I'm still working up to the "real" posts... In the meantime, here is a glimpse of our many homes away from home over the course of the volcano road trip.
The trusty Truckster. It got us through many miles, including quite a bit of dirt, and we didn't even need the sand plates (even though we had them!)
We were lucky and got one of the last first-come-first-served campsites at Warner Valley on the south side of Lassen. This campground is supposedly normally pretty empty, but it was oddly busy -- likely because the main road through to the main big campground on the other side was not yet open. One entertaining feature of this campground was that it was right on the PCT, so we got to watch many long-distance backpackers traipse through.
Vegetables that didn't get eaten before we left were often featured at dinner. I had no real food plan other than to eat the random stuff that was thrown into the food bags after Chad's party.
We had a few sausages too, to stave off the kid's Sad Face.
Despite the complete adequacy and comfort of our setup, Chad still yearned for other peoples' adventure vans and stalked them through the trees.
A typical picnic lunch.
Pocky is always good...and fun!
We had an absolutely delightful first-come-first-serve campsite at Lava Beds. They even had a bathroom with flush toilets and a light that would come on at night. (Almost didn't feel like camping to me...)
More veg. We *finally* used up the last of the giant yellow zucchini from one of Chad's coworker's garden in a delicious zucchini and parsley pasta alfredo.
Deluxe lunch bought at the lodge at Crater Lake. Note the soda label.
After several days of camping, we ended up in a little rental cabin in La Pine so that we would have a chance to take showers and do some laundry. This was somewhat odd due to the sulfurous well water in these parts, but the cabin was nice otherwise and was adjacent to a state park with mountain biking :)
You can't stay in a cabin in a small Western town without checking out the local diner -- in this case, the Red Rooster. It was a classic.
After a few days of relative luxury, it was back to camping, this time at Cove Palisades State Park. One feature of Oregon state parks that I was not aware of is that they all have free showers. This one had a camp store with ice cream bars too! (Most appreciated as it was about 100 degrees out in the afternoon)
Once nice feature of camping is that there is usually time to relax and read in the afternoon after the day's adventures.
By the last morning of camping, our food supplies were a little thin: thus, grilled Nutella sandwiches for breakfast. Oddly good.
On our way back to civilization, we found ourselves in Burgerville territory. You can't beat their seasonal Walla Walla onion rings and fresh blackberry milkshakes in July. The burgers are tasty too.
As we approached my parents' house, we were welcomed by the brand-new Castle Rock sign at the entrance into town by the river. Chad didn't catch any fish despite the fact that they were clearly advertised...
And, last but not least, we had an easy stop at the Valley of the Rogue State Park to break up the drive on the way back home. I knew we wouldn't want to set up camp at this point, so had reserved a yurt. And I like saying the word yurt. Yurt yurt yurt.