Just a week ago, I made a spontaneous decision to go for a moto camping trip. I wasn’t sure where but NorCal is not lacking in beautiful wilderness so it didn’t take long to find a campground that looked good. Cal-Ida campground (just 13 miles outside of Downieville) had a spot open so I grabbed it. Did I mention it’s located in the middle of some of the best motorcycling roads around? I left home a bit later than I wanted to, so I was treated to lots of traffic and about 30 minutes out of Oakland it was already 93 degrees. An hour later through Sacramento, my thermometer hit 103. Whew. I thought it might cool down a little as I meandered off the freeway and into the hills. At 3,000 feet elevation, it was still 99. Ah well, it is summer in California.I arrived at the campground and checked in with the camp host, Steve. He and his sweet dog welcomed me in, and gave me directions to site #6. He said I got the best spot in the whole place, tucked away in the back next to Fiddle Creek.
As soon as I took my helmet off, mosquitoes were buzzing in my ears and starting to bite. Being sweaty probably didn’t help. It dawned on my that I forgot bug spray. After a cool dip in the creek, I set up camp, and walked over to the Indian Valley Outpost (thank god for this place) to buy myself some bug spray. I had no cell phone service so I used a pay phone for the first time since 1987 and called Dick to set up our riding date. Why don’t pay phones take credit cards? The store clerk was nice enough to let me clean out his quarter drawer.
After chatting with Dick for my allotted three minutes, I went back to camp for dinner. I brought some freeze dried food that I had forever. There was no expiration date so I thought, it should be fine. I think it dates back to the Cold War because after I poured my hot water, black “things” floated to the top. Eww. So much for dinner.
Luckily I had an apple and a granola bar. I decided to take an after dinner walk up the small camp road and found the Fiddle Creek Ridge trail head. It looks like it’s mostly used for dirt biking but I hiked some of it until the mosquitoes carried me away. Time to turn around.I asked Steve, the camp host for some firewood. He said he was all out of bundles of wood, but because I was on a motorcycle, he was going to deliver his “secret stash” of extra wood for me. And it was huge pile! I tried to pay him but he wouldn’t let me. Super nice guy.I spent the rest of the evening by the fire and just enjoying the space of quiet. When it got dark, the moon cast a ray over the creek, and I was able to see it through my tent screen as I fell asleep. I’d say it was a good day.