Butte Creek

The heat wave has broken and the boys and I want to get one more little getaway in before other obligations keep us close to home.  Where to go? It can’t be too far, but I want someplace new, too. A quick search of  camping areas not too far away results in our choice of Butte Creek.  Not the Butte Campground in the Lassen National Park, but a no frills, dispersed camping spot. We find one, about 40 miles away on forest service road 35 N15, off Hwy 44.  Close to the edge of the national park, but not IN the park.

I spend Friday morning transcribing and becaue I loaded most everything up in the van Thursday night we are on the road at noon. The pups, as always, are so excited! We’re going some place — new P-Mail to check out!

The Butte Creek dispersed camping spot is just a semi-cleared area off the dirt road about two miles in on 35N15. No water, no toilets, no table, no fire ring. It’s just a spot to park, but hey, we’ve got all we need so this will do nicely. 

Our routine begins. Get the dogs settled in shady spots, set up the solar – The stand I made for holding the solar panel at an angle so it gets the most sun works perfectly, and because it is made out of  PVC  pipe it’s lightweight and sized so it fits right into the frame of the solar panel–  


Set up the folding table, pull out the anit-gravity lounger, get water and a leftover meal of Thai Peanut Sesame Noodles in the solar oven to heat. Those chores taken care of I take the boys for a walk down the narrow dirt road to check out the area. We find Butte Creek dry as a bone.  The ditch cut for irrigating someone’s pasture or whatever will not be seeing water again for a while.  As we walk farther down the road I spot a large  field tinged with the brown tones of the coming autumn and an old homestead through the trees. That’s where the irrigation ditch goes.  DSC_0005


We walk on and I see dust being kicked up. I get the boys and myself off the road, but no one ever passes by. Obviously there is an intersecting  road up ahead;  we turn around and head back to camp. I plan to kick back and begin my goal of finishing the novel I am currently reading.

Friday night isn’t as restful as I would have hoped. Burger couldn’t get comfortable in his front seat bed and every time he pawed and pulled trying to rearrange his quilt The Chiweenie Brothers thought they needed to go see what was wrong.  Consequently a longer than usual nap was in order for Saturday morning.

The nap accomplished we take a long  walk enjoying the soft breeze soughing through the pines, a trip to the dry Butte Creek to get a container of sand for a project at home, and then a lot of reading. 

In late afternoon I decide to break camp and prepare to leave for the Hat Creek Rim Vista Point  sometime in the evening.  That chore taken care of I feed the dogs, and eat my own dinner; baked potatoes from the solar cooker and a large salad.  We take a nice long walk and dilly dally around for a couple of hours. DSC_0007

I want to see the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter that will occur around sunset and we head out about 7:00 P.M. for the vista point which is about 20 miles back the way we came; halfway to home.

I’ve forgotten my telescope!  Dang.  Guess that’s a reminder to get a trip list check-off made up. Until we are out there on a full-time basis there’s still that chore of toting stuff back and forth from house to van and from van to house. I hate it. 

The telescope is a new addition to my travel items. A dear friend who knew I was looking for one found a nice 60 X  at a garage sale she was helping with and set it aside for me.  FIVE DOLLARS!  I was so excited to have a specific event in which to use it and left it home. Ah well. I was still able to see the  conjunction, though. It wasn’t visible for long, but cool to see nonetheless.

We sleep better this night and are up early in order to get a few shots of Mt. Lassen just as the sun begins to peek over the eastern horizon. DSC_0025DSC_0024


Not much to do in a vista point once you’ve take in the scenery so we head for home.

Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs.  Until next time …

Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely. –Karen Keiser Clark 

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