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Lassen National Park: "A Mount-a Mount-a Burning Love"

The National Parks: America's Best Idea

by Donna Schwartz Mills

Earlier this week, I promised to spill the details of my recent camping ordeal trip. That post is now up over at 50-Something Moms Blog and Los Angeles Moms Blog. (If you do mosey over to the read post, you must click on the photo taken by my niece... .)

    lassen.jpg

photo by Russell Virgilio 

The post is a pretty accurate description of our weekend in the mountains -- but it misses a key component: That aside from all that pesky nature, Lassen Volcanic National Park is a really cool place to visit... especially if you are a professional geologist, like my husband.

Just note the park's name: It's an active volcano, folks... the only one in the lower 48 states (aside from Mt. St. Helens) to have erupted in the last century.It was also one of the first areas to be designated in the legislation that created the National Park Service back in 1916 - while the volcano was still smoldering.

Scientists don't expect the mountain to erupt again any time soon, but the USGS keeps a close eye on it, just in case. There is still plenty of volcanic activity to observe among the park's hydrothermal areas, including one with the poetic name of Bumpass Hell (pronounced "bumpus" and named for a 19th century mountain guide who lost his leg after falling into the hot mud).

This particular volcano is the southernmost member of the Cascades range, which we became quite familiar with on our 2005 trek through the Pacific Northwest (including visits to Mt. St. Helens, Crater Lake, and a pass by Mt. Shasta).

Did I mention that this place was like heaven to my husband?

Read the full post here.

 

 

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