Despite the snoring noises coming from both ends of the trailer, I still got a decent night’s sleep. We were all ready for a day of exploration. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, while I drank my cappuccino, my parents fueled up.
Who knew there was so much to see in and around the Shasta area? Lakes, mountain ranges, parks, RV service centers, and a very large dam. I suppose all dams are large.
Umma, Apa, Butters at the Shasta Dam Visitor’s Center.
After soaking up the 70 degree heat, we headed toward Lassen National Park. Driving along a two lane highway, we passed farms and small towns with a population of 900 people. As we got closer to the park, Lassen Peak was off in the horizon, guiding us to drive toward it. With each 1000 feet of elevation, the temperature dropped. It was soon in the high 40s.
There was still a lot of snow so unfortunately, the park itself was closed. We pulled over on the side of the road to see the snow up close. Butters carefully stepped on snow for the first time. Well, I assume it was her first time, since she’s a rescue from a shelter in Compton, CA. I am fairly certain Compton doesn’t get much snow.
Umma and Apa have not taken time off for many years. Since the mid-90s, they owned a cafe in Oakland and worked 6 days a week. They’d get up at 5:00 in the morning to get to the cafe by 6:00, work all day without much of a break and close at 4:30 pm. They couldn’t afford employees or vacation time. It was rare for them to take any time off because when you run a business and you’re closed for the day, you lose cash. There is no accrued vacation that the company provides you.
After we played in the snow, Umma said, “It has been many years since I saw snow up close like that.” Her comment made me feel sad and good at the same time.
We drove a lot on Friday. The four of us, quietly observed the scenery: soaring pines, rugged terrain, snow-capped mountain tops. It’s hard to take in so much beauty at once. Driving along the curves of I-5, I began to appreciate the moment. Each of us, in our own thoughts, processing what we were seeing…trying to make sense of the spectacular scenery around us.