On April 8, we left Red Rocks for northwestern California. We wanted to climb Mt Shasta, the southernmost volcano of the Cascades range. However, since Lucie had sprained her ankle a couple of days earlier at Red Rocks, we decided to take our time and enjoy some sightseeing and a little easy roadside rock climbing along the way.
We left Las Vegas quite late, and only made it as far as Hawthorne, NV on the first day of driving. The next day, we stopped at Walker Lake (NV) before continuing to Reno, NV. After the mandatory stop at the Patagonia outlet store, we spent the afternoon strolling downtown and lost a couple of quarters to the slot machines. Since we didn't have much luck finding a spot for the bus to spend the night in Reno itself, we left in the evening and drove toward Quincy, a surprisingly nice little town, which seemed to be the "Santa Fe" of the area (much smaller though).
The next day, after spending a couple of hours in Quincy, we drove to Grizzly Dome for a bit of slab climbing. Grizzly Dome overlooks the north fork of the Feather River and has a few bolted lines on solid granite. We did not get to climb that day because of rainy weather, but came back the next morning and climbed the best looking lines. We then left for Chico in the evening.
Chico was a nice surprise: a small university town with zillions of coffee houses, small shops, and restaurants. Wouldn't be a bad town to live in for a while... but the climbing in the vicinity is almost inexistent. We had dinner at the local burger joint, very popular with college students (not surprising since draft beer goes for a buck a pint!), then went to an old movie theatre, the Pageant to see "Talk to Her", the latest of Almodovar's movies.
We awoke the next day to the sound of rain. I guess we're getting closer to the Northwest. We quickly found out that it was still too early in the season to climb Mt Shasta. There had been significant snowfall the last couple of weeks and the snowpack on the mountain was still very unstable. Since the weather forecast called for a huge snowstorm to move in from Alaska during the next few days and dump at least another 3ft of snow at altitude, we gave up on Shasta and elected instead to drive to Bend, OR in search of drier weather. We left Chico that afternoon and drove north. The landscape quickly started to change. Huge pine trees. Very green and moist. Welcome to the Northwest! It was snowing hard when we made it through the town of Mt Shasta. We kept driving a while and stopped for the night along Highway 97, about 20 miles north of Weed.
The next morning seemed like Christmas all over again (it had snowed about 10 inches overnight). We spent most of that day on the road. We drove through Klamath Falls and arrived in Bend in the afternoon.
Red Rocks, NV to Bend, OR
|Walker Lake on our way to Reno, NV.|
|The little town of Quincy in northwestern California.|
|Grizzly Dome offers a few short lines on slabby granite.|
|Eric on "Hursus Horribilis" (5.8, 3 pitches), one of the dome's cleanest lines, and the longest.|
|Lucie belaying at the top of the first pitch.|
|The North Fork of the Feather River seen from the dome.|
|Brrr! It's winter all over again! (near Shasta, CA).|
|In the snow again (at Grass Lake Pass, where we spent the night on our way to Klamath Falls).|
|Welcome to Oregon!|
|Klamath Falls, OR.|