May 20 Mt. Shasta

When driving here yesterday, we were unable to see Mount Shasta, a huge, probably dormant volcano that rises east of I-5. The clouds had it obscured yesterday but today the weather was clear with only a few puffy clouds. We took advantage of the weather and elected to go see Mt. Shasta from some rural locations northwest of this monster.

The entire summit and most of the steep portions of the shield around it were covered with ample snow. Many shield volcano cones were also visible and it was a wonderful drive. We passed by some very pretty ranches, a half dozen or more deer, lots of happily grazing cattle and huge expanses of juniper trees (they call them mountain cedar in Texas even though they ain’t cedars). We passed through an old town called Tailholt that once had stores, a saloon, a post office and some businesses along with a thriving community of folks living on large plots of land around town. There is nothing but fences, gravel roads and a nifty stone monument with a plaque now.

Once we got partway up the shield at 4,000′ elevation, we could look back into the valley through crystal-clear skies at the patchwork of volcanic terrain, beautiful pastures and Weed, Lake Shastina and Yreka below. It is really gorgeous here although it is still unseasonably cold at night. There is a bird that lives in the tree outside our trailer with an early rising habit. It starts merrily singing at around 4:45 in the morning, right at first light. It is okay, though. After I identified the culprit, I seemed to have acknowledged and then promptly ignored the gleeful chirping and went right back to sleep.

To see pix, click the link.

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