Pacific Coast Sierra Cascades Bike Trip Day 39 – North to Lassen Volcanic National Park

Up at 5:30 and out the door at 6. As I left the motel, two of the guests sitting outside their room drinking whiskey (so they said) wished me well. Heading north on Hwy 89, the terrain featured conifer forest much like the past two days with ponderosa and Jeffrey pine, Douglas fir, sugar pine, and western red cedar. The highway descended to Spanish Creek for 5 miles then slowly gained elevation along Indian Creek. A passing train prompted me to wonder about the cost of building a railroad in such hilly country. After climbing out of the Indian Creek valley, I cycled to Greenville in a flat valley for more breakfast. I met two guys on motorcycles on a road trip. Then a 12-mile, 800-foot climb to the dam that created Lake Almanor on the North Fork of the Feather River. Folks on motorcycles took my picture at the dam. I rode along the lake for 11 miles then turned west on Hwy 89 near Chester. The highway gained 700 feet of elevation to the point where the PCT crossed. There I stopped for lunch (the  rest of my breakfast burrito) leaning against a huge ponderosa pine (see photo). Former PCT hiker Happy Feet returned from a short hike and gave me ice cold Gatorade and soda. Wonderful! After a chat, I continued on to the Guernsey Campground, where I had planned to stay. But it was closed, plus I had plenty of energy. I opted to ride 14 more miles to Lassen Volcanic National Park. That entailed gaining 1,200 feet of elevation in the hot afternoon. Thanks to my rest day, the climb went smoothly. Surprisingly, I got a campsite at the park entrance, probably because there were only short walk-in sites. After a tour of the visitor center, I walked back to my camp and cooked dinner, called Betsy, and called it a day. 69 miles today.

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