A Funeral in Alturas

About a week ago my husband was notified that one of his uncle’s had been found dead at home of natural causes. He was 82, the oldest living sibling of my husband’s mother. He had lived in Alturas for about the past 30 years, choosing the ranching life after serving the State as Chief Brand Inspector for many years before that. The funeral was scheduled for last Friday afternoon.

We headed out on Thursday midday; it’s about a 6.5 hour drive, with about four of that between here and Redding. We got as far as Fall River Mills that evening; we were both hungry and I was ready to get out of the car. We had a nice steak dinner at the old hotel and then crashed in a motel down the road. On our way out the following morning we came across a huge herd of Antelope. I had never seen antelope in the wild before and it was an impressive and beautiful sight. The drive was otherwise uneventful; it was snowing lightly and over the last pass at Adin we had to slow down, but no chains were required and we made good time.

I had never been to Alturas or that part of the country. My father and his brothers used to go annually to Modoc to hunt mule deer (the head of one of those deer hangs over my fireplace in tribute to them) and in a way Modoc was this mystical place in my mind. In fact, it is beautiful country, high desert, and very beautiful with the dusting of snow and the Pit River meandering through. Alturas has an old-town charm but is otherwise not much different than Ukiah, just smaller.

The funeral was well attended and featured many fun and funny stories about “Red,” as he was called. He left behind a large family including 10 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren, plus the extended family that included us. We gathered at the house after for food and drink and more stories.

We left Saturday late morning after another gathering of family for breakfast. We decided to stop at Burney Falls on our way home as I had never been there. What a beautiful place. And since I have been given the green light to start some walking, we took the mile trail that goes to the base of the falls and around them, with two beautiful bridges across the river. It was cold but lovely and it felt great to be outside moving again.

On a real estate side note, I had several calls and emails requesting showings over the weekend; big thanks for the agents in my office for handling these while I was away. But it was an interesting uptick in showings after a fairly quiet Fall and December. Perhaps things are looking up?

Antelope on the way to Alturas.

Mule deer in Alturas.

Burney Falls.

Anne Fashauer