Day 20: Lake Pillsbury, CA to Auburn, CA

Wednesday 9/28

We were low on water from dry camping so we stopped at the Soda Lake store on our way out of Lake Pillsbury. We were told by other campers that it was a funky place worth checking out.

The collection of manual meat grinders is definitely the most comprehensive I’ve seen.

The place was stuffed with cats. A baby crib smack dab in the middle of the store held the next generation.

This young adult climbed onto Wayne’s bike before deciding that the place to really be was on his arm. Simon sniffed at the cat when he could, but otherwise showed no interest.

If ever there was a feline candidate for the TAT, that fearless cat was it. At a fraction of Simon’s weight, it would’ve been much easier to carry.

After leaving the lake we cruised along easy dirt roads for a while. Then, in order to cut down towards Stonyford, we had to get onto a section of OHV trail. It wasn’t long before it narrowed into single-track.

We didn’t have to go far before we found the terrain unsuitable for our current motoring configuration and decided to turn around. I attempted my ten-thousand-point turn as carefully as I could on the narrow trail, but could not escape my fate of dropping the DRZ. Wayne helped me upright the bike and we went in search of a better way. We were fortunate to find a wider, albeit highly rutted, trail.

After 20 days on the bike, if there was any question about whether or not I had trained myself to factor in my side bags for clearance purposes, here’s the answer.

I hit the rail hard enough to rip the bag half off. I don’t have a learning curve; I have a learning wall.

We stopped at Stonyford to get lunch. The Unknown Soldier stood guard over the town’s main intersection.

After lunch we made our way towards our next milestone of Williams along the I-5. The rural road was held together by patches of asphalt and heaps of good luck.

The temperature started to climb into the low 90s as we dropped down the east side of the mountain towards sea level.

Agricultural burn or rookie cook in a meth lab?

Once we hit Williams we were making our way back into civilization. We passed through Colusa and then hit Yuba City, where the strip malls, endless traffic lights and excess heat was bringing us down. After weeks of being relatively isolated, finding ourselves in a place of 65k was suffocating. Before arriving there we had thought about making Yuba City a stopping point, but now that we were in it we just wanted the hell out.

We continued on to Auburn, and by now the sun was beginning to set. We found a nice RV park with tent camping, but no one was in the office and a sign said that all tent campers had to have reservations. We didn’t check, but I’ll bet there were zero tent campers there.

Hot, hungry and highly irritated, we made no additional effort to find a campground. We treated ourselves to the air conditioning and indoor plumbing of a Motel 6.


Day 20 overview: 189 miles

    • Sux Warrior
    • November 23rd, 2011

    Wayne is starting to look like one of those guys I see sleeping under bridges.

      • piratemonkeycult
      • November 23rd, 2011

      Look? Let’s talk about the smell…

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