Finding a Camp

And the adventure continues…..     After leaving Lassen Park we end up coming to the town of Chester on Lake Almanor before we find the Hole in the Ground.  WHAT?  How did I miss it?  We pull over and I grab the Benchmark.  Yes, we definitely missed it and the only thing I can figure out is that it isn’t marked by the name, rather just the road number.  Dang.  Note to self:  Don’t just look for the name, also look for a highway number.  Can this be the only campground in the area not marked with a sign?  Probably not, but it sure seems like it. Onward.

We find nothing but huge, overpriced by-the-lake camps and we aren’t biting.  Just out of the small town of Chester, we stop at the Lake Almanor Rest Area that allows 8 hour parking.  It will be a bit longer than 8 hours, kids, but we are tired and here we shall stay unless we get run off.

Just after dark a forest service truck makes a loop through the rest area, but he doesn’t even stop.  We are parked right next to the pet area and not even near any of the picnic tables overlooking the lake so he doesn’t bother us.  🙂 It definitely pays to use some common decency and to abide by the rules.  Or, he could have been anxious to get home.  We will never know, but we didn’t get run off so we’ll be content.

The boys get their walkabout and we enjoy the waning daylight fading into dusk over the lake.  I set up their stakes in the pet area and get them fed. Earlier I threw a burrito I put together before we left home into the jar I spray painted black. I am testing it as a ‘solar cooker’ but it should have been put out earlier.  The burrito ends up being just lukewarm, but that’s ok.  It fills the empty tummy.  Note to self:  if using this solar cooker, start earlier in the day.  Would it work in the windshield?

It’s about an hour after sunset, the boys have had their last walk of the evening and I am ready for bed and settled in to finish the ebook I am ready, Breaking TWIG by Deborah Epperson .  There has been spotty traffic in and out of the rest area, but something is different with the vehicle that pulls in now and loops the rest area.  A noisy, dilapidated ‘muscle car’ stops just past Miss Freedom. They rev the engine and I sense they are wanting everyone to notice they are here. I don’t have a good feeling about this.  They leave the vehicle running and I hear the car doors slam.  I hear bumping and thumping.  The van’s windows are covered with the black fabric side of my Reflectix window covers so I can’t see what’s going on (and no one can see in).  I frantically try to find the can of wasp spray I bought yesterday before leaving town —- just in case.  The dogs make a lot of noise. I try not to let them do that, but in this case I let them be as vocal as they want. Not a drug deal, no nefarious shenanigans that I can detect.  I finally realize “They” are going through the garbage cans.  At first it’s a huge relief, but on pondering this event, I am glad I had three dogs with me.  Not to borrow trouble, but someone driving that type of car, going through the garbage cans are probably searching for cans and bottles with a redemption value for,well, activities that aren’t legal. “They” either found what they were looking for or gave up.  I noticed they didn’t go through each can in the rest area. I felt a lot better when they finally leave and it is once again quiet, but it might have been different.  Did the dogs make them decide not to pursue the rest of the cans, or did they find what they thought was sufficient to get them through? I’ll never know, I don’t want to know, and I am glad I had the dogs with me.

I didn’t have a very restful night and the boys wake me up around 5:30 Saturday morning wanting a walk and their breakfast.  Dang.  Well, the day is dawning bright and beautiful if a bit on the chilly side, so let’s get moving.  We head toward Susanville and the boys, of course, sleep the entire way.

We arrive just after 8:30 and find the location of the Biz Johnson Trail.  It’s a hiking/biking/horse riding trail that is part of the Rails to Trails program.  Find more about it HERE.  My intentions are to speak with someone about a workamping position here for next year.  No one is available who can educate me, but all is not lost because now I know where to go and who to talk to later.

I need coffee. I know there is a McDonalds in Susanville, and say what you will, they make very good coffee.  The place is packed and orders are delayed because someone forgot to put the biscuits in to bake.  We aren’t in a hurry , and even though I decided at the last minute to buy one of those sausage biscuits to go with my coffee, it was worth the wait— but not the weight, if you know what I mean.   😉 ha!  I’m a happy girl right about now.

Biscuit eaten and still plenty of coffee left to sip on, we head toward home.  As I point Miss Freedom’s nose west toward Highway 89 via Highway 36— roads traveled many times when I drove truck for a living— I reflect on a few things:

*Traveling with three dogs can be a major PIB
*Traveling alone with three dogs is very comforting.
*A roof vent is definitely needed in Miss Freedom before any major time is spent on the road.  It was
  pretty dang warm inside her even into late evening.
*I need to make sure I have summer clothes in the van before the next adventure. *GRIN*.  What can
  I say?

