Leaving the high mountains behind, I checked the radar and found less rain forecast to the east of the Pacific Crest. Wandering northeasterly through the upper valleys of California, Mt. Shasta made a brief appearance before becoming enveloped in clouds.
East of I-5, the Klamath River is dammed for hydro power creating the Iron Gate and Capco Reservoirs. Free campsites on the lake at 2200ft sounds pretty good for a restful night before exploring into Oregon. It is a river and lake system like this that makes me want for a kayak.
It is common up here to give open range livestock the right of way. Complicated rural traffic jam on a Monday morning.
Each bridge over the Klamath into Oregon was closes or private so I pressed on along the California side. Once past a sign warning "No Autos or Trailers", Topsy Grade Trail began. The steep and boulder strewn trail was quite difficult on the Ruckus. Deep mud puddles and large bogs stretched on for miles but the Ruckus crashes through admirably. The restored meadows of pine, grasses and wildflowers were particularly serene in comparrison to the arduous task of keeping the bike upright. Fortunately the hard work kept my core warm.
In some sections, mud built up in layers enough to jam the rear wheel and fender. My boots were also caked and weighed a ton.
My mind drifts to the industrious men who carved this trail from the rocky, wet and unforgiving terrain. I'm enjoying the hell out of it 150 years later.
At each turn the trail seemed to deteriorate and split but thanks to my GPS, I followed it out of the gorge where this view of my progress was reward enough. Onward now to Oregon.
In May 2014 I quit my job to ride a Honda Ruckus over 69'000 mi and counting. Wild camping most nights and cooking most of my own meals, I keep the costs low and the landscape changing.