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Lassen Trip Report

Day 3 of 3

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Wednesday, September 1st
Lassen Peak

I got up when my alarm rang at 5:50am, but I'd been up for almost the past hour, not being able to get back to sleep.

It was cold again, almost as cold as the previous morning, but at least there wasn't a thick layer of frost on the picnic table this time. I used my headlamp, but it rapidly grew brighter and I turned it off soon. Looking up at the sky, I was glad that there weren't any storm clouds brewing. But I could tell it wouldn't be as clear as the previous day. Yesterday, it'd been crystal-clear in the morning. Today, I could see some high clouds.

I spent the next 85 minutes eating breakfast and breaking camp. Since this was my last day here, I had to dump everything into the car. By 7:30am, after a short drive, I was at the Lassen Peak Trail parking area, ready to hike up Lassen Peak.

After the hike, I drove to the Lassen Chalet, where I changed into some clean clothes, then purchased the cheesy "I Climbed The Volcano" t-shirt. The cashier asked me if I'd climbed it, and I told her I had, in fact, done it this morning. She asked how it was and I complained about the haze.

Finding nothing appealing in the snack bar, I started the long drive home. As I drove south on I-5, south of Red Bluff, I could see that the haze was not a local phenomenon. It was so thick in places along the freeway that visibility was less than half a mile. It did get better the further south I drove, so perhaps it was (as everyone seemed to think) a consequence of the numerous brush fires in Northern California.

I stopped in Williams for 30-40 minutes for food and gas. I made decent time, leaving the park at noon and arriving at home in Sunnyvale at 4:40pm. I started cleaning up and putting stuff away. I turned the calendar from August to September, and lo and behold -- a picture of Lassen Volcanic National Park. I'm not making this up. Not that I ever got a good look at Cinder Cone in person. Another trip, another time.


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