It was still only a few days into the trip. We knew that we wanted to take it slow and ease into living in a van. I felt like it is also time to find a shower and relax a little bit, so I convinced Min that at the next place, we are going to stay at a campground where we can cook a bigger meal, sleep in the woods and take a nice shower. Yes! 🙂
Our next stop is Lassen Volcanic National Park. Given away by its name, this park is made up of remnants of a volcanic eruption event that resulted in multiple mountain peaks. Where there was once a volcano, you will also likely find hydrothermal sites.
We picked a day hike to the top of Brokeoff Mountain. 7.4 miles, 2600′ elevation. Very doable! After we made sandwiches for lunch in the car, we started the hike at noon.
I highly recommend this hike. The trail is a gradual and continuous uphill and there are many eye candies along the way. The trail starts with much forestry and open meadows. It was summer time when we went, all the wild flowers were blooming and showing off their vibrant colors. I can still smell the fragrant jasmine flowers. The trail exits the timberline and we started to see the view below us and the peak above us.
So there was a middle-aged man started the trail with us. We passed him shortly after, but amazingly, he hiked at such a good pace that he was basically tailgating us from a distance. I am usually not a competitive person when it comes to hiking. I walk my own pace and gladly let anyone pass me when I am too slow. But I was competitive this time. I constantly turned around to see where he is at and pushed myself to go faster. When we made some distance, we stopped for water and a minute later, he’s approaching again! We put away the water bottle and kept going. It was a race in my mind and I am barely making it. The end of the story is that I won. Catching my breath at the top but I was happy.
I’ll let the picture speak for itself at the peak.
Another story… We met a group of retired grandpas at the top of the peak. We started talking to each other. They saw that we were there in the middle of the week, and assumed that we must be either students or teachers. When we told them what we were doing, one of them shared that his daughter’s family and his two grandchildren are doing the same thing and traveling in South America. Wow! I cannot imagine doing this in another country with kids! Definitely inspiring though. As they headed down the mountain, I looked at them and hoped that I could still be healthy and strong enough to hike a mountain when I am old.
Through a friend’s recommendation, we made a campground reservation at the Mill Creek Resort outside of the park. The campground is secluded and quiet, just the best place to relax. We spent the rest of afternoon doing some laundry, cooking ramen noodles, writing journals and just chilling. Oh and the best part? Shower!
The next morning, we leisurely drove through the park to check out some hydrothermal spots like the sulphur mud pots and enjoyed more views like the one below.
Aug 15-16 2017