(July 19 – Written by Dave)
Today was completely different than yesterday. We ended up climbing nearly as much (~3000 ft), but it was a lot faster because the ultimate Sherpa (Inge) carried our bags from Lake Almanor to Graeagle. It was our first, and last, day of this pleasure as Inge had to get back home this evening. We will be riding with Pete for 3 more days but all three of us will be carrying our own gear now until we reach Carson City.
We are sad to have had Inge join us for only one night but we certainly do appreciate the small gifts that she hid in our bags for us. Nancy is particularly happy with the new headband. Me, I’m not so sure how I will use the “dead rubber chicken” things. Perhaps there is some hidden message in there for me. I’m sure that Inge will post a clarification comment at some point.
Today was also different because instead of being the armchair cruise director that Pete has been so far this week, today he was actually out with us on the road. He’s probably going to lose his semi-unofficial, under-verified and non-certified junior navigator license. At dinner last night he announced, with great confidence, that today’s ride would be all downhill and that it would be only 41 miles. Well, we road 61 miles and as noted, we climbed a lot. We have verified tomorrow’s route, mileage and climbing. Pete is double checking his spreadsheet and still mumbling something about downhills. As noted, his license is pending.
We got out fairly early this morning and had a nice downhill (yes, that’s right) for about 16 miles to the town of Greenville. At one point we rode under a horseshoe shaped railroad bridge as a train was passing. For a spell, as the train looped back on itself, we had train on all side of us – kind of a weird feeling. In Greenville we had our first official brekkie of the day – at Anna’s Cafe no less (Hi Anna). Both Pete and Inge shunned the pancakes and went for the fancier French toast, Nancy naturally stayed the course and had hers- I had the corned beef hash.
From brekkie we had another nice downhill along Indian Creek – we were starting to give Pete some route planning credit now. But soon this all ended when we turned left and rode UP the Feather River. We had a good uphill spell but got off our Adventure Cycling maps and avoided going into Quincy. The road from Greenville to Quincy was noted in the maps for being particularly narrow and dangerous. In fact they recommended taking a shuttle. We were glad that we didn’t take their advice as traffic was light and by riding it early Saturday AM, we had a nice and safe ride.
We had another good climb once we got back on the official route and returned to Highway 89. It was getting hot but we kept our pace up as we had a deadline to meet up with our Sherpa. We made it just in time to our campground (Moving West RV Park) for Inge to give us all our bags (full of her surprise treats). After Inge left, we set up camp and headed back into town for milkshakes and curly fries. I’m not sure that this counts as lunch but it sure tasted good.
The RV park is nice with a great grassy area, with plenty of shade and a cooling breeze. But, we have a couple special worries in camp. The first being a full park party that seems to be starting right in our tenting area. The folks all look nice so we hope this is not too big of an issue. The bigger worry is that last night there was a bear in camp – one large dumpster is still on its side. Nancy is presently getting anything that smells out of our bags for storage in the laundry room over night. Pete is pretty relaxed about it. I think he is counting on Nancy, her bear spray, bear bell and bear whistle. It could be an interesting night in camp. (Senior Editor’s note – dang, I knew I should not have given up my bear bangers…)
Tomorrow we have another good day of climbing – in spite of Pete saying it’s all downhill. We are riding to Truckee on another narrow road. Hoping for a good night’s sleep, we plan on leaving early and being off the roads long before the traffic picks up – being Sunday, we should be fine.
Check back later to see if Nancy needed to deploy any of her bear defenses.