Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Strolling Mt. Shasta

Mount Shasta, California, has been called a small city named for a tall mountain. This town of about 4,000 people (at an elevation of 3,500 feet) is located on the flanks of Mt. Shasta, which rises to 14,162 feet, making it a natural geographic landmark in northern California. This location has made it a magnet for tourists, as well as a beautiful place to live for locals. Out-of-towners may come for the Mt. Shasta Ski Park (http://www.skipark.com/), while locals enjoy their outdoor ice skating rink, and newly completed skateboard park (http://www.mtshastaskatepark.org/) that are pictured in the top three photos shown here. Residents who are runners are able to train on uncrowded city streets, as they prepare for the annual Fourth of July festivities that include a footrace (http://www.mtshastarunners.com/) and the photos on the lower left show Grover and Stacy heading out for a run on a recent winter morning. Downtown Mt. Shasta is a great place for strolling, or even riding a "cargo cycle", as shown in the lower right photo.

Just two blocks from downtown, one can enjoy a stroll through Sisson Meadow, which has great views of Black Butte (upper right photo), as well as Mt. Shasta (middle and lower photos on right side of collage). The meadow is named after Justin Sisson, who was a prominent land owner in the area. In fact, the town used to be called "Sisson, California" until it was changed to Mt. Shasta City, in 1924. Sisson Meadow is a restored 7.5 acre nature preserve that has year-round springs, wetlands, lush grasses, a pond, a home and breeding ground for local wildlife. There is a board walk and wooden benches located throughout the meadow, and it provided a great place for my daughter-in-law, Stacy and me, to take a walk with Stacy's sweet dog, Sadie (shown in middle right photo and lower left photo).

I read that the town of Mt. Shasta developed along the ancient trade and travel route of Native American footpaths between California's central valley and the Pacific Northwest, that was called the Siskiyou Trail. That early footpath has been replaced with Interstate 5, which supplies a steady stream of travelers to the businesses and lodging properties of this quaint area. (visit http://www.mtshastachamber.com/ for a list of available lodging and other services in the area). Stacy and I had an enjoyable afternoon visiting some of the unique shops along Mt. Shasta's main street, and I have pictured some of them in this photo collage. The top left photo shows Noam as he works at the potter's wheel teaching others the joy of "playing with mud" (claydancestudio@gmail.com). The top right photo shows the old-fashioned candy counter at a gift store called "My Favorite Things" (www.myfavthings.com). Another unusual store (to this Arkie from the hills, anyway!) was "Sereni-tea" (http://www.sereni-tea.net/). This store had dozens of varieties of tea for sale, as well as teapots, mugs, and all other things needed for a proper tea ceremony! The store manager, Monique, is shown in middle left photo, and a few of the tins of tea she sells is pictured in the lower left photo. I especially liked the motto of the tea shop, which was "Your Tea Store on the "steep" side of Mount Shasta". Clever, huh??!! The middle right photo provides a shot of the "Mount Shasta Book Nook", which is the very comfortable home of "previously loved books". Their website, http://www.mountshastabooknook.com/ has some fantastic photographs of the Mount Shasta scenes that would not fit into this brief blog. The lovely window sign (bottom right photo) of the Mount Shasta Trading Company (530-926-6782) serves as a mirror to reflect a view of Mount Shasta, which it faces.

There is no fear of going hungry in Mt. Shasta, as several area establishments offer a menu that can please any palate. I had a delicious, cooked-to-order fritatta breakfast with Grover and Stacy at "Mount Shasta Pastry" (530-926-9944). It was a cheery place with one wall being completely glass, and the adjoining wall being a lovely mural of a street scene (top photo). From the day my son first moved to Mt. Shasta, I have been hearing about the legendary "Goats Tavern" (530-926-0209), shown at its strategic location of the "Y" intersection, with Mt. Shasta looming in the background. Although the meal we had there this time, was on the inside, I have had the opportunity to enjoy their outdoor dining, as well, which is often accompanied by live music entertainers. The center photo shows Stacy and me, enjoying a "tea toast" in the comfortable seating area of Sereni-tea. As good as the restaurants are in Mt. Shasta, there is nothing better than a home-cooked meal, and Stacy prepared a FANTASTIC feast for us, and what made it even better was that it was also very healthy! She used recipes from her new, favorite cookbook, "Dinner Tonight" from the Cooking Light publishing group, ( http://www.cookinglight.com/ ) pictured in the middle left photo. I know Grover's ancestors would be pleased that his bride is making use of the iron skillet that has been in the family for generations, and continues to produce some delicious food items! (middle right photo). My brief visit in Mt. Shasta left me with a heart full of gratitude for God's many blessings, and as I looked around at the gorgeous scenery that surrounds the town, it reminded me of these verses from Psalms: "I lift up my eyes to the hills-----where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV). I am very thankful to the LORD, for making Mt. Shasta a very special place, between heaven and earth! Miles of Shasta Smiles! Tricia
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