Sunday, July 06, 2008

Volcanic Week

I spent a week in Northern California to escape the heat and the smoke from all the forest fires. Unfortunately some of the forest fires were in Northern California, so I really only managed to escape the heat. I also managed to visit (hike) some really awesome geological areas and nerd out on volcanoes a little... I've picked my favourite photo from the top spots to give an overview:

Devil's Postpile: a great big pile of columnar basalts (60 feet tall!)

Mt Lassen: after hiking it and Bumpass Hell, we got a stellar view of the peak (a volcanic plug dome that last erupted in 1914) as we exited the park.

Also in Lassen Volcanic National Park was a trail to "Bumpass Hell" - yes - the hell was entirely because of the stinkyness. BOY did it reek! I took video of the hissing fumaroles, mudpots, etc. - one of them is here. You are lucky that there is no "smell-o-vision" available.

Clearly showing the haze of the smoke from the forest fires, this photo (taken from the top of Cinder Cone, a cinder cone volcano in Lassen Park) also shows the Painted Dunes and Fantastic Lava Beds - I can only imagine how glorious the scene is where there is no smoke...

Mono Lake - a place I'd actually been to before - here are tufa pillars poking out of the alkaline lake. They are formed from hot spring (volcanic) activity beneath the lake and the mixing of waters resulting in calcite (calcium carbonate) deposits.

In addition I also went to Subway Cave (a rather large lava tube - also volcano-related!!!), Panum Crater, Obsidian Dome, and found time to chill out in the north-eastern Sierra Nevada eying a 5 acre lot to build a log cabin on. Anyone interested in investing?


Heather said...

Bumpass? Are you serious? Either way you split the P that's a great name.

Looks like an awesome trip. Jealous.

Kilometres said...

I've heard of the Devil's Postpile before. Did we talk about it when I visited? It looks suuuper cool! I think I would have lost it there. The repeating symmetry... drooool.

The tufa pillars were really neat too though. I find them quite extraordinary. Calcite! It's everywhere you shouldn't be! That's what I say.

Did you drink some Sierra Nevada while in Sierra Nevada? I hear it's one of the beers you need to drink before you die. No lie.

Dawn said...

I thought we were going to Lassen? Didn't want to get slowed down by my bum leg? Just kidding. Let's make some great (and accessible) plans!

Anthony said...

Wow it's all so beautiful! Thankfully no smell-o-vision =)

gnat said...

Dawn and I sampled lots of beers last summer, including Sierra Nevada, and while we were IN the Sierra Nevada - the beer just wasn't up to par with some of the others. Now, the Sequoia Red beer, drunk in Sequoia National Park was really good!