Lassen Volcanic National Park

9/17/15  (Thursday) in Redding, CA ( Redding RV -EA)

Lassen- The A is pronounced like the A in Lassie, something I keep getting mixed up (LASS ehn). The reason we’re here for 3 days was so we could see this National Park. I wanted to see Lake Shasta yesterday, but that trip was rained out. So it goes.

The good news is that rain brought snow to Lassen, so it was beautiful. The bad news is that when we approached the toll booth we found out that the road was closed at Summit Lake due to the snow. They hoped to get it cleared by noon. So we enjoyed the Visitor Center/Museum, then walked the little trail around the Lily Pond and Reflection Lake.

On our way to the park

On our way to the park

Just past the toll booth: Mazanita Lake

Just past the toll booth: Mazanita Lake

Loomis Museum, begun by Benjamin Franklin Loomis, who took amazing photos of Lassen when it erupted in 1914 and 1915. I included posters of volcanic info, so enlarge if you’re interested in reading them.

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Lily Pond Trail; the Mallard ducks loved those lilies, or what grew near them. Too bad they are so overgrown. At the end of our walk we saw Reflection Lake and this huge pine cone. A lot of water falls here compared to Mt. St. Helen, so everything grows faster. John and I thought this cone had ice on it, but he touched it to discover it was actually sap.

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On to Chaos Jumbles; lava that, after getting flung high, dropped and broke into a jumble of rocks.

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Hot Rock: Loomis took this picture about 40 hours after it had landed from Lassen’s eruption. It was still extremely hot to the touch then.

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Lassen Peak, as seen from the Devastated Area, where the blast of magma had the greatest effect, similar to Mt. St. Helens.

Lassen Peak

Lassen Peak

On our way to Summit Lake, thanks to their opening the gate before we arrived.

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Summit Lake

Summit Lake

Summit Lake

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Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel, often mistaken for a chipmunk. You can tell because there are no stripes near its eyes.

On our way down

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What we most wanted to see was “Bumpass Hell”, where there are many hydrothermal features: fumeroles, hot springs, mudpots and bubbling water. Unfortunately, due to that recent snow, that 3 mile hike included a lot of steep up and down passages. Fine when dry, but miserable if you’re slipping through a couple inches of melting snow. Being the cautious types that we are, we didn’t try it. There could be a next time.

Sulphur Works (operated commercially for 20 years). At least we got to see fumeroles and mudpots there.

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Lovely day. We were SO fortunate to have that beautiful snow; the first of the year we were told.


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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