Sunday, October 28, 2007

Climbing Mount Lassen

Yesterday my daughter and I drove to Mount Lassen to make our first climb. We had originally planned to do this two weeks ago but an early rain in the area brought snow to Mount Lassen and the roads were closed. With warmer weather returning to our area some of the snow had melted and the roads to the park were reopened.

We started our hike at the 8,500 foot elevation of the summit parking lot, (7 miles from SW. entrance, 22 miles from N. entrance) It is about a 2 mile (2,000 foot grade increase) uphill hike to reach the cratered summit of Lassen Peak at 10,457 Feet. The round trip distance is about 5 miles with a steady uphill grade of about 15%. During the winter, Lassen Park is well-known for having snow depths in excess of 50 feet, so this was a good time to climb.
The paths were covered with snow in only a few areas from the early snow storm. Only a few people were climbing today. The trail to the top of the mountain is maintained by the Park rangers and it’s comparable to a well established backpacking trail. The weather was warm and I was dressed in shorts. The weather was colder near the top and the winds were gusting about 25 miles an hour.

Lassen Peak (10, 456 feet), from the east, Lassen Volcanic Park, California. Lassen Peak, the southern-most volcano of the Cascade Range, is a volcanic dome formed of dacite. The sparsely-forested area in the foreground, called the Devastated Area, was destroyed by a lateral blast and ensuing large mudflow stemming during the 1915 eruptions. Lassen Peak last erupted in 1921.

Click pictures for a larger view. More pictures here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Raining now...

Shasta Lake's level was at 120 feet below the crest. First major rain storm of the season, should also bring snow. We ended up having rain most everyday this week with a couple of inches total.
This storm did bring snow to the higher elevations and both Mount Shasta and Mount Lassen got plenty of early snow.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Sheep Killer

Coyotes can be a real problem for ranchers in most areas. They attack and kill the sheep grazing in the fields at night. Some ranchers deal with them this way. They kill them and hang them on the fence as a warning to other coyotes. I am not sure if the other coyotes understand the message. One thing is for sure. The coyote died a lot quicker than the sheep.
Click the image for a larger picture.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Olive Harvest

It is time for the olive harvest in northern California. The trees are loaded this year. Corning calls itself the "Olive City". Click the picture for a close up view of the branches heavy with olives. Olives are one of the few crops left that are picked by hand. California’s 2007 olive crop forecast is 112.0 thousand tons, more than 4 times larger than last year’s crop.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Camels in Red Bluff

I had an interesting sight today while delivering north of Red Bluff off of Jelly's Ferry Road. I saw a couple of camels and some water buffalo. Unfortunately the water buffalo were too far away to get a photo but I did catch a shot of one of the camels.
The dromedary camel is a large even-toed ungulate native to northern Africa and western Asia. It is often referred to as the one-humped camel, Arabian camel, or simply as the "dromedary".

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Back to Platina

Today I journeyed back through the mountains to Platina for the second time this week. This time it was to the Wild Horse Ranch. R-Wild Horse Ranch is a family oriented recreational property. In this private facility you share with other owners in all that the outdoors has to offer at only a fraction of the cost of using comparable facilities.

A fully developed 14,080 acre recreational heaven in the center of Northern California's Shasta Cascade - 50 Mile Golden Circle of Recreation that you actually own and can use year around. R-Wild Horse Ranch is not a timeshare, membership, or vacation rental. It is open 365 days a year and available when owners want it - you may use R-Wild Horse Ranch as often as you wish, whenever you wish.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood

My route went up to Platina yesterday for a couple of deliveries. There was one that was much more interesting than the other though. I had to travel to the top of the mountain on a gravel road to get to the Brotherhood of St. Herman of Alaska Monastery. Beautiful scenery up there when you could see past the trees.

The Brotherhood was founded in 1963 in San Francisco, moving to Platina in 1969, by Fr. Seraphim Rose (+1982) and Fr. Herman. It received the blessing of St. John Maximovich (+1966). In 2000, the monastery was accepted into the Serbian Orthodox Church.

The Brotherhood is self-supporting through the translation and publication of books on Orthodoxy. A periodical,The Orthodox Word is published bi-monthly. There are 22 monastics in residence.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Fields of Rocks

In May 1914 Lassen Peak burst into eruption, beginning a seven-year cycle of sporadic volcanic outbursts. The climax of the episode took place in 1915, when the peak blew an enormous mushroom cloud some seven miles into the stratosphere. The reawakening of this volcano, which began as a vent on a larger extinct volcano known as Tehama, profoundly altered the surrounding landscape.

This field is on the way to Paynes Creek on Highway 36 out of Red Bluff. Miles and miles of acreage look like this surrounding Mount Lassen.