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Of character

What quote am I vibing? "Americanism is a question of principle, of idealism, of character. It is not a matter of birthplace, or creed, or line of descent." Theodore Roosevelt

Road Day: 46

Trails Hiked: McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park. 4.8 miles. Elevation change: 300 or so feet. Trail surface: packed down dirt. To include: Falls Loop Trail (1.2 miles), parts of Creed Headwaters Trail, Pioneer Cemetery Trail (1.6 miles)

My thoughts today have been on my two never-to-forget names - Santos Valentin of the NYPD, the brother of my dear friend, Alida, and Jeanmarie Wallendorf, who is buried in the cemetery that we live next to in Stuart, FL and was working on the 89th floor of the South Tower.

When I tell people about Chasing Teddy, they always want to help and it's always so wonderful. I had just discovered in one of my Fodor's travel guides two days ago that Theodore Roosevelt is said to have called Burney Falls the "8th wonder of the world" - it's only about an hour away, and it jumped to the top of my priority list. Sylvia, my host here in Shasta, mentioned it yesterday and it seemed like fate for me to go ASAP. So, I gassed up the car, and headed east to McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park.

Burney Falls are (I think that's right) spectacular. Not to be captured on film. And part of the wonder is just sitting there getting misted by the most spectacular cool spritz. At once a sklooshing cascade down rocks and two spurting geysers (sorry for the racy imagery). It is unique. It is deliciously loud. And I can see why Teddy would love being there.

The Falls Trail Loop provided several beautiful perspectives of the falls. Interestingly, about a mile upstream, the riverbed is dry - this particular water emerges from underground. I drove a little further into the park and passed some very cool little rentable cabins and took another trail to the Pioneer Cemetery.

As you know, I love cemeteries. This one was a bit out of the norm - it's about a mile into the very sparse and dry woods - most of the original markers were wooden crosses, and have burned down in one of probably several fires the area has seen. There are a few stone markers, and a large stone marker identifying those that are known to be there. It was a series of paths around mostly dry grassy and weedy patches. There were ominous sounding birds cawing overhead, and dry winds whistling through the trees. To be honest, it was the most ill-at-ease I've ever felt in a cemetery, where I usually feel quite at home. An interesting experience!

I headed back to Mount Shasta for a burger and sweet potato fries (what else is there in life?) and am attempting an early night. I am being encouraged to possibly take another rest day tomorrow - let's see how that plays out. I want to do exciting things, but I also want to not borrow too much from my reserves.

I guess there are four spurting geyers. I only remember two.

Falls Loop. It's starting to get cold out. You won't see my arms as much.

Before the Falls.

The Sun is so much neater veiled in speckly clouds than in smoke!

Desolate little place. Pioneer life wasn't easy.

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