Wednesday, July 22, 2015

escape from brokeoff mountain

On the road again. Lassen Peak is one of a string of volcanoes that lines the Pacific coast from Mt. Diablo, just east of San Francisco, up to better-known mountains in the Cascades like Mt. Shasta, Mt. Hood, and Mt. St. Helens.

Today I drove from sea level up to 6500 feet and then back down to 3000 to sleep. It will take a little getting used to, so I took a few short hikes. This is near Manzanita lake, which was full of kayakers and happy ducks.

Lassen Peak erupted 100 years ago. Miraculously, no one was killed. 

Lassen Volcanic National Park is a fantastic place to see bubbling mudpots, cinder cones, and Ponderosa pines. It's been far too long since I've been here, cross-country skiing and camping in the fall.
This puzzle rock is 27,000 years old. It came down the mountain with the lava flow.

Who wouldn't love these solar-powered trail interpreters? (At least I think that's what it is.) There was even a Braille sign for the restroom.

Take an easy stroll around Lily Pad Lake and get to know the alpine landscape.

The trees here are fantastic. 

New Zealand fantastic. 

I'm staying nearby in Shingletown in a lovely cabin with fast wifi and a pool.

My friend Yutao once said that anyone who took photos of trees like I did couldn't really be an atheist. What do you call someone who worships nature? How can you not find inspiration in what's all around us?

Off to look at the Milky Way and remember how insignificant we are in the great scheme of things.