A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about california state parks

Up and Around a Waterfall

Nature brings out what is important.

As I’ve written plenty of times before, a great thing about my job is the ability to experience those things off the beaten path.

For the past 2 weeks we’ve had claims northeast of Redding. 2 weeks ago we had claims in Redding then the following day in Mt Shasta and Eureka. Lots of driving! This also meant taking roads we’d never been on before.

On the way to our claims in Fall River Mills we had a clear view of Mt Lassen from Redding. The Mt was so beautiful. We were reminded of our hike up to the top many years ago when our boys were young. When we took the grandkids the path was full of snow and we couldn’t make it to the top.
Before arriving at Fall River Mills we saw a sign with an arrow to Burned Falls to the west. We wondered what in the world was at Burned Falls, but had to put it aside as we need to get on with the work at hand.

We finished our claims quicker than anticipated and started on another new road towards Mr. Shasta. We were driving along and saw a signed for Burned Falls but to the east this time. As it was earlier than we’d thought it would be we thought “why not?”

We took the road to Burned Falls State Park; the campground was not open yet for the season but the hike to the falls was open. The falls are not visible from the rim so one must take a walkway down.

A very short walk down the paved walkway leads to a Y: A lookout to the left and a path down to the right. If visiting 1st go to the lookout for a breathtaking site. There are 2 main falls and then lots of small falls coming thru the rock face of the cliff. The path leads to the bottom of the falls and beyond.IMG_0971.jpg

We went on to take the walk down to the bottom of the falls, stopping along the way to take photos. The sky was not great but I still took a ton of photos.IMG_0941.jpg

This past week I received more claims and at the last minute, as we were driving, I received one in Burney. It was a very long claims day but we thought that we’d stop again in Burney Falls if there was time. We had our 3 younger grandkids with us and thought that it would be a great place for them to do some stretching out.

We did get to Burney Falls late afternoon. I was finishing up some work so Dale went ahead with the kids. When I finally hit the trail I didn’t see anything of Dale and the kids. I figured that this time they took the loop. I just decided that I needed to stretch my legs and go the entire 1.3 mile loop walk as well. The kids, it turned out, ran the loop.

The loop walk is paved from the parking lot to the bottom of the falls then there is a path along the river. One crosses the river over a small bridge, then hikes up other side to a spot higher than the top of the falls, crosses over on another bridge and walks back to the parking lot.IMG_0957.jpg

As I walked I was enjoying the peace of the forest, the falls and the river. I stopped at one point to smell the forest. While I was just in the moment of being alone in the forest I thought of my relatives and friends who I’ve recently seen. Ones who will not, for various medical reasons, have the chance to hike like this.

I thought about the fact that we are all born with genes, and while some are good and some are bad, we have no control over them. And we do not know what turns our life will take even 5 minutes from now. The decisions we make, in good faith, may be bad due to another’s bad decision. So many factors; such is the circle of life. But what I knew in that moment is that I must be grateful for my good health, my ability to hike, the ability to travel, to remember those who are not so fortunate, not take anything for granted.

I smelled the pine trees and the fresh forest. I looked at the moss on the rocks, the waterfalls. I tried to soak in the surroundings for those who won’t be able to.

To my cousins and my friend. Thinking of you and I’m carrying you in my heart.

Posted by Miss Chris 21:45 Tagged hills nature hiking outdoors grandkids california_state_parks burney_falls Comments (0)

A Labor Day Camping Trip

Camping in Sunset State Beach

Earlier this year we started planning a family camping trip to Sunset Beach. This was a trip to include our 3 boys and families. We would take our RV and the others their tents. Jen was the main one to keep us on track for this trip. Kids had planned all of the meals except breakfast Monday a.m. and we were in charge of that. Kids were so helpful.

I arrived back at home late Thursday night on the 11:30pm flight. It was so great to be back, but also a little stressful as we needed to leave on Friday after our granddaughter was finished with school.

Since I was just on East Coast time it was easy to wake up early. I was so tired on the way home that I couldn’t stay awake at all, so slept through most of my flights. This gave me a little extra rest and worked out well for me.

We got up early Friday morning and started packing the RV, but because we had so many other things to do got off to a really late start on Friday. We picked up Justin and boys and on our way by 7ish. We were nearly at Sunset Beach when I told Dale that I was surprised that we never saw Nate/Bekki when driving. We see them on the road so many times at random places. Soon another car started following us. Now it is probably 11pm and Nate/Bekki was to leave by 5pm. But guess what? It was Nate/Bekki and family. They followed us on a wrong turn and a detour then we drove into the campground together.

We had 2 campsites next to each other while Clayton/Jen had one on another loop. As Jen had recently decided that they would stay in a nearby hotel as Fynn was so little, their campsite went empty. Then, as it turned out, Zoey was really sick, throwing up; good thing they had a hotel.
We sat around the campground and then the beach on Sat. just vegeing out. Unfortunately, Clayton had to do a bunch of unexpected work so the trip wasn’t working well for them.

By Sunday Zoey’s vomiting was going on strong and Clayton had to go back into his office. So much for that family trip.
We salvaged the trip by going to our traditional haunt “Santa Cruz Boardwalk”. We did our traditional family ride on the Giant Dipper, love that old wood roller coaster. Otherwise it was more sitting on the beach, eating and just plain ol’ doing nothing!

