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Posts Tagged ‘High Desert State Prison’

posse_lkviewAfter 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.

Goose Lake

Goose Lake

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!
Reno_Skyline
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.

Reno_NeonThis 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.

Road Trippn’ to Street Vibrations 2009 — Part 1 HERE; Part 3 HERE.

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I was up early on day 2 and stood for a moment in the motel doorway, contemplating the Road King as though it were some postmodernist sculpture in the sunrise. Its gleaming chrome “big twin” engine, pipes, polished black-on-black fenders, beach bars and seven-inch headlight is nirvana in terms of form and function. I suspect the low grade headache has more to do with the tequila shots from the El Aguila Real restaurant the previous night than the crappy pillow.  It was time for some caffeine.

The rest of the crew was stirring and we headed across the street to the Tall Town Café & Bakery for some melt-n-your-mouth handmade cinnamon rolls.  Even from the outside you can tell this ‘Ol School bakery means business and the eggs with home-made biscuits and gravy were perfect for the short 250 mile ride into Reno.

After breakfast we brought the eight bikes to life in the motel parking lot and the neighbors likely wondered when was the quiet possession of their homes revoked?  The sound makes your heart beat a little faster and 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.  Like the Doobie Brothers song “Clear as the Driven Snow“… “I keep rolling, and rolling, and I can’t stop, and I can’t stop…” there are no big box stores, no chain motels, no fast food chain restaurants and a couple hand painted billboards.  In fact at the Oregon – California border in New Pine Creek there is a shop called “Just Stuff“.  I’ve never seen a customer parked there in all my years riding to Reno, but it’s still there!  And near by the Goose Lake State Park is a large shallow lake that straddles the state line area and it’s so remote reservations are not necessary.

We cruised thru Alturas, Likely, Ravendale and Litchfield.  There is a running joke in this part of the country that the GNP is your choice of rocks, junipers, or sagebrush.  Not much happening in the high desert, but I did learn that the WNBA basketball player Kayte Christensen attended elementary school in Likely.  How unlikely! 

At Standish we filled up and chatted a bit with some High Desert State Prison guards making a shift change at the high-security, lethal electrified perimeter fence prison. We skirted Honey Lake, avoid speeding tickets and rolled into Reno by mid-afternoon.

The crew unloaded and enjoyed all that Reno and Street Vibrations could offer up in the form of some refreshments.  A couple of the “sig others” arrived in town and we had an awesome dinner in a local Italian joint called La Strada.

Next up is the Virginia City, Kit-Kat and Carson City tours.

Read more about the Street Vibrations trip at Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 and Day 5.

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