“When I caught sight of it….I was fifty miles away and afoot, alone and weary. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since”
John Muir, on seeing Mt.Shasta

Mt.Shasta offers a peek on a cloudy day

Where heaven and earth meet…Mt Shasta city

Groovy…is the first thing that comes to mind. Having an out-of-body experience is not far behind it. We’re sitting at the “Seed of Life” cafe, surrounded by psychedelic posters and aging hippies. I’m reading an advertisement for “priestess training” and have just learned from the long-haired (and well-tattooed) barista that Mt. Shasta is a natural energy vortex. “you’re in the heart of the sacred mountain spirit, man….people have vision quests to come here”. The only thing nagging at my inner sanctuary is that my mocha cost $4.95 and the old hippy by the door is wearing a $100 Patagonia sweatshirt, was typing on an iPad and just got into a Land Rover. Maybe I am having visions?

At “Seed Of Life” Cafe in downtown Mt.Shasta

Despite all the fluff, you can’t help but be impressed by the view. Mt. Shasta takes your breath away, and energy vortex or not, it’s comes darn close to a real-life modern-day spiritual encounter. Úytaahkoo or “White Mountain” sprouts like a giant conical birthday surprise out of the plains and into a soaring 14,179 feet (4,322 m). Driving north up the pine-lined I-5 amongst gently rolling hills you simply don’t expect it, so when you turn the corner and suddenly face the massive snow-capped peak, it really does shift your inner senses. There’s something about this mountain, and it most definitely draws you in.

Mt. Shasta (the town) is a cute mountain town which cultivates the spiritual vibe, but also rocks some money. There are large mansions just outside of town and the local golf course is a pristine 18-hole dream (we actually stopped to hit a few balls on the range…yes, even me…after hours of Golf Channel and hubby persistence I have veeery skeptically applied myself and realized I can actually hit the ball. The full glory of my golf future is yet to be seen however). Downtown has shops, cafes, a good organic food market and no end of offerings to get in touch with your inner self.

Polly catches a breath between snow “crazy runs”

But the real draw to all this is the mountain…and the surrounding nature. Much of the mountain is protected Wilderness (which sadly means no dogs), but you can drive to admire the summit base-camp with pooch (Sand Flat/Bunny Flat) and you can go hike with doggie just about anywhere outside the main peak. We chose a super-scenic 2.2 mile route from Castle Lake to Heart Lake which not only offers two gorgeous mountain lakes, but also stunning views of Mt.Shasta and rolling blankets of low-lying snow (at least this time of year).

The latter drives Polly absolutely bananas giving her the snow “crazy runs” and us the benefit of a very tired doggie after the hike. Oh, and I have it on good authority from a local shaman that this happens to be an old indian hike which is (of course) a spiritual cleanser. So not only do your outer limbs get a work-out, but your inner being does too.

It’s simply the way of the mountain out here. I can’t tell you if the vortex took me in or my blood turned to wine, but I most definitely felt lifted. Groovy, baby.

Paul meditates on the vortex’s of life at Castle Lake

Paul poses at Mt.Shasta Golf Resort with the famous peak in the background

Gorgeous views from Heart Lake

Mountain flowers at ~6,500 feet

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22 Responses to Grooving The Spirit Of Úytaahkoo – Mt.Shasta, CA

  1. Rob says:

    The Shasta area has always been a favorite of mine, I like big mountains just sitting there.

    Heading north on I-5 ( after Shasta) but before you get to the big hills there is a valley (as I recall it’s by the barn with “State of Jefferson” painted on top). In this valley you can see several volcanoes at once as you are driving, none of them active but judging by their shape there is no doubt that they are volcanoes. My last trip thru I had a vision of that valley with all those volcanoes “looking” active. It would be a different drive if all of them were ‘smoking’. I wish I was an artist.

    The other part of that drive are the rock walls that run over hills and across valleys, seeming random runs of stacked rock wall. Many years ago I had a hitchhiker who told me that after the railroad was built there were large groups of Chinese who needed work, they would clear rock from fields for a price. A long line of people walking across the land picking up the rocks and passing them in hand to hand with the middle stacking them into a wall.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Cheers so much for sharing more of the local nature and stories. This really is an interesting place. Excellent stuff!
      Nina

  2. Brenda says:

    sorry we did not get to hook up with you guys today, we ended up at the dam quite long and then went to a cove of the lake.. all in all we had a great time. Brenda & Curt McCoy

    • libertatemamo says:

      No problem. Figured your guys would have a busy day. Glad you enjoyed the dam! Hope we meet up down the road.
      Nina

  3. Alex says:

    I can see you are experiencing the MTN. from every possible angle and point of view. Now to get your aura read and buy a few crystals just in case they’re right.

  4. Marsha says:

    Driving up I-101, we missed Mt. Shasta. I love your first photo. Breathtaking for sure.
    I love the way you posted t-shirt photos (Paul looks so happy with that golf club in his hand.) and the snow photos. Gives a real sense of the area.
    You two look like you are having much better weather inland than we are next to the ocean. Cold, cloudy and damp all three days we were here.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Paul is definitely one VERY happy puppy when he has that club in his hand :)
      Sorry to hear the ocean is damp & cold…then again, it is Oregon. Just wait a few mins and you’ll get that peek of sun you’re looking for.
      Nina

  5. Linda Sand says:

    You’re having visions alright. The question is what kind of visions? :)

  6. heyduke says:

    let’s just say on this side of Shasta it is a different world…

  7. Energy vortex or not, it’s a beautiful mountain, as are all of the volcanoes along the Pacific Coast.

  8. Jeannie says:

    wonderful post, well written with beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing, we are really enjoying your blog.

  9. Now that sounds like our kind of place, the hiking part that is! The city sounds a little bit like Sedona, AZ. Great post Nina!

  10. rommel says:

    Urgh … It so hurts to look at this when I know it’s not the right time for me to go there yet. LOL at the hippy. You can really expect unexpected characters in California.
    I’m heading North this weekend, though. :D We’ll get to see Pismo, Monterey, Muir Woods and Golden Gate. :D I’m so static.
    Have a safe trip ahead!

    • libertatemamo says:

      That should be a totally awesome trip! Enjoy the ride. Looking forward to your pics on your blog.
      Nina

  11. gold price says:

    UFO sightings are so commonplace there that there are books published with numerous photographs of craft so large they even dwarf the mountain itself. People on vision quests, ceremonies and camping expeditions have all seen, heard and felt the powerful vortex that is Mount Shasta.

  12. […] passed spring in N.CA and Southern Oregon soaking in the spirit of Shasta and discovering one of our best RV sites […]

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