Nancy's Travel Journal
Northern California Road Trip, Aug.-Sept. 2003

Bill and Nancy packed their camping gear, hopped in their pickup truck and headed to Northern California and Southern Oregon, stopping at Tuolumne Meadows, Lake Tahoe, Truckee Area, Mt. Lassen, Azalea, Oregon, and Mt. Shasta.


Sunday, August 24. San Diego to Bishop
Up early, loaded pickup and left San Diego about 8:00AM, headed for Bishop. Stopped in Lone Pine for a burger and fries. Arrived in Bishop about 2:30, checked into our Super 8 Motel, unpacked, went to Von’s for groceries. Drove to the nursing home to see Bill’s Aunt Weezie. Bill’s cousin, Nancy, was there. Weezie was immobile and in a wheel chair from a broken hip suffered in a fall. Weezie was feisty and charming—her first words to us were, “I’m not very good in my role as invalid.” Weezie discussed death and how Indian’s died by laying in a shallow hole for three days without food or water, then walked west into the sunset. Went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant with Bill’s cousin and her husband, Darrell. After dinner Darrell took us to see his metal working shop with all kinds of metal stamping machines. He makes a lot of parts for old cars. We returned to the nursing home to say “Goodbye” to Weezie. She hasn’t lost her sense of humor or ideas, but she’s lost about everything else. Nancy is a devoted daughter.

Bill's Cousin Nancy and Aunt Weezie

Monday, August 25. Yosemite Tuolumne Meadows
Up early, breakfast at Denny’s. Got to Tuolumne Meadows about 9:00. It was Founder’s Day, so no entrance fee. Got to our campsite to set up our tent. We’re a little rusty. Bear warnings everywhere.

I packed a lunch, then we stopped by the visitor’s center for advice on which hike to take. The young female ranger said all the hikes are “Rad”. We decided to go to Cathedral Lake, a 7-mile hike with a 1,000’ elevation gain. Thought I’d die on the first 2-3 miles—straight up. (Takes a while for my slow-beating heart to kick in at this high altitude.) Had lunch on the trail (peanut butter sandwiches, pretzels, apple and chocolate cookies). Cathedral Lake and Cathedral Peak are both beautiful. Snapped a lot of pictures and headed back. Saw some deer along the trail. It was mostly down hill.

Campsite at Tuolumne Meadows

Cathederal Peak

Went back to our campsite for a beer and dinner (Jambalaya and salad). After dinner, we went to the ranger talk. Learned about Bennettville. Thomas Bennett spent about $300,000 to build the town, blasting out roads and mine tunnels in search of silver. Employed about 160 people for a year and then investors pulled their funding—Busted!!

Cathedral Lake Trail

Nancy at Cathedral Lake

Went back to our tent. It rained on and off all night.

Tuesday, August 26. Yosemite to Tahoe
Woke up at 6:00. Laid in our sleeping bags listening to the rain. Got up at 7:00 when the rain stopped. Made breakfast and packed a lunch. Then the rain started again. Ranger said rain was expected to continue all day, so we drove to Bennettville. It was raining so hard we decided not to hike the mile to the old town. Instead we headed to South Lake Tahoe.

Got to South Lake Tahoe about 12:30. Lots of traffic and tacky development. We stopped by the lakeshore to have the lunch we had packed, then drove to our motel, the Cedar Inn Suites, run by a young Japanese gal. Bill dragged out the mattress and rain fly for the tent to dry them out. I took a glorious shower. We got back in the truck and drove north, stopping at the Taylor Creek Visitor’s Center. A crusty old ranger, aptly named Gay, spent a lot of time telling us about the mountain bike trails. The brochures and our first-hand experience proved her wrong.

Next door to the Visitor’s Center is the Tallac Historic Park, including the Baldwin and Pope summerhouses. We missed the last tour (4:00pm) so we just walked around and decided to return tomorrow.

