Thursday, February 21, 2013

Deep snow in Lassen

In late January, we drove to the town of Chester, which sits to the southeast of Mount Lassen in Northern California.  We were very excited to find about a foot and a half of snow in town.  We stayed in a small lodge, which had cross country ski trails departing from its front door.  Susanna and I each took turns skiing at dusk, while the other watched Jasper.  After dark, all three of us headed out snowshoeing under a dazzling night sky! 

The next day, we headed to Lassen Volcanic National Park and were even more pleased to find about 3 to 4 feet of snow on the ground!  We went snowshoeing, skiing, snowshoeing again and finally skiing again!  What a day!  I took Jasper on my back for the second skiing run.  At first, he seemed to just take it all in with a straight face until I started to pick up speed on a long, slow but steady, downhill run.  Then, Jasper started laughing!  He seemed to love the speed and the breeze as we glided downhill.  The entire day, we only saw four other vehicles!  We had the place to ourselves!

We spent a second night at the lodge in Chester.  Once again, we headed out under the stars for a bit of snowshoeing. 
Steep terrain in Lassen NP

Jasper was anything but cold...

Sulpher Works
Skiing shadow shot

Jasper's first time on cross country skis!

Beautiful winter scenery just outside of Lassen

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Snow Day on Horse Mountain

Late December and early January storms produced wonderful snow in the Coastal Mountains.  In mid January, we drove up a twisting road to Horse Mountain, which sits at about 4,300 feet.  Here, we found heaps and heaps of snow...perfect for a day of snowshoeing!  This was Jasper's first time snowshoeing!  The sky was brilliant blue and the air was clear.  Looking west, we could see to the ocean.  Looking east, we could see to the Trinity Alps (photo above) and beyond to Mt. Shasta and Lassen Peak. 

Our little explorer is all bundled up! 

Looking west towards the distant ocean

Snowshoeing shadow shot!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Snowshoe Patrol!

It's not a bad day of work when you get to go out on snowshoe patrol!  This has been the case twice this January.  Good snow hit the higher coastal peaks and then cool temps kept the snow in good shape.  Both times, my patrol was at Lacks Creek, which is a BLM chunk of land up river from Redwood National Park.  The pictures here are from a cold, early January day right after a big storm hit.  It was a winter wonderland! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Great Lakes New Year!

After the blue skies of the desert, we traveled to the gray skies and snowy forests of Michigan.  There was just enough snow to cover the ground and make it beautiful outside and warm and cozy inside.  We had a wonderful week of visiting familyand friends, some of which I had not seen in over a decade!  While hiking at Clear Springs Preserve, Jasper experienced his first snow!  He seemed to take it all in stride.  We also had a wonderful hike through a snowy, winter forest at North Ottawa Dunes.  It was a wonderful are some of my favorite photos:

Jasper touching snow for the first time!
Clear Springs Preserve

North Ottawa Dunes
Grandma with the grandkids
Grandpa and Jasper contemplate life together!


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Christmas in Vegas

We spent a wonderful week at Christmas in Las Vegas!  During the time, we hiked in Red Rock Canyon, saw Hoover Dam (and walked across the adjacent bridge in to Arizona), explored Lake Mead NRA, went to see the movie "The Hobbit," climbed Lone Mountain (Jasper's first mountain ascent!) and visited a really interesting bird viewing refuge.  The biggest excitement at the bird refuge was seeing two coyotes!  We also saw lots of family and spent lots of great time together.  

At the Arizona/Nevada state line at Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam from the bridge
Happy times with Aba

Our perfect little angel above Lake Mead!

Hiking on a cool afternoon at Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon Wilderness...Jasper's 3rd designated wilderness adventure!
The happy hikers in front of the Lake Mead NRA sign

View from Susanna's parent's back porch

The ascent of Lone Mountain...almost to the top!