Tour without a goal – 8 August 2014

Mt Shasta looking pretty barren

The full moon ringed
by these innumerable stars
and the sky a deep green

a wild ride
From where I had camped in Weed it was an easy 4-5 miles back to the route which then climbed up through a valley most of the way to the town of Mt. Shasta. Mt. Shasta seemed like the stereotype of a NoCal town – two natural food stores, two crystal shops and at least one real good bakery. One the way out of town the road was closed and traffic was routed around. I check with the gal, doing the routing that it’d take me to 89 and she assured me it would. She asked me “Do you want to take a real wild ride?” If so then I should go left up Old McCloud road onto forests roads and take the backroads to Snowman Summit. So it did this. It turned out to be a pretty serious climb, but in the woods and only a couple of cars and a logging truck or two were there besides me. I descended down to Snowman Pass which means I was a fair piece above it. As I came down I saw Mt. Shasta in my mirror and stopped to check it out. It had been obscured in smokes and clouds so this was my first clear view of it. It loomed over the road but is almost completely bereft of snow with just a few thin glaciers visible on this side. Not how I’m used to seeing it. Back to 89 I had to go and would be riding on, with the occasional side road, for the next couple of days. After the descent from Snowman’s Summit, which had a nice wide shoulder it all but disappeared., the traffic alas did not.

Pit Dam

The landscape had been dry, but green with lots of undergrowth on the peaks but as I’d descend it would get dryer and hotter. The plateaus were all sand, twisted trees like Madrona and Quaking Aspen and thin pines. I saw what looked like a vulture and several times lizards. Twice today I climbed to above 4500′ and descended to around 3000′. The second climb was up to Dead Horse Summit and it was rolling hills both up and down it. It got rockier and hotter as I went down but like yesterday there were some evening clouds to help obscure the sun. The last bit of descending was along Clark Creek which really wound down a dry canyon above a reservoir. At the bottom was the Pit Dam which I road across before climbing a bit out of the valley and back to 89. There I backtracked to Burney Falls State Park where I was the only one at the hiker/biker site. I had pushed to get here as I thought campground might be full it being Friday, so it was another long day. The campground was dusty with huge pine needles everywhere and pumice stone littering the ground.

under the full moon
the crickets and the tree frogs
sing together

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