|As planned, we headed off to Lassen Volcanic National Park for the day and it was better than expected. The weather was perfect, the park was beautiful and the entrance free because this weekend is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service.
We really hadn’t done much research on the park, but we were able to deduce that the park had something to do with volcanoes. Pretty sharp ain’t we? Here’s what we probably should have looked at before today https://www.nps.gov/lavo/index.htm.
One thing – well, one of the things – that we learned today is that Lassen Peak, the volcanic namesake of the park, erupted as recently as the 1920’s, with the most violent eruption being in May of 1915. It did not erupt today, at least not while we were there. And since the campground is about 16 miles from the peak, if it happens while we’re here we’ll know it.
The big surprise today? Little did we realize how beautiful the park was, with or without volcanoes. Maybe it was helped by the great weather, but from a scenery perspective Lassen is on par with Rocky Mountain and maybe even Glacier National Parks – and Glacier is one of our favorites – just on a smaller scale.
We did a just over 3 mile hike to Bumpass Hell, an area, like in Yellowstone, with geothermal features like mudpots, fumaroles and steam vents. It was actually named for a local miner, not what you do if you fall on the trail. The miner, Mr. Kendall Bumpass, was leading a local newspaperman and his wife to the area in the 1800’s, when he fell into a pool of boiling water and badly burned his leg requiring it’s amputation. I think Mr. Bumpass would agree that the name is appropriate.
Since the weather was great, the views were amazing and the hike wasn’t too brutal, it was a pretty good way to spend 2 hours. We stopped a couple other places to look around, then headed towards the park’s north entrance and then back west to the house. Sunday's plan is still under development though I hear rumors of some more sightseeing. Odds are pretty good...