Western Water & Light (March 2017)

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.” ~ Norman Maclean


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Cinder Cone (Lassen Volcanic NP) 24-Jun-2015

Cinder Cone Lassen Volcanic National Park California

We do occasional hiking and backpacking trips with our California friends Wayne and Diane and this year we decided to spend some time with them in Lassen Volcanic National Park – seemingly one of America’s lesser appreciated national parks. Our previous trips had focused on climbing Lassen Peak but this time we also made an effort to see a bit more of the park, in addition to climbing the peak. Today we hiked to a feature in the northeast corner of the Park who’s name – Fantastic Lava Beds – just called out to us. Who would not want to hike to see fantastic lava beds? Not just Big Lava Beds but fantastic ones? Makes your blood boil! So off we went…

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Summit Lakes Loop (Lassen Volcanic NP) 23-Jun-2015

Summit Lakes Loop Lassen Volcanic National Park California

We do occasional hiking and backpacking trips with our California friends Wayne and Diane and this year we decided to spend some time with them in Lassen Volcanic National Park – seemingly one of America’s lesser appreciated national parks. Our previous trips had focused on climbing Lassen Peak but this time we also made an effort to see a bit more of the park, in addition to climbing the peak. Today we set out for the Summit Lakes Loop, starting from Summit Lake on Highway 89. This is also called the Cluster Lakes Loop and appears as such in Lautner’s (2010) Day & Section Hikes~Pacific Crest Trail~Northern California hiking guide (Hike #23).

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Lassen Peak (Northern California) 22-Jun-2015

Lassen Volcanic National Park California


We do occasional hiking and backpacking trips with our California friends Wayne and Diane and this year we decided to spend some time with them in Lassen Volcanic National Park – seemingly one of America’s lesser appreciated national parks (maybe the “volcanic” in the name is too scary?). Our previous trips had focused on climbing Lassen Peak but this time we wanted to do that but also see a bit more of the park too.  But, first, the peak…

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Lassen Peak (Northern California) 13-Aug-2011

Lassen Volcanic National Park California

I’d always meant to hike up Lassen Peak in Lassen Volcanic National Park someday but “that some day” always seemed to somewhere in the future. The effort I put into climbing Mount Shasta (twice) might have been one reason Lassen got neglected for so long. Then 3 years ago, we decided it was time to hike Lassen Peak and take another step toward climbing all of the 9,000+ foot Cascade volcanoes.  Our only problem was that Lassen’s summit trail was being rebuilt (slowly) and was only open at odd times. This year it was scheduled to be open only on the 4th of July weekend, the weekend of August 13-14, and Labor Day weekend but could still be closed AT ANY MOMENT! Attempts in recent years had been derailed by road closures, lack of enthusiasm for a long snow climb, wildfires, and trail maintenance.  Labor Day was booked, so we drove to the Lassen Peak Trailhead with just a little trepidation about its being open (yes, this time we did call ahead).

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