Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Weekend Adventures

For the long holiday weekend, the fam and I traveled four hours north of Sacramento to the beautiful little town of Burney, California, which is nestled in the volcano country of northeastern California. My parents live there, and they needed a grandchild fix, while I needed a forest and mountain fix.

Burney is located between two major volcanos of the Cascade Range; Mount Shasta and Mount Lassen. The entire area is chock full of cinder cones and old lava flows. One of the results of these lava flows is a phenomenon called the lava tube. As lava flows, the top layer cools and hardens, but lava continues to flow underneath. As that lava empties out, it leaves behind a cave that remains closed to the world until, over time, weak spots form in the ceiling and the ceiling collapses, thus exposing the lava tube. One of the better preserved lava tubes in the area is Subway Cave, which is located about 20 minutes southeast of Burney. I had previously taken my son there about a year and a half ago, but he was too young to remember or appreciate it. This time however, with him being almost three and all, he LOVED it. A small part of me was afraid that my son would be too afraid to enter the scary dark entrance, but he didn't mind a bit! He especially loved climbing the fallen rocks at the entrance.

Another well-known landmark in the Burney area is Burney Falls. It is hands-down, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the United States, and it is only about a 10 or 15 minute drive from my parents' house. My daughter was home napping when we went on the cave adventure, but she hitched a ride on my back for the falls.

As a country boy living in the city, these trips to the mountains are what energize me and recharge my batteries. How nice it is that we can go up there and stay with relatives rather than having to spring for a motel room. I didn't grow up in the Burney area, but I have had much exposure to it over the years, what with running track meets there in high school and my parents ending up moving there in 1991. It is one of my favorite places in northern California, as it has that high flat forest full of Ponderosa Pine and Cedar trees, with little underbrush except for manzanita bushes and fallen pine needles. Here is a prime example of what I mean:

Can it get any better than that?

Good Day to You, Sir

1 comment:

t said...

What a small world, my family and I made a trip to Burney Falls on Sunday. I've only been there a handful of times, but I love it. Nice place to get out of the heat of the valley and the noise of the boat drags in Red Bluff.