Day 13 — July 12, 2009
We spent the entire day in Lassen Volcanic National Park, a treasure of incredible scenery and geological history. We saw the excellent introductory film (20 minutes) in the Visitor Center before proceeding. It gave a description of the forces which shaped the area’s prominent features. It helped us understand how the geological forces of the past created the present landscape and suggested how the environment here might change in the future.
We spent the remainder of the day driving along the park road, stopping at overlooks, and trailheads, and walking several of the park’s trails. Our only criticism of the park is the dearth of signs, both on the road, to prepare you for upcoming attractions, and along the trails, to explain the features you are s,eeing. We enjoyed Sulphur Works, steam vents escaping from the ground, issuing the unmistakable smell of Hydrogen Sulfide. Our longest stop of the day was at Bumpass Hell, the most popular trail in the park. It traverses a picturesque ridge, with incredible vistas, and eventually leads to the major thermal area of the park. Here we found hot water pools, fumaroles, geysers, and mudpots, accessed by a well-built, raised, wooden walkway. It was reminiscent of the thermal areas of Yellowstone, although much smaller.
At the northern end of the park, we walked around Lake Manzanita, an area near the main campground, offerring many recreational activities. We simply enjoyed the tranquility and serenity of the scene and watching the birds and ducks. We even saw a white-tailed deer who emerged less than 10 yards from where we were walking.
When we finally left the park, we headed for Redding, the major city of the area. There we stopped briefly at the city’s greatest source of pride, the Sundial Pedestrian Bridge, presumably the largest working sundial in the world. It was actually quite impressive and we took several pictures (see the photo album). Then we had a wonderful dinner meal at C.R. Gibbs American Grill, an excellent restaurant. Lee and I both were overwhelmed with their Fish ‘n’ Chips.