I knew today was going to be a long day. We woke up in St. Helens and wanted to get to Lasen Volcanic park to camp for the night. We had to cross pretty much all of Oregon and drive a good number of hours in California. Mark's grandmother gave us a great breakfast and we were on the road at 9:30.
I know it's not a good idea to compare other people's homes to your own, but so much of Oregon reminded me of Abbotsford (a farming community an hour east of Vancouver), but instead of a 30 minute trip before hitting the Canyon's of BC, Oregon goes on for 6 excruciating hours. We stopped in Roseburg for lunch at Taco Bell (don't forget to shoulder check!), a delicacy not readily available in Canada.
We drove and drove and drove. Grants Pass turned out to be quite exciting - it's a long and twisting route, hard on trucks and unnerving when getting passed by vehicles doing 30 MPH more than me (and I was no slouch). The pass reminded me of the interior of BC (if anything, this trip made me appreciate home more!). Once out of the pass, you find yourself in the desert of California.
We were running out of gas so we stopped into Yreka for the local Texaco fill-up. I was looking for a map of KOA camp sites (which I never did find) so we stopped into tourist office/soda bar to find all about the exciting things to do in Yreka. We saw most of it walking back to the car.
Mt. Shasta stands out like programmer at a fashion show. Unlike most mountains formed around here tectonic plates colliding, Mount Shasta is a volcanic cone standing out on the relatively flat plane. The mountain always seemed to have a donut of clouds making it stand out that much more from the surroundings. We first drove south past the mountain, and then east under the mountain.
Getting onto highway 99 was quite a change from the I-5. The road is marked scenic route and if you like narrow roads lined with trees and vistas around some corners, it's not bad. If your driving to get to Lasen park before it gets dark, it's kind of frustrating. In yet another brilliant plan, we neglected to buy dinner until later in the day. Driving though miles of trees dotted by "closed for season" stores I was worried it would be a hungry night.
Burney amazes me. Approaching a 4 way stop with way too much forewarning, we see a surprising rise in the amount of traffic (We saw car going the other way). Driving the short distance to explore the town of some 3+K, we saw an amazing site - a full sized Safeway. Wow. I was fully expecting to pay 83 dollars for spaghetti and was surprised to find fresh fruit, familiar brands, Mark bought sun glasses, and our Canadian club card worked. My only mistake was asking for water in 4 liter containers (roughly 1 gallon - the poor cashier didn't speak metric)
Lasen park first greets you with a boarded up stone gate asking for 10 dollars to drive though the park and your honor. We drove to the camp site, $8.00 - no water, no wood, chemical toilets. Not bad, but it was cold, dark an getting colder. We made our spaghetti by flash light, cursed the full sized campers as our dinner froze while we ate it around us and retired to our tents. I lent Mark a sweatshirt, a toque, and hoped he'd have a good night.