So Rob and I were headed out to Oregon for a paragliding competition called the Rat Race, near Medford, Oregon. It's the largest paragliding comp in the USA, and should be a great chance to fly a new site. In the meantime, we arrived a day too early (
So on a beautiful sunny morning, we diverted south down to Mt. Shasta, and spent the day hiking up Mt. Eddy. This 9,000 foot peak is just to the west of Mt. Shasta, with great views of the Trinity Mountains, Lassen Peak, and Mt. Shasta. Even the paved road up to the trailhead was scenic, as we saw a deer and a fawn along the way.
The PCT was the complete opposite of the trail I had hiked a few days before up to Lone Peak. A nice smooth, open trail under huge trees, gentle elevation changes, and great views. The trail wound along the steep edge of a valley without being at all steep itself. A really pleasant dayhike up to a few lakes in a volcanic valley.
Wandering past the blue and green Deadfall Lakes, the still-nice trail diverted from the Pacific Crest Trail and continued on to Mt. Eddy. Here the trail got steeper, but only in the sense that it wasn't flat. Still perfectly hikeable, and I had none of those moments of last weekend when I was completely out of breath and had to stop and catch it.
Mt. Eddy was essentially a big scree slope of volcanic rocks. The trail zigzagged up the side of the ridge, with great views opening up of the mountains all around. Mt. Shasta, the biggest view of them all, was hidden until the very tip-top of the peak, where it appeared looking like it was in fingertip reach.
Unfortunately it was really windy at the summit, and kinda chilly. We weren't tempted to stay long, and hurried back down the zigzags to the lakes, where it was warmer and less windy. Returning to the car meant retracing our steps along the magical PCT (I will be back someday) with more nice views of the mountains and volcanoes all around us.
|Looking up at Mt. Eddy summit from Deadfall Lakes|