Wingman from the Roadside:
On I-5 from Oroville to Shasta City we crossed over the PCT MP 1499 at Castle Crags. It looked so much different from the dramatic highs and lows of the High Sierras we left behind below Lake Tahoe. We’ll cross the bridges here next year as we come to them.
Shasta City appeared to be a town lost in the 60’s. Lots of shops selling crystals, tie-dye stores, mountain outfitters, fortune telling. We pulled into the Shasta City KOA, parked in our assigned spot, and went for a walk about town. We found the local grocery store and bought some fresh vegetables and then returned to the campground and found the pool. We met and visited with a lovely family from Cambridge, UK who had rented a motor home in the Seattle area and were headed to San Francisco and then Southern California on holiday. We enjoyed sharing adventures and opinions of world affairs, Brexit, etc.
The evenings are cooler now as we move north making it easier to fall asleep earlier and we are enjoying the calm and relaxed pace of not having a real schedule. In the morning of July 30th (Day 60), we went to the Mt. Shasta Museum (free) just outside of town. We learned about the history of the City of Mt. Shasta and about “Linticular” clouds and that Mt. Shasta is known for the curious cloud formations hovering above the mountain. Early on they were mistaken for UFOs and that may contribute to all the curious phenomenon folks take interest in (crystals, seven-foot tall beings) in this town. After the museum we stepped next door to the fish hatchery which is the oldest hatchery this side of the Mississippi and fed the fish stalk. There were some huge trout in there looking for a hopper to chomp.
Back at the campground we made dinner and strolled to the camp office and activity room and found ourselves alone with a Ping Pong table and paddles. Neither of us had played in years and enjoyed the volley and pushing around the pinball machines to retrieve the ball without making them tilt or getting caught. These were interesting, fun, and relaxing activities we seldom find time to enjoy. This was a vacation, and at a perfect time. It helped to put some perspective on our lives and gave us time to ponder (process) the past two months.
Our last morning here we went for a walk up the highway to the City Park which is the headwaters of the Sacramento River. There is a dirt path that leads a short distance into the woods where water is flowing out of the rocks fed by springs under Mt. Shasta. Several people were walking up to the rocks with their gallon jugs to fill them with the pure, and to some “spiritual”, waters. We continued on the path listening to the water flow over the rocks as we headed back and I’m sure Peggy was having some thoughts in the back of her mind about the rivers she had anxiously crossed in the weeks before.