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Friday, July 20, 2012

Around Mount Shasta

 After leaving Yreka we drove southeast on back roads, noticed this sign and decided to visit.
 Jan relaxed under an umbrella sipping a lavender lemonade.
 Others posed for photographs while gathering lavender from the fields.
 We continued driving south.
 Our next stop was Pluto's Cave. We drove in on a short dirt road and parked at the trail head. The walk to the cave took about 10 minutes.
The lava tube was much larger than we expected and is said to be about 190,000 years old.
 We hiked in about 1000 feet.
 The cool air of this gigantic tube was pleasant but walking along the floor stirred up a great deal of dust.
 Upon exiting the underworld of Pluto's Cave we drove into Weed for lunch. 
 After lunch our route had us crossing under the Southern Pacific Railroad on the Military Pass Road.
 Graffiti spotted on the walls of the underpass. Just wondering if the General still knows Pamela Sue two decades later.
 Looking closely at this sign we noticed that the symbol at the top stated 'no passenger cars.' We didn't think that the road was that rough.
 Mount Shasta dominates the topography.
 Nearing our next objective.
 Our camp at North Gate Trailhead. There were six other vehicles and two families camping so we selected a spot at the end of the parking area.
No summit pass needed because my plan was to only hike up to 9,000 feet.
 I did have a wilderness pass.
 A Coast Guard C-130 flew by the eastern flank of the mountain.
 The view from about 8,600 feet. We have been on the summits of many 14er's but Shasta looks massive from every angle.
 Glacial or volcanic?
Upon returning from the hike we continued our circumnavigation of Mount Shasta and then drove south on Interstate 5 to Shasta Lake.

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