Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-17-2019, 12:45 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
YoTerryh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Portland
Posts: 114
NorCal 2019 adventure

My daughter and I left Portland on June 30th bound for Northern California for two weeks of camping and adventuring. Our one firm commitment was seeing my oldest daughter perform with the Sacramento Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps in Elk Grove, CA on July 5th before they departed the west coast for their national tour.

Beyond that, I had reserved a site at Butte Lake in Lassen NP for a night and reserved a spot at French Meadows for two nights from July 3-5. The rest of the trip was unscripted, seat of the pants adventure. Here's some highlights from our trip.

We spent the first night at the Mt. Shasta Ski area. They offer free camping in the parking lot and I wanted to hit the bike park the next day. By the end of the day we had the parking lot mostly to ourselves. They keep the restrooms unlocked so we had access to toilets and running water too.
Attached Thumbnails
our route minus home.jpg   IMG_20190629_193031.jpg   IMG_20190629_194343-EFFECTS.jpg   IMG_20190629_193042773.jpg  
__________________

__________________
YoTerryH
2001 Ford Econoline E250
GTRV camper conversion
YoTerryh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2019, 12:57 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
YoTerryh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Portland
Posts: 114
NorCal 2019 adventure continued

The bike park was pretty fun, definitely geared more towards downhillers, but still some fun trails.

After riding, we had lunch, packed up and headed for Butte Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park. When we arrived at our campsite, we found a bit of an odd setup. There was a sort-of pull-through that you might see for bigger rigs, but it was shared by three campsites. There was no real good way to get level and the also leave room for additional vehicles to traverse the pull-through.

We talked to the camp host and he said to just find another spot to our liking and change move the reserved placard to our new site, which we did.

The area was very scenic. Butte Lake is more remote than the other campground in Lassen, Manzanita. It requires a drive of about 6 miles off-pavement over a washboard, dusty, dirt/gravel road.

The next day we decided to hike the cinder cone. Since we had to be out by noon, we packed up first and drove to day use before commencing the hike. It was moderately strenuous, but was fun and afforded excellent views of Mt. Lassen and the surrounding area.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_20190701_111428.jpg   IMG_20190630_181904.jpg   IMG_20190701_122358.jpg   IMG_20190701_131850.jpg  
__________________

__________________
YoTerryH
2001 Ford Econoline E250
GTRV camper conversion
YoTerryh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2019, 01:13 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
YoTerryh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Portland
Posts: 114
NorCal 2019 adventure continued

We left Butte Lake without knowing where we'd end up that night. Our reservation at French Meadows was tow days away, so this would be the first night where we hadn't planned where we would stay.

I had researched Lake Almanor a bit and we headed in that direction. Arriving at Lake Almanor we found a nice area, kind of resort, with high-end vacation homes, a golf course (!) and RV-type campgrounds. We were not impressed and my daughter declared the area "too bougie" for us. I agreed and we sought guidance from the iOverlander app. This lead a to a fantastic spot near Westwood, CA. and the Biz Johnson rail trail. A short drive on a logging road lead us to a scenic meadow, with a pond, surrounded by trees. It was lovely!

Be boondocked there for the night. The next morning we drove into Susanville, CA where I road the South Bank trail. Afterwards, we found the (best ever!) showers at the local Anytime Fitness, bought groceries, and headed back to our previous night's boondock location.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_20190701_195745.jpg   IMG_20190701_190841.jpg   IMG_20190702_092858.jpg   IMG_20190702_135344.jpg   IMG_20190702_141605.jpg  

__________________
YoTerryH
2001 Ford Econoline E250
GTRV camper conversion
YoTerryh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2019, 01:41 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
YoTerryh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Portland
Posts: 114
NorCal 2019 adventure continued

We left our boondock site and set out for French Meadows. I had chosen French Meadows on the advice of a friend who lives in Woodland, CA. I wanted to have something nailed down over the 4th and this seemed appropriately remote to fit the bill. I had somewhat underestimated the amount of driving needed to get there. I think I must've been looking at the "as the crow flies" mileage, because it turned out to be about 225 miles. We chose the most direct, but more back-country route over CA Hwy 89 via Graegle to get there. This was quite scenic and windy, but was a long drive. We stopped at a Tahoe National Forest campground for lunch, but it was a hard day's drive to get to French Meadows.

Once there, we were rewarded by beautiful vistas and a very pleasant campground. Since we were here for two nights, we enjoyed a relaxing stay. I had heard there was a short bit of singletrack on the other side of the lake form our camp, so I set out to find it on July 4th. What should have been a very mild ride ended up being a bit of a death march based on some poor decisions I made.

I found the trail which was only a mile that lead to a hike-in campsite. Once there, I noticed the trail continued, so I decided to follow. First mistake. The trail became more and more primitive with many downed trees that I had to keep dismounting to climb over. I kept going; second mistake. As I continued following the primitive trail, it looked like I was going to be able to go to the dam at the other end of French Meadows Reservoir. This seemed like a good idea and I resolved to keep going. What I failed to recognize was that the trail would end about 1/2 mile shy of the dam and that the thick brush would make passage nearly impossible. As the trail petered out I could see my destination in view and again I continued. This was the worst decision. I was quickly engulfed in brush so thick that it made passage for me and my bike nearly impassable! At this point I didn't want to turn around and return because all of the downed trees I had climbed over. I reasoned that with my destination in sight, I could push through. Also within a short bit of bushwhacking, the trail behind me had disappeared from view! I pushed on fighting my way through brush so thick that I could barely move. About 45 minutes later, I emerged to s spot where I climbed a large rock outcropping and confirmed my destination was attainable.

