|Obligatory entrance sign selfie|
A national park I'd wanted to visit for a long time, I finally decided this was the year, set a date and went. My hubby didn't have enough vacation time, so I decided to go anyway - by myself.
|Marker #14 - the only place I could get cell service|
Lassen is located in northern California, due east of the town of Redding. It took a good 8 hours of driving until I finally pulled into the NW entrance, near Manzanita Lake. Exhausted from an early start and long drive, I chose a site in the nearby spacious campground and set up my tent.
But not quite ready to call it a day, I decided to check out this place I'd traveled so far to see. First stop, find an area with cell reception to send my hubby a "made it safely" message. After talking to a ranger at the entrance booth, I discovered the only place in the entire park with Verizon service was near "Marker 14" along the park road. Luckily, it wasn't far from the campground, and yes, I did have service!
Then, I decided to stretch my legs with a hike around nearby Manzanita Lake.
|Mountain reflections in Manzanita Lake|
By then it was early evening, and the low-angle sunlight illuminated the lake's surface a lovely shade of blue. Rounding the lake's western end, I was treated to picture-perfect reflections of Lassen Peak on it's still surface.
Everyone thinks Mt. St. Helens was the only volcano to erupt in the continental United States. But Lassen Peak blew it's top one hundred years ago. And until MSH came to life, Lassen had the distinction of being the only active volcano in the lower 48.
|Lassen Peak wearing a dusting of snow|
The west coast had suffered a bout of cold, wet weather earlier in the week. However the day of my arrival I was greeted with nothing but sunshine. An added bonus - the previous bad weather had capped Lassen Peak with a dusting of snow.
I kept heading counterclockwise around Manzanita Lake, searching for the perfect photography spot. The scenery and mountain views were outstanding, evening light illuminating nearby peaks perfectly.
|Fall colors just beginning|
Finally, the light beginning to fade, I retraced my steps to my favorite vantage point. Lassen's reflection was nothing short of perfect here, accented by fall colors just beginning to turn.
|One more reflection (just because!)|
A final look at the mountain I was planning to climb tomorrow.
Then, with the light fading fast, I made my way back to the campground. En route, I got up close and personal with some of the park's permanent residents.
|Deer at sunset|
Yeah, the deer seemed very used to seeing people. Worked well for this photographer!
|Last evening light|
I collapsed in my tent and slept soundly. A good night's rest was necessary as the following day I planned to climb Lassen Peak. Check back, my next post I'll tell you all about it!
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