I haven't been hanging out here much lately, but I wrote this up for the GTRV list I moderate and thought I'd post it here as well.
Fall Trip 2021
My friendís son got married in Livermore, CA on October 2nd. Since I planned on attending, I took the opportunity to hit the road for some camping and mountain biking on the way down and back from Portland. This is a synopsis of that trip.
9/24/2021 Left Portland at about 8:45 a.m. and drove to Valley of the Rogue State Park, near Gold Hill, OR, where I had reservations for two nights. Checked out my site, had lunch, then drove to the nearby Mountain of the Rogue mountain bike trail network. It was the hottest part of the day and the heat was nasty so I did only a short ride. I decided to return the next day to try again. The following morning I was back on the trail and enjoyed a nice ride, with cooler temps on the new-to-me trails. I returned to the campground and enjoyed the amenities, including views of the nearby Rogue River, and a hot shower.
9/26/2021 I packed up and departed Valley of the Rogue. I had planned to camp next near Lake Shasta and ride the Clikapudi Trail, but the arsonist-caused Fawn Fire disrupted my plans. En route south, I confirmed that my intended destination was off-limits and instead headed for the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. At the Whiskeytown NRA visitor center, I checked campground availability for Peltier Bridge Primitive Campground and was able to make the required reservation through recreation.gov for two nights.
I drove to the campground and was very happy with the remote location on the banks of Peltier(?) Creek. I got set up and enjoyed a nice evening with pleasant temperatures in contrast to the heat of the day. The next morning, I awoke, cooked breakfast and set out to mountain bike on the nearby Clark Canal trail. I followed the trail to the Shasta Mine Loop trail and climbed up to the mine site, then returned via the same route. This area is rich in California gold mining history and feels very remote. Despite a relatively recent fire, it is super scenic.
9/28/2021 I left Whiskeytown NRA and headed for Sonoma County and Spring Lake Regional Park near Santa Rosa. I was pleasantly surprised at how picturesque and pleasant the campground was. Despite being within the town of Santa Rosa, and being in a populated area, the campground was a gem.
The next day, I saddled up and rode to the adjacent Annadel State Park and had a fantastic ride on the trails there, for my third time riding those trails. I returned to camp and once again enjoyed a $hower, despite having to pay extra for the $hower which was not included with the $omewhat pricey camping fee!
9/30/2021 I checked out of Spring Lake and drove to nearby Sebastopol, home of GTRV! I had previously alerted Mark (the owner) that I would be in the area, and he graciously gave me tour of the facility and spent some time chatting. It was fun to see GTRVís current home, observe the manufacturing process, and see vans being outfitted.
That morning I had called Del Valle Regional Park and was told Iíd have no problem finding a campsite for the evening, so I left GTRV, and drove to Del Valle, which is near Livermore, where Iíd be attending the wedding. Del Valle was another pleasant surprise and I was easily able to find a campsite at the huge and mostly vacant campground. It was fun to see deer and wild turkey everywhere in camp as I was driving in and setting up. That evening, I took a ride and explored the campground and realized how big it truly was, with 150 sites. It lies adjacent to Del Valle Lake, which is beautiful and seemed to be fairly full despite the drought.
10/1/2021 I packed up and drove to my hotel in Livermore, where the wedding guests were staying. I was able to check in right away and proceeded to unpack and move into my hotel room. I took the opportunity to empty and defrost the van fridge, since my hotel had a full kitchen, and the van freezer was pretty frosty. I was also able to enjoy a dip in the pool, wash a load of clothes and have a shower. I had a quick visit with my friend Tim, the father of the groom, before heading out to Oakland International Airport to pick up my daughter who had flown in from Eugene, OR for the wedding.
The next day we relaxed at the hotel, visited with friends and hung out until it was time to leave for the wedding at Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery. It was a lovely ceremony followed by a terrific reception party and a wonderful time seeing old friends and celebrating with the happy couple.
10/3/2021 The next day, Sunday, I drove my daughter back to the airport and returned to the hotel to repack the van and get underway. I had started the day unsure of where I was heading that day, but after some deliberation, I decided to return to Whiskeytown NRA and Peltier Bridge Primitive Campground again. This time I managed to secure a different and nicer site with a view of the creek. Once again I enjoyed two nights at Peltier and was able to take another fantastic mountain bike ride, exploring further on the canal trail, and incorporating some other trails into my ride. That evening, as I sat outside at camp, I had a close up visit from a Gray Fox!
10/5/2021 Leaving Whiskeytown and continuing north, I decided to head towards Klamath Falls, OR. I made a reservation at the local KOA and arrived at camp around 2:00 p.m. Klamath Falls is where I was raised so I was excited to visit and get to see some old friends. The KOA proved to be pleasant and centrally located. I spent two nights there and I got to see several old friends. I had dinner with one, and mountain biked on the local trails at Moore Mountain with another.
Returning to Oregon brought a drop in temperatures and a return to autumn weather. The prior week, temps had hovered at or above 90* most days, and in Klamath Falls it was in the high 50s and low 60s, and dropped into the 30s at night, a bit of a shock to my system!
10/7/2021 I left Klamath Falls and drove to Bend, OR and headed out to Philís Trail Network. I was excited to be able to claim a dispersed campsite there where I have stayed many times in the past, just a mile from the main trailhead. I got set up and went for my last ride of the trip before returning to camp to make dinner. Moderate conditions and cooler weather allowed the burn ban to be lifted and I was able to enjoy my only camp fire of the trip that evening. It felt like a fitting end to a great trip. That night saw the temps dip below freezing, but I slept soundly and warmly in my GTRV.
10/8/2021 I took my time packing up the next morning as I waited for the day to warm up a bit. I left about 11:00 a.m. and headed back to Portland. I had a fantastic trip and really enjoyed my time out on the road. I was able to experience some beautiful country and attending the wedding was a nice break from the road and a terrific experience.
Link to photos from this trip: https://photos.app.goo.gl/xinW3HcjDh4Y5W5T6