Yes, Mt.Shasta does have a mysticism about it ( and the white mountain seems to have kind twinkling eyes that follow you along the rather desolate, remote road that leads you there). But once you arrive, legs aching to stretch, you are in just in a small, funky town with an anywhere- USA-esque suffering downtown street. No circuitous streets to lead you to retreats, no evocative signs for enticing spas or restaurants, and no enchanting landscaping inspires. No, this is not the alluring oasis that you can be lead to think it will be when a “New-Ager”, who tells you of their time there in gasps and with glassy eyes and then shows you their crystals. Still, we let ourselves be lured by the possibility that we entering la-la land, drive Athena ( our van) into town and park. We are greeted by a bright red nose reindeer on the town’s fire truck. Cute and Christmas-y, yes. Mystical and far-out…um, not really.
As we walk downtown, eerily quiet on an afternoon day before Christmas, stores look half alive and the bakery is closed. Where are the stores emanating purple lights? I do find, though already closed for the day, a store with ethnic scarves and trippy posters. but it is like any college town store. What is the hub-bub?
If anything, Mt. Shasta is like the Indian Buddhist teacher saying maybe yes, maybe no with their head bobble. Yes, to the new-age road tripper, nah to the RV traveler pulling in for gas ( in and out). Or, for us, a kinda-charming Christmas sweetness quick stop before the long stretch into Chico.