I emerged on an access road that lead me up to the main road where I could finally ride back towards camp. I was scratched, dirty and tired and late for when I told my daughter I'd return, but thankful to be able to ride out! MY relief was somewhat short-lived since after about a mile, I noticed a flat. At this point I debated changing the flat or just walking back to camp. This was what I did since I thought it would be a bit faster.

I arrived at camp dead tired, scratched up, but relieved to be back and allay the fears of my kid! Whew!
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_20190703_201408.jpg   IMG_20190703_134237-PANO.jpg   IMG_20190705_140715.jpg   IMG_20190705_111623.jpg  
__________________
YoTerryH
2001 Ford Econoline E250
GTRV camper conversion
YoTerryh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2019, 01:52 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: MO
Posts: 743
Garage
Nice, great trip report. Looks like a lot of fun. Sounds like one hell of a bike ride, but glad you finally made it back. Thanks for posting.
__________________
2008 GMC 3500 Quigley Weldtec 4x4 Savana SMB
2006 BMW HP2 Enduro
marret is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2019, 02:06 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
YoTerryh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Portland
Posts: 114
NorCal 2019 adventure continued

July 5th we left French Meadows and headed for Sacramento, or more accurately Monterey Trail High School in Elk Grove, CA. The drive out was just as twisty as the drive in, but we had tickets for my older daughter's drum corps show that evening! Arriving in the Sacramento area we first refueled the van and then stopped at Fat Mike's Pizza in Elk Grove to refuel ourselves. We ran a few errands that afternoon, including reprovisioning, then killed some time before heading over to the high school before the show. We were able to meet my oldest before her show and enjoyed a nice reunion after not seeing her for a month.

We watched and enjoyed the show very much and I was very proud of my daughter along with the Sacramento Mandarins. The kids work really hard to create a fantastic performance and then compete during stops around the country leading to the Drum Corps International (DCI) finals in Indianapolis in August. Go Mandarins!!

That night we had arranged to driveway surf at the home of a high school friend who lives in Woodland, CA. In spite of being on vacation himself, he generously opened his home to us. After the show was over, we got another couple hours to hang with my oldest, before she boarded the bus for Iowa and we headed for Woodland. Driving after dark is not my favorite thing, especially in the van, on unfamiliar California freeways. Nevertheless, we arrived in Woodland about 1:00 a.m. at our home for the night. I slept in the van without popping the top and my daughter opted to sleep in the house.

The next morning, freshly showered we ate breakfast, did a load of laundry and headed out for week two of our trip. I'll continue with week two posts soon.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_20190705_213218.jpg   subTerra.jpg   IMG_20190706_104415.jpg  
__________________
YoTerryH
2001 Ford Econoline E250
GTRV camper conversion
YoTerryh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2019, 02:11 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
YoTerryh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Portland
Posts: 114
Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by marret View Post
Nice, great trip report. Looks like a lot of fun. Sounds like one hell of a bike ride, but glad you finally made it back. Thanks for posting.
Glad you enjoyed it, I haven't done a two-weeker for awhile and this one felt pretty epic. Lot's of fun!
__________________
YoTerryH
2001 Ford Econoline E250
GTRV camper conversion
YoTerryh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2019, 02:44 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
bigriver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Columbia River Gorge
Posts: 192
Fun trip! Lots of pics - Thanks for the report.
__________________
Joe
2003 EB50 7.3L Q4X4
bigriver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2019, 09:20 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Fitz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 874
Great trip report! Live in NorCal, have a son-in-law who works in Elk Grove, used to live in Davis (just down the road from Woodland), have been to most of the places you mentioned. Lots to see in the area, standing by for the next installment!
__________________
“Flint” - 2016 SMB Sprinter 4x4 144" RB 150S w/ PH
KN6BJX
Fitz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2019, 11:35 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
YoTerryh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Portland
Posts: 114
NorCal 2019 adventure week 2

We weren't entirely sure where we wanted to head next, but I had been considering Monterey. We decided to go for it and set out for a campground I had found at Laguna Seca Raceway. I was a little concerned over finding a place for the night since it was the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

After several hours and another couple hundred miles we arrived at Chaparral Campground-Laguna Seca Raceway and were happy to find vacancies. We checked in and got setup in our site. After some lunch, we unloaded the bikes, locked 'em up and drive in to Monterey. We had a nice afternoon, evening walking around the marina and fisherman's wharf, and exploring the area. We found a nice little hole in the wall restaurant offering "cheap eats" in the form of delicious nachos and ate our dinner at a seat outside the joint known as "Nacho Bizness".

We returned to our camp and settled in for the night. Chaparral Campground was OK, with some scenic views, but the campground itself was nothing special, it seemed a little dirty and run down, but we didn't mind and it was suitable for our one night. When I woke next morning I spied a rabbit in our site and several more in neighboring sites.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_20190707_103014.jpg   IMG_20190706_191050.jpg   IMG_20190706_201756192.jpg   IMG_20190707_082131.jpg  
__________________

__________________
YoTerryH
2001 Ford Econoline E250
GTRV camper conversion
YoTerryh is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×