"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Climbed a mountain and turned around

Start of the trail up Mt. Lassen
Wildflowers everywhere. And mobs? swarms? flocks? of butterflies, even up at 10,500'.

Pristine, icy Lake Helen far below. I touched the water there once on another trip and it felt colder than the snow from which it had melted. A swimming pool for a higher order of beings, perhaps.

Since this hat was the replacement for one that got stolen on an Amtrak to Salt Lake a few years ago, I was not about to risk it being blown away into the void. Chin strap - check.
There is always room at the top, if not solitude.

Near the crater at the top were a lot of these lumpy boulders that looked like they were warm when they landed, like great big cookies shot out of the oven (though the cookie-shooter is a hard to find optional feature on most kitchen ovens). To use the scientific terminology.
Mt. Shasta through the haze, over the rim of the Lassen crater. It looks like it's the only thing left in the world from this perspective.

The whole hike, including the pause at the top to send some text messages and update my Facebook status, took three hours. It's a steady climb up for 2.5 miles but not technical and all ages of people were moving up or down the trail. Sneaking off during the week sometime would likely offer more of a serene hiking experience, but on the other hand, one can't help but be glad that people are out showing their kids what the world looks like from the top of a mountain. And a volcano to boot.


George said...

Nice photos and commentary! I will be climbing up and down scaffolding in a tank this week welding plastic. In honor of our Utah pioneers though, I have the 24th off, and we will be in Westport. Maybe I can climb into the hot tub...

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, even on BlueRay, is still depressing. Watched it tonight with your Mama and with Josh.

Bellabell said...

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills. . . ." There are no hills within mine eyesight, but I do rejoice in a day like today, when there is a clear view 360 degrees around us, and 180 degrees from south of the dome of heaven to the north, east to west, in a bright blue sky filled with castle-sized white clouds. But mine eyes truly rejoiced in your pictures.