We went to Lassen because The Barracuda has been so excited to learn about volcanoes. Lassen National Volcanic Park has at least one of each of the four types of volcanoes - shield, strato or composite, cinder cone, and lava dome. What a better way to learn about something he already loves than to hike all around and actually see them.
Well, you might notice from the complete lack of photographs in this posting that we did not wind up seeing much of anything.
The Junior Ranger program was bolstered so much and our experiences had been so good, that we completely forgot how to be effective parents and told The Barracuda how he could earn another one at the "volcano park." Only, we didn't check first. Highly excited, child was very eager.
When we actually got to Lassen it was late, so we awoke early and then learned the only way to acquire a ranger patch was to go to a ranger program. Very normal. Only this program was almost 2 hours long and required our son to be instructed (lectured) to all about volcanoes.
It was brutal. There was much parental anger as we sat rather than actually seeing any volcanoes at all. Cool places were missed as picture cards were shown and read to our child who is thoroughly capable of reading himself. He was talked down to in a "baby voice" and not even allowed to write his own name on his ranger booklet. I was seething and had to excuse myself a couple of times or run the risk of becoming my father. A slew of choice words and names were spoken to Jules, who excused himself in under 15 minutes since he is the father and has no qualms with losing it. Needless to say, we will be going back to this National Park because it looks incredible.
The only good thing which came out of our ventures in Lassen was a very clear picture of why we wish to homeschool our child. Rather than sit in some classroom and be spoken to like a child, we would much rather experience the world. This was equally agreed upon by both Jules and I. With convictions firmly in hand, we left Lassen on a trip down to Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon.