Today was a big driving day. We’re halfway back to Sacramento, staying off CA route 36 in the middle of nowhere just outside of Lassen Volcanic Park. Tomorrow we hike and otherwise explore the park before heading 3 hours south to Sacramento to catch our 11 pm flight home.

I drove the whole way here today. Brendan woke up last night “violently ill,” as he put it. We figure he must have gotten some kind of food poisoning. Although, I just noticed he has some pretty bad sunburn on the back of his neck — it’s blistering and a little swollen — that might have been a contributing factor. He seems better now, he’s just really really tired since he didn’t hardly sleep at all last night. It’s a good thing that it happened in Eureka and not here. Our room here is spare. We have a bed (king sized, though), a chair, a few small tables, and a very tiny bathroom. At least I was able to sleep last night. If we were here, I don’t think that it would have been possible.

We had planned to take it rather slow today and get here on the later side. We came through the mountains along the Trinity River. I don’t really drive too much these days, so it took some getting used to. the car doesn’t quite get up and go like my Jetta, so sometimes we were a bit slow coming up the mountains. People were going past me left and right. Plus, the road was super windy, and I was constantly pulling over into the turnoffs so people could fly by me. How anyone could stomach going much over 50 on that road, I don’t know.

We were going to stop at some ghost towns along the way, but Bren was finally getting some sleep past a few and when we got to Shasta, the one he really wanted to stop in, he just wasn’t up for it. So, we just kept on going pretty much nonstop until we got here.

When we first turned off the highway onto 36, the landscape was as close to a desert as I have seen. It was fairly barren, with some low hearty trees, and brown short grasses. The land was fairly flat, but with some hills here and there. Then we went up a mountain or two and the landscape changed and was full of pine trees. There’s some sort of canyon to the west of where we are. The lodge is just past the park. Mineral is pretty darn small. According to the sign its population is a whopping 90. It seems like it’s a ski destination more than a summer one.

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Brendan joined the party on January 2, 2004. He's cool now.

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