Posted by Miss Chris 18:16 Archived in USA Tagged nature camping outdoors grandkids sunset_beach california_state_parks grandkids_travel Comments (0)

A Little Celebration of Life Before the Drive Home

A "Day of the Dead" then home

sunny 85 °F

IMG_8274.jpgIMG_8275.jpgWhat a difference a couple of years made. Grandkids helped so much with the packing up. It used to be that it would take us hours to get everything together, but this time we were completely packed by 10a.m.

Before leaving all of us came together to hold a small “Day of the Dead” in remembrance of Aubrey, our little granddaughter who never got to experience camping, and my niece Heidi who died way too young. We lit a candle for the light and incense to help lift their spirits to the Great Hunting Grounds. We also hoped for the spirits to give us safe travels home.

We’d thought that we’d just take the road north to South Lake Tahoe, eat lunch and come on home. The road to Tahoe was much quicker than the one we came into Grover on so we were able to have a brunch at Harrah’s. Kids love eating at the casinos, they pile on the food and this time was no different. A little pricey though since it was a Sunday Brunch, but I made sure to have lots of champagne. We couldn’t gamble quarters though because the machines only take bills. Too bad. We’d trained the kids to walk very slowly so that we could each gamble 2 or 3 quarters and now we had no chance to win a gazillion dollars.

After we had cell service once again I text Bekki to find out how their trip home went. It seems that the Mazda died about 1 hour before they would have arrived back in Wasco. One of our “adopted sons” picked them up then came back and towed the car. So we have a broken down car and a mess in the RV.

The rest of the drive was just that, a drive.

Posted by Miss Chris 14:44 Archived in USA Tagged children travel family camping outdoors family_travel grover_hot_springs california_state_parks day_of_the_dead Comments (0)

One Last Night at Grover Hot Springs

Last night fun and reflections


IMG_8267.jpgIMG_8272.jpgGrover Hot Springs has lots of stuff to do for all ages; rocks to climb and to watch stars by at night, trails to hike, trees to sit under with a glass of wine during the warm afternoon, a stream to play in and, of course, the pools. Kids, older and younger, have had fun walking, sleeping in late in the tent, sitting at the meadow, reading, dancing on the rocks and talking.

Clayton, Jen and their friends hiked out to the waterfall this morning 1-1/2 miles. We’d wanted to hike there but big kids weren’t awake yet and we didn’t know about walking with Zaya. When the group of friends came back they reported that the hike was not easy for kids and seemed long. So we were glad to be so lazy.

I made a bean salad from black and pinto beans, avocados, tomatoes, onions, and corn with a little lime juice for dressing. Then made a salsa from our chilies which paired with some beer made for a great lunch!

We have done nothing today. I’ve been sitting under trees sipping wine and writing blogs. Don’t know how we will make it when we return home tomorrow. The campground is mostly empty now and so quiet, more than it was before. Hate to think about leaving this place.

Tonight Dale made a last fire for the kids and they made smores while we washed dishes, it was about 9:45. Charlotte came in to find a flashlight as one kid said that they felt something brush against their leg. We found a flashlight for her and off she went. As she went around the corner of the RV all of the kids jumped out yelling BOO!. There were shrieks of laughter then and Charlotte took it all in stride. The 5 kids then all hiked up to sleep in the 4 person tent for one last night. They should be cozy.

Dale and I finished up the dishes and went to the dying fire. Moon wasn’t up yet so the stars between the silhouettes of the trees were amazing with little light pollution. We listened to the wind coming up between the trees then blowing on our faces when it reached us. We talked about camping trips we still want to take, some with grandkids and some just the 2 of us.

Now it is late, time to sleep so that we can pack up and leave in the morning.

Posted by Miss Chris 09:50 Archived in USA Tagged children night nature landscape travel family camping outdoors family_travel grover_hot_springs california_state_parks Comments (0)

Playing in Grover Hot Spring

The stream which is very cold

sunny 85 °F

IMG_8211.jpgIMG_8216.jpgNate, Bekki and Justin had to leave early in the day so we all had bacon and eggs early.

Jen and I packed up a huge lunch salad: of quinoa, sundried tomatoes, olives, onions, pesto sauce and lime juice. We also packed up cold white wine, beer, chips and salsa, water, small glass wine glasses, tablecloths, a portable table and eating utensils.

We piled into 3 cars and drove to Markleeville a small little town at the turnoff for Hot Springs Road. Just at the edge of the 2 block town you cross a bridge over a stream. There is a path to the stream, a path on each side with a nice little beach area. On one larger flat area we set up our table with tablecloth, all of the food, wine, beer buffet style. But while I was standing at the end of the table setting things up I felt something go by my foot brushing it, Nate looked down at that minute and saw a snake go by quickly. Good thing I didn’t see it because I would have screamed my head off!

Adults walked across the stream and lay on rocks while kids hopped around on rocks in the stream. The water was cold but refreshing making us ready to eat.

After lunch Nate, Bekki and Justin left for home while we went back to our campsite to relax for the afternoon. What a life!

Posted by Miss Chris 08:35 Archived in USA Tagged children nature camping outdoors grandkids grover_hot_springs california_state_parks Comments (0)

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