A Weekend at Old Station
Several Saturday Morning Groeger folks and Mid-Week riders rode to Old Station. Dick Zunkel provides the following write-up followed by pictures from Dick, Chris, and Bob.
Ride to Old Station by Dick Zunkel
June 5, 2009 6:15 A.M. Sleepy riders Simon, Bill, Chris and Dick arrived at the Golden Gate Bridge to begin the trek to Old Station. Weather report, who cares? Real riders ride, rain or shine. At Petaluma the riders filled their tanks and headed for the restaurant parking lot. Which restaurant? Confusion… Pete’s or Denny’s. Denny’s.. Denny’s?
What is the most direct route from the Bay Area to Old Station? Short answer, I-5 to Red Bluff and a direct shot bypassing Lassen Volcano? Are you kidding? Fed and fueled riders departed Petaluma heading northeasterly over Mount St. Helena through Middletown and Clear Lake where we picked up Route 20 to I-5. At Willows we stopped at the Airport Cafe for fantastic fare ranging from onion rings to cherry pie alamode. Crop dusters landed and took off as we enjoyed a fine lunch.
We followed I-5 to Red Bluff where we foraged for meats at the Holiday Market. Sufficiently provisioned, we headed eastward on SR-36 to SR-89. Rain greeted us at the entrance to Lassen Volcanic Park. Leader Chris convinced the ranger that I was old, cranky, and had a Golden Age Pass. The ranger felt sorry for me and let me pass free. Whipper-snappers had to pay five bucks to ride through the park. We toured the visitor center, then layered up as snow and sleet joined the ride. The thermometer on the Mighty Wing measured 32 degrees as we crossed the snow-covered summit of Mount Lassen. White flakes swirled from the sky, but fortunately did not stick to the road. We arrived at Chris and Pat’s mountain lair greeted by Bob Burns who had arrived shortly before us.
We enjoyed a hearty barbecue followed by an evening conversation and the sampling Chris’s vast collection of mini-bottles, mostly full. The sleepy band sacked out early. After a brief morning ride to JJ’s restaurant the riders enjoyed the menu of local favorites including JJ’s famous home-made breads. Pat opted for a day fishing as we departed for the day ride. The weather improved greatly as we rode to McCloud for a brief stop at the museum. The sky opened full with sunlight as we made our way east of Mount Shasta to Callahan and it’s rustic buildings. We continued the day’s journey through the Trinity Alps to Weaverville for a hot cup of local coffee. The El Cabana restaurant in Redding served our early dinner before we returned to Old Station.
The band gathered all but a few belongs and packed up for the Sunday for the ride home leaving Chris and Pat in peace. Bob, Bill and Dick took the scenic route home following "A" roads to SR-45 and SR-99. We ultimately joined the mob on I-80 at Davis for the Sunday crush. All arrived home safely sans a few objects left at Chris and Pat’s mountain retreat.