Heading up towards Lassen, we made a few wrong turns and ended up in the tiny town of Belden. Any town with a large martini glass on top of the town sign is okay by us. Its easy to miss a turn around here, and certainly not a problem, since everything is so beautiful. Turning around and driving along a ‘shortcut’ that was by no means shorter, we found a stream with wild blackberries growing along the side. Bode gave up on the blackberry picking quickly, so we left that for Dad. He and I trekked through the stream, climbing over the slippery rocks trying to make it to the next row of big rocks that formed a small waterfall.
We climbed up to the next little falls around the corner and I noticed a camping trailer parked above. We were in the water (thigh high on Bode) laughing and struggling when I noticed two plastic milk crates in the water. One held bottled water and the other beer. Just then, a large man in a t-shirt with the arms cut-out and holding a fly swatter stands up and yells “You stay away from those bottles.”
It was really loud by the stream, and I assumed he was joking, so I turned to my four year old and said “Okay Bode, no beer for you!” and I turned back to smile at the guy. Apparently, he wasn’t joking, and I got a look from him I’ll never forget. I didn’t know there was a problem with beer thefts in the middle of nowhere, perpetrated by women and children. Don’t argue with someone holding a fly swatter.
About 8 miles into our shortcut, we hit the even tinier ‘town’ of Caribou. It’s a PG&E town and it’s pretty much just a few houses for the folks that work at the dam just a little farther up. From here, the road turned to gravel. We persisted and started climbing. Once again, the bus proved totally capable as we wound around mountain roads past Butt Valley Reservoir – another nice looking camping spot. No camping for us tonight, though. The little resort at Child’s Meadow looked inviting and we pulled over to enjoy the evening.
Another one of the great things about this trip and blog is that we now have the time to catch up with people we’ve lost touch with over the years. Our quote of the day is from one of Jason’s old friends, who pretty much nailed it.
I’m not sure whether to say you guys are nuts, or to congratulate
you on continuing to evade maturity.
We’ll take the congratulations.