Day 6: Sunday Dec 20 – Mt Shasta & Redwood Valley

After we stopped in Mt Shasta for a break yesterday afternoon, we asked a young lady if she could direct us to the Tourist Office and if Lake Siskiyou was worth a detour. Michelle told us that it most definitely was worthy of a visit and that we should also drive further up to another lake above.  On explaining that the van and I were a little tired after the first leg of our journey coming over the mountains from Oregon into California, she offered to drive us up to the lakes herself! What a lovely gesture; yet more was to come. After a delightful ride up to the snow covered lake with her daughter, Giovanna and her shelti dog, Mickey, we were invited to stay over! A delicious salmon dinner, and playing under the Christmas tree,

put us in a wonderful mood and we enjoyed a restful night’s sleep.

Around 5.30 in the morning, the Van and I quietly left to continue our journey, leaving a Christmas card full of thanks and hugs for these two angels. Their friendship and care warmed our hearts and we hope they receive many gifts in kind over the years.

Feeling refreshed and re-energized to drive the 225 miles ahead of us to the Redwood Valley, we got on our way. The night before I’d parked the van on Michelle’s steep driveway and we had put large blocks and rocks under the back tires to be safe. Now in the early hours of the morning, trying to find them in the dark, I was not sure that had been a good idea. I moved the big wooden beam on one side but the rock under the right wheel rolled under the van to a place where I couldn’t reach it. I had no choice but to start the van and move back very very slowly. Crunch! I stopped immediately feeling the rock under the Van. I still could not reach it and was starting to imagine sleeping in the van until daylight, when the cold weather motivated me to make one last attempt. Peering around in the dark, I found what looked like a broom handle. It was actually a garden shovel. Great! I used it to move the rock clear of the van and we were on our way at last! Another close shave in the van and yet again someone is looking over us and keeping us safe. Must be those angels!


After getting on the road and going up another mountain range in really bad fog, we decided to pull over for a coffee and see if it cleared. As we took the next exit from the highway, the neon light from an unmentionable fast food all-night pit stop beckoned us. However we were narrowly saved from ingesting their brew, because after requesting a cappuccino and  being met with a rather unfriendly teenage air of boredom, we decided to re-fuel and try somewhere else. Just down the road was a local supermarket packed with local produce that had just opened at 7:00am. We were greeted by  a friendly manager who showed us to the coffee station where a lovely cup of java soon dismissed any lingering aches and pains from moving the heavy boulder under the van.

As we sipped, we quietly thanked the ungracious teenager who had prompted us to leave the fast food venue and find a more welcoming place for coffee. Wow – this freshly brewed java really packed a punch; we had never seen pigs fly until that moment. Maybe it was the Christmas spirit or something in the water from nearby Lake Shasta?

Pigs do fly in California !

After really appreciating our luck at finding a friendly store where we could stock up with local Californian wines and local produce, we were ready to get rolling.

The miles passed by effortlessly after that. At Redding the terrain (good word that) changed from hilly to flat. Not sure if it was the drizzle and grey skies, or the straight road and flat landscape, that left us uninspired. Once we took rte 20 off I-5, though, everything changed. This was a California we had not seen before; pretty rolling hills, trees and cattle, twisty roads and views that surprised us around almost every turn.

The journey continues – more later …………

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One Response

  1. […] some 25,000 miles ago, at the very start of our travels in The YesWeCan CamperVan (read that story here – photo caption ‘Pigs do fly in […]

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