Friday, April 26, 2013

Lassen Volcanic National Park, Thursday, April 25, 2013

We were off running again this morning to Lassen Volcanic National Park.  There is a northern entrance to the park east of Redding and a southern entrance east of Red Bluff, 30 miles south of Redding.  Since the main Visitor's Center is at the southern entrance we opted to go that route to enter  and leave the park from the north gateway.  So to Red Bluff and then east to the park another 40 plus miles.  Just before the entranceway there was a sign stating that we would only be allowed to go as far as the Visitor's Center due to road closure.  And once we were to the Kohm Yah-mah-nee (Snow Mountain) Visitor's Center we could understand why the roads would be closed.  Snow, deep snow was on the mountainsides and along the roadways but it was beautiful.  So we went into the Center and watched the film about the volcanic peaks- the last eruption was in 1917.  We were then told by the Center's employees that we could walk about a mile further into the park to see the mud pots. Before walking we decided to eat the packed lunch we had along which was good planning since there was no food available in the park.  Walking in the roadway we walked uphill to the mud pot area.  The day was a pleasant 64 degrees with bright sunshine and just a few wispy clouds making for a nice walk.  The snow was melting and water was on the move along the road, down the mountainside and then down through a canyon.  Sounds of water running and birds chirping serenaded us entire walk. It was somewhat weird that we were comfortable in our shirt sleeves surrounded with tons of snow.  We were told at the Center that the Visitor's Center at the north entrance is closed and they felt that coming to this southern area was the better choice.

After returning to the campground we decided to go out for dinner this evening.  "Marie Callender's" was our choosing and we were not disappointed and the pie was good!  We rode around the town of Redding, a town of close to 90,000 people and the center of an active year-round recreation area.  We drove to a parking lot for the Sundial Bridge on the opposite side of the river from where we had parked yesterday.  To get to the Bridge we had to walk a paved pathway along the Sacramento River.  The Bridge has lights on the deck at night which were on this evening.  Nice walk and nice ending to the day before returning to the campground.