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Old 09-26-2013, 02:31 AM   #1
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Naked in Lassen National Park!



Well, not me, but the van is naked. In all my other posts the dirt bike, mountain bike, and kayaks are hanging all over the thing. So why go naked? First off, National Parks don't even let mountain bikes go free, let alone the dirt bike. The weather was too cold for kayaking.

So here is how I did the TV.



The 1996 Sportmobile has a cabinet for a 13 inch tube TV. I put in a 19 inch 12 volt Naxa on the front of the old cabinet. The Naxa seems to have the least power consumption. It has a DVD as well as a port for USB and SD card. The latter two can store days worth of video. And yet you can see an iPad draped over the thing. Well the iPad is the ultimate low power way to watch video and useless for anything else.

I didn't just mount to the front of the cabinet, but used a swinging angling mount on a post I put in. This makes the TV a big door to the cabinet where I pile up cords, inverter, chargers and all the other electrical junk of everyday life. It is really important to get the angle of the TV right for viewing because the Naxa does not have the widest viewing angles. It is really bad up and down.



However I am just kidding about watching TV. Sure the weather kept us inside a bunch, but National Parks are very cool. Maybe I am not a Granola Head, but I do like Granola. I just don't force others to eat it.

I mentioned the infrastructure of Mammoth in the last post. National Parks are super developed as well. Lassen is going through some major improvements. As soon as you cross into the park the pavement becomes perfect with brand new painted lines. As tempting as it is to race around this winding race track or go all super moto on the motorcycle, fair warning, we saw three park rangers in 11 miles checking our speed.

The first thing we did when coming in from the south was the visitors center. Watch a movie about the park, eat in a restaurant, what is not to like?



A little further is Sulphur Works. Parking lot, wheel chair accessible natural wonder. Too easy.



The one thing not to miss is walking a mile and a half to Bumpass Hell. Even the parking lot is cool.



After you get there there is a walkway over the dangerous area. This first part is the original walkway but they are replacing it with Trex and the hangers are in for the rest of the handrails.





A few hundred yards up the road is the parking lot for hiking to the summit of Lassen Peak. Most of the hiking path was closed for construction so we did not venture up. You can see the parking lot is empty. I think they are installing an escalator so I will be back.



The first picture of this post was taken at the Devastated Area. This short stroll takes one from information sign to another sign. As you approach the signs the motion detector picks you up and the recorded message starts. I kept thinking there would be a test when we got back to the van.

Next was Manzanita Campground. We were really here on business. Francesca has a job supervising student teachers and one was teaching at this campground. She was put off because Manzanita campground is so big. It has a store and gas station. Big deal, it is September and the campground is a ghost town. Seemed fine to me. Nice little lake. Good hamburger.



Manzanita Lake is the north entrance to the Park. There is a museum and outside in it's own little hut is the old seismograph which is really interesting.



The deer in the Park crack me up.They just pose for the picture. A few hundred yards away hunting season is starting up. It is like they have a map of the Park.



Generally we were able to wonder as if we were the only ones in the world.



However I got burned at the Subway Cave. The parking lot was full and there were a ton of kids waiting to get in. I should have known, the school classes are why we were in Lassen, but this was the only place we ran head long into them.

Drive home was pretty.

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Old 09-26-2013, 07:52 AM   #2
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Re: Naked in Lassen National Park!

Nice post and great pictures. I love Lassen (and Lava Beds), not to mention that whole area of California that many people have forgotten. Makes me REALLY miss the west. Oh well, t-minus just under two years until we move back to the PNW. Can't wait for the SMB adventures to start!
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:34 PM   #3
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Re: Naked in Lassen National Park!

Lassen is a great place to visit and fall when the masses are gone is my favorite time of year to do so. I packed the majority of the park in the 70's and did a camping trip about 10 years ago. Your pictures are bringing back some good memories. Thanks.
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:08 AM   #4
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Re: Naked in Lassen National Park!

We did the trip last summer against my families wishes (they wanted Yellowstone again) . I talked them into Sequoia,Kings Canyon,Lassen,McArthur /Burney falls, Crater Lake,back to Lava Beds ,Eagle Lake then down 395 to Virginia Lakes,Silver Lake then home to San Berdoo. Lava Beds should be called Lava Tubes due to the number of tubes you can explore. The stars are also amazing there. My wife and I agreed to go back to Lava Beds again for sure. Glad you had a great trip. We had no summer trip this year. First time in 20 years. The boys took college courses over the summer and we could not find a window. My wife and I were jonesin ' pretty bad. Thanks for posting your travels. I enjoy your travel logs. Edited to mention trip was done in the Bounder. 3 kids,3 dogs and 2 adults would not work in the SMB.
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:55 AM   #5
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Re: Naked in Lassen National Park!

Thanks to all who have posted. We have had such fun camping and this was a great place to share. I have been really happy with the photos so next year I will get a real camera. My point and shoot has gone south. If I zoom in there are spots all over. I guess I got dirt inside.

Francesca has found many occasions to mention how glad we have the Sportsmobile rather than other RVs we see. I was so worried because with the two of us and the dog it is very tight quarters. It is hard to pin down which features work for her. Understanding women is not my strong point, but I do know making them happy is something to do at all costs. I would point to the ease of parking and moving about. She would probably say it is not ugly like most RVs and we would be saying the same thing.

There has got to more left to this season, but having had to clear snow off the front porch I feel a sad impending end to this summer.
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:28 PM   #6
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Re: Naked in Lassen National Park!

I mentioned I like granola, meaning National Parks, lakes that don't allow motorboats etc. However getting a good cheeseburger is getting harder and harder, meaning a place to camp and screw around without a rule book. Topaz Lake has three campgrounds and is pretty wide open. I like the rocky shore line to the south where I launch the jet ski. No boat ramp so I can just leave the trailer on the shore. No houses etc. so I can motor around in circles practicing tricks and not bother anybody. It just occurred to me that we never really ran into another place like this all summer.

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Old 09-28-2013, 09:58 AM   #7
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Re: Naked in Lassen National Park!

Quote:
The deer in the Park crack me up.They just pose for the picture. A few hundred yards away hunting season is starting up. It is like they have a map of the Park.
NPS has contracts with the large animals in its parks, laying out hours and duty stations.

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Old 09-28-2013, 10:08 AM   #8
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Re: Naked in Lassen National Park!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rionapo
Quote:
The deer in the Park crack me up.They just pose for the picture. A few hundred yards away hunting season is starting up. It is like they have a map of the Park.
NPS has contracts with the large animals in its parks, laying out hours and duty stations.

Don
That's why come October 1st, if there's no Congressional action on a Federal budget, all the large animals in National Parks will have to leave the parks since they won't get paid.


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Old 10-03-2013, 12:41 PM   #9
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Re: Naked in Lassen National Park!

I was there a couple weeks before you. Was nice.

But I am rethinking the post-school start scheduling. Many of us have noticed that at least in the more remote NPs that use picks up just after Labor Day, probably because of increasing numbers of retirees. I seem to be seeing a drop-off in camping by my friends who have kids, partly because of the economy. But it doesn't seem to have slowed down use by retirees as much, many of whom are impervious to layoffs and pay cuts because they are on retirement income and the stock market is doing great.
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