Things weren’t going well. Dad and his team were searching for a spectacular mountain backdrop for an elk-hunting photo. Besides the normal time constraints on a photo shoot, a giant winter storm was pressing down on Siskiyou County, California.
Semis were sliding off icy roads, wet snow was falling and one team member lost his wallet full of a large sum of money as the team scouted locations. Things just kept getting worse. Route 5 near the border of California and Oregon shut down one hour after Dad’s crew found a good spot for the photo. The team holed up at a hotel and waited for the calm after the storm.
Dad thought Mt. Shasta, a 14,162-foot volcanic peak in northern California, would be fantastic. He also knew the mountain was often shrouded in clouds. The day of the shoot, Dad needed a “Plan B” because the mountain was, indeed, completely obscured by clouds. When he turned around Dad saw “Plan B”. It was the perfect spot for his elk hunt photo, but it would prove to be a challenging place to reach.
The previous night the blizzard dumped 2 ½ feet of snow on Siskiyou County. In order to reach an elevated shooting spot, Dad thrashed his way through thick mountain laurel and a lot of snow in the semi-dark hours before sunrise.
Everyone was cold, including the mules. They had to forge a way up to the ridge in the photo. There was no road or trail.
But things finally started to come to together for Dad. The sunrise was perfect and the mules were doing the right thing. The “High Country Elk Hunt” photo shoot was indeed a character builder. But despite numerous setbacks, Dad’s determination made a wintery mess look like a serene Old West photo.