Group Shot! The stars and our schedules aligned in June and we had the opportunity to spend a weekend outdoors with Joy and Collin. It had been several years since we had visited Lassen Volcanic National Park and the Tanheads had never been - so it was the perfect choice for us! We booked a campsite at the last minute and headed up on a Friday night. The last two hours of our drive were in a solid downpour. When we arrived at 10pm it was cold and dark and very wet. We hurried to put our tent up so we could get some sleep and warm up. Unfortunately, neither of those things happened. The rain persisted ALL night and the drops from the trees above us sounded like hail on a tin roof - it kept us up nearly all night. Plus, it was absolutely freezing, one of the coldest nights we have ever camped.Lake Helen
When we rolled out of our tent on Saturday morning we were surprised to see a little bit of sunshine peaking through the clouds. As the morning wore on it continued to clear and the rain was behind us. Unfortunately, the steady stream of rain Friday night resulted in 13 + inches of snow at the summit closing the road through the park and limiting our hiking options. So, based on ranger recommendations, we decided to hike along Manzanita Creek trail to what was supposed to be a meadow with wildflowers and great views of Lassen Peak. Well, we hiked along the creek and never quite arrived a a lush meadow or great views of Lassen Peak. We did come to a clearing with recently melted snow and attempted to keep forging along but after climbing around, over and under several fallen trees in knee-deep snow, we decided the conditions weren't ideal for miss Mila and turned around. We ate our lunch in the "meadow" and then headed back to the car.Us on Manzanita Lake
At this point Miss Mila needed a nap and so we decided we'd try to drive as much of the road through the park as possible. We were so glad that we did! By 4pm the road had been cleared and we were able to drive all the way through to the south entrance.
The views along the road were stupendous. The sun was shining, the skies were blue and there was fresh snow EVERYWHERE. It was a winter wonderland in July. We pulled over at several points to take pictures of the snow covered lakes, streams and bubbling sulphur pots. On the way back to camp we even saw a big beautiful brown bear!Miss Mila
Saturday night we cooked our new favorite dutch oven meal - pizza pies and blonde brownies and enjoyed a dry night around the campfire! Sunday morning we took it easy, made breakfast, packed up camp and then headed to Manzanita lake. We rented canoes and paddled out on the lake for an hour. We were fortunate to have clear skies and sunshine and saw a couple of gorgeous bald eagles. Before we dispersed to head back to reality, we enjoyed watching Mila play in the lake until her foot and shoe got sucked into the mud and she lost her footing and then lost her cool. It was definitely nap time and ideal timing for a four hour drive home.
We loved getting a chance to hang with Joy, Collin and Mila (it's a rare occasion!) and we love Lassen! Pictures are here: