Day -3, Oroville, CA to Burns, OR
Woke up bright and early, and grabbed some breakfast from the 24 hour diner next to the Motel 6. I loaded the bike up and then headed up to CA-70, working my way into the Sierra's. Here's one of the many power/sub stations that PG&E has along the river.
I then passed another famous north/south trail, the PCT:
There was also the Eby Stamp Mill, which was used during the gold rush era. It looks like it's not doing so well with crushing the rocks stuck in there.
I really wanted to ride through Mt Lassen, but alas the road was still snowed over in early July. The website said it was still being plowed and would not be ready until mid July. Bummer. So I left CA-89 and headed up the east side of Lake Almanor.
Next up was Eagle Lake.
I came upon two pickup trucks...one had a cage with a few goats in the back, which looked kind of cool. Then I passed this truck, with the dogs sitting on the tool box and looking like they were having a blast being out in the wind.
I rolled into Alturas CA looking for gas and lunch. After filling up, I took a wrong turn without realizing it since I was focused on trying to find a decent looking restaurant. I quickly came across a Thai restaurant and without thinking, I turned in the parking lot because it immediately looked familiar. Turns out that 2 years ago when my Dad and I rode from the east coast, we stopped at this exact same restaurant for lunch. Just my luck! Even the same black cat was roaming around the outdoor eating area.
Shortly after heading north out of Alturas CA on US-395, I had to stop and take a photo of this:
After taking the photo, I had to wait for a group of cars and bikes to pass before pulling on the road. I quickly caught up to this group of Harley's:
I passed them, and then they passed me, and then they stopped and I passed them....this continued all the way to Burns OR.
When they first passed me, I got a big thumbs up from one of the guys. Next up was the dry Goose Lake, which had some funky dust storms dancing around.
Welcome to Oregon....don't grab the gas pump!
I didn't realize it at this point but southern Oregon is where the clouds started to slowly build up...
As I hit Lake Abert, boom, it hit me (not literally) that I was about to ride into a bunch of storms. It seems like it all of a sudden went dark!
I stopped at the only official rest area between Lake Abert and US-395/20 and talked to a few other riders who were messing around with rain gear. One said that shortly before my arrival it was hailing like crazy and they all had to wait it out under the picnic table shelters. Whew, close! It was looking a bit like this when I pulled up:
I continued on towards Burns OR, questioning my original plans of camping at some hot springs just east of there. As I rolled into Burns, I saw this place and decided for $39 bucks I would rather not risk any more rain for that night. Did I mention it was cold? Through most of OR that day it was about 50-55 deg F, which is rather low for July. Two years prior it was more like 100 deg F in July!
At the hotel I talked to two Harley riders next to me, who were wrapping up a multi week trip and were headed back to Washington. One was still recovering from some stomach bug or food poisoning. I also saw a loaded up GS staying there as well but did not get a chance to talk to him. Ordered some pizza from Figaro's and called it a night.