Burney Man

We headed up through Lassen National Park and pretty much cruised right through.  Bode napped the entire way, so we just kept driving.  It’s pretty, but  we weren’t in the mood for hiking or waking up a sleeping kid, so onward and upward.  He woke up in time for Subway Cave, which was a great stop for him.   He got scared as soon as the cave got really dark and wanted to go back to the car, but as soon as we left the cave he wanted to go right back in.  This time he was a brave explorer, explained how the lava tubes were formed to me, and we made it all the way through.  There was even a snake waiting for us at the end. Cool! Four is probably the right age to get introduced to spelunking.

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We drove up to Burney on a recommendation and we spent the afternoon relaxing by the lake.  Kids skipping rocks and that sort of thing.  Big impressive waterfall.  Nice place.  We’ve actually been here a few days now just taking it easy and getting caught up on some chores, blog posts and internet things (free internet at the pizza joint – a recurring theme.)  They’ve got a car wash, so it was  good time to wash off the filth we’ve accumulated since we left.  Those mountain gravel roads aren’t kind to the engine compartment of an old air-cooled bus.

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Burney is a funky little town with exactly everything you need and no more.  Mexican food. Check.  Pizza. Check.  Bowling alley. Check.  Wacky VW guy with a van up on a pole in his front yard. Check.

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If you’ve got a few days to lounge around and enjoy a place, this is a good one.  The campgrounds at Burney Falls State Park are spacious and quiet.  It’s also given me some time to finish more bus projects and take a real close look at my steering.  There’s still a fair amount of play in it – you definitely notice it on a windy road – and I’ve tracked it down to the Drag Link Arm (i think).  Fortunately for me, The Bus Boys is only 50 miles down the road in Redding, so that’s our next destination.  Note :  if you search for The Bus Boys on Google, you will not get the VW parts guys.  However, I was reminded that The BusBoys were nominated for a Grammy for the song “Cleanin’ Up The Town” from the original “Ghostbusters” film.

14 thoughts on “Burney Man

  • August 27, 2009 at 5:32 AM

    I am reading your “posts” and I hope you all have a safe and wonderful time….isn’t Bodie just the coolest place ?
    safe travels, and i’ll be back tomorrow……

  • August 27, 2009 at 6:56 AM

    I was camping in Burney last weekend and noticed your van. “Classic, old school California!” I said to my wife. Back home I read the piece in CC Times about your trip, and wondered if that was you.

    Your trip is a wonderful project. Best of luck to you!

  • August 27, 2009 at 7:47 AM

    Just found your website via the Alameda Sun! My son, Tobin, held out the paper and shouted, “it’s my friend, Bode, from gymnastics!” I wasn’t looking at the photo, but I just sort of ignored him, figuring that it must be some other curly-haired boy. But, later, when I actually looked at the photo and article, I realized that Tobin was right! (Tobin was the blond-haired 3-yr-old at Rubys that worshiped Bode, following him around and, I’m sure, totally irritating him.)
    Anyway – congratulations on this fantastic journey!

  • August 27, 2009 at 10:27 AM

    love reading you posts. I log in about every three days. I am on disability and it really gives me something to look forward too. Also, thank you for responding to my first email; I did not expect that at all. Where are you headed right now? I spend alot of time on the compter, and I love to research travel. You three stay healthy, happy and enjoy!!

  • August 27, 2009 at 12:05 PM


    After hopefully picking up some bus parts in Redding, we’re headed to the town of Hayfork, Ca next. A reader tipped us off to the annual County Fair there and I’m considering entering the pie-eating contest 😉

  • August 27, 2009 at 12:13 PM

    hike to the bottom and they are even more spectacular. Yosemite quality. Tough to swim though, the water is 46 F!

  • August 27, 2009 at 1:08 PM

    Hi Amy-
    Yes, Bode says to tell Tobin hi! He has been showing off his gymnastics climbing all over the van and hanging upside down from up top. Please let Ruby know about our site, I was talking to her about the trip a few weeks ago.

  • August 27, 2009 at 2:20 PM

    I DARE Jason and Anglea to do this same trip when Bode is 13 yo.

  • August 27, 2009 at 5:24 PM

    Hi Jason, Angela and Bode,

    REALLY enjoying your blog. We are ex-Alamedans who moved to Williamsburg VA 4 years ago. I totally did an AWWW! reading that Bode went to Ruby’s–so did our 2 girls, now ages 8 and 12. Great memories: walking to Edison School twice a day, Macapuno at Tuckers, riding in the 4th of July Parade (I ran the Trader Joe’s at South Shore). We miss our Alameda friends and are really living vicariously through your journeys.

    Props to you for exposing Bode to the concept of travel at such an early age. Our youngest had a baby-picture passport, just like Bode. They’ve been abroad six times so far, and we feel like we’re just getting started exploring the world. When our friends ask us how we do it, we wonder what’s the big deal–we like travelling and of course bring our kids along. Travel changes lives.

    On your way to Crater Lake, stop if you can at Lake of the Woods. It’s about an hour or so south of CL, about 1500′ lower so warmer temps, and there are campgrounds on the lake. Boat rentals and free wifi at the lodge. Our family has a cabin there. Highly recommended.

  • August 27, 2009 at 7:23 PM

    Dave – you’re on!

  • August 27, 2009 at 8:00 PM

    Read about your journey in the Contra Costa Times, really wish I would’ve thought about doing that when my kids were younger. They are starting 2nd and 3rd grade on Monday…guess we’ll have to do summer trips! We’ve already been to all of the places you’ve been so far…can’t wait to read about and travel to all the others!! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • August 27, 2009 at 10:43 PM


    Thanks for the nice comments.

    Great minds think alike, I suppose… Once someone’s eyes are opened to the world, they stay open.

    Also, we’ll add Lake of the Woods to the route!

  • August 28, 2009 at 12:24 PM

    My older daughter with husband and 2-year old live in Chico – love northern California. I read about your trip in the CCTimes, we live in Livermore. I’ve never followed someone’s blog like this, but travelling for a year, with a 4-year old? Plus I love your philosphy of “happy wife, happy life…” if more husbands knew this truism…oh well. Looking forward to following your trip. I’ll pray angels over you for safe travel and good health.

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