30 November 2009


Some attempts at art in open spaces.

The fire lookout that has been moved to Henninger Flat.

Painted up at SBCC while trying to encourage mom to have at it too.  She used to draw a bit, but worries it isn't good.

10 November 2009

Boiling Springs Lake

Warner Valley, Lassen Volcanic National Park

Locate the trailhead.

This was a quick hike late in the day before driving back home. Warner Valley is along a road that goes into the park and stops a bit east of the main road. A sign in Chester pointed the way to the park road. Keeping left, then right brought me to a small parking lot for the Pacific Crest Trail well after the road had turned to gravel. The trail had many junctions but was well signed. Someone had written in "Boiling Lake" on the one sign post that forgot to mention it. The lake itself was a very easy 1.5 mile up the trail which has a loop around it. It's so easy, or maybe the land so cold this time of year, that I was quite comfortable in my thermals the whole way up to the thermal feature.

The road actually goes up to a ranch just past the trailhead. I followed the PCT along through some sloshy grasses and over a small but fast stream to a footbridge across a small but fast river. Above the river, looking down the trail, steam could be seen rising from the grasses. The trail passes along what appears the be the head of a hot spring that is flowing down to where the ranch is though on the other side of the river.

Stream and steam.
Steam rising from a tiny stream bed sourced by a hot spring near my feet and headed on down in the direction of a local ranch.

I came to a sign marking the trail for the loop around the lake and took it even though no lake was yet visible. It turned out there were two places on that side of the lake to turn off for the loop, the second much closer to the lake. I quickly came upon it anyway.

Red dirt shaped by the thermal forces below.
Some bits of the land around the lake take of a funny shape and color. The trail I took avoided walking too near to this, which may or may not be particularly stable.

09 November 2009

Devastated Area

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Locate the trailhead.

I drove around to the far side of the mountain the long way around because the road was closed through the park. The north side of the park doesn't have quite as many features to look at even though the road isn't closed until about 10 miles after the entrance station. It goes up to a parking lot in the Devastated Area, so called for having been destroyed in the most recent eruption. There is a picnic area and small loop with interpretive trail around the various lava rocks that came from the mountain when it blew.

Mt. Lassen about to get whiter.
The north side of the mountain and the land that was cleared by the 1915 eruptions.

Ridge Lakes (more ice)

Lassen Volcanic National Park

These are pictures of the lake ice, which I thought was pretty cool with all its variation, but maybe I just don't see a lot of lake ice.

Incoming ice.
Another look at a small stream of water coming into the lake.

A log frozen into the ice.
A log frozen into the lake and further on, some strange bubbles.

Ridge Lakes

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Locate the trailhead.

I headed up to Lassen to see what I could see. I have not been for quite some time. Being a wintry time, the mountain was covered with snow.

Bump in the land rising high and covered in white.
The southernmost mountain of the Cascades, Mt. Lassen, viewed from the road on the way up to the park but still quite a ways off.

Hanging ice and a little flowing water.
A dribble of water along the roadside in the park has turned into a frozen waterfall with some water still flowing.

01 November 2009

Henninger Flat

Angeles National Forest

Locate the trailhead.

I decided to have an afternoon/evening hike up to Henninger Flats for sunset and drawing and such. There are claims that they are rebuilding the roadway, but it was supposed to start in October and not finish until April or so next year. I didn't check the bottom slide area. I parked along Altadena, as usual, and proceeded down and over the wash area to the start of the horse trail to the road. The horse trail has a little bit of shade, especially at the bottom, which was nice when starting a little after 3PM with the temperature somewhere a smidgen below 90F.

It looks like some repairs have been completed, though. There was no need to snake about the fallen debris near the top of the hike on this go. The roadway was all a smooth and easy hike. I got to the top with about half an hour to sunset. Since I've already done a sunset picture during a previous hike, I opted to sketch the transplanted fire watch tower instead. This left me not entirely in the right place for watching the sunset since the flats themselves are a little hallow in the mountain.

The sun about 20 minutes before setting hides behind the local landscape.
About 20 minutes still to sunset but the colors are starting to pick up and the sun is already behind the local chunks of land.