After reviewing Jake’s in depth expense reports (yes, we track our $ flow quite closely), we decided that if we could find a free place to crash for a bit before heading up to Eugene, OR for a month, we should do that. Also, free is awesome (I feel like I say that a lot). We researched into options that a.) wouldn’t be too far off of our trajectory from Lathrop, CA to Eugene, OR b.) would be free or damned near close to that c.) wouldn’t be too far up some windy road where Dyna could fall off a cliff due to snow not having melted/road not being cleared yet/doom d.) doubled as a candy commune where all people brought and shared candy amongst themselves. We were able to hunt down somewhere that’s answer was a.) and b.) but not c.) (this was good) or d.) (this was bad). Okay, that’s a lot of parenthesis. It kind of makes me feel like i’m Jaking right now (i.e. typing rainbows and weird symbols onto a computer screen and making magic happen), except that no magic is happening with my parenthesis. Maybe I need to find some rainbow font…
Anyways, back to how we ended up in Weed, CA. There is an old campground there that is now a free campground. And it wasn’t up a giant mountain with twisty roads of doom. And it was on our predicted path towards Eugene. But it wasn’t part of a candy commune. However, it was a lovely little (dry) campground; right on lake Shastina (every time I say that name I sing it to the tune of the ‘Shasta’ soda commercials- you probably should too), set down into the foothills of Mt. Shasta (I also recommend singing this name). The foothills of Mt. Shasta are spotted with unincorporated towns that build their roads around trees. Most folks with rigs stayed down towards the water (i.e. us), while tent campers tended to set up back in the slightly wooded area across the dirt road. This general natural separation of folks made us feel much better about running our generator for an hour or so on the mornings of cloudy days. Since repairing our solar (we’ve got 2 panels up top), we rarely need to run the generator on sunny days when we are without hookups, but I dread the day when we’ll need to kick up the generator when folks who are enjoying life in a tent happen to be our next door neighbor. We try not to be rude. We try to be awesome.
I got some decent runs in while we enjoyed our $0 stay near Weed, CA. There are plenty of mountain trails within driving distance, but since we’re a bit early in the season, many were still reported to be packed in with snow. So I took advantage of the Gateway Trail to get in some hilly miles and see some beauty. Success in both areas. This trail also lead to an afternoon of poking around the main street shops of the town of Mt.Shasta; I love poking around tchotchke shops. I sometimes feel a bit guilty for not buying anything (I do pick up cards and postcards on occasion), but if they saw the space we were working with (Dyna), I think the shop owners would agree that we don’t need their tchotchkes. Also, I don’t usually talk about my running exploits (although I consistently run whilst we caravan around the country), but honestly, there isn’t much more to do than hit up trails and drink at the local brewery. Aka, this town has everything necessary as a setting for a happy, healthy life. These hidden in your line of sight, left of nowhere towns are becoming some of my favorite stays; quiet places to explore the nooks and crannies of. The locals know you’re not a local because they know all the locals. Usually I get found out because a.) I have an ‘accent’, which West coasters frequently point out or ask about or b.) people note that I carry Trader Joe’s reusable shopping bags from a variety of states (I love me some TJs). Weed, CA in particular, is smack dab central in the ‘State of Jefferson’, which, if you didn’t know, is a proposed 51st state of the U.S. It is also mentioned in the book ‘Of Mice and Men’, which again, sends my memory back to the land of multiple choice questions (i.e. high school).
I sincerely hope that my use of ABC multiple choice style writing in this post didn’t drag you violently back to the years you spent guessing ‘C’ on your history/bio/maths/english tests in high school. I apologize if it did; somedays I just roll with what my fingers type.