Saturday, July 07, 2007

free from the desert at last

Once you're on the eastern side of the Sierra it's hard to get west. Can't get west. From San Bernardino, Lone Pine, Bishop, Mammoth, you drive in the desert and can't get out. You can get up, but not over. And I passed up all the eventual opportunities, Sonora Pass, Tioga Pass (through Yosemite), and I drove right through Carson City, right through Reno as 395 arcs westerly into the northern California woods. Not quite mountains, some volcanoes here and there, but its not Sierra. Stayed the night in Susanville and had to leave 395 to head west.

I fished the McCloud River in the shadow of Shasta and it was one of the most beautiful rivers I've ever seen. Incredibly clear water. Blue and green in the light. Gray, white, red head sized rocks countable from fifty feet up. And big, fat Rainbows rising to the first real stone fly hatch I've ever experienced. Unfortunately, my 6x tippet was a bit small for these fish (and my fighting skills) and I broke off all my vaguely stone fly flies. Managed a couple. Here are some pictures.

Mt. Shasta. Click for bigger. I also have some video of Mt. Lassen that I'll include in the forthcoming epic video account of the road trip.

This is Lake McCloud.

The river below the dam at Ah-Di-Na

Click for bigger.

Shooting the National Forest outhouses seems to be a favorite pastime in California. The outhouse at Ah-Di-Na. Paintballs and shotgun slugs. The slugs were still in the holes.

From here I took the I5 north to Eugene where all the hotels were booked solid so I had to drive another 40 miles towards Portland past midnight to find a hotel. Arrived in Seattle in the rain around 4pm and went to the condo my folks rented in East Lake, just a couple miles north of the city on Lake Union. Very cool neighborhood. Very cool condo. The rain abated, the sun came out, I made myself a steak and enjoyed a good IPA before my parents arrived after a long, delayed flight around 11pm.

My steak.

On Lake Union. Click for bigger.

The view from the condo towards the city. Click for bigger.

A orange limo down the street from our condo.

My dad loved the pig sculptures in Seattle. I love Seattle.

The first Starbucks at Pike's Place.

The Space Needle. We ate dinner up there. Overpriced but good. And, of course, good views.

We left Seattle after a few days and headed south to Mt. Ranier and then up to the Olympic Peninsula and on to Vancouver and to our current digs in Whistler BC. Here's Mt.Ranier. All those volcanoes look the same. The glaciers were cool on Ranier. Click for bigger.


catherine said...

i read part of a book called Nature Noir by a park ranger who patrols in the sierra. you might like it.

thanks for the article link...i hadn't seen it. i guess in comparison to my small town coworkers, i'm a hipster, but i try hard not to shush the kiddos. it slips out on occasion though.

i'm busy recovering from a night of drinking on know you're too old for that shit when it takes 2 days to recover. oh lord.

when do you get back to b'ton?

Anonymous said...

Sweet pics. Remember that time we went camping in PA and you and I had a good time, but then it rained?
Scott Paris

erika said...

I am happy to hear that my city charmed you, though I would of course enjoy more details. Now do you understand why I loathe Bloomy so very much?

Anonymous said...

Matt Dunn,

You are amazing.

Ned Neadelander

Anonymous said...

Ha, ha, sharad you are Matthew Dunn. The Space Needle is over priced. But we do the best we can considering we have to pay to keep the place spinning for the amusement of tourists like you.


Matthew D Dunn said...

Cat: I have to check out Nature Noir. Sounds interesting. I got back to B-ton late Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and I spent since then packing and moving. I hate moving.

Scott: yes I do remember. You and Carlton ate all that candy and got out of control.

Erika: more details are hard work.

Ned: you spelled your last name wrong.

Jerry: see Ned's comment.