John & Anne Wiley

2014/11/08

Last Mountain

The last major mountain we passed on our flight home was Shasta. So many times I’ve passed it in a car – as a kid in the back seat, my first time driving it in my own car, and more trips since including several with Anne before Tripp. So for me Shasta is an iconic mountain “friend” of sorts. A milestone perhaps. Unlike driving past, every time in Tripp is very different because it’s so easy to whimsically change our route and we can see it the whole time without trees or hills in the way. So each passage unfolds new faces.

6785 Shadow Shasta

6785 Shadow Shasta

This time one of many views we saw of it was beyond the Black Butte cinder cone that towers next to I-5. Shasta stands like some strange shadow of the cinder cone, or maybe a photobomb. This perspective reveals the “shadow” side of Shasta, reminding us that it’s an active volcano. Shasta Lake nearby is a shadow of its normal self, with many arms completely dry revealing the old road with normally submerged bridge below that railroad bridge.

6795 Surfaced Bridge

6795 Surfaced Bridge

Invisible from distant I-5, for the thousands of passing motorists the old bridge is effectively still submerged, below their view. What they can see is part of this view that still looks like a lake, yet conceals the small marina around a bend toward the bottom of the pic.

6800 Shasta Lake

6800 Shasta Lake

There the boaters are making a last stand at their inlet, carving a new road down to the water. Out the other window a few minutes earlier passed these rocky peaks of Castle Crags that I never noticed (or couldn’t see) from the road.

2570 Castle Crags

2570 Castle Crags

It still surprises me sometimes when people are afraid to fly, yet will risk their lives daily down on those dangerous roads and highways down there. Maybe some people are born to fly. The pull so powerful that even those with some fear will find their way past it up into the sky. Cruising the open air between cloud and mountain, delighting in the world beneath our wings, and wishing we could share this rare joy with everyone.

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