All-Time Favorites – A Debut Drive On The Wild Side = Highway 89

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I almost choked on my coffee this morning. I had to read the latest post published at WordPress’s Weekly Photo Challenge twice. They casually announced that this is the last challenge. I can see that it would be a lot of work hosting a challenge of this size, hundreds of participants weekly, but it’s WordPress we’re talking about. They should be able to handle that? Or is it about stopping leaving us wanting more? Get a huge debate going, so that their challenge get even more attention?

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This weekly photo challenge have followed me through several blogs, until I finally found my niche. I’ve posted an entry almost every week, and made many new friends through the challenge. I even mentioned it in my Purpose page for this blog. I hope they will reconsider ending this challenge. If not, Thank you WordPress for hosting it for so long. I really enjoyed it!

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Last Sunday was the first day of the season that the scenic Highway 89, through Lassen Volcanic National Park was open. Its was a grand opening. I expected nothing less. We drove up to the northern entrance, in the morning. There was a traffic jam there! It took about 30 min to get in. I’ve never experienced that before. It was well worth the wait.

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The first drive through the park for the year is always spectacular. It’s like getting reacquainted with a special, old friend. Even though I’ve been snowshoeing in the park during the winter months, I have not seen all the majestic beauty there is. I rephrase that, it is not possible to ever see it all. It would take several lifetimes.

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Sulphur Works; Lassen Volcanic National Park’s most easily accessed hydrothermal area. It features boiling mudpots and steam vents. It smells a little, but not too bad right now. Last time I passed Sulphur Works (in the photo,) everything was covered in snow. That was about a month ago.


My daughter have a love-hate relationship to this place. She always wants to go here. She is fascinated, and disgusted at the same time. It doesn’t exactly smell like our rose garden. Lol.


Nature is blooming right above the hydrothermal area. We decided to take a hike towards Ridge Lakes, above Sulphur Works.

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This hike is rated as hard, and it starts out going straight uphill, right from the beginning. The landscape was extremely beautiful. Like something from another galaxy.

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In the beginning it was reasonably easy to follow the trail, even though it completely lacked any kind of markers. The trail was supposed to follow the creek, so we followed the creek. There was more and more snow on the trail. After a while we took a wrong turn, and ended up hiking up to the ridge to the left, of the ridge that we were supposed to take, if we wanted to see Ridge Lakes. It might not look very steep in this photo, but believe me, it was. You had to dig your boots into the snow, and make your own stairs to get a grip, and climb up. ..and we’re talking about an elevation about 8000ft. The air is thin, and you have to take it slow. I helped my five year old quiet a bit during this stretch. Since we gotten this far, we really wanted to get to the top of that ridge above us. I can be very stubborn..and I used it to get us all up. I know for sure that the rest would of turned around if it wasn’t for me. It’s Thursday today, and I can still feel the climb in my whole body. I love that!

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On the top of the world! I love feeling alive like this. The tracks we made kind of disappears in the photo, that is how steep it was. Half of the hillside beneath me is out of the picture, even though it’s right under me. What do you say about that view?

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It was very windy at the top. I estimate it to around 25-30 mph winds. The baseball cap I was wearing to protect myself from the strong sun, blowed away. I found it later. My daughter took her off. (I know.. she’s the smart one.)

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Some more vistas from the top of this unnamed ridge.

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The grand opening of highway 89 for the season of 2018, was a day to remember a lifetime. Are you tempted to take a drive on the wild side? Conquer this stretch of highway 89? Even if you just follow the highway, and stop at the different, well marked, vista points, you’ll have an incredible experience.

Cheers to a mind-blowing last episode of The Weekly Photo Challenge!



Ms Zen




Published by Sagittarius Viking

It’s all about experiences, and the healing power of nature. Life is about choosing happiness. I entered the magic world of photography when I was five years old. My gypsy soul have taken me to many different countries, and definitely taught me to be more humble. I believe that you are what you eat, body and soul. I enjoy growing my own food, and spending time outdoors. A Sagittarius loves to travel, have an open mind and, and a philosophical view. It motivates them to wander around the world in search of the meaning of life. Sagittarius is extrovert, optimistic and enthusiastic, and likes changes. A lot of that perfectly describes me. The fact that my ancestors, on both parents sides, were vikings, doesn’t exactly lessen my desire to explore. Maybe a slightly more mindful exploring, compared to the average viking. My blog, and my art prints is a results of my (inner and outer) explorations. Love, Maria

19 thoughts on “All-Time Favorites – A Debut Drive On The Wild Side = Highway 89

  1. To think a 5-yr-old made that climb is amazing! You guys are made of tough Viking stuff. 🙂
    I was surprised that WP ended the challenge, as were probably hundreds of folks. I guess they figure we bloggers will figure it out on our own. There are many weekly memes out there, but I imagine it would be a lot to manage.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She is tough for a 5 year old. I keep telling her that she is a viking when she needs some encouragement 🙂
      Yes, it was a surprise that they decided to end the photo challenge. Or maybe I’ve missed a previous announcement/hints somehow? It was a fun way to interact with others under an inspiring theme, but I’m sure we’ll manage greta by ourselves as well, just like you said. How is your garden doing? This week I’ve finally organized mine the way I want it, and now I’m just going to keep it up. Happy Friday my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Happy Friday and weekend to you as well. Having got the clients’ gardens all set, I’ve been working on mine, slowly getting things planted, weeded and mulched. The weather is heating up, so I can only work for short spells. We’ve had a bit of rain, so everything is leaping out of the ground! The lawn always needs mowing it seems. 😉 Loving all the GREEN!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Wonderful! It’s so much fun seeing the progress, and how fast things can change in a garden. Our days are getting hotter and hotter. It’s supposed to be 103 tomorrow. The temperature past 100 for the first time earlier this week. I water a lot every morning, last year I had to water in the evening as well. I’m hoping to avoid that this year. Cheers to more green!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been on that drive a few times, it is glorious and our weather did not disappoint! Awesome photos! I’m distressed about the loss of the WPC, I’ve read countless posts about people’s unhappiness about this decision to close it down! It for sure has been a staple on my blog…yesterday (I rarely post on Thursdays) I got almost 600 page views. Had to be the WPC! All the more reason to continue Sunday Stills 🙂 This one for Sunday will be right up your alley!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That drive never fails to amaze me. I take all my out of town guests there. It’s sort of a safe card. It’s impossible to not get impressed.

      Yes it was totally unexpected to stop the daily and weekly prompts. At least I did not see that coming. The weekly photo challenge have been so much fun, and also beneficial for an increased number of views, just like you said.

      I’ll have to look into this week’s Sunday Stills 🙂 I also do the Weekend Coffee Share, open Fri-Mon. It’s fun and much smaller, but usually really interesting conversations.

      Happy Friday!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Such beautiful photos!! It is like another planet, and to think you both made it to the top of that ridge, the views were heavenly! ❤ I think you both are Vikings!!

    I did not participate in the weekly photo challenge but wrote a fair amount with the "daily prompt, words" it was so helpful and inspiring. It kind of feels like Mom and Pop left for good, does that even make sense? I also read a lot of inspiring things they posted for newbies to blogging. But am thankful I have been able to meet some amazing people here on WordPress, so I will press on and continue blogging! I didn't know that the Weekend Coffee Share was a prompt, something I may take up doing if it is still an ongoing thing?

    Anyways, you are inspiring as always! Thank you for your post, put a huge smile on my face as I enjoyed the mountain views! – Diana 😀


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