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Old 07-11-2010, 07:38 AM   #1
74C5 OP
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Plug dome volcano, Martyrs, Paradise and 70 Virgas tour

Spent a day going up and around a plug dome volcano. Lots of bug martyrs. We didn't stop in Paradise and, thinking we're young men, chased Virgas most of the day.
Quick one day trip up for Sacto929 and I around Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park. The reason? It was July 9 and they had just opened the road for the first time in 2010 that morning after clearing winter snow. Yes, July 9! I know they get a bit of snow in the Cascades but never having come into Lassen from the south, thought it was a north slope thing. I was to be re-calibrated.

Need a bit of an early start for the 200 mile run up from home. Awoke to morning clouds threatening rain all over the foothills area. Just virga. No wetness.



Here's the route.


Approaching the park, got stuck behind Horseless Carriages. If there'd been horses, they could have gone faster. Seriously, they were pretty cool old cars.

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Old 07-11-2010, 08:24 AM   #2
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So, note to self. Do not click on the resend data when the page needs refreshing as it makes two posts.

MOD. Please nuke the other.

Mt. Lassen is considered one of the worlds largest plug dome volcano. I got that much remembered. You'll have to look that up for yourself. It has something to do with the dome of a volcano being plugged in the dome. Kind of like the earth being low on fiber.

The area on the slopes is a mix of sparse trees, sharp, deep gullies and low plants. Typical volcano, I guess. It is also a mix of lava flow and ash flow that erodes differently. Cool.


Mt. Lassen in the distance. Not much snow. What a bunch of sissies keeping this road closed until almost mid-July.


A quick look back to the south, down towards Mineral and still Virga everywhere.


Still working our way up the road and low and behold, the lakes are frozen still!
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:09 AM   #3
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:30 AM   #4
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After seeing frozen Emerald Lake, I started wondering if I should be a believer in this road just opening story.
Then comes Lake Helen. Mind you this is just below or at 8000 feet in friggin' July.



The road then started looking like it was just cut with a snow blower. Lassen peak straight ahead. This part of the road is maintained as much as they can during the winter but, is closed just after the summit parking lot on the north side.



We were getting near the top....I've not been there before so I was just looking for something that looked like the googleearth picture. All we saw was a road on the left. I'm thinking, no, there's a BF parking lot at the top. Instead, I saw this huge snowbank.


Fortunately, there is a second entrance and we pulled into the parking lot from the north side. Lassen with it's dome plugged up. Poor guy. There's a trail off to the right to ascend the summit. 2.5 mile hike. We were planning on taking it but, it's closed after just over a mile so we passed on puking up breakfast. Don't want to turn the snow pink with tobasco and eggs. Some other time!




I'm guessing these snow drifts are from plowing the lot during the winter. Still, I'm trying to remind myself this is July.



Here's where we gain understanding to the weather conditions at this, the highest paved portion of the Cascade range. Look at the trees. No, I didn't smear them in Photoshop. Storms off the pacific almost always carry a south wind. South is off to the left. Between wind and squeezing out moisture against the mountain, they get upwards of 40 feet of snow a year here.



We were going to go back down but decided to take off out the north end of the park.
The pass just out of the parking lot.


Sacto929 chasing another Virga.




Virga, virga everywhere and nary a wet spot.



Encountered road work at the north entrance. Solid mile or two+ of no pavement and dusty.


Lunch in Susanville. Apparently a town flush with Virgas.


Two heads in Susanville. Sacto929 and Thunder off to the north.


Nice hallway of coniferous forest for a road!


Our plan included coming back down 89 all the way to 50 and back home. 89 was plugged almost as bad as Lassen. 100 degrees in the canyon just southeast of 70. Stopped for a good 5+ minutes in traffic due to road work. Still hadn't seen any oncoming traffic so, we flipped it around and came home 70 to 65 and the heat of the valley sucking out every bit of energy.

500 plus mile day and, a good one! Going to have to go back and spend a weekend in Chester.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:41 AM   #5
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