If you ate any fruit, vegetables or nuts today, chances are they came from California's central valley. Most likely the water the farmers used to irrigate those crops came from northern California. During the Great Depression the Shasta Dam was built to control flooding from the Sacramento River, generate hydroelectric power, and back up the river for 35 miles. This water provides northern Californians with recreational opportunities and the farmers a way to water their crops. We wanted to take a tour which included a boat ride on Lake Shasta and a visit to Shasta Caverns, a huge cave complex. When we left the expressway to take the road to the boat ramp, the sign said "no trucks." It should have said "just walk." It was the narrowest, twistiest road we've taken since we can't remember. And when we finally got there, the boat staff had decided that it was too windy for the boat to sail at 10am. They had another sailing at noon and said they would go if the wind died down.
So we asked them what to do for two hours and they suggested a visit to the dam that created Shasta Lake. The brochure said that the visitor center had a film showing how the dam was built and dam tours were available. So we were double bummed when we got there and the visitor center was closed because today (Columbus Day) is a holiday. Numerous frustrated families with young children joined us bitching and moaning.
The wind did not die down, so we returned to our home away from home to clean it and the car, chores that were way overdue. Then our next door neighbor suggested a short drive to McCloud Falls, a series of three separate falls created by the snow melt from Mt. Shasta. The gurgling water and the sweet piney smell of the forest, put us back into a good mood.