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Walking the Wild Trees Pt. 10: Mt. Lassen National Park

Monday Oct. 17, 2011


Boulder CO

Joss House, Weaverville, CA.

We got up early Sunday morning, had breakfast with the sea lions one more time and drove down 101 to Arcata, where we turned east on state 299 to Redding. It was another great drive, 299 parallels 36, the snaky road we drove over to the coast, generally about thirty miles north. It goes up and down through winding, spiraling mountain passes and deep river valleys. The Trinity River Valley was as scenic as the road was circuitious. It’s a big rafting and fishing area. In Weaverville, a historic old mining community, we stopped at Joss House Historic  Park, centered around Joss House, the oldest continuously used Chinese temple in California. We also read that at the end of 2012, the state will no longer be able to keep up this park.

The clouds were racing past the crater area that blew in 1914-15 when I took this shot.

Redding is in the Sacramento Valley, but soon we were back on the road heading toward the north entrance to Mt. Lassen National Park, which we had passed on because of some bad weather on our way over to the coast. The park takes in a dormant volcano that last blew in 1914 and 1915, and you get to see exactly what happened at the first major stop. A short trail offers up boulders shot from the crater three miles away and panoramic views of the blown top. The road circles the mountain and goes through some geothermal areas with the familiar smell of sulphur reminiscent of Yellowstone. Nice 30-mile drive.

The back side of the crater area. There is a walking trail that winds up to the top there.

We stopped in Chester for what turned out to be the last broasted chicken order at a fast-food place closing this afternoon for the season, and we were in Susanville by about six pm. Stayed at the River’s Edge Motel there. Nice place, fifty bucks with the cash discount, andWe got up early, had breakfast at the place across the parking lot from the motel and drove leisurely down to Reno, about an hour and a half drive through the high desert, where we caught our plane and were home by seven.

The mountain, though it has been quiet for awhile, is monitored for earthquake activity.

Our mission had been to make The Wild Trees come alive.

Mission accomplished.


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