The Kyser Chronicles travel blog

Burney Falls

Sunset in Northern California

We stopped last night at a park in Redding that is on the old Oregon Trail. It was so hot we were not comfortable outside. The air conditioner could not cool things down completely, but made the heat more tolerable.

Today we drove to McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park through the Cascade foothills covered with evergreen forests. Burney Falls is so unique due to the five underground aquifers that feed it as well as the Burney River. The underground aquifers spout out of a thousand different places and the two main waterfalls. It is a wall of spouting water. Very beautiful.

We took a hike around the falls. It was 65 degrees down near the falls, such a welcome reprieve from the 90 degree temperature above. It was a pretty hike. As we were hiking I thought of my dear friend Steve McClelland, who died recently in a hiking accident near Lone Pine, CA. He was my office partner when we had the private practice "Bender and McClelland Psychological Services" for about 10 years in the Nineties. We ran social skills groups for developmentally disabled individuals together. He was a very caring, genuine, intelligent human being. He is greatly missed by all who knew him.

So there is Burney Falls, Burney State Park and a town named Burney. Who is Burney? According to the ranger it is Sam Burney, a drifter from South Carolina who in 1858 came to the area. Burney was acting as caretaker for the ranch of Thomas Predmore, who had a reputation for treating Indian women badly. Some Piute Indians seeking revenge came to the Predmore ranch and killed Burney. And who is McArthur? This is a wealthy land holder that in 1917 bought the land containing Burney Falls to save it from being bought by PG & E and turned into an electric power plant. He gave it to the state.

Tonight we are camping in Weed, CA, at the Friendly RV Park in the shadow of Mt. Shasta. It is cool and getting cooler. It is so wonderful. We sat outside and had a gin and tonic while looking at Mt. Shasta, which has several patches of snow on it. A man named Lloyd pulled into the next RV spot. We started talking and had drinks together. We shared several hiking stories. He lived in Newport Beach several years ago. We cooked brats on the grill and had a salad outside as it got cooler. We invited Lloyd to join us, but he had already eaten. But he stayed at our campsite and talked to us through dinner. He was an interesting sojourner on his way to visit his daughter in Washington.

Bob received a call from a man at Foster Farms that he knew and worked with when he consulted with that company. Dave Parker is retired and lives in Turlock, CA. We had hoped to see him on our way north to the Bay Area, but he was on an RV trip at the time. They talked about their trips and what they are doing. I'm sure we will catch up with him and his lady friend later.

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