I guess I’m craving summer this week. Not summer weather – I live on the California coast and don’t have the “problem” of snow – but more the roadtrip mentality of summertime. I miss getting in the car and driving, with the windows rolled down, my shorts on, and a customary roadtrip iced coffee in my hand. (hah)
I was talking with a friend recently about doing some kind of backpacking trip up in Lassen National Park somewhere over Memorial Day and between that dream and the summer roadtrip dream, I decided it was high time I pulled out the photos from our trip up to Chester and Lassen this past summer.
First of all, the drive up there from the Bay Area is beautiful and pretty easy. It’s really not that far of a trip, you know. Worth going for a weekend, even, although we were up there for a week for this trip.
Our friend’s Momma, who we love and adore, lives in Chester and he was spending time with her, hanging out and exploring the area. We crashed in their guest room and spend every day hanging out, swimming in the river or any number of alpine lakes, hiking and exploring, and just spending time together.
The lakes in Lassen are, well, incredible. The color of that water? Totally normal. The water is freezing, so it’s not to be taken lightly that we swam every day, but it always left us feeling amazing. There’s that crazy feeling where you are about to lose your breath from the cold when you first convince yourself to jump in, but you tread water and splash back and forth for a bit, sort of getting used to it. Especially after a dusty hike, it feels pretty incredible. Also, I’m so used to ocean water that fresh, clear, clean, incredible water is, well, breathtaking. HAH.
The best part though? Getting out. You’re cold from the water and the sun beats down on you, drying you and heating you up in just a few minutes. After being unbearably hot all day, it always feels like it’s the first time you’ve ever been the right temperature ever. I love just parking myself on a rock in my swimsuit and soaking it all up, ya know? Feels so good.
Lake Almanor, right in Chester, is pretty, too. It’s kind of like Lake Tahoe, but with fewer people. We had beers and brunch on the deck of a little diner one morning, watching the boats go by. Can’t beat that for a break, ya know?
It looks like the sky is on fire.
We drove down a few different dirt roads in the forest outside of Lassen National Park (I guess it’s called Lassen National Forest? Maybe?) and one spot was a funky little outpost that’s called Soda Springs. True soda water pipes itself outta the ground and you just dip your cup in and drink. It tasted just like what you buy in the store, but with a few added minerals. It was fun hanging out and sipping soda in the middle of absolutely nowhere.
In the evening we got soft serve dipped in chocolate at the Frostee Freeze in “Downtown” Chester. Another night we went back for frozen bananas dipped in chocolate or butterscotch. You’ve never seen such an inappropriate dessert, but dang are they delicious.