Lassen Volcanic National Park (Day 3)
Once again I was away from the blog for a long, long time. Let me try to pick up where I left off and finish writing about the last day in Lassen.
After the second active day I was really tired and thought I'd sleep like a baby. Not so. Actually I had a really terrible night, mostly because of my stuffy nose. When I woke up in the morning I felt really tired.
Still, I quickly finished up packing and started driving towards Butte Lake where I was planning to the last hike to the Cinder Cone. The last part of the drive took me via a dirt road that was posing a mild challenge for my car.
When I got there I started running and almost immediately stumbled on a rock. At first I thought everything was fine but later on it'd be giving me some serious trouble, as I strained my AT band. It seemed a popular destination probably because the cone was mere 3k away from the campgrounds.
The cone, which you can see on the photos to the left and below, was fairly interesting. It is surrounded by Fantastic Lava Beds and Painted Dunes, remnants of old lava flows that you can see in some photos in the album by clicking on any photo in this post.
After the cone I drive to Subway Cave Lava Tubes, caves recommended to me by the ranger on the previous day. Perhaps spoiled by the nature wonders of Lassen I find them of little interest; but there were on my way anyway.
I'm doing pretty well time-wise -- I'm determined to beat the Labor Day traffic on the way back -- and I decide to do the last drive through the park, stopping at a couple of places to take photos: Hot Rock, beautiful Hat Lake (photo on the right and below), Summit Lake (second photo below). Then I make the final stop at the Visitor's Center to grab some food and I'm on my way. Largely to my surprise the drive back is very smooth and I'm back at home before 9pm, without hitting any major traffic jams.
Summary? Before going I read online that Lassen is a much overlooked park and that it's well worth a visit. I thought it was the usual musings of someone in love with the place but after visiting the place I must admit there is some merit to those claims. I was there on Labor weekend and still the place was relatively peaceful and quiet. And as for the beauty? Well, let the photos that I made speak to that (photos from: Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3). And if they don't then the fault is entirely mine, as the place is truly picturesque and I hope I'll be coming back there one day to do all the trails that I missed this time.