Well, it's my birthday weekend and I spent it off the grid. Camping, hiking, exploring, photographing, and I even ate a couple of birthday s'mores.
We started out Friday evening. We brought the camper along and parked at a somewhat rustic campground in nearby Hat Creek. Rustic only in the sense that it wasn't a corporate resort with all kinds of luxury amenities. We did have electric and sewer hookups, so we weren't completely roughing it.
Our RV neighbors were a man named Kevin and his wife and three boys. We got to chatting with them quite a bit. Kevin owns a business that uses heavy machinery, so he was giving my husband pointers about maneuvering our travel trailer.
We remember Kevin because he gave us two pieces of sage trailer advice:
"When you're out on the road, drive where you want the trailer to go. Don't be looking in the rearview mirrors to see where the trailer is going. Just drive where you want the trailer to go."
"When you're backing up, keep your hands on the bottom portion of the steering wheel and steer the wheel in the direction you want the trailer to go."
Anyone who knows me probably knows I sometimes have a special connection with kids (and babies). We don't have any of our own, but I do enjoy my nieces and nephews and other people's kids. I was especially enamored with Kevin's youngest son, who was probably five years old. I just got a kick out of his personality and demeanor, especially knowing he has to put up with two older brothers.
Our adventure started Saturday morning with an impressive vertical, rocky hike to the top of Black Butte with incredible views of Mt. Shasta. We also saw some pretty wildflowers along the trail.
Pretty pink mountain pride wildflowers.
Super rocky trail.
First full-on views of Mt. Shasta from the trail.
Making my way up the rocky terrain to the top. Just incredible views from the trail. We were working hard to climb the rocky trail, focusing on avoiding trips and falls or other injuries, but then you'd look over and see majestic Shasta. Right there. Hard to believe.
Indian paintbrush and Mt. Shasta.
Steep and rocky terrain, for sure. Hiking down was actually more difficult than hiking up.
Before we left for this trip, I got it in my head that I had to bring a can of Shasta pop with me on this hike and use it in my photos. So I looked up nearby stores that carry Shasta pop, and we found a random grocery store in Carson City. We stopped there and bought a pack of Shasta Root Beer. I don't even drink pop, but that's how much I wanted to get this shot. Don't you think it was totally worth it?
I did open the can at the top, took a ceremonious sip, and then handed it to my husband. Since I don't drink pop anymore, I didn't want to risk any adverse effects on my stomach while we were on a hike. Plus, pop is just not that good. Ha! I stuck to my trail snacks and water instead.
Me and Mt. Shasta. Hanging out.
And because we were in the area, and it's my birthday weekend, I wanted to stop at Burney Falls, again. It's so pretty there. But this time, we also ventured out and found McCloud Falls -- lower, middle, and upper. So we got to see FOUR waterfalls today! Happy Birthday to me!
Here's Burney. One of my local-ish favorites. (And a lot of other people's, too. It gets quite busy.)
Lower McCloud Falls.
Middle McCloud Falls from above.
Middle McCloud Falls and rafters. You can also see a few people standing on the rocks off to the left of the falls. They were gearing up their courage to jump from the rock ledge into the water below. A few of them went through with it.
Middle McCloud Falls.
Upper McCloud Falls.
When we returned to our campsite, we had some dinner and yummy s'mores by the fire later on. On Sunday morning, we packed up and headed back to Tahoe.
A road trip, a challenging and rewarding hike, and four beautiful waterfalls. All in all, a pretty great way to spend your birthday.