Sunday, May 15, 2016

23: A soggy start

Since we had rain showers throughout the night, everything was pretty wet in the morning.  I always hate putting the tent away wet, but really - it dries so quickly once you put it out in the sun that I guess it doesn't really matter.

Not likely to see this again!
We were concerned that we'd have showers again today, but were able to stay dry.  Our ride today was about as sweet as it could be. We started with a descent down off the shoulders of Mt Lassen.  You can see the result on the Garmin.  All it took to achieve this was a nice 11 mile downhill dropping 1100 feet!

Even if you cannot see it, Lassen dominates the landscape around here. We rolled past the lava and boulders thrown out when it last erupted, as well as the remnants of the forest where recent fires have burned.
I believe this fire was in 2012.
When we turned onto Cassel - Fall River Road, we were in for a treat.  Jim Owens, if you are reading this, you would have loved this road! With just a few little stretches that got real steep, we gradually climbed up 2 to 4% for about 15 miles along the prettiest road.  Stands of oak, meadows, rural houses - it was gorgeous riding.

One highlight of the day was spotting a bald eagle soaring overhead. We stopped to gawk, right in front of this lovely place.  Just beautiful!

Our host - Chatty Kathy!

By the time we hit McArthur, we were ready for lunch.  Chatty Kathy's cafe was the perfect stop!

Beautiful views of the valley were our reward as we climbed up to the Big Valley Summit. We finally said good-bye to Mt Lassen as we rounded the corner and headed for the day's end in Bieber.
Goodbye to Mt Lassen
This is an interesting slice of life. There used to be mills here - logging was much bigger than it is now. We had more cattle cars pass us today, moving the cows to summer pastures, is what the locals suggested. There is a combination grocery/restaurant, and the bar also has a walk-out license since there is not enough of a community to keep a liquor store and a saloon both in business.  The grocery delivered our enchilada dinners over to the bar, so we could enjoy them with a beer.  It's sort of what you do here, the lady said.  Well, okay - when in Rome, do as the Romans do!

We hit a major milestone today - 1000 miles!

The day's report:  Old Station to Bieber, 57 miles/1035 to date

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