Sunday, December 29, 2019

Top 10 Adventures of 2019 ↔ Vaughn the Road Again

looking back at the top 10 travel adventures of 2019

It's always fun to take a look back and remember all the wonderful adventures of the year!

We did a lot of hiking during the summer, along with a dozen visits to our local wildlife refuges here in Northern California. All of our trips in 2019 were special in their own way and I cherish the tons of photos and video we took, so it was tough to narrow it down to just ten!

Here they are...

10. Hat Creek Rim Overlook. Not only was this a beautiful drive, but when we arrived, there were colorful wildflowers growing everywhere and incredible views of Shasta and Lassen. What a lovely stop along the Pacific Crest Trail!

northern california wildflowers photography

9. Paradise Meadow. Even though we hiked this trail a little too early for the wildflower bloom, the payoff was pretty and I enjoyed how the path followed along the creek.

northern california hiking adventures

8. Sheepy Ridge Wildlife Trail. This was our second time trekking up Sheepy Ridge and the views at the top were just as wonderful as I remembered.

hiking sheepy ridge wildlife trail

7. Ridge Lakes. We also did a return hike to Ridge Lakes, and were able to compare how the different seasons transform the scenery. I swear, this lake has some of the most incredible reflections in all of the park!

northern california hiking trails

6. Manzanita Lake. The walk around Manzanita Lake never disappoints. This year we had our first-ever Western Tanager, Pileated Woodpecker and Evening Grosbeak sightings.

northern california hiking trails

5. Speaking of sightings, our Beaver sighting at the Codora Unit of the Sacramento River NWR was something I'll never forget!


4. Manzanita Creek Trail. This trail had a lot of wildflowers and the views at the end made the steep 7 mile round-trip hike totally worth it.

northern california wildflowers

3. McCloud Falls. Oh boy, this was an awesome trail! We took the 5 mile round-trip hike and saw all three of the waterfalls, Upper, Middle and Lower McCloud Falls.

best waterfalls in northern california

2. Brokeoff Mountain. This bad boy was a total beast and I still can't believe we made it all the way up to the top! There's definitely some truth to the whole "the higher you climb, the greater the views" thing.

northern california hiking trails

Before we get to the Number One adventure of 2019, here are a few Honorable Mentions:

→ The purple wildflower superbloom at the Sacramento NWR
→ Driving through snow-covered Lassen VNP, right after the road opened
→ The Gray Lodge Wildlife Area wildflowers (what started Wildflower Wednesday)
→ Walking the Logan Creek Trail for the first time

All right, that brings us to my favorite adventure of the year! Drumroll please...

1. Mt. Harkness Fire Lookout Trail Loop. I loved the payoff of this hike, even more than Brokeoff! The views at the fire lookout were absolutely spectacular and I'm so glad we stuck with it and made it all the way to the top. Standing up there at over 8,000 feet made me feel more on top of the world than I've ever felt in my life.

best northern california hiking trails views

Well, after this little trip down memory lane, I've got to say that we definitely made the most of 2019. I literally took thousands of photos and I'm so proud of the videos I made for my YouTube channel. Most of our hiking goals were accomplished and I'm thrilled to have made these memories with the love of my life. He definitely pushed me to climb higher, hike further and be the kind of strong, fearless woman I've always dreamed of being.

As for 2020, well, the sky is the limit...






Sunday, December 22, 2019

Moment of Zen ≈ Discovery Marsh Trail

The Discovery Marsh Trail is located across the street from the Klamath Basin Wildlife Refuge Complex visitor center. Here is a relaxing moment of zen from the west observation blind...



Let's go on an adventure!


Sunday, December 8, 2019

Moment of Zen ≈ Lower Twin Lake

Lower Twin Lake is located on the Cluster Lakes Loop trail in beautiful Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California...


For more info about my hike to Lower Twin Lake, click here.


Let's go on an adventure!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Ridge Lakes Hiking Trail Wildflowers ↔ Lassen Volcanic National Park

Our first hike to Ridge Lakes in Lassen Volcanic National Park was in October of last year and we didn't see a single wildflower. Then, in early August of this year, we re-hiked the trail and WOW there were wildflowers everywhere!

It's amazing how much landscape can change throughout the seasons. As much as I'd love to see flowers blooming all year long, that small window of time when they come out to say hello and cheer up our day is all the more special...



Read all about our hike to Ridge Lakes HERE.

For more wildflowers, visit www.WildflowerWednesday.com.


Let's go on an adventure!





Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area Wildflowers 🎕 Northern California

My visit to Gray Lodge Wildlife Area this spring is what started my love of wildflowers. Sure, I always enjoyed seeing them on my travels, but that early April morning is when I saw my first Wild Radishes growing and decided to zoom in on them with my camera. And then there were the Milk Thistle, Wild Roses and Lavender... I went there for the birds and came away with a new hobby!

Ever since, I've improved my wildflower photography and have been on a mission to learn their names. I knew it would be a challenge, but I guess I didn't realize how many different wildflowers in my area there actually are! Life's all about learning, though, right?

Here's a video of all those wonderful spring blooms so you can enjoy their beauty, too.



More wildflowers at www.WildflowerWednesday.com.



Sunday, November 17, 2019

Moment of Zen ≈ Sheepy Ridge Wildlife Trail Clouds

The Sheepy Ridge Wildlife Trail is located behind the Klamath Basin Wildlife Refuge Complex visitor center. Here are some relaxing clouds for you to enjoy from the top of the trail...



Let's go on an adventure!


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Virtual Hike 👣 Brokeoff Mountain Trail ↔ Lassen Volcanic National Park

This steep, diverse trail climbs to the top of Brokeoff Mountain where there are awesome views of Lassen Volcanic National Park and the valley below...


Read all about my hike to the top of Brokeoff Mountain HERE.


Let's go on an adventure!



Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Manzanita Creek Trail Wildflowers ↔ Lassen Volcanic National Park

This week's video showcases the colorful wildflowers we found growing along the Manzanita Creek Trail in Lassen Volcanic National Park in mid-July...



Read all about this beautiful hike HERE.

For more wildflowers, visit www.WildflowerWednesday.com.


Let's go on an adventure!





Sunday, November 3, 2019

Moment of Zen ≈ Silver Lake

Silver Lake is located in northern California's Lassen Volcanic National Park and is accessible from the Cluster Lakes Loop trail.


For more info about my hike to Silver Lake, click here.


Let's go on an adventure!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Moment of Zen ≈ Hat Creek

The birds are chirping, the air is fresh, and the water is flowing...



Let's go on an adventure!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Wildflowers on Mt. Harkness Hiking Trail ↔ Lassen Volcanic National Park

🎕

Here are a few of the beautiful wildflowers we saw while hiking the Mount Harkness loop trail in Lassen Volcanic National Park...



Read all about our hike to the fire lookout on top of Mount Harkness HERE.

For more wildflowers, visit www.WildflowerWednesday.com.


Let's go on an adventure!






Sunday, October 20, 2019

Moment of Zen ≈ Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge

The Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex and is located in northern California near the Oregon border.


For more info about the many birds found on the refuge, visit my birding website Wings and Daydreams.


Let's go on an adventure!