A spectacular autumn view of Mount Shasta. This was taken at a super secret spot!
The past week was an almost indescribably beautiful week in Mount Shasta. The weather has been beautiful and the fall color has been at its apogee. If you can make it to Mount Shasta some time in the next week, with temperatures near 70 and the color nearly riotous, it will very nearly be paradise.
Words don’t really do the conditions justice so I will jump to images and add a few descriptions below.
The week began with a trip to the pumpkin patch with my family. The kids naturally had a grand time and several pumpkins were acquired.
On the way home there were several instances of isolated trees flashing their showy color amidst the high desert juniper. The oaks in the hills above were starting to turn color as well.
Sunsets were beautiful though Mount Shasta had lost most of the snow that had fallen on the mountain in the recent rains.
Cleaning out gutters at my house provided an elevated opportunity to appreciate the large oak and maple trees we have in our backyard. Raking leaves is a hassle but while they are still on the trees this time of year is sublime.
By Wednesday a lenticular was trying to form on Mount Shasta. The cloud certainly added interest but it could never quite pull itself together into a well-defined set of discs. It did, however, presage some rain that came during the night.
The next day Mount Shasta had a little bit more snow on it and the lenticulars were still trying to form on the mountain. Once again, things never really became fully formed and the sky eventually became filled with clouds, edging out the lenticulars altogether.
As frustrated as I was, my kids were quite happy to be at the lake, where they set up a minting operation, making clay balls and then pressing pressing them into “coins”. It was quite amusing.
The sky eventually cleared in time for sunset and a vestigial lenticular lingered over the mountain. The fresh snow that had fallen had melted to some degree but there was still a slight patina of white glowing on Mount Shasta’s andesite crags.
Friday brought a trip to Squaw Valley Creek. The color was absolutely riotous, especially near the trailhead. The first several miles had consistently great color. The creek also had plenty of water in it. This is simply the best time of year to hike the area’s riparian trails.
Friday evening brought another clouds that really wanted to be a lenticular but couldn’t quite pull itself together. Nonetheless, the sunset was beautiful. The non-lenticular did mean that more wet weather was on the way and Saturday morning was wet and overcast.
Fortunately the sky cleared up and the temperature went up. As the clouds dissipated, an actual, full formed lenticular was revealed on Mount Shasta. It was not the grandest specimen but it was great to see a fully-formed stack finally manifest on the mountain. After a week of near-misses it was a good to finally get something to coalesce into a good formation.
Sunday morning has been overcast on the west side of Mount Shasta but the was clear over McCloud. Though the upper portion of Mount Shasta was obscured by clouds, but it was still a pretty spectacular sunrise. If you look close, there is still a lenticular hidden up above the summit of the mountain.
The next week is supposed to warm up and have sunny sky. This may be the last, best week of the year to get outside and enjoy the tremendous beauty that is erupting all over the Mount Shasta area. Have a great week and stay blessed!