We meant to wake up in time to have breakfast with Rosie but this trip has a way of making us both sleep longer than we normally do. Rosie had made us bacon, set out some fruit, and eggs. We ate, showered, packed the bikes, and left. I'm looking forward to seeing Rosie again and visiting this beautiful part of California again.
Our route for the day took us through many small towns up highway 49 and then on to Redding. Highway 49 was amazing. I keep saying that but it's true! There have been so many amazing roads with amazing views, amazing turns, amazing little towns, amazing everything! The gold rush highway didn't dissapoint.
If you ever decide to drive through this area, just a word of caution, make sure to obey the posted speed limits. Prior to today's ride, we saw maybe 4 police cars. That was in 2500 or so miles of California highways. We saw 9 or 10 highway patrol and 2 or 3 county sheriff cars in about 100 miles. I lead because, yeah, you know.
We stopped off for lunch in Auburn at a place called Taco Tree. There was a supermoto XR600 or something, I'm not a Honda expert, in the parking lot so we took that as a sign that this place was for us. The food was inexpensive but very tasty! Kris was entertained by the signs that warned people there was a light pole behind their car as they backed out from their parking spot.
We headed north toward Yuba City, avoiding major highways. They tend to be straight lines with not many interesting things to look at. The back roads are always more interesting on a motorcycle adventure. We saw endless fields where some kind of crop requiring standing water was growing. It looked like green grass in lake sized pools of standing water. Because there was a strong wind, the convection off of these pools made for a nice, cool breeze which felt as wonderful as it was to look at.
100 or so miles down the road we reached Yuba City. We stopped for a stretch, a snack, and a bathroom break. I overheard the gas station clerk chatting with one of the locals about his family he left behind in India and how he is going to visit them soon. I thought about home for a bit. I miss seeing the girls. Funny, I don't miss our dog though.
Since it was almost 5pm and we still had another 5 hours of riding to complete the ride through Lassen State Park, we decided to save that for another trip and push on to Redding via highways and I-5. It was still another 2 hours ride to Redding.
I remembered why freeway riding isn't fun. The wind blows your helmet all around and your neck gets sore. It's dead straight so there's nothing to do but hold the throttle open and try to find the most comfortable position, over and over. This leads to a very fidgety Nathan! I finally decided sitting way back on the seat with my cramp buster right in the middle of my grip (I tried sliding it in all different arrangements), left hand loosely on the left grip (I also tried many combinations of left hand placement), and head slightly tucked under the windscreen. This gave me the best possible comfort with the least possible wind buffetting and arm fatigue.
At some point during the day Kris got stung by a bee on the neck. She said it stung really badly and when the wind blew on it, it made the sting hurt even worse. She said she also sneezed while riding without an issue. She has been afraid of how that might affect her riding. She didn't stop for either event. I think she's pretty badass today.
We arrived in Redding at 7:30pm. The hotels we originally spotted were devoid of any place to eat within walking distance so we headed back south a few exits, found a hotel with food next to it, checked in, unpacked, had dinner, and stumbled back to our room. We were asleep in minutes. It was a commuting day for sure, 305 miles!