From 100 degree temperatures in Castella on Interstate - 5, we resupplied and ascended several thousand feet into Castle Crags State Park to the cooler temperatures of 80 plus degrees.
Out of the dense forests of the lower elevations, we climbed up to touch the sensations of scenic metamorphic wonders.
The soils in this region are alkaline in Nature. Its the flip side of our acidic nature that is prevalent in many climates. Unique soil conditions exist to provide for specialized flowering plants, trees, and brush that only grow in this section of northern California and southern Oregon
We were to see about five black bears up to the Oregon border and even evident signs of cougars on the trail. One cougar roamed the Pacific Crest for at least three miles before detouring to the brush. We later learned that a few hikers were even lucky enough to see a mountain lion in person in the depths of this mountain wilderness.
We were to travel 100 miles north to Etna Summit in three and a half days.
Many of the springs in this section had insect eating pitcher plants growing from the precious seeps which were adorned with a spectrum of varied wildflowers.
There was a large forest fire to the west of us in the Trinity Alps Wilderness.
We could see its smoky residue for the past week lingering in the air.
The deer we saw in this locale seemed miniaturized and stunted in their growth.
We could see the trail before us extending seemingly into infinity.
The geology of the landscape was both volcanic and metamorphic in nature. One moment we could be stepping on granite, and the next moment we could be moving with an ancient basalt based volcanic flow.
Even Mount Shasta looked like a different Volcano as compared to previous days and angles as seen here upon a high ridge to the west of it. What one thinks they see, is truly a relative experience based upon one's positioning in life. Paying attention and respect to each data point truly brings one to Life as we are constantly seeing life through new Eyes.