Mushy here, your favorite American! After celebrating the United States’ bday in style, we woke up late to the distant rumbling of trains going past our forested campsite outside of town. Families were packing up camp into their cars and heading back to the city for their workweeks and the routine, holidays over for now. We briefly contemplated our upcoming workweek (a 90 mile section to Burney, CA) but it was too much to think about before breakfast. Which is coincidentally both our favorite and THE most important meal of the day. Naturally, we head to the original location of Shasta’s famous Black Bear Diner, for seconds.
We anticipate a shorter wait than the day before, but end up disappointed. I know a good biscuit when I see one though, so I get the hype and I’m on board. In waiting for a table, we miss check-out time at the campground. Oh well! The biscuits have decided, we’re staying another day in Shasta!
On the walk to breakfast I had counted seven crystal shops. I admit to geeking out about these things, and had told Pinecone and Quiz earlier, “a town with crystal shops is a town I can hang out in.” So I don’t mind taking the day in this funky little town.
We’ve been watching Mt. Shasta approach for more than two weeks, and its energy is undeniable. Nearly as tall as Mt. Whitney, it dominates the wild, forested, volcanic landscape. The town sits just below, and we are not surprised to find it a Mecca of myths and legends.
I pick up on some of these myths while visiting a crystal shop, and a local helps me fill in the details. The Lemurians are an ancient civilization thought to live under the mountain in a fortress they retreated to after a war with Atlantis. They are technologically advanced and have been sighted in town as seven-foot tall humanoids buying provisions from the grocery store with blocks of gold. Mt. Shasta’s iconic weathervane cloud is thought to obscure their space travel, but UFOs are a common occurrence in Shasta County.
Mt. Shasta is also rumored to be home to the New Age spiritual master Saint Germaine, who introduced himself to an early British mountaineer. This belief is central to the “I AM” movement, a nationalistic brand of theosophy popular in the county.
We end the day by going to the movies, and have our heads filled with stories to entertain ourselves for the next week of walking through woods.