barrel springs surprise valley back country byway in northeastern california and western nevada, shadowed by the glory of the south warners, mountains, and the south warner wilderness in the modoc national forest of california

Cressler and Bonner
in Cedarville, California in Surprise Valley

Cressler and Bonner began their enterprises in the trading post located in what is now Cedarville City Park. In 1874 they moved to larger quarters, presumably this building and perhaps the one that now houses the grocery store. I say this because, as I stated elsewhere, the buildings are very much alike. Also, the grocery store, according to the proprietess, originally housed a bank, and as I understand it, Cressler and Bonner were bankers in addition to their other economic pursuits.

... and the Warners climb

The first access to the Modoc National Forest and the south Warner Wilderness, south of Cedar Pass, is located on the south side of Cedarville. As you drive south through Cedarville, you'll see the cemetery on the right. When you do, know that the road into the Modoc National Forest and the south Warner Wilderness begins as the cemetery ends.

The road is gravel. We haven't taken it, but, as the proprietess of the grocery store told us, this is one of four passes besides Cedar Pass through the Warners, and it's "awesome". Because Cedar Pass is 24 miles long, she guesstimates that this gravel road and the one further south is about 24 miles as well.

Brad and I have taken Fandango Pass and Pine Creek Pass. Both of them are to the north of Cedarville. Fandango Pass, part of the original Applegate Trail, brought us out south of Fort Bidwell, about halfway between Fort Bidwell and Cedarville, on the Barrel Springs/Surprise Valley Backcountry Byway. Pine Creek Pass brought us out in Fort Bidwell, also on the Barrel Springs Back Country Byway. Other than Hwy 299, Cedar Pass, we haven't taken the two passes south of Cedarville.

We started on the pass that begins beside the cemetary, but Brad turned around. He said he had second thoughts, and since we once experienced difficulties as we drove the gravel road across Hart Mountain to get to French Glen, he's not too keen about taking what he considers a long drive on a gravel road. Understandably so too. A pin came loose on one of the rear wheel wells as we drove and damaged the brake. We didn't know this had happened until we pulled onto the paved road near French Glen. Then we could hear it and feel it. But the gravel road masked all this until then. I think of it as an adventure and a memory I will never forget for many reasons.

Night was falling; the wheel screeched as turned. We were miles from any place where we could get any work done - Sure we were in French Glen, but French Glen is a little blink on the road. The hubcap came off at one point, and we didn't know when. We only had a general idea. This was Brad's original VW van, so of course, we had to find it. I'll never forget that experience. It was that time of dusk when the stars and moon haven't appeared, when the sky is dark, but still light enough to see by. So we were walking along the road, looking for the hubcap. Coyotes were howling to my right, and a single coyote, on the other side of the road howled back. Yes, I've never forgotten that experience.

We slept in the van that night and the next morning we had to be towed into Burns. No AAA then, no cell phone then, so Brad had to call around, asking for quotes using a public phone on the side of the road. The cheapest quote was $300.00. We ended up spending the time we'd allocated for exploring Steens Mountain on the west side and more in Burns waiting for parts to arrive and the van to be fixed. We got to the know the man who was working on the van, and his wife, quite well. They were very nice, so that was a positive aspect of our "vacation". Since then, understandably, Brad hasn't been so keen to take what he considers to be a long journey on a gravel road :-).

Protect our National Forests and Wilderness Areas. Leave NO Trace!

A bit of important information: The Forest Service follows a proscription in the south Warner Wilderness that allows lightning struck fires to burn. It goes without saying, but if you happen to be in the wilderness and this happens, get out.

Forward ~ Bed and Breakfast in Cedarville, Surprise
Valley California.

Back ~ The old bank in Cedarville, today it's
the Cedarville grocery store.

USFS: Modoc National Forest. Want to hike? South Warner Wilderness of the Warner Mountains.

Explore Surprise Valley: Directions, Map & Scenery: Mountains, hot springs, wildlife viewing, south Warner Wilderness Area, hiking trails and more.

barrel springs surprise valley back country byway in northeastern california, shadowed by the glory of the south warners, mountains, and the south warner wilderness in the modoc national forest of california

Travel Oregon and northern California while staying at Gathering Light ... a retreat
located near Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon

cabins on the river at gathering light ... a retreat near crater lake national park in southern oregon: cabins, treehouses on the river in the forest.

Travel to Gathering Light ... a retreat via the Shasta Trinity area of northern California: Directions, Map & Scenery.

Directions to and Day Trips in either California or Oregon of around 100 miles from the retreat.

Little known Scenic Places near Crater Lake National Park and the retreat: opportunities to explore, photograph: hiking, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, birding, and more: Directions Map and Scenery.

Website Directory      Page Listings      Home Page

Contact Brad at Gathering Light ... a retreat.

The cottage (pictured above) at Gathering Light ... a retreat. Rustic simplicity, a place to "Just Be", Gathering Light is nestled on the banks of the river, surrounded by the Fremont Winema National Forest of southern Oregon and not far from Crater Lake National Park.