The St Bernard Lodge has "limited" internet. It turns out that this means that there is one booth in the dining room that gets a good enough signal to be useful. And even that is a bit dodgy.
Yesterday morning I managed to update my status on Facebook to say how clear the skies were and how this was sunburn weather. Mrs Notthat then took over the computer and chatted with WHM until the battery nearly died.
In any case, less prophetic words ("sunburn weather") were never spoken. By the time we headed into the park it was already completely clouded over with some ominous thunderheads in the distance.
I love painted cattle guards and am amazed that cows are so dim that they can be fooled by them. However, I don't think the dimmest cow would not be able to work out how to get around this particular one.
This is the morning drive up to Lassen Volcanic Park. It was very moist out with low flying clouds all over the place. There were also lots of these zig-zag fences.
There were lots of waterfalls around. Being in a moist area has its advantages.
Here is Mrs Notthat walking up to the new visitor center. Observant readers will notice the bit of snow off to the right.
We headed up the road from the visitor center as far as we could. The road through the park is still closed due to snow. (They plan to have it open on Friday - this continues the theme of us being just a bit too early in the season.) This particular parking lot is for the hot springs.
This is a mud pot. It's a bit disturbing to watch this mud steaming and burbling away.
Across the road from the mud pot there were other kinds of steam vents. And actual signs that explained them (which I naturally ignored).
Me styling in the rain. The worst was yet to come...
When we pulled into the Bumpass (I'm not making that name up) parking lot it started to hail. The stones were pea size, so they didn't hurt anything, but they sounded ferocious while sitting in the car. This is what the parking lot looked like. There were several cars sitting empty in the parking lot. These were put there by brave (or not bright) hikers determined to recreate.
This is our car (and a few more hiker cars). The great thing about this was that we were able to fill the ice chest with free-range organic ice!
A boulder that looks a lot more precarious than it is (although I didn't actually try to push it - I'm sure others have though).
There are hidden high-tech bits like this scattered around to monitor the volcano. Lassen last blew back in 1915 or so, but is still considered an active volcano. Since the road was closed, there was no way to actually see volcanic type stuff.
A view showing the threatening weather.
Lassen Peak and the end of the road. For now.
A frozen lake. As you can see, it was still very winter infested around this place.
It turns out that some of the very permanent-looking cliff barriers along the road are actually portable. They remove them in the winter so that the snow plows can shove snow over the cliffs.
At this point it had stopped raining and hailing, although careful readers will note the dark clouds in the background of this picture.
We went back to the visitor center and decided to take a shortish (about 4 mile total) hike to some falls. When Mrs asked the ranger about this, he covered his badge and said we should have no trouble with it, although we might get wet. And run into a bit of snow. This picture shows Mrs walking back to the car (which is being protected by the stylish purple umbrella) to get suited up.
Mrs eating a pre-hike snack.
Me dressed for anything. Or so I thought.
It is tough to follow a trail when it is under a few feet of snow. We gave it a game effort, but after a bit we were completely baffled as to where the trail really was. Plus it started raining and thunder was booming in the distance. We gave up, drove around Lake Almanor and then ate dinner at a restaurant with a great name - Knotbumper.
This is a logging-themed restaurant that was fun with average food. After dinner we finally tried out the St Bernard Lodge hot tub. I'm not a big hot tub fan but Mrs Notthat declared it superb.
The St Bernard Lodge is an interesting place, but it's probably not for everyone. It's a little rough around the edges, and I can imagine that the bathrooms get pretty competitive when all the rooms are full. But if a B&B with a bar and pool table sounds good to you, it's probably your kind of place too.
We checked out Wednesday morning and headed to Oregon to begin the treehouse part of the vacation.
That's it - move along...