Place in the World – Lassen Volcanic National Park

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Where do you belong? In the hustle and bustle of a big city or amongst friendly faces in a small town? For this week’s challenge, show us your place in the world.

The weekly photo challenge this week is Place in the World. I could take the challenge literally and say that my favorite city is (take a pick); Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas, Reno, Seattle, Anchorage, Honolulu, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Madrid, Rome, Prague, London, Oslo, Paris, or a number of other perfectly marvelous cities I’ve enjoyed, but I know that artistic freedom is encourage here (that’s what I like about this weekly challenge.) To tell you the truth, I do enjoy visit these places..for a few hours at a time. After a few hours I wish that I was up in the mountains. Almost any mountain. The mountains are my place in the world. They give me peace of mind. I feel good. I have everything I need, when I breath fresh mountain air.

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I’m blessed to live close to Mt.Lassen. I go there as often as I can. I could spend the rest of my life exploring that park, and still not see everything. The photos in this post is from last weekend. Only a fraction of the park is open now, there’s massive amounts of snow covering the road that passes through the park (Highway 89.) The areas closest to the two entrances are open, and you can hike/snowshoe/ski out from there.

The park has two entrances, and we entered by the northwest entrance last weekend, and drove all the way to the road closure, some 9 miles into the park. Our first hike was on Highway 89, right after the road closure. I took the snow covered photo above during that hike.

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After my daughter had her fill of playing in the snow, we drove back to the entrance, and Manzanita Lake. It’s a super easy 1,5 mile stroll around the lake. The views are spectacular the whole way, and it was a great way to end our day.

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Manzanita Lake is surrounded by Jeffrey and Ponderosa Pine.

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During our visit it hit me, that it was exactly 5 years ago since my very first visit in the park, Mother’s Day 2013. My daughter was less than a year old, and experienced snow for the first time.

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Since Manzanita Lake is so easily accessible all year round, it’s a very popular place. I have not visited the park one time without seeing fishermen enjoy this place. The biggest campground, and picnic area, in the park is located at the beach furthest back, in the middle of this photo. We ate our lunch in the picnic area there, before walking around the lake.

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Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. – Mary Schmich

I’m afraid that the beauty here already soften my sharp edges a bit. It kind of put everything else in life in another perspective. It’s the effect of seeing the world through northern California glasses. When I think of our beautiful state, especially the northern part where I spend most of my time, I think about freedom. I think about the wilderness areas. The beauty of all the Western States, to me, is taking the backroads, climbing the mountains, hiking in the National Parks, creating a beautiful garden, enjoying the best nature has to offer. It makes me humble, and grateful.

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Manzanita Lake, with Chaos Crags, and Lassen Peak in the background. 

I hope you enjoy the visit to my neck of the woods. I’ve written many posts, and shared hundreds of photos from Lassen Volcanic National Park. You can see my favorite photos in my gallery.

I often participate in the Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post, as a way of interacting with photographers around the world. I enjoy that very much. I’m looking forward to explore your place in the world. 

Love,

Ms Zen

Scale

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One of the things I love the most, with all the western states, is the endless acres of wild country available to the public. Nature at its very best. It touches something deep inside of me to visit these places. The quietness. The luck of motorized vehicles, the absence of noise. It makes me humble, and grateful. Seeing it through my daughter’s eyes, doubles the experience.

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You must give everything to make your life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in your imagination. – Roman Payne

The scale, and the whole experience multiplies in beauty, with her by my side. Experiencing things for the first time, through the eyes of a child, was what encouraged me to become a teacher in the first place. It is also one of the things I enjoy the most about motherhood. The magical places in today’s post, Lassen Volcanic National Park and Burney Falls, are both within a couple hours from us. I love that it is possible to make a one day adventure and get a complete change of environment, when every day life gets a little stressful.

Today my mind is occupied with prayers to the victims of the terrible fires south of us, lots of work, and projects. This week’s photo challenge helped me in a positive way to re-live the positive wonders of nature around us, and that makes me even more grateful to be alive and well.

Love,

Ms Zen