Leaving Bend, Oregon was similar to leaving Banff, Alberta without the Rockies, and at first the trees looked as though they had more room to breathe.
Up ahead I spied a small rounded foothill which looked as if it were neatly wrapped in trees. As we sped by, I was startled to find its south side nothing but black lava, with a high thick crust running along the highway – lava land. Who knew?
It only made sense to read two or three signs for “crater” lakes, shortly thereafter. Traveled through several different National Forests, and they did become thicker, more dense, the farther we drove.
Soon a heavy, thick fog enveloped us as we approached Klamath Falls, remnants of a shoreline made us wonder what we were missing and I checked the map to measure the lake. Took a detour through town, searching for nostalgia, but found empty buildings instead. No doubt the economy’s cruel fingertip had found this place as well?
Once again descending into a valley to cross the Oregon/California border, where we maneuvered through road construction, under a very warm sun, through a tiny town called; Doreen, felt like Mexico.
Miles of grass greet us, surrounded by desert prairie foothills and then a marker; “Butte Valley National Grassland” with another sign I’ve never seen back home – “Blowing Dust Area”. What makes the soil here unwelcoming to even one tree root? Perhaps it’s the wind that blows any potential seed away?
There to our left in the distance, an incredible surprise rises up to break the skyline! A majestic King cloaked in a white cape, towering from his throne on the horizon. I scan the highway for a sign, a name. We are leaving the valley and ascending, climbing to 5,000 feet. No doubt on the other side we’ll see.
Mount Shasta, California‘s precious jewel in the famous “ring of fire”, standing 14,152 feet at its summit. We pull over to take a picture and marvel at the view! Sunroof open we press on to Weed, California for lunch.