Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Random Adventures in CA and OR

When I'm at school I really miss being able to drive places and go on adventures, so when i'm at home I go a little crazy. I've covered about 2,000 miles in the past week. Somehow Cathywu put up with it.

I went to Ventana Wilderness the weekend after finals and climbed Junipero Serra Peak.

The Salinas Valley, Junipero Serra Peak is in the center

After 3 hours of sleep I woke up around 2AM and after some difficulty finding the trail started heading up around 3:45. By the time the sun came up I had reached around 3500 feet.

It's been unusually cold for late May. It was cold, possibly below freezing, at the campsite overnight (around 2000 feet). Above 5000 feet ice covered everything and there was a dusting of snow on the ground.

From the top I could see out to Cone Peak, Big Sur and the Pacific.

Pretty much the entirety of the Ventana Wilderness and most of the Big Sur area burned in 2008, these were the remains of some sort of small hut at the Summit.

I got back to the trailhead around 11:45 which was pretty good time for me.

The next weekend Cathywu and I went to Oregon to see L-word and Featherweight.

The drive up took about 8 hours. Although she denies it, Cathywu did in fact fall asleep somewhere on CA-37 before Vallejo and didn't wake up until the GPS fell on her when I was merging from I-505 to I-5. When we got to Redding I was really tired so I took a little nap and then bought a frappuccino. Since I don't drink caffine pretty much ever, I drank around a third of it was fairly wired all the way to Shasta.

Just over the Oregon border on I-5 some sort of fox or coyote jumped out at most 15-20 feet in front of us. I had almost finished with the "there's a thing in front of us and we're going to hit it" thought when we hit it, smashing up the front of the car pretty well, I didn't see what happened to the animal (though I doubt it survived). We got in about 4AM, L-word helped us set up the tent and we went to sleep.

The next day we went to Crater Lake, there was about 8-10 feet of snow at the rim (apparently that's what passes for spring with L-word's people) so most of the roads, trails etc, were closed. We took some pictures and then sledded on the shovel I keep in my trunk because I am an unfailing pessimist (and yes, I have had to dig myself out with it). Featherweight has videos that maybe she'll share.

After that L-word and Featherweight headed back to Portland and Cathywu and I headed back towards Shasta. The drive across Southern Oregon was really pretty.

We stopped for a while at vista point off 97 north of Shasta and Cathywu froze while I made dinner and took pictures until the sun set.

We then drove around looking for an open campsite in the dark on Memorial Day weekend and actually found one in the first place we looked.

The next day we drove over the Eddys to CA-3 and then took CA-299 back to 101 and eventually back home (with a detour to drive the avenue of the giants in Humboldt).