Gina and I are sitting in one of our favorite road stops, The Olive Pit in Corning, CA. I'm an olive freak....and I can get enough of every imaginable type that I might just move in one day. Too bad Olive Pit isn't publicly traded on the NYSE.
We started a bit later than anticipated, knowing we would face smoke, fires and grueling fuel costs. But Lava Beds Nat'l Monument has called to us for years - one hiker (me) and a caver (Gina), and we both expect to be in our elements.
Smoke is as thick as fog here off of I - 5. The fire near Paradise is just a short distance, and has devoured tens of thousands of acres in the process. It's been burning since June 21st, when lightning storms lit up the north and central state. We DID see several CalFire trucks going south in a relaxed mode; hope that means they have a handle on this Butte County fire and are on to redeployment. Where's the Governor up here, anyway?
After some home made peanut brittle and a coffee for each (well some sorta chocolate-nut, non-fat, no crap [whip] thing for Gina), we'll be back on the road. We still have a long way just to the Hwy 97 turnoff; it'll be a long day but once we pass Castle Crags just past Lake Shasta we'll be good. I'm crossing my fingers for the smoke to clear at least by Redding.
I'll check in again soon. Be good, y'all!