Monday, August 4, 2014

Back into California ~ June 25, 2014

We took off from Klammath this morning and continue south on 97. The weather is cloudy and warm, great for driving and walking. Another side trip is in the offing. We head east on 161 to Tule Lake and Lava Beds National Monument. 

On the way into the park, before the ranger station, we stopped at this wildlife overlook with the idea of doing a little bird watching. Rod started to get out of the rig and I yelled at him to close the door. There were swarms, clouds, coruscating columns of mosquitoes all around us. Made me think of a scene out of "The Birds" except this was "The Mosquitoes". When we reached the ranger station we asked about it. She said the swallows were working overtime and that the migrating bats were due back in a couple of days. Too long as far as many were concerned. 

We head northeast to Petroglyph Point to photograph some of the primitive art of the Modoc and do a little bird watching. The petroglyphs are carved along the face of a former island of the ancient Tule Lake. Most estimates date the carvings back to between 2,000 and 6,000 years. Up to 14 species of birds have been recorded roosting in spring and summer: Barn Owl, Great Horned Owl, Prairie Falcon, Red Tailed Hawk, American Kestrel and Canadian Geese to name a few. 

The Big Picture
Photo Credit ~ Scott Harris

At the end of the fence line, protecting the petroglyphs from the public, I started chatting with a woman named Rosalee who just moved to Oregon. I asked her where she moved from and she told me Healdsburg (20 miles from my home). When I told her I was from Sebastopol she said "I kind of got that kinda vibe". We both had a good chuckle, wished each other well and headed off in separate directions.

On the way south we stopped at the Lava Beds Visitor Center. Both of us have achy knees today so we decided we'd do some cave exploring next time. Descending out of high desert the vistas are incredible. Snow capped mountains, ponderosa, sage brush sea, mountain silhouettes, Just stunning, no traffic.

We head south to pick up Hwy 139, then Hwy 91 to Hwy 299. Back roads one and all. Our destination for the night is the small town of Burney. We plan to visit McArthur Burney Falls in the morning and do some hiking. We've been there a number of times and never get tired of the experience. 

Burney ~ small town USA

Okay time to listen up ~ if you are 62 and don't know about the U.S. National Park Service Senior Pass you are missing out on a great opportunity. For $10 you get a lifetime pass into National Parks and Federal Recreation Sites. We got ours on a trip to Montana years ago and have used it many times. You can pick up one a National Park entrance or on line.