27 August 2012

Lassen Volcanic National Park

As with just about all of the National Parks we've visited, this one did not disappoint.  We're always so pleased with both the upkeep of the landscape as well as the kindness of the Rangers in addressing the boys' endless questions about the natural and cultural history of the area.  We always try to participate in the Junior Ranger Program whenever possible, but I have to remember to download the PDF so we can get started on the ride to a park--it's hard to finish all the requirements toward the badge in just a day's visit.  The boys had a great time using the infrared thermometer (which just looked like a tricorder to me!) when we toured the geothermal areas.  I have no photos because I was so captivated by the discussion!

Here is the obligatory entry sign photo.  To change things up a bit, the boys climbed up the back so that they could peek just their heads out:

A1 got more and more excited the higher up we went.  We actually reached 8,000 feet, but that sign was on a treacherous part of the road that prohibited stopping so we didn't get a pic.

That's okay.  It's not like they cared to photograph the sights.  They were more interested in capturing each other anyhow.

A1 heads up his first hill of the day.

His poor brother trails behind.

In fact, it would seem that we all trail behind A1 nearly the entire time.

Here he is on top of 2 more hills.  He's more easily found in the 1st image, but in the 2nd image, he looks like part of the landscape, mimicking one of those trees at the very top.  He's the third tuft over from the left.

Again, poor A2 tries to catch up but by the time he's nearly at the top, A1 had already headed downward.  (A2 is waving his arms in front of the treeline.)

A2 looks pretty excited to be able to catch up to his big brother on this little rock in the middle of Lake Helen.

The truth is, he's doing much more than A1 was doing at this age:

Once again, A1 heads off beyond our reach.  He's on the bank on the other side.  Just sitting there.  It's odd that a super active child like him would self-initiate these strange moments of contemplative silence.  See him sitting there on a tree stump on the other side of the lake?

A2 is content to stay by my side and force me to make silly faces for him.

A third and final lake on our way out:

On our way down the hill, I suddenly appreciate the minivan even more than I already do.  I don't understand all the hate.  Vans rule!


Michelle said...

You guys take the most awesome family trips. Look at all that exploring!

Lam said...

Isn't this right by you? I kept thinking we should have called as we passed by!