mount shasta from a kid’s perspective

We take a handful of sand from the endless landscape of awareness around us and call that handful of sand the world. -Robert M Pirsig

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Over Thanksgiving break I embarked on a road-trip from Davis, California to Portland, Oregon with my 8-year old daughter KB. According to Google Maps it’s a 9 hour venture, which somehow takes me no less than 12 hours to complete. I don’t really mind too much unless I get what I call “road” eyes, when they feel parched and disinterested in focusing on their surroundings. The only cure for road eyes is to take a little nap at a rest stop, which is something I do often when I’m the only driver in the car.

When my eyes are not weary, I am happy to be driving. Mostly because I like to look out at the beautiful scenery and think about the world from a distant perspective. But, not everyone is moved by nature and just looking out the window.

Halfway home from Portland, I looked over my shoulder into the back seat of our car where KB was playing with her iPad and said you’re really not impressed by this, are you? She had uncharacteristically refused multiple offers to use my fancy camera and take pictures of the forest and mountains, and had a disinterested expression every time I told her whoa look at that! She seems to have gotten early admission into the Tween club, sporting a slight attitude and above-it-all countenance before she has even hit ten.

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We were driving past Mount Shasta, its snow-capped peak proudly rising nearly 10,000 feet above the surrounding landscape. Shasta is the fifth-tallest mountain in California and the northernmost of the California fourteeners. Needless to say, it is one of the gems of the state of California and deserves of some admiration.

She looked past me to this mountain which so inspired John Muir he wrote it has “far more impressive and commanding individuality than any other mountain within the limits of California”. After a brief glance, she went back to her iPad and said it’s not like it’s glowing, or anything.