Suddenly I’m in Mount Shasta


Flying from 80 degree weather on Kauai to 40 degrees Fahrenheit in Mount Shasta was challenging.

I could see my breath.

I saw actual snow floating down on Mount Shasta in angel white brilliance.

Hadn’t seen snow in years.

I wore a jacket with 2 sweaters under it. And a scarf, hat, and finger coverings to keep my flesh from freezing.

But the mountain is magic. It truly is a portal to another world. Maybe it’s the lost Shangrila that people look for in the Himalayas. Maybe we were looking on the wrong continent.

Lake Siskiyou, Mount Shasta,

Lake Siskiyou, Mount Shasta,

Mount Shasta shakes you to the core and makes you wake up. The lakes, snow, community, and sparkling fresh water from the head waters of the Sacramento River jolts you. It was the best water I ever drank and I was sure the best water was in Hawaii.

Nope, it’s in Mount Shasta.

I hadn’t been to Shasta in over 6 years and the brain cells in my head were jolted when I drank in the mountain.

My time was spent shooting Shasta from different angles, going to Stewart Hot Springs, the oldest hot springs in California and eating steak, drinking espresso, and at night red wine.

Stewart Hot Springs,

Stewart Hot Springs,

I ate apricots, cherries, crisp apples, salads, and steak. We had a lot of barbecues.

You tend to do that when you’re freezing.

A forty degree difference in the temperature on your skin is like slowly going into a cryogenic freeze, suddenly you notice that parts of your body are ice. And you better get some hot coffee and get under the covers now.

But if you have someone to get under the covers with, it’s all good.

Falling snow is romantic.

Here’s what I loved. Lake Siskiyou. Walking at the shoreline every morning gave me a power boost for the rest of the day.

Shasta Abbey – a Zen Buddhist Abbey filled with Zen masters (most of them women) who give retreats to us beings on the outside of the abbey and advice on how to live life.

View from Shasta Abbey,

View from Shasta Abbey,

They teach meditation and give dharma talks. I stayed for 5 days with them and will go back again. I found family there.

Shasta Abbey, gathering place in the pine trees,

Shasta Abbey, gathering place in the pine trees,

Seeing Mount Shasta from my friend’s hot tub, from the town center, and from my bedroom was comforting. Shasta is out there watching over us.

There are stories about how Shasta is an energy vortex. You do feel differently when you’re up in the mountains in the high ethers of snow and unlimited sky.

At 4500 feet high, Mount Shasta City is in a high vibration. It’s a difficult place to leave. It wraps its arms around you and gives you a cozy, warm feeling.

There is a distinct connection between Kauai and Mount Shasta. The energy of Kauai is a blossoming world millions of years old and the feeling in Mount Shasta is ancient and calming.

Shasta Abbey Temple,

Shasta Abbey Temple,

I met people in Shasta who want to live to Kauai and people in Kauai who feel called to Shasta.

Mount Shasta is known as a world power place. If you’re going, check out my recommendations.

Spring and fall are incredible times to visit. Go and feel the power, let me know what happened.

Stay: Strawberry Valley Inn

Eat: Best Western Treehouse, Lily’s Restaurant, Wassayaks

Go: Stewart Hot Springs, Shasta Abbey, Lake Siskiyou

Mary Bartnikowski, author, award-winning photographer and educator, has written 4 books, check it out here.

Discover Mary’s photography in 32 countries here.