(Written by Nancy)
We had our final night in the posh hotel in Ashland last night – well, posh for us, anyway! We were up early – back to working hours, so that we could get on the road in the cool morning air. Once last trip through the breakfast bar at the hotel, with a few extras tucked away in bags for later (well, we would have eaten them there, if we had more time, so it only seemed fair to take them for later…right?). Mom and Kathie came out to see us off on our bagless bikes – they would bring our bags up to almost the top of the first climb, where we would say our goodbyes before they started their trek back to Portland.
From the hotel we had a little bit of downhill before we headed out toward Mt Ashland. We rode the old highway to the top – it was a very nice climb, through the forested hills with very little traffic. It looks like it is a popular cycling route – we saw several people also out riding. Dave got his second flat tire of the trip on the way up – a bit of glass or bone went through the tire and into the tube. He was quick changing it though, so we didn’t make Mom and Kathie wait too long up at Callahan’s, a restaurant/lodge right near the top where we agreed to meet them.
After rendezvousing with Mom and Kathie and getting all of our bags loaded back on the bikes, we bade them farewell (see, that’s what happens when you hang out around Shakespeare…) (Junior Editors note – Huh?) and set off. There was only a little bit more to climb, and then we were on Hwy 99, which parallels I5, as it makes its way down the California side from Mt Ashland. A few miles on, Hwy 99 merges into I5 and we had to ride the freeway for about 10 miles to get to the exit we were looking for. It actually wasn’t bad, as there was a wide shoulder and it was mainly downhill. We did also have to go to the bug station – that is the common name for the California quarantine stations that they have at most of the border crossings to try to protect the California agricultural products. We were just waved through – thankfully there was no need for me to lie about the avocado and tomatoes I had in my handlebar bag.
We came off the freeway at the first rest area, which turned out to be a very nice big rest area with a California Visitors center. We found a nice picnic table in the shade and made nice sandwiches with the offending (non-California) tomatoes and avocados and the bread from the breakfast bar – yum! I swear no bugs were released into the California air – we ate everything way too fast for that.
From the rest stop we took Hwy 263 all the way into Yreka. It was quite picturesque – it followed the Klamath River for a bit and then, when that veered off into another canyon, we picked up the Shasta River. It was warm but the climbing wasn’t too bad so all in all it was quite a nice ride.
We arrived in Yreka around 1pm and went into the old town area to see the area. We had heard that there was a nice bakery here but after a bit of looking with no success we stopped at the Zephyr coffee and book store for some nice cakes and coffee. Dave went out to take some pictures and visit the local butcher shop just down the road for some dinner fixins. We finally headed out to the local RV park, with a stop along the way for some salad to add to dinner.
We tried to stop at the Yreka Bakery, but it is no longer in business. We were looking to stop there mainly because as Dave’s friend Pete pointed out, “Yreka Bakery” has got to be one of the coolest palindromes that we’ve ever heard of. Hard to imagine them not doing a roaring trade, if nothing but for their name’s sake.
The RV park is interesting… looks like mostly semi-permanents, but the facilities are pretty nice. It was pretty hot out when we arrived but our spot is under the big array of solar panels that they have installed, so we have had shade since we got here. Not much grass, and this area appears to be mostly storage but it good enough for a night.
There is a ‘clubhouse’ here with cooking facilities, but for some reason it closes at 5pm so we had an early dinner. Sausages, potatoes and a nice salad – almost like real people! The potatoes are instant mashed potatoes – I know, sounds bad, especially if you remember them from years and years ago. These, however, are very good and so easy to make. They are very light to carry, take up little room and only take 2 cups of boiling water so are really easy with little cleanup. So, I expect we will be eating these a lot, at least where we can find them.
So, ride done, food eaten and blog written and it is not even 7pm! Perhaps I will even get to read my book for a bit tonight…
Tomorrow we are off to the town of McCloud, about 52 miles south of here. Dave says we have a bit of climbing (~3000 feet) so it won’t be a completely easy day – we had almost 3600 feet of climbing today. Temps are forecast to be hotter tomorrow – I had close to 100 degrees on my computer today but it is only supposed to be 85 in McCloud tomorrow. We’ll see how that turns out.