A couple of weeks ago, a group of us from work went on our annual 2-day ride. One of our riders, Tim, comes out from Texas every year to visit family in the Bay Area and meets up somewhere with the rest of us. In past years, we've toured the North Coast between San Francisco and Eureka, looped around Yosemite Park, rode around Lake Tahoe, and rode through the gold fields.
This year, we decided to make a loop around the Chico - Chester - Mt. Lassen - Susanville - Downieville area. View 2011 ATJMR in a larger map
The steed ready for departure.
We fueled up with the standard amount of caffeine, then hightailed it for Chico. The idea was to get up there before the Valley heat set in. However, due to construction, we were delayed several times as well as dealing with the inevitable convoy of gravel trucks...
Soon after entering town, we discovered that some of us have issues following directions and kept right on going through town. So we waited....
Eventually, our wandering comrades were found, and we made our way to one of the best places to eat in Chico. I HIGHLY recommend the Al Pastor burrito.....
About this time, we decided to check our fuel state. Well, at least some of us did. One rider, who shall remain nameless, failed to do the proper mental calculation involved in determining just how many miles can be squeezed out of each indicator bar on an FJR fuel gauge. I'm sure he could have also just looked at the trip mileage, but then that would've been too simple. But alas, something to the effect of "Nahhhh. I have plenty of gas." was uttered and the situation resolved. This statement should be bronzed and hung up on the wall along such favorites as.."Here...hold my beer." and "Hey ya'll, watch this!"
Anyhoo, we tore up Highway 32 out of Chico, heading for Lassen National Park. I've always loved that highway. Loads of fun. The newly paved sections are 1st rate. Upon reaching the intersection of 32 and 36, it was discovered, that yes, the gas gauge does seem to be reading rather, ummm....low...and that it might be wise to start thinking about fuel. This, naturally, caused some consternation in the group. But fear not, fellow travelers, we can juice up in the booming town of Mineral, CA. It's only 5 miles beyond our turnoff to Lassen Park. I KNOW there's a gas station in town.
Except, that it went out of business year's ago. The shopkeeper across the street calmly informed us that we had a choice of Chester, 30 miles back in the opposite direction, or Redding, 40 miles ahead. Hmmmmm....judging by the flashing indicator on the fuel gauge, I'll take Chester for $800, please Alex.
So, back the way we came...sorta. We made the Shell station in Chester 24.6 miles into the reserve, gassed up and headed back once more down 36 towards Lassen Park.
This was the 1st time I've ridden through the park and only the second time I've been there. My, my, my....wonderful scenery. These 2 aren't mine, but I liked them enough to include them in the story.
The parking lot of the Lassen Visitor's Center.
The fully-fueled FJR, Tim's Triumph, and Ron's Yami...
More shots taken along the highway through the park. We were meeting Jeff's MIL in Burney so we had to make haste and didn't bother stopping for photos.
Upon reaching Burney, we stopped by Jeff's MIL's place to say hi and take a break. Oma is a lovely woman, from Holland, who refreshed us with snacks, ice-cold Corona, and home-made banana cream pie....sorry...no pie pics.....
I don't normally drink any alcohol while riding, but it was so warm that day, it was futile to resist that Corona....
After about an hour, we hit the road, with the goal of reaching Susanville sometime around dark. I think we pulled into the parking lot of the Super 8 around 9pm. We raided the local pizza joint, walked over to Safeway for beer, and sat out at the pool smoking cigars until around midnight.
Roughing it at the Super 8.
The next morning. I have become Death, Destroyer of Insects.
Breakfast at a local diner in Susanville. Sadly, the Black Bear Diner has gone out of business so this one had to suffice. Breakfast was okay, but not picture worthy.
The plan was to ride down the east side of Lake Almanor and pick up Highway 89 towards Quincy. We were stopped soon after by some local road work in the town of Clear Creek.
Almost to Quincy. If you get the chance to ride 89 and 70, do it. Good pavement, great twisties, and excellent scenery.
After turning onto Highway 49 for Downieville, we stopped at an overlook...well...overlooking the Sierra Valley. I used to live down the road in the town of Sierraville many years ago during my stint in the Forest Service. Many fond memories of the area are still with me.
Mmmmmmmmm....Highway 49 twisties....
We stopped for lunch at the Coyote Grill in Downieville. Another
here. The Clampers were in town for some sort of jamboree. Harley riders EVERYWHERE. We gassed up and got the hell outta town. Too crowded, man.
If you're asking yourself, what in the hell is a Clamper.....Clicky here. http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/masonicmuseum/fraternalism/e_clampus_vitus.htm
Once we stopped in Auburn, we grabbed some ice water and soda at the local Foster's Freeze and said our goodbyes. Tim still had to ride to San Jose to meet up with the family before heading back to Texas.
Next year, we'll probably ride the Central California Coast south of SF. Can't wait till then!! Next time, I'll try to remember to take more road photos. Maybe some sort of mount......