Lassen Volcanic: Manzanita Lake

Driving into the park we passed by a horseshoe-throwing competition at one of the small hamlets. This promised to be a slice of real America so we turned round and parked. As well as the main event there were all sorts of games for the kids, barbecues, and an engine for mixing margaritas. We bought 10 tickets for kiddie events (total cost: 1 dollar) and got a cool face painting and played a few of the games. A big favourite was the water balloon catapult. With the games the kids picked up points which they could later exchange for prizes.

After a while there we got back into the car and headed for the park. We stopped for a picnic at Manzanita Lake, a pretty place with loads of people fishing (today being Saturday). We didn't bother renting a kayak and instead walked around the lake for a bit. Enthusiasm for becoming a Junior Ranger seems to have died down, there is too much important work to do finding sticks and pine cones.

Driving backwards and forwards for nearly an hour each way is a pain. Lake Tahoe, our next stop, has plenty of accommodation next to the lake. But after that we visit Yosemite. Spent quite a lot of time looking for decent places to stay close by. In the end we found an OK lodge in the park (though not in the valley) for two nights and a lovely cottage about half an hour away for another two (our first Airbnb booking).

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