Day 15 – Tuesday October 10, 2017
Got up this morning and expected to shoot the sunrise of Mt. Lassen reflecting in Lake Manzanita. But there was a strange haze around the peak and first thought it might be some lenticular clouds, but just somehow, it didn’t seem right. Did some pictures anyway that were pretty dull and lifeless and then drove up the mountain a bit and saw this haze flowing by the peak, almost obliterating it. I seem to think that is actually smoke from the huge fires they’re having in the Napa and Sonoma area but have yet to confirm since I have not listened to, or sought out any news since I began this trip. Spent the rest of the morning scouting and looking at some viewpoints, and found an area of a standing dead forest that was devastated by a fire not too long ago. It was haunting. Then I Checked out the Sulphur Works, which is just a boiling mud pot and a few vents right along side the road through the park, and checked out the trailhead for Bumpass Hell which is supposed to be the main thermal attraction here, but discovered it was a 1.25-mile hike each way with 500-feet elevation gain before descending 250-feet. So it would be the 250 foot climb back out that would probably be toughest. But I decided, with all the hiking in the thick sand/gravel yesterday, I would opt out of that one.
But after a hot lunch at Helen Lake, I decided since it was nearby and had nothing to fill the gap until sunset, I gave it a go. After trudging uphill with some pretty ferocious wind along the way, and considering my trip to Yellowstone last year, photographically this Bumpass thing was a bust. The colors in the surrounding hillside were nothing special compared to the kaleidoscope in Yellowstone, and size wise, it was pretty small. So it was too much work for too little photos.
In addition, on the way back I redeveloped the same blister, and another additional one right alongside the first. It was painful and had to be retaped. But of course, I couldn’t find the tape I bought in Ft. Bragg; but I did find the tape I couldn’t find in the first place. And my knees and hips were hurting from all the climbing the last two days and carrying all the camera gear. I’m hoping that would have been the last hike of this trip adhering to the wise old saying in photography:
“Anything further than 300-yards from the car is not photogenic.”
Went back to Manzanita Lake for what I thought would be a good sunset, but the haze that’s been around all day, still lingered and blocked out the sunlight for any possible good sunset. After a few shots I decided this location was not promising, I drove over to the area of standing snags as the light faded into night, but managed a few interesting things, but having no place to park nearby, I had to park on the dirt quite some distance, having to walk along the highway to get there. Then on to the south end of the park where I will avail myself of their hospitality for the evening.