Quincy - Bassetts, CA: The adventure isn't over until it's over! - The Granny Panties Tour - CycleBlaze

July 8, 2015

Quincy - Bassetts, CA: The adventure isn't over until it's over!

High Country Inn, intersection of Highway 49 and Gold Lake Highway. 530-862-1530 $121. w/tax. Aspen Room. Very, very nice B&B. Bob is willing to fix breakfast at whatever time we want. A nice change from the late breakfasts most places offer.

Oren and I negotiated an hour delay on our start time, 6:30 AM. Today was short on miles, long on climbing. Temps would be cool as we would be at elevation, thus the choice to leave later. The irony? We were both awake at the normal time.

Oren is nice to check in with me on climbing days. The truth is, we aren't together long at all before he takes off. Today was typical. I stopped to take a photo and that was that. Off he went.

I was in the granny gear within the first half mile. Good thing my legs are in the groove. It's going to be a long climbing day. It seems that we have one day of climbing, one day of descending. Today is the climbing day. Tomorrow is also a climbing day. Two days in a row of climbing to finish the trip up.

It certainly is pretty here. There are far too many closed businesses and falling down buildings. Logging is obviously still a going concern. There must not be any spotted owls to protect here? But the economy doesn't look real busy. Quincy itself was a happening spot.

It seemed as if the 800 vertical feet to Lee Summit went by in no time. I didn't want to descend at all because our high point for the day was 6,680 feet - no reason to give up what I've earned.

Ah, oh - there are a bunch of orange construction signs. One sign says 'one lane traffic'. Darn. I wonder what sort of excitement they have for us. Perhaps the construction explains why there were so many sheriff and highway patrol cars going up and down. They were just sealing cracks in the road and let me go right on by. The advantage for us in the construction is that they were holding traffic so the road was pleasantly empty for minutes at a time.

Climbing, climbing, lots of climbing. I kept drinking Spiz. Liquid calories. I'd already gone through one bottle and mixed up a second. I've used all of that three pounds of Spiz, now there is just enough for tomorrow and it will be gone.

Speaking of that three pounds and carrying weight on the bike. When I got the package in Ft. Klamath, I was secretly hoping Jacinto would offer to carry it. He certainly wouldn't notice the weight. But he had already loudly said he wasn't carrying the computer, I didn't dare ask him to carry the Spiz which weighs the same. Many days later as I was bemoaning my rapidly disappearing Spiz, I noted that I really hadn't noticed the extra weight and that I'd hoped he would take it. Jacinto said, why didn't I ask? Well . . . why didn't I? If you don't ask, the answer is no for certain.

Back to the ride - Just outside of Graeagle, I felt a few fat drops. Darn. A few more. Darn, darn. At least I got half way through the day without rain. Wait. It appears I was approaching blue sky now that I've turned. Maybe I would ride out of it? I saw Jim's bike at the little shop. They were hoping to buy even more tires. I wonder if they had a tire allowance for this tour? Poor guys. They have purchased four (?) tires in ten (?) days. Crazy. I kept going, wanting to beat the rain. I debated stopping for a V-8 and ice in my bottles. Then I laughed at myself. Did I really need ice today? Here I was wearing my heavy shirt for the first time the entire trip. Don't suppose I need ice.

I got down to the Gold Lake Highway turn. Highway 89 hadn't been bad today - the construction kept the traffic to bursts. Plus there were the law enforcement vehicles going back and forth. Still, I think we were all looking forward to getting off of 89. This is such a pretty area, it would be nice to be able to see the scenery instead of watching the traffic.

Right at the turn, there was Oren. He said it was only 47 miles to Truckee - maybe he would just keep going. I reminded him Alison said her group found it really tough to do that 75 miles from Quincy to Truckee in one day. There's lots of climbing no matter which direction we go. This road should be a treat. Jim had found mention of it in several journals here on CG. We agreed to go off the Sierra Cascades route and give it a try.

Very nice. Lots of sunshine. I was actually getting hot. ha! Maybe we would get to town without getting wet. Ah, what an innocent I was. Pretty quick here came Jim and Genny. They had one new tire that they bought from the Richard Gere look alike in Graeagle. Genny was most impressed with him. Jim also, but for different reasons.

I've lost enough weight and become a strong enough climber over the past month that I pretty much climb and their speed. Woohoo for me. When we did the Taos trip together, I never saw Jim and Genny except when they passed me.

I changed my heavy shirt for my everyday long sleeve blue shirt. It's a Mountain Hardware Wicked Light shirt. Excellent at keeping my arms covered and not hot. I give it two thumbs up.

climbing, climbing. Did I say that already? We had a 2,200 foot climb from the turn. Eight miles to the first top at 6,600 feet, two more miles to 6,680. Jim's official number for the second top 6,752 feet. Of course I will take that number since it's larger.

Rain started falling. Just a few drops. We had two miles to go to the top. Could I pedal faster? No, not if I wanted to actually make the top. Darker skies, more rain. There was Genny, putting on her rain gear. I guess I should do the same. Cover my electronics with the Saran Wrap Tim brought me. Do I put on the rain coat? I don't want to overheat, I'm already sweating. I'm definitely not cold. Yes, guess I'd better. We got back on the bikes. Pedal, pedal. Don't stop. Watch the clouds. Feel the rain get heavier. Wait. Is that rain? It feels like hail! Yes, hail. Little hail. Bigger hail. Really big hail. I can hear it bouncing off my helmet. Bouncing. I'm glad I have my unstylish pink mitts on to cover my hands.

There's Jim and Genny taking shelter under the trees. As I get off the bike, I look behind me. There's Jacinto! I don't have to worry where is he. Good. Oren? We speculate he is already at the B&B taking a hot shower.

At first it's fun and an adventure to see all of the hail collecting on the road. I have a bar and some other snacks, thinking I need to fuel the engine and we'll be leaving soon. Ha. We wait and wait. One cycle of hail goes through. Then it rains. Thunder and lightening. Things taper off. Then the hail starts again. That must have been the eye of the storm. Things taper again. We've already dug out another layer of clothes. Jacinto finally puts his coat on (!) and some long fingered gloves. At this point it is raining lightly. We estimate the first top to be a half mile away and decide to go for it.

Irony? The top was just feet away around the corner. What if we had kept going in the first place? Could we have? There was so much hail Jim said it would have been like riding on ball bearings. I think that's a true statement. There was no sign at the first top. I don't think any of us would have stopped even if there had been a sign.

The rain picked up. But I wasn't cold. I was generating enough heat climbing. I was also VERY happy that we had only a five mile downhill after the second peak. Jacinto caught and passed me. I heard thunder. Several times. Just after I saw a couple of flashes of lightening, there was Jacinto taking shelter in a potty. I waved and kept going. I did wonder at my wisdom. What is worse? Taking the chance of getting hit by lightening (slim)? Or getting hypothermia (strong)? I kept pedaling. I wanted down off of the mountain and out of these wet clothes. My thighs were red from the cold. Yes, I had leg warmers, but my legs were so wet I"m not sure I could have gotten them on.

Jacinto had pulled out behind me. I guess he was just waiting for me. I didn't see Jim or Genny anywhere. We all had town on our minds. I kept the speed very low. There was water everywhere on the road. No need to crash.

The couple of times I looked around the scenery was spectacular. I debated stopping for a photo. I wondered if I had the fine motor skills necessary to take my phone out of the baggie and actually take a photo. I decided it was questionable and I should get to town. But we did miss some spectacular photos with the heavy fog and the jagged mountain peaks. Jacinto had his headlight on. I couldn't seem to muster what it took to reach my hand forward and turn on my little Frog headlight. The wheels in my brain worked that over for a few moments. I just couldn't seem to connect the physical action to the thought of reaching forward and turning on that light.

Finally, finally there were some signs. Yes! Town. As it were. A motel on the left with a cafe. Wait. Motel? We are at a B&B. More thinking necessary. It was difficult. Look. There's a sign across the street, hidden in the trees. That's us. We coasted across the street. There was Oren peering out the door, watching for us. He had been so worried, he was ready to hire someone in a truck to go find us. Poor guy. He was about half way down towards town when he got hit by the hail. But he hadn't showered or anything for worrying about us.

All of the bikes were on the deck under the eaves. No place left for my bike. It just got put on the deck. I covered the foam seat with a trash bag, but the bag was already soaked. Was it going to do any good? At this point I didn't care. My fine motor skills were definitely gone. I had trouble gathering my things to take inside. Luckily we were entering through the laundry. That was a perfect for wet cyclists.

Bob, the owner, mentioned several times I needed to check in. My fingers just couldn't seem to get my sandals and wet outwear off fast enough. I had trouble getting out my credit card and signing. All I was thinking of was 'clothes off, hot shower'. Bob offered to take us into town for a real meal at a real restaurant instead of our going across the street to the grill. Finally, Jacinto and I were ready for the shower. At the same time. No problem, we both fit in the shower. Don't worry, Oren - no hanky, spanky going on. We were both vying for the hot water coming out of the shower head! I got out first and turned on the hair dryer - on my body. I've never done that before. I did eventually get around to drying my hair.

Bob had made coffee for us. I had a cup along with a heated up burrito from Safeway. Remember the shopping expedition of Jacinto's that was in the overwhelmingly large store? The deli there had fresh made burritos. I really, really appreciated mine.

A hot shower, hot drink, and hot food. Now the adventure was coming back into the day.

Since we have a nice living room to hang out in, we enjoyed hashing over our ride. We all agreed it was top notch, until it got too exciting.

It's an hour now until Bob is giving us a ride to dinner.

Later - dinner was great. Neither Jacinto or I can remember the name. We just call it the pork chop place because Oren, Jim, and I all ordered pork chops and they must have been a full inch or more thick. The menu said hand cut. They were delicious. It was the best meal of the trip, in my opinion. Those who ate dessert said it was yummy. I asked for a to go box for my extra pork chop. Since we were in an upscale place, they had to put it in the box for me. Jacinto wanted everyone's pork chop bones to gnaw on. Does that surprise anyone who knows him? The waitress was visually horrified and brought the bones back in a plastic bag. I told Genny, we will never see these people again, you don't have to be embarrassed. I don't think Genny was, she knows Jacinto and was amused.

The Pacific Crest Trail passes through here. Just imagine how miserable they are. This rain has been hanging over the area for days. Hikers are the only ones who move slower than cyclists. We saw one fellow out the restaurant window who walked by barefoot. Let me assure you, it wasn't barefoot weather out there!

Bob came and gathered us up. He made a remark about this was the last time he would see us tonight. I assured him not to worry, we are generally in bed by 9 PM, with our early depart. We aren't party animals, for certain. But we have been known to have a beer or two in the evening.

Jacinto took the foam out of my recumbent seat and wrung it out like a wash rag. He wanted to put it in the dryer, but everyone seemed to think it might shrink or fall apart. I left it balanced on a box. Let's see how dry it is in the morning.

I was out of my routine with the crazy weather and the bikes being outside. I do like having my bike inside for ease of getting ready to leave. I filled water bottles, etc. Took my food off the bike in case of bears or hungry little critters. OK. Guess it's bedtime. Genny and I chatted some, but I was tucked in by 10 PM. Little did I know that Jim and Genny would decide to change directions and head for the valley to beat the bad weather. We enjoy cycling with them, the shared days this trip were too few.

Jim wants to know how Oren pedals the bike from this position. It's supposed to be a photo of Oren's fancy homemade rear pack cover.
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I specially took this photo with the power lines because the sun was glinting off of them. That didn't quite come through.
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My best shot of the whole trip. It looks like Wayne Este's took it!
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Country chic decoration.
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This is partly a photo of the good old Ford truck. It's like the one I learned to drive on. Partly a photo of the sign on the barn. There were a few of those in the Quincy area. Unfortunately, this is the only one I photoed.Harry Moore is the man - he sent this link https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hex_sign with information on the signs on the barn. Further research by Harry shows these to be barn quilts. Hex signs are circular. There you have it.
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One more little kid bill board.
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Even though Oren isn't pointing, for some reason this position reminds me of Lewis and Clark.
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In our area we have bluish/purple thistles. Only today have I seen the red/pink thistles.
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Genny is acutely aware of tires and inflation. She thought my rear tire looked low. That's possible, since my pump doesn't have a gauge and I had that flat tire on my birthday. Jim said it was 15 pounds low. It did feel as if I rode much faster after he pumped up my tire. Thank you, Jim!
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Jim and Genny are standing next to a snow marker. It must snow plenty here in the winter. Jim is a tall man.
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Smiling and happy just two miles down the road from our big adventure.
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Giant hail bouncing on the road. For a considerable amount of time we could hardly see the pavement.
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For about 15 minutes we enjoyed the excitement of the moment. Then we got cold. And wet. And hungry. And . . . .
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The foggy view from the living room at the B&B.
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Today's ride: 39 miles (63 km)
Total: 1,341 miles (2,158 km)

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