Out of This World 2 – Volcanic Legacy

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These volcanic rocks that are scattered below Mt Lassen (CA,) sure looks like something Out of This World, don’t you think? Mt Lassen is an active volcano, meaning that it could have another eruption at some point. The volcanic rocks in this photo is from the big eruptions in May 1915. The ash rained down on a radius of more than 200 miles around Mt Lassen. I recently read a story about two young men, homesteaders, that acquired two adjoining lots below Mt Lassen, just before this eruption. It was a thrilling read to experience the eruption through their words. I read the story in; The Pacific Crest Trailside Reader, California: Adventure, History, and Legend on the Long-Distance Trail . (I’m not an affiliate, just a good read. For less than $2!) I find it very interesting to read stories, and legends about our two volcanoes, Mt Lassen, and Mt Shasta. There was a great story about Mt Shasta in that book as well, supposedly an eye witness story..(decide for yourself if you believe it or not!)

I love hiking in the areas of the volcanoes, and explore the landscape that so evidently bear witness of their eruptions. I took the photos in this post while hiking Iron Canyon Trail, outside Red Bluff (CA.) I really like this trail, everything about it except the cows and occasional bulls (so big and unpredictable.) It’s free range in this area, and you’re actually in their “pasture”.

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Looking in the other direction on the trail, is the Sacramento River. This is an historic overlook, called river bend. It’s approximately 2 miles into the hike (the hike is 4-5 miles. Depending on what trail you choose. There’s several different trails, not that well marked, but they all lead back to the parking lot.) I usually stop for a quiet moment of meditation above the river when reaching this point. It’s not a high trafficked trail, and you often have this place all to yourself. I remember experiencing it for the first time, with my daughter, it took our breath away. This view comes all of a sudden, while hiking in the barren volcanic landscape. It’s very surreal. The whole hike through this volcanic tablelands is.

I hope you enjoyed the photos. If you’re interested in doing the hike yourself, take Hwy 36 East from Red Bluff, after a little more than 5 miles you’ll se the trail head on your left side. It’s easy to find, and easy to hike. My daughter was 2 years old the first time she did the whole hike by herself. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail. There may be some water on the trail during spring, but totally doable, wear good shoes. This trail is awesome all year round, but doesn’t have any shade for those hot summer days. Best to do the hike sunset, or sunrise, during the hot months (end of April- end of September.)

How is your week so far? I hope it got off to the best possible start! I accidentally slept in this morning..lol. I believe my body needed it. I usually get up at 4-5 most mornings. I don’t set an alarm, I’m just a morning person. Today I woke up at 6.20!! After that well needed rest, Ghost (my horse) and I, had a fun session of outdoor play, at liberty. You can see the photos on Instagram.

Have a wonderful day!



Ms Zen


Out of This World – The Wild Mare

It was a cold winter evening. It must of been around 4 years ago now. I had recently left my husband. Happy with my decision, but alone with a 1,5 year old. I was working at different ranches in northern Nevada, doing some photography jobs every now and then, living in my RV with my baby. I’m not the worrying kind, and I felt a freedom I’ve never felt before, but naturally it was mixed with other emotions as well. It was happy days, of hard work.

I drove out to the desert one evening, with my daughter sleeping in her car seat. I took some dirt roads up in the foothills, at the Virginia Range, outside Reno. I did this every now and then to get some quiet time. Off-roading always made my daughter fall into a deep sleep, faster than I could blink.

After driving around for a while I found a spot up in the hills, with a spectacular view. I turned the engine off, and walked outside. Since my daughter was sleeping in her car seat, I couldn’t go for a walk, but I climbed up in the bed of my truck, and enjoyed the silence of the desert. I didn’t see a single soul, and the noise of the city of Reno was far away. I’m pretty sure that it was moments like this that kept me sane back then. Before going back to civilization I took some photos of the sunset. I used my telephoto lens and zoomed in on a ridge far in the horizon. There I saw a pregnant mustang mare walking into the sunset. She was all alone, no other horses nearby. Which is unusual. At first I thought she was an illusion, a trick played by my mind. But she was there. Before leaving I took this photo of her. Like something Out of This World.

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I hope you’re having an awesome weekend!


