Thursday, May 29, 2014

Manzanita Lake Memorial Day (Lassen NP) - 2014!!!

"Today was at least an 11.5 out of 10." - Macho Blanco

We had another great weekend up at Manzanita Lake in Lassen NP.  We went up to the cabins last year in June and had a blast, so we booked them for Memorial Day for this year.

the Crew... sans Nickel...
In the end it was Metres-ites, Souzas, and de Jesus-eites for the long weekend.  We should've booked it for Fri, but we got it for Sat & Sun nights... a bad mistake as Nikko is not fond of the car seat these days.  On our way up we made quite a few stops including a stop at Granzellas to watch the last 10 gut wrenching minutes of the Champions League final... and the extra period where Athletico fell apart.

We had 4 SUPs and one canoe between the 4 families... and spent most of our time in or near the water or at camp.

photo: Claire
The lake is not that big, but a great size to paddle around in.  And you get a good view of Lassen's northside (the devastated area) if you paddle halfway across the lake.  We did see a bald eagle on one of the trees behind us... but no muskrat this year.  Don't know where that little fella went off to.

As if there weren't enough things to do, Kai enjoyed riding his strider around in the dirt.  Took a few nice biffs, but got back up like a champ.

Hi Nikko!
After setting up, eating, paddling the lake, skuuting, Metres and I decided we should go skiing this year.  As last year we brought skis and never went.  So we decided to get up at 4 am so we could be back to be with the kids.

Metres skinning up with a glacier blue pond behind.

Most of the climbers route was melted out so we hiked up most of the way.  Here's Metres with Reading Peak and Lake Almanor behind him.

A nice view of Shasta and windmills from Lassen.  A nice look at Mud Creek and Clear Creek area.  That right side is the Hotlum-Wintun... which still looks good.

Summit Shot!  Notice the radio tower is gone!

Here's a pic of it in 2012... so sad.  It's quite a greeting when you get to the top.  Coincidentally on that trip I climbed Shasta the following day and met Kyle Miller... quite the accomplished backcountry snowboarder, who was sleeping in the parking lot when Metres and I pulled up this morning (he was also sleeping in a parking lot when I met him in 2012).  We chatted with him and his lady at the top for a bit about skiing in Norway & Iceland then we went our separate ways.

photo: metres

Here's the vid.  Pretty fun.  Warm day... so it was good that we started down the mountain at 7:30.  The highlight for me was the pond skim at the bottom.  I actually went back to it the next day as we drove through the park on our way out and we decided to play in the snow with Kai for a bit.

We were back at camp by 10 am and were warming up to go jump in the lake.  The rest of the day we spent on the lake.  Taking naps, eating, drinking, swimming, drinking, paddling, then doing a bit more drinking.  Then the boys got the great idea to go paddling across the lake like we did last year.  One of us fell in.  The next morning I went on a jog to sweat out a bit of the drinking I did... up to some lake which I couldn't find.  We packed up, went on one more paddle at the lake, and drove through the park.  At the summit I decided to have another pond skim session.  Then we drove a bit further ate lunch, and then we were off to Oakland.  Here are some more pics of the weekend.

Lily love the water.  She's gonna be a water baby.  
Don't let them fool ya... the water was coooold.  
The log.  The one where the muskrat nested in last year.  
Ty was a bit tense on the SUP.  
Jiselle was quite an impressive swimmer.  I couldn't believe how far she could paddle.  Here she is beating Jay to the finish!
The canoe is a good boat for kids. 
mud fight!
Claire, Jij, and Danille with Lassen photo bombing...
Nikko decided to go with the babushka on this particular day.
Gorgeous sunsets....
I think Ellery put that burp rag on Nickel and told him "night night."
The Kuwabaras in the snow
... I'll leave you with a photo of this motorcycling doggie... 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Weekly Pano: North Peak w/Stefan

Stefan on his bike as we look at all the terrain.  
Double Stefan... can't get enough of that guy
Summit shot: Conness, Sheep Peak, Shepherd Crest, Excelsior Mtn, Black Mtn, Mt. Olsen
The skier's left N. Peak Chute
Saddlebag Lake
At the dam.  You can see Stefan down there putting his clothes back on after our polar bear swim.
You can see a condensed TR here: