Yes, it was time to leave Arcata and head across the mountains to Reno in Nevada. While it would have been possible to make the trip in one day, we decided to take two days for a more relaxing drive and so we could see some of the sights on the way.
After breakfast, Craig picked me up from the Wild Horses house in his pickup and the journey began.
Below is a map of the first day’s route:
I knew that we would be travelling through the mountains and expected some windy narrow roads with huge drop offs. What I did not expect was that Craig would drive is pickup truck like it was my BMW 125i coupe. My car hugs the road and does not roll when taking corners and would have been amazing to take on a drive like this. All I will say is Craig’s pickup does not handle corners like my car…. 🙂 The fact that I am writing this article (and that I did make it to Reno) belies the fact that Craig did try to scare me to death.
Now that the terror has subsided, I can say that the trip was through some amazingly beautiful wilderness and national parks.
We stopped for lunch at a small historic gold rush town called Weaverville. Our timing was perfect as just as we were sitting down to eat, the town’s Homecoming Parade started. This was my first experience of this purely American tradition and it was fun to see the community gather to celebrate another year.
The town is also the location of the Weaverville Joss House (also called “The Temple of the Forest Beneath the Clouds”), a Taoist temple, was built in 1874 and is California’s best preserved example of a Gold Rush-era Chinese place of worship.
After visiting the Joss House and some of the other historical buildings in town, we continued our journey with even more scary roads.
There was a section of the road on the 299 (Eureka Way) between Weaverville and the Whiskeytown lake that was ridiculous in the number of tight turns.
The road straightened up as we passed by Whiskeytown Lake, so we stopped to grab a drink, a view and for my heart to slow down. 🙂
Once we passed through Redding the roads became larger and straighter but not as scenic. We did find a small bridge over Craig Creek and so had to stop and take a photo of Craig in “model mode” again.
The destination for the first day was still in California at the city of Chico. We stopped at the Mariott hotels just off the highway. Craig had managed to get one room in each hotel for us to spend the night.
The day finished with dinner in downtown Chico at Smokin’ Moe’s Bar-B-Que which was recommended to us when we asked at the hotel for a place that did good ribs. They were right, the ribs were really good, that would explain the large number of awards they had on the walls.
Day two of the road trip to Reno, Nevada, next….
This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.