Armed with a couple of maps and a highlighter, Joey and I took off for a rambling ride through northern California and Oregon for my nephew’s wedding on Oshala Farm in Applegate Valley, Oregon. We passed sad, tiny towns that had more closed than open businesses before reaching Susanville, a place I’ve always wanted to visit after reading my boys a wonderful book called Home to Medicine Mountain.
The author tells the experiences of her father Benny Len and her Uncle Stanley who as boys were taken from their home on Yo-Tim Yamne (Medicine Mountain) in Susanville to attend a school in Riverside for Native American children. They so desperately missed their Grandmother’s stories of Pa’nom, the brave brown bear that watches over the people who live near Medicine Mountain, the sound of clap sticks during the Bear Dance and leaves of sweet-smelling mumuni leaves. So when summer came, in the dead of the night, the boys escaped by riding the rails all the way home to Medicine Mountain.
I so deeply understand the yearning to be free and I agree with Benny Len who didn’t understand why he had to wear shoes that separated him from Mother Earth or how time could move in neat little lines on a clock when at home time was never the same, sometimes “slow as a waterbug drifting downstream in summer and other days slipped by as quickly as a coyote melting into the shadows.” Perhaps some day I will find a home that brings me such good medicine. For now, its the road that makes me free and causes time to become obsolete in comparison to the experiences and connections made along the way.
We left Susanville for Lassen National Forest where we picnicked on leftover Buffalo Wild Wings off the truck’s tailgate. Then passed through Hog Flat Reservoir. I love these names! Dana had made a rocking road trip CD for us, which we sang along with as we drove toward the majestic Mount Shasta. Dana really should start a business of these personalized burnt CDs!
We stopped in Mt. Shasta City and came upon a lovely farmers market where we got heirloom tomatoes and blackberries. I found some excellent goat’s milk lotion from a sweet woman who raises her own goats. Check her out at Baby G Soaps. This town has more crystal shops than Sedona! I bought a Serpentine because it matched my outfit for the wedding and it opens the chakras, clears mental and emotional imbalances, and helps one to feel more in control of life.
Next we found Mt. Shasta brewery in the town of Weed. The beer was good and the ambiance a cross between a musty country store and a flea market complete with vintage bicycles suspended from the high ceilings with headlamps for night lighting and burlap sacks for transporting marijuana.
Then we headed back into the woods and found a nice little sneak camp spot for good night’s rest under the stars.