Day 6 - Manton and Mt. Lassen

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April 20, 2002 (0 relaxing miles)

We had stayed up kind of late on the evening of Day 5 waiting for the rest of Ryan's people to arrive. But they hadn't by the time we could no longer stay awake.

What happened was that Ryan's sister Jill's boyfriend Nick's Jeep had gotten a flat. The tires on this Jeep are giant, so it was a huge pain dealing with the flat and they didn't get in till 1:00am. So we all had war stories to tell about getting up to Manton.

We woke up at 6:00am, which had become our habit on the trip, and woke everyone else up too. We had another huge and delicious breakfast and then we all drove up to Mount Lassen. We passed a single woman cyclist going up the difficult road to Lassen Park. She was one of the few other cyclists we saw before going over to the coast.

Lassen is the least visited park of the California National Parks. It's because it's so high and therefore snowed in almost the whole year.

We went as far as we could before the roads weren't plowed anymore and then we got out to play in the snow. Ryan's people are the nicest, sweetest family you'll meet, but they must have a hidden evil side because they are the fiercest, dirtiest snowball fighters I have ever encountered. I was shocked. They'll resort to all kinds of low blows. At one point I was sitting by a pretty creek that we hiked to, peacefully looking for fish, and they through snowballs in the water to splash me. What kind of snowball fight etiquette is that? Appalling.

As we drove back for lunch we saw a brown bear, or maybe a black bear. I don't know the difference, but it was cool.

After lunch we went to a swimming hole that a local teenager had showed Jill and Nick and Sarah on a previous trip. It was neat, partly because there was a deer skeleton at the bottom of it. Then we went to a different part of the same creek to look for a cave that we had wanted to see. Me and Sarah whimped out early because we were afraid of getting poison oak, which was all over the place. The others soon joined us and we watched Nick through big rocks in the creek.

Later we played a whole lot of wiffle ball.

The men all climbed up on the tower that formerly held the property's water supply. Ryan was really adamant about how great it would be to build a staircase around it and have the top be an observation deck. You can see Mount Lassen really well from up there. As soon as Ryan made progress convincing his mom about the benefits of the observation deck, he would add, "And then you can put a hot tub up there too." That was his real goal.

We had a big birthday dinner for Jill and myself, even though my birthday was kind of a while ago. Jill and Mary made me this cool needlepoint, or maybe cross-stitch picture, which is very intricate and took them a long time to do. Lloyd framed it for me.

Then Ryan and I packed up and went to sleep cause we wanted to get an early start.