Today I’m leaving Oregon and heading south on Interstate 5 past Mt Shasta then turning east on highway 89 through to Lassen Volcanic National Park. Tonight I’ll be home in my own bed but first I’m going through the pacific portion of the “Ring Of Fire” hopefully without that “burns, burns, burns” singer Johnny Cash talks about. Sad I don’t have enough time in one day to include Lava Beds National Monument to this geologic road trip. I don’t enjoy traveling alone without Barbara but she had to fly back last week to attend her college classes.
I stopped to take a couple pictures of the mountain by the freeway in Shasta City and later McCloud but stayed on track to be in Lassen by 10am. The Manzanita Lake entrance finally in view and I need a stop to and stretch. I watched a short movie in the visitors center that got me enthused about several areas like the Dwarf Forest and Bumpass Hell, Lassen Peak, and the Sulphur Works. I learn that Mt Lassen, Mt Shasta and Medicine Lake Volcano comprise the southern end of the Cascadia subduction zone. I know, too much info and not enough time so its back to the road.
I expected to be out of the park by maybe 2pm and home by 6pm. I miscalculated…
Driving with the park map in my hand I was able to navigate to several pre-marked stops. I took a few uninspired pictures just to document the drive but then things changed. Looking out the window while crossing a stone bridge, I see a small stream and beyond is one of the most gorgeous mountain meadows ever and my brake lights lit up immediately. Now dear Moirai had arrived to guide me and the map no longer matters. I think I’m in the area called Dersch Meadows but time has stopped and I’m hiking up a creek that sings and the further I go the more breathtaking it gets.
Meadows! They were everywhere. Golden autumn graygreen meandering clear streams and acres of wildflowers. I’m in heaven and its only 10 feet from the car! Kings Creek lower and upper meadows were perfect paintings in real time. Time warp set in and before I could reach Lassen Peak summit trail it’s already 3:30pm. I’m late departing but I’m feeling so so blessed to have owned this day. Quality time…not too many photos but a lot of soaking in the natural plasma around me. A good day after all. I fell in love with this park.
” Love is a burning thing
And it makes a fiery ring
Bound by wild desire
I fell into a ring of fire”
Thanks Johnny Cash…the burning feels so good today