CA – Shasta-Trinity and Lassen National Forests . . . winter play

Welcome to 2019, Jan style!

That’s right, I wanted to witness the first sunrise of the year, so good morning Mt Shasta! 

Happy New Year Burney Mountain and Hatchet Ridge, home of the infamous wind turbines. 

Cheers to another of my good friends, Lassen Peak. 

Hike #1 – PCT, Cache 22 Trailhead

It was a frigid 13F degrees overnight. My all time low! Regardless I was up at dawn to catch first light and then warmed up with hot coffee and cereal. The few mile hike back to my car did little to warm me up but I was happy to celebrate the turning of the calendar doing what I love.

Date(s) Hiked: December 31, 2018 – January 1, 2019 (no stats)

Hike #2 – McArthur-Burney Falls State Park, Falls Loop Trail

Since I was in the vicinity after my overnight on the Hat Creek Rim, I decided I’d add 1.5 miles to my earlier jaunt.

Date Hiked: January 1, 2019 (no stats)

Hike #3 – Sacramento River Bend Area, Yana Trailhead

The Carr Fire destroyed most of my winter snow-free trails so this nearby option is better than hiking through burned trees. 

Date Hiked: January 12, 2019






Hiked #4 – Lassen, Sulfur Works

I introduced a friend to snowshoeing on this short trek from the visitor center to Sulfur Works, a hydrothermal area featuring boiling mudpots and steam vents. 

Date Hiked: January 14, 2019






Hike #5 – Mt Shasta, Sand Flat Trailhead

Following a week of storms, I had to find some powder. I knew there was a risk of finding ice as the storm had included warming temperatures with rain. Forecasters dubbed the day, “blustery.” Well, I went prepared to stay in the trees and away from wind slab avalanche areas. 

Date Hiked: January 21, 2019








Hike #6 – Castle Lake

Snow conditions were perfect for an ascent up Left Peak. 

Date Hiked: January 23, 2019







Hike #7 – Lassen, Mill Creek Falls and Ridge Lakes

I’d been dreaming of seeing these falls in the winter for a few weeks. Well those dreams didn’t turn into reality on this day. You gotta pick your risks and this one wasn’t worth it to me. That’s about 7 feet of snow on the bridge and no alternate options to be found. 

Plan B was a good climb on a near perfect day to Ridge Lakes. 

Date Hiked: January 25, 2019






What Else?

To combat winter blues and maintain fitness, I set a goal for 2019 to be active outside a minimum of an hour 20 days per month.  I’m happy to report I met that objective in January. Here are a few extra credit photos from my daily wanderings. 

The local flora is primarily manzanita and oak; finding hearts is a reward. 

The Carr Fire severely changed our landscape and available trails. 

When all else seems wrong, this message in a neighbor’s front yard is right. It’s my mantra!


CA – Shasta-Trinity and Lassen National Forests . . . falling into winter

Not only did I spend time this fall in Lassen Volcanic National Park (link), but I also found a few other favorite places in far Northern California to jaunt. 

Hike #1 – Castle Lake Trailhead

Castle Lake 

Little Castle Lake 

Mt Shasta Views 

Castle Crags and Lassen Views (on a smoky day) 

Hiking Date: October 21, 2018





Hike #2 – Trinity Alps, Stuart Fork Trailhead 

Hiking Date: October 28, 2018


Hike #3 – Lassen, Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center 

Ridge Lakes 

Date Hiked: November 30, 2018

Hike #4 – Mt Shasta, Bunny Flat Trailhead 

Black Butte 

Date Hiked: December 2, 2018

Hike #5 – Castle Lake Trailhead 

Date Hiked: December 6, 2018 (no stats on this date)

Hike #6 – Mt Shasta, Bunny Flat Trailhead 

Sierra Club Horse Camp Cabin 

Date Hiked: December 10, 2018



Hike #7 – PCT, Dog Trailhead 

Date Hiked: December 13, 2018

Hike #8 – PCT, Twin Bridges Trailhead 

Date Hiked: December 19, 2018


Hike #9 – Mt Shasta, Southeast Wanderings 

The bears were still wandering around. 

