Monday, June 9, 2014

Day #34: Mt Shasta Explodes

Today's Route: Burney Falls Trailer Resort (26.2 miles N of Old Station, CA) to Mt Shasta, CA (57 miles)
Total Trip Miles: 1,458

It's one of those rare one-photo blog days. Here it is, a photo of Mt Shasta, as we rode into the town bearing the same name:

Mt Shasta.

Today was a straight-forward riding day. We climbed a couple of summits, we passed through one (and only one) town, and then we arrived at Mt Shasta.

We had gorgeous views of the mountain for nearly our entire ride. Seeing the mountain in the distance reminded me of getting lured into the sound of the Sirens in Greek mythology. Do nothing but pedal towards the entrancing beauty before you.

Mt Shasta, at 14,179 ft, is the second highest peak in the Cascade mountain range. Only Mt Rainier, in Washington state, is taller.

Of course, riding towards Mt Shasta also made me cycle through Vienna Teng's "Shasta" song in my head about one million times.
And you're thinking about clouds, the color of fire,
And the scent of an orange peel.
The way Mt. Shasta explodes into windshield view,
And your hands, steady on the wheel.
"Mt Shasta explodes..." And so does Alex...

We had stopped in the town of McCloud for lunch. Our lunchtime was a bit overdue, and so we were hungrier than usual. Having a decent amount of touring experience under my belt, I've learned to eat in small increments while biking, regardless of how hungry I might be. Alex had not yet learned this. Alex ate a lot for lunch. And Alex drank a lot for lunch.

After lunch, we climbed about 1,250 ft to the top of Snowman's Hill. When we got to the top, Alex jumped off his bike, quickly dug through his pannier for some toilet paper, and then he dove off into the forest. I watched his "gotta go" dance with a smile on my face, as right across the road was a pit toilet. Ha!

Some lessons of touring are best learned by trial-and-error.

Not only did arriving into Mt Shasta mean that we would be arriving at the town named after the beautiful mountain, but it also meant that we would be reuniting with Ron, our Warmshowers host from Palmdale, CA (see Day #10: Crazy Ass Winds).

When we stayed with Ron in Palmdale, he mentioned that he'd be heading up to the Shasta area June 7th-11th. Knowing that we'd be biking through that area in a few weeks, he proposed that we get together, should our schedules allow.

Indeed our schedules would overlap. We would be passing through Mt Shasta during the same window when Ron would be there. So, this afternoon we met Ron at the Shasta KOA, where he had reserved a site awhile back.

We sat around the campsite, talking about touring, other outdoorsy stuff, the virtues of retiring, and life. It was fun to meet up again with someone we had met for the first time earlier on this trip.

Bedtime came around 8pm. Tomorrow Ron will bike along with us for the first leg of our ride!

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