Although at this time of year, campgrounds at Lassen and Almanor were closed for the season, we were crossing our fingers that we would locate a US Forest Service Campground still clinging to a "we are open sign". 

Fortune again shined upon us. Lake Almanor North Lake Campground, although officially closed, was not gated and allowed camping as long as you hauled out your trash. No water, no camphost.  There were only a dozen campers in the entire park, mostly fishermen, so we were quite alone in our corner neighborhood. And to not love solitude, you cannot love freedom. For when one is alone, one can truly experience freedom.

Lake Almanor is quite beautiful and from what we were told, a wonderful sportsman's paradise, so quite a haven for the fisherfolk. At this time of the year though, very few ventured out on brisk lake to test their skill, luck and patience. 

This was our 7th day on the road since leaving home and we stayed active each day, so this stop was a perfect rest stop to relax. Imkelina and Sydney hiked every trail, explored the entire campground and reconnoitered every foot of surrounding forest. Imke needed but a short break and she was ready to do it all over again. Walking and exploring are her relaxation! As for Sydney, it is no wonder she found the best nesting area and never moved once the campfire was lit.

I lazed and reflected on a thousand thoughts and with the same underlying questions...are our relationships and experiences actually the required dots that will connect us, lead us or manifest us toward our ultimate destinies? This question is my foreplay to mindlessness or "early dementia".

But these days were restful and very peaceful. Imkelina regularly shares that Mother Nature is always speaking, she is our teacher and we must listen. And to understand, we must have the peaceful mind of a sincere observer. Ahhhh...the best cure for a body is a quiet mind.

At Waypoint 40.218612 -121.176337

December 5, 2016

Lake Shasta Powwow

"All my life I've always come back to one thing, my need to feel free and the need to feel the breeze,
the ride provides a freedom this gypsy needs, where every road is another blessed memory,
a new experience to carry inside my journey, a sense of belonging to a familiar tribe,
a brotherhood that goes beyond a bloodline."
Jess Chief Brynjulson

With our motorhome dealer and Grass Valley behind us, we began our two-week "shake down cruise". Our goal was to put Webegone through a few trials and test every feature and ammenity offered with our rig.

We first headed north toward Lake Shasta to rendezvous with Dick and Melinda, beloved members of our "earthling" tribe. As I ponder about the word tribe, it brings light to my consciouness that we are born into but a little span of existence called life...and for what? To serve, show compassion, help others, celebrate and experience love. And the some of the greatest gifts of this life are our friendships. Friends not only offer their love, but share in our pain and touch our wounds. We are truly blessed with our tribal circle!

Webegone was impressive, quite easy to drive, providing enough power to keep up with traffic while dragging our CRV up Highway 5 toward Mount Shasta. We were quite pleased to see that the level of the lake surpassed what we saw during our last visit here. As we slowly drove through this brilliant forest of earth tone hues, I am reminded that this is the trees' last spark into wild color, one last celebration of hue, before the black and white silence of winter. Autumn, a mosaic of all the seasons.

We arrived at out campsite being greeted by our dear friends. They had secured a lakefront view for our first night in the "wild" with our new home. And what a splendid spot it was. We could not paint a more beautiful backdrop.

This camping trip was not only to celebrate the delivery of our new motorhome and reunite with dear friends, but also an observance of Melinda's day of birth anniversary...this was her wing ding week...year! We saluted her trip around the sun with a few walks in the woods, a few reds, some "Nasty Girl cocktails" and a nightcap of dark chocolate. Salud amiga!

The waters are quiet now, no houseboats, no ski or fishing boats...nothing but serene blue waters, almost like the lake was taking a respite. This is earth's eye admiring all the beautiful landscape that surrounds us. The colors of autumn that flood this forest truly do offer so much allure and harmony...and offer a final reminder of how beautiful leaves grow old. May each of us mirror them as our years become yesterdays.

At Waypoint 40.894217 -122.372287