I’m writing this one after a longggg day of riding, including heading home in the dark with a tinted visor 😬 Probably going to keep it brief. Today we rode 280 miles!
Today I woke up around 6:30, made some tea, and went to sit outside while the world wakes up. There are so many woodpecker sounds here! We had planned to ride to Mt Shasta, which has been one of the things I really wanted to see on this trip.
Once Michelle was awake, we headed into Weaverville for breakfast. We went to this place called “Mamma Llama”, and I learned that an “English Muffin” is indeed what we call a “Muffin” in England, and not the English version of something American.
On the way up highway 3, we stopped by a lake. I probably could have sat by the water all day long
The whole time we’d been riding through the forest, I’d had to dodge squirrels every few miles. They dash out super quickly across the road, which explains why there were so many dead ones all over the place. Despite my best efforts, I hit one just after leaving the lake :( Sorry little squirrel!
This part of the road was also especially dirty, and the banks showed evidence of landslides. In places the surface was almost entirely covered in clay
We spent a good while riding through the mountains, and it felt like the road would go on forever. It was quiet, twisty, and had an excellent surface. The only other people we saw were semi-regular road works, and trucks for servicing those works.
One thing I saw was that they have “pilot trucks” to escort you past all the works. In some cases we rode on totally unpaved roads, that were very rough and dirty. Back home, they’d probably just close the road - but here, I guess there are few alternate routes.
We rounded another corner, and there it was! A snowy peak poking above the trees.
The next stop was a town called Weed. It was well positioned for a fuel stop before heading to Mt Shasta. There were a lot of gift stores selling T shirts with “I ❤️ Weed” written on them
The ride up the mountain was fantastic, with the main issue being paying attention to the road - as we climbed, the views just kept getting better. Eventually the temperature dropped to 12C/55F, making me very glad I was wearing thermals.
We rode up as high as was possible, and found lots of people camping with some people seeming to be praying. Apparently the mountain holds some sort of spiritual meaning to some people, and has a particularly sacred meaning to Native Americans. I’m not sure on the details there though, beyond what I can Google.
On the way home, we stopped once more in Weed for fuel and snacks. We also explored the local florist!
After that, we had about 2 hours riding until dinner. Michelle had planned the route to take us Forest Road 17. It reminded me of the country lanes in the UK, except with much more pine trees and mountains. There had also been several rockslides, with some boulders on the road around corners. We had a few final glimpses of Mt Shasta, before it grew too distant
Highway 3 was the main route home, and we had a really lucky run - absolutely no cars, just one flowing corner after another.
We wrapped up the day with dinner at Cafe on Main in Weaverville, which served excellent food.