Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Hello Internets,

It was a frustrating week following the Hetch Hetchy trip, but that is stuff for one of my other blogs. Anyways, I'm left alone for the July 4 holiday, so I repacked and did a solo foot tour of Eastern Lassen Volcanic National Park. It was one of the few areas I could reach without fires, and good air quality.

Day 1 : I entered the trail system through bumpass hell, toured kings creek falls via upper meadow, picked up the PCT north thru Coral Meadow, continuing thru Grassy Swale , around horseshoe lake, along Cameron Meadow, and settled down at Jakey Lake for dinner.

Day 2: I packed up my Jakey lake site, and played spot the dot to widow lake, continuing around butte lake, along the fantastic lava beds, around cinder cone, taking Nobles Emigrant trail to Badger Flat, before catching the PCT south thru cluster lakes, twin lakes, echo lake, summit lake, up to terrace lake via cliff lake and shadow lake, hike along the road to the car.

I pushed out four uphill miles after 8PM to try to catch the 8:40PM sunset at terrace lake. Not bad. I missed it by a few minutes, but it was still as site to see. I gave myself a pat on the back for the effort, given I had an injured knee, and I broken shoe. I think my total distance was close to 38 miles for the overnight trip, about 16 the first day and 22 the second.

I made some spicy tomato sauce with lentils last night, I'll be using that as the base for my dinner on my trip next week.

I'm not going to apologize for the large number of pictures, enjoy and thanks for reading,

When I travel solo, I leave a map on the dash of my car for the ranger. This is the map I left for this trip. I leave my auto information with my boss, and also mention the map on my wilderness permit. I deviated from my mapped route at badger flat, deciding to cut carried weight, and stay close to the lakes to save energy for the final charge uphill.

Avoiding the crowd, I left the trail and circled back into the bumpass hell area

Little puddles of bubbling mud

The elevated path through bumpass hell

Water streaming out of the bumpass hell area
More of the features at bumpass hell, this puddle features fools gold.

Bumpass hell, colored sand, with patches of snow remaining

Broke Off Mountain, standing in the center of an ancient super volcano, of which broke off mountain is just a piece of the crater's crown.

Crumbough lake

Kings Creek

Kings creek water cascade

Kings Creek Falls

These red plants stood out in a field of green, purple, and yellows.

Cameron Meadow

Something walked up behind me while cooking dinner at Jakey Lake

I recently replaced my beer can with a titanium cup from backpackinglight.com. 475mL advertised volume, but mine holds 482 grams of milli-Q water. I brought the brasslite for simmering performance while cooking my smoked jambalaya with chicken.

I'm a huge fan of this stuff, tasted much better on a trip when I wasn't huffing smoke all day long.

the contents of my backpack on display. I used a mosquito headnet while sleeping for bug protection.

Leaving Jakey lake in the morning

un-named lake

This trail is marked for people with small packs, visors, and big sticks :-)

Widow Lake, un-named on my topo map.

A river of rocks leading to Butte Lake.

Cinder Cone from Butte Lake shoreline

I enjoyed some lunch of chickpea soup, and some pita I toasted over the stove for use as a dumpling.

View of Cinder Cone dominated the perimeter of Butte Lake.

view from the Butte Lake Ranger Station

Cinder Cone

Dunes around Cinder Cone

Mt Lassen, it's gut check time, time is running out, and I want to make it to terrace lake (6 miles) to see the sunset. I pack up the camera, give myself a pep talk, duct tape my shoes to my feet, drink some water, eat some chocolate, and start the sprint.

This was beautiful enough in person that I took the camera out, maybe 200 yards after the last shot, but I didn't stop for longer than it took to snap the photo.

Terrace Lake, 48 minutes after I started the sprint up hill.

Mt Lassen from Terrace Lake

Self Portrait :-)
Thought I had sand in my shoe, turns out it was a good sized blister between my big and index toe on my left foot. I used hydropel more than normal, but it was no match for hot volcanic sand.

The sole delaminated on my Inov-8 295's. I got about 200 miles out of this pair.

One mis-step, and I lost the thingy that holds my laces on. I also have holes in my gaiters.

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