Background: The weekend of 4th of July rolled around, and the idea of Lake Tahoe didn't appeal to me.  Not that its a bad place to visit, with water clarity so high the bottom is visible, but its where everyone in the Bay Area goes for a weekend getaway.  Solution: Shasta Lake, the lake formed by Shasta Dam restraining the Sacramento River, about a four hour drive north of San Francisco.  Under each photo, I write my personal reflections...  
Shasta Lake Dock
1.) The Dock: A sign of human activity, floating on the lake's surface, but not penetrating its mysterious depths. Those floating orange balls look like tiny points in space. Really, our knowledge of the earth only scratches the surface...
Shasta Lake
2.) Shasta Lake: Shasta Lake isn't "natural;" Shasta Dam created it. The Sacramento River's bridled waters pooled into Shasta Lake. Yet this picture looks like 100% nature, 0% human creation. People built one thing for one purpose- Shasta Dam to supply California with water- and nature simply wrapped itself around it and embraced the change.
Shasta Lake
3.) Around the Turn: First glimpse of the bridge that is Interstate 5, a major highway that runs through California. Connects Mexico with Canada.
Shasta Lake
4.) Getting closer to I-5 Bridge: This man-made bridge doesn't look out of place in its natural surroundings; it blends in with the water, trees, mountains, and soil. As if it were a part of it. As if humans lightly tread on the planet. Not changing it significantly, not ruining it, just leaving footsteps.
Shasta Lake I-5 Bridge
5.) I-5 Bridge: Unlike the previous photo, the main focus is now the bridge. Not the nature surrounding it. Celebrating human accomplishment, instead of just gazing at nature with a sense of awe. I think it's important to do both.
I-5 Bridge Stucture
6.) I-5 Bridge Structure: The intricate design that holds it up. So drivers can gaze at Shasta Lake, while safely crossing it. From a photography standpoint, I wonder if the picture would look better with the bridge more "centered" at the top right corner, dividing the frame into two triangles of equal area.
Underneath I-5 Bridge
7.) Under the I-5 Bridge: We sailed from one side to the other and then back. That transient moment when we were exactly centered underneath the bridge. Isn't that what photography is about in a way...capturing transient moments? The world changes constantly; photographs tell a story of how it was at one point in time.
Shasta Lake
8.) Green Shores Next to More Barren Mountains: Two distinct ecosystems coexisting in close proximity. Like humans and the natural world around them. Like different cultural groups in a multicultural city.
Shasta Lake Shores
9.) "Layers" of Land: This photo speaks to the irregular shape and winding shores of Shasta Lake. There are the shores closest to me. Then there are shores behind those shores, at a further distance. Then more shores at an even further distance. The only way to find out exactly where the water led would have been to approach the "layers." We didn't have time, and I wonder what mysteries these layers hid...
Shasta Lake Shores
10.) More Shores. One of the pictures I took toward the end of the boat ride. You could argue that Lake Shasta looks the same after a while. But if you look closely, you can see distinct features in the shores. The previous photos showed hilly shores, while this shore is rather flat. We actually didn't spend that much time at Shasta Lake, but noticing this little detail makes me appreciate slow travel more.
Shasta Lake Map
11.) Map of Shasta Lake, With the Part we Explored Labeled. Just to put things in perspective. Again, it is probable that the entire lake looks similar at every twist and turn. But my point is more that human exploration only scratches the surface of the world's secrets. I wonder what that winding river-like structure to the right looks like...


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