Lassen Volcanic National Park – 2003

lassen volcano national park

One of the longest trips by motor coach I ever remember was in 2003 when I visited Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California close to the Oregon border.

lassen volcano national park

A friend was supposed to accompany me on this Sierra Club trip but bowed out upon learning that the park was 600 miles (965 km) north of Los Angeles and the bus would take more than eleven hours to reach the park… with a few pit stops here and there.

lassen volcano national park

I decided to go anyway and take my chances on a seat mate/room mate assigned to me by the leader.

lassen volcano national park

I won’t go into THAT story, but let’s just say I ended up sitting on about 1/3 of my seat… enough said!

lassen volcano national park

A few nights ago I made the trip out to the garage and hauled in boxes of photos I had taken since the 1970s. Prints, negatives, CDs, floppy drives, slides… you name the media and I have photos stored on it.

lassen volcano national park

It was exciting and nostalgic looking at all the photos… wonderful memories. Even before the advent of digital cameras I was sending out my negatives to be digitized on CDs and other storage disks that I can no longer retrieve.

lassen volcano national park

To the best of my knowledge, these photos were all taken with my very first point & shoot digital camera. Made by Olympus, it was maybe 1.5 pixels and required a handful of AA batteries. But at the time I was happy to be on the cutting edge of camera technology.

lassen volcano national park

I took all the images into Lightroom and did synchronized batch processing so I didn’t have to work on each one individually. It did a pretty good job considering what it had to work with. If you could see what the originals looked like, you would agree. There’s only so much magic Lightroom can do!

lassen volcano national park

Despite my room mate I had an enjoyable time. You have to take what you are given and make the best of it. I even thanked her at the end of the trip for being a good room mate… she didn’t snore and she didn’t hog the bathroom… two biggies for me! She just looked at me, didn’t say a word, and lumbered off the bus. Whatever!

lassen volcano national park

Lassen is one of the most beautiful national parks I have visited. Because it is so far off the beaten track it doesn’t have as many visitors as some other parks. That’s fine with me, but it does deserve to be visited.

lassen volcano national park

And I have to say, after not looking at these photos for fourteen years, I’m not unhappy with them. That little one megapixel camera didn’t do such a bad job and I am thrilled to find I have that trip recorded for posterity… that’s what is important here.

lassen volcano national park

I would absolutely LOVE to return to Lassen with my DSLR and shoot some higher quality pictures. Next time I would prefer to do it without the eleven-hour bus trip (and don’t let’s forget the eleven hours back again on 1/3 of a seat) and fly instead.

From the website: Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to steaming fumaroles, meadows freckled with wildflowers, clear mountain lakes, and numerous volcanoes. Jagged peaks tell the story of its eruptive past while hot water continues to shape the land. Lassen Volcanic offers opportunities to discover the wonder and mysteries of volcanoes and hot water for visitors willing to explore the undiscovered.

You can read more about the history and culture here:https://www.nps.gov/lavo/learn/historyculture/index.htm

Please click on any image below for slide show:

 

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Travels, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 

 

 

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Views from the Craig Thomas Visitor Center, Grand Tetons

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

The best part about the Craig Thomas Visitor Center is that it is located in Moose, Wyoming! I happen to love everything MOOSE. On my second trip to Alaska I saw plenty of them and came home with all kinds of MOOSE crap, er, I mean lovely MOOSE souvenirs.

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

To my dismay, on this trip to Big Sky Country I saw no MOOSE (meese?). Plenty of bison and elk but none of my favorites. So the name of this town had to suffice…

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

But, how can I complain when the views from here were so gorgeous?

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

As you can see from the photo at top, the architecture of the building rivaled the surrounding landscape, and that’s saying a lot.

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

I couldn’t decide if the colors of the trees, the textures of the grasses or the majestic views of the Tetons were the most beautiful. This whole trip was an embarrassment of riches.

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

As you can imagine it took me quite a while to walk over to the visitor center… I didn’t want to be indoors when faced with this luscious outdoors.

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

I would walk a few inches and another view worthy of photographing would present itself.

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

Inside the center was an interesting display of Native American Indian artifacts from the Vernon Collection.

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

Oh, wait, I was mistaken… I DID see a MOOSE… isn’t he elegant? Do you think my HOA would mind if I put him in front of the building?

Craig Thomas Visitor Center

This last photo was actually the first photo I took at the visitor center. 99% of my photos are “as shot” with sometimes some cropping and always post-processed in Lightroom and/or Photoshop. But I’m not a photojournalist and once in a while I go above and beyond. This is one such case. When I shot this I knew I would have to do a little Photoshop magic to get the image I saw in my mind. In the foreground was a parking lot. So I had to move the bench a couple of feet and make the parking spaces disappear to make it work.

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

This is the photo as my camera saw it. I shoot all my photos in RAW (and hi-res JPEG as a backup) and I have learned with digital photography it’s better to over-expose so I can bring out the details or dramatic effect in Lightroom.

However, no amount of Lightrooming or Photoshopping will compensate for a bad photograph in the camera… make no mistake about that! Photography is much art as skill as far as I am concerned. Ansel Adams always made his photos look like his own personal vision of the scene.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Travels, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!