We left on Tuesday and drove as far as Carson City, Nevada. We took a brief stretch on Highway 30 which passes through northern Utah. It is beautiful countryside and cuts off about an hour versus going through Salt Lake.
|View along Highway 30|
|Diane picked up a new fella in Virginia City|
|How can I pass up a waterwheel?|
|And another one|
We left Wednesday morning to drive over Sonora Pass to Rich & Ginny's cabin near Long Barn (the GPS had no idea where Long Barn was). We passed a marine training camp and a group of marines hiking along the road. Sonora Pass is very beautiful, with granite peaks and streams. It takes longer to get there, but is worth it.
|Sonora Pass road|
|This vent has never been so clean!|
We fondly remember the time we took Dad to Calaveras Big Trees State Park so we wanted to see it again.
|New visitor's center|
We got there in time for a picnic lunch.
|We're almost as big as the trees|
|Start of the trail|
|That's a tall tree|
|A good time in the Big Trees|
We were tired and hungry by the time we got back to the cabin, but sure enough, Ginny had a good supper ready for us.
We decided Friday would be our rest day to lounge around the cabin. We could only lounge so long before we noticed the pine needles on the cabin decks. We decided we would quickly sweep them off, but it isn't that simple. First they need to be swept off the roof, and as long as we are up there we may as well be a chimney sweep.
|Watch out below - here come the pine needles|
|Chim, chim, cheree|
Today was the day for Tent Town (or the Diggins as they call it), an annual event in Columbia State Park. Just outside of Columbia they set up an old mining town. As you enter the town you have to exchange your money for the local currency - "eagles" that you can use throughout the town. The people around town are in costume and character, which makes it interesting.
|Cook making red-flannel hash|
|Diane makes candle lighters out of wood strips|
|Tent Town street|
|Shady Lady singing|
|Put em up!|
Overall it was a lot of fun; smaller than envisioned, but worth seeing.
We had a leisurely morning with Diane playing old MIA songs on the piano. We went to Sunday meetings at the Sonora 2nd Ward.
Today we went to Jamestown to look at all the antique shops (which were many). Richard found several things he was looking for (including an old soldering iron). Diane bought a cute button-flower knickknack. We had lunch at the Willow (which could have been better).
This is a beautiful area with steam vents and mud pots along with beautiful streams and meadows and snow-capped mountains.
We took a short walk through Mushpot Cave, a small lava tube. The monument is full of many such caves that require flashlights and hard hats to get through.
We then took a trail to Black Crater to see lava flows.
This is also an area that the Modoc Indians were able to hold off the whites for an extended battle. We saw the battle site along the Captain Jacks trail.
The road took us along some nice water reserves.
there is also an area of old petroglyphs.
We started the day with a short hike up the mountain to look at the valley below. It had some nice views and some interesting granite boulders.
|Don't take this hike for granite!|
In the afternoon Diane and Ginny went to Twain Harte for some shopping while Paul and Richard stayed at the cabin investigating various USB connections.
Today was another travel day. We packed up and headed north toward Washington. We stopped in Donigan for a lunch at Wendy's then continued on to Lassen Volcano National Park.
|Lassen Volcano NP|
|Overlooking a thermal area|
|a stream through a meadow|
This was a beautiful park. We found a motel in Mount Shasta for the evening. It is a pleasant little town (but touristy).
We headed on north, stopping at Lava Beds National Monument. This is a park of lava flows and lava tube caves.
|Lava Beds NM|
|This one is lit|
|Black Crater trail|
|Hideout for Modoc Indians|
|Modoc Indian monument|
|Pelicans on the water|
After we left Lava Beds NM we started the long, slow (55 mph) drive through the middle of Oregon, arriving in Kennewick, Washington about 9 pm.
The main purpose for this stage of the trip was to help Mom & Dad Mitchell (Diane's parents) to get their house ready to sale so they can move to Spokane to live with Blair and Janae. We took a load to
Goodwill, went through books and wall hangings in the sewing room, ironed curtains, and took down curtains in the living area to shake off the dust outside. We decided to go to the Old Country Buffet for dinner.
Mom was really worn out from the work yesterday, so today was a bit slower. Paul managed to wash the outside windows, however. A neighbor came over and let him borrow a squeegee which really made the job go faster. We took a load of things to Don & Nadine's where they have a shed for storage until the things are needed. Don and Nadine came over in the evening for a visit.
We stayed most nights at John and Karen's. This morning Karen made some delicious gluten-free waffles with strawberries on top. We went to church with Mom & Dad (meetings starting at 9 am). We went to Don & Nadine's for a very delicious dinner. We don't know how much we accomplished while here, but we really enjoyed the visit. This may be our last time to visit the Tri-Cities.
We decided it was time to get home since we have been away so long (including our trip to the east coast and Canada). We drove all the way, listening to a book on tape as we traveled. We arrived in Logan about 6 pm. We really enjoyed the trip, but are ready to stay home for a while.