Thursday evening the sky around Mount Shasta had some rather interesting clouds, many of which were vaguely “lenticulish”. I headed out into the Shasta Valley in the hope that it would be a spectacular sunset. The clouds were not ideal, but if they lit up as the sunset went down it would still be a very impressive sight. I got in position while my kids ran around in the field and shrieked like banshees. It was not the most peaceful conditions but I was grateful to be out nonetheless.
Layered clouds between Mount Shasta and Black Butte could be good at sunset.
Unfortunately, the clouds directly behind Mount Shasta drifted in front of the layered, lenticular-like formation and completely blocked them from view. As frustrating as this was, I soon found that it would not have mattered because clouds further to the west blocked a lot of the light as the sun set behind the Scott Mountains and the clouds around Mount Shasta never really glowed like I was hoping they would.
Mount Shasta, alight in alpenglow.
While the sky was lackluster, Mount Shasta still managed to burst into a bright orange glow. A single band of shadow ran across the magnificent mountain right at treeline. It was a great scene, but I was still frustrated that it was not as good as I wanted. I should have been grateful and left it at that! However, I was frustrated that things never really pulled themselves together so I packed things up (kids included) and headed out before the light had even faded off the mountain.
As I left, I headed west, just in time to see some really beautiful color over Parks Peak, one of the Scott Mountains’ prominent peaks that loom over the Shasta Valley. Immediately north of the summit is a ridge that once burned in a fire. As a consequence, most of the ridge is just grass but there is a nice lince of trees on the crest of the ridge. With the trees silhouetted against the colorful sky, it was an beautiful spectacle so I stopped, pulled out my camera and captured a couple of shots.
The ridge in question has always interested me. Its mix of montane forest and high desert has always reminded me of the hills above Reno and I have had some good hikes in that area and always had a fondeness for it. The view of the trees against the technicolor sky hearkend back to some of those hikes from when I was younger. I appreciated the moment and the excellent sunset as the light faded.
I am not normally inclined to capture images like this, as my tastes usually run to the grand and sweeping, rather than the smaller scale of trees on a ridge. The beauty of the sunset on Parks Peak was undeniable and was quite glad I had stopped and captured the images I did. One of these days I would like to hike up on those ridges. I imagine the views of Mount Shasta are excellent. The land is on private property though, so it will be a while before I have the opportunity to enjoy the sights from that vantage point. Until that time, there are plenty of other great places around Mount Shasta to hike and to enjoy the grandeur of this land!