Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Blessing in Disguise!

My husband stated that he wanted to camp at a place we haven't visited. I stated I wanted to see the Mt. Shasta area. We both knew it would be at least a six hour drive from home. So, we planned on staying at least three nights. This was the weekend before Memorial Day Weekend, and we didn't make any reservations. The plan was to camp for three nights at Fowlers Campground, but that didn't happen.

While driving the portion of I-5 through the mountains of Shasta Lake, the oil light came on. The car was overdue for oil change, which was scheduled for the next week. We drove into McCloud to get gas and top off the oil, but McCloud didn't carry the correct oil for our car. So, we came up with a plan to find a campsite at Fowlers, unhitch trailer, and then head to the NAPA store in Mt. Shasta for the oil. It was a great plan, but that didn't happen. We got to Fowlers to find all of the sites taken. Yes, my bad since it was a Saturday afternoon. And yes, I know that reservations at a popular campground on a weekend is essential to nab a site; but, I didn't make reservations, and it was a blessing in disguise.

While waiting for husband to get the oil, I walked Meeks around the parking lot and enjoyed the stunning view of Mt. Shasta. Once husband had topped off the oil, I told him of a campground that is located closer to Mt. Shasta city than McCloud. I told him to keep fingers crossed.

We got lucky! From our campsite we had a view of Mt. Shasta. There are no views of Mt. Shasta from any of the campsites at Fowlers Camp.

Not only did we have a view of Mt. Shasta, we also had views of the snow covered Trinity Mountains.

Our site was so private. Nobody was camped in the site across the street from us or right next to our site. And even if someone had been right next to us, we wouldn't have been able to see them.

After settling in, we took a stroll around the campground.

While researching this campground, I read of a small creek that runs through the campground. Meeks enjoyed drinking the icy cold, clear water from this spot.

There is a hidden water pump. One has to cross the creek and hike a short distance to an open area where the pump is located.

We were camped at one of the sunnier sites. Many of the other sites are under the canopy of trees and were not as private as our site. 

We walked across the main road, Everitt Memorial Hwy, to check out the dirt road across the street. Sadly, that was just a dead-end and didn't provide us with a road to hike. There are no hiking trails close to the campground.  From the middle of the road, there is a great view of Black Butte.

Since the weather forecast for the next day was the low 90s and I had planned other hikes in the McCloud area, we agreed to just one night at this beautiful campground.  

In the morning before hitching up, we drove the Everitt Memorial Hwy until it ended at Bunny Flat, due to snow. Many cross-country skiers were taking advantage of the late season of snow, which doesn't look like it will melt until late August. 

This gem hidden beneath gorgeous, snow-covered Mt. Shasta is such a wonderful campground that I wish it wasn't so far from home. My husband and I would love to explore more of this area of Mt. Shasta.

Part 1 of 3 Mt. Shasta/ McCloud

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Eastman Lake

My husband and I headed off to Eastman Lake for an overnight camping trip. There are two campgrounds at Eastman Lake. We stayed in the less popular campground, Wildcat. We were happy that we did not follow the norm of other campers. For we were rewarded with having the entire Wildcat Campground to ourselves! The only sounds were that of the birds chirping.

Eastman Lake is a beautiful lake with a hiking trail that follows the lake.

We hiked the Lakeview trail that starts at the parking lot at the bottom of the hill by the Group Campground.

During our hike, we only saw one kayaker and the patrol boat. There weren't any other hikers on the trail.

The Lakeview Trail is 4.5 miles one-way. We were hoping to hike to the end to see the Raymond Bridge, but a mile from the bridge our path ended into the lake. The route for the trail was underwater.

The tall grasses and the roaring sounds from the feeder creek deterred us from the challenge of connecting to the trail across the newly formed inlet. We could see where others had made the circuit to connect the trail.

Plus, our lack of adventure to make the circuit was also due to the fact that the clouds were starting to look ominous and it was late afternoon.

Across the lake was an area of hillside that had some stone extracted from the hill. We wondered if the stone was used for the dam.

We were blessed with numerous plants still in bloom. The Buckeye trees gave off a wonderful sweet scent.

A couple of times we passed by areas with large boulders. In those areas with the boulders, the temperature along those sections of the trail was much cooler than the other sections of the trail. We wondered if there were some cave entrances by the boulders along those cooler sections of the trail.

After a peaceful night with only the sounds of the owls and light rain, we awoke to the quiet and dry campground. After breakfast, we took the trail from the campground downhill to the Spillway. Again, we were the only folks out hiking.