Oct 17 - On the Slopes of Mt. Shasta

204 miles; I-5 to Mt. Shasta, CA.

With all the paperwork cleared up, moving prep done, and toad hooked on, we were on the road by 10:30 this morning. Our 200 mile drive started with low clouds (high fog?) obscuring hilltops and ridges, but the sun started breaking things up well before noon and we had full sun the rest of the day.

We're at a rustic campground/"resort" on the shores of Lake Siskiyou just outside the little town of Mt. Shasta -- which is right on the flanks of the mountain by the same name. Both of us have a similar reaction to anything labeled "resort" ($pendy and touri$ty) but we thought we'd give it a go anyway considering it's perfect location right at the 200 mile point of our drive. We're thinking of this as an overnight stop but may decide to add on a day if the coin flips the right way in the morning. We'll see how that goes.

The campground is Lake Siskiyou Resort and Campground. Only a handful of campers are here and haven't seen a single soul of the staff or crew who, presumably, are around and running the place. Considering the time of year and the elevation (3300 ft.) (brrrr), the only thing we'll probably hear overnight tonight will be the distant drone of cycling RV furnaces.

When we do leave we're going over to explore Lassen Volcanic National Park, another in our effort to hit as many of the big National Parks in the USA as we possibly can by RV. We've been to about 20 to this point and there's a long way to go. The route southward through California presents an opportunity for us to pick up 5 more in the next few weeks.

In the "dumb things we've done" department I suppose I should report the following for the record. About half way through our trip south today we stopped for fuel. Pulling away from the pump islands I had to make a sharp turn. I try to take a careful look at the toad in the rear view mirror during turns like that... check tires, bikes, wheels turning, etc. During that turn I saw the front wheels weren't steering... they were locked straight ahead and in the turn, were being dragged sorta' sideways. Cars towed with all four wheels on the ground are supposed to have the steering free and unlocked... so the car can follow the motorhome and minimize tire wear. Alright... what happened?

I stopped the bus-house and we checked it out. Both Dar and I (we both check each other) missed an important part of the checklist... to verify that the front steering was unlocked and free turning... and the poor old toad was scrubbing a little extra rubber off it's new front tires during the past 100 miles. Hmmm. This time we were lucky and there's no apparent damage beyond the tire wear. But it will make us a little more vigilant in the future.

Best memory of the day: the views of stunning and snow capped Mt. Shasta. At 14,179 feet, it's the fifth highest mountain in California. Amazingly, it only misses the number 1 spot (Mt. Whitney 14,505') by a lousy 326 feet... and there are three other peaks that fill that gap.


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