I got there Friday afternoon and was the only car in the parking lot. I hiked four miles in to camp by a lake. It was amazing to be in so many trees and camping next to water. The odd thing about the lakes was that there were no streams feeding it and there was nothing living in it. I think the lakes were results of glaciers.
With it being so late in the year, the sun was down by seven and didn't come up till 7.30. It made it much easier to get a sunrise shot and meant lots of time for sleeping. It was quite relaxing.
The next day I got up and hiked about ten miles. I had some great views of Lassen peak and followed the PCT for awhile, and then the Nobels Emigrant Trail. I'll be back to do more of the PCT on day. I hiked passed the cinder cone which was weird. There were cinders everywhere and it was like walking through sand, especially while carrying a full backpack. I don't understand how trees can grow in the soil. The Cinder Cone makes a really cool aerial photograph.
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It wasn't till that afternoon that I saw my first group of people. It was weird to hear my voice when I was talking to them. That night I camped at Rainbow lake which had great views of Mount Lassen for the sunset and sunrise.
Then Sunday I hiked down more of the PCT and down to the Warner Campground. I got there so the next morning I could go check out the Boiling Lake. It was well worth it, because I got there just before sunrise and the steam was amazing. It is a lake that is fed by a geothermal vent. The whole thing must be hundreds of degrees hot and it's just in the middle of the woods and kind of a surprise to come across.
I got my stuff from the campground and headed for Kings River falls. It is a nice river that meanders through a meadow and then starts on a stairstep waterfall that is about a half mile long and ends with a full 250 foot pour off waterfall. It just seemed to keep going and I took lots of pictures. It was hard not to.
I spent that night in the back of my car so I could get an early start and hike up Lassen the next day. I got to the Lassen parking lot about 8.30 and was the only car there. To get to the top is a 2.5 mile hike gaining about 2000 feet. It was a pretty nice hike early in the morning and I got to the top in an hour and twenty minutes. From the top you can see in the old caldroun and look across and see Mt. Shasta, another old volcano. I started heading down and I was still the only one in the parking lot. It wasn't till I was under a mile left that I saw another person. Judging by the size of the parking lot, this is not really typical.
After that I made one more stop by Bumpass Hell. It is another system of geothermal vents of different types. There were a couple steaming vents, other mud pots and a couple hot springs. The variety was pretty amazing.
On my way out I was hiking down the trail and stepped wrong on a rock and gave myself a serious sprained ankle. It almost immediately swelled up to the size of a tennis ball. I hobbled the half mile back to my car and then drove the 40 miles to the nearest town and got a large bag of ice for it. I had it on ice the rest of the day. I picked up Jessica from the airport and she was nice enough to drive back to Winnemucca. I've been icing and resting it since. I think I tore a blood vessel and you can start to see the loose blood pooling in the rest of my foot. The swelling is almost gone now and it is getting better. I'm not risking anything and taking it easy and still icing it for a couple hours a day.
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This weekend is homecoming and I can't wait!