bunt sign

Tuesday, July 17, 2001

9:20 am. Every time we move the houseboats, the sun comes up from a different direction, and at a different time. People who know their way around the lake probably know these things ahead of time, but I am always surprised. I was surprised, for example, that the sun hit my face at 6:00 this morning, the earliest so far on this trip. I still managed to lie about in my sleeping bag until after 8:00.

We've had some comic relief here. Yesterday when we pulled up stakes to move, our friend D was out in his ski boat. We saw him coming back and heading to our old location. Everyone on both houseboats was shouting and waving as he drove blithely by, then circled around the next further point (apparently thinking he'd misjudged his landmarks). I'm not sure what he would have tried next, but we finally go this attention. He thought it was funny. We thought it was funnier.

Then last night at dinner, Alex (who is seven) was sitting across the table from me making up stories. I'm afraid I encouraged her a bit, as her tales got wilder and wilder, but I wanted to see how long she could talk without taking a break. (Or a breath, it almost seemed.) She rambled on and on, just at the bare edge of almost making sense. She had all of us laughing, which I guess was the point. And somehow, amidst all this, she managed to eat everything on her plate. It was quite a performance.

Shasta Lake

Our little corner of the lake.

4:30 pm. This afternoon a bunch of us took the tour of Lake Shasta Caverns. The incredible natural underground formations had us in awe. It's amazing how these limestone caves have developed over the centuries, growing up from the bottom and down from the top of rooms hidden inside a mountain.

Getting there is part of the adventure. The caverns were discovered from the top of the mountain down, but these days you hike up from the dock to a marina store, then take a steep bus trip to the lower entrance, a man-made opening. Inside are stairs and paths that take you through the cave rooms, all the way up to the first cavern discovered centuries ago by the Wintu people, and first recorded by a U.S. government employee in 1878. It gets steep at times, but the dozens of different kinds of formations keep it interesting. All the children and adults in our group were struck by how otherworldly it all seemed.

previousbunt signemailnext