Monday, October 17, 2011

Carpe Diem...

...and what better way than with a kayak or a hike!

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. 
Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. 
The winds will blow their own freshness into you, 
and the storms their energy, 
while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”  
-John Muir

After a rainy start last Monday the remainder of the week turned into glorious October Indian Summer weather. Wanting to grab every opportunity left to be out in the warmth and sunshine before the winter storms set in for good I 'Seized The Day' with a hike in the Park on Thursday with Peggie.

It was so warm we could have taken the boats but, not knowing just how nice it still was at Manzanita, we'd left them at home and donned hiking boots for a jaunt around the lake. This was my umpteenth time, but Peggie's first, so I was quite excited to share one of my favorite trails with her. She's seen a portion of it since I've brought her up a couple times last month for kayaking lessons, but this was her first trip around it on land!

Since pictures can definitely be worth a thousand words (and better.. since I'm no author ;) this entry will have loads of photos.

When we got up to the Park good ol' Ona was manning the entrance station.

She noticed we hadn't brought the kayaks and, when I told her we were walking around the lake instead of paddling, she suggested a little variety by walking counter-clockwise on the lake trail. More views of the mountain that way.

We parked at the Museum and deliberated on which way to start out. Ended up going with Ona's recommendation, which was way fun for me since so much of the trail looked different coming at it from the 'usual' direction.

Peggie's eagle eye spotted a large trout that was following us along the bank for a bit. You'll have to click on the picture and look real close. He/she/it is coming towards us about a foot or so from the bank in the middle of the picture but near the bottom 1/3:

Okay.. that might be too hard to see unless I could physically point it out so here's another shot. See him?

The rest of the trail produced some fabulous views & close encounters with the flora and fauna:

The water was so perfect, with hardly a ripple, except for where the fish were jumpin'. Watched several fly fisherman performing their poetry in motion moves, dancing their flies through the air. Saw this guy catch and release a big one:

For a little ways we stuck close to the stream feeding into the lake before hiking on up and back to the museum.

I missed not seeing you working there, Abby :(
Oh heck. I think I'll just put a pic in right HERE from last year..
There. Now things seem more normal :)

We checked out the displays, books, puppets, and other cool things at the museum. Then, instead of traveling on home, made a random decision to go hike the Lily Pond Trail since neither of us had seen it. I think this massive burl on the ponderosa pine at the start of the trail is awesome:

First, had to take Peggie to see the cool old Discovery Center building that's just off the path:

And then, over the 'river':

And thru the woods:

To the Lily Pond we go:
Can't wait to go see it next summer when the water lilies will be in bloom!
 The rocky trail with the stunted trees leading out on the other side:

Besides the obvious great beauty of Lassen I really like the tremendous geographic diversity of the landscape. And I still haven't hiked the majority of the trails in this National treasure. But it's on my to-do list... right next to my to-get list with Ken Burn's The National Parks: America's Best Idea :)

I love being a citizen-owner.. Long Live the Park System!

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”

...quite possibly my most favorite quote of all time.

John Muir - 1907

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