Sierra Cascades Day 6: Mt. Shasta to Ashland

Cloudy and cool this morning. Wahoo! The sun can take a break from burning a hole in my retina.

We eat and coffee up at Seven Suns- best breakfast burrito ever- and roll quietly out of Mt. Shasta. No one follows us, but I can feel the mountain’s gaze on me. Even partially shrouded, the mountain keeps watch. Every view is a mountain view here, but who’s watching who is hard to tell.

Our ride is mellow to start, with a steady rise to leave town and a roly-poly downhill to intersect Old Highway 99. Dang, it’s quiet today. Damn, that mountan is beautiful.

Jacket time on Old Highway 99

Raindrops pepper us and we stop to don our jackets. Despite the rain it’s a great day on this road. We pass through what appears to be ranch country. 

The rain ebbs and we take our jackets off. It’s a jacket-on jacket-off kind of day. I don’t mind because now I have worn every stitch of gear I brought with me. Yes!

We reach the town of Montague at mile 35. Seriously, only mile 35? Feels like mile 55. Ah, bike touring, you mock me!

Jackets off on Old Highway 99. Mt. Shasta looks on

I eat a pile of pancakes and part of Felkerino’s apple crisp. Surely I’ll be stuffed. Yes, for about 10 minutes I’m stuffed. And then my stomach goes into furnace mode and I feel comfortably full and ready to pedal on. 

We don’t take another food break until the end of our ride at mile 80, but my pancakes and bites of apple crisp go the distance. 

Before descending to the Klamath River and up to I-5

We leave the sedate roads of ranch country for a loud annoying 7-mile slog up I-5. It’s so loud on this road! 

Bikes are permitted on I-5, but we linger there no longer than necessary. I pedal my tour legs as hard as I can.

A construction worker gives us a high 5 as we slink by and that, combined with my desperate desire to be off the interstate, powers me along.

We enter Oregon and veer off onto Old Siskiyou Road, which takes us far above I-5. It’s pleasant up here. Goodbye interstate. We summit Old Siskiyou and rain falls again. 

Jackets come on and we begin the downward slide into Ashland. The road is twisty, but fortunately the rain recently started so we have plenty of dry pavement in front of us. Breezin into our overnight town, again we stick the landing. 

80 miles for the day and tomorrow we layover here. Let’s eat some pizza and celebrate.


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