Rubicon Point (Lake Tahoe, California) 17-Aug-2020

Wayne and Diane have been our best friends for decades (yes, we’re that old). Recently, we’ve tried to do an annual trip with them – like last year’s epic raft trip on the Green and Colorado Rivers. We had similar plans for this year which, for reasons now obvious to most people, couldn’t be realized. So, as they say, when life hands you lemons, mix another martini (or something like that).

Continue reading “Rubicon Point (Lake Tahoe, California) 17-Aug-2020”

McCloud River Falls (Shasta-Trinity Nat’l Forest) 23-Jul-2020

As we were leaving Mount Shasta for home, we decided to swing by and see the three main falls on the McCloud River. These get written-up in almost every tourist guide for the Mount Shasta area and we didn’t want to disappoint the local tourist bureau by not doing our bit as tourists. The falls are an easily accessible, extremely popular destination – rightfully so, but we hoped to see them without having to dodge milling crowds. Judging from the width of the formal trails – and the numerous intersecting use trails – these falls are probably over-run with visitors in a “normal” year. While these waterfalls undoubtedly deserve more time than we gave them, we were able to visit all three while encountering only a dozen or so other visitors. 🙂

Lower Falls (15 feet / 4.5 m high)
Middle Falls (50 feet / 15 m high, 100 feet / 30 m wide)
Middle Falls
Upper Falls
McCloud River above the Upper Falls
BACK TO HOME PAGE

South Gate Meadows (Mount Shasta Wilderness) 22-Jul-2020

We were originally alerted to South Gate Meadows by the Ashland Hiking Group and got the details from Hike Mt. Shasta. Older maps will show the springs in the meadow feeding Squaw Valley Creek, but that pejorative name has now been struck from Forest Service maps. We’d had a wonderful clear day on the east side of Shasta the day before and expected to have a similar one here on the west side today. We arose, however, from the embrace of Morpheus to find the sun an incandescent orange orb in a sky infused with orange-brown smoke from wildfires burning to the south and east. We drove up to the Panther Meadow Trailhead (at 7,400 feet / 2,255 m) hoping to get above the smoke. No luck. The whole place smelled like an old campfire. But there was a certain strange beauty in what the smoke was doing to the color of the light and to our views of the mountain, so we pressed on. I suppose that’s an upside to getting old – you just get on with it because you’re not quite sure you’ll get another chance. o_O

Continue reading “South Gate Meadows (Mount Shasta Wilderness) 22-Jul-2020”

Brewer Creek (Mount Shasta Wilderness) 21-Jul-2020

For our second foray in the Mount Shasta area, we once again relied on Hike Mt. Shasta to point us toward something interesting – in this case, the Brewer Creek Trail on Shasta’s east side. The promise (fulfilled!) of staggering glacier views was just too much to pass up. Getting to the Brewer Creek Trailhead entailed driving all the way around the mountain on a combination of paved, good gravel, and almost 4×4 dirt roads. The last three miles on long rutted switchbacks were particularly interesting. We arrived at the trailhead to find a pit toilet (with TP!), a kiosk, and various permit boxes. The free wilderness permit was self-issue and since we weren’t going above 10,000 feet (3,050 m), we didn’t need a $25 summit permit. The fact that this is a popular climber’s trailhead did lead us into doing a little unplanned cross-country travel.

Continue reading “Brewer Creek (Mount Shasta Wilderness) 21-Jul-2020”

Kangaroo & Bull (Klamath National Forest) 20-Jul-2020

Remember business travel? How it was a necessary chore but one that now we (maybe) long for? The upside of those days was an accumulated a pile of hotel reward points that we planned to squander on some BIG TRIP of our own choosing. But, alas, no. 😦 So we spent some on our trip to the Oregon Coast in mid-June and the rest on a just completed multi-day trip to Northern California. But that’s only two hours from home you say! Yes, but we wanted to do a few hikes in and around Mount Shasta and didn’t want to spend four hours per hike commuting. So we made a surgically clean hotel room our basecamp for a few days. Which was good because the soaring afternoon temperatures made it really nice to have some A/C (and a shower). California has slipped back to only take-out or outdoor seating at restaurants, so we had some nice meals outdoors – just like camping but the cooking was way better. 🙂 There were other tourists around but not nearly as many as in a “normal” year, so it didn’t hurt that we were there to pump a little money into the local economy.

Continue reading “Kangaroo & Bull (Klamath National Forest) 20-Jul-2020”