Monday, February 06, 2006

Mount Shasta

"When I first caught sight of Mount Shasta over the braided folds of the Sacramento Valley, my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since." - John Muir, 1874

*Photo by Jane English

Since relocating to Northern California, we knew that the time of the exploration of the Cascades had come. This weekend marked the beginning of the discovery with a trip to the Mount Shasta area.

This is a part of California that we'd never visited before. When we were living in Southern California, the drive was just a bit too much to make in one weekend. Plus, we kept getting distracted by The Sierras. Our first introduction to the peaks that Northern California has to offer did not disappoint.

First, the drive is just splendid. Once you get past the suburban sprawl, the road is lined on both sides with miles of rice paddies. The paddies with their frolicking birds gently lead to olive orchards. If you've ever spent any time with me, you'll know that I am a strong supporter of the olive. So, seeing long stretches of trees which supply such tasty treats is a joyous event for me. I had a hard time focusing on our final destination. I could have stopped and run through the orchards all weekend long.

From here, the scenery becomes less edible, but no less spectacular. After crossing the Sacramento river, thick forests lead the way to the base of Mount Shasta. I'd show you great photos of all of these places, but like a novice explorer, I forgot my camera. Honestly, even if I had taken my camera, photos could not do this amazing mountain justice. It juts up dramatically from the Earth and stands in superior solitude. Unreal! It's difficult to take your eyes off of it.

Once we were in such glorious surroundings, Mike got the urge for some speed. Luckily, there was a 15km freestyle Nordic ski race on Sunday, the Lemurian Loppet. So, he signed up and thoroughly trounced all of the Asian female competitors in the race. This is a racing tradition for him. I was glad to see he didn't disappoint.

Aside from enjoying the snow, we had an awesome dinner at the lodge where we spent the night, McCloud River Lodge. (Note to self: Order the boysenberry cheesecake! The kid's meal can feed five famished NFL linebackers.) This was overall a decent place to spend a weekend. It featured a friendly black dog and two cats for Sarah to harass. Also, it had a special fireplace that shutdown when the outside temperature dipped below freezing. So, if sleeping in a meat locker is your thing, I highly recommend room number 3! (OK, in the lodge's defense, the heater malfunction might have been operator error, but I was too cold to investigate.)

Sadly, we had to pack up yesterday and head back to our temporary jobs. Once our funding comes through, our real jobs as explorers will begin, and we'll be glad to share all of the details.

In the meantime, if you want to speed up the financing of our true calling, we accept all forms of cash and credit. Large unmarked bills preferable.


At 12:16 PM, Blogger greentogroove said...

Just passed through Mt. Shasta's shadow a few months ago on my trip up to Alaska. Beautiful. The snow was just beginning to fall and the weather was just turning cold... I stayed there for a couple of days and watched the snowline progress down the mountain until it was at my campsite.

At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I hope you don't mind me commenting again! It's Jodie, all the way from England - again! I just want to say I haven't had chance to read your blog in quite a while, but just have been, Sarah sure has grown! Your posts are so funny, I think thats why I enjoy reading it, bound to cheer me up! Anyway, sorry, just wanted to comment, your blog rocks! xx

At 10:56 AM, Blogger J Fife said...

greentogroove - What a wonderful way to experience Mt. Shasta!

Jodie - Hi! Good to hear from you again. Thanks for reading my silly blog. Hope all is well on the other side of the Atlantic. Stay in touch!


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