|A View of Mount Shasta|
Harry Cassie Best
You do not need to travel to India for spiritual enlightenment.
If you do, spiritually enlightened Indians are likely to point you elsewhere.
Like, back where you came from.
Specifically, to Mount Shasta, in northern California.
You've heard of Born Again Christians.
Mystical Mount Shasta is where you go to be reborn without having to become Christian, or anything other than your own reborn spirit.
The mountain itself is an ancient volcano 14,000 feet high, once home (maybe still is) to an ancient civilization called the Lemurians.
Nearby, Bigfoot runs amuck.
UFOs drop in for a magnetic energy fix, rendering this real magic mountain a service station for extraterrestrials.
Assorted New Agers, Buddhists, shamans and charlatans hang their shingles to milk the pilgrims, some of whom never leave.
Purge the past. Spiritual rebirth. Tranquility.
Hell, it doesn’t hurt to try—not least because Shasta is only a nine-hour drive from Santa Barbara.
Plus I have a novel playing in my mind set around a road trip like this.
Torrential rainstorms throughout the Golden State keep me home. Although I welcome moodiness over stark blue sky, it seems senseless to go when the mountain may be obscured by raincloud.
I aim to depart the day after Easter, but another winter storm gets in the way, dumping fifteen inches of snow.
Finally, I'm off.
First stop, Valley Grind in Old Town Santa Ynez for a lavender latte to set me up for a marathon nine-hour drive, music alternating between Jack Savoretti and the soundtrack from a movie called Begin Again, a good fit for the mission at hand.
My first novel about a road trip has been acquired by Skyhorse Publishing in New York City.
It will be published in Fall 2016