|Picture a perfect temperature sunny day with a bright deep blue – almost cloudless sky, pristine pine forests dotting the landscape with jagged mountain peaks blanketed in white snow against the deep blue sky, no noises except the songs of birds, the wind blowing in the treetops, and snow melting into fast moving streams, almost no cars or people – and you’ve imagined what was reality for us when we got to Lassen Volcanic National Park – in north eastern CA.
And I’m almost afraid to mention it (don’t want to jinx us) – but NO BUGS – so far on this trip AT ALL – except for some “rice flies” at the habitat site in the early morning. It is so different from NH where we’d be fighting the black flies now.
We arrived at Lassen exactly 95 years to the day from when Lassen Peak was formed from the volcanic eruption. There is a 29 or so mile road through the park – but deep snow still covers the middle of the road – so we were only able to get about 13 miles into the park – driving 10 miles – then biking 3 more until the snow stumped us.
We also hiked around Manzanita Lake – again a result of the volcanic eruptions and what a pretty lake, full of birds – ducks, coots, and geese families.
In the southern part of the park is the geothermal area – geysers, bubbling mud pots, and steaming fumaroles – but unfortunately we didn’t get to see them this time. This is definitely a park to come back to. Also has a big nice campground – but closed until June 1.
So sadly – we are heading east now. I’ve been fighting some weird kind of teeth problems which caused huge jaw pains about 5 weeks ago and although I’ve gotten rid of the pain with meds, and went to a dentist in CA who took one look at me and seemed to decide he could redo my mouth and take his family around the world on my payment (I didn’t follow through with him) – I still have something going on which I need to spend some time getting straightened out. So – we finally decided to head home slowly – instead of continuing west (OR and WA). I am really bummed, but we’ll just have to come back here.