Moores/de Boor family pictures :: Family Goings-on :: West Coast Trip

Trip to the West Coast

last updated 6/20/05

NB: Months after creating this page, I came upon another bunch of pictures taken by Geneva's Dad (aka Eldridge, Grandpa). It was too time-consuming to thread them into this narrative, so I created an addendum page where you can see them.

For our big family trip of the summer, we had three main objectives: to see Papa and Helen (a.k.a. Papa and Grandma Helen)'s new house and visit them on Orcas Island; to visit our friends in Portland, and to see Judy and Eldridge (a.k.a. Grandma and Grandpa). The idea occured to us to make a road trip out of it, and to take the kids camping. When Judy and Eldridge agreed to accompany us most of the way to Portland, we were all set (especially since Judy did all the cooking).

We flew into Sacramento late on Friday night, July 16. After crashing at Grandma and Grandpa's house we set off the next day and drove up to Lassen Volcanic National Park, stopping on the way at Lake Almanor , a site of fond memories for Geneva growing up.

Driving into the park itself, we stopped to take in some hot springs. Be grateful that cameras do not (yet!) have olfactory capabilities. While we were stopped, we had to restrain Jasper's enthusiasm, as he was all ready to charge up the first trail he found.

For the first time we got the entire family in one tent and, notwithstanding the slope towards our feet (we couldn't find a flat tent site) we were happy to be there. The kids were happy to be eating breakfast, no matter that it was at a picnic table swatting away mosquitoes.

After packing up lunches, everyone was eager to hit the trail , although some had not had enough sleep during the night. The walk was not very strenuous (for a big person) and the views were at times spectacular , and after reaching our destination some were rewarded with a dip in the lake.

Throughout our trip we were to find local rodent population to be rather untimid, to the point of begging for food.

After a pause to reflect we headed back to base, with some having it easier than others. When Malva did try to hike, she mostly wanted to be silly. We stopped for lunch with a view of our next day's conquest.

For years I have heard about how Eldridge packed Geneva up to the top of Mount Lassen as a little girl, so I was very excited to have te opportunity to do the same for Malva. We set off on a beautiful morning and Jasper was quite willing to walk. As the climb continued Geneva had to invent ever more strategies to keep his enthusiasm up and to keep him walking. After a mile and a half, however, he could go no farther. So he got to ride in the pack and Geneva carried Malva in her arms. We managed to make it all the way to the top where we crouched in the lee of a large boulder because of the strong wind. Having slept most of the time in the backpack, Jasper finally awoke. The way down was uneventful but tiring and hard on the bladder. We were weary but triumphant. That night we got to celebrate with roasted marshmallows over the campfire.

The next day, we picked up camp and drove north to Lava Beds national monument. These beds were formed by the Medicine Lake volcano, a very massive shield volcano close to the Oregon border, due east of Mount Shasta. The monument is riddled with lava tubes, big caves formed when a runny lava flow cools and hardens on the outside but remains liquid on the inside. When the flow stops at the source, the remaining lava keeps on flowing while the previously hardened shell remains in place.

Our campsite was very dry and rocky, so even with youthful enthusiasm we had some difficulty putting in the tent stakes. After a long drive it, though, it sure is nice to put up your feet for a while. Malva had been having some problems with falling on rough terrain, and her knee had been repeatedly scraped open so grownups were taking extra precautions with her. In the campsite, there was one particularly good climbing tree which became a source of entertainment for the 2 to 12 year old set.

While Judy did all the cooking, cleaning up was a task shared by all, including the older kids

We arrived at the park in time to take in a tour of one of the lava tubes although we had to get properly outfitted first. That night we had some excellent stargazing (despite the outside light on the camp loo), and a chorus of coyotes; the next morning brought a close encounter with some herbivorous wildlife.

Our next day without traveling called for another hike, though not quite so adventurous as Lassen. So we picked a smaller hill, the Schonchin Butte, which had a sweeping view of the park. It didn't take all day, so we had the energy to drive to Medicine Lake, the lake in the caldera of the eponymous volcano. There was great clamoring from a certain 7-year old to go into more caves, so we explored one called Skull Cave which had a ceiling about 80 feet high near the mouth. At the bottom, there was a layer of ice which exists year-round (the volcanic rocks are extremely good insulators, which is one of the reasons for all the lava tubes).

The next day, we got everything packed up and headed up to Oregon. We were headed for another volcanic monument called Newberry Crater, but since we were driving right by, we had to stop at Crater Lake and have a look. It was so beautiful that we took many pictures (which probably don't do it justice), and I'm going to inflict most of them on you.

At Newberry Crater, we had our usual hike in the morning, this time plagued by poorly marked trails, fearsome mosquitoes and even fiercer meltdowns. Calmer heads eventually prevailed, along with judicious use of bug spray, and we got to see a massive flow of obsidian. After lunch, we took a (very dusty) drive to the north part of the park to see the lava cast forest. This was an area where (about 6000 years ago, or just after Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden of Eden) a viscous lava flow encountered a forest. In some places the flow was so slow (or the trees so resilient) that the lava molded itself around the tree, which subsequently burned away, leaving a tree-shaped hole. In the intervening years, life has struggled to take back the land.

After all that, people needed some down time.

This is the lake (also in the remains of a volcano) next ot which we camped. It seemed to be mostly a local fishing hole , although there were many birds of prey, and we got to see osprey diving and catching fish. The campsite seemed to be populated mostly by very large RVs, the kind that have extra rooms that emerge from their sides, and remote controlled stabilizer jacks (very much more a la mode than the wooden blocks which Eldridge used).

The next morning we bid farewell to Eldridge and Judy, as well as to camping. We had a long drive through central Oregon, passing by Mount Hood on our way to Portland, where they were going through a very unusual heat wave (100 degrees plus). Luckily for us, the city in its wisdom has installed several public fountains where one is allowed to frolic, which is just what we did Here is Corwin in the second one we went to. That evening we went to our friends Annette and Josh's house for dinner, where Jasper found their son Aidan to be like-minded about some things. We all posed for the great group shot.

The next morning there was a farmers' market right near Cynthia and Pete's house, complete with a pancake breakfast and face painting. Cynthia and Pete's daughter Sophie (who is exactly one day younger) got to share a ride with Malva. We headed off to the zoo (briefly, since I had to go and get glasses to replace the ones we managed to lose somewhere on the fountains trip the day before), so Corwin's face fit right in. The parakeets didn't seem to mind.

We bid our friends farewell and made the long drive Anacortes, the ferry terminal for the boat to Orcas island, to which Papa and Helen have retired. The live on Buck Mountain, a smaller hill in the shadow of the most obvious attraction on the island, Mount Constitution. There is an observation tower on the top, which Corwin had to climb and which affords an even more remarkable view than you can get from the mountain itself . Buck mountain has equally nice views, and Papa and Helen's house has been custom built to capture them, even from the dining room. Nearby is Moran State park, which has several lakes and walking trails. We did get to see Helen's sister Carol, as well as her stepmother Phoebe, who is as spry as ever. We continued to hew to our usual schedule of a hike in the morning with packed lunch, and this continued to lead to unexpected naps. Our last day on the island, we checked out the studio of the sculptor Anthony Howe, who lives on the island and creates these moving works (in both senses of the word). Unfortunately, we didn't have video. Then, two weeks after leaving home, we flew back east, to spend a wonderful weekend with my sister Liesel, and my cousins Molly and Mark (sorry, no pictures).

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