Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Day 15 &16 - Santa Cruz, CA thru Chico, CA to Susanville, CA

By 10:30am on Tuesday, the family reunion has wrapped up and folks were starting to leave for home. I set the gps for my cousin's home in Chico, CA and hoped it didn't lead me through really heavy traffic. I did go through the bay area on 17-880-680 and had to pay a $5 bridge toll to get away from the city and traffic was heavy but running pretty fast. I was soon hwy 99 heading north and it was starting to feel relaxing again. Once I was in Chico, the GPS led me down some small road, which became a smaller road until I ended up on this one lane path winding its way up a mountain. Path is generous as it was closer to a trail. Once I got to the top of the mountain, the GPS told me to turn around and head down the same road I had just come up. Instead, I went around the mountain back to the initial small road. What I had missed was a turn that was missing on the GPS instructions. I only found it due to the "recalculating" message on the screen.

I didn't end up leaving Chico until almost noon as I was having such an enjoyable time visiting my cousins. Their home is in a canyon and cell service was all but nonexistent so no opportunity to check out Google Maps before leaving. I headed north on Hwy-99 without consulting a map and just knew that I was headed roughly for eastern Oregon. I saw a sign for Lassen Volcanic National Park and it was in the right general direction and it seemed like it may be a great place to stop. The road climbed to almost 6000' and it was wonderfully cool and not very crowded at all. This picture and the next were from the patio on the backside of the visitors center where I enjoyed a light lunch of cherries and water. When I was a kid, we came here to camp and hike. I have fond memories of the park and probably would have camped again if I had all my gear.

I didn't ride through the park around the mountain as that would've put me back almost to where I started today near Chico. The view and the movie in the visitors center were well worth the $5 motorcycle admittance fee to the park. After leaving the park, I came across a sign pointing to Chico. I added about 75 miles to my day. Tonight, I found a cheap motel in Susanville, CA, with wi-fi and an A/C. Dinner was a couple of lengua tacos from the hole-in-the-wall next door. Delicious!

Update - From the southern Oregon fires mentioned in the comments, I looked up their location on the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center, and I won't be traveling near any of them. I'll be going up US-395 through Lakeview and Burns and John Day before heading east on OR-26. There is a fire just south of Okanogan in Washington state. This is where I stayed a little over a week ago.

10 comments:

Trobairitz said...

Pretty views from the park.

Won't be long now and we'll be hanging out in baker. There are some forest fires in Southern Oregon so I hope you won't have a smokey ride in. It sounds as though Karen is already there so you'll have company if you arrive early.

Conchscooter said...

I ran the gas tank so low on my Yamaha UJM I begged lawnmower gas from a remote home in the woods. That and bubbling rocks is all I remember of a motorcycle ride to Lassen.
PS cherries are not lunch, light or otherwise. They are nothing more than a pause.

RichardM said...

Hmmm, fires... Wonderful.

I really did enjoy my short visit to the park and will have to come back sometime.

Unknown said...

Richard:

most often those hole in the walls serve the best food. Lucky you found it.

won't be long now, you are on the home stretch. Hope you don't have to breathe the smoke

bob
Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

RichardM said...

I remember the carbonated pools. Just bring sugar and you have a soda in the wilderness.

Actually, the cherries made a great lunch. I don't think I could've eaten any more without making myself sick...

RichardM said...

Hmmm, time to go read the news on the fire.

This place really was a hole-in-the-wall kind of place, and the prices and service was great.

Chris said...

Good to see you are still having fun!

Anonymous said...

Loved your post. I wish I could have been with you at the park. We'll put it on our retirement list. Where is the destination for your big party?
Love, the Anonymous wife

RichardM said...

Yep! Still not tired of riding though my right hand aches at times...

RichardM said...

The initial meeting point is tomorrow in Baker City then we move on to Joseph, OR.