That last day in the Cascades was an incredible send off from a playground we know so well.
As we cruised through Medford, OR and into Jacksonville for some gas the daylight faded. Jacksonville by night looks like the kind of story book town that your grandma would love. A well preserved old timey feel with plenty of gift shops and antiquing to be done. Having never been there before I was a little curious, so when we cruised into it's only gas station I asked our young gas station attendant. "What's up with Jacksonville?" to which he replied, "I don't know man, I live in Medford."
It would seem that this incredible luck with informative responses runs in my family. A few years back, my Grandparents were out from Indiana for a visit and we went for a little road trip down to Crater Lake. Neither of them had been out to Oregon before and they found it quiet funny that they were not allowed to pump their own gas. While stopping for a fill up on that trip, my grandmother, an incredibly sweet and lovely person, decided to ask the gas station attendant who was about her same age why that is. His response to her was "I don't know lady! Ask your representative!" So, I guess I come by it honest!
Once filled we did a good job of getting lost in the dark country night but eventually made it to a quiet little campsite just shy of the California border. Another chilly night, I had the good sense to wear the wool lined camp shoes that Tabitha had made for me while sleeping. In turn, I got my first great night of rest.
I love how camping has an incredible knack for waking you at sunrise refreshed and ready for the day. We packed up quickly and soon after slipped across the border on a dirt road and into the hills of northern California. Neither James or I had previously explored the Trinity National Forrest area and it made for nothing short of an amazing day of riding.
Sliding past snow closure gates already latched for the winter, we found some incredible views and tiny communities nestled in the hills. The random clusters of houses were awesome in the way that the pride of the residents really shined. They were some beautiful and tranquil places.
The riding was so fun we ended up making a long day out of it. Riding mountain ridges and swooping single lane dirt roads never gets old, but it does make it hard to stop and take pictures! We caught the sunset up on one of the ridges before descending into the darkness and eventually our camp at Ruth Lake.
James had camped here as a teenager and told me stories of the area until we both crashed out, exhausted from a long day of fun.