Thursday, October 25, 2012

Giant mountains and wild lava tubes


In mid October, we spent three nights and four days exploring several wild areas in Northern California.  The first night, we camped at Hat Creek (along the PCT) just north of Lassen Peak.  This is the same place we camped in late June.  It's a beautiful, free campsite right along Hat Creek, a rushing mountain stream.  The temps plummeted overnight, but the three of us stayed warm and happy!  A morning cup of hot chocolate was a perfect way to start the frosty day! 

From there, we drove to Lava Beds National Monument, right near the Oregon border. 
We had an amazing time in Lava Beds.  The park exceeded our expectations.  We especially enjoyed exploring the multitude of small caves in the area.  The caves are all lava tubes from past volcanic activity.  The hiking was also quite interesting.  This is high desert with sagebrush and juniper trees.  The stars are night were fantastic!  We took a long walk between in the evening (partially to pass the time after it got dark, partially to stay warm, and partially to view the ancient night sky above). 
Dropping in to the dark unknown!

Light at the end of the tunnel!

Sunrise at our campsite in Lava Beds
A happy camper!
Exiting a cave into the glorious sunshine
Alpenglow on Mt. Shasta

Mt. Shasta

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