the wandering chick
...Alturas, California

While planning my trip to Oregon for the summer, I had to find a route on which I would feel comfortable driving an RV. The highways 95 through Beatty and Tonopah, Nevada and the Highway 395 through Alturas, California would be the obvious route, coming from St.George, Utah. But I didn't know whether they'd be RV friendly.

Now, having done them, I chuckle that I even considered they may not be. Granted, they are both two lane roads, but Nevada's Highway 95 was one of the smoothest roads I'd ever been on. I felt I must be driving a Rolls Royce, no shake, rattle and roll whatsoever. Very little traffic, very few ups and downs. I couldn't have asked for a better route. California's 395: the same. Easy peasy.

Which leads to this group of pictures taken in and around Alturas, California. A small town with loads of wildlife, mainly due to the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge located right in its back yard.

I stayed at Sulley's RV Park, a sweet, friendly park just off the main road and about two miles from the refuge. The keeper of the office was Beth. She suggested things to see in the area, including County Road 60, a farm road that parallels the 395 between Alturas and the town of Likely to the south. What a fun drive for those who like to get off the beaten path.

I ended up staying two days in Alturas. Thanks, Beth. And thanks for loaning me the binoculars for the day.

a nice little stop enroute to Oregon
Thick, puffy clouds floated over Alturas in the late afternoon. I think the town was hoping to get some rain from them. It never happened.
puffy clouds over Alturas
large bird on post spreads its wings
clouds over Alturas
Not sure what kind of bird this is, but I was told there were a lot of golden eagles in the area. Taken along County Road 60.
sheep standing in field
I took a detour off the back road 60 to another back road, 260, and came across this sheep farm. The landscape of gentle hills dotted with farms and ranches was very picturesque. Also came across a flock of California Quail on this road.
farm house on CR260
gambel's quail
sheep farm
Closeup of deer looking at me
the sheep farm
Both deer (above) and pronghorns (below) could be seem roaming the fields on County Road 60.
herd of pronghorns
scenic view on CR60
river flowing near CR60
entrance to the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge
closeup of sandhill crane with egg in mouth
Modoc County's wildlife refuge is one of many in the U.S. MNWR was established in 1960, covers a little more than 7,000 acres at an elevation of 4400 feet and is home to at least 76 species, though some 240 have been observed there.
The most exciting for me to see was the Sandhill Crane, seen here with some other bird's egg in its mouth. Sandhills are not just observed at the refuge, but can be seen everywhere in the fields and pastures of the area.
scenic view of refuge
the refuge
Not only teeming with wildlife, the refuge has a beauty all of its own even without the critters.
mule deer at the refuge
Blue Lake is a great fishing lake southeast of Alturas.
Blue Lake is a natural mountain lake southeast of Alturas, CA. It sits 6000 feet high, and is 160 acres. It's known for rainbow and brown trout. In 2002, the Blue Fire completely surrounded the lake, and the scars of it are still very obvious today alongside sprouts of new growth.
Blue Lake
I believe this to be a glossy ibis or, more likely, an immature white-faced ibis.
Blue Lake
Blue Lake
 Blue Lake
Evidence of 2002 fire surrounding Blue Lake

To see more areas of California, please return to the California home page.

Or, you may wish to visit a different location below.

Blue Lake

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