Lodging and more at Lassen
I loved the article on Lassen Volcanic National Park ["That Wow Moment" by Rosemary McClure, Aug. 10]. My husband and I enjoyed several days there over Thanksgiving a couple of years ago. Although the road past the visitor center was closed, we were able to snowshoe and ski for miles on trails and the road. We pretty much had the park to ourselves.
McClure missed one place to stay: Lassen Mineral Lodge is about nine miles from the southern entrance to the park. It's a quirky little place, but very clean, and the hosts could not be more accommodating. Although we were the only guests, they opened the diner each morning and evening so we would have somewhere to eat (there is nothing else in Mineral, Calif.). Rooms were reasonable, and the cooking was good!
I hope McClure's article encourages folks to get to the park. It is truly spectacular, no matter what season you go.
My wife and I had a wonderful time at Lassen in 2011. However, the article missed the mark by ignoring the fact that the most efficient flight is from LAX to Redding, Calif., by way of San Francisco International Airport and that Chester, Calif., is about half the distance from Lassen than Quincy is. Chester has good lodgings, including a Best Western, and several restaurants. It's a trip well worth taking.
Seventy-five years ago, when I was 5, my family and I visited Lassen. The volcano had last erupted in a couple of decades before our trip. As a 5-year-old, I was concerned that it might erupt again. A park ranger told me they had ways of telling if it was going to erupt again. This information made me feel secure. As an adult, I revisited Lassen three more times and enjoyed the unusual geothermal activity. The sunsets were a beautiful way to end each day.
There are other wonderful under-visited volcanic sites in the Pacific Northwest in addition to Lassen, and one can make a very nice one- or two-week driving circuit of them.
In addition to Lassen, I recommend Mt. Shasta National Natural Landmark to the south, Lava Beds National Monument in the far northeastern corner of California, Newberry National Volcanic Monument in Bend, Ore., Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument in Washington state and, of course, Crater Lake National Park.
The air is clean, the people are friendly, and you can get a good idea of the volcanic forces that shaped and continue to change that part of the country.
(My sons and I saw all these and other scenic mountains, forests, cities and the Columbia River gorge on a wonderful Volcano Week Tour of the area about 15 years ago.)
Seating doesn't fly with traveler
Regarding "Getting Your Seats Together for a Flight" by George Hobica, Aug. 17: Suppose you and your family of four went to the movies and you could not sit together, would you still buy tickets? This situation applies only to our airlines, which constantly nickel and dime their customers — and we let them get away with this. Simply amazing. No other business could get away with this and remain in business. When will it stop?
Charles P. Martin