Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Oregon Trail: Lake Shasta & Yreka

Since we are novice road trippers, we broke our journey to Portland down by allowing no more than 6 hours of driving per day.  Thus, we headed out from the Bay Area to the tippy-top of California: Yreka.
Navigator Keroro
On the way up the I-5 we passed some signs for a cave tour, so we drove over to a middle-of-no-where visitor center to inquire about such caves.  The nice lady there gave us some discount coupons and pointed us in the direction of Lake Shasta.

We hopped on a ferry boat

Boated across this beautiful lake

Rode a bus up the side of a mountain on the other side (seriously, don't look out the window if you're afraid of heights!)

Peered out to the lake below once at the top

And then entered the cave through this door!

It wasn't a super-explorer cave.  There are walkways and stairs and handrails.  No need for belly-crawling into crevices! But it was still very beautiful and fascinating inside.

My pictures don't do the place justice, obviously - since it was so dim inside.  The tour guide was funny and showed us the difference between cave bacon and cave popcorn!
The long stringy stuff at the bottom is cave bacon, since from the side it looks like bacon! 

Anyway, I called my mom afterwards, all excited about our side-excursion.  She told me I had been there before. Kinda killed a little of the excitement, but since I can't remember my first time there (which is scary, I don't think I was that young), it was still awesome.  Plus Sak obviously hadn't been before - still a win.
Mount Shasta
Eventually though, we ended up in Yreka, a small town historically associated with the gold rush.  We stayed at the Baymont Inn, which for $60, was pretty awesome.  They have an indoor pool and spa and breakfast and everything, so I highly recommend.  We went down the street for dinner at BBQ Express, which I miss already because it was so delicious.
BBQ Pork Burger
After dinner we went to a nearby park that had a reconstructed gold miner "ghost town" in it. Pretty awesome, to say the least.
Creepy mine entrance!

Anyway, the whole thing was rendered extra creepy since there was no one there! Definitely a ghost town.

Though Northern California is a good vacation in itself, and Sak wants to come back to Shasta for the houseboats later on in life, from the next day onward this trip was all about Oregon!

Have you been to "gold country" before? Did you find any? ;)


  1. I've never traveled that far north in California, but I have visited Sutter's Mill and the gold rush towns near the Sacramento River. I'm a huge history nerd so I would have loved this excursion. And the cave- so cool :)

  2. Sweet lake! Haha who knew anyone went up to Northern NORTHERN California??? :oP It seems neat though!

  3. Oh so much fun! I have a friend named Shasta named after the mountain! I think its a beautiful name :)

  4. I'm totally jealous, I want to take Dave on a road trip up north. He's hardly been anywhere in this great big country. Looks like a lot of fun! Especially Mount Shasta.

  5. oh the pork burger looks so good! and your side excursion sounds really fun--i'm sure it was fun the first time as well.

  6. I've been to Shasta Caverns before! And my dad took us to Gold Country when we were young -- Calaveras County (where we panned for gold), Bodie the Ghost Town, etc. It's beautiful up there! Looks like a fun day 1!

  7. Ahhh, Lake Shasta.

    Some of my favorite childhood memories are of houseboating on lake shasta with a bunch of people. It was really fun to sleep on the roof!


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