Tour without a goal – 7 August 2014


The clouds come and go,
providing a rest for all
the moon viewers.

It turns out that the next campsite from Ashland is 70 miles away. I hadn’t quite realized this and I spent far too much time this morning running some final errands. I hit the road after 11 and it was already pretty warm. After returning the main route the bulk of this mornings ride was riding up to Siskiyou summit. Initially this was in. Winding canyon among the trees, including Madrona trees which I thought were a coastal phenomenon. This was nice riding in the shade even with the miles of climbing. Once out of the valley I was right next to I-5 and mostly rode on frontage and side roads to the summit. I passed the PCT and ran into no less than three hikers retuning to the route.

Looking Southwest from Siskiyou Summit

The view from the summit was all of dry land with sparse green trees and ahead mountains shrouded in smoke. There are fires ahead and there had been closed roads and campground and a lot of the PCT hikers in Ashland had come in from furthers away routing around the fires. After a steep descent from the summit the route actually runs on I-5 for seven miles. I’ve ridden on the five before and probably will again but I never love it. Happily here it was short and downhill and only a couple on ramps which are the scary bit. A mile or so on the five and I entered California. The third and final state of this tour.

Sun in the valley

As the descent wound down and I left the five I was now in this hot dry valley. The trees were gone and there wasn’t even much in the way of shrubbery. Bleak and dry and all the tiny towns were drying up as well. There was enough gas stations open I could get water but let me tell you I was happy as I genre began to climb at the end of the valley and trees and greenery returned. Clouds also appeared and there was this lovely scene of the sun behind a cloud with rays of light steaming in the smokey air above the distant hills. At around 70 miles I bailed off the route and rode about five miles off route I into the town of Weed where I stayed at a commercial RV Park/Campground. Not my ideal ‘ground but I was just happy to have a place to sleep.

nearly full now,
the moon rises a blurry orange
this smokey summer night

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