Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park Travel Blog

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We have new brakes!!  Whoo-hooo!  What a feeling!  Ford in Redding did us a favor sending us to nearby Athens Auto and $1350 later we have all new components front and back:  drums, pads, calipers, rotors, blah, blah.  Suffice it to say that it was by the grace of God that we made the trip from Redwood NP to Redding and through the Whiskeytown National Rec area down steep hills.  We're thrilled to have brakes working correctly.  Next time I'll trust my instinct and insist that the wheels be removed for full analysis of brake condition.

We were set free at 6pm in Redding and drove the 45 miles uphill to Lassen Volcanic National Park.  It was 97 degrees in Redding and they said it was 115 a few weeks ago!  Who knew northern CA could be that hot?!  Lassen is elevation 5000' and it was delightfully cool.  Without humidity, the temperture drops immediately with the sunset and we use the heat at night.

Our campground was within the park, Manzanita area, and they had a camper store and laundry there, which is pretty impressive for the least visited park in the NPS system.  A new Visitor's Center opens next Monday and the old one closed the week for moving.  Construction in Loop A closed that loop- it is just really different being off-season!

Lassen Volcano erupted in 1915 and we've enjoyed learning about the rocks, avalanches, etc.  One man ran 3 miles in the night to alert neighbors so that no one died.  6 homesteads were destroyed though.  Also, there are many pictures that a group took a few days after the eruption and then a few hours later it erupted with a massive explosion.  Had they dallied, they would have died, but they fortunately were gone by then.

We're off to explore the boardwalk hike of Bumpass Hill, which has thermal pools and rotten-egg smelling mudpots!  It's so named because Bumpass was a tour guide years ago who broke through the earth's crust and lost a leg in the thermal area.  Now how would you like to be on that tour?  I wouldn't feel too confident after that.  We'll explore via boardwalk! 

Our book says that every 5-7 years the California Tortoiseshell butterflies ascend Lassen to cool off and they are everywhere up here!  We must be lucky enough to witness that spectacle.

Last tidbit:  in 1911 they found a Native American man who couldn't speak English and locked him in jail until he was rescued by anthropologists from UC-Berkeley.  The "wild man" was then "Ishi" and lived in the Museum of Anthropology on campus until he died 5 years later of TB.  But he shared much of the info about his Yahi culture with the Anthropologists.  Interesting!

Okay, this is a quick, mainly driving park so we might make it to Tahoe tonight.

(I'm really writing this at 1:00 pm on the 16th, but will keep the date for the map.)

lashai says:
Hi Theresa,
I'm from the LD group and following your adventure...
So did you come down 273 from the coast to Redding?
Happy Trails!
Posted on: Sep 20, 2008
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Lassen Volcanic National Park
photo by: cotton_foam