Thursday, January 9, 2014

Adventures in Pasradise (CA)

Crapola...   I am so far behind...   How did two weeks go past and I haven't shared any stories... sorry about that...   Was distracted by a boat-rehab project with a friend that will last at least until the end of the month.

Let's skip back a week and travel a few roads from Chico, CA east into the Butte Creek Canyon to Paradise, CA.   Paradise is a real town, not a frame of mind...

Picked up Honey Run Road heading East just south of Chico where it intersects the Skyway.   Google maps was useless for planning this drive because it doesn't show that Honey Run can be taken all the way to Paradise.   The drive is about 10 miles, starting in the base at the outlet of the canyon and heading east and eventually up hill to Paradise.   

Most of the road is in the open with some tree cover.  The last few miles gets down to one-lane with plenty of tight winding curves bearing to the right.   These blind curves run the risk of oncoming traffic being across the non-existent centerline...   fortunately I didn't encounter any vehicles on my morning drive.   

Once reaching Paradise I worked my way to the south east side of town and then turned west on Pentz Road 7 miles and out to Rt 70.   70 makes a great morning ride with the sun warming the valley.   Up thru the Plumas national Forest.   Lots of scenic overlooks to the valley on the south side of the mountain sections.   

Rt 70 is an easy drive.  No tight curves, almost no traffic.   Plenty of turn-offs to pass or allow faster traffic to get by.  I grabbed a couple photo-ops along the way to try out my new tripod...   successfully!

Every side road leaving Rt 70 looked like an adventure of its own.   Tempting, but was on a mission (at least it began that way) to reach Lake Almanore, the town of Chester and then return on Rts 36 and 32 to Chico.  
Will post the ice photos which I encountered just north of these nested bridges.   There are also about 6 tunnels along this section and lots of white-water areas from the power station at the dam.  Water was low today so there wasn't much activity.

I was past the bridges just a few miles when the mountain walls became steeper and the shadows had not allowed the overnight dew to have left the road surface.  The center-line was very wet and looked ominously like ice...  By the time I reached the Belden town there was snow on both sides of the road and quite a bit of ice in the parking lots.   I pulled in across the steel bridge to the Beldon Town Resort where I found a Harley and a Yamaha cruisers parked against the snowbank outside the restaurant.   


Inside I met the two couples that were taking the holiday vacation time to cruise up from Cherokee.   They, and the barkeep, explained in no uncertain terms, that evey thing further up hill from here would be ice and snow, so I enjoyed coffee with them, swapped stories and then turned around to enjoy the ride back.

They gave a "recommend highly" to the road from Rt 70 to Cherokee.  That was about 20 miles and definitely worth the drive to enjoy.   Not as tight as Honey Run Road but full time twists and turns.  Other than a few miles behind a truck, the drive was beautiful.   

Somewhere along the way there was a covered bridge on a side road, and the town (?) of Cherokee...   I didn't see anything more than an intersection that must have been town.   Would be a quiet place to spend time, for sure.   

Pretty soon the road opened up and reached Oroville.   I picked up the Rt 149 N there up to 99 and back to Chico.   This is a definite loop that should be included in your travel plans if you make it up this way.

Cherokee and Rt 70 videos to be posted soon!

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