Our travels have brought us to my daughter’s house in Medford, Oregon, where we are enjoying a week of rest and relaxation as spoiled guests at her home. She and her husband have both taken a week of vacation from their jobs to spend extra time with us.
Enjoying a coffee break in Jacksonville, Oregon, after a Saturday morning bike ride with family and friends
Our two granddaughters will still have school this week, but we are enjoying their company weekends and evenings. Everyone attended church together this morning and now it’s nice to spend a quiet afternoon at home.
Last week’s camping excursion in Lassen National Forest at Eagle Lake Recreation Area was short, but enjoyable. The lake is California’s second largest natural lake, which we thought was interesting, since we had camped just the week before at Clear Lake, the largest natural lake in California.
Eagle Lake in Lassen National Forest
The 2 lakes are very different in their environment and surroundings. There is much more development around Clear Lake, since it is so close to farmland and populated areas. The Clear Lake campground we were at was in a state park. Eagle Lake, about 15 miles from the small town of Susanville, is in a national forest, isolated and undeveloped.
View of Susanville on the road that winds from the mountains down into the valley.
The Lassen National Forest campgrounds had just opened for the season the day before we arrived. National Forest campgrounds don’t have the amenities of state parks, but I thought the campground at Eagle Lake was much nicer than state park campgrounds. There was even hand soap in the bathrooms, which I have not seen in any California state parks! Another benefit is that national forest campgrounds cost less than state park campgrounds.
Driving the back roads in the area around Eagle Lake we noticed a bright red flowering plant that we had never seen before. We later discovered that this was Snow Plant, a parasitic plant that grows under pine trees in coniferous forests at higher elevations. A very odd-looking plant.
The next day after camping at Eagle Lake, we drove into Susanville and rode our bikes on a stretch of the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail. The section that we were on parallels the Susan River, crossing several bridges and going through two tunnels.
One of the bridge crossings on Bizz Johnson Trail, tunnel entry in background
Bridge crossing on Bizz Johnson Trail, basalt lava cliffs throughout the Susan River Canyon
Susan River along Bizz Johnson Trail
Leaving Lassen National Forest we drove along the eastern edge of the Cascade Mountain Range and made our way north into Oregon. Thursday evening we stayed in a motel in Klamath Falls, Oregon. On Friday, before heading to Medford, we took a couple of hours to ride our bikes on the OC&E Woods Line State Trail.
OC&E Woods Line State Trail, near Klamath Falls, Oregon
Today we are keeping a close watch on the weather, not because we have any concern about camping or outdoor activities, but in hopes that the sky will be clear of cloud cover. So far today, it has been overcast one minute and cloudy the next. If it is clear between 5-7 pm we will be able to see a rare, annular “Ring of Fire” solar eclipse. There has not been one of these visible in the US for 18 years. Oregon is one of the states where the phenomenon will occur.
Even if the weather this afternoon prevents us from seeing the solar eclipse, there are so many other reasons to enjoy our time with family this week in Medford, that we will have no room for complaints.