Thursday, June 20, 2013

Go See It On the Mountain #mountshasta

From the B & B, at dusk
There's always an "oooh" in people's voices when they talk about Mount Shasta. Other mountains have their admirers (and climbers), but this one has a mystical and mythical draw.

via Wikipedia
California's Mount Shasta has been the subject of an unusually large number of myths and legends. In particular, it is often said to hide a secret city beneath its peaks. In some stories the city is no longer inhabited, while in others it is inhabited by a technological advanced society of human beings or mythical creatures.

According to local Indian tribes, Mount Shasta is inhabited by the spirit chief Skell who descended from heaven to the mountain's summit. Skell fought with the Spirit of Below-World, Llao, who resided at Mount Mazama by throwing hot rocks and lava, probably representing volcanic eruptions at both mountains.
Even in more modern times:
In August 1987, believers in the spiritual significance of the Harmonic Convergence described Mount Shasta as one of a small number of global "power centers." Mount Shasta remains a focus of "New Age" attention.
My first introduction to Mount Shasta as a magical place was via the 1941 Robert Heinlein short story Lost Legacy, included in his Assignment in Eternity (1953/1981) collection. (No, not the earliest edition!)

In the story, Phil Huxley, a psychology doctoral candidate, Ben Coburn, a surgeon,  and Joan Freeman, a ?? (not quite sure what Joan is, besides a woman who scandalously lives alone and wears pants, the horror!), develop a theory that psychic abilities have a physical location in the brain. They work to develop said activities, and take a jaunt up Mount Shasta where they meet up with a group of super-psychic people hidden in an interior, well, it's more like a village than a city. Or a commune.

I developed an intense yearning to hike up on Mount Shasta, have a mystical experience, and come down able to levitate, perform telekinesis, and telepathy, too.

Here's a link to read more about Mount Shasta in literature, plays, and novels.

From the B & B, dawn

Shasta MountINN. Such a gorgeous, welcoming, and wonderful place to stay!

Black Butte from the driveway of the B & B
It's also visible from two of the rooms.

My fellow B & B guests,  Woody and Becky from Virginia, recommended over breakfast that I drive up to Bunny Flat, for a more up-close-and-personal visit with Mt. Shasta. And I thought, yes, if I could only plant my feet on it, then maybe... So shortly I was on my way.

The drive itself was very pleasant, fairly short, and wound gradually through the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

Drove up this far, paid my day permit ($1) and I barely seemed any closer to the mountain.
Technically, I was already on it.

Still many patches of snow on the ground from about 5500 feet and up. And the birds, singing!

View of the forest to my right, peek of Mt. Shasta on the left.

There were several groups of hikers, and (mountain) bikers at Bunny Flat and elsewhere in the forest

Shasta herself chose to flirt with the clouds that fine May morning, like a belly dancer with her veils. She would reveal this bit, and conceal that one, then reveal that, and hide something else.

Probably the most Shasta revealed to me that morning, from Bunny Flat.

This map from inside the town of Mt. Shasta indicates the major landmarks of the mountain.

Summit? Just a tease.

Is that a hint of Shastina on the left?

Thumb Rock? Sargents' Ridge?

Mostly I sat on the dedicated bench, below, which had been perfectly positioned to enjoy the dance of clouds, sky, and mountain.

I didn't know whether to celebrate or mourn these two young men.
Mountaineering and canyoneering are dangerous and uncertain sports,
even when you are strong, fit, and well-equipped. But they did climb the mountain.

Some of the other mountains in the Cascadia Range.

Another view of Black Butte.
Was that a tingling in my feet?  Yes, but also, I wore sandals, and there was snow on the ground, hello?!

Sadly, I came down from Mount Shasta no more psychic than I was when I went up on it.

I assuaged my disappointment with a visit to the town of Mt. Shasta, and (say it with me like Oprah would)  Shopping!

That's pure WATER, not Hater. I ran into no haters during my time there.

Mount Shasta City (population of almost 3,400, during non-tourist season) could not have been more adorable.  Flowers in front of all the businesses, clean, well-kept buildings. Friendly shopkeepers.

There's City Hall. Don't you just want to eat it up?

Because I was there on a weekday, and before Memorial Day, the pace there seemed charmingly relaxed, and I was often the only tourist in the shops. I am given to understand that both in the summer and in the winter, when people come for the skiing and snowboarding, it gets much busier.

I couldn't stop in everywhere, but I got great service and knicknacks in It's All That... & More, and couldn't resist some specialty T-shirts in The Shirt Gallery.

The main street is only about two blocks long, maybe three. With TWO bookstores.

How can you not love a town with TWO bookstores?

I needed more books like I need to run up more credit card debt.
I managed to leave this place having done both. Yeah, a twofer!

I also stopped in, as previously blogged, at The Crystal Room(s) where I did not get away empty handed. (Still not feeling particularly psychic or harmonically converged).

On my way back to Los Angeles, this time I approached Mount Shasta from the other side. Could I pick up the magic power from a distance?

Maybe the next time I go up on Mount Shasta I'll get lucky.

Maybe I already did.

This has been added to the GenFab BlogHop on the theme of Transformative Travel.

Are you psychic?
Ever visited Mount Shasta?
Your thoughts?

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