Monday, July 1, 2013

Glacier National Park Road Trip - Day 02

After breakfast in our Motel 6 Suite  (John had his Honey Nut Cheerios and Linda had part of her RBTT....Raw Bits Twang Twang) we were on our way to Lassen Volcanic National Park by 7:30. Fannie Mae opted to lounge around here since dogs are not allowed on the trails. She mentioned that she might go for a dip in the pool while were gone. Linda finished her RBTTs on the way to the park.

With perfect timing the Two Old Buzzards were in the park and at the visitor's station at 8:50 so they had just enough to peruse the outside info before the friendly park rangers opened up at 9 am. After watching a great 15-minute film about the geologic history of Lassen, we stamped our Passport, got a pin and bookmark for Linda and were on our way to the Sulphur Works. It was a smelly hydrothermal experience with a fumarole (steam vent) and a symphony of bubbling mudpots. There were lots of mule's ears in bloom around the Sulphur Works. Next the buzzards were off to find the trail head for Bumpass Hell. It was a 3-mile round trip going up to a viewpoint of several former volcanoes. That includes a total of over 1,000 feet of elevation change. The trail was through lots of forested areas and there was still quite a bit of snow on the ground in places. The trail was warm in the sunny areas and cool in the snowy and shady areas so, all in all, it was a perfect hiking experience. Bumpass Hell is at an elevation of over 8,700 feet. We made it back to Wilma right at 12 and had a lunch of cheese sticks, fiber bars and grapes before leaving for a 30-mile drive through the park. By the time we left, we could have sold our parking spot in Bumpass Hell.

Yes, it is July 1 and there is still plenty of snow to be
seen in Lassen Volcanic NP

We stopped often on the Bumpass Hell trail to
sit on a cool rock in the shade

The last major eruption in the park was almost 100 years ago and lasted for about 3 years. Mount Lassen Peak is the highest point in the park at over 10,200 feet. It is one of many active dormant, or extinct volcanoes found around the Pacific Ocean in what is called a Ring of Fire. The Ring is a seismic zone where edges of plates that form the Earth's crust grind against each other and one plate sinks down. Lassen Peak formed 27,000 years ago as a volcanic vent on the northern flank of another volcano (Brokeoff) and is one of the world's largest plug dome volcanoes. The highest point we reached on the park road was 8500 feet where the temperature was a pleasant 72 degrees.

We left the park from a different entrance and had a pleasant drive home. The choice of today's Song o' the Day was easy: Ring of Fire by June Cash and Merle Kilgore (1962). And, yes, it is one of the 365 songs in Jumpin' Jim's Daily Ukelele book. John seemed disappointed that there were only two verses. (John says his mama raised him to be polite).

When we arrived back in Red Bluff at 2:22 the temperature was 113, a far cry from 72 less than two hours and 8,000 feet earlier. Neither of their keys would work to unlock the door. Could the codes have melted off? John trudged to the office avoiding the hot, sticky melted asphalt, for re-keying. Fannie Mae welcomed the Two Old Buzzards with much enthusiasm. She said it had been too hot for a swim so she just stayed in and watched cat videos on YouTube.

Tomorrow is a relatively short drive of 244 miles up to Lakeview, Oregon. Wilma is gassed up and rarin' to go. We'll get up around 7'ish, have some breakfast in the room, load up and head out.

The photo gallery for Day 02 contains 52 photos and can be viewed by clicking here.

Happy Trails!

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