Date Hiked: December 22, 2018

Hike #10 – PCT, Cache 22 Trailhead

Final sunset of 2018

Date Hiked: December 31, 2018 (no stats)

Instead here’s my cheer to you for a fantastic 2019 filled with adventure, good health and plenty of smiles.

And that my friends is a wrap for 2018. Below is my year in review video.


CA – Lassen Volcanic National Park . . . fall adventures

For those following my travels, it took a couple months to recover from surgery (link) and then it was time to get back on the horse. I was missing trails and outdoor time. Wildfire smoke had kept me indoors and away from my happy spot for far too long. 

I was welcomed back in style. 

Hike #1 – Terrace Lake Trailhead

Terrace Lake 

Shadow Lake

Paradise Meadows 

Hiking Date: October 10, 2018




Hike #2 – Kings Creek Falls Trailhead

Sifford Lake 

Kings Creek Falls 

Kings Creek 

Hiking Date: October 17, 2018

Hike #3 – Brokeoff Mountain Trailhead 

Hiking Date: October 24, 2018

Hike #4 – Kings Creek Picnic Area Trailhead

Crumbaugh Lake

Bumpass Hell 

Cold Boiling Lake 

Hiking Date: October 31, 2018

Hike #5 – Summit Lake Trailhead

Summit Lake 

Big Bear Lake

Silver Lake 

Feather Lake 

Lower Twin Lake

Upper Twin Lake 

Echo Lake 

Hiking Date: November 5, 2018

Eye Candy

Volcan’s Eye on Lassen Peak 

Manzanita Lake 




OR – PCT Sections C, D and E . . . as in Crater Lake to SOS

While visiting friends in Oregon, I found I had an open 3-week window on my calendar. It wasn’t on my summer itinerary, but then again neither was Oregon. With fires preventing me from hiking the Colorado Trail, alternative plans were the word of the day. 

Step 1 – Prep

What is Oregon known for? That’s right lots of mosquitoes! I’ve found spraying my outside clothes, shoes and gear with Sawyers Permethrin minimizes the amount of bug repellent I need to apply to my body. For those times you need a little extra, I use Sawyers Picaridin. It worked fine for me through Oregon.

Having on-trail resupply locations meant no hitching required. I spent a few days getting my resupply boxes ready for shipment to Shelter Cove, Big Lake Youth Camp and Timberline Lodge.

Step 2 – Transportation

I was on the Oregon Coast and wanted to start from Crater Lake. Friends and family stepped up and made it happen, even if it meant a few puppy kisses in exchange. 

Step 3 – Time to HIKE! 

I started north from the Rim Visitor Center on the popular PCT alternate trail. This wasn’t my first visit to Crater Lake but it was my first time to walk the rim. By the way, wildfires were the cause of the hazy views and photographs.

I expected the rim to be fairly flat. I was caught a bit by surprise by it’s lumpiness, especially after being fairly sedentary for the past few weeks.

I was very concerned about the 26-mile dry stretch between Rim Village and Thielsen Creek. I knew there was potential for water caches maintained by trail angels but I didn’t want to depend on them, especially as a friend was driving by on her way to Crater Lake and was able to drop off a gallon in a couple locations. 

Diamond Lake 

Mt Thielsen 

Thielsen Creek 

No summit, no views at this high point. 

You frequently hear about the green tunnel in Oregon, but I found some exceptions. 

And sometimes you even have views. 

Flowers and bees are a good combination. 

There were plenty of campsites without views. 

This was my favorite for catching the morning glow. 

This is what they call the green tunnel. 

I’ll take it over burn any day. 

I took the Oregon Skyline Trail (OST) alternate between Windigo Pass and Shelter Cove. 

I made a wrong turn getting into Crescent Lake and ended up hiking an extra 4 miles. 

I’d planned to spend time soaking in the lake and basking on the beach but instead wasted a couple hours walking those extra miles.

Even in late July, temperatures were quite chilly during the night. 

