Living Memorial Sculpture Garden



Today am leaving California. I’ve often come to this area to stay at Mount Shasta but haven’t really spent much time in the cities further north. Weed, CA has always been a little bit of a double entendre – but most of us haven’t done the research to understand where Weed got its name.

Weed, CA got its name from Abner Weed in the late 1800s. He purchased 280 acres and founded the town right before the turn of the century. Of course, the town embraces its mixed meaning with marijuana, with trinkets galore at the welcome center. When checking out, I asked the cashier if there is anything worth checking out on my journey north. She mentioned the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden 13 miles north of Weed on Highway 97. I often enjoy things “Americana” so I figured, give it a stop.

Before leaving town, I checked into the charging station and found electricity at $0.52 kWh (kilowatt hour) which felt absurdly high. Unlike gasoline cars, the price of electricity can vary rapidly even within a short distance as there is not yet a common market norm around the price of power at the charger.

Power SourceCost
Rivian Chargers$0.00 / kWh
Solar panels at home$0.08 / kWh
PG&E EV Rate$0.27 / kWh
High tier rate with PG&E$0.58 / kWh
Electrify America$0.48 / kWh
$0.36 / kWh with $4 monthly pass
EvGo$0.41-$0.61 / kWh

Electric vehicles measure efficiency in miles per kWh . The Volt got about 3.5 miles per kilowatt hour. Teslas comes in about 4 miles per kWh. Rivian nearly gets 2.0 miles per kWh.

I am learning not to be surprised at the cost of power. Both gas and electricity are relatively expensive in most of California. Imagine a world where gas is $5 a gallon at one station and $2.50 just down the road for the exact same product. It’s unclear how the charging networks procure power from the utilities and what sorts of discounts they may get for purchasing power and bulk.

California is moving to a time-of-use model (think of long distance in the 80s) where when you use power dictates the energy price. Currently, 4 to 9 p.m. is the peak pricing period. It would make sense for the charging networks to add some additional fees for charging during those periods and incentives to charge early in the morning – just like EVGo is starting to do.

EV Insight: Electric doesn’t make it efficient. A big heavy truck still takes a fair amount of energy to move. Electricity can be cheaper than gas, but not always.

Note to self: charge at home.

I passed on topping up here knowing that there is a free review charger just up the road in Klamath Falls, OR.

Living Memorial Sculpture Garden

The Living Memorial Sculpture Garden sits on the left-hand side of Highway 97. I didn’t know what to expect, so I went in with low expectations. After a few minutes, I was quickly engaged. The artist used metal to build statues highlighting the dimensions of war. As I walked from exhibit to exhibit, I could quickly feel the experience the artist was trying to convey. The classic soldier hugging his wife in the sculpture “Coming Home” evoked excitement and love. The Nurses highlighted the urgency of taking care of a fallen soldier.

I was deeply taken by the Korean War Memorial, seeing a soldier in anguish both abroad and at home. The POW-MIA statue was the hardest for me to see – seeing another human in shackles and a cage. While this statue was primarily focused on prisoners of war and those missing in action – this one brought up so many parallels for me.

I’m happy I stopped here. To reflect on our history and to see some of the impacts of battles that happen so far away. If you’re passing through the area, do give it a stop.

Leaving Shasta

I’ve always been impressed by the sheer magnitude of Mount Shasta. Rising over 10,000 feet above the high plains, it’s the dominant feature seen from all the cities in the area. In the winter, its snowpack is impressive. The ride up the Everitt Memorial Highway in the summer affords a beautiful view of the landscape below.

I first came to this area in 2005 on my way back from a ride through the Pacific Northwest. Heading south, Highway 97 opens up to several beautiful views of the volcano. I remember seeing the Highway 97 shield after the right-hand side, recognizing that California is the only state that “cuts out” the US shield, much like interstate highway signs. All other states (Hawaii and Alaska excluded) paint the shield on a square sign with a black background. This photo started a seven-year journey capturing the essence of California’s seven federal highways throughout the state. Each route is set in a different geographical and topographical part of the state with unique adventures. Read more at California’s Seven Federal Highways.

Military Pass Road seems to be the elusive one here. I’ve always wanted to take the dirt road around the back of Mount Shasta, but that wasn’t in the cards for this adventure. Now that Rivian placed a high-speed charger in the area, Military Pass Road will be more accessible. I would love any tips or tricks if anyone reading has been on that road.

I’ve left Interstate 5, and I’m on my way to Oregon and points further north. I always pause on road trips when the control cities no longer point to home. Home is over 300 miles away in my place on the planet dictates that new adventures are ahead.


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