At 9 A.M.the dry thermometer stood at 34 degrees in shade, and rose steadily until 1 P.M., when it stood at 50 degrees, although no doubt strongly influenced by sun heat radiated from the adjacent cliffs. A vigorous bumble-bee zigzagged around our heads, filling the air with a summery hay-field drone, as if wholly unconscious of the fact that the nearest honey flower was a mile beneath him.
Clouds the mean while were growing down in Shasta Valley -- massive swelling cumuli, colored gray and purple and close pearly white. These, constantly extending around southward on both sides of Mount Shasta, at length united with the older field lying toward Lassen's Peak, thus circling the mountain in one continuous cloud zone. Rhett and Klamath lakes were eclipsed in clouds scarcely less bright than their own silvery disks. The black lava beds made famous by the Modoc war; many a snow-laden peak far north in Oregon; the Scott and Trinity mountains; the blue Coast Range; Shasta Valley, dotted with volcanoes; the dark coniferous forests filling the valleys of the Upper Sacramento -- were all in turn obscured, leaving our own lofty cone solitary in the sunshine, and contained between two skies -- a sky of spotless blue above, a sky of clouds beneath. The creative sun shone gloriously upon the white expanse, and rare cloud-lands, hill and dale, mountain and valley,rose responsive to his rays, and steadily developed to higher beauty and individuality. ~John Muir 1887