January 29, 2018

Good Day

Sun was shining. Temps got up to 70+ in the valley. We packed up and hit the road!

First, we headed to a couple of sites towards Whitmore, where there are good views of Mt. Shasta. We could have driven to the Mountain but it is an hour north and haze was moving in fast. As it was, we still missed the contrast of a clear blue sky as a backdrop. 

There was a contrail above the mountain that made it look like the old volcano was actually smoking. Kind of cool! It has 7 glaciers on it and erupts approximately every 600 years. According to records we have about 400 years to go until the next big boom. Projections are that it will probably erupt on the north side, good news for Redding, not so good for Weed and Yreka!

Then there is Lassen. Beautiful mountain about 70 miles east of Redding. If you look closely at the photo below, you can see some small, jagged peaks on the right of the major cone. That is what is left of a much larger cone, which was called Mount Tehama. The jagged remains are referred to as Brokeoff Mountain.

Some of Mt. Tehama's eruptions blasted volcanic rock 40, 50, even 60 miles! The remnants can be seen everywhere. Some very hard working ranchers and farmers have gathered the rocks and built gorgeous stone wall fences. Having gathered rocks from the fields at the ranch to help install culverts, I can honestly state that there is not enough Naproxen in the world to help me gather and build a rock wall around the entire ranch, let alone a small corral!

We turned away from Shasta, headed through Whitmore to Hwy 44.  There is a house along this road that we almost bought when the kids were all still at home. The view was fantastic, the house was okay, but it was right on the road. I don't want to live right on the road...but look at us now! We live in town! Who would have thought it could happen.

Anyway, the next photo is what the view would have been if we have purchased the house.

Fourteen years ago, The Guy talked me into moving into town. His promise was that if I would agree to sell the house in Palo Cedro and live in the city for 5 years, we could buy some property in Whitmore and build our own house. We have lived IN Redding, in this house for 14 years now!

As we drove through the mountains, I realized that we are never going to live in the mountains. We are taking care of aging parents now, can't move anywhere but closer to them. At our ages, mid '60's, and thinking of the needs of our folks could soon be our own needs,  I know that wherever we move needs to be more practical than a home hanging onto the side of a mountain with windy, icy roads to get in and out. The more we drove, the sadder I got but didn't realize why until this morning.  I am a country girl, living in a city.

Okay, enough of the self-pity stuff. Back to yesterday's drive.

Three weeks ago, we took a drive up to Lassen with son's family, grandson's family, The Guy and I. We had to search for snow to play in. This path to the bridge was a two inch sheet of slippery ice. Yesterday it was crunchy snow.

We had to search but we did find snow and we did have fun, especially the littles!  Luke and Brinley had a ball the first week of January.

Dad's worked hard pulling sleds and kids up the slope!

Yesterday, I discovered this sign. I'm trying to figure it out. Does it mean the snow if 'official'?
Does it mean the depth of the snow is 'official'?  Or is there an 'Official' buried in the snow?

 As the chip loaded the photos, I realized that I had not downloaded a little trip to Lake Siskiyou we had made in the fall. I caught this photo just as a leaf shower started. Every now and then a gust of wind would come through inspiring the forest to rain leaves. It was quite stunning but hard to capture on film.

Easier to see in black and white.

All in all, it was a good day.


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