|Distance||110.38 kms||68.35 miles|
|Climbed||1,331 meters||4,367 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||7.08||-|
|Avg speed||9.6 kph||-|
|Distance||29,078.98 kms||18,068.85 miles|
|Climbed||305,920 meters||1,003,675 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||2,055.66||-|
Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
There is a lot more climbing this morning than expected. First to Antelope Lake, a place that would be pretty if not for the burned hillsides surrounding it, then out northeast towards 395. I'm already sweating profusely in the heat by 9am. I just grind it out, entertaining myself by trying to snap photos of the chipmunks and squirrels as they barrel across the road. They're too fast for me to bring the camera to bear in time.
I hit a sort of summit around 6,000 feet then comes a long descent down to highway 395. I stop at a coffee joint in Janesville to get on the internet and, as one would expect, have a coffee. From there it's a short 11-mile run into Susanville. I quickly come across a strip mall that has everything I need: a laundromat, a Safeway supermarket, a pharmacy, and a Starbucks.
I'm about to use the change machine at the laundromat when I am accosted by the woman working there, she makes me swear that I'm actually going to do laundry and didn't come just to siphon change out of the machine. Strange. I do my best to convince her that I'm not just a change-junky, eventually she relents with a grunt. I throw my rancid clothes into the washer (I'm embarassed to even say when the last time I did laundry was) then go food shopping for a few items. I suspect I won't be seeing a supermarket for a while so I leave well-supplied. I go back and throw my clothes in the dryer, as soon as they're done I hit Starbucks to charge everything up and get on the internet. Strip malls are ugly as sin but they certainly are efficient. Starbucks is overflowing with high school kids who are out for the year but haven't yet figured out what to do with themselves for the summer.
Finally I get back on the road for more hot climbing. I stop at a Forest Service visitors center to ask about fire restrictions and see if my fire permit is valid for Lassens. Answers: no restrictions yet (but they don't know about the other forests going north), and yes my permit is valid for the whole state of California. They give me a free map of the park that woodcutters use. This trip has been an education on federal land management. It looks like a confused jumble to me: BLM doesn't know what the Forest Service is up to, the Forest Service people only know what is going on in their own domain and don't have any information on other forests, the state people are out of the loop on everything but the state land, etc... I suppose it is what you would expect: a bureaucratic alphabet soup of agencies living in their own little worlds.
I head up route 44 into the Lassens National Forest. I keep going until I see things I can locate on the map they gave me, then head north on the dirt roads. It's not too exciting out here, just big meadows and pine forest that has been cut and prescribe-burned. I ride around for a good five miles looking for someplace interesting to camp but come up empty on the interesting; I end up settling for a ridge that should at least give me some privacy, although I haven't seen a soul since I hit the dirt.
I'm really low on water. I guess I got cocky with all the water around recently. Here there's hardly a drop. I find some nasty stuff in a meadow that will have to do, I end up both filtering it and boiling it to hopefully come up with something that won't make me sick. Dinner is a cold affair tonight because it's already dark and I don't feel like cooking.