Off grid in Mount Shasta

10/29/21

Hey all, I’m still alive! I just have very minimal internet access here in northern California.

A brief catch-up of the past few days:

I wrote the previous post from the balcony of my cousin Nathalie’s place in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. We enjoyed another all-too-brief stay of fun-filled conversation, after which I accepted a car ride from my gracious Warmshowers host to the delightful mid-century-styled house he shares with his wife in the neighboring Mount Washington area. I was very thankful for the lift; those hills were unbelievable! He was accustomed to scaling them, and in fact he had recently returned from his own cross-country bicycle trip: 7 weeks from Santa Monica to Washington, DC! Much different pace, and level of athletic prowess, from me. 

I biked down those scenic Mt. Washington hills the next morning, on my way to Union Station. (I love the aesthetics of that station, so I’m sharing a few photos here.)

That ride led into a nice long trip on the train from LA up to the tiny town of Dunsmuir, where I arrived at 4:58 am(!)

My also-gracious host Michael was kind enough to wake up at 3 am in order to pick me up from there, and drive me back in the dark over deeply rain-potholed roads into his gorgeous, remote off-grid cabin near Mount Shasta. (Check out the solar panel! Remind you of anything?)

We went up to the mountain yesterday, where I encountered snow!

We also serendipitously ran into a friend of Michael’s, who is one of the kind of people I was just writing about wanting to meet: Lewis Elbinger, who describes himself on Facebook as a “Multidimensional grandfather, yogi, poet, artist, traveler, diplomat, planetary citizen, [and] evolutionary.” He had worked as a diplomat for many years in Pakistan, as well as several other countries. He gave me a copy of the book he had recently published, “Meditation for Prisoners.” How perfect! I told him about Johnny and his work building the healing garden at the Oregon State Penitentiary.

It’s unbelievably beautiful and serene here. Please enjoy these photos, until I have the time and internet connection to share more in a few days.

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