Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lily Pond

Our drive from Carson City to Old Station, California was, thankfully, uneventful.  We traveled north on US 395 until we picked up CA 44 westbound.  The road surface was in good condition (even in California).  There were three or four areas of construction, but none hampered our progress for very long.  In fact, we were usually able to maintain our speed limit of 55.  The only real holdup we had was at the California inspection station.  The little lady there wanted to come inside to inspect my fresh produce.  That didn’t take long and we were shortly on our way again.  Light traffic and a lower speed limit made for a very pleasant drive.

One of the drawbacks of traveling on secondary roads as opposed to interstates is the lack of rest areas or convenient places to pull a big rig off the road for a rest break.  Today, however, we lucked out.  There were 2 very nice rest areas along the way--one on 395 and the other on 44.  They would rival any interstate rest area for convenience, parking space, facilities, cleanliness, and even landscaping.
Our site at Hat Creek
We arrived at our campground, Hat Creek Resort, shortly after noon.  We had requested a pull-thru site, but the site we were assigned had an overhanging electrical wire which was too low for us to pass under.  The workamper who led us to our site found another, more secluded and larger, site which we actually like better.  However, it was a back-in with a tree stump right in the way.  With his help, Gene got this monster in the site.

This is a very old campground--established in 1937.  It has changed ownership a couple times over the past couple years and is being renovated.  They have a long way to go, baby.  More on the campground later because I really do have the sense that it is something special.

After we got set up and had a sandwich to fill the empty spots in our tummies, we drove the 14 miles down to Lassen Volcanic National Park to get a map and talk to a ranger about what is open.  This area still has a lot of snow and  only opened the main park road last week.  While at the Visitor Center, we watched the movie about the park then went for a short 1-mile walk around Lily Pond.  This nature walk was good after a day in the truck and the interpretive brochure identified several native pines.  We have been trying to learn to recognize the various pines and this was very helpful.  Plus, Lily pond was beautiful and, as you will see in the photo, appropriately named.

I am having a great deal of difficulty accessing the internet.  There is free WiFi here, but only a limited amount of time.  There is no cell signal for the air card.  I seem to be at the mercy of some unknown force.  I’ll do my best.

This evening we will sit down with the park map and plan our strategy for attack.  We will only be here two days, so we have to make the most of our time.  Maybe it’s a good thing that much of the park is covered in snow.

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