You may have seen the term "Destination Wedding" in travel brochures and bridal magazines, and this blog is about an expedition to participate in what might be called a "Destination Wedding". The destination was the tiny town of McCloud, California (www.mccloudchamber.com), at the base of the massive, snow-covered peak, known as Mt. Shasta. (see previous postings on this blog---December 4 and December 28, 2008---for additional information on McCloud.) In the past, the village was known as a "company town" because most everyone there worked for the McCloud Lumber Company. More recently, it was known as the departure point for the Mt. Shasta Sunset Dinner Train. However, since neither of these businesses are still in operation, visitors to the town can pretty much have it to themselves. Such was the case for the couple pictured in the "Kiss and Ride" area in front of the McCloud Railway, in this photo collage. (The first time I saw an official-looking street sign that said "Kiss and Ride" near a large, metropolitan train station, I had no idea what it meant! ) The actual wedding ceremony for the couple in the photo (Grover and Stacy) was held at the lowest of the three McCloud waterfalls, in the nearby area called Fowler Campground (www.roadcamping.com). I did not have my camera with me at the actual wedding ceremony, held at the overlook above the falls, so I don't have any photos of that portion of the wedding. However, in reading up on the area, I learned that the Fowler Campground/McCloud Falls area is one of THE most visited places of all the U.S. Forest Service properties. While there, I saw several hikers taking photos of our wedding party, so I know there are pictures out there somewhere in cyberspace!! I have stumbled into my fair share of weddings being held in scenic locations outdoors, so I was not at all troubled by the numerous on-lookers.
You know you are in a small town, when the bride and groom can casually stroll across a wide, paved road to a lemonade stand, being run by some young girls, smack dab in front of the post office. In fact, the upper right photo of the collage shows the groom pulling out his wallet to make his very first purchase for his bride, following the exchanging of the wedding vows. He bought her a cup of the cold beverage, which served as their first wedding "toast"! (middle photo) Since no where could be seen, a "cloud in McCloud" on the warm, summer day of the wedding, the young girls attempt at the free enterprise system was a welcome sight!
The couple loves the outdoors, so it is not surprising that their wedding photos would include something like a bicycle and an RV (The RV is named "Franklin"). Note the difference in the appearance of Franklin, "before" the wedding reception (upper left) and "after" the wedding reception (lower right).
The location for the wedding reception was the former "company store" (as in the old Tennessee Ernie Ford song) of the McCloud Lumber Company. It is called the McCloud Mercantile (http://www.mccloudmercantile.com/). The lower floor of the Mercantile houses shops reminiscent of the last century, while the upper floor has been converted into guest rooms and a large banquet space. The catering for the delicious food and beverage service was by Lily's in Mt. Shasta (http://www.lilysrestaurant.com/). The fantastic party band from Bellingham, Washington, (lower right photo) known as Yogoman Burning Band (http://www.yogomanburningband.bandzoogle.com/) provided music to raise the rafters and dance the night away. However, since all the guests staying overnight at the Mercantile were members of the wedding party, the loud music bothered no one! In fact, the Bible says it is good to "raise the rafters" with songs of celebration! Another verse from the Bible is my prayer for Grover and Stacy, and goes along with a necklace wedding gift they received: "Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man." (Proverbs 3:3) Wishing them miles and miles of married smiles! Tricia