mountain memories

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Here’s an old shot pulled out of my archives. The shot’s taken from a passenger seat going 75 down I-5 as one drops into Anderson from the hill to the south. This was those last few moments of realizing that I was home after a long trip from the Bay Area.

anderson from the south

This photo is better if you click through it. You need the full sized shot to get what I’m getting at. (As it is, you can barely see it.)

Anyway, the reason I bring up this shot is that it’s about the only good shot of Shasta or Lassen I can find on quick inspection of photos I’ve stashed online. Of course, identifying mountains from a distance can be problematic. I remember once going to Adin, which is where my pioneer relatives set up their homestead, and looking westward at the snowcapped mountain.

Adin’s in the Big Valley, where Lassen, Shasta, and Modoc counties all come together. (In fact, the three big towns in the Big Valley — Adin, Bieber, and Nubieber — are all in separate counties. Also, note when I use big, I mean relatively compared to the rest of the valley, because those are small towns.) If you look at a map, and look and see what’s west of this point, you’ll see clearly that it’s Mt. Shasta, the same mountain in this photograph. But it took me several moments to realize that.

I grew up in Anderson. The mountain on my horizon has two peaks, the main bulk of Shasta itself, and a smaller peak called Shastina. The thing is, Shastina is on the west side of the volcano. Thus, when viewed from the east, as I was doing in Adin, there is only *one* peak. My visual cues to say “Yeah, that’s Shasta,” were missing.

Which is why I’m having so much fun with Raven’s photos. She went up to Corning and Orland, which are about fifty miles from Redding, and took pictures. And now I’m trying to identify the mountain, and realizing my visual cues are all wrong again.

That said, I want to say it’s Lassen, but I grew up with a view of Lassen from the west, and Raven’s photo is more from the southwest. This is what Lassen looks like from Redding. Actually, that’s taken from one of the western ridges, but it’s close enough. (And it’s a gorgeous shot. My thanks to the photographer, Duane Langshaw.)

Anyway, the point of the exercise is to show just how much fun it can be to try to identify a mountain from pictures. And if anybody can help Raven out, I’m sure she’d appreciate it.

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