Geoff and Jenn's 1998 California Trip
Day 7: Lassen and Burney Falls

Friday, October 2nd, 1998

Well, Emerson made it through the night fairly well, but not well enough to cause both parents to vowing in the morning that the remaining two nights would be spent in the comfort of a motel room. The night was quite chilly and even better -- wet!

The day, however, got increasingly better and by the end, this was one of the best days of the trip so far. We broke camp to head to Bumpass (funny name, eh?) Hell -- a 3 mile hike to one of the largest geothermal spots in the park. We took a number of pictures along the way. The area reminded us of a strange combination of the Snowy Range, Yellowstone and Mt. Hood -- all twirled together into one area.

Looking down into [Bumpass] Hell
One of Bumpass' many mudpots

From Lassen NP, we headed out towards Mt. Shasta. Along the way we stopped at Subway Cave -- a small 1/3 mile lava cave. This one was considerably different than the many caves we have spelunked in Oregon and Washington. The walls were quite smooth and lacked the "skull" slice-through profile. In the parking lot we found a pack of ... school children out on a field trip. We had a laugh at the imagined X-Files scene of 50 children walking through a cave with flash lights flying every which way. On the way out we saw a beautiful wood pecker.

Overall view of Smith-Burney Falls (notice the sides weeping in addition to the main "split" falls)
Next stop was Burney Falls state park. This was a beautiful falls in which a volumous river split into two tongues to create a double waterfall. In addition to the two main branches, the water table also hit the bluff over which the falls flowed. Thus, around the sides of where the river went over were hundreds of smaller falls in which the water simply came pouring out of the rock. It has to be seen in order to be believed.


A closer look at the water pouring directly out of the rock face


Em pulling the reigns in on Mom


From the Falls we headed on out to Mt. Shasta, which has been strangely absent from our panaramas during the entire trip. It finally showed itself as we approached the town with the same name. We stopped for dinner at Lily's -- a spot known for pasta (the creamy clam garlic dish was premo!). Emerson was perfect at dinner (thank god, given that they used fancy lace for table cloths) and he ended up flirting with all the different waitresses he worked there (earning lots of complements on how cute he is).

We then headed down to Dunsmuir to do our token cheesy act for the vacation: we stayed in a motel in which every room is in an abandoned railroad caboose car! I know, its kind of cheesy -- but nonetheless, it was great fun! And the rooms were rather nice! The first thing we did was to jump for the shower -- our 2nd in almost a week. I then, somehow, got sucked into watching a stupid movie (Anaconda) before heading off to writing and sleep.
Another look at our railroad car!



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