Day 3 of the road trip with my mom was our last day of adventuring – day 4 was just a long 8 hour drive home from California (although In-n-Out burgers were involved, so obviously it was still a great day). We woke up and got on the road, passing into California in the morning and driving several more hours to get out of the middle of nowhere. Both of us had been to McArthur-Burney Falls in Northern California before, but it had been several years and we hadn’t gone together, so we decided we’d start the day there.
We arrived at lunchtime and tried having an outdoor picnic, but our food was being absolutely attacked by bees! We ended up having to fight them off with paper plates and ran around screaming until we finally got all of our food back into the car, where we ate in safety. Anyone who was watching was probably laughing at our misfortune, which I’m sure was very entertaining. After lunch, we went on the main trail, which loops around in front of and then overtop the falls. It was a gorgeous, hot day, and there were lots of people there enjoying the falls.
After a good, sweaty hike, which included one of my lens caps jumping off my camera and down one of the cracks on a bridge overtop the river, we decided we were ready to move on. Our next stop was about an hour away, near Mt. Shasta. I had read about the McCloud River and a trio of waterfalls along the way to view and decided we needed to go. There were a lot of people soaking up the sun on the riverbed and swimming in the river, but we just ended up walking a few miles along the river and back.
At the second of the three waterfalls along the way, aptly called Middle Falls, there was a naturally formed pool area at the bottom of the falls which must have been a pretty popular place along the river. When we looked up to view the falls, we realized (along with everyone standing near us), there were two young teenage boys walking along the top of the falls. The whole crowd alongside the river started collectively watching, and all gasped when one jumped, then the other. These was a 50 foot tall waterfall with lots of rocks jutting out several feet in various spots, and the second guy definitely looked like he was going to hit a limb on the rocks! They made it just fine, but were a lot more daring than I am.
After a few hours at the McCloud River we drove to Redding where we were staying for the night. My family has spent a lot of vacations in Redding, either as the destination or a good place to stop along the way. For dinner, we had In-n-Out, as are the rules when you go to California. I wasn’t expecting to be as impressed as I used to be, with all my diet changes I’ve done this year, but my lettuce-wrapped burger and crispy fries were heavenly. We stopped again for lunch on our way home the next day. 🙂
Overall, we both had a really fun time and it was a great way to have some bonding time with my mom. We spent a lot of time talking, about our lives, about my mom’s childhood, about the future. It’s a memory with her that I will always remember and cherish and I’m really happy we decided to go somewhere together.