We stopped at a photographer’s gallery. Saw lots of gorgeous photos of many of the places we’ve visited (Prague, Italy, Bali). Talked with the photographer and his Asian wife. We met their 3-year old daughter, who reminded us of Zion. The daughter is the model for many of her mother’s fairy drawings.

Drove further along the Lake Tahoe shore to the north. Had spectacular views of Emerald Bay and the amazing little island where Lora Knight (more on her later) entertained guests with picnics and tea. Had a beer at the overlook, then drove back to our motel in South Lake Tahoe. We decided to walk to dinner in Stateline Nevada at a great casino buffet for $8.95 (seniors price). Had prime rib, baked potato, salad and bread pudding for dessert. Stopped at the motel office to get passes for the private beach and walked along the sandy beach. Went back to the motel and watched two movies (Woody Allen’s Aphrodite and Mel Brooks movie about a baseball scout).

Nancy at Emerald Bay

Wednesday, August 27, Lake Tahoe
Up at 6:30, packed and out the door by 7:30. Breakfast at Carrow’s, just down the road from our motel, for the $2.99 breakfast special.

Went back to Taylor Creek Visitor’s Center to unload our bikes and head up the trail to Fallen Leaf Lake. Took the road to Angora Lake, almost all up hill for 6-7 miles. Thought I’d die. The big breakfast wasn’t helping, but when we reached the summit it was all worthwhile—beautiful views of Fallen Leaf Lake. Then we did a little downhill to Angora Lake. Couldn’t go the last .5 mile because it was so sandy and we had to get back for the 11:00 tour of the Baldwin/Pope estates. Coming back was all downhill; a great ride, we were back at the truck in 20 minutes.

Nancy at Angora Lake

Bill at Angora Lake

Got to the historical park right at 11, just as our tour was starting. Our volunteer tour guide was dressed in a 1920’s handmade dress. The Pope house was beautiful with wonderful views of Lake Tahoe. The entryway had pictures of George and Edith Pope, and George’s parents. There were photos of movie stars that had stayed in the house: Rudi Valley, Charlie Chaplin, Tom Mix and a boxer who signed the photo with “When are you going to pay me for milking your cows?”

The living room had a pool table, piano, library and views of the lake, It was filled with 1920’s-style furniture. Between the entryway and the dining room was the telephone room with pocket doors for privacy. The room was where the gentlemen made calls back to run their businesses or talk to their stockbrokers.

Tallac Historical Park

Pope House

Upstairs were bedrooms and bathrooms—very modern for the 1920’s. There was also a sewing/linen room. The linens were washed every day for the guests. One bedroom was in shambles to show how it looked when the State Park Service took over in the 1960’s.

George’s bedroom had his polo stick and pictures of the polo club and yachting club. Edith’s bedroom had a wonderful side porch attached (the best place in the house).

Back downstairs was the butler’s pantry with all the china/crystal on display. Later, in the 1950’s the family added a stove and refrigerator to the butler’s pantry when the family started to come up in the winter for skiing and didn’t want to go outside to the kitchen. We walked through the “whistler’s hallway” where the servants had to whistle while carrying the food so the owners would know that they weren’t eating it.

The big kitchen had a huge wood-burning stove, a table and a pantry. (The school room was located directly above the hot kitchen; not too comfortable for the kids in the summer.)

Next to the kitchen was the servants’ dining area and the area where the children guests and their nannies ate. No children were allowed in the big house. With all the guests and 35 servants, meals were served in shifts. The main dining area had a beautiful flower and grape motif.

On the grounds were several well-fitted-out cabins for the ritzy guests. Each cabin had a laundry room and a garage. The gardens had many gazebos (for tea) and a pond.

Guest Cabins

Cabin at Pope Estate

After lunch (tuna sandwiches) at the Visitor’s Center, we drove to Emerald Isle to see the huge castle--Vikingsholm--that was built by the wealthy Lora Knight as a summer house and a place to entertain. Lora was the daughter of a wealthy judge from Illinois. She was married to a lawyer who died in 1916 and left her $10 million. She invested the money wisely in companies like Nabisco. She had one son who died at 25. Lora remarried, but divorced after 5 years with a large fortune from her second husband.

