Tag Archives: Gary VanDeWalker


The State of Jefferson Trade Route

Shasta Off-Road 2
From Forest to Sea! Crisscrossing the forests of Siskiyou County are thousands of miles of trails.  Travelled over the years by deer and bear, Native Americans, fur trappers, and settlers, these paths twist and turn through the trees and mountains of the landscape presenting panoramic views of the land and the hidden treasures nature has Continue Reading...

John Muir and the Mountain

By Gary VanDeWalker Eight children raced through the Muir home in Scotland.  John Muir was the third child, always looking for an adventure in nature.  In 1849, his family moved to America, settling on a farm in Wisconsin.  Muir grew up in the outdoors, pursuing the sciences in college, changing from subject to subject and Continue Reading...

McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park

By Gary VanDeWalker:   For Native Americans, water forms a supernatural line along the landscape, with a waterfall presenting a place of power.  As Burney Creek bursts out from underground springs of its forest home, it moves through the forest and bushes, plunging hard over the edge of the fauna covered cliff, cascading down in a Continue Reading...

Hedge Creek Falls & The Gentleman Outlaw

McCloud Blog Note:  The photo featured on our homepage for this story is actually the “payoff” view from the end of the trail. Once you get to the viewing platform that overhangs the river, scramble up the hillside to catch this fabulous glimpse of Mt. Shasta! Over the hill from McCloud, at the northern end Continue Reading...

The Legacy of Alexander McLeod

By Gary VanDeWalker In the 1820′s, Fort Vancouver, in Oregon Territory, was the ultimate destination of those spending months traveling the Oregon trail, and the established departure point for the Hudson’s Bay Company’s teams of explorers.  The Fort stood along the northern bank of the Columbia River, a monument to the push into the West, Continue Reading...

The History of Snowman’s Hill

As cars rush over the Snowman’s Hill summit towards their destinations, the steep mountainside to the west remains unnoticed and unremarkable.  The snowy slopes guide their way forward.   Yet there is a story here along Highway 89 when this summit was famous and the snow covered run was crowded with cheering people.  Today the mountainside Continue Reading...

Wyntoon: McCloud’s Brigadoon

Two sharp bends of the McCloud River have watched the waters of history flow swift along her banks.  Wintu stood here as the salmon possessed the wet ribbon through the forest.  Clark Gable and Charles Lindbergh rested here sitting among the trees, which outlasted their careers.  Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., and his son John Fitzgerald Continue Reading...

A McCloud Christmas

Next to the snow-covered giant, McCloud is just the place you would expect to see the Polar Express Train whisk into town, and depart with passenger cars full of children drinking hot chocolate on their way to the North Pole.  While the tracks are now silent, the spirit of Christmas has never been stronger than Continue Reading...

Joaquin Miller: Poet of the Sierras

Sculpture created by Mark Oliver 2012
By Gary VanDeWalker Joaquin Miller travels through the pages of McCloud’s history with a sly smile.  In his life he was known as a gold miner, a horse thief, and a poet.   He lived among the miners and Native Americans, walking in both worlds with ease, in an era where they clashed.  His life carries Continue Reading...

The Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway

By Gary VanDeWalker In the Pacific Northwest, volcanoes are scattered throughout the broad swaths of forest.  They tower over the foothills and act as sleeping dragons.  McCloud lies in the center of these ancient wonders, along the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway All American Road, a 500 mile pathway presenting the complexities and beauty of geological Continue Reading...