Saturday, June 26, 2010

fearfully grand time

me and casey at one of the campsites near mt lassen

After returning from my conference in hot, crowded, muggy North Carolina, I was in desperate need of a West Coast fix.  The morning after my plane touched down in Portland, Casey and I packed up the car and headed down to Northern California around the Mt Lassen National Park / Mt Shasta area for some much needed outdoor time.  The drive was a bit longer than expected (~6.5 - 7 hours), but was nevertheless filled with beautiful landscapes which kept things interesting. 

Unfortunately, late snows prevented us from accessing much of the park (i.e. boiling lakes, the summit of the proclaimed "fearfully grand" Mt Lassen).  Bummer. We were, however, still able to check out some of the rad stuff in the surrounding area such as a cinder cone, a glacial lake, and a forest filled with the biggest pine cones I've ever seen (photos of all below)!  Sigh...I've missed you, West Coast.

 some of the many giant pine cones we saw in the park

he's such a child...

 bright moss

 casey on the trail to a lake near mt lassen

of course, the clouds rolled in by the time we got to a high enough elevation to see what was around us...

self portrait
lake near mt lassen

another shot of the lake area
reflection lake on the way out of mt lassen national park

 scoria cone

 casey on his way up

 view from the top looking into the scoria cone

 painted dunes as seen from the cinder cone

 view of the lava field from the cinder cone

 sunset at castle rock state park

 sunset at castle rock state park

 mt lassen sunset as seen from castle rock state park

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

green, mean, road-bikin' machine

After months of perusing Craigslist for a road bike, I finally just went to Portland and bought a brand-spankin' new one--Cannondale, of course! Although the screaming green wasn't my top's growing on me. Now, if only the rain and work would stop so I could take her out more...

me and the new wheels at tyee vineyard

 nothing like wine tasting after a scenic bike ride...

hazelnut orchard at the winery

i attempted some action shots on the way back