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late to the volcano party

Even when I try not to neglect this website, it still manages to happen. Case in point: this post about our trip to two national parks this summer, Crater Lake and Lassen Volcanic. We went there over two months ago, and I’m only posting this now. And I’m only posting it because I am currently detached from my real life, on a work trip to California. It takes me sitting in a hotel room in Los Angeles by myself to finally feel like I have enough time to post something. I actually probably don’t have the time to, but I’m going to post anyway.

It’s taken me so long to post something because I wanted to write something nice about our trip. Something deep and profound that totally moves you to tears and makes you think I’m a way better writer than I actually am. But I just haven’t had any time to come up with any of this deep, profound shit, because I’m in the middle of my busiest work months of the year. September and October honestly leave me no time to do much of anything, but luckily the end is near. I think I’ll finally be able to exhale come Halloween.

Since it’s now been over two months since my trip, and all the deep, profound, full of shit thoughts that I may have had about our trip are long gone, I don’t have much to tell you. However, I do have photos. Don’t I always?

Crater Lake is unreal.

Crater Lake is unreal. It’s the caldera of what was once Mount Mazama. The lake, and therefore the caldera, is four by six miles wide, and 2,000 feet deep. Holy shit.

Hello, BLUE!

Seriously, just look at that BLUE!Froggy friend at our campsite.

Froggy friend at our campsite. We camped at an old, torn-down campground just outside the park.

Fun fact: This little girl, Bijou, is the reason Jim and I decided we were "ready" to have a kid. We weren

Fun fact: This little girl, Bijou, is the reason Jim and I decided we were “ready” to have a kid a few years ago. We weren’t actually “ready” (you’re never ready), but she made us go for it.

Future photographers of America.

Future photographers of America.

We didn

We didn’t plan to hike the highest peak in the park, but as soon as we saw it on the map, of course we couldn’t ignore it. It was only five miles roundtrip, but it was hot out and kicked our asses.

Ceci and a Truffula Tree up on top of Mount Scott.

Ceci and a Truffula Tree up on top of Mount Scott.

Truffula Tree

Truffula Tree

Looking over at the lake from the top of Mount Scott, the high point in the park.

Looking over at the lake from the top of Mount Scott, the high point of the park.

We originally planned to spend more time in and around Crater Lake, but Jim’s brother was living just a few hours away in Redding, California this summer, so we opted to cut our Crater Lake time short to make our way south. We spent a night hanging out with him in Redding, and then headed over to Lassen Volcanic National Park, which is just an hour or so away.

There, we had planned to hike the highest peak in the park, but it wasn’t looking that was going to happen. It was that time of the month, and I had zero energy. I went back and forth many times before ultimately deciding there was no way in hell I wanted to hike it. As we were heading out of the visitor center to head over to our campsite for the night, I was craving something sweet (hello, that time of the month) and Jim suggested I go back and grab something from the gift shop. I got a cookie, and that cookie changed everything.

As were were driving back over the mountain to get to the campground, we were about to pass the trailhead for the peak when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I proclaimed that I can do it. That cookie was magic, and I suddenly felt like I had super powers. Aunt Flow, be damned! By this time, Jim was really sick of my back and forth, but I told him if we go now, I can do it, I promise. We had about five seconds to spare before the turn off. So we pulled over, threw on our hiking shoes, Ceci in the pack, and headed up the mountain. And you know? It was one of my favorite hikes… of my entire life. That cookie really was magic!

Last fall, the park finished a major, multi-year trail restoration project, and that trail was just phenomenal. It never felt too hard, and it was just plain fun. Even when you’re bloated and feeling like crap, it was FUN. It was fairly windy, but that felt so much nicer than our Crater Lake summit hike two days before where we were roasting. Higher up, the wind got harder and harder to handle, and it was pretty cold. At the summit, there was snow, and we had to hide Ceci from the brisk wind. But we did it, and I felt great the entire time. Take that, Aunt Flow! You got your ass handed to you, by a cookie!

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Okay, back to real life now. Time to work. But at least I got off this crappy post, yeah?

 

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