She bought the Emerald Island property and wanted to build a Norway-style castle because Emerald Isle reminded her of the fiords. Her niece’s husband, an architect, designed the castle. She spared no expense and kept the construction workers in the area employed during the depression. She traveled widely, buying rare pieces from castles and cathedrals in Sweden and Norway. One carved piece she had reproduced because they wouldn’t sell it to her. The round library off the living room had a $40,000 cashmere rug.


Garage at Vikingsholm

The tour was so crowded we had to view the rooms on our own. Charles Lindbergh stayed in one of the rooms in the Castle turret. Lora helped finance Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis and later took a ride in it.

Lora’s loyal servant, Annie, lived in the house for 13 years and traveled all over the world with Lora. Lora’s old car was still there. The roofs of some of the buildings were made of sod and had grass growing. In spring the roofs are covered with flowers.

Lora was very good and generous to her servants. She treated them to nights in town, special dinners, picnics, and other outings. When she died she gave each one $1,000 for each year they had worked for her.

Walked up the hill to our car. Drove north through Homewood looking for the cabin Bill stayed in when he vacationed in Tahoe in the 1950’s. Couldn’t find it. Continued to Tahoe City and checked into the Tahoe State Recreation Area Campground, which is right next to the town. We set up camp, had a beer and walked to the pier. After dinner we drove to town to call Amy (she wasn’t home) and get a Baskin Robbins ice cream.

Tahoe State Recreation Area

Lake Tahoe

Thursday, August 28, Lake Tahoe
About 1 or 2am a bear came into camp and had a nice picnic with our neighbor’s ice chest. We heard it crash the ice chest to get it open, then munch on everything in it. There are signs everywhere telling campers not to leave food out because of the bears. When we got up in the morning there was a huge mess and an empty ice chest. The bear had eaten everything—catsup, pudding, Pepsis.

We had breakfast about 7, packed up and drove to Sugar Pine Point State Park to visit the Florence Erhman mansion, called Pine Lodge. We got there about 9:30, but the first tour wasn’t until 11:00, so we rode our mountain bikes about 7 miles on the General Loop (named after General Phipps) through the beautiful Sugar Pine Point State Park.

We were back at the Pine Lodge for the 11:00 tour. The guide was dressed in a maid’s outfit. The Bavarian-style mansion was built by built in 1903 by Isaiah William Hellman in about 1860. The owner had come to America from Scandinavia at age 18. He worked in the dry cleaning business, but realized that wealthy folks needed a safe deposit box for their valuables. He added these and transformed the dry cleaning business to a bank and eventually became the owner of Wells Fargo bank.

Sugar Pine Point State Park

Pine Lodge

He moved to San Francisco and built Pine Lodge as a summer getaway. It never was a lodge, just for family and friends and about 35 servants and employees. His daughter, Florence Erhman, inherited the lodge in 1920. Florence died at age 82 and her husband, Sydney, a wealthy San Francisco lawyer, died in 1965 at age 101, when the state of California bought the house.

Things we saw in the house:
1. Massive living room with mission-style furniture and dark rose-colored walls with pine paneling.
2. Dining room which can hold 30 guests. It has wonderful carved cabinets.
3. Spiral staircase with an elevator installed for Florence as she got older.
4. Upstairs were 5 or 6 bedrooms, each with its own private bath.
5. Linen room.
6. Servant’s quarters.
7. Butler’s pantry with china on display.
8. Kitchen with a big stove. In the 1940’s her staff convinced Florence to install a gas stove and a refrigerator.

After our tour we made peanut butter sandwiches and drove back to our campsite to make sure it was still available. Then we drove to the North Shore near Brockway Summit (Highway 28 to Highway 267), to start our bike ride to Watson Lake, a 13-mile ride on a beautiful, hilly, paved road. Loved the bike ride and Watson Lake. Got back to our car at about 4:00 and shared our last beer.

