Here’s what that Friday morning snow in Mount Shasta looked like. Not sure when it started, but it was over by 10 a.m. By noon, it was turning into a nice day. I spent the afternoon on a ranch north and east of town, and it was dry and warm there.
Drove up to Mount Shasta last night and didn’t get in until very late. I’m up here to do a radio story on a recent Nature Conservancy land purchase that aims to restore some valuable salmon spawning streams up here. But the news right now, as I look out my window onto Mount Shasta Boulevard, is that there’s a steady and from a lowlander’s perspective pretty heavy snow falling. I don’t think it will last long, but I didn’t really expect to see it. It’s beautiful, and I’m hoping that it won’t get in the way too much of my handling a tape recorder and microphone. Pictures later.
Monday into Tuesday: Drove up to Eugene (to take Thom back up to school) and back (to be in time for my first day of school). Full moon tonight. Overworked word: magical. But the moonlight on the mountains up north was just that, magical. Going over one of the higher passes, a meteor came down nearly directly in from of me in a long, green, sparking arc. Then, on the way down the grade to Yreka, I could see the clouds around Mount Shasta had cleared. I pulled off to the vista point that commands the view of the high valleys sweeping south to the mountain and tried a couple time exposures (not perfect because it was very windy and cold and I had to try to hold the camera steady on top of a railing). A couple of them turned out OK.
An hour and a half ago, I finished an up-and-back drive to Eugene to pick up Thom for Thanksgiving festivities. On the way to Oregon yesterday, the sun set just as I got to Redding, 200 miles north of here along Interstate 5. Winding through the mountains, Mount Shasta occasionally appears, always bigger than you expect. as you speed up the highway. The mountain, with new snow from the first storms of the season, held the last light long after everything around it was dark. I tried a through the windshield shot (hey — you have your cellphone, I have my camera) at a low shutter speed; it’s good enough for what it was.
We were gone 51 hours. Drove 1,035.3 miles. Left Eugene today at 1:51 p.m. and got home (514 miles later) at 10:34 p.m. Stops in Weed, Redding, and Williams. And in Dorris, California, too, to snap a picture of the Elm Motel (see below).
5:03 p.m.: Dorris is the first town you hit in California as you head south from Klamath Falls on U.S. 97. The highway makes several turns in town. This place is just south of the last bend, and just across the street from the big restaurant in town, a divey-looking place called La Tapatia. In addition to these two establishments, Dorris (population in 2000: 886) boasts that it’s the home of the tallest flagpole west of the Mississippi. Whether the claim is true or not (and I can’t find anything right now that contradicts it — stay tuned), the flagpole is an eyecatcher.
5:11 p.m.: You could see Mount Shasta for well over 100 miles to the north along U.S. 97 today, despite partial overcast. This is from closer up — it was probably about 45 miles to the northeast of the mountain and just a few miles southwest of Dorris and the warm welcome waiting northbound travelers at the Elm Motel.
7:13 p.m. At the In-N-Out in Redding. There were two Vettes parked just outside. This was the nicer one and the better picture.