Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fall River Century

Holy Cow! - Mt. Shasta erupting!

Oh, not really . . . but dramatic view of Mt. Shasta at sunset viewed from the east

The Fall River Century ride, with a total elevation gain of 4,350', takes place in the far northeast corner of California with the 100 mile route traversing the hills, rivers and creeks of the breathtaking Fall River Valley.

The Valley is bordered on the west by the Cascade Range anchored by Mt. Shasta and Lassen Peak, and the Big Valley Mountains on the east.

The route is awesome and one of the prettiest century rides you will find. The scenery varies from flat valley roads criss-crossed by the Fall and Pit Rivers and Hat Creek - all very popular fly-fishing streams, the conifer foothills of the Cascade range, the stark red and black lava formations in the shadow of Bald Mountain, and the rustic and cute little hamlet of Day.

Base Camp for the ride is the Shasta County Fairgrounds in the tiny community of McArthur located a few miles east of Fall River Mills, if you know where this is.

Being located in a remote region of California, the ride draws a modest number of riders, about 350 this year, but the event organizers, volunteers and community in general, goes all out to make the cyclists feel welcome and appreciated.

Free camping is offered at the Fairgrounds on lush green grass. The rest/lunch stops are well stocked and this ride prides itself in providing homemade treats prepared by many community organizations. No one goes away hungry or thirsty on this ride.

The only thing negative about this ride is the heat. I recorded a high of 97 degrees on my cycle-computer. But heck! . . . coming from Sacramento, it hardly fazed me.

For enlarged view, click on pic

Gordy Vredenburg and Dennis Renault relaxing the day before the big ride

Free camping at the Shasta County Fairgrounds

Temperatures approaching 100 degrees forms thunderheads over the Big Valley Mountains

Tent sites in the shade are premium

Moving our chairs into the shade

Lassen Peak in the early morning

Riding west on McArthur Road

In order to beat the heat, most of the riders start at 6 a.m.

Riding northwest toward Mt. Shasta

Southeast view of Mt. Shasta

One of many fish camps along Fall River and Hat Creek

Small hills bordering the valley

Cool arched bridge - unique design for dam road

The route crosses the Pit River Dam which forms Lake Britton

Crossing over Pit River Dam road

Gordy cruising over the dam

Time for a photo opp at Lake Britton

One of many well stocked rest stops

Gordy's tire goes psssst at rest stop . . . a convenient place to flat if you're going to get one

Katie Giromonte

Otter Pops ROCKS! . . . when it's near 100 degrees

Cruising down Hwy 299 with Mt. Shasta looming over the western horizon

Katie, Dennis King and John Marinko

Feasting at the rest stop in Day, a tiny hamlet in the eastern valley

The reason the Day rest stop is annually voted the best rest stop

The famished Wheelmen contingent scarfing up the goodies

Gordy in cookie heaven

Scrumptious homemade cookies (above and below)

Well, thanks Dennis . . . don't mind if I do!

The other reason the Day rest stop if voted the best . . . icy cold shower on a hot day


Cold spray to cool hot feet

Established 1888

Gordy, a retired postman, gets a kick of the historic Day Post Office sign

A grand home in Day

Me, Richard and Gordy at the end of the 100 mile ride

Posing in front of the McLaughlin Steam Tractor at the fairgrounds

On the way home, Gordy and I check out Burney Falls

The unique geologic feature of Burney Falls is that the water cascades out of basalt springs

Mt. Lassen partially covered in snow

We also swung through Lassen National Park

At summit parking lot

Lake Helen (behind me) is still frozen

Frozen blue waters of Lake Helen

Prolific field of yellow mule ears on the mountain side

One last shot of Mt. Shasta at sunset

End of Fall River Century blog