Nancy at Watson Lake

Bill at Watson Lake

On our way back to our campsite we stopped at Safeway for groceries. Back at camp we had a wonderful $.50 shower. We walked into Tahoe City for dinner at the Blue Agave Restaurant, “a Mexican place with attitude”. The only thing that had attitude was our surely waiter. Took forever to get our dinner and once it arrived it was cold.

Friday, August 29, Reno
When we got up at 7:00, we were the only one’s stirring in the whole camp. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. The view of the lake from our picnic table is spectacular.

After breakfast we drove the 40 miles to Reno. We walked around the big casinos, interspersed with pawn shops. Reno was hosting the “Super Bowl of Bowling”, what a tacky town.

The highlight of our trip to Reno was the new Art Museum, just opened in May. I loved the building and the art. There is a rooftop sculpture garden on the 4th floor with simple sculptures in the shadow of the surrounding mountains. One sculpture looked like a giant mesh barbell. Another was stones and bricks arranged in a circle, called Sun Shadow.

On the 3rd floor was a special exhibit, “Diego Rivera and Twentieth-Century Mexican Art”, from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Natasha Gelman was a Jewish Czech who moved to Mexico City with her grandmother to escape persecution. Her husband was a Russian from St. Petersberg who moved to Paris, then to Mexico City. They married in the 1930’s. Jacques Gelman became wealthy producing the movies of the famous Mexican comedian, Cantinflas.

They began collecting art of controversial artists like Diego Rivera. He painted lovely, sexy pictures of Natasha surrounded by Calla Lilies. Diego Rivera and the Gelmans became friends and hung out together.

The 2nd floor was a hodge-podge of crazy videos of turn-table records and a Japanese guy going nuts, photos of the Tahoe Basin, Mt. Whitney, and Yosemite (some by Ansel Adams). There were also some 1920’s and 30’s industrial paintings. One exhibit showed the explosion of Annie, a house in Nevada that was blown up by an Atomic bomb to study the bomb’s effects. There were many time-lapse images of the house being vaporized. There were also some Impressionistic paintings by Edward Hopper done in Paris in the early 1900’s. Nice, but not equal to the paintings by the better-known Impressionists.

Biggest Little City in the World

Reno Art Museum

After the museum we drove to a park along the Truckee River. Lots of construction on the river walk, but managed to find a nice picnic table. Unfortunately there was a sad sack woman sitting on the ground about 25 feet from our table. She wasn’t happy about our choice of spots and yelled, “I’m going to put a bullet between your eyes. . . .” I was glad when she decided to leave.

We finished lunch, drove around some older residential areas of Reno and then headed back to Tahoe City. On the way we stopped at the heralded Truckee River Bike Path. We enjoyed our bike ride and watched the folks floating down the river in inflatable rafts. We rode to Squaw Valley, had an ice cream and headed back. Easy 16-mile ride.

We stopped at the Cyber Café to check e-mail, then headed back to our camp, which was full (this being Labor Day weekend) and the town is packed. We showered, had a beer, made dinner and planned our next adventure further north.

Saturday, August 30, Tahoe to Portola
Up at 6:30, had breakfast, packed up and headed north. Stopped at the Donner Pass Museum at 9:00, just as they were opening. We watched a video of the ill-faited Donner expedition. Two brothers in their 60’s wanted to move their families from Missouri (or Ohio or somewhere) to California. They got some friends and family, packed their belongings into wagons and headed west. Everything went smoothly until a huckster named Hutchins convinced them that they should follow him on a new trail over the Sierras that would cut off 300 miles. Some of the leaders went with Hutchens and left cryptic messages along the way for the others. The trail was very difficult, they had to abandoned much of their belongings and Indians killed much of their livestock. Fights broke out among the group and a guy was stabbed to death. The huckster told them that it would be only 40 miles across the desert, but it was twice as long. They ran out of food.

