During the summer of 2020, the original intention was to do some National Forest camping at Mt Shasta, take some pictures and feature a few unique places to explore in future articles. What actually happened was a quick drive-by photography mission while evacuating the wildfires in northern California, which were overwhelming that year. My late summer tour of California was cut short when forest fires broke out shortly after crossing the Oregon border and it took more than two days just to get out of the deep woods in the Klamath region. After doing a brief early morning tour of Lassen Volcanic National Park during my evacuation, it was off to Reno, in order to get out of the way of the firefighters.
A smoke covered Mt Shasta certainly was a dreadful sight to see when passing by and the event was like a curtain call for the remainder of my planned summer camping tour. While in town, the displaced wildlife was roaming the streets, which is never a good sign during the wildfire season. After taking a few pictures to capture the moment, Mt Shasta disappeared in the smokey haze of the rearview mirror while heading east and the only thoughts concerned whether this destination would remain untouched till next year.
As it turned out, the long wait was not worth it, because the California wildfire season of 2021 started very early and the severe drought conditions were much worse than back in 2020 when I cruised right on by Mt Shasta. In fact, 2021 was the very first year the Mt Shasta had no snow on the peak during the summer season, which says plenty about the current climate change conditions. Hopefully a window of opportunity to explore Mt Shasta will open soon and until then, the sad looking smokey images in this article will have to do.
Leave no trace!
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