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Northern California


November, 2003

During the last few months, Jim has visited a number of tourist destinations here in Northern California. These are just three of the many attractions that are available. Hopefully they give an idea of some of the variety of historic and natural sights that Northern California has to offer.


— Heidrick Ag History Center

The Heidrick Ag History Center includes the largest collection of antique farming equipment in the US. It also includes the Hays Antique Truck Museum, an equally large collection of trucks. Jim attended a benefit for local wildlife habitat which was held at the museum, and toured the Ag History Center. He was not able to see the Truck Museum on this visit.

The Ag History Museum is large and very nicely maintained. As you can see from the following photos, the machinery has all been restored to working condition with a great deal of attention to detail. These are just a few of the hundreds of items on display. The Museum's website is at www.aghistory.org

Power take-off.
Steam traction engine
Power transmission.
Waterloo separator
Farmall tractor.
Farmall tractor
John Deere bailer.
John Deere bailer
Case tractor.
Case tractor
Huber
Huber "Super Four"
Waterloo Boy kerosene tractor.
Kerosene tractor
Steam tractor.
Steam tractor



Lassen peak and the Devastated Area.
1. The Devastated Area
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Manzanita Lake.
2. Manzanita Lake
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View from Reading Peak.
3. View from Reading Peak
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— Lassen Volcanic National Park

Mount Lassen is the southernmost peak in the Cascades range. It is an active volcano which last erupted in 1915. The eruption caused tremendous damage in the area to the northeast of the volcano (see thumbnail photo #1, at left.) This "Devastated Area" is filled with large boulders, and was completely devoid of life after the eruption. As you can see in the photo, coniferous trees are beginning to repopulate the hillsides. Other areas were unaffected by the eruption.

The park hosts a variety of different habitats, at elevations up to 10,400 feet (3187 meters). Manzanita Lake (photo #2) is near the northern entrance to the Park. Following the highway south, we pass other lakes and streams. Hat Creek empties from Hat Lake through a beaver dam that controls the flow of water.

At a higher elevation, I was impressed by the beauty of King's Creek in Upper Meadow. The ground around the creek is wet and boggy, and walking was tricky. The view of Upper Meadow from high on Reading Peak was equally beautiful. In fact, the views from Reading Peak were all impressive (see photo #3).

From Reading Peak, the road crosses a ridgeline to Mount Lassen, then continues south into an area of geothermal activity. The geothermal features include hot springs, mud pots. fumaroles, and steam vents. I stopped to view the Sulfur Works, near the southern entrance to the Park. The overpowering smell of sulfur was heavy in the steam that poured from cracks in the earth.

Lassen Park is a very interesting place to visit. I was limited to just a couple of hours while returning home from a job nearby. It would have been nice to have had more time to explore (especially if Jamie could have come with me). Visiting very late in the fall meant few tourists and a very chilly wind, even during the middle of the day. The first snow of the season fell the night after my visit. By the time you read this, many of the roads through the Park may be closed for the winter. We won't have a chance to visit again before we return to Razzle Dazzle in January.




Stalactites & helictites.
1. Stalactites & helictites
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Helictites.
2. Helictites
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Torgard & Min Young.
3. Torgard & Min Young
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— Black Chasm Cave

The cave entrance is not very impressive, and the portion of the cave that is open to public tours is rather small, but this cave has some of the most interesting features one can find in any cave anywhere. To be specific, it has helictites, delicate structures that twist and turn in all directions, growing horizontally, downward, and even upward. Photo #1 shows a mix of large stalactites, hanging straight down from the ceiling, and smaller helictites that twist about like a pig's tail. Photo #2 is of a truly amazing collection of helictites growing out of the side wall of the cave. This was just part of a much larger area covered with helictites.

Black Chasm Cave also has a variety of other, more typical, cave structures. These include draperies, here back lighted to show the delicacy of the structure. Here are more of the everpresent stalactites amid a mixture of other cave "furniture." In most places, the formations are mixed together, as in this photo. Although the cave is some distance below the surface, tree roots can be found growing into the cave from above.

Once again, Jamie was working and could not visit the cave. So, Jim went with our friends Torgard & Min Young. We had a great time, and wished we could have seen more of the cave. There is a lot more to see, and the cave owners may some day open more areas for tourist visits. Black Chasm Cave is located in Volcano, California. Their web site is at www.caverntours.com. These folks also operate several other cave tours, and a gold mine. With luck, we may visit more of them in the future.

— return to the 2003 Journal Archive

 
 

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Jim and Jamie Richter, http://gotouring.com/razzledazzle/
Website designed and created by Lois Richter, expanded by Jim.
Created 11/2003. All photos are © 2003 Jim Richter.