The pictures come first
Lassen Volcanic Natl. Park-
Sundial Bridge at Turtlebay
Tree house inside the Botanical garden at Sundial bridge-
Crater Lake,OR snow covered
We were 4 couples who rented a 12 seater passenger van, kudos to the guys for driving the huge vehicle through snow, hail and rain. It was a lot of fun with the girls taking the credit for all the variety food that was cooked and packed for this 3 day trip.
Day 1- Our first stop on Saturday morning was at Lassen Volcanic National park, which was for the most part closed due to the heavy covering of snow. We made a brief stop at the sulphur peaks, the geothermal area where a pungent odour of sulphur was emanating from the peaks. Took a lot of photos and boarded the van and headed out to Turtlebay and Sundial bridge spots on our way past Redding into Shasta.
The sundial bridge as its name, is an architectural bridge shaped like a "harp" musical insutment with strings attached. The walkway was beautiful and ended at the botanical gardens area. Highlights were several varieties of plants, flowers, a bamboo made treeh house, fountains etc. A very serene place which was one of the highlights of the trip for me.
Day 2- We drove from the Coldcreek Inn (where we were staying with more friends, Sundar's family and Balaji's family where also doing the trip) to Crater Lake, Oregon. We drove through Klamath National forest and Winema national forests and the scenary was spectacular along the 3 hour drive. Crater lake, as many would agree, is breathtaking in all its shape and beauty. The lake and surrounding area was snow covered and added a Christmas postcard quality to the visit. After a sumptous south indian meal (thanks to the girls), snow fights and several photo sessions followed suit.
Our late afternoon stop was at a small town Ashland in Oregon (again thanks to Sundar for sharing about this place). We spent sometime walking along one of the trails in Lythia Park (that has a river running along thw alking trail abd is full of greenery on either sides). We ate at the Deep Indian cuisine restaurant (hot north indian food) which was owned by Mr.Deep, a former Bay area restaurant guy. We drove back after a tiring, but, exciting day to our Shasta inn.
Day 3- After saying goodbyes to the Sundars and Balajis, we checked out and drove to the Bunny flat trailhead to have a glimpse of Mt.Shasta. A few pictures later, we were driving along the winding roads on our way to Shasta caverns. A boat ride followed by a 15 minute bus tour to the cavern entrance and a 1 hour tour of the caverns was time well spent. The lively tour guide Julie was a major attraction to the guys and showed us the caverns well. The interior of the caverns were filled with stalagmites and stalactites (conical shaped sturctures) and the cathdreal room was filled with them was the highlight of the tour. Due to lack of time, we had to miss visiting McArthur Burney falls and Shasta dam. After a lunch stop at Subway, we arrived back at Bay area on Monday evening.
A good trip with lots of driving (1100 miles approximately), nature attractions, great food and most importantly in the company of friends was a long weekend well spent.