Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cruising Shasta

Leaving Nevada we climbed up the side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.....and then coasted, literally. down the other side. The sign at the summit read "Long downgrades next 40 miles...."  It was probably the best mileage I ever got and the best mileage I can ever hope to get driving this bus. Engine breaks are a must in this situation or you'll be smokin' by the time you get to the bottom.

Most of the day in California we had sight of Mt Shasta. Northern California is very lovely and we passed some gorgeous lakes like Shasta Lake, but I was a taken a back that there were virtually no places available to pull over and take a picture much of the day. The roads here are carved into the hillsides- mountains anywhere else- and there just wasn't any extra real estate to set aside for photo ops I guess. There were a few places where road construction made driving very treacherous. In truth, it wasn't the road work that made it that way, it was the California drivers who insisted on making a two lane road with passing privileges out of a single lane construction zone. More than once we "sucked in" so hard that the sides of the coach pulled in and squeaked us through the tight spots. That was uncomfortable.

Since the path around Shasta took us pretty much all day, we stopped when we could, which wasn't often, to grab a pic or two. The mountain is VERY impressive. We played some mind games at the only scenic turnout provided and looked through our binoculars and made like we were watching otters slide down the mountain snow banks. Nobody bought it, but it did get a smile or two. :-)

This night we are just over the border in Oregon for a one-stopper. Tomorrow we head back down into California and go down the coast to Redwood National Forest. The idea behind traveling north-south rather than due west is to make the best possible passage through the Rockies. The two roads that would have been required on the east-west route at this part of the state are not really suitable for big rigs if it can be avoided. The north-south adds a few miles, but saves both time and wear and tear on the driver, and even the north-south route has its moments! On our way back into California tomorrow we'll pass through Grant's Pass. It will be hard to keep on trucking as we have a gold claim in Grants Pass (if we still have it) and I sure wish I could check up on that, but we'll tackle that task when we leave California for the Oregon Coast and later Washington State.

There are a few other volcanic mountain cones in the area of Shasta and you will get a look at one of them in the slide show:

No comments: