Thursday 9/3/09 I think we have crossed over the line in obsession of waterfalls. If we find they have some in the area we are visiting....then we must try & see them. Today is our official sightseeing day and there are 3 historic towns in the area that we are going to try & visit. First up is Dunsmuir, CA www.dunsmuir.com a very small, old town. We park the car on Main Street (every small town has a Main St) find the visitors center, pick up brochures & then walk up & down the main street. The visitors center recommended we visit the old Amtrak Station as they have a wonderful display of old pictures & memorabilia, which we tried to but the sign on the door said - Only open on the first Saturday of each month 10 am to 12 pm.....now you think the visitors center would know that, guess I have to take care of that also. It's a cute town but absolutely dead with lots of empty stores, so we head out of town to find their waterfall, Hedge Creek Falls. It is very close to town, with a parking lot right at the trail head & a very short hike of only about 10 minutes. We proceed down to the waterfall which sits on the Sacramento River but as we have found out that at this time of the year the water is pretty "light." It is very nice & we are able to walk behind the falls & we think this is the closest we have ever gotten to one of the waterfalls as we were able to put our hands in it. No one else is around so it is very lovely and we sit awhile then head back up.
Next stop is the town of McCloud, CA, they have 3 waterfalls - McCloud Falls, the Lower Falls, Middle Falls and Upper Falls. We pass by the town of McCloud as the waterfalls are in a state park and approx. 10 miles down from the town. It is a beautiful recreation area with an RV park (no hooks up, not for us) lots of hiking trails but we follow the sign to the Lower Falls as they have picnic tables & we have brought our lunch. From the parking lot you can walk right over to the railing & observe the falls which are very nice with a fabulous swimming pool & natural rocks all around that I'm sure is jammed in the summer with swimmers. Surprisingly, their are other people here, of course all retired folks, like us. After lunch we discover a wonderful paved path that says it will take us directly to the Middle Falls and it is only about 1 mile. Will says he is definitely up for it & wants to go so we head off down the walkway. It's going pretty good & it is a slight incline, which is always good for coming back....going down hill. However, we get to the end of the paved path & discover it is 1/2 mile more down a dirt path. We forge on but now I'm getting leery (besides we forgot our water bottles back in the car) Will insists we go on, so we do. After a short while we run into a lady coming back & she says it's still a way to go but absolutely worth it....however there is a downed tree on the trail & we will have to climb around it. I want to go back but Will, being stubborn says no & we continue on. We come to the tree & climb up & around and I fall & slide down. Fortunately, I only cut my palm as I reached for a limb but no real damage done. We hear the water & now we can glimpse the falls so of course we push on. Not much further & we are rewarded.....it was fabulous, the best waterfall yet. It was very wide, at least 50 ft wide with a 30 ft drop - absolutely beautiful. We just sat down on some rocks & watched & listened. At that point Will looks up & sees a railing with people looking down at the falls & us.....yes, you could drive right up to the falls & see it.
As we get up to head back we run smack into a lady & her dog that have hiked down from that parking lot & we start to talk. First off she says the view from down here is 100% better than from the parking lot...which makes us feel a lot better. We introduce ourselves, she is Ingrid Howser & her yellow lab, Summer, she retired from Fresno City College around 2000 and lived in Madera. She worked for Joaquin in Financial Aid for about one year. Talk about a small world, we just couldn't believe it. They are now living in the town Shastina, CA & on her day off her & Summer find another place in the area to explore. As we are chatting she offers us a ride back to our car which is parked at Lower Falls, all we have to do is hike up the switch back trail to the parking lot above. I immediately say yes!!! The thought of walking back plus climbing over the tree....this is too good to pass up, actually she is an angel in disguise. With that we climb back up, a mear 15 minutes up that trail & into her car. I sit in the back with Summer (who is now laying on my lap, she's tired) & Will is in the front seat w/Ingrid. We all decide before going back to our car to complete the trip & drive on to see Upper Falls which is very close by. This one can be observed from the parking lot, it is nice and it completed the package - we saw all the three of the McCloud Falls.
We then head back to our car & Ingrid tells us some great stories, like the time she was car jacked from Trader Joe's parking lot at Barstow & Blackstone in Fresno. An incredible story, a wonderful lady and we felt like we had made a new friend. Thank you again Ingrid, you and Summer made our day a complete joy, it was wonderful meeting you. With that we head off to to see the historic town of McCloud, which had less to see then Dunsmuir. It was a short visit & we had one more town to go, Mt Shasta.
Now Mt Shasta was our favorite of all the towns, including Weed, where we are staying. It was a bustling Main Street with lots of shops and people, a Farmers Market. We parked & walked up and down both sides, in & out of shops. We even stopped by Ingrid's husbands shoe store that they own in Mt Shasta. We met him & told him of our afternoon, which Ingrid had already called him. We invited them to dinner in Weed this evening but unfortunately they had other plans....maybe another time! By this time we are dead tired & ready to go home. When we arrived home I was desperate for a shower & Will laid down on the bed & was "out like a light."
We had seen that on Thursday night in Weed at Weed Brewery, actually Mt. Shasta Brewing Company they play bluegrass music on Thursday from 6 to 9 pm. We love bluegrass music and it starts early enough for us....so we decided to go, eat dinner & stay & listen to the music. After our nap we head on down for all of the above. They serve polish hot dogs & veggie brats - Will orders chili with his & I have a side of artichoke dip...Will is buying dinner, so we went all out. Now neither of us drink beer as a matter of fact we can't stand the taste of it....but we decide to try a glass of their special, a cherry beer, of course we also order cokes because that is the safe drink always. When the beer comes, Will takes a sip & says it's pretty good, I can't believe it so I take a sip and I'll be darn....it's not bad, not good but not bad. Will has a couple more & so do I, we are starting to feel a little buzz off only a couple sips & then the next one is awful....it taste just like beer. Now the beer had sat awhile, so what happened, we don't know but that was the end of our beer drinking. We ate our dinner & drank our cokes & waited for the music. Finally the music arrived, there were 5 musicians & they did a pretty good job. The place was filling up with people, some very strange people....you had mountain men, people with tattoos & piercings & lots of normal people. We stayed for about an hour of the music & decided we were to tired & wanted to go home & go to bed. After returning home I decided to wash our shoes & some clothes so I could do the blog & keep myself awake...it worked. Tomorrow is moving day...we head south to Redding, CA. Signing off now & going to bed with much love to family & friends.