Friday, August 26, 2022

RonnieAdventure #0531 - Mt. Shasta, Crater Lake, Mt Rainier, Mt. Saint Helens, CA-OR

As we traveled north from Lava Beds National Monument, Mount Shasta loomed large on the horizon.

When Crater Lake National Park was established in 1902 it became the fifth National Park in the United States. The caldera that forms Crater Lake is the remnant of a volcano that erupted about 7,700 years ago.

Crater Lake is 1,949 feet deep, making it the deepest lake in the United States and the ninth-deepest lake in the world. Because of its depth, water in the lake has a beautiful deep blue hue when viewed from the caldera rim. 

To fully appreciate lake views from different angles, we followed the 33-mile scenic drive that circles the caldera rim. 

Wizard Island

"The Pinnacles"

On the way to Mount Rainier we stopped at a visitor center that had a nice hiking trail and a beautiful waterfall, but I do not remember where it was located. 

While driving in the Mount Rainier area there were numerous pull-outs for photo opportunities. Unfortunately, it was cold and windy.

Photo by Kolohe

Photo by Linda
Photo by Kolohe

Photo by Kolohe
Photo by Kolohe

On the way home we stopped by Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument to view the destruction from the May 18, 1980, volcanic eruption. Even after 14 years, few trees had returned.


Friday, August 19, 2022

RonnieAdventure #0530 - Lassen Volcanic NP & Lava Beds NM, California

Lassen Peak in background
In 1994 I had a business assignment in Portland, Oregon; so we decided to take a few days of vacation and drive from California to Portland, camping along the way. 

Our first stop was Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California. It was early in the summer and everything was very green. Thick moss was growing on many of the trees. As an added bonus, we traveled during the week; so there were not a lot of people in the Park. 

Lassen is very similar to Yellowstone National Park, except on a much smaller scale. Both parks are partially forested with lakes and waterfalls, and other parts of the parks contain geothermal activity. However, the terrible smell from the sulfur vents and mud pots is the same at both parks!

King Creek Falls
King Creek Falls
Lake Helen

The Sulphur Works Trail leads past a number of Sulphur vents, so we did not tarry along the way.  

The Bumpass Hell Trail is named after an early explorer who was standing on the edge of a mineral formation and when the crust broke and his leg was immersed in a hot, boiling pool of water. They saved his life, but not his leg.

Although Subway Cave (a lava tube) is often associated with Lassen Volcanic National Park, it is actually located outside of the Park near the junction of California State Highways 44 and 89. This is an interesting lava tube to explore.

McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park is considered to contain one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the State of California. The waterfall is formed by underground springs above the falls that have an average flow rate of about 100 million gallons of water per day. There are also over five miles of hiking trails to help visitors enjoy the more remote areas of the Park 

Lava Beds National Monument has a large number of lava-tube caves that can be explored by visitors without a guide. When we visited the Monument, some of the lava tubes had openings with stairs leading down to the tubes and at other locations we just had work our way down the rubble. There was no electricity in any of the tubes, so we had to bring our own lights.  

The differences found in the tubes were amazing. Some of the tubes were dry, while other tubes contained ice and water with elevated walkways. Different colored minerals and rocks were imbedded in the some of the ceilings and walls. A brochure stated that there were over 700 tubes to explore, so we just visited a representative sample.   

We also stopped by Petroglyph Point Archeological Site to view some ancient Indian writings that were carved in a sandstone wall. 

After I had the tent trailer leveled and tried to set up the beds, I discovered that the bed support rods could not be extended due to a large rock by the front corner of the trailer. Since the obstruction was less than an inch long, I chipped off a corner of the rock; but don't tell the Park Rangers. 

Lava Beds is located so far from a major city that it is a favorite destination for star gazers. At night it was so clear and and the night sky was so black that it seemed like we could almost touch the stars. This was the clearest I had seen the stars since living in South Dakota.