Ms Zen

Weekend Coffee Share

Good Morning, the coffee is just about ready. Would you like a cup? It’s been another great week here! How was your week? Are you enjoying spring weather? I’m not, not yet. It’s been very windy this week, a lot of rain, and even some hail storms. That might not sound like fun, but it’s been a really good week. I don’t like driving in bad weather. It makes me little nervous. Besides that I had lots of fun.


I’ve been playing with my horse Ghost in the indoor arena every day. The footing is sand, and when I play with him, I get a great workout myself. Ghost is very intelligent, sensitive, and athletic. Even thought he thrives on routine, he does get bored easily. I take it as a challenge to make things interesting. (This Viking girl likes challenges!) Just like humans, horses have different personalities. Ghost is not the least bit dominant, he has a lot of flight instinct, but nothing aggressive in him. Lots of people prefer to not ride, even indoors, when it’s really windy. A bad storm makes many horses jumpy. (Read – they can’t hear the mountain lion coming to eat them, so they have to be on their toes all the time.) The easiest way to exercise a horse, without riding it, or put it out to pasture (can also be dangerous on the most windy days, tree branches falling, debris flying around etc.) is to let it run in circles around you. It’s relatively easy to make most horses run, they are prey animals.

With a quick and sensitive horse like Ghost, you can’t just drive him away, and let him run, run, run. He would take it as a personal offense, that you don’t want him to be on your team. A horse like him would soon be scared to approach you. (Some dominant horses benefit greatly from being sent away from you, time after time.) I do send him away, and let him run, but I invented a game where I alternate between sending him away, calling him back, and sometimes let him run behind me (I wouldn’t do this with any horse, but he is very aware of exactly where I am, even at a gallop.) We had lots of fun with this game this week. He is so smart, and figured it out in no time what it is I wanted. We had some good music playing in the speakers, and we both got a great exercise. To make it more interesting I added exciting stuff in the middle of it (stepping sideways/backing up/jumps/obstacles/standing still/running at top speed,) I tried to do it all with rhythm, almost like a dance. I also did some jumping jacks, Ghost often spooks when there’s sudden movements, I thought that would be beneficial for him. every now and then I  climbed up on things around the edges of the arena, naturally he couldn’t climb up on things, but that placed him beneath me. It’s great for a young horse, that have never been ridden, to get used to humans moving around above them. I sometimes ask him to stand right next to me, when I’m standing on top of something (usually my truck, a fence, or a table) and then I gently put one of my legs over him, only putting a little bit of weight on him, while standing by myself. In the beginning it freaked him out. Now it doesn’t. I have a plan in my head of what I want to do with Ghost, but I try to think outside the box, and not strictly follow my plan, when the moment I’m in requires that I take a detour. Ghost is unlike any there horse I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. Super sweet, but also super sensitive. We have been making some progress with his fear of ropes. That part is going slower than I would like, but he is making progress, and I am happy with that.

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My daughter and I started this week with an Ocean Theme, that we started last week. She like to work in projects/themes. She usually pick the theme, and then I create our lessons around that theme. We do math, history, geography, hand writing, art, and everything else on the schedule that particular week, inside the theme. We finished the Ocean Theme on Thursday, and started a Bird Theme, (parrots in particular) yesterday. She is very interested in parrots, have always been. She’s been begging me to have one of her own for a couple years, but I have not given in on that one. They live for such a long time, and it’s tricky to have an animal that only can be indoors, when you’re an outdoor person, that likes to travel.. I did take her to a parrot house yesterday. She was in heaven, and said that it was the best day of her life. I’m definitely taking her back there. We came just as they open the doors, and we were the only people there. The parrots seem to enjoy visitors, and came up to you after a while.

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The one sitting on my daughter’s head was very loud!


How is your coffee? I’m already on my second cup. I decided to have coffee before working my dog today, I usually do it the other way around, but despite having that second glass of wine with dinner yesterday, I woke up an hour earlier than usual (without setting an alarm.) I was planning on sleeping in. Time to challenge the rain, and get going! Feel free to take some coffee for the road, as you leave. This post is part of #WeekendCoffeeShare. You can bring the cup back next time you visit. Have an awesome day!


Ms Zen