Northern California

IMG_0553Moxie and I watched the sunrise in Northern California this morning. We spent the night in a tiny little nondescript town in a rural area of Northern California. After packing up the RV yesterday morning, we took it to Jerry’s RV Service to be checked out. While the RV was being serviced, we decided we would go try to find the elusive Arnold Ice Cave once again before leaving town (we have been trying to find Arnold Ice Cave for weeks with no luck). The forest service has attempted to remove any information about its location because of vandalism to the cave. About a week ago I went to the Forest Service Rangers Headquarters and talked with three rangers. The last one I spoke with was pretty sure he knew where Arnold Ice Cave was and he gave me directions. We headed out China Hat Road one more time. This time we were looking for a long red cinder road on the right about a mile and a half pass the road to Wind Cave. We were not to take the long red cinder road, but we were to take the short red cinder road right past the long one. The closer we got to the area we were looking for the deeper the snow got. Snow makes it very difficult to see if a road is a red cinder road. We passed road 1820 which we had been down many times looking for Arnold Ice Cave. Road 1820 was about a mile and a half past the road to Wind Cave. Road 1820 is a very long road so we knew that wasn’t the road we wanted. About a football field length past road 1820 was a small snow covered road. We hesitated and then turned down the road. Less than a mile down the road we came to a parking area (just as the ranger had described).IMG_0548In six inches of snow, with help from a ranger, we had finally found Arnold Ice Cave. The ranger warned me not to go into the cave in winter because it is very slick and we many not be able to get out. He also told me about two other collapsed lava caves we could hike to south of Arnold Ice Cave - Charcoal and Hidden Forest. In jeans and street shoes, we hiked south in six inches of snow to find the collapsed lava caves. We located both caves and succeeded in getting our shoes, socks and jeans soaking wet, but that was ok with us - we had found the elusive Arnold Ice Cave on our last day in Bend. We had been within several hundred yards of all three caves many times and had never seen them.About two o’clock, Jerry’s RV Service called to say everything on the RV looked fine and we were ready to go. We picked up the RV and headed south. After about 200-250 miles of driving and seeing very little traffic and few signs of human habitation we arrived in Alturas, CA. We are in a small older campground behind a city park. The owner recommened a restaurant in town for dinner (I love small restaurants is little towns). Dinner was very good and cheap. Nice place for an overnight.

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