In 2006 a LEO friend of ours attended a rally of sorts that so impressed him he promised to put one on for us. To explain, the rally consisted of all riders (most of us were two up) needing to plan a route that would garner the most points based upon a list of locations and point values. There were a number of associated rules also – for example the route had to be at least 150 miles long, the route had to be highlighted on an area map, proof had to be obtained that the rider was physically at the place (Digital picture of rider holding the rally icon) etc. Failure to comply with the rules would result in deductions from the riders total point score. Finally there were added bonus points that were awarded for demonstrating exceptional knowledge or, for example bring back the best picture of road kill.
Another friend and his wife were on the way back to the bay area from Oregon early this spring and stopped for gas in the little town of Dunsmuir, Ca. It was in this little town they discovered the Railroad Park Resort and Motel – http://www.rrpark.com. This is a great place to visit and stay. There are some 20 Railroad Cabooses all decked out with beds, a seating area, and full bathrooms. Our group decided that we would take a long weekend and explore the area.
As our planning of the weekend progressed we decided that we would take Mark up on his promise to put together a rally like he attended in 06. He came through with flying colors!
Lyn and I, along with friends Jacque and Steve left about 8:30 on Friday Sept. 21 for our three hundred mile ride up to Dunsmuir. Our route took us up 680, to I80, skirting Sacramento and into Yuba City and Marysville to pick up Ca-70. It was a beautiful day to be on the bikes, calm, moderate temps and the feather river canyon was beautiful as always.
Lyn had never been to Lassen Volcanic National Park, so we picked up 89 and rode past Lake Almanore to 36 / 89 junction. We headed West again to where 89 split again to ride through the park. I’ve always been impressed with the South to North ride through Lassen the scenery never fails to impress. We stopped at Manzanita Lake for fuel and a little snack then picked up 44 at the park entrance and headed East to where 89 once again split off toward McCloud via Hat Creek and eventually I-5 and Dunsmuir.
What can I say? The Railroad Park was everything we were told it was. The four of us were greeted by most of the rest of the gang that spent more time on the slab than we had. There were 15 bikes and some 23 people. We got ourselves checked in and then went outside to kick the tires and tell some lies during cocktail hour. There was a lot of speculation about Saturdays rally, as none of us had ever participated in an event of that kind.
We met at the restaurant there in the Park for dinner Friday night and after the meal Mark announced the rules for the next day. He handed out packages to each of us that included a score sheet (Had to be legible when completed or there would be point deductions), a list of about 100 locations and a point value for that location, and a set of rules. Our job? Plan a route to garner the most points between the 8:00 starting time and the 4:00 finish time. It was 9:00 when we trouped out of the restaurant and headed back to our rooms.
Lyn and I took one look at the list of places to go and knew immediately that we were in trouble! We struggled with coming up with a route until nearly 11:30 and by the time I turned the lights out I only had a vague idea of what we would be doing in the morning.
Rally Day! We were up and ready to ride by 7:30. We pulled into position, I surrendered my Drivers license, Insurance card and registration to Mark who sealed them in an envelope and handed them back to me with the sage advice of “You really don’t want to arrive back here this afternoon with this envelope open, as it will be a sure sign to me that you’ve been breaking the law and needed to show an officer that you were legal!” HA – no speeding today. We decided to ride with our friends Jack and Sonny as they had no idea of what to do either.
Both Lynda and Sonny did pushups to garner us some bonus points.
The first order of business was to find some breakfast, and to try an solidify our plan. We drove through town and found a restaurant just down the street a block or so from the library. Over breakfast we decide to ride up to Weed, then out US-97 to Lake Shastina’s golf course, then continue East to the Monument of ???? and a rest stop before coming west and south again to pick up Ca-89 for some bonus points in Mt. Shasta City and then down to Hat Creek and Lassen Park (once again) before heading into Redding and I-5 North via Shasta Dam, and Castle Crags National Monument and Dunsmuir. A very full day of riding.
Our first stop was at the Dunsmuir Library, followed by a chat with the librarian to get 7 historical Dunsmuir questions answered for some additional bonus points. We even got Grandma on the phone to help out! Then, a ride down the street to the sheriffs office – the doors were locked!! We couldn’t get in – don’t think I’ve ever been to a place where the offices were closed. Anyway, we finally got on I-5 and headed 20 miles North to Weed for a Picture under the Weed Arch.
A quick right on us-97 and we were heading East to “The Living Memorial Sculpture Garden” where we needed to get a picture of a rest room with Mt Shasta in the back. Next up was the rest stop another 10 miles east for a picture of the notice board. We headed west again for a stop at the Lake Shastina Golf Resort, So far we’ve gotten about 100 points and ridden about 70 miles.
The morning was turning cloudy and it was getting chilly so we stopped briefly at the Black Bear Diner in Shasta City to add a few layers and grab a few more bonus points. We got back on Ca-89 and headed South East toward McCloud, Burney Falls, Hat Creek and Lassen. By the time we got to McCloud it was raining pretty good, by the time we got to Burney Falls it was getting Foggy and by the time we made it to Lassen it was rainy – cold – and foggy. Foggy enough that we followed a sheriffs deputy down into Redding.
This being the first rain of the season had the highways looking like they were covered with soap suds. Lyn was a very good sport all afternoon long, but we were both ready to call it a day after Lassen so we skipped both Shasta Dam and the Castle Crags State Park. We pulled back into the Railroad Park about 15 minutes late with a little over 360 miles for the day. We weren’t docked any points! We dropped our package, including our score sheet, camera card, map, and gas receipts off with Mark for scoring and went back to our room for a short rest before meeting up with the rest of the gang for cocktails and snacks.
Saturday evening we all got together for a bon fire and homemade chili and the announcement of the winners. Lots of fun even in the rain!
The Grand Prize WInners -- Steve and Jacque! ----->
And the rest of the winners -- left to right - Steve & Jacque, Dennis, Linda, Mark, Rich, Jack & Sonny ----->
Sunday morning we checked out of the park and rode downtown for our final meal together. Then we went to Castle Crags State Park, only we didn’t go into the park itself, rather we took the road that goes by the entrance high up and deep into the crags themselves – really a beautiful ride. The road was nicely blacktopped for about 13 miles and then turned to gravel, once again all of us Goldwing riders decided to turn around and head for home.
The ride home was just a blast down I-5 back into the bay area. Others in our group headed out of Redding on 36 and 299 to the Coast and took a longer way home. This was one of the best weekend rides We’ve done in recent years, and will jump at the chance to do it again.
Thanks for riding along with us on this one!! ;