Bumpass Hikers: The Bad

A hike to the geothermal area in Lassen Volcanic National Park known as “Bumpass Hell” in 2015 revealed a smorgasbord of hiking styles: prepared, not prepared, polite, rude, curious, oblivious, observant, selfish, selfless, etc. So let’s count down the winners (and losers)!


Bumpass Hell Geothermal Area

3. THE SORE WINNER = Only minutes after embarking on our hike (about a three-hour round trip), Cindy and I encountered one slightly devious little boy. As I remember it, we met while headed in opposite directions around a brief portion of the trail that required one-way traffic and extra caution.

Having watched our ponderous crossing of the narrow path etched into the steep hillside while waiting a turn with his parents, all the while with the final destination of the parking lot in sight, this miserable fellow informed us in passing, “You have a looooonnnngggg way to go!” Then he laughed, a bit maniacally.

2. ROTTEN JULIE = The woman in the orange parka, much like Lady Visor (her counterpart on the Good Hikers list), came prepared for high-altitude weather conditions, but two things keep her from the pleasing moniker of “Lady Parka.”

First, she looked strikingly similar to our friend Julie (who, for the record, is not rotten).

Second, much like those drivers who speed up and swerve wildly past everyone on the freeway, then slow down directly in front of others immediately upon taking the lead (as if hiding from police radar, and using other cars as camouflage), forcing all to go around them (until they start the process over again), our Ms. Orange Parka – who, by the way, was also unfriendly – kept Donkey Kong barreling down the trail in a rush, scattering everyone in her way.

Then, after frequent pauses to catch her breath or to take in the view or to plot her next hostile takeover, she would merge back onto the trail and start leapfrogging again. Hence, Rotten Julie.

1. THE JOGGING JERK = Ugh. This guy.

The third doppelgänger in the terrible trio of perfect opposites to our list of Good Hikers zoomed by as we (and many others) carefully inched our way down a steep slope “paved” with loose gravel.

J.J. not only failed to yell out warning of his approach (“On your left!” would have been appropriate), he jogged past.

Jogged. On a crowded, treacherous trail.

“Hold on!” I yelled in the second of his approach, but he didn’t hear me over the music from his headphones.

Headphones. While jogging. On a crowded, treacherous trail.

Like a cheetah, he was instantly out of sight before I’d even regained my balance.

Bumpass Hell Boiling Pool and Mud Pot


“Oh my, is he really going to do THAT?! I can’t stop watching.”

2 thoughts on “Bumpass Hikers: The Bad

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