Monday, September 19, 2011

Medicine Lake Highlands - Trip Report - Day 5 - 9/14/11

Pre Dawn at Little Mount Hoffman Fire Lookout

          Watching dawn break was as easy as turning my head over on my pillow. As the rising sun came closer to breaking over the horizon I crawled out of bed and walked out of the cabin to have a look around.

Sunrise over Medicine Lake Highlands

Sunrise from Little Mount Hoffman

The Start of Another Fine Day

Little Mount Hoffman Sunrise

Little Glass Mtn, Pumice Stone Mtn. & Mt. Shasta

          After enjoying breakfast and a relaxing morning we headed out in the 4runner to explore the Medicine Lake Highlands. We drove down the mountain and continued west along the Self Guided Geological Tour.

Looking up At Little Mt. Hoffman Lookout

          Our gasoline reserve was about half full and with another day of exploring and the nearest gas station being over an hour away, we chose not to travel too far.
          We drove by Little Glass Mountain and its mounds of shiny black obsidian then continued toward Paint Pot Crater. We stopped at a nice meadow where we found a small body of water reflecting the billowy white clouds.

Modoc Scenery

Meadow Pond

          When we got near Paint Pot Crater I got out of the car and scrambled through the forest looking for a view but the tree cover never did open up enough for me to get a good vantage.

Broken Views of Paint Pot Crater Vicinity

          We continued along the graded dirt road taking a couple of detours down some rough forest service roads. We found a peaceful meadow where we stopped and had lunch.

Dry Meadow

          After a peaceful picnic we drove back to the base of Little Glass Mountain where we got out and explored for a while.

Sarah at the Base of Little Glass Mountain

Obsidian Chunks

          As we scrambled around the chunks of obsidian we were careful to watch our step as rattlesnakes are quite common in the area.

Little Glass Mountain

Lichen Among Scree

          Although it was tempting to try and make our way to the top of Little Glass Mountain we both were in the mood to relax so we ended up driving back up to the fire lookout.
          Evening came soon enough and I ventured down about a hundred yards from the lookout to a prominent volcanic rock outcropping to watch sunset.

Cloud Play at Sunset

Sunset from Little Mount Hoffman

Volcanic Sunset

Little Mt. Hoffman Lookout at Sunset

          Once again the scattered clouds throughout the sky were set a blaze with color as the sun sank deeper behind the horizon.

Colorful Clouds Above Little Mt. Hoffman Fire Lookout

          I lit a fire in the provided outdoor fire pit and barbequed two delicious filet mignons.

BBQ Time

          The wind picked up significantly throughout the evening and during the night it was downright howling.

(Click HERE to read about Day 4 of our trip)

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