King City, Oregon to Sparks, Nevada:
Today is my travel day window of opportunity--must get through before new round of snowstorms hit. I woke up at 4:15 a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep. Apparently Mom did the same. I could see the light on under her bedroom door when I got up. I had breakfast and checked the weather on NOAA.gov one more time. No snow predicted in the mountains after 11:00 a.m. and I would be going through after 11:00 a.m.
Breakfast was good--Mom's home-made granola and an orange. All my packing was complete, so I loaded up the car with luggage, chocolate chip cookies made from scratch, and an egg salad sandwich with dill pickle that Mom made for me. She even packed each half of the sandwich in its own baggie! What a sweetie she is. We said our good-byes and I headed off on my journey.
First stop: Beaverton Bakery in Lake Oswego. It opened at 6:00 a.m. I was in the door by 6:15 a.m., ordered 2 pecan rolls, 2 caramelized pecan rolls, raspberry danish, cherry danish, buttermilk bar, glazed old-fashioned doughnut and a chocolate Bismarck, plus I bought a loaf of cinnamon bread (had to buy some to take home to Bob). I'll tell you what, if I got stuck in a snow storm, I'd be happy for a few days!
I-5 driving was awful. It was dark and rainy with lots of traffic for the first hour. The worst part is driving near the big semis...the spray is blinding. At a rest area south of Medford I stopped for a break at 10:30 a.m. and ate half my egg salad sandwich plus a raspberry danish.
Ashland was where I stopped to fill up the gas tank. I wanted to buy gas in Oregon for $3.99/gallon at Arco, not $4.35 or more in California. No way, no how was I going to pay California's inflated prices for gas!
Just south of Ashland, I-5 climbs up to Siskiyou Summit, the highest pass on I-5. I got there right around 11:00 a.m. It was obvious the road had been snowy and icy. Sanding trucks were still sanding the side roads off the freeway at the summit. Because of the amount of traffic on I-5, the freeway was free of ice and snow. All that remained was the "sand" (ground up red lava rock) and moisture.
The semi drivers must have been keeping up with the forecast as the majority of the traffic on I-5 was semi trucks. They wanted to get to where they were going while the going was good!
I stopped briefly at the Weed Rest Area to use the facilities and get a couple of pics.
|Mt. Shasta covered in clouds|
On the road again, I headed south to US Hwy 89 toward McCloud, CA. The weather ranged from rain to light snow to sun, but the snow did not stick on the road.
My best stop was at McArthur Burney Falls State Park. I LOVE waterfalls and this is one of the prettiest on the West Coast, especially in spring when it is running full. I spent an hour at the park (paid my $8.00 Day Use Fee) where I walked to the waterfall viewpoint, ate lunch (outside at a picnic table and the sun came out!), drove through the campground area to Lake Britton. Gorgeous. I had my nature fix.
|Burney Falls has springs coming out of the wall.|
|Close-up of springs flowing from canyon wall.|
|Deer grazing in campground. Campground closed for winter.|
|Lunch in picnic area.|
|My Escape pod.|
|Trail from Lake Britton to Burney Falls|
|Picture of Lake Britton from inside my car.|
|Manzanita plant in bloom.|
|Close-up of manzanita blooms.|
Ah, a nice breath of fresh air to energize me for remainder of the drive home. I am so glad traffic was super light going across the mountains to Susanville, CA. Speed limit on the roads was 65 mph except through small towns where it dropped to 55 mph. Susanville, being a larger town, had a speed limit of 30 mph.
Here are a few more pictures taken in the mountains between Burney Falls and Susanville.
|Leaving the rest area...|
|...heading into beautiful weather.|
I made it home by 5:00 p.m. and unpacked, then relaxed. It was good to get home safely and see my honey again.