Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sundial Bridge - Redding, California

I recently visited the beautiful Sundial Bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava in Redding, California. This pedestrian span crosses the Sacramento River and leads to 300 acres of trails and parkland. An arboretum and interactive museum seal the deal. Worth a visit. Like functional sculpture.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Founders Grove - Avenue of the Giants, California

When visiting Northern California, be sure to drive along the Avenue of the Giants. Make note of Founders Grove, an old-growth grove where 2,500-year-old trees tower over you at ridiculous heights. The fallen trees are just as amazing. Everything is so gigantic you'll feel like a tiny ant, running around taking photos. It gets dark in the late afternoon in the fall, so use a flash. Good luck.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California

If you appreciate truly ancient, bizarrely beautiful trees, make a point of visiting the Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountain range of the Eastern Sierras. These dense, tough trees can live thousands of years. The oldest recorded tree nearby is over 5,000 years old. That's one tree; 5,000+ years old. Some are only 4,000+ years old and there's plenty of middle-aged centuries-old trees as well. Our trip covered more in full, here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Devil's Postpile and Rainbow Falls - Mammoth Lakes, California

Be sure to visit these two natural wonders. Rainbow Falls contains an actual rainbow within its waters. Devil's Postpile National Monument is one of the largest columnar basalt formation in the world. More about this trip, including bristlecone pines—the oldest living organisms on the planet—on the blog, here. (Bristlecone pine post coming soon.)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Lassen Volcanic National Park - Lakes and Sky

A couple shots of some of the lakes you can drive and hike to in Lassen Park.

Shadow Lake (a couple hundred steps away from Terrace Lake)

Summit Lake in the rain - you can drive right up to it

The Cafe at Mineral Lodge in tiny Mineral, California

Nice people, good eats, vintage pinball

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Burney & McCloud Falls, California

Burney Falls is the 129-foot-high result of multiple outlets of year-round 42-degree spring water, bursting forth from under the Earth's crust for our edification. A spectacular experience!

First glimpse before descending into the cool valley.

The road to Burney Falls is paved with many stones.

Well worth a visit.

Nearby McCloud Falls has three levels of falls and good swimming. Easy access, either by walking or driving to the three conveniently located parking lots for all three falls. The trail is an easy uphill slope along the river. But watch out for bees. One stung me on the lip, which was weird. Perhaps it was a wasp. Anyway, it was aggressive, and helped me build some character.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bumpass Hell - Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

When visiting Lassen Park, take time to hike down the narrow rocky incline to the geothermal wonder that is Bumpass Hell. Bubbling mud and aquamarine pools of water await, along with steaming fumaroles that hiss and roar, like a giant underground tea kettle that someone left boiling on the stove. Avoid serious injury and stay on the boardwalks (thank you to the crews who constructed and maintain those, by the way). Enjoy the sulfurous scents as you descend into an alternative geological reality.

More on our trip to Lassen on my other blog, here.

Bonus: a boiling mud pit from the Sulphur Works site right off the main road near the south entrance of the park. Just pull up your car and watch some mud boil.