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Fieldtrip 1, Day 3: Find a Location for Education Activities

With the science team gone, the education team set out to search for and chose a potential site that might support a live webcast and a 360 VR pan and scouted out geothermal areas to be studied if the project expands to support Ames personnel working in these areas.

With the advice of our Ranger Steve Zachary, we set out for Bumpass Hell. He described two areas that we should check out, so we donned our hiking boots, put on some more sunscreen and headed out.

shot into valley below trail
Looking down from the trail!

Deborah Just when you think you've taken a photo of the most gorgeous spot in Lassen Volcanic National Park, you round another bend, and it just gets better!

Deb is standing near the spot we selected. See the photo below to see some of what we saw there!

Naturally, this find let to another congratulatory snowball fight!

panoramic view of mountains in Lassen Park
two hiker on the trail ahead of us

Looking at the basin from the trail above itWe came this far, so of course, we had to hike the rest of the way to Bumpass Hell, a basin that looked like a steaming, bubbling cauldron, even from the trail far above it.

We descended to an unreal scene full of color, steam and smells.

steam rising from a pot
bubbling mud pot A boardwalk was arranged around the area to keep visitors from burning themselves or destroying the natural beauty. A sign read:

"You are standing upon a residual mass of cooling andesite lava perhaps 3 miles deep. The “rotten egg” smell is hydrogen sulfide fumes rising from deep within this mass. Andesite lavas decompose readily but sulfuric acid and hot steam have greatly speeded up the process to carve out this barren, 16-acre bowl."

steam rising from pond
lake of bubbling water

From the boardwalk you could look down into bubbling mud pots and walk past what looked like little lakes until you got up close and saw that they were bubbling like boiling water on the stove.

It was Saturday, so we were accompanied by lots of park visitors.

park visitors on boardwalk
brian & deborah on the trail

The hike out, especially the climb out of the basin called Bumpass Hell called for a couple of extra stops for those of us who were not used to hiking.

As we left the park, we stopped at the park's Administrative Building and Visitor Center. Welcoming us at the front door was a poster announcing the Here Today; Gone to Mars Challenge. We will be back to this beautiful spot soon, and of course, we'll keep you posted.

Brian approaching the park headquarters

Back to Challenge Page
Back to Field Trip 1 - Day 1
Back to Field Trip 1 - Day 2

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NASA Official: Mark León
Last Updated: May 2005
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