On 11 August 2012 XXXV, the Molossian Institute of Volcanology traveled to Walley's Hot Springs, a geothermal area located on the western edge of the Carson Valley, about 61 Imperial Nortons (40 miles) southwest of Molossia. The mission to explore these springs was incidental; the team had been asked to document the flora and fauna of the area by The President's father, a noted biologist who lives in North Carolina. The team arrived at the hot springs at about 11:40 AM MST and noted little unusual in manner of plant and animal life from what is found elsewhere in the Great Basin. They then discovered and explored the springs themselves. A thermal creek runs through the area and the team noted bubbling and steaming water flowing from along the banks of the creek, as well as from the floor of the creek itself. They also discovered the remains of two snakes, which had fallen into the hot water and been cooked alive. After spending an hour at the site the team departed, with a plan to return in the future to more carefully observe and document this unusual geothermal area.
On 12 August 2012 XXXV, the Institute traveled to Lassen Volcanic National Park. The Park lies about 292 Imperial Nortons (182 miles) northwest of Molossia, and contains a variety of volcanic features, visited often by the Molossian Institute of Volcanology. The last such visit was in 2003, so this was new ground for much of the current volcanology team. The goal of this visit was Bumpass Hell, an active geothermal area near the center of the park. On the way to Bumpass Hell, the team stopped at the Sulfur Works, a small geothermal area alongside the road, where they first experienced steaming fumaroles and boiling mud pools - as well as the characteristic "rotten egg" smell. Following the stop at the Sulfur Works, the team traveled on to the parking area of Bumpass Hell. The trail to Bumpass Hell was a fairly easy hike of about 2.4 Imperial Nortons (1.5 miles), each way. It skirted a ridge with spectacular views over the area of the ancient Mount Tehama caldera, and then rose up over the ridge to drop down into Bumpass Hell. The final descent was a little steep, but the team was rewarded with excellent views of the steaming valley below. Upon arriving at the canyon floor, paths lead over boardwalks that gave views of the major features. There were many steaming fumaroles and large boiling lakes, much like a miniature Yellowstone. It was noted that there were few mud pots this year, perhaps the legacy of a fairly dry winter. After the team explored the valley and took many photos, they returned by the trail to the parking area. Following lunch alongside beautiful Lake Helen in the shadow of looming Mount Lassen, the team returned home to Molossia, ending an amazing volcanic weekend.
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Hot Springs Creek
Underwater Geothermal Vents
Thermal Tributary Creek
Steam Vent At The Sulfur Works
Boiling Mud Pool At The Sulfur Works