July 9: Who Needs a Shoulder?

After leaving Mt Shasta, I climbed up to Snowman’s Hill Summit at 4470′ then had a long pleasant descent to McCloud. Then the fun began…the road’s shoulder disappeared. And a lot of logging traffic appeared! The road was only wide enough to accommodate two vehicles and nothing more. So I had to ride with a constant eye in my rear-view mirror; every time a vehicle was coming up behind me, I had to judge it’s distance, whether there were more than one, how big it was ( car, truck, RV, semi) and then make the same calculations for any vehicles approaching from ahead. If it looked like they were going to pass within 100 yards of me, I had to bail out onto the shoulder and stop to give them enough room to safely pass each other.
In the afternoon, just after passing the bridge over Britton Lake, I had semi’s coming in both directions and no place to go, so it was a bail out into soft volcanic cinders which swallowed the tires and over I went. Sprained the left wrist, but thankfully I can still ride. And thank God for protecting me. I stopped at Burney Falls State Park and got some ice and wrapped the wrist with athletic tape. Burney Falls are some of the most beautiful falls you’ll ever see. While there I talked to some through hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail who were resupplying; they left the Mexican border on April 19 and are expecting to take 6 months to complete it. I’ll take my 6 week version!
Today (July 9) I left my campsite at Bridge Campground on Hat Creek and passed a sobering reminder to be alert: a ghost bike on the side of the road for a cycle tourist who died last year on this shoulderless road.
Today was the ascent of Lassen Peak. I climbed up to the National Park entrance and the truck traffic stopped. I pedaled up and up and up- vistas began to unfold. I put the bike in my granny gear and stopped frequently to take pictures. iI finally topped out about 5:30pm after 40 miles of climbing at 8511′. Then it was bombs away down the south side of the volcano, stopping for more photos. At one spot there was geothermal activity and mud ponds- reminded me of Yellowstone.
Got into camp about 7:20pm, set up, ate the rest of my ham sandwich and berrie pie from lunch, drank about a half gallon of fluids, and took a shower! The wrist is sore. I’m looking forward to getting off this narrow road in about three days.










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1 Response to July 9: Who Needs a Shoulder?

  1. Sonya says:

    Unbelievable Jim!!!!

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