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Comments for Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park: 07/09/05

Sean did really well our first night at the motel. We finally got him to bed at 9 PM and except for waking up twice for drinks of water, he slept through the night. He didn't fall out of bed and we didn't end up keeping him awake, though we did have to go to bed when he did to get him to go to bed.He was our wake up call at about 7:30. He had all of our plans memorized and reminded us of the plan while we got dressed and later while we had breakfast in the motel's breakfast room.

The drive to Lassen took about an hour and a half, again because we made a stop at a rest stop to stretch our legs and to play catch with Sean. Lassen is really easy to find from Redding as the 44 which starts in Redding goes right to the park. Lassen is quite high up which makes sense as it is a series of volcanoes. The visitor's center is 6,000 feet up and the peak where we had lunch is 8100 feet up and still covered in snow!

We stopped at the visitor's center and got a coloring book about volcanoes for Sean. He's really taken with the idea of mountains that explode. We then stopped to take one of the interpretive trails to see the damage from the most recent eruption (1915) and to compare the rocks from that explosion to the previous one (some 2700 years ago). The new rocks are charcoal colored and the old ones are pink.

We then drove up to the highest point and were taken aback at all the snow. We stopped there and had lunch while we watched some braver and better prepared folks try the hike to the peak up the snow. We let Sean try to talk a little bit on the snowy trail but he slipped and fell twice and decided that he hated snow.

Washing with Rainbows:

Before we went to Lassen, we refueled my car and had it washed—something my car has needed for months. If you're ever in Redding, I highly recommend the carwash that is part of the gas station at the corner of Market and California. It's a hand wash / machine wash / hand dry combo. Sean was at first completely put off by the "octopus monster" of the automated washing bit but later was intrigued by the rainbow colored foam sprayed on the car near the end of the process. Throughout the rest of the day Sean would sometimes ask to go back and rewash the car "with rainbows."

Shasta Dam:

After Lassen we asked Sean to take at least a half hour nap. He grudgingly agreed but unfortunately did not fall asleep. Afterwards we drove around town for a book store (Sean's suggestion) and while we did find one it didn't really carry anything of interest to him. So he suggested that we go somewhere to play catch. By the time we got to the park near our motel and on the edge of the Sacramento River he had fallen asleep! Ian and I spent a couple hours driving around to see the local sites and ended up at the Shasta Dam.

By the time we were back to the park Sean was finally awake and we spent an hour playing frisbee. There were numerous butterflies of different types flying around us as we played. Sean doesn't really know how to either catch or throw the frisbee. He prefers to have the frisbee land near him where he'll then fetch it. Then he'll bowl the frisbee to the next person. I accidentally hit him with the frisbee a couple of times (my aim is terrible) and he now has a little bit of a black eye.

Miner's Cafe:

After playing catch we had dinner at the Miner's Cafe which is on corner of the motel. It didn't seem popular with the other guests but it did draw a local crowd. The food is very good and we were all very hungry after a busy day.

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