The Shadow of Lassen

We headed out early but somehow still ended up spending most of the day running errands in Carson City, again. Something about this town seems to suck us in. At least there’s really good tacos at a Mexican market on the north east side of the city, we stopped there again for lunch. By the time we were done eating tacos and stocking up on essentials no one had the will to go past Washoe Lake. We pulled in and relaxed for the remainder of the day.

The next day we managed to get on the road reasonably early, heading north on 395, bundled up against the increasingly severe cold in these parts. By noon we had made it to Susanville where we left 395 and headed up into the forests surrounding Mount Lassen.

mount lassen photographed by luxagraf
Mount Lassen
mount shasta photographed by luxagraf
Mount Shasta

There’s tons of boondocking spots in this area, all you really need to do is turn on a dirt road and you’ll end up somewhere with some rocks piled in fire rings in the woods. We were actually on our way to a legitimate campground by a lake, but the road was rough enough that we ended up just pulling off at the first flat area we saw.

boondocking in lassen photographed by luxagraf

inside the bus photographed by luxagraf

It was a nice spot n the woods, next to a meadow of sorts with plenty of forest for the kids to explore. It was nice enough that we ended up staying two nights. Why not? It’s not like we have anywhere to be.

guinea pig photographed by luxagraf

fisheye forest photographed by luxagraf

forest explorers photographed by luxagraf

breathing the forest photographed by luxagraf

sitting on a log photographed by luxagraf

climbing photographed by luxagraf

At some point during our stay here a fuse holder that sits between our charge controller and our battery bank broke. At the time I was blissfully unaware anything was wrong. It wasn’t until the second morning when we got up to leave and the inverter started beeping (which it does when the batteries are too low) that I realized something was wrong. I lifted up the couch and discovered our charge controller was dead. That pissed me off since I bought the expensive charger. But then we were about to drive anyway and could charge off the inverter so at least we’d get our batteries back up. Doesn’t that sound simple? Ha.

Driving near mount lassen photographed by luxagraf

We drive down out of the forests and into the hot hellhole of Redding, which the rest of my family didn’t find nearly as terrible as I did. I’ve never liked Redding. This time through we got stuck in traffic, then we had to climb a good size hill just out of town and ended up overheating. We stopped for bit, let the engine cool and went on without an issue, but it was just one more strike against Redding in my book.

It was getting late in the day and we spied a sign for a campground off the highway, though it didn’t say how far of the highway. We went for it because we were all sick of being on the road. We ended up driving what seemed like ten miles on a road that kept getting narrower and narrower, weaving through tiny communities until we just about gave up hope of finding anything and then there it was, a really lovely little campground tucked in the woods of the Trinity Alps, right beside the first river we’ve seen that made me really wish I had a fly rod.

trinity river photographed by luxagraf

the bus through the trees. photographed by luxagraf

Long days of driving, sitting at the side of the road, trying to fix electrical problems, all these things take their toll. The best morale booster is good food. One thing I will say for Redding, it had a damn good Thai/Lao restaurant with portions big enough that the kids could have Pad Thai in the middle of the forest, as forest fairies do.

dinner in the trinity alps photographed by luxagraf