The day started as it usually does on a road trip, with the guys cleaning the cars so they would be ready for another layer of dirt Doug made a “new best friend”, John, the manager of the casino/hotel, and he took video of us as we left so they could put it on their website to attract other car groups. Kudos to Mike and Denise for finding the Diamond Mountain Casino since lodging in Susanville tended toward places we might not choose to stay. At Diamond Mountain we had large, clean rooms and pleasant staff, although the service in the café for dinner left a little to be desired. We would go there again if Susanville was part of the itinerary.
So after our moment of fame in the video, we found Route 36 and drove through the pines and past the lakes to our primary destination for day stops – Lassen Volcanic National Park. We took the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, which is 500 miles long and extends from Susanville and around Lassen, then up as far as Crater Lake. When we entered the Park, we watched a video in the Visitors Center about the four different types of volcanoes that formed the area before starting on the Lassen Loop around the Park. We now know that our timing was great, as the Park opened just a week prior. This meant that neither the roads nor the attractions were crowded. We stopped at the Sulphur pits and Bumpass Hell and saw frozen lakes and plenty of snow. As Denise said, it was fine with her that the snow was next to the road as long as it was not in the road. Avoiding snow was one of the main reasons they moved from Chicago to Temecula. (Now they know, they really moved to buy a Corvette and join COTV!)
After we finished the loop and exited the Park, we headed for lunch at JJ’s in Old Station, CA. This was a great find of “local color” by Doug and Marilyn who were the day’s leaders. The burgers were highly praised by the two ladies who run the place as the beef is local, grass fed Hat Creek Hereford. After the lunch stop, we hit the road again, working our way to Klamath Falls, OR and our stop for the night. We had considered a slight detour from the main route to see the Lava Beds National Monument, but a very long stretch of road work made us wait for quite a while then follow a pilot car for miles at 10-15 mph. This built in a slow-down in our schedule, so we then headed directly to Klamath Falls and the Running Y Ranch Resort outside town.
What a beautiful setting, with two golf courses, a couple of restaurants, a spa and lovely grounds! Another great find! Dinner was at the Ruddy Duck just down the hall from all of our rooms and everyone enjoyed a meal of elk, lamb, beef or the pork chop special, except Curt. Marilyn and Rosemary who chose the lighter fish options. For a group who had thought salad would be a good dinner option, we fell off the wagon when we saw the menu and we are glad. Tomorrow we are off to Crater Lake.
Pics from Darlena & Curt
Pics from Daryl & Rob