PCT: Lassen Park, August 2019
Sometimes I get really tired sitting in front of a computer all day. Some people don't understand that, because sitting is their way of feeling better. Not for me. I get tired, then I get distracted, then I get discouraged as everything goes downhill. So, to get re-energized and discuss a really big question with my Father, I took a little walk.
I drove down to Old Station, CA and started hiking where I left off. I took five days walking through Lassen National Park, past Chester, up to the midpoint marker, then back. 110 miles.
I have now experienced over 1,000 miles of this wonderful trail that lays atop the Cascades, Klamath Mountains, Sierra, and the desert. A few hundred miles I have walked twice (or more) and a few hundred miles I have skied.
I really wanted to spend a couple weeks filling in my gap in southern Washington, but the Voice impressed me south. I'm glad I listened. Washington in August is filled with NOBOs (Congratulations!) and weekenders. It would have been too socially distracting for the personal spiritual goal I needed to achieve. There are some really nice people on the trail!
NorCal was quiet. It was also a bit depressing. I have never met so many headphone users that don't greet you and others who were fighting a losing battle with making it to Canada. I guess that is what late season feels like.
My trip was structured different so my report will also be different. I had plenty of time to make my mileage goal. I actually slowed down because I didn't want to end up in Sacramento too early to pick up my daughter. So my report is a series of encounters that punctuated my sauntering.
Mama grouse and babies
I setup my tent at a creek so I could stay dry while eating lunch. The wind, rain, and hail kept getting stronger and more frequent through the morning.
After I was done eating I noticed it was dry and was preparing to pack up. First, duty called. That is when I noticed a grouse calling. Mama was on a log making her quiet little woop-woop, and babies were scurrying around somewhere in the grass making their little peep-peeps.
I moved carefully and slowly and mama seemed to get used to me. There was one and then two babies eating seeds off the top of the grass. As my half hour photo shoot progressed, I was surrounded by six babies all withing ten feet of me. One of them came to within two feet of my hand!
#bird #nature #naturephotography #lassen #sootygrouse #birds #babybirds #pct #pct2019 #backpacking #hiking #hike #spendtimeoutside
On the south side of the park, just after the PCT crosses the boundary, is a side trail to Terminal Geyser. I was wondering how I would know when it was supposed to blow, but it blows all the time! Yes, that water was VERY HOT in the stream that flows from it!
The video of Boiling Springs lake was taken the morning after the thunderstorms so it had lots of steam rising. And the water flowing across the trail from the springs with the deep green stuff in it was just hot. You could touch it, but not take a bath in it!
#nature #naturephotography #lassen #pct #pct2019 #backpacking #hiking #hike #spendtimeoutside #geyser #terminalgeyser #boilingsprings #watertoohotforbath #steam #hotwater
This is bear number 6, but still, there is something incredible about seeing one in the wilderness. I think it it puts the wild in wilderness for me.
This one showed up right at the exit/entrance of the PCT at Warner Valley campground in Lassen National Park. I was loading up to leave with another hiker when we heard big noises in the bushes. He went for a closer look and thought sure it was a cougar/panther/mountain lion. I zoomed in with my camera and waited for it move. The color was right, but it was a bear. Strange how I remember feeling a little disappointed!
This creature struck us as being underweight for August, maybe even mangey. Whatever the case, it seemed to have its route, just as if it was daily garbage truck cleaning out all the firepits, rotten logs, and tent sites. Again, I was thankful for my superzoom and got these pics and videos at 40-50 yards. And I also had an open bearbox behind me I was going to dive into if need be! (I'm glad God put the fear in them!) But he hardly even acknowledged me. "Hi! My name's Ed." "And my name's Smokey. Leave me alone." "Say cheese! or fleas!" Click.
#nature #naturephotography #lassen #pct #pct2019 #backpacking #hiking #hike #spendtimeoutside #bear #blackbear #poorbear #poohbear
Summit Lake was serenaded evening and morning by this little bee-bopping pip-pipper.
#bird #birds #nature #naturephotography #lassen #pct #pct2019 #backpacking #hiking #hike #spendtimeoutside #spottedsandpiper #peterpiperpippippippingpiper
To look at something
to stare at digital bits
from the other side of a small piece of glass
is not the same,
as being surrounded by it
immersed in it
experiencing the life of it.
Pine trees and manzanita,
volcano peaks and geysers,
breathe with life their own
and engulf me.
scenting and sounding,
unique notes and personal angle
in the symphony of God
that calls us to a better life,
a more natural and full life.
#nature #naturephotography #lassen #pct #pct2019 #backpacking #hiking #hike #spendtimeoutside #landscape #panorama
I put all my clips from the trip into one video. Some parts have sound, some don't.
Grouse. Woodpecker. Hawk. Geyser. Boiling springs. Bear. Sandpiper.
** to see bigger pictures, pinch and zoom, or right click | view image