Serene Shasta

Location: Mt. Shasta 
Time: Sunset
EXIF: Canon EOS 7D | EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM | 18mm | f/8 | 1/160s | ISO 100

During a recent get together with our friends, someone made a comment that the guys should go on a camping trip and let the gals spend some quality time together. I am always up for a trip so I said I am in depending on date. To be honest, I thought these guys will never come up with a solid plan. I wasn’t going to come up with a plan as I had travel plans almost every week.

To my surprise, one of the guys that I thought would remain silent until all planning was done actually reached out and kickstarted the planning process. The moment I saw that one of the option was Burney Falls, I said yes and convinced everyone that we should go there. We found a cabin right there in the Burney Falls Campground. I asked one of my friends to book cabin as well as rental car.

Again, to my surprise, we were actually heading out on a trip. My flight from Boston to San Francisco was supposed to land around 8, which would have put me home around 9 or 9:30. Unfortunately, my flight got delayed for several hours. By the time I landed, it was around 11:30. By the time I got home, it was half past midnight. Thank god! I convinced my friends to leave around 8:00 instead of their original intended time of 6:00. I knew for a fact that there is no way these guys would have left at 6:00 anyway.

The drive to Burney Falls was pretty smooth. We got to the cabin and had the entire afternoon to pretty much to whatever we wanted. We went to Burney Falls and spent some time there. After that, we went to the Lake Britton. The goal was to do some boating and watch the Sunset at the lake. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to spend a lot of time on Photography so I decided to include some fun activities like hiking and boating.

Unfortunately, boat rentals were not available. So, after spending about 30 or 45 minutes at Lake Britton, we decided to head out and checkout what’s close by. When we asked one of the Ranger, she asked us to check out McCloud Falls. We asked her how far it is and she said it’s just about 15 to 20 minutes. So, we decided to check it out. We kept driving and after about 30 minutes of driving, we then realized that the Ranger was way off.

We got to McCloud Falls after about 45 minutes of driving. We spent about an hour in the McCloud area checking out all 3 falls – the lower, middle, and upper falls. Had we not spent the hour or so at Lake Britton, we could’ve actually hiked a larger trail. We didn’t have time to do that. So, we took the short trails to each of the falls and spent a few minutes at each fall.

One of the guys wanted to head back to the cabin but I wanted to go somewhere for Sunset. I wanted to go to Lake Siskiyou for Sunset so I can get reflection of Mt. Shasta on the lake. The other guys could have been easily convinced to go back to the cabin but I didn’t budge. I wanted to go to Lake Siskiyou and everyone agreed. We were scrambling to get to Lake Siskiyou as Sun was setting fast.

My phone gave me direction to Lake Siskiyou a different way compared to my friend. We decided to trust the directions from his phone. We got to the Lake but we couldn’t see Mt. Shasta at all. We kept driving but no luck. At some point, we were off roading with a sedan and a couple of guys were worried that the car might get stuck.

Anyways, we couldn’t even see Mt. Shasta at all. I then realized that Mt. Shasta is only visible from the other side of the Lake. At this point, it was too late to drive to the other side. Well, we could’ve made it but the guys wanted to head back. Without knowing the exact location, I really didn’t want to push for it.

On the way back, I saw this opening where Mt. Shasta was clearly visible. So, I asked my friends to stop the car. We stood at the side of the road and I shot this hand-held. I bracketed these shots so I could bring out all the details as well as dynamic range. There was no burn but the colors were subtle and serene.

I really wish I found the spot to take reflection of Mt. Shasta. After going all the way there, I missed a great photo opportunity. To be honest, I am glad I got one or two keepers from this trip. With this group of friends, photography is next to impossible.


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