After an early morning continental breakfast we brought the bikes to life in the motel parking lot and after a quick fuel stop we shake, rattled and rolled down the US 395 trail.
The road encourages a relaxed pace and many of the trappings of modern travel are just not on this road. About 40 miles north of Alturas, 395 reaches California and the confusing little town of New Pine Creek. It consists of barely more than a couple of stores.
The California map says it’s in California, yet the Oregon map says it straddles the state line, which at least in practice, it does. The actual location of the state line is a bit confused and about 20 years ago, California officials reviewed the line and concluded that the line should actually be a bit farther north. But locals still don’t seem certain about where it is. Nonetheless local California residents have Oregon mailing addresses (that’s where the post office is), which confuses all sorts of bureaucrats, from cops to tax officials and the uncertainty about location prompts all sort of thrash to reduce taxes and other fees. It used to be that Oregonians had to sneak their kids into the local school, which is (probably) in California. The Oregon welcome sign is on the north end of the tiny town, but the California sign is right in the middle of town on State Line road, though that probably isn’t where the line actually is. I know that I’m on the “line” — the Oregon/California border in New Pine Creek when I see the shop called “Just Stuff“. Never a customer parked in front of the building, but it remains open after all these years!
We continue on and nearby the Goose Lake State Park is a large shallow lake that straddles part of state line area yet it’s so remote reservations are not necessary. We traversed around Alturas and through Likely, Ravendale and Litchfield. Somewhere along this route we hit about 10 miles of the worst road surface I’ve encountered on previous rides. I dislike that tar base with loose gravel and the DOT thinking that we’ll let the vehicles drive over the gravel until the road is no longer loose!
At Standish we fueled up and avoid backtracking to Susanville by way of the cut-off road.
This area is nestled in a high-desert valley in northeastern California, bordered by both lush evergreen forests and arid sagebrush. First a rugged trading post for Nobleas Train wagon trains, in 1854, pioneer Isaac Roop wrought the first permanent settlement by allotting a large piece of his land for the city, which eventually would be named for his daughter Susan. The days it’s know more the High Desert State Prison with the high-security, lethal electrified perimeter fence.
We skirted Honey Lake and rolled into Reno by mid-afternoon. The posse unloaded and enjoyed all that Reno and Street Vibrations could offer up in the form of some nighttime refreshments.