The thermometer hovered at the freezing point all day, everywhere we went. The places we explored, though, were out of the woods and piles of snow, in more arid expanses dotted with rocky hillocks and juniper trees.
The volcanic peak of Mount Shasta rose high above the rest of the land to the south. Closer to the ground, lichens and mosses grew thickly on rocks.
We ate a snacky lunch on the highest pile of boulders, and the children scrambled up and down and climbed rock faces with bare hands that eventually turned red and numb with cold.
I was surprised at how the slightest breeze cut right through my several layers of under and outer winter garments. It was so gorgeous, I wished we could have roamed for more hours. Maybe in another season.
We departed as the sun was going down and taking its tiny bit of warmth from us. The first day of 2022 had been pretty nice!