08 August 2009

Rainbow delight

On our drive home from the coast on Thursday, we saw a magnificent rainbow in the Shasta River canyon. The rain had come and wetted the rocks and soil and washed the greenery of its summer dust. Everything was boldly colored and the gray sky was broken with patches of bright blue and shafts of pale yellow light. From just past Pioneer Bridge we could see both the primary and secondary bows seeming to grow out of the hillside and leap up above Anderson Grade before plunging into the jumbled rocks of the ravine below. All the colors from red to violet were visible on both bows--I don't recall them ever being so vivid--and the "ends" of the rainbow were clearly visible on both sides. Those refracted beams would make a circle if the ground wasn't in the way! We were driving south on the Old River Road, the ribbon of river well below us, the ribbon of freeway well above us, and with the sun setting, the west face of the canyon was the backdrop for the rainbow. Gold was pulled out of the rocks on both sides of that river, and out of the river itself. I've been in one of the old hardrock mines on the east slope, in fact, and you sure get a taste of gold fever when you see rusting ore carts and overgrown tailings piles in the rugged countryside. Maybe the original miners saw what we saw and took it as a sign that their pots of gold were close by.

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