Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pacific Crest Trail 2009 ~ Part 19

Fresh from our breakfast in Chester, we trekked towards Lassen Volcanic National Park.

The Washington Lilies reminded us of our ultimate destination to the North.

This part of northern California is dry and often receives forest fires.  A fire errupted along the route in this vicinity near Old Station from lightning strikes just a few weeks after we passed through this region.

Above is Boiling Springs Lake which is a reminder of  the potential activity that Mount Lassen still has to offer.

Geyser's, fumarole's, and steaming mudpots accent the landscape.

An Austrian couple owns and operates Drakesbad within the park.  They are super supportive towards the thru hike experience and offer discounted gourmet meals to help refuel the spirit.  Left-overs tripled our portions and filled our bellies.

From Drakesbad, the owners called Old Station a days journey ahead, to let Firefly and Fire Walker know how many new hikers to expect at their luxurious encampment and retreat.  These trail angels have all the bases covered making everyone feel like they are extended family.  Interestingly, Fire Walker was born in Alameda and worked and lived most of his life in Oakland, California as a fire fighter.  I, on the other hand, was born in Oakland and grew up in Alameda.  We must have surely crossed paths before.

Temperatures were now over a hundred degrees in the shade.  The treeless Hat Creek Rim struck fear into the hearts of many.  There were two water caches to supplement one's water requirements and to help temper one's over heated attitudes. 

This region is extremely volcanic and has many lava tubes to explore.  The above is Subway Caves and the temperatures in this pitch black cavern felt like they were in the fifties and were a welcome contrast to the outside heat.

We enjoyed the vast beauty that Mount Lassen offered from many angles.

Ancient Lava flows textured our perception.

And we walked into the night to take advantage of the cool temperatures.  Tomorrow, we would have the shade of the trees again with new and ever-changing forests to explore.

The scenic baton was now being transfered over to Mount Shasta.  Soon we would begin our trek westward towards Shasta's southern flanks where we would cross Interstate 5 and begin our march northward again into Oregon via the Trinity Alps and Marble Mountains.  There was certainly a new flavour to the Moment each and every day.


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