Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What? There are LIVE VOLCANOES the "Lower 48?"

Why yes, there are live volcanoes in our country. Most recently, in 1980, Mount St. Helens in Washington State blew its top, and we got dusted with a few inches of ash over in Montana. Before that, it was Mount Lassen in California in 1915. That's before our time and yours, but not much before, in geological time. And there's Mount Hood, Mount Shasta, Mount Baker, Mount Rainier, and a few up Alaska, and several others I've forgotten.

Here's Mount Lassen today, relaxed, snow bound, harmless -- except the scientists who study her know that she's liable to go again, but they aren't predicting when. Get your umbrellas ready, folks!

Even from a distance, with evidence of recent forest fires abundant, Lassen looks benign. But take a look at her from these on the spot photos in 1915:

This is "Hot Rock," one of many pieces of dacite lava that built up in the crater after the initial eruption.
That rock, along with tons of others were shot from the crater when the heat  in the crater developed intense pressure. This particular rock ended up five miles from the crater, sitting in a pond of snow melt. When the locals found it 40 hours later, it was still hot, sizzling in the water as it cooled!

This area is called "Chaos Jumbles."

While recovery is well underway, there's still a lot for nature to take care of in the aftermath of such a large occurrence!

A more peaceful vista is enjoyed at Manzanita Lake just inside the northern entrance station.

The park road is 28 miles long, but it took us four and a quarter hours to travel the distance. We dined at the southern end of the road, then returned to the northern entrance in just over one hour.
Suzy's T shirt came from the Valley of Fire State Park near Las Vegas.
There was so much to see in Lassen National Park, and in the surrounding area. More pictures can be found at our web album Lassen. Although we didn't, we could have stayed a month to see more during this episode of ... Our Life on Wheels!


  1. I'm back!! Was denied access to your photo album. Maybe it's set to 'private'??

  2. Interesting stuff. Definitely want to be somewhere else when a volcano decides it needs some exercise:)

  3. I love Lassen, but when you get near the boiling mud pots and steam vents you realize that the area won't always remain the same. The question is whether Lassen or Yellowstone will go first, or maybe another volcano entirely.

  4. Really interesting! I'd like visiting that area... despite the possibility of volcanic action. Great Photos!

  5. Suzi, you are looking fantastic! Great pictures and history of volcanos in the USA. There is a big one in northern New Mexico as well. Capulin I think.

  6. And we worry about little things that go bang in the night. When Yellowstone blows it could take out the eastern states. That sizzling rock impressed me. Thanks for the pictures.

  7. First of all, hope Suzy is doing good, she looks Maaaaavolous!!! We visited Mt. St. Helen, and I believe it was in 1980...It still looked devastated...Loved your pics..thanks for the great info on yet another bit of US history..my fav!

  8. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos! Love your header pic. Yellowstone is a potential big blow some day, too, so they say. We probably won't be around to see that, however. Hope the weather has been good for you.

  9. Thanks for fixing the link. I very much enjoyed your photos of Lassen.

  10. You can walk through a lava field at Sunset Crater Volcano National Park near Flagstaff Arizona.


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