May 15, 2010: The Ponderosa Way was originally constructed as a fire break in WWII due to the fear of bombers targeting the forests of the Cascade Mountains. While never needed, the effort was well worth it today since the route provides access to a great variety of volcanic foothill scenery. From Chico, we left pavement at Cohasset and stopped to take in an amazing view of Deer Creek canyon and Mt. Lassen before descending to Deer Creek, where I had backpacked a few years earlier. From Deer Creek, we left the canyon and drove along a plateau for a while before taking a side route a the retired lookout that is now a rental unit for campers in the forest. Soon we descended again, this time to Mill Creek and the massive volcanic dome of Black Rock, before ascending again to drive part of the Peligreen Jeep Trail in an effort to test the new rock sliders. Finally we relaxed at Antelope Creek for a while and ended our day with a great riverside dinner in Red Bluff.