Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lassen and the Eye of Vulcan

It is active and it is spectacular. Mount Lassen is the southernmost volcano in the Cascade Range that is active. It last erupted in 1921 after a seven year period of eruptions. The most explosive one was last felt in 1915 when the mountain blew a hole out the side. This side explosion is the same as what Mount St. Helens did in the early 80s. I do not know why I am so intensely interested in things that blow up, but I have done the Ring of Fire Tour, which is the name I dubbed a vacation that consisted of sticking my nose into anything that bubbles, steams or rattles. It was the same tour that brought me to Mount St. Helens, Glacier and Yellowstone.
Lassen is the example of what will become of the Mount St. Helen’s debris field. The park that surrounds Lassen has benefitted from the cleansing of the land, and is the home of many different volcanoes and geothermal activities. Every volcano is represented in the park. Lassen peak is a cinder cone volcano with lots of craters on the top. The Vulcan’s Eye is the rock formation that is at the beginning of the Lassen Trail.
While we did not do any hiking, we did do a lot of wandering around Lassen National Park. This photo shows the Vulcan’s Eye and Crag’s Lake.
Day 06 09 Lassen 024

This was the first mountain lake that I was ever high enough to see and I was overwhelmed by the clear blue water that is typical of mountain lakes. The colors are so unspoiled and brilliant. We had a beautiful sky and clear day to wander around the volcanoes.
Lassen Peak has the highest snowfall rate of any other place in California. The base is over 8,000 feet, while the peak is over 10,000 feet. It is considered one of the most likely to erupt in the future. Next to Mount St. Helen’s this is the only other volcano to erupt in the United States in the 21st Century. It is likely to erupt again in the future.
This is a cropped version of the eye,which I took from the parking lot at the trailhead. The original photo had the parking lot in it and was taken from the road beside the parking lot.
Since this is a National Park, if you get your park pass that is good for a year, you too can do the Ring of Fire Tour.
I find there are so many wonderful places to explore that I will never have enough time in my lifetime to get to them all, but I am sure trying!
Julie and Blu