John & Anne Wiley

2011/09/02

First Summit

This trip is the first time we’ve gone anywhere near Mount Shasta because usually there are clouds and/or dangerous winds there. When it was clear and winds were light as we approached it this time, we decided to delicately feel our way closer and higher to see if the winds were different at the top. It was almost flat calm by the time we cautiously circled the summit and got close enough for this pic.

3590 Shasta Summit

3590 Shasta Summit

It shows the zigzag trail up from the left, and my impression was that the highest point is the last rock outcrop at the right. Though it seems bleak in this pic, it was quite stunningly beautiful in context and somewhat breathtaking as we imagined this could also be the high point in our trip. It wasn’t, as you know if you’ve read all my posts about this Smiley Adventure. Still, this was another major contribution to what was an overwhelmingly magnificent day that began in San Jose and included Santa Cruz and San Francisco. Unbelievable.

Our next major attraction that day was the rock outcrop named Pilot Rock that I’ve called Cowboy Hat Rock because of how it looks from over I-5. Here on the other side up close it offers fascinating details and color variations.

3633 Cowboy Rock

3633 Cowboy Rock

The final major thrill on this flight was circling down over Ashland and seeing people filling up the open air theater for a performance.

3648 Downtown Ashland

3648 Downtown Ashland

It’s the horseshoe-shaped building, and the stage is that Tudor style “house” facing it. The angled row of buildings bottom-right is a quaint shopping and cafe area where we had coffee the next morning overlooking the river behind the buildings. Magical times!

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