Sunrise on Mount Shasta.
Lase week we had a decent spot of precipitation roll through the Mount Shasta area. Snow fell at elevations slightly above town and winter felt like it was finally starting to set in after a surprisingly warm and dry October and into early November. However, after a few days of rainy weather, Monday cleared up and warmed up and it turned out to be a gorgeous day.
Knowing there would be a clearing, I got up early headed up to Bunny Flat. I haven’t been up there in over a month, so this was the first time I had seen it with a fresh layer of snow. I am glad I went up, as it was a spectacularly beautiful sunrise. Bunny Flat doesn’t get a lot of morning light when the sun first comes up, most of it catching on the lower flank of Casaval Ridge as well as bits on Thumb Rock. However, as the sun clears the horizon, more than half the visible peak is awash in morning light. Both scenes in the sequence are wonderful. This particular morning, some cloud capped the mountain and it added to the color.
As I headed back down, I paused on Everitt Memorial to capture the stunning view of Lassen Peak and the fog-blanketed McCloud Flats. The low morning light lit the fog up, turning it golden while a bank of clouds filled the midground between Lassen and the Flats. It was an epic scene all on its own. A little further west, traces of fog filled the lowest parts of the Sacramento River Canyon. Although not quite as grand a scene as the view east toward Lassen, it was still quite a sight.
While I was there, a large boulder broke loose from the cut above the road and tumbled down loudly. I was in no danger but I thought for certain it was going to hit my jeep. Fortunately, there is a ditch along the side of the road meant both for drainage and, apparently, falling rocks. The rock landed in a deep snow that had filled the ditch with a thud. I was quite relieved my jeep was untouched. It is a good reminder that Mount Shasta is a living mountain and continues to take shape. Frost fracturing (which likely dislodged the rock I encountered) as well as other processes all have an ongoing role in shaping the mountain, especially in places like Mud Creek Canyon.
The final destination and track of the large rock along the road.
The rest of the day was filled with work at my house getting things ready for winter. However, in the evening my family and I went up to one of our new favorite haunts and enjoyed some quite walking and a spectacular view of Mount Shasta and Black Butte. Not a bad way to end the day!