By October 1846 they finally arrived at what is now Truckee, but Donner cut his hand badly and decided to stay awhile before completing their journey through the Sierras. 3 or 4 families stayed with him. A huge storm hit while the group was waiting for Donner’s hand to heal and bad weather continued until March. Snow drifts reached 22 feet. It was one of the worst winters in history. The group built log cabins. They ran out of food and resorted to cannibalism. The cut on Donner’s hand got infected and he died, leaving his wife. She died and her brother-in-law ate her. A rescue party finally arrived from Ft. Sumpter. 42 of the 87 people survived. Some of the survivors became prosperous.

Donner Memorial

Sugar Bowl Area

After the museum we drove out to the Sugar Bowl area and hiked a 4 ½ - 5 mile loop to Mt. Judah partially along the Pacific Crest Trail. It was my kind of trail, through Lodgepole and Jeffrey Pines, across a beautiful meadow, and up craggy and arid Mt. Judah with wonderful vistas.

Mt. Judah Hike

Nancy at the Summit

We returned to the truck and drove to Soda Springs for our next hike. On the way we stopped at a shop an bought a shirt for Brian, dress for Amy and an elephant wind chime for Mimi. Decided to forego the hike and drove to the Plumas/Eureka State Park near Greyeagle, then on to Portola where we had a reservation at the Sierra Motel, run by a crusty old Korean War veteran. We did our laundry at a Laundromat owned by some folks that could go on the Jerry Springer show. A handwritten sign on the door said, “If the washer don’t work, come tell us. Don’t go away all pissed off. Management.”

After folding our clothes we went to a local hangout, the Beckworth Tavern, complete with pool tables, deer heads mounted on the wall, and Darlene, the waitress, who told us her entire life story. Had a wonderful prime rib dinner, with salad, veggies, coffee, ice cream sundae, all for $15. After dinner we moved to the dance area to listen to a 5-piece country band, including the owner and cook. They played some great Patsy Cline songs. We went back to the motel, watched Sex and the City on TV and then went to sleep.

Beckworth Tavern

Country Music at Beckworth Tavern

Sunday, August 31, Portola to Mt. Lassen
Had a good breakfast at the Station House Café in Portola. Then we went to the Railroad museum and climbed around the historic trains—Santa Fe, Western Pacific and other lines that traveled the transcontinental route.

Drove back to the Plumas/Eureka State Park built on an old mining site. We checked out the mining equipment and museum. I loved the old red mining buildings—blacksmith shop, land office, cabins, and the mining gear they left behind. This area was also the first ski area in the U.S. Some bored miners set it up. They had competition on their long skis going as fast as 80 MPH. A Norwegian immigrant carved his own huge skis to deliver the mail in the next valley—never missed a day. They mined about $5 million of gold from the Plumas mine and about $25 million from the area. The mine closed in 1940.

Portola Railroad Museum

Mining Museum, Plumas/Eureka S. P.

We chose a campsite for the night and hiked about 4 miles on a beautiful trail to the Jamison Falls overlook and on to Grass Lake. Lots of wild flowers along the trail.

Jamison Falls Trail

Jamison Falls Overlook

Plumas/Eureka State Park

Grass Lake

When we returned to our camp it started to sprinkle, but we had lunch (tuna sandwiches) and fed the bread crust to a noisy blue jay. We decided not to camp because of the rain and headed down the road, thinking we’d find a cabin in Quincy or Almara Lake. But the sun broke through so we decided to head to Mt. Lassen. We got to the south entrance at about 5:00 and saw the signs saying all 5 campgrounds were full (it was Labor Day weekend). The Ranger suggested cruising the campgrounds to see if anyone had left. Drove through half the park to the first campground, South Lake Summit. We grabbed a vacant campsite, maybe the last one in the park. Several other cars drove by looking for a site. We set up our tent, had a beer and made dinner—red beans and rice, salad and strawberries. After dinner we walked down to Lake Summit, a beautiful place.

