Riding in an old VW van calls for a day of adventure.
The setting for this outing was surrounding the gorgeous area of Lake Almanor, located in Northern California. This section of serene wilderness is fueled by snowmelt, sunshine, and the presence of a nearby volcano. I have done the drive to Mt. Lassen (our desired location), many times throughout my youth, however, this drive took just a bit longer in the “Tin Can on Wheels”. This pace enabled us to look around and enjoy the scenery and even make a few stops.
This pause in the plan was to take a house tour of my future home. (Kidding! But if rent keeps going up in Monterey you never know)
We made it to Lassen Volcanic National Park around mid-day and established base camp at the Kohm Yah-Mah-Nee Visitor Center. This Visitor’s Center offers live performance productions of the history of Mt. Lassen, has a short-film depicting the creation of Mt. Lassen, and has interactive with volcanoes to exhibit the variations between the styles of volcanoes.
With snow on the ground and hiking boots on our feet, we hit on of the most beautiful trails I’ve been on to date. With the intent to make it back to the lake for the afternoon, we took the Mill Creek Falls trail.
Being a trail named after a water source, there were streams parallel with the trails that provided refreshing relief. After a good stretch of uphill incline, we sat in the river at the top of Mill Creek Falls and enjoyed the environment we were guests in.
Before reaching the falls, one must pass through a field blanketed by vibrant yellow flowers. These sources of sunshine are referred to as Mule Ears. Due to the complex mineral composition in the hill, Mule Ears grow in the place of trees. This soil make-up is due to the fact that there is an active volcano grumbling under the hillside.
I guess you can say it was just another day in….