Wednesday, July 18, 2012

On the Road: Lassen Volcano National Park (July 18, 2012)

After finishing work this morning, I headed north and west from the Lake Tahoe area with the vague notion of seeing something near Mt. Shasta--although I'm sot entirely sure what--birds probably. I headed for Lassen Volcano National Park, which turned out to be quite beautiful. It appears to be an area worth spending some time exploring. Some of the roads had the stink of sulfur. I saw active, steamy vents here and there, and in the background is Mount Lassen and many other volcanic cones in various degrees of eroded decrepitude.

As a child, I remember being shown a large rock in Central Park (I lived in New York at the time--I was born in Manhattan) that was explained to me as a glacial anomaly--that is, a rock of very different composition or age from the surrounding rocks that had been brought along from somewhere far away, entrapped in ice, and then abandoned by the glacier that had shepherded it as the glacial ice melted away, a kind of orphan. I remember seeing other rocks in the park that showed signs of glacial scarring--linear grooves caused by small rocks embedded in ice being dragged over the surface of other rocks. Both left an impression on me (no pun intended). I'm always pleased to see examples of these two phenomena. I got to see both today in the park.

I stayed in Anderson, California, about 10 miles south of Redding. The hotel was clean and attractive. The adjoining restaurant looked promising, but I'd describe the food as ambitiously conceived, clumsily executed. A berry-flavored gazpacho was interesting, but ultimately not very successful. I enjoyed my panko-encrusted fried green tomatoes best. Tomorrow I hope to get up early and go back to an area in the National Park that looked good for birding.

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