Friday, July 28, 2006

7/28/06 Lassen Volcanic National Park Part 1



該是離開舊金山灣區一下的時候。當初會來Lassen,其實是一時的衝動。找的朋友是中國大陸同學陳晟,也是一個國家公園的玩家。他和他老婆,不僅從Massachussetts開到加州來,還開了好幾個跨美road trip,將美國大部份重要的國家公園都玩遍了。所幸,Lassen是他還沒去過的,因此打電話邀約的時候,他二話不說,立刻答應了。(他老婆當時回韓國。)

Lassen National Park距離灣區,比Yosemite National Park還要遠一點,但去Yosemite得開一些大大小小的山路。去Lassen只需要要開I-5往北,又直又快,轉CA-36往東之後,路也算直。因此,到Lassen的時間,其實跟Yosemite一樣,差不多只需要四個小時左右。

The weekend trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park was a spur of the moment decision.  I gave friend Shen- a fellow National Park enthusiast- a quick call, which he agreed to join me without hesitation. Distance wise, Lassen Volcanic NP is a bit longer than Yosemite NP from the Bay area. .  However, the drive to Yosemite is not as straight forward, which involves cutting through a few small towns and a few mountain passes.  Lassen, on the other hand, is relatively smooth, as I-5 is pretty much a no-brainer.  Even turning onto CA-36 after hitting Red Bluff is not a difficult drive.  Therefore, both trips amount to taking an average of 4 hours to get there.




我們住在公園南邊附近的Child's Meadow Resort落腳。說穿了,根本稱不上什麼resort,還被別的網友說是"last resort",雖然有點過份,但也不無道理。Child's Meadow Resort其實是很簡單的小木屋,裡面只有最基本的配備,如床和衛浴間;與其說是resort,倒更像是個不折不扣的cabin motel。

Coming from the south, stayed at the Child's Meadow Resort.  The fancy name "resort" is really a cover for a simple cabin motel.  Other reviewers have jokingly spun it as a "last resort."  Although Child's Meadow is not quite as bad as these reviewers made it out to be, given that it really provides just the bare essentials for basic lodging, you might be paying a little more than what you intend to, solely because there aren't many other lodging choices in the area.  


Lassen Volcanic National Park的海拔不低(至少有6000 feet),因此附近的生長的樹為混合針葉林。上面這張是旅館門一打開的風景。遠離人群,在國家公園邊的空氣相當清新,而暑假的時候,氣溫其實相當舒服。

Because of the high elevation of the area, the trees you expect to see here are coniferous trees.  In this area, it's a mixed coniferous forest of pine and fir trees.  The picture taken above is the view you get from just outside of the room.  The summer air in the mountains is just right.   

Lassen火山國家公園的七月雪
snow still clearly visible in July at Lassen Volcanic NP

Lassen公園主要的公路,後面積雪的山峰即為Lassen峰
 Lassen Volcanic Park road, with Lassen Peak in the background

上述Lassen海拔之高,使得一年裡公園的路冰封的時間居多。通常都得到五六月,公園主要的道路才會開放給遊客。而如果雪季更長的話,有時甚至得到七月路才會通。2006的七月底,主要道路的雪都已經清光了,不過許多hiking trail卻還是佈滿著雪,實在是很有趣的景象。

Lassen Volcanic NP's main road usually does not open until May or June, due to heavy snow.  It can even open as late as July.  This year, we were pretty fortunate, and by late July, most of the snow in the main roads were long gone, but portions of some of the hiking trails were still completely covered in snow.  This was quite a sight to see.

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BUMPASS HELL

Bumpass Hell不但是公園裡地熱(geothermal)區規模最大的地方,而Lassen公園,則是整個Cascade山脈中地熱現象最多的地方。這些地熱現象,基本上需要的條件有三個:(一) 地底的高溫熔岩、(二)能讓水滲透的地下岩石、以及(三)最重要的水。這三個條件,剛好在Lassen這邊都有,因此形成了有趣的景觀。

這邊之所以叫Bumpass Hell,是因為當初有一位西部牛仔Bumpass探路探到這兒的時候,不小心腳踏到其中的一個泥漿坑裡,嚴重被燙傷。回到家被親朋好友問整個經過,他回答:「像是地獄(hell)般痛苦。」Bumpass Hell一名稱,就這樣來了。話說,他後來又帶領一批人回到此地,但不幸地,同一條腿又踩進一個mud pot裡。只不過,這次嚴重到他必須截肢。

Bumpass Hell is the largest geothermal area in the park, although Hell's Kitchen is comparable in size.  The are three important factors that constitute these geothermal systems :  (1) water, (2) porous rocks, (3) underground heat source.  Not surprisingly, Lassen Volcanic National Park satisfies all three of these.

