We left the beauty of Mount Shasta behind, along with thoughts of us falling off the cliff or running out of fuel. As we made our way back toward the campsite, I floated down the smooth roads. Since it was downhill, out of curiosity, I checked the gas gauge. It said I had 90 miles left. Geez.
We were on I-5 again…the pretty part that’s lined with pine trees and rolling green hills. 80s music was playing in the background and I considered if we should stop somewhere scenic. I also wondered about what to eat for dinner.
“The trucks I see on this road are Walmart trucks.” Umma had been playing a solitary version of “I spy.” And as I looked around, she was right. There were lots of semi trucks along I5, most were unknown brands but the ones we saw frequently were those belonging to Walmart. Umma notices things I don’t. She is definitely more in tune with her surroundings than I am.
We caught a glimpse of Mount Shasta during our drive. Umma wondered if we were just circling the mountain, or caught in a maze. I drove for a while and then pulled into Castle Crags Park.
The entrance to the park was unattended. No park ranger around to collect the fee. It was an honor system and you had to self register and pay by inserting money into a small box. I read the signs and saw there was a senior discount available. Since both of my parents were seniors, I paid the reduced fee.
“When we used to go to parks with our church friends, we never stopped at these stations. We thought if no one was there, it was free.” Umma confessed.
We drove up a narrow, winding road toward the lookout. As soon as we parked, my parents had to use the bathroom. When Umma returned after using the facilities, she wrinkled her nose. “That’s the worst kind of bathroom.”
“And what would that be?” I asked.
“The kind where you see everything right below you. I hate those kinds of restrooms. We used to have to use those in Korea when I was growing up.” Umma shook her shoulders as if that would rid of the grossness she felt. I decided to hold everything until I got back to the Bambi.
Umma and I headed up to the vista point to peek through the telescopic instruments available. Apa couldn’t walk very far so he stayed behind.
“I can’t see anything.” Umma said and walked away as if she were giving up. I took over the viewfinder and adjusted the lens.
“Try it now.” She looked through the viewfinder. I stepped back to watch Umma as tried to understand what she was focusing on.
“Oh, I see it now…the boulder..it looks so close!”
Umma, the explorer.
No one else was around the vista point. Umma and I had the place to ourselves. Off in the distance was Mount Shasta. As Umma said before, it was as if we were circling Mount Shasta. Or the mountain was following us.
Castle Crags, behind me.
We didn’t stay very long since there wasn’t much more to do. We headed back toward the campsite so we could relax before dinner.
It was a warm afternoon and we all found space either inside of outside the Bambi to relax.
Umma, snoozing outside.
View from the bed.
Once Umma regained her energy, she started washing rice. (Remember she brought the rice cooker?) She wanted to make rice to accompany our final dinner in Shasta. I’m sure no one else at this campsite has ever brought an Airstream and a rice cooker. We have managed to go where no man has gone before.
Butters, observing Umma washing rice.