7/27/2007

A Trek into the Wilderness...

Castle Crags from the Vista Point above the State Park...

I joined my very good friend, Wendy, for 4 days of absolute luxury. NO! We didn't go to a spa! We went to the forest!










Wendy and I met in 1992 while I was living in the Berkeley area with my "then" husband and our 2 little babies. He was finishing his PhD at UC while I was on a year's leave with my newest babe and my toddler.

I met her at a "kid-gym" program I'd signed MKP up for through UC Berkeley. Wendy has 2 great kids and we all hit it off instantly! Now, 15 years later, we're still buds!

We met at Castle Crags State Park in N. Cal., part of the Mt. Shasta/Trinity area. It was so great to camp as 2 adult women with no one to care for but ourselves! The first night, we arrived, hugged, set up our tents, had a little snack, and quickly took off for some hiking adventures! We traveled along all of the park trails nearby, but it got too dark to venture off (plus, there were lots of Black Bears in the area to avoid).

The next morning, we trekked up to Castle Crags Vista Point. I'm old and out of shape, but kicked in, in spite of the horrid heat and steep incline! What a view when we arrived! When we made it back to camp several hours later, we drove into the little town of Dunmuir. I had a couple of geocaches to find and we wanted to see Hedge Falls. WOW! What beauty! Steep trail, but well-worth the cool water and view of the river below!
The next morning, we packed our day packs well and headed to Dog Trail and PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) for a longer hike. First, we found Popcorn Spring. It was cool and wonderful, especially since there are drought conditions all over CA. We rinsed our hair to cool down and went on our way!We found an abandoned gold mine. I wanted to pull off some boards and head inside, but Wendy said, "No, Val."
We made it to Burstarse Falls, which, of course, at this time of year, aren't really falls. Going back down the mountain was nice...lots of lizards, birds, and even a deer. My feet hurt, but the scenery kept me distracted. The views of Mt. Shasta stopped us in our tracks, even though we'd see it often.
We met a man who'd been hiking for 2200 miles, beginning at the start of the PCT in Mexico. He was headed to Canada and was so delightful. At 67 years, he inspired me. I may just DO that cross-country bike trip I've dreamed of, from Seattle to D.C.


After returning to camp, we refilled our water bottles and drove up to Mt. Shasta City. We made our way up the back roads to Castle Lake. It's amazing...absolutely amazing. We made a pact to meet there with our kids in August. My daughter will be running a marathon at Crater Lake...and we'll head to Castle Lake from there. The campground is primitive (pack in your own water and pack out all garbage) with only 6 sites, but we'll take the risk...




3 comments:

The Carnivorous Hippy said...

sounds like a wonderful trip! I'm glad you had a great time with your friend : )
T2 and I are watching horses and doing girlie things...good times.

Skittles said...

So that's where you've been!!!!

The pictures are absolutely breathtaking!!!! It looks like ya'll had a great time, too. (I was proud because I parked far from the door at WalMart today. LOL)

I would have looked in the mine. Maybe. :)

Looking for Geo-whats-it..

Vita said...

Brilliant. I'm familiar with Castle Crags, but only as something to look for from the road as we went by in cars or on trains, like the Shasta Daylight. Isn't Dunsmuir a lovely place, with the river and the railroad?