The name Bumpass Hell is named after cowboy Kendall Bumpass who "stumbled" across the place and stepped into a boiling mud pot.  Describing the experience to his friends, he recounted it as being in hell.  He was asked to lead another expedition to the area, where he stepped into a mud pot, yet again.  This time, his leg was injured so badly that it had to be amputated. 




到Bumpass Hell的路其實一路平坦,所以其實算是很容易走的。這次去Bumpass Hell路上唯一的挑戰,就是上面照片上整個蓋滿雪的步道。雖然旁邊沒有什麼峭壁懸崖,不過要是失足滑落,要再爬回步道上,也是挺麻煩的。

The trail to Bumpass Hell is relatively flat and easy.  The only hindrance is parts of the trail completely covered in snow.  Take extra care in walking.  A slip won't be anything close to a life or death situation, but I guarantee it won't be fun.


 

接近地熱區的時候,可以開始看到泥漿小溪,並慢慢聞到硫磺的味道。
The closer you get to the center of Bumpass Hell,  you'll notice the grayish streams, not to mention the smell of rotten eggs!


這是Bumpass Hell主要的地熱區。因為這邊的溫度很高,因此都鋪了木頭的走道給前來參觀的遊客。為了不讓更多人慘遭Bumpass的痛苦際遇,ranger們也用在旁邊掛了許多告示牌,警告這邊的高溫。這邊最大的噴氣孔(fumarole)Big Boiler的溫度高達攝氏161度,也是世界上前幾熱的噴氣孔。

This is the center of Bumpass Hell.  The fumarole in the picture is the main attraction - the Big Boiler.  At 322 Fahrenheit, it is one of the world's hottest fumaroles.  To avoid becoming the next Bumpass, this area has a wooden walkway and many signs warning visitors not to do anything foolish.  Sometimes curious and foolish can go hand in hand. 



Fumarole主要是蒸氣直接噴出來,但在別處,冷卻凝結成水,會再和上升的蒸氣混在一塊,形成上面的mud pot,泥漿中不斷會有泡泡跑出來。

Whereas fumaroles are hot steam shooting out of the opening, sometimes the condensed steam will mix with other rising vapors to form mud pots.  These mud pots are generally fairly viscous, and so the escaping steam will make the mud pots to constantly bubble.

 

不過當地底的水,漸漸跑光了之後,那原本的mud pot也是會乾掉的~~~ 

Of course, once the underground steam runs out, the mud pot will dry out~~~~




這是比較大的池子。水比較多,除了看起來清澈些,不會像mud pot那麼稠。

This is a larger, clearer pond.  They are generally more fluid than the mud pots. 


既然提及這邊的地熱景觀,不免會與世界著名的黃石公園相比。黃石公園裡的間歇泉(geyser)所需要的條件,更是不尋常。要真能將水像噴泉一樣噴出來,全世界的案例並不多。我想,這也是大家爭先恐後會到黃石公園的原因,畢竟這種世界奇觀,不是永恆的。有機會能目睹,當要好好親自見證。

Obviously the geothermal features here will be heavily compared to those at Yellowstone National Park.  There are no true geysers in Lassen, and decidedly, the conditions for geysers to form are even rarer than the fumaroles and mud pots.  It is no surprise that people flock to Yellowstone National Park to witness this natural wonder.

(To be continued...)

5 comments:

GGs Adventure said...

this is one of my favoriate national parks in USA.

Deadlockcp said...

I definitely remembered this one very well~~

chichih said...

好漂亮!

Sophie said...

The story you wrote about Bumpass Hell is funny. Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of National Parks I really want to visit. The summer is a good time to visit there, right?

Deadlockcp said...

Summer is the best time to visit. All other times, it is covered in deep snow.

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