On our third and final camping day, we had to eat breakfast and pack up in the morning to head out in time to see Lassen Peak.
I got up early to watch the sunrise from the crest of a nearby hill.
Lassen Peak by dawn's early light.
Our final camp breakfast before packing out.
Summit Lake, right near the trailhead on the way out.
In the van, ready to go to Lassen Peak.
From the parking lot at its base, the peak didn't look very far away.
Some of the lupins that lined the trail. It's amazing to me that anything at all can grow at this altitude, let alone in this soil.
Most of Lassen's peaks, including the main one we were climbing, were actually outgrowths of the walls of an enormous volcano named Mount Tehama, which originally stood 11,500 feet above sea level and collapsed 11,500 years ago. (Coincidence?)
My favorite subject, Laura, playing Vanna White of the Cascades.
A chipmunk, begging for a meal and getting it (not from us).
Some of the cool rock formations we saw along the way to the top.
Laura and Peter, sumo wrestling along the trail.
Looking down on Lake Helen, which marks the center of the ancient volcano (Tehama). We later attempted a last swim in this lake, which turned out to be glacial melt.
Laura thought throwing a snowball at Peter was a good idea. Peter returned the favor in short order.
You wouldn't hit a guy with a camera, would you? You would?
The summit at last! That's Mount Shasta inthe far distance, surrounded by a cloud of forest-fire smoke.
This is where we found the others. Adrian (head bowed) had made the summit first, followed shortly by Danny (foreground), then by Sonja and Leslie. Sonja finally gets in the picture, though she doesn't seem too pleased about it.
I may not have made it to the top first, but I posed with the guy who did once I got there (Adrian). Here we can see down the opposite side.
The group of us on the peak. Sonja is holding the map, showing our position.
As I mentioned, we went for a quick dip in Lake Helen afterwards. I was the first one in, and as a consequence, also the first one out. Brrrrrrr!
On the way home, we stopped at the Sante Fe Bar and Grill in Willow, where we ate a nice meal and told each other what great people we are. I took no more pictures from the moment we climbed in the van at Lake Helen, and nearly dozed off in my food at dinner.
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