Locals share wonders of Mt. Shasta area with new shuttle, tour service
Mount Shasta’s John Kennedy Sr. and Mike Rodriguez are both retired – but not really. Instead of working 9 to 5, they’re using their free time to show people around the area they know and love.
Shasta Mountain Shuttle and Tours takes visitors and locals to places both on and off the beaten path. This includes taking seniors shopping as well as taking visitors to explore the hidden treasures of south Siskiyou County communities.
Kennedy, who was born and raised in Mount Shasta, said he noticed tourists may have a tough time navigating the area when they’re here on vacation or by happenstance – for instance, if they’re here to have emergency repairs on their car.
“There’s the mountain, biking, fishing, 1,001 things to do, but they might not know about them,” said Kennedy, who came up with the idea for the shuttle and asked Rodriguez to help once he retired as the administrator for the Mount Shasta Recreation and Parks District last year.
Although they’ve just begun their endeavor, business is growing steadily, and they’re considering if it’s worth getting a bus, which Rodriguez could operate since he has a bus driver’s certification.
In April, Kennedy and Rodriguez have weekly mini tours already scheduled. On April 20, they’ll take a group to the historic communities of Yreka, Gazelle and Montague, with a stop at Walmart. On April 27, they’ll tour Weed, Stewart Springs, the Weed Airport, Hoy Ranch, and stop to see the peacocks there. Earlier in the month, they took groups to McCloud, McCloud Reservoir, Sweetbriar, downtown Dunsmuir and to Railroad Park to see the cabooses.
Tours are $20-$30 a person and depart from Mount Shasta at 1:30 p.m., returning at 3:30 p.m.
“Every day, we’ve got something going on,” said Rodriguez, who came to Mount Shasta 47 years ago and fell in love with it. “There’s so much to see here.”
Kennedy and Rodriguez are working on obtaining a special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service so they can show people the wonders of Mt. Shasta from Bunny Flat, for example. But for now, there are plenty of sights to see all over the county.
Shasta Mountain Shuttle is available for tours and for private transportation. To learn more, contact shastamountainshuttletours.com or call (530) 436-5511.
Skye Kinkade is the editor of the Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers and the Siskiyou Daily News. She is a fourth generation Siskiyou County resident and has lived in Mount Shasta and Weed her entire life.