Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mt. Shasta

Today we explored the Mt. Shasta area there's not as much to do here, but there are a lot of trails to hike, including The Pacfic Crest Trail (PCT), which is long distance trail, similar to the Appalachian Trail, that runs from Mexico to Canada and it passes right by the town of Mt. Shasta.

This morning Dad and I went to Castle Crags State Park. There area many forest fires in the area and the smoke was causing it to be very hazy, which meant the views weren't as good, but we went up to vista point and then hiked to a small cascade. On the way back we hiked a small, maybe 0.25 tenth a of a mile, section of the PCT.

View of Castle Crags rocks.

View of Mt. Shasta through the smoky haze.

After lunch we got Mom and went out to drive the Mt. Shasta scenic drive. It was about 15 miles up the mountain through the Trinity-Shasta National Forest, to about 7,000 ft, so about halfway to the top. We had great views of the mountain and we would have had great views of the surrounding mountains if it wasn't for the haze.

At the Bunny Flats trailhead there was a NFS "information" trailer and the man who was staffing it, don't think he was a ranger, he might have been a volunteer, told us that there was a tree that had been struck by lightining on Tuesday (the same storm we saw building when we hiked to Paradise Meadow dumped a whole bunch of rain on the Mt. Shasta area) and was on fire and the NFS was sparing no resource in putting out the lone tree that was on fire. We saw the helicopter flying with its bucket of water! The information man told us they were likely getting the water from Castle Lake.

We continued the last three miles up the road to the end and had great views of the Old Ski Bowls, a smoky view of the mountains to the west, including Castle Crags where Dad and I were this morning.

Mt. Shasta from Old Ski Bowls

Looking west from Old Ski Bowls on Mt. Shasta.

Next we drove out to Castle Lake! We saw a sign to it and remembered that's where our friend in the information trailer had told us they were getting the water to put out the burning tree! The helicopter was done ferrying water, but the lake was very nice! Would have been a good place to kayak if we'd had the boat!

After dinner we went to the local laundromat! It was "wash the sheets" day, always a pain, but it has been two weeks and last night I discovered a ton of sand in my bed! You all know how I feel about sand, and sand in my bed is not ok. When I pulled the sheets off the bed I discovered about a tablespoon of sand in a pile on one corner of the mattress pad! I don't normally take the mattress pad off so I considered borrowing Mom and Dad's dyson stick and vacuuming it. I also considered pulling it off and washing it, but I'd washed a similar mattress pad and it melted the backing. I finally decided to take it off and shake it out. I had to stand on to of the picnic table (it's solid stone!) so the mattress pad didn't touch the ground and get more debris on it. I'm sure the other campers were wondering what I was doing and why. My only regret is that I didn't think to sing Taylor Swift's "Shake it off" while I was on the table with the mattress pad! Here's hoping all the sand is out!




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