The collision of warm and cold made for these steamy views.

Diamond View Lake was one of the more picturesque lakes along the trail.

The food at Shelter Cove Resort was great. The staff at the store and cafe were friendly. They’ve created a nice covered area for hikers with recharging station, hiker boxes, picnic table, etc. While I was there campers in the vicinity brought treats to the area. 

Shelter Cove is on Odell Lake. During my time, swimming was discouraged. Shower and laundry facilities were adequate.

Looking back at Odell Lake. 

Rosary Lake and Pulpit Rock 

Yes bears roam these woods.

Sunrise at Charlton Lake. 

Oregon makes it easy to obtain permits in most areas. Self registration is available at major trailheads and road crossings. This is my friend Ron, a long time section hiker, who joined me for a few days.  

This was my third visit to Three Sisters Wilderness and I was excited to see the mountains up close and personal from the west side. After spending three weeks on the Oregon Coast my body wasn’t acclimated to heat, thus I used my umbrella to help reduce the affects.

I knew Anish was on trail and that there was a tiny chance we would cross paths. We came so close to missing each other but as it happened her and Adam were going to grab water at the same lake Ron and I had stopped at to camp. If you haven’t heard Anish completed her goal of hiking the AT, PCT and CDT in 2018, that’s about 8,000 miles. Here’s the link to her story, “Heather Anderson Completed a Calendar-Year Triple Crown.”

I took time to photograph the few flowers I found along the trail. 

I also love finding the older signs that have been eaten by the trees. 

The rumor is that Oregon is flat. Well they may be fibbing a little. This was my most challenging climb, partially because I was hiking it in the afternoon heat. I believe this was Koosah Mountain, north of the Elk Lake Trail junction.

This one was hiking north out from Bobby Lake.

I was beyond excited to finally get a view of South Sister. 

And this one of Mt Bachelor.

And this one of Broken Top. 

Wickiup Plains ended up being my favorite part of the trail thus far (besides Crater Lake). 

Although the lighting was bad, it was magical seeing South Sister, wildflowers and the glacial moraine. 

Could I have asked for a better place to spend my last few hours on trail? 

It was just me and my shadow soaking in this amazing early morning beauty. 

Just when I didn’t think things could get much better I found this meadow filled with blooming lupine. 

And another with monkey flowers. 

With so much happiness in my heart I found myself weaving through burned forests. 

Mesa Creek was a wonderful oasis, with water so much nicer than that gathered from the lakes. I took a break here at 8am and as I was about to leave I saw my trail friends, Hot Lips and Caveman, who I’d had a nice conversation with at camp the previous night. I briefly met them at Shelter Cove but didn’t see them again until that arduous climb up Koosah Mountain.

Hot Lips and I visited for a while at the creek while Caveman went ahead. We hiked together through this burn area. 

As we said our goodbyes and she rushed up the trail to catch her husband, I got into my rhythm and suddenly found myself looking down a slope with my upper body propelling myself into a fall. These things happen. No big deal . . . until I found my wrist contorted and yelled HELP in hopes Hot Lips was still within ear shot. As luck would have it she heard me and rushed back to my aid.

Here’s the link to the rest of the story, “Life Interrupted . . . Forever Grateful for the SOS Button

Adventure Date(s):

  • June 17-25, 2018

Hike Details:

  • Section C: 17.8 miles
    • Guthook Mile 1839.2-1847.9 +9.4 miles for Crater Lake Rim alternate
  • Section D: 54.3 miles +4 bonus miles
    • Guthook Mile 1847.9-1878.2; 1906.6-1907.9 +22.7 miles for OST alternate to Shelter Cove/Odell Lake
  • Section E: 57.8 miles
    • Guthook Mile 1907.9 – 1965.7



OR – Central Oregon Coast Jaunts

I’ve always enjoyed a quick visit to the coast but it’s never been a place I dreamt of living nor spending extended time. I’m a mountains girl through and through. Nevertheless, I’ve also learned to be open minded and perhaps be surprised by new perspectives. 

