Despite typhoon warnings and a general expectation of rain, Gene and I spent the weekend on Adam’s family’s houseboat on Lake Shasta. We did get some rain — just enough to spend a day inside, drinking mimosas and reading — but overall the weather wasn’t bad, and the trip was fantastic.
Shasta is an eerie place. The lake has shrunk significantly, leaving a wide strip of barren red cliff below the tree line where nothing grows. It looks like a Martian landscape, especially in the morning when the lake is still and reflects the hills above it and you’ve maybe had two mimosas already so things are starting to blur in an interesting manner.
“A lot of weird things happen out here,” said our resident boating expert, as we sat in the wheel room and watched the big red hills coming at us at houseboat speed.
Some post-trip research confirmed it. To begin with, the manmade lake was built over an Indian burial ground, so that’s…pretty much always a bad idea. Some people also believe that Mount Shasta is a node for ley lines, which if you’ve never read fantasy novels or played RPGs are invisible lines of energy. And there’s been more than one mysterious flash of light, alien sighting, and speculation about alien tunnels beneath Mount Shasta. Things do happen out here, or so the common wisdom runs.
Despite all this, it’s a peaceful place. Maybe I just lack the necessary clairvoyance, but I didn’t sense a bevy of restless spirits or an alien hoard waiting to descend on us. We did see a skunk once, but he was going the other way. And really, like just about any lake, Shasta is one of those places that doesn’t need a story woven around it to make it interesting. Why don’t people make, say, Concord a hotspot for alien sightings? Concord could use the romance.
In conclusion, here are some tomatoes.