Mount Shasta, California, Yesterday: At 17,000 feet, the mountain towers above the range, the last of summer’s snows shading its flanks above the treeline.
The roads pass by to the west and south. There are no roads to the north and east.
To the south, McCloud is an old mill town nestling in the trees. The mill bosses paid no attention to the view, and just lined up the smaller houses on a grid, but from all the yards the mountain looms overhead. The managers homes, further up the slope, are reluctantly grand rustic victorians beneath the trees.
If you follow the road around the mountain you come to Mount Shasta City.
Interstate 5 is a broad-flowing river, roaring up from Los Angeles past San Francisco and vanishing in the north, passing a stone’s throw below Mount Shasta City. Jump off the Interstate, and the old highway winds past old-style motels and into town, looking quite swept up. The Nursery, Lily’s Restaurant, Casa Ramos, and Has Beans coffee house appear as the road grows wider.
If you continue past the health food store, you’ll pass Smith street climbing the hill to the right, and the thoroughfare will make a slow curve to the left. The old downtown runs for several blocks, filled with chiropractors, bookstores, and chock-a-block with spiritual healers, city buildings, and real estate offices. You could turn left on Lake street, ride the bridge over the Interstate 5, and wander out to Lake Siskayou. There you can rent a boat or a catamaran.
Or, you can follow the old highway to the north, past the farm implements, mini-storage, and the newspaper office, to rejoin Interstate 5 roaring up into Oregon.
But Adrienne and I will stay. We’ll be on Smith street.
This weekend, son-in-law Joe and I completed the first part of moving. On Friday, we hired two guys standing near Burger King. If you hire the guys near the mall, they are Guatamalan. If you hire the guys near Burger King, they’re Mexican. Joe and I packed, then Luis and Roberto dollied to the truck, and Joe packed. It took all day, and filled up a 25-foot Penske truck.
On Saturday we set off early, and six hours later parked beside Tulip’s new home, where Adrienne and I will also live. A guy named Matt appeared at the back door to help unload. Some things went to storage and the rest into the garage and shop. After a long, hot day, we found beer and food at Casa Ramos, and bid adieu to Matt. Joe and I crashed on air mattresses he inflated from the cigarette lighter socket in the truck.
On Sunday we drove home and returned Mr. Truck. I was exhausto. It was great. Going to sleep a while now.