Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Monday, 1 October 2012

Bumpass Hell

Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

The Lassen Peak Smelowskia grows only one place in the world. We only have time for one hike and it comes down to a choice between looking for this Polish sounding flower on a hike though the meadows between three high mountain lakes and a hike called "Bumpass Hell".

"Bumpass Hell" has a lot of fumaroles and other volcanic features. The Bumpass Trail is closed to us because of ice and snow. Here is a picture somebody else took of the volcanic cone.

 There's a third hike though a desolate area that includes an impressive cinder cone that also looks interesting. Unfortunately, the Bumpass trail is still covered with snow and fallen boulders on July 2nd.

The road though the park is about 40 miles. It climbs to 8,511 feet. The major hike is to the top of Mt. Lassen. The parking lot indicates that many young Californians are up for the 3,000 foot climb to the top.

Another Lassen viewpoint.

We do see a flock of Canadian geese and Mrs. Phred takes a two-mile hike around a pretty lake while I sit in the shade and read my book.

The last time Lassen erupted was 1915. It blew big chunks of hot rock and gigantic boulders 20 miles.

Lassen Peak was named after Peter Lassen, a blacksmith who guided immigrants though the area to the Sacramento valley in 1830. The trail was considered unsafe and was later replaced by the Noble Emigrant Trail.

The device above is an extremely accurate GPS used to measure the drift of the continental plates.

Mount Lassen has the highest snowfall in California, averaging 660 inches a year.

This log is about six feet in diameter. It's in an advanced state of decay, and, for all I know, it's been laying here 100 years. I count about 20 rings an inch and estimate its age as 700-800 years when it was toppled.

We did see one little fumarole.

Some Canadian geese were also enjoying the park.

Mrs. Phred asked me today if my "bucket list" included visiting all the American National Parks. I was a little offended and told her that my "National Park" List included visiting all the American National Parks. They can't all be Glacier or Yellowstone, but they are all unique places of natural beauty.

1 comment:

  1. I love Lassen N.P. When my now-21-year-old son was about 8, he and I hiked to the top of Mt. Lassen. Strenuous hike, at least I thought so. But we talked to several people who did the hike at least once a week. Fantastic view from the top. Still some snow on the ground up there in mid-August.