August 27 – Mount Shasta, California

Today was the shortest motor home driving distance we’ve scheduled for the entire trip, just 54 miles from Redding to Mount Shasta City … all but three miles of the trip on I-5.  I can’t say I was disappointed to leave one campground after 10 AM and arrive at our next stop be shortly after 11 AM!

We passed Castle Crags,

clear blue Lake Shasta,

Black Butte, just to the north of Shasta.

and more views of the ever-growing silhouette of Mount Shasta.

Mount Shasta has been the most active of California’s volcanoes over the past 4,000 years.  During that time it has erupted on an average of once every 300 years, producing many pyroclastic flows (fluidized mixture of solid to semi-solid fragments and hot, expanding gases that flows down the flank of a volcanic edifice. These awesome features are heavier-than-air emulsions that move much like a snow avalanche, except that they are fiercely hot, contain toxic gases, and move at phenomenal, hurricane-force speeds, often over 100 km/hour. They are the most deadly of all volcanic phenomena) and lahars (an Indonesian term that describes a hot or cold mixture of water and rock fragments flowing down the slopes of a volcano and/or river valleys). It last erupted in 1786.

After getting hooked up and having lunch we drove the the Everett Memorial Highway

which took us up to the 7,800’ level of Mount Shasta … at the tree line and just below the remaining snows.

Along the way, we were amazed at the “electric” green Staghorn Lichen which coat the northern sides of many older trees.

Interestingly, these lichen do no harm to the tree, but simply use the tree’s bark as an anchor while absorbing nutrients for the air.

Reaching the end of the Everett Highway, we entered a partially barren environment with incredible view of the summit more than a mile above.

Once again, however, proving nature will find a way … there was a brilliant display of ground-hugging flowers and leaves.

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