Whaleback and Black Butte frame Mount Shasta during a dramatic sunset.
The temperatures have settled in at the upper 80’s and lower 90’s. Of course, in the Shasta Valley it is a bit hotter. As I noted here, the weather shifted from a sustained period of cloudless skies to something more interesting. Over the last few days it has been more overcast and at times it felt like it wanted to rain. In many places further north, it did indeed do just that.
With the sky loaded with drama, I took my kids and some friends out to Truchas Ridge for dinner and a sunset. The kids hopped around and ate while I headed out on the trail towards Artist’s, Panorama and Pecos Points. The three spots are close together but offer different perspectives on the surrounding terrain. This evening I thought Panorama Point was the best positioned for the sunset. While I had hoped the mountain my get some color, it was evident that that was unlikely. However, the sky was a different matter and was already lighting up nicely.
There was a bit of haze in the sky so the color was never as vivid as I would have liked but it was still a beautiful scene. It was quite hot though, even while just lounging on Panorama Point’s rocks and looking through my camera. Eventually the kids made it out to where I was but they quickly moved on the the crags at Pecos Point.
Mount Shasta never quite emerged from the shadow that was cast upon it but the sky above continued to slide through the spectrum of warm colors. For a time a light drizzle fell though the rain never really opened up like it felt like it wanted to. I was hoping it would.
Ominous sky over Mount Eddy and China Mountain.
Gorgeous sky to the northwest, beyond Cruces Basin.
In the end the really interesting spectacle was to the west and northwest. Especially dark clouds roiled over Mount Eddy, though light from the setting sun pierced underneath the brooding mass. As the sun deepened beyond the western horizon, the sky exploded with color, running from red and purple to orange and pink. It was a marvelous end to the evening. After all the color had finally faded, the kids and I hiked back to the car while the sound of the nighthawks divebombing could be heard all around us.
The next day the clouds continued to roil and, once again, it felt like it wanted to rain all day. However, as with the day before, it rained further north but never around Mount Shasta. The clouds really cleared up in the late afternoon but enough lingered to make the sunset a worthy spectacle. I took my two younger kids to the south shore of Lake Siskiyou. They played and fished while I waited to try to get a decently still lake. The waters never settled but I enjoyed the warm evening, the sound of the band playing at the Lake Siskiyou resort and the quietly spectacular sunset unfolding on Mount Shasta. I never left, but it is good to be home.
The sky is clear now and it looks like it will be another week before we get much more going on in the heavens. Until then, I will be content watching the sun turn Mount Shasta’s red rock redder.
A song, in honor of Truchas Ridge’s nighthawks: