road trippin part 1

part 2 | part 3

Jordan and I hit the road for 10ish days last month on the bikes and had just…the loveliest time. Truly an opportunity to live in the moment every day for a little while and explore the vastness outside our regular lives.

Day 1

For our first day, we left San Diego around 9am and blasted up the 15 to the 395. It’s never fun to spend the day splitting lanes through the greater LA area (including you, San Bernardino), but we made good time and traffic was pretty light.

first gas at the cajon pass

Next up was the portion of the 395 that goes through the Mojave desert (Victorville to Ridgecrest). We weren’t initially sure if we would be up for the full ride to Bishop (the goal location) – but we the weather was mild for the Mojave (only the low 90s!) so we were able to keep going and grab a late lunch in Lone Pine (taco salad), then continue onto Bishop for the night.

Day 2

The next day we hit the road from Bishop with a goal of getting to Truckee, CA – just north of Lake Tahoe.

Our first stop along the route was at Mono Lake – specifically the Tufa Towers. They look like enormous drip castles – but they’re actually limestone-based structures that developed over decades or centuries while the lake levels were much higher.

From there, we stayed on the 395 until we we much closer to Tahoe, and then turned west a little to get up into the mountains.

We took an extended break in Tahoe to grab lunch (a mediocre pizza dipped in ranch dressing – 5/5 stars) and look for a hotel. There was a mountainous storm brewing, and we didn’t relish the thought of riding mountain roads in the rain at the end of a long day so we ended up grabbing a (too-expensive) room in Truckee. We also grabbed some microwave mac and cheese and a bottle of bubbles.

truckee hotel vibes

Day 3

We headed out from Truckee and kept our northward trajectory to Lassen Volcanic National Park, with a goal of spending the night in Mt. Shasta.

I didn’t realize this when planning the trip – but much of our day 3 ride went through the burn scars of the 2021 Dixie Fire. While I knew it was a large fire – I didn’t realize the full scope of it until we spent over 100 miles traversing it’s disastrous path. Our route took us through Greenville, CA (not pictured below) – a small town that lost 75% of its structures in the fire. It was sobering to roll through the charred remains of what was a thriving community just a short time ago.

Lassen Volcanic National Park was a new national park for me – I’d never heard of it before planning this trip! I didn’t even realize we had such active geothermal areas in the state of California. While we didn’t have the time or equipment to hike out to the more interesting geothermal vents, we did stop at the viewpoints along the road to see what we could.

The photo of Lassen Peak was hilariously hard to take with the GoPro. It was such an oppressive peak in the background of every vista – yet somehow it was obscured by a single tree in every photo on the GoPro except this one.

From Lassen, we kept heading north and stopped for lunch at the first place we could (more pizza, sans ranch). We had an option to hold east around Mt. Shasta (the mountain) to Mt. Shasta (the town), but we were tired and (naively) decided to head west to the I-5 via Redding thinking it would be an easier ride. It was not – that grade is fast, tight, and full of big trucks! And we finally passed the heat threshold into +100º temperatures. It was a relief to collapse at the hotel and wander over to the hotel bar for a couple of Hendricks and tonics and a wedge salad. Road trip food is the best, right?

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