Lassen Volcanic National Park (Day 2)
I already wrote about Day 0 and the eventful Day 1, so let's take it from there. Getting up on Sunday was pretty tough as I had a hard Saturday, didn't get too much sleep and my cold still wasn't completely under wraps. I didn't have much appetite at breakfast but I suspect it had less to do with my cold and more to do with the fact that it wasn't very tasty.
Then driving to the park as yesterday and on the way I was still hesitating what to do. The previous day I saw most of the interesting places in the South part of the park. I could tick off remaining trails there to have it completely covered. Or I could drive to the Northern Part. In the end I decide to go to Warner Valley, partly because it's shorter drive but mostly because I hope it'll be slightly different than the central part of the park. Also on the first day I had a short chat with a ranger and when I asked for best long trails she mentioned Mount Harkness as being the most beautiful hike in the park; "most beautiful" is something I certainly dig ;)
After getting there I start on part of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) first getting to Terminal Geyser (so so, first photo above) and then to Boilings Spring Lake which is pretty spectacular (following two photos on the left and below). From there I go to Devils Kitchen which is also pretty interesting although somehow I failed to make a single decent photo. And then back with a stop at the beautiful Dream Lake (5th photo, below) on the way and passing through a beautiful meadow (6th photo, below), which completed my first run of the day.
From there a short drive and starting from the Warner Valley road I was making an approach from the west to Mount Harkness. I'm not sure whether it was my tiredness or what but it was a pretty grueling climb that I did not find too rewarding in terms of the views. At the top there was a lookout hut staffed by a guy who's looking out for fires. He was super friendly and obviously bored, so we ended up chatting for half an hour. He was quite impressed with the short time it took me to get to the top, although for me it felt like forever. He also gave me some hints regarding what's worth seeing and told me that exploiting Lake Jupiter is probably not worth it so I decided to follow his advice, especially that I was running out of time. One priceless tip of his was for a place for dinner in Susanville, where I was staying -- hopefully that'd mean a better dining experience that on the previous day.
On the way back I was really tired so I ended up walking quite a bit, even though it was all downhill. I finally made it back to the car, finishing my second run of the day.
Then I hopped in the car, drove back to the hotel, took a quick bath and a short ride to the dining place that was recommended to me: Lassen Ale Works, a brewery. I got a pretty decent plate of pasta with some french fries on the side and tasty beer; overall very satisfying meal :). I followed up with dessert at McDonald's and finally managed to make it to bed before midnight. I had very modest plans for the following day, as it was Labor Day, everyone was going to be coming back from the long weekend and I didn't want to spend the evening stuck in traffic.