Writing in My Journal

Monday, September 1, Mt. Lassen
Woke up at 6:30 to a chilly morning. Bill said he heard what he thought was a bear banging on the bear boxes during the night.

After breakfast we drove to the Mt. Lassen Peak trail head. 2 ½ miles up and 2 ½ miles down. We started on the trail at 8:30. The steep trail offered spectacular views, wildflowers and snowfields. Mt. Lassen is a volcano that last erupted in 1914. We reached the summit at 10:45. We crawled around the rocks with a bunch of other people (Japanese, Indians, and a group of older Sierra Club hikers), snapped some photos, ate half of our lunch. There was a missile-looking seismic measuring device at the top. Headed back down and reached our truck at 12:30. We drove a short way to Lake Helen to finish our lunch.

Mt. Lassen Trail

View of Mt. Lassen

Lake Helen from the Trail

Mt. Lassen

Close to the Summit

On Mt. Lassen Summit

After lunch we hiked the 3-mile loop through Bumpus Hell, a fascinating sulfur spring with bubbling mud pits heated by lava 3 miles beneath the surface. It was a gorgeous hike with wonderful views, and lots of other people.

Bumpas Hell

Bumpas Hell

Returned to our campsite, packed our stuff and headed to the Manzanita Lake campground at the north end of the Park. It had showers and lots of beautiful campsites, all of which were available (all the Labor Day campers have gone home). After dinner we hung out a while and then went to bed by 10:00. Very quiet night with no people or bears.

Tuesday, September 2, Mt. Lassen to Azalea, Oregon
Our 37th anniversary. Exchanged anniversary cards and then made breakfast. Packed up and headed north to Azalea, Oregon to see our friend Gretchen. Stopped to call Gretchen to tell her we’d see her about 4:00. She asked us to pick up a few groceries for dinner. Stopped at the National Forest Service Ranger Station north of Redding. Bought Smoky the Bears for Zi and Cloe.

Stopped for lunch at a wonderful town, Dunsmuir, an old railroad town frozen in time. Had lunch in an old café in the center of town, where the locals hang out. Got a huge hamburger and fires for $3.95 (Senior’s plate). Bought some souvenir salad dressing for Mimi/Randy and Bev/Terry.

After lunch, we decided to take historic highway 99 (Instead of I-5) to see the wonderful old towns. Stopped in Medford, OR to get Gretchen’s groceries then drove west to see Jacksonville, a little mining town, but the kind of town Bill hates. It was touristy and filled with frou-frou shops. Turned around and headed back to I-5. It took longer to get to Gretchen’s than we thought, so we arrived at about 4:30 after climbing their long, steep gravel driveway. Gretchen and Joe showed us around the fabulous 300-acre place. We met Joe’s dad, Lou, and his two dogs, Kelly and Billy Bob, and ate some wild blackberries. Gretchen served a delicious pork loin dinner, with squash, soda bread and chocolate chip cookies. After dinner we sat on the porch talking, playing with the dogs and listening for wild animals. A most pleasant evening.


Gretchen's House

Wednesday, September 3, Azalea, Oregon
Slept in this morning—‘til 7:00. Gretchen made a fabulous spinach quiche for breakfast, plus fruit and toasted soda bread. After breakfast Gretchen showed us around the Azalea area.

1. Went to the Post Office/General Store in “downtown” Azalea
2. Drove to the historical marker on the other side of their 300 acres
3. Went to the lake where Gretchen likes to fish
4. Visited an Alpaca farm, where we met Mel, the owner, and April, his dog.
5. Visited a Dahlia farm, with acre upon acre of the most gorgeous flowers I’ve ever seen. The owner, who works as a waitress at night, showed us around. She has been raising champion dahlias for over 20 years. Bought a beautiful bouquet for Gretchen for $5.

