This last weekend Mary and I headed up to Chester, California to visit our friend Kathleen, who recently moved there to work as the District Ranger, and, of course, to ride our bikes.
Saturday we rode the Mile High Century, doing the metric version.
Here we are at the turnaround on the Warner Valley Road with Mt. Lassen in the background.
The descent was smooth and quiet, with a gentle grade.
After a brief stop back in Chester, we road out and around Lake Almanor.
Which intermittently provided astounding views.
Kinda felt like we were riding in the Northwest, which we kinda were!!
Sunday I switched out the wheels on my cross bike, poured over maps, and geared up for a long day of gravel grinding.
Right off the bat the riding was super nice. This is about a mile from Kathleen's.
Then I headed up Highway 36 for about nine miles.
At last I hit the dirt on "Lost Creek Road" or FS Road 29N19. Which provided a long stretch of smooth, gently climbing gravel awesomeness!
Eventually arriving at amazing Wilson Lake.
A short, climb to a gap and along/below a ridge on 29N18 led to this nice view of Lassen and Feather River Meadows.
More great gravel led to higher elevations where the forest thinned and Manzanita thrived.
A little lower I came to a stretch where the entire forest understory was fern!
Back up again on 29N16 I came across this huge patch of fragrant Ceanothus.
And still more fine gravel riding.
A long, fast descent brought me back to Domingo Spring, where I filled my bottle and bladder, and enjoyed the lushness.
I topped it off with a ride up the pavement to Drakesbad at the end of the Warner Valley Road. Beware! The last mile and a half has some nasty little gravel walls!
Wow! 75 miles, five and a half hours of wonderful riding. The temperatures were perfect. I saw not one single person on the entire gravel section. One of the best rides of the year!
I got the feeling there is a TON of this kind of riding in this region. I can't wait to taste a little more.