Our second full day in Lassen found the kids playing somewhat happily in the forest while Daddy and I cleaned up after a breakfast of pancakes and peaches.As soon as we were done, the family was back on the construction riddled park road, driving back to the trailhead we'd scoped out the day before. I'd gone as far as to get out of the van and ask someone if you could actually make it to the waterfall, not wanting another disappointment like Bumpass Hell. There was no disappointment. None at all.There was a lot of snow melt though and some beautiful flowers. You can't tell, because I took this photo so close up, but these little lillies were no bigger than my thumb.We had to trek over some snow banks, but it was lovely and cool in the shady, snowy areas...a nice change from the exposed sunny hillsides.And the views along the way were as breathtaking as you'd expect.We finally made it to the waterfall, which also did not disappoint. The kids and Daddy stayed at the top, where they enjoyed this view.I, on the other hand, scrambled down the rocks where I could get a different view...and get bitten by an ant for my efforts.There was surprisingly little whining on this hike. Even Mam seemed to take the whole thing in stride. She loved sliding down the snow banks and skipping over the little streams.With so much lovely rushing water, it seemed like I was behind everyone more often than not...clicking away happily.On the way back, we took a short detour through a lovely meadow scattered with buttercups and running water. The view was so nice, I think it added a good half hour to our walk.Turns out, we'd timed things well. Although we'd hiked way past lunch time and left our lunches in the cooler in the car, we'd brought enough snacks to keep the kids happy. They still devoured their PB&J at the car. And we got to meet this charming fellow:Hey, what's camping without a few cool bugs, anyway?
Although we'd already had two great hikes, we were all feeling a little bummed that we'd be packing up to leave the next day. I tried to make some mental plans for how I was going to extend this trip, even though Daddy had an important meeting Thursday morning and we had to be back. We went to the visitor's center near Manzanita Lake just before closing and got the scoop on what other trails were open and where we might be able to go. Smunch also got recruited into the Junior Ranger program, while Mam got the paperwork to join the Chipmunk Club...paperwork that consisted of circling pictures of the animals she'd seen in the park. At least the papers kept them busy 'til bedtime!