Alpaca Farm

Dahlia Farm

Back at Gretchen’s we had lunch with Gretchen’s neighbors, Dick and Mary—chicken, potato salad, bean salad, watermelon, and a fresh blackberry cobbler that Mary brought. Dick is a pilot with 2 airplanes and 65 acres he tried to sell to Joe and Bill. He and Mary want to have more time to spend with their daughter and 3 grandsons who just moved to Florida. 15 years ago they lost their other daughter just after she graduated from college. They are still grieving from that. They have lived in Azalea for 20 years and know everything that goes on in the area.

After Dick and Mary left, Gretchen took us on a really difficult hike around her property. We were looking for the “big tree” 27’—circumference and 9’ diameter. With the help of Gretchen’s GPS we found it. Got back to the house after about 3 hours, had a beer on the porch and threw a Frisbee to Billy Bob while Kelly chased lizards. Had dinner (leftovers) at about 8 and then sat around talking.

Gretchen Leading the Hike

View of Valley from Gretchen's Hill

Thursday, September 4, Azalea to Mt. Shasta
Another great breakfast—eggs, hash browns. Packed up and headed out. Gretchen followed us to the General Store, where we stopped for ice, under the pretense of buying fishing bait. She really followed us to buy us souvenir Azalea coffee mugs. What a sweet person. Said Good Bye and headed south on I-5.

I studied the books and picked out a place to camp in the shadow of Mt. Shasta—Lake Siskiyou Resorts. We wanted a cabin, but they were $150 per night, so we picked out a quiet campsite near the bathroom (with showers). In an almost empty campground two hard drinking, noisy guys camped directly behind us.

Drove into Shasta City and had lunch at an old tavern run by church ladies. The church bought the tavern and turned it into a coffee house/pool hall/music hangout for Shasta area teens. We had a delicious turkey sandwich and huge brownie. After lunch we stopped at the grocery store to get supplies for dinner and breakfast. People are so friendly. The guy at the checkout stand told us his life story.

Back at our campsite, the two drunken fishermen at the next campsite were on their cell phones calling more drunken friends to come to stay there.

Mt. Shasta

Lake Siskiyou

Bill unloaded our mountain bikes and we were off on our last adventure of the trip—a mountain bike loop around Lake Siskiyou Started with lovely views of Lake Siskiyou with beautiful Mt. Shasta in the background. Continued for a while on paved roads, then gravel, and finally dirt. It was manageable until after about 8 miles when we had to carry our bikes across a huge creek with lots of rocks. Rode up a very steep hill and finally decided we had missed the main trail. Back to the creek and up another steep hill, looking for the trail that would get us back to our campsite. We figured we were only a couple miles from our campsite, but couldn't’t find the road to get us there, so we decided to backtrack the way we had come. Our 10 mile ride had turned into 20.

Back at our campsite, Bill put up the tent while I made dinner—chicken, macaroni and cheese and sliced tomatoes. The fisherman next door were quiet (probably passed out from all the drinking). We washed the dishes, took a shower and then took a walk in the moonlight.

We went to bed with our noisy neighbors drinking and laughing. It was a warm night. Shortly after we were asleep, we were awakened by a huge thunderstorm. Rained most of the night.

Friday, September 5, Mt. Shasta to San Diego
It finally stopped raining at 6:00am. We got out of our soggy tent at 7:00. Put the rain fly in the dryer, then made breakfast. We left Mt. Shasta and headed down I-5. Exited at Redding to go to Whiskeytown, our last adventure of the trip. We learned about the early settlers who came to California during the gold rush. We walked along an amazing old water ditch that was built in the late 1800s by a settler named Towers. He also built a road and charged settlers to cross the river--10 cents on foot, $1.00 on horseback, and $1.25 for wagons. Never did learn where Whiskeytown got its name.

Whiskeytown Water Ditch


Returned to Redding for a quick lunch, then back on I-5 and the drive back to San Diego. Arrived home at about midnight.

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