Saturday, March 15, 2008

Spring Break Day 3

This is the beginning of a beautiful day. It is about 41 degrees with a clear sky. The plan for today is to follow California 49 from Mariposa to Grass Valley and cross over to I 5 and make my way to Redding. The biggest part of today will be on two lane less traveled roads.

This is the view looking over the side to the road I will be going down. Just after I took this picture a school bus was climbing up this mountain to collect the kids for school. I wonder if they realize how great a view they have? It was on this section of my trip that it almost ended. I was following all of the suggested speed limits and just enjoying the beauty of the ride when a Johnny Rocket was traveling way to fast for a right hander. As I was leaning into a blind left hander, he appeared completely in my lane. It was eat the cage or run off the road. I chose to run off the road even though there was a car behind me, only 18" between the asphalt and mountain, and a 6 - 8" drop. As I went off the road I down shifted, hit the throttle as hard as I could, leaned left, planted my foot as hard as I could into the ground, and held on waiting for the thump and resulting crash. But, somehow Petunia, Piggy, and I missed the car, the mountain, and pulled out of the off-road excursion. At the first place I could stop I did to check to be sure everything was OK. The guy following me stopped also and said he couldn't believe that I didn't go down. Well, that made two of us. I swear it almost felt like I was being picked up and set back on the road. The result was a scuffed tire on Piggy and the leather torn on the toe of my left boot. And the Cager? He didn't bother to stop. My reaction - Damn, I won't be able to wear these boots to school anymore! But hey, a hundred dollar pair of boots is better than the alternative.

On my way I wanted to eat at small family run cafes. But, it seemed that they all were closed. Until I found Sue's Cafe on Main Street in Angels Creek, California. This Cafe was perfect. From the friendly locals, to the owner Sue Berry, to the kitchen being open, to its small size, to the great food at very reasonable prices this was exactly what I had been hoping for. It is a real shame that there aren't more people like Sue who have the commitment to the history of this type of cafe.
This is looking south and north on Main Street in Angels Creek.

View of the Tuolumne River. All in all this really was the best day of riding so far. The reality of back roads is sinking in for me - you can't make very good time, but the scenery more than makes up for it. The end of day 3 finds me in Red Bluff, California. I am half way into my ride and I won't make Oregon, but I also wouldn't change what I've done. I have found some great roads that I want to travel again and now when I see the map colored in of where I've been California will be almost as dark as Arizona.

This was todays route


  1. And thank you and Jim for giving me the bell. I will post an explanation for those that don't know.