Hike #1 – Cape Perpetua, St Perpetua Trail

I was underwhelmed by this “best view on the Oregon Coast.” 

Hike #2 – Cascade Head Preserve 

I can tell I liked this area better as I took more photos.

Hike #3 – Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, Salal Hill Trail

I enjoyed observing the Peregrine falcons. Yes I know, crappy photo . . . 

Hike #4 – Cape Perpetua, Cook’s Ridge Trail 

I liked this forested hike better than the coastal view hikes. 

This plant intrigued me. I’d never seen anything like it. Very cool! According to Wikipedia, “Monotropa uniflora, also known as ghost plant (or ghost pipe), Indian pipe or corpse plant, is an herbaceous perennial plant. Unlike most plants, it is white and does not contain chlorophyll. Instead of generating energy from sunlight, it is parasitic, more specifically a mycoheterotroph. Its hosts are certain fungi that are mycorrhizal with trees, meaning it ultimately gets its energy from photosynthetic trees. Since it is not dependent on sunlight to grow, it can grow in very dark environments as in the understory of dense forest.

Hike #5 – Darlingtonia Wayside 

Winners of coastal life?


Tidal pools and breaking waves 

Interesting sea life 

Oh how I love the barking, sun loving, happy napping sea lions.


Farmers markets, live music, fresh fish, breweries and coffee shops in places like Newport, Florence, Bandon, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, and my favorite Yachats. 

Losers of coastal life?

I didn’t care for the marine layer mist and views, which seemed present 75% of the time. 

Gray skies, flat beaches, quiet water . . . even with the occasional bird.

The daily forecast, 40% fog, 40% drizzle, 20% sun plus 80% breezy. 



OR – Three Sisters Wilderness, Tam McArthur Rim Trail

I love interpretative signage. 

The hike climbs out of the Three Creek Lake basin providing views of the cascades. My friends Jill and Robert were great about helping to orient me and learn the names of the peaks. 

You also get views of the Tam McArthur Rim high above the lake.

As you enter Three Sisters Wilderness, you lose the views while wandering through the forest.

There was still a bit of snow around on this mid June day. 

Looking back at Three Creek Lake from Tam McArthur Rim. There were wildfires and subsequent smoke affecting the distant views. 

This is the jump off point for further exploration including Broken Top summit attempts. 

From this vantage point you can see Broken Top and South, Middle and North Sister Mountains. 

Mount Bachelor appears to be a hop, skip and jump away.

Broken Top (you can see how it got it’s name). 

I had a hard time picking up my jaw when I saw this view. WOW WOW WOW! 

Then we off in search of Lava Bombs, which I’d recently learned about during my visit to Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. The Wikipedia definition, “A volcanic bomb is a mass of molten rock (tephra) larger than 64 mm (2.5 inches) in diameter, formed when a volcano ejects viscous fragments of lava during an eruption. They cool into solid fragments before they reach the ground.” 

There was so much to love about this day. Thank you again Robert and Jill. This was my kind of place. Your company and knowledge added much to this adventure. You know I’m in heaven when I take a zillion photos!

There were lots of other volcanic treasures to explore. 

Adventure Date(s):

  • June 19, 2018

Hike Details:











OR – Smith Rock State Park

Although I’ve been to and through Bend many times, I’ve never spent time with locals. I enjoyed quite the introduction thanks to hiking friends Jill and Robert. 

Hike #1 – Deschutes River Trail

Bend has a beautiful park and trail system paralleling the Deschutes River. 

Hike #2 – Black Butte, Deschutes National Forest

This is a great workout and views trail near Sisters. We had to skip the summit view on this day due to lightning.

Hike #3 – Smith Rock State Park

This is a very popular area near Bend. 

We hiked the outside loop trails. 

We skipped Misery Ridge. 

The park has helpful interpretive signage. 

And being the rocky place it is, we found plenty of colorful rocks. 

With the recent rains, we were happy to find waterfalls. This can be a dry hot place with the exception of Crooked River. 

Adventure Date(s):

  • June 18, 2018
  • Hiking Stats: