DAY 13: September 07, 2011 (Wednesday)
Canby, California to 38 miles north of Susanville, California: 52 miles (416 thus far)
Canby was the town where on my 2009 trike journey I was persuaded to alter my originally intended route by one of my supporters and Jack Freer, the man who was providing backup security for the trip. That year, the October decision was made to avoid the ultra isolated northwestern Nevada desert due to severe storm activity that was about to cause flash flooding, monsoonal rains, and extreme winds, and thus I ended up taking Hwy 139 to Susanville, California instead, where Jack picked me up for 5 days of rest and relaxation in an attempt to get my Achilles tendons back to normal. This year, having consulted with Jack via phone from Klamath Falls, I again decided to avoid the arid Nevada desert on Hwy 447 because the high temperatures of summer had not yet abated, and I doubted that the 248 ounces of water I carried on the trike would see me through to the next water refill area. My original reason for that route was to avoid the intense auto traffic of Reno and Carson City, along with the imagined troubles that go along with triking Highway 395 through there, but with heat still high, I figured I’d take my chances with too many people rather than too few and deadly heat. I left Canby just after sunrise, having used a porta-potty I happened to find in the nearly deserted town (ahh, they’re great when you need them). Took Highways 139/299 from Canby to Adin, a picturesque little berg out in the middle of nowhere, with a main street lined by huge cottonwood trees. Adin Pass was a lot of work to climb, but once at the summit, it’s a free coast down into Adin Valley, where high gears kept me going the 8 miles into town, where I spent an hour eating (2 bananas, 1 quart tomato juice, 1 pound of strawberries, and trail mix), refilling water, and making journal entries as I relaxed before heading out along the hot agricultural lands to another stint through the Modoc National Forest, which requires all my gears from L-1 to H-9. Last ride through here, there were hundreds of grasshoppers flying in front of me for many miles south of town, but it must have been too early for them this year. Later in the day, having climbed many hard grades, the sky clouded over near a lake and provided me some relief from the heat. Day getting short, started looking for place to pitch a primitive camp, which I found 38 miles north of Susanville. It had a large turnout, and a huge pile of gravel, enough to hide my tent from southbound traffic. For some reason, there was a large amount of bark chips next to the gravel pile, so I flattened out a 6×5 foot section upon which I placed the tent … a nice soft bedding. Breezy puffy clouds all about. Made for some nice photographs as the sun set and the moon appeared. For about 20 minutes prior to first light, a trucker pulled in to get some quick shut-eye – probably didn’t even realize I was there in my tent. It rained lightly and infrequently from time to time throughout the night, but due to the extreme arid air and the breezes, my tent was bone dry come morning. Total isolation and quiet out here.