Just before we hit the Highway 44/Highway 89 Junction and while still up above the valley floor we stop at the Hat Creek Rim Overlook.  It allows for a panoramic view that is hard beat.  Mt. Shasta is in the very background, you can see the burned area from last year’s devastating fires, and the tiny highway far below.

We are only 20 miles from home and much to their dismay, the boys don’t get a walkabout .

When we do finally pull into the driveway and get settled back into the house, they are out for the count.  No doubt dreaming of our next adventure.

Thank you for traveling with us.  We so appreciate your interest in our blog.  Hugs, Shawna

We Left at Noon…..

for a little adventure not far from home but far enough to give us a good idea of what we may be lacking or what we might be needing to eliminate.  And the boys are really excited.  They know when we are going somewhere, and the biggest challenge in getting prepared is making sure they don’t get stepped on while running back and forth from house to Miss Freedom. Finally we are ready to roll.

This gorgeous park is only 40 miles from home, and it is such a treasure.  One of the sleeping volcanoes in the Cascade Range, Lassen Peak rises to a height of  10,457 feet.  She last erupted in 1915 and became a national park in 1916.  You can read more HERE.                  CLICK ON THE PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

  No snow remains on Lassen.  In years past sometimes the road into Lassen Park is covered with 14 feet of snow and isn’t cleared until around July 4th.  The record late opening was sometime in August, but I can’t remember what year that was. 
We spend our day meandering through the 35 miles of road feasting our eyes on the meadows, crags, gorgeous lakes, blooming wildflowers, and rocky devastated areas, with frequent photo stops and doggy sniff fests.  We don’t hike into Bumpass Hell (no dogs allowed on the trails, dang it) but you can check out the sulfur fumaroles HERE.  I have made this hike before and it’s not far and well worth it.  
Lake Helen

Emerald Lake

Diamond Peak

One of several meadows in the park    

Our ride through the park completed, The Chiweenie Brothers, Burger, and I exit Lassen National Park and search for a place to camp.  The target is Hole in the Ground Campground.  We turn left and head east on Highway 36.  According to the Benchmark Atlas of California which I discovered via a fellow adventurer—thanks RVSue!—this campground is not too far off the highway and the boys and I look forward to setting up camp and enjoying our evening.  To be continued….


Cube Cooler Cover

Hi!  Welcome back to Two Dogs. 

CUBE COOLER COVER — say THAT three times.  Ha!

I really didn’t want to post this because I think the picture is awful, but I do want to assure you, the cube cooler cover turned out much better than this photo shows.  In my defense, the cube cooler is square (which is good), but the lid has rounded, beveled edges (which isn’t good if you are trying to cover it) and that was not easy to work with.  The fabric color is a bit drab, too, but I really didn’t want it to stand out, and as long as it covers the Reflectix that will be added to the outside it will function as wanted and I am not going to worry about it. Later I may do a few alterations, but at this point there are so many more important things to worry about like downsizing my household goods and getting rid of stuff.

Yes, the downsizing is underway and it’s coming right along.  There have been moments when I wanted to sit down a bawl, asking myself “What in the world are you DOING?”  and then other times when it isn’t going fast enough.  Forgive me if I have mentioned this before, but this is my life right now.  And it’s emotional. As I post another item in the local swap and trade Facebook site, I have noticed that I generally price things very reasonably, however, if it is something that means something to me, the price goes up.  🙂   Oh yes, this process is very emotional indeed. But it’s progressing, and it’s one of the reasons I haven’t been posting much lately on the progress toward readying Freedom for the Big Adventure. 

Sooooo,  it went from this (top photo) to that (bottom photo)  with the addition of a square of cardboard covered with Reflectix.  I hate the way the pleats hang, but that’s for another day when I want to take the time to prettify it.

Once I got the decorative — and I use that word very loosely — cover figured out, I spent an afternoon this past week working on ideas for keeping my cooler, well…..cooler.  Not only did I line it inside with Reflectix,

but I also made a “floating” lid for the inside.  It’s made from two pieces of foam board glued together.  I will cover it with Reflectix when I get some more. The idea is that as the food and ice deplete the floating cover will move downward to keep the cool air closer to the perishables.  At least this is the idea.  Haven’t tried it yet, but soon, Grasshopper, soon. 

 As the volume of the contents decrease the air space on top of the floating lid will increase, of course, and I will put something along the lines of a blanket, coat, or sweatshirt to take up that space while also providing for more  insulation properties, AND a bit more storage space for a rarely used clothing item or two. whatever I use, it will be kept in a plastic bag, so no worries about contaminating food.  😉  

The next part of this project, besides a test run, is to line the outside of the cube cooler with Reflectix. 

That’s it for today folks.  Thanks for stopping by Two Dogs.  The Chiweenie Brothers and I appreciate your interest, and Burger says hi.   Hugs, Shawna