Friday, 5 September 2014

Day 15: Chico, CA - Klamath Falls, OR

Welcome to Chico.  Last night we had the emergency ambulances with their woo-woos on, police helichopters and the four-minute warning1.  It's just like E17.

You may recall my fulminating on the subject of Spoons in Diary entries passim.  It was therefore with deep and lasting joy that I found myself obliged to nom this morning's Rice Krispies with this:
Spork Menace!!!1!11!
To the woods!  The first bit of today's route ran up through what appears to be the Lassen National Forest and although sunny back in Chico it was bloody freezing under the trees.  A corollary of the trees is that they beget logging trucks.  Loaded logging trucks creep around at 30 mph.  Divested of trees, the trailer is then loaded onto the back of the tractor, at which point they are transformed into fire-breathing monsters which are almost as fast as the Astramax van.  Beware!

These woods are also the haunt of the Bigfoot, or Sasquatch.  Disappointed not to spot one;

[mode old_joak=on]
The only big hairy thing I saw today was in the mirror.

And creeks.  Every river in USAnia not called a river is a creek.  There are three types of creek:
  1. Deer Creek
  2. Mill Creek
  3. All other creeks - a minority
This hypothesis has been subjected to rigorous scrutiny by Experts and has recently been elevated to the level of Trufax.

And so to Lassen Volcanic National Park.  If I'd heard of this at all before, I'd probably confused it with that place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where they drink Um-Bongo and watch gorillas.  It's all centred on Lassen Peak, which did its own mini version of Mount St. Helens back in May 1915.
The side of Lassen Peak which fell off...
I don't know what the place in like in high summer, but today it reminded me of a sort of mini-Yellowstone, only with far fewer idiots driving under the influence of President Eisenhower and trying to stroke the bison.  Lassen Volcanic NP doesn't have any bison, which doubtless helps, but it did have this character:
You may make a sort of "Squeeeee!" noise.  Just this once...
And lakes and trees and rocks and things and (cont. "Horse With No Name" by America).  Go and look at the pictures.  And motor-spirit was available for fewer than four dollars per gallon, delivered through a pump at normal "gas"-station speed rather than in the manner of the one at Crater Lake which took 15 minutes to fill up a Mustang back in 2009.  And I don't think it attracted the attention of this ["Thank you" - Ed.]
who, while waiting at some road works on CA-44 near the park, went walkabout.  Leaving his engine running.  His 6.7 litre V8 diesel engine.  For twenty minutes.  Berk.

Mostly downhill or level after the National Park; the morning's "gas" consumption was slightly better than 18 of the USAnian's midget gallons.  This afternoon it was almost 31.  A mixture of trees and farms, with the latter far more likely to send me to sleep.  A shedpoint for Emily, though, who found a route that knocked off about forty miles at the expense of a fair amount of boredom.

And so to Klamath Falls, for no readily apparent reason.  There is, in the fridge, a tumbler half-full of baking soda.  Given that I also found baking soda in the fridge in Wenatchee, WA, in 2009.  I therefore subjected this to the rigours of a Famous Web Search Engine and found that baking soda eliminates nasty niffs from your fridge.  And also that this is an urban myth propagated by baking soda manufacturers Arm & Hammer.  I leave you with the thought that in Lassen Volcanic NP there are mountains named "Brokeoff" and "Bumpass".
To the east Brokeback Mountain, to the west Benny Hill...
Edit: I've just got back from dinner.  The Mudstang says it's 24° C out there.  I felt cold...
  1. OK, it was actually a fire engine...


  1. A musical interlude: The tickets for Rory McLeod are now booked. Mr Hitchcock plays live at the City Winery in Nashville on 18th of September, along with four other musical types as part of an evening of Americana. Should you find yourself with nothing much to do on the 18th and somewhere near Nashville…there's a seat still available right by the stage.

    1. In 2012 it took three and a half days from Battle Mountain to Nashville. All on the Interstate save for the detour to Stull.

  2. But it is v lovely here though this morning we had an earthquake (small). Which John slept through. Miserable score in Guardian quiz though. C x