The first day of our road trip took us from Lake Tahoe to Mt. Shasta. N wanted to fit in a hike somewhere on this lemurian infested mountain, and as the road construction wasn’t as bad as last year, we arrived in time to take a short hike to Panther Spring, located in (wait for it…) Panther Meadow. It was a bit difficult as the dog had to stay on leash, and she wasn’t all that interested in moving at our pace, so it ended up being more of a drag then a walk. Panther Spring, described fairly breathlessly in the guide book we had, ended up being more of a trickle than a full on spring. There was still enough water for the mutt to drink, though we did not stay long, seeing as we were interrupting an intimate discussion on love and crystal healing between two hippies. The hippie sightings continued on the descent, with a trio gushing over the meadow (which was indeed glorious, full of still blooming paintbrush, lupine and other flowers) as we skirted around them and their patchouli emanations.
Despite my obvious cynicism, I do love visiting Mt. Shasta. It’s this odd blend of outdoorsy folks who ride bikes, hike and ski, and these crystal healing, Lemurian believing worshippers of shamanic cultures (including cheerleading). We had dinner at what used to be a greek restaurant but is now Billy Goat’s Tavern, which has a real local’s feel, and specialized in good beers on tap (from the Mt. Shasta Brewing Company) and hearty sandwiches.
We spent the night at a cool and quiet 6,000 feet (give or take), down the road from Bunny Flats, the staging area for those who are trying to summit Mt. Shasta. The next morning we took a short hike up to the Wilderness boundary, as we had the mutt with us. To finish off our tour de Shasta, we stopped in the town of Weed, 10 miles north of Shasta and equally (if not more) hippie, where we picked up coffees and sandwiches at the Buddha Belly café.