Road Trip Day 2: Sea Glass Beach and Mossbrae Falls

So like I said in my last post, we slept in the car. I slept in the front seat so I could sleep like I was sleeping in business class on an airplane, but two people had to sleep in the back and they said it was very uncomfortable. We slept from 12-5am and I got okay sleep. I kept sort of waking up throughout the night to look around and make sure there wasn’t a murderer out there or some creepy person staring at us from outside the car. I watch too many TV shows…overall it was safe because we had a bunch of supplies and there was all four of us. And we got to save money! But I wouldn’t recommend sleeping in the car.

We woke up and we all felt terrible. But as soon as we were awake and had some granola bars, we drove off for the next adventure. The first place was Sea Glass Beach. We were originally supposed to see the sunrise at the Bowling Ball Beach, but because it was high tide, we wouldn’t even be able to see the “bowling balls.” So we drove about an hour and a half more north to Sea Glass Beach.

Sea Glass Beach is a small isolated beach in another small town. It looked cool in pictures, but unfortunately the glass is dwindling away due to too many people taking the glass as souvenirs. This is the classic example of the tragedy of the commons. This is also another example of assuming places look cool because photos look cool online–be sure to read up about it before visiting. Luckily we were prepared to not see that much glass, but we still had a good time playing on the rocks and stuff.

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Someone made a heart out of the glass!

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Photo by Jea White

After Sea Glass Beach we ate a quick brunch at Denny’s. Then we made the 4-5 hour drive to Dunsmuir, a small town in northern CA near Mt. Shashta. Shout out to the main drivers of the trip! I can’t imagine driving that long.

Dunsmuir is a nice town that gets a lot of its revenue from tourism. It has a population that is smaller than 2,000 people, so that means it is smaller than our college. A lot of people come here because it is close to the beautiful Mt. Shashta that has white snow on it. Another reason people come here is to see…Mossbrae Falls!

I had so much anxiety about visiting Mossbrae Falls. For one, it is technically illegal to visit it. The city closed the trail because you have to walk alongside active train tracks and one women died a few years ago because she was hit by a train (I don’t think she was directly hit by it, but she was hit by one of the train steps that sticks out on the side of the train). To deter people from hiking the dangerous trail, the railroad police has made the tracks private property and they say they will give you a fine if you pass into private property. They also ticket you if you park your car in Mt. Shashta Resort, a small living community. Reading all these scary things on the internet, I got so nervous about going here, but I also read countless posts about people successfully hiking the trail and it not being as scary as they say. So I hiked it.

Actually, the hike was not as bad nor scary as the internet made it out to seem. You must park your car away from Mt. Shasta Resort on a public street, walk through the resort, cross a bridge, and turn right and start walking on the RIGHT side of the train tracks close to the Sacramento River. There are times when the path is a little narrow, but it is quite wide. Trust me, I stayed as far away from the tracks as possible. You walk for about 1.5 miles I believe.

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Photo by Elizabeth

Eventually you come across this big bridge which you are not supposed to cross. There are mini, sort of steep trails to the right of this bridge just before you are supposed to cross. In an attempt to hide the trails, there are a bunch of old train parts covering the little trails. We found away by climbing over the bolts and went down to the falls successfully. It is so beautiful, calm, and cooling. The current is a bit strong to swim in and the water is super cold, but definitely a beautiful site!

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Photo by Jea White

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Photo by Elizabeth

So my overall thoughts on Mossbrae Falls? Although I am a huge rule follower and not a risk taker at all, I didn’t think Mossbrae Falls was that bad. As long as you stay to the right of the train tracks, you should be fine. Walk slowly and take your time. Don’t take pets or young children, though. You will be able to hear a train and feel the vibrations of the track if it is coming. (Don’t listen to music as you walk maybe, and definitely not with headphones to be on the safe side) A train came by just as we were about to leave the falls. I’ve heard of people even waving to the conductor on the train as it passes by, so I don’t think they are too strict on the no trespassing rule. They just want everyone to be safe, so until they make an official trail, it says there is no access. However, the falls is a major reason why people come to Dunsmuir and how it gets its business, so they are pretty lenient about it. But don’t park in the resort, as you will get ticketed.

After the hike, we went back and took a real shower and got a real night’s sleep at a local inn. I’m so glad that we invested in the inn. We stayed at the Oak Tree Inn, a respectable inn that has many locations across the U.S. It was only $90 so not bad for 4 people. It also had a Penny’s Diner that is open 24 hours near it, so we got to eat good food, too. Looking back, I still can’t believe I made it to Mossbrae Falls.

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Photo by Jea White

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