Mt. Shasta, California and a Beautiful Lenticular Cloud…

Airplane photo of lenticular cloud over Mt. Shasta on April 10, 2023 by photographer Curt Mekemson.
Flying down from Seattle to Sacramento last Monday, Peggy and I were awed by Mt. Shasta and a lenticular cloud that was hanging above it.

On Monday, Peggy and I flew from Seattle, Washington to Sacramento California. It was cloudy through Washington and Northern Oregon, which was hardly a surprise given the weather in the West this year. In mid-Oregon, however, the clouds suddenly parted. We enjoyed great views of the Three Sister volcanoes and the iconic Crater Lake. 

As we crossed into California, I told Peggy to hold her breath. Mt. Shasta was coming. We would be flying to the East of it. We didn’t have a clue what the weather would be like. Shasta could be cloud covered, partially covered, or totally clear. What we got was a rare treat, a lenticular cloud was perched on top of the mountain. While Peggy oohed and awed, I grabbed my camera to snap a few photos. 

I love Mt. Shasta. It’s one of the most beautiful volcanic mountains in the world. I’ve been driving by it for decades as I made my way from California to Oregon and back. I even climbed the mountain in 1979 with my 75 year old friend, Orvis Agee, who’d been up it so many times that he was  known affectionately as ‘The Old Man of the Mountain.’ For my own 75th birthday in 2018, I had spent two weeks of my 750 mile backpack trek down the PCT enjoying spectacular views of the mountain as I made my way south from Mt. Ashland to Burney Falls.

It was my intention to slap up a quick post on our Monday fly-over but we were in Sacramento for a personal and sad reason. Peggy’s sister, Jane Hagedorn, and my friend of 50 years had unexpectedly passed away. We had come in from Virginia to attend a celebration of life memorial and help her children for a couple of weeks as they sort though things and prepare for the memorial. So, I put the post off. I actually forgot it.  

Until Saturday. I was reading a blog I follow by Bubba Suess,, and he had photographed the same lenticular cloud and others from the ground. I suggest you jump over to his web site and click on his blog at the top. He had photos from both Sunday and Monday. They are amazing, especially the flying saucer lenticular cloud! They inspired me to put up my photos as well. 

Jane drove up to see us several times while Peggy and I were living in Oregon, sometimes with her husband, Jim, and sometimes by herself. She considered our home and property as a retreat. Along the way, she would pass by Mt. Shasta. She shared our awe of the mountain’s beauty. She was a faithful follower of my blog and I know she would love this post on Shasta. This one’s for her.

A distant view.
Closer… The squares are mainly cattle ranches.
Photo of lenticular cloud over Mt. Shasta by photographer Curt Mekemson.
And a final view.

My post on the buffalo sculptures of Custer City, South Dakota that I was going to run today will be posted next Monday. My post on the history and mythology of Egypt will be on the following Monday.

36 thoughts on “Mt. Shasta, California and a Beautiful Lenticular Cloud…

  1. I was actually wondering if this was the same cloud as Bubba’s recent photos; how funny that you both captured it. Sorry to hear about the sad reason for your trip, though.

  2. I was there about 3 years ago in the spring. It was beautiful and HOT – the year of terrible wildfires. Gorgeous shots, Curt. And so sorry to hear about the sudden loss of Peggy’s sister and your friend. My heart goes out to you all. A beautiful post.

  3. Three things
    First: so sorry for your loss Peggy and Curt. What a sad time for you both. We’re getting to an age when I think from time to time about losing any one of my sisters. I have no idea how I’ll cope. Sending hugs.
    Second: Mt Shasta is really something.
    Third: your photos are spectacular! As is that cloud.
    Alison xo

    • Thanks, Alison. And yes, we are getting of that age. I lost my sister last year and my brother four years ago.
      Shasta is a beautiful mountain. Peggy and I were lucky to catch it when we did flying down!

  4. I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of Peggy’s sister, Curt. There really are no words…
    As to your trip, we remember seeing Three Sisters, Crater Lake, and Mt. Shasta in the past, but that cloud is amazing and your photos are absolutely stunning. I’m still in awe when reading about your backpacking adventures. Take good care, and thanks for sharing these beautiful photos.

    • Than you Lauren for your thoughts.
      It’s fun to take shots out an airplane window on occasion. It provides a totally different perspective for several thousand feet up in the air and the lenticular cloud was special.

  5. We are truly blessed to have such natural beauty out west. In the PNW we take these daily view for granted sometimes but I never turn away from the view out of a plane. Beautiful pictures. Sorry for your loss.

    • Thanks, Jonah. Appreciated.
      Before Peggy and I moved to Virginia to be closer to our kids, we had a home on the Upper Applegate River with views of the Siskiyou’s out our front window and the national forest backing up to our property. We loved the PNW!

  6. Sorry to hear of your loss. Shasta is spectacular, although I haven’t seen it up close. I used to have a friend in San Francisco and would always look forward to the drive by (and of the lake too) when heading down for a visit.

    • It’s only one state away, Dave. Almost worth the drive in itself!
      And thanks. Jane was a special person who will be missed by her family, friends, and the community, which she did a lot for over the years.

  7. I’m glad such beauty — and such a rarely seen cloud — marked your journey to Sacramento: a sad one, but like much of life, also an occasion for appreciation of the natural world. Since lenticular clouds tend to hang around mountains, I’ve never seen one, but they fascinate me. I’m so glad that you recorded this one for us!

    • We were there close to three weeks and have just returned to Virginia and the world of blogging, Linda.
      The memorial was well done. Jane would have appreciated it. Maybe she did. Much of our family and many friends from years gone by were there, most of whom I knew.
      The lenticular cloud was a real treat. It was even more fascinating that one of my blogging friends, Bubba Seuss who focuses on Mt. Shasta (and writes trail guide books) was capturing the cloud from the ground in the same time frame.
      Thank you. –Curt

  8. Oh Peggy, this is sad news. My love and hugs to you both. I am glad you are able to be out there with the kids. This is a beautiful post to honor Jane and the memories you have with her. I think it’s marvelous that you follow Bubba Seuss. I used to follow his posts avidly, because I was certain that I’d eventually get over there to hike the trails he talks about, but I never did. I think the best photos and best trail descriptions for Mt. Shasta are at his blog.

    • We were there for close to three weeks helping out with the family, Crystal. The Celebration for Life was quite well done with friends and coworkers from over 50 years dropping by to visit— many of whom were my friends as well as Jane’s, given our years of working together in Sacramento. It was also good to see so many of our family members who were there, including cousins who had never met. Jane will be missed.
      Bubba once invited me to come over and stay at a cabin he has at his house and visit some of the trails with him, which would have been a kick. Unfortunately, I was off doing something else at the time.
      Peggy says thanks. –Curt

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