Leaving Crater Lake, we headed south to meet up with the rest of Tyler’s family. While in Medford we repeated some of our favorite activities from our last visit. Watching Zach’s nieces at their swim lessons, walking down to Roxyann Winery and staying up late every night playing board games and Super Smash Brothers.
Uncle Zach and June
Unfortunately, we also experienced some unwanted activities. I came down with a bad cold in the beginning and by the end of the week, all of the Oregon Serafinis had caught a stomach bug. There were a lot of sick people in the house but still managed to enjoy our time together.
Common Block Brewing Company
The six of us headed down to Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California. The titular Lassen Peak is the largest plug dome volcano in the world and the park is home to all four types of volcano (plug dome, shield, cinder cone, and strato). I had not heard of Lassen before we started out on our National Park quest so I was surprised to learn it was created in 1916, making it the 11th oldest park.
Selfie with Lassen’s Seismograph Station
We started with the best named trail in the entire park system – Bumpass Hell. The hike takes you down into a geothermal area nicknamed ‘Little Yellowstone’. Having not previously seen anything like it, I was fascinated by the way the ground bubbled, steamed, gurgled, and churned. The sulfuric acid created fascinating color patterns surrounding the scalding mud pots.
Bumpass Hell from above
Planning on eating out for dinner, we had not gone grocery shopping in preparation for the weekend. It turned out, our only options less than a ninety-minute drive closed before 5pm. Between a can of clam chowder, some pasta, and a pouch of tuna, we managed to scrounge together a meal for six from our trailer’s limited pantry. Tyler, Whitney and family slept in the trailer. After first getting used last week by Tyler, our convertible table bed had its second customer in Sage. This gave Zach and I an excuse to break out our neglected tent and cuddle under the chilly stars.
Artsy filler picture
The following morning, after a delicious breakfast at JJ’s Café which would have made Leslie Knope envious, we headed to the north side of the park for another hike. Cinder Cone Volcano was created by an eruption around 1650 which is recent enough essentially no plants have started growing on it. The hike to the crater is two miles each way, meandering gently up to the base and ending with a challenging climb (about 700ft in a third of a mile).
Cinder Cone Volcano – they must have used all of their creativity naming Bumpass Hell
The hike out took longer than expected due to a slow moving four-year-old. Zach and I had more than a five-hour drive ahead of us so we said our goodbyes at the bottom of the volcano and high-tailed it back to our car. As always, it was great to see Tyler, Whitney, Sage and June. I’m looking forward to seeing them at Christmas and hoping our next reunion will be healthier and equally as adventurous.
Beautiful sunset driving though California
I forgot that I was planning on including our time in San Fransisco in this blog which is why the previous paragraph sounds like a conclusion. We were flying out to Hawaii on Wednesday, so in the meantime, we spent three nights at Samuel P. Taylor State Park, about an hour north of the city. All in all, it wasn’t a great experience – we were worried about catching the stomach bug going around, I always get anxious before big trips and none of the Starbucks in the Bay Area have outlets which makes working from them nearly impossible. The highlight of the stay was our visit to Point Reyes National Seashore. One concluding paragraph is difficult enough to write, let alone two, so I’ll just end things here.
We’ll be seeing a lot more of the Pacific in the coming weeks