June 16, 2016
Stover Spring (mile 1332.3) to Warner Valley Campground (mile 1347.6)
We woke up to the pitter-patter of rain around 5:15am. Between 5 and 5:30 doesn’t seem to work for Laurie. She has a hard time getting up.
The rain never intensified. In fact we saw blue skies when we crawled out of our tent at 6:20.
Laurie walked super fast again today. She was on a mission to meet her mama, and nothing was going to stop her.
Andy tried to slow her down by asking her to stop for photo ops and to appreciate the view. It worked until Andy put his phone away, at which point Laurie was barely visible.
Our feet were wet and cold most of this morning. The plants lining the trail were wet from the rain and they were all too happy to share the moisture with our feet when we brushed up against them.
We hiked in our fleeces as the temperature never really warmed up. The clouds danced in the sky, exposing the sun now and again, but it remained cold.
We hiked downhill for most of the morning, gazing upon a stunning meadow below.
Around 11am we climbed up to a ridge where we had service and decided to take a break. We tried uploading a blog post but Verizon decided not to work after 10 minutes so we gave up and kept walking in order to stay warm.
Around noon we reached the junction to Terminal Geyser in Lassen National Park. We were wondering where we would meet Laurie’s mom today; unsure if she had received any of our voicemails or texts informing her to meet us at this very spot.
Throughout the morning we discussed many options, including how we would take turns hiking to the geyser in case she turned up. But not even 10 minutes later Sue came down the trail.
She had no service and hadn’t listened to or read any messages. She just hiked and met us at the right place at the right time!
We took a lunch break before going to the geyser. Sue had brought us sliced turkey, apples and dried fruit. Thanks for the trail magic Sue!
We left our packs and hiked the three tenths of a mile to Terminal Geyser. Even at the junction we could smell the sulfur.
The geyser itself was a pile of steaming rocks. We couldn’t see where the water was coming from but could see the steamy runoff. It was very different than anything we’d ever seen.
We left the falls, retrieved our packs and walked toward Boiling Springs Lake.
The lake was a pastel green. The temperature of the water is supposedly 125 degrees. Steam rose from the lake and surrounding banks and mud hissed and bubbled near it’s eastern shore.
Andy wants to come back here again. There seems to be a lot of natural wonders to explore in this Park and we are just passing through.
We hiked down the trail until we reached the Drakesbad Guest Ranch junction. Andy went to the Ranch to get our resupply boxes while Laurie hiked to the campground with her mom to drive over and pick up Andy.
We wanted to have dinner at Drakesbad to celebrate Andy’s birthday tomorrow and Laurie passing her GCS exam but the ranch didn’t offer a good gluten free option, so we passed.
We’ll celebrate in two days at JJ’s Cafe in Old Station instead.
Once at Warner Valley Campground we sorted through our resupplies, put up our tent and snacked.
Sue had purchased goat cheese for us along with other snacks from Chester the day before. Laurie ate a lot of cheese, jerky, carrots with almond butter and whatever else she could find in the pantry.
Eventually we made dinner and looked at maps to see if Sue could meet us further up the trail.
As we ate Andy spotted Gecko and Swiss Flo hiking into the campground. Andy excitedly went out to greet them. He chatted with them for a bit and returned to the RV.
We hope to see them again, and better yet, hike with them some more. They are good guys and a fun duo. But they are fast. We’ll see.
It’s 7:30pm and Laurie is lying in her mom’s arms, both of them asleep. They look peaceful and happy.
Laurie is really happy that her mom is here visiting us. And Sue is happy to be spending time with Laurie.
It’s sprinkling outside and Laurie is quite cozy in the RV. She doesn’t want to go outside, not just yet anyway.
Tomorrow we hike through and out of Lassen National Park, hopefully under sunny skies (even if it’s cloudy it’s ok as long as it doesn’t rain).
Tonight we are grateful for telepathy and the comfort of our mother’s arms.