July 3. 100 plus degrees in nearby Redding where we are staying. But in Lassen Volcanic National Park one of the main trails we wanted to hike, Bumpass Hell, was still closed from snow pack. In July? Yep. In July. As we entered the park, the soft lavender and golden wildflowers carpeting all the hillsides left me awe-struck. The bubbling mud pot right beside the road served as a stunning reminder of volcanic action right beneath our feet. As we continued along the parkway, we encountered heavy snow areas on the mountains. Amazing. Lake Helen at 8,000 feet was glazed with ice. Yet we picnicked at Summit Lake a short distance away in the park. The extremes were amazing in this park with four different types of volcanoes.

On July 4, we checked out Redding’s Sundial Bridge, a functional piece of art spanning the Sacramento River. Glass panels comprise the walking bridge’s floor. A small garden, museum, and walking trails are also part of the attraction of the Turtle Bay Exploration area.