An Overnight Stop At Lassen National Park


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Published: August 10th 2019
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We had to leave early Saturday morning for the official start of the grandkids trip. We drove away from Long Ranch at 7 a.m. and headed for Redding to meet up with our grandsons.

We met our grandsons’ mom and had a nice visit with her. We were happy to see our grandsons as well, as we had not seen them for a few weeks.

Our plan had changed slightly when we realized we were closer to Reno then we originally thought. We decided to stop at Lassen National Park. We got into the park and were told that this was the Dark Sky Festival, a once a year festival and that the park was full. This park is certified as a “Dark Sky” park. https://www.nps.gov/lavo/planyourvisit/dark-sky.htm

We decided to try to get a campsite anyway, but if that failed we’d do all of the activities possible then drive to a rest stop.

We got to the campground and were told to go thru Loop B. If we found a site without a reservation slip then we could take it. We found a site and snagged it immediately. The camping site goddess was with us.

The Dark Sky Festival consists of various displays in the plaza by the Ranger Station. Someone was from NASA, people with solar scopes to view the sun, and a special canopy with lots of art supplies for kids.

The festival also included several astronomers with telescopes set up in a meadow just beyond the campground. The area was to open at 9:30 p just after the Ranger Program.

The program was commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing. The person giving the talk had been acquainted with the astronauts and told lots of stories. Toward the end of his presentation, he announced that the space station would be flying overhead soon. Everyone looked up in the sky and some people thought they saw it. We didn’t.

A ranger was going to lead the first group of people to the telescope area using her red light. They left and several of us, including the 3 grandkids stayed back and were asking questions. As we talked the space station flew right over our heads, incredibly bright, so beautiful!!

We went with the next group to the telescopes. The sky was so amazing, so full of stars, Jupiter and galaxies. It was a beautiful sky with or without a telescope.

This was a great start to our trip.

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