Attention: my sister is now in California.
Her plane landed an hour early, because if I needed one thing on Friday morning- it was definitely an extra hour of Chelsea. I picked her up at the terminal and after a few rounds of the same highways and a big blow out with Rita, my GPS, we had finally gotten on the road. The first stop was a surprise that I had decided on 37 seconds before leaving for the airport when I googled “where is the building from ‘Full House?” Chel was more excited than I expected.
“This is better than any of that ancient crap I saw in Greece. This is better than the house of green gables!” (She meant seven gables, or where Nathaniel freaking Hawthorne lived).
After that it was straight to the Haight for supplies before heading out on our lovely road trip. Three hours in we switched drivers and I nibbled some pharmaceutical chocolate while Chel navigated. By the time we got up into the mountains I realized it was going to be a bit of a struggle to check into our cabin. When we arrived at the “Rim Rock Ranch” I tried to compose myself- all I needed to do was give my name, hand over my credit card, and sign the receipt. Of course, ‘Jim’ wanted to chat. He wanted Chel and I to be impressed at how he could pronounce our last name, apparently Italian names are a big deal for Californians. Then he gave us some hiking recommendations, buddy I can’t think of anything but a bed right now. Before he let us go he broke out a list of rules that we had to follow in the cabin, which included sweeping and taking out our trash and not burning the chair cushions. And was Jim looking at me funny? These rules of course seemed very important at the time and later when I went to sweep the floor a broom was nowhere to be found. We resolved to call Jim and ask about it when I walked outside and found a broom and a mop attached to the outside of the cabin. Only a stoner would affix a broom and mop directly to the outside of a building. Jim could pass for a resident of Santa Cruz.
Chel and I had long anticipated how crazy our trip would be, but we were both in bed by 7pm. Apparently I woke up in the middle of the night, shrugged and said “Doors, Woods, Sleep, Eh” which prompted her to get up and lock one of the two doors, protecting us probably from a Zombie but certainly not from a crazed mountain addict.
At least our early bedtime left us well rested for adventures Saturday morning. We were in Lassen Volcanic National Park by 8:30am, which was definitely a record for both of us. Amazing how quickly you can get going in the morning when there’s no internet.
It gets pretty hot up there in the mountains during the day, the kind of hot where you’re dripping a little even though you’re not moving. Except you’re not dripping here because this is California and there’s no humidity in this state. Despite the heat there was still snow in the mountains! This was the second warm weather snowball fight of my life, and as you can see by my professional baseball pitcher stance I took it quite seriously.
Then I hiked up Lassen Peak, which is behind Chel in this picture.
It was a not a terribly exciting hike since the mountain had erupted in the 1920s and pretty much wiped out any cool landscapes. It was also a lot harder than I expected and I sort of lost track of the trail at one point and almost killed myself trying to climb to the top off-trail.
But I eventually found the trail and finished the hike and then laid down in the snow, because I could. Sidenote: Outlier pants are totally amazing. I was sitting in the snow for a good five minutes and fell in some snow later on and my legs never got wet or cold. Plus, they’re made in Brooklyn so you know that some poor Bangladeshi kid didn’t go blind sewing them for you!
I also hiked along the wonderfully named “Bumpass Hell” hot springs, which were too hot to go into and not all that impressive. You win there, Iceland.
Some good hiking even if the scenery was a little anticlimactic, but that’s ok because now we’re heading to THE REDWOODS OMG