Last night I took my family up to Tamarack Creek for a picnic dinner. We set up camp in a beautiful meadow, right near the creek and made Frito Pie, a classic southwestern treat that is popular with my kids. After we ate, we all explored the meadow, enjoying the beautiful views of the verdant expanse and the red and gray cliffs of China Mountain rising 2,000 feet above us. It was all quite wonderful except the sky was overcast and the temperature had just a touch of chill on it. In spite of this, we all had a great time.
The creek in particular is quite nice, alternating between swift flowing sections and mirror-like placid parts. While my wife and oldest son crept along the ground, identifying all the plants, the other two kids and I played on the logs. I am so grateful that summer is finally here!
After leaving the meadow, we decided to drive up to Parks Creek Pass and see if it had finally opened up. To our delight, it had, within the last couple of days! We drove up to the pass and parked. While the kids played in the quarry, my wife and I marveled at the spectacular view to both east and west.
To the east, the Shasta Valley was lit up by the setting sun. Numerous landmarks were visible, including the Whaleback, Deer Mountain, Goosenest, the Haystack and Herd Peak. Most prominent, however, was awesome Sheep Rock. This low, but intricate and mysterious mountain has been the subject of a lot of my attention lately.
The view to the west was even more memorable. The Scott Mountains were all left in shadow by the setting sun but the Trinity Alps were still catching some of the alpenglow. However, a thunderstorm was pouring copious amounts of rain in the Trinity River canyon. The rain was lit up by the low light of the sun as it was slipping further beyond the horizon. The clouds were dark and ominous but beautiful all at once. Behind the rain, the Bear Lakes Basin was visible. This is the closest point of the Trinity Alps to the Mount Shasta area and one of the most spectacular of this spectacular mountain range.
All in all, not a bad evening and with the added benefit of a Parks Creek sunset, a pretty spectacular one too!