Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Manzanita Creek Trail ↔ Lassen Volcanic National Park

northern california travel destinations

This trail is a prime example of why I don't let other people's reviews influence my decisions! I really enjoyed this hike and yet it received a lot of criticism on the internet for not having great views and no payoff. Those reviewers must not have gone all the way to the end because when we got to the last meadow, there were spectacular views of Eagle Peak, Vulcan's Castle and Loomis Peak.

northern california lupine flowers

As you'll notice from the video below, we saw more wildflowers on this trail than any of the other hikes we've done in the park. I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of the trail, too. Yes, it was mostly uphill (I've come to expect that from every hike now that I've done a few!), but there were beautiful lichen-covered forests, meadows full of blue, white, purple and red wildflowers, ferns growing on the hillside, and lush green spots where little creeks ran through, watering even more flowers.

northern california hiking trails

We hiked this trail in mid-July and there were still flowers getting ready to bloom, so I can imagine how beautiful it must be weeks later. After completing 17 hikes in Lassen (wow, has it been that many already?!), I can honestly say that this is one of my top five favorites.

northern california hiking trails lichen

The moral of the story is to check things out for yourself and never let anyone keep you from discovering something worth exploring...

Manzanita Creek Trail
Lassen Volcanic National Park
7 miles round-trip
1,110 elevation change

northern california hiking trails

For photos of the birds we spotted on this trail, visit my birding blog Wings and Daydreams...

Let's go on an adventure!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Colusa National Wildlife Refuge ↔ Colusa, California

northern california birding birdwatching

We usually don't make many visits to our local wildlife refuges in the summer because the triple-digit temps here in the Sacramento Valley can be brutal. Luckily, we had a cooler day (yes, we consider 95 "cool") and decided to take a drive through the Colusa National Wildlife Refuge.

Colusa National Wildlife Refuge northern California

I'm so glad we did! There was much more water than I thought there'd be and everything was green, green, green!

We saw Black Phoebe, Western Kingbird, Mourning Dove, Wild Turkey, Ring-necked Pheasant and the biggest gathering of herons we've ever seen...

The birds were extremely cooperative with having their picture taken on this particular day and that's always a big plus!

egret bird photography birding birdwatching birder

We had such a nice drive through the auto tour that we decided not to let the heat keep us away from our favorite places from here on out.

I usually don't take photos of Turkey Vultures because they kind of creep me out, but we spotted this juvenile and he was actually kind of cool looking!

Colusa National Wildlife Refuge ca

So, the moral of the story is to not let the blazing, unrelenting sun keep you from doing the things you love!

For more bird photography, visit my birding blog Wings and Daydreams.

P.S. There were A TON of wildflowers blooming all over the refuge, too!

Let's go on an adventure!

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Moment of Zen ≈ Crumbaugh Lake

When you've only got a minute, you can still enjoy the beauty of nature!

Here's a little peek at Crumbaugh Lake in the early morning light...

For more info about my hike to Crumbaugh Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park, click here.

Let's go on an adventure!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Sutter National Wildlife Refuge ↔ Yuba City, California

places to find birds in northern california

We finally made the trip to the Sutter National Wildlife Refuge!

birding near Yuba City ca

The only place to view wildlife there is from Hughes Road which bisects the refuge. Keep in mind that there is only a small space to pull off the road and traffic zooms by super fast! We will definitely be returning in the spring when the hiking trail is open (from February 15 to June 30).

great egret bird photography birding birdwatching

Here is the link to the refuge's website so you can plan a visit when you're in the area...

us fish and wildlife service

For more of my birding adventures, visit Wings and Daydreams!

Let's go on an adventure!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Sutter County Sunflowers ↔ Near Yuba City, California

When we drove through Sutter County, I was delighted to find a field of sunflowers still in bloom!

Not only are the flowers gorgeous, they keep the local birds well fed, too!


Let's go on an adventure!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Moment of Zen ≈ Paradise Meadow

What a beautiful place to sit and watch the clouds drift by...

Let's go on an adventure!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Virtual Hike 👣 Mill Creek Falls Trail in Lassen Volcanic National Park

An autumn sunrise hike to Mill Creek Falls in Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California...

Read more about my hike to Mill Creek Falls here.

Let's go on an adventure!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Hiking Gear for Women who Love Purple!

Took my new hiking backpack out for a spin and LOVED it!

hiking gear essentials for beginners

Now that we've been challenging ourselves on some longer, steeper trails, it's nice to have a water bladder to help stay hydrated. Yes, I'll admit I was swayed by the fact that it's purple (it comes in 6 different colors to choose from), but I like how it contours to the body and has plenty of compartments.

I know this baby will be what helps me get up Lassen Peak (when we finally get up the courage to hike that beast of a trail) and I look forward to bringing it with me on all my future hiking adventures!

💜 (HERE is the link to all my hiking gear.)

Let's go on an adventure!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Moment of Zen ≈ Manzanita Lake & Lassen Peak, Lassen Volcanic National Park

Take a moment to appreciate the beauty of Lassen Peak standing guard over Manzanita Